SECRET VALLEYS by John Cousins


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The story of a dream realized, as three men- utterly different in type, background and nationality, carry out a pledge made five years before when they had shared a war experience in supplying- by air- ammunition, food and clothing to a tiny, unidentified guerilla band in the mountains of occupied Crete. Even after five years, the expectancy was keen, the sense of idealism a dominant factor. Yet they knew as little as they had then known of the identity of the leader they called Papadopoulos; they had their charts and their memories. But from the Greeks in port, they met suspicion, opposition or silence. Gradually, they realized there was latent trouble- perhaps a rebellion brewing. Angus alone spoke Greek; Henri, the Frenchman, and Tom, incurably British, had smatterings of classical Greek. But they all held to their goal, and -- posing as antiquarians, in search of ruins, they managed to get free of entanglements, to find a dubious guide, to make contact, though at cost of a gunshot wound before they established their identities. The story from that point on is a fragment out of Greece's ever-present civilian strife, the latent urge for freedom, expressed in devious ways- and a sense of brotherhood of man demonstrated in giving, though reluctantly, of themselves to the hopeless cause of the man they still thought of as Papadopoulos. There's a certain beauty in the telling of this story; while it lacks the pace of the adventure tale it might have been, it has some of the quality of a folk saga in modern dress. I found it quite enchanting reading.

Pub Date: Aug. 23rd, 1949
Publisher: Knopf