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By Leo Perutz

A thief and a nobleman, either down on their success, go paths on a sour winter's day in 1701. One, recognized in the community as “The Fowl-Filcher," is fleeing the gallows; the opposite, the callow Christian von Tornefeld, has escaped execution to struggle for his Swedish king. Neither will succeed in his vacation spot. despatched with a message to safe reduction for von Tornefeld, the thief falls in love along with his companion's mystery fiancée. He resolves to win her love for himself, and during a smart stratagem, exchanges his destiny for the opposite man's. Risking every thing to realize the girl and station of his goals, he turns into the Swedish cavalier, staying one step prior to publicity. Later, he sacrifices every thing in order that is daughter won't study of his mystery past.
In this booklet he thought of is masterpiece, Leo Perutz has created a picaresque global of barons and brigands, swashbuckling dragoons and spurned fanatics, gentleman farmers and masked robbers, and fortunate parchments, magic spells, and mystical visions. half event, half historic novel of war-ravaged Europe, The Sweddish Cavalier can be an ethical story of deceit, betrayal, and redemption.

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Sample text

Pour en savoir, j’en sais. Savoir aussi si c’est des choses qui vous intéressent, ça, c’est autre chose. Mais lui, tenez, il a dit Maupas en désignant l’Hector des Boués, il peut vous dire que tout ce qu’on sait, on l’a dit aux messieurs de la police. Même que c’est lui le voisin de cette pauv’ demoiselle. Et il a cligné de l’œil à l’Hector pour qu’il comprenne que lui aussi il fallait qu’il l’aide, question commerce. On lui a retourné la mimique, manière qu’il sache qu’on entendait la malice : — Vous prendrez bien un verre, a dit le grand rouquin, tout alléché, à notre attablée ?

A le rassénérait, même ça lui donnait d’autres idées sur les hippizes : des gens qui boivent pareil que le maire, peut-être bien que c’était pas de la crapule tout entièrement. Maupas a pas voulu être en reste de connaissance : — Un représentant voulait m’en placer du ouisquie, il m’y a fait goûter. Ça a un peu goût de punaise écrasée. J’en ai pas pris, pisque on m’en demande jamais… — T’as déjà bu de la punaise écrasée, a demandé Girgassou à qui Arsène venait de passer la bouteille après en avoir éclusé un sévère ?

L’était pas serrée, la pauvre gamine qu’y avait dedans, et ses grands cheveux blonds lui faisaient comme un oreiller sous le crâne tout d’os. — Mande pardon, a dit Justin en nous bousculant pour sortir. Et on l’a entendu, en haut, dégobiller et se roumioner, sûrement jusqu’à bile. — On referme et on s’en va, a commandé Maupas. On a fait ça en silence, après on a remis les cailloux, on a camouflé le plomb cassé comme on a pu et on est remontés, un peu chamboulés de la panse… En haut, Justin nous attendait, un peu de rougeur revenue mais avec des larmes plein les yeux.

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