The Saint in Europe (1954)
Author and creator of The Saint Leslie Charteris is a master of plot construction, so much so that it leads one to believe that he has discovered "the formula", from which plot structure may be produced with the mere turn of a handle. The Saint character is blended from elements of James Bond and Robin Hood. Unusually, he inhabits the line between establishment (James Bond) and outlawdom (Robin Hood). In the situations in which he finds himself he deals with evil-doers as would an establishment character, in the same manner as some one who holds our value-set. Yet even in the same minute he will commit felonies in order to fund his adventures, felonies committed almost exclusively upon the evil-doers. The Saint certainly lived as an outlaw jewel-thief, but this is in his past. The Saint has the manners, tastes and education of a man who was educated at the best schools, universities and was likely a member of an establishment family or the nobility. In The Saint in Europe the locations reflect all of these elements and the author is visible between the lines on many occasions.
"I can't stay here with my dress soaking," she said abruptly. "Take me home."
On the front of the Casino there were banners and posters proclaiming the regular weekly gala.
"Are you going?" asked Simon casually.
The bright defensive eyes switched to nun sidelong.
"I hadn't thought about it." They walked a few steps; and then she said, sharply: "Would you come with me?"
Simon did not hesitate for an instant.
"I'd love to," he said easily; and she said nothing more until he left her at the Provencal. Before climbing into white shirt and tuxedo, the Saint packed a bag. He was travelling very light; but he still preferred not to leave his preparations for a getaway to the last minute. And he had decided that the getaway should take place that night. He did not want to delay it any longer. He was a little tired of Juan-les-Pins; and, even in that brief time, more than a little tired of the part he had to play.
It was late enough for him to have the road to himself, and no inquisitive eye observed the course he steered for the fire escape of the Provencal. With the calm dexterity of a seasoned Londoner boarding a passing bus, he edged the crook of his stick over the lowest platform and swung himself nimbly up. Then he flitted up the iron zigzag like a ghost on rubber-soled shoes. The lights were on behind the curtains of a room on the second floor, and a passionate declaration of eternal love wafted out into the balmy night as he went by. The Saint grinned faintly to himself and ascended to the third floor. The nearest window there was dark. He slid over the sill with no more noise than a ray of moonlight, and crossed as silently to the door. In another moment he was outside, the latch jammed back with a wedge of cardboard so that he could make his retreat by the same route, and the corridor stretching out before him like a broad highway to his Eldorado.
+ SEE ALSO
- The Saint (1962-1969) television series staring Roger Moore as The Saint.
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