Architect Edward Walton--who lost his wife to his business partner and said goodbye to ten years of freedom thanks to the cad's (false) embezzlement charges--is finally released from prison and, in short order, meets the lovely sales rep Peggy and the mysterious ``Major,'' who promises him 100,000 pounds if he'll construct an underground tunnel for him. The crafty Walton hires a p.i. to identify ``Major'' and asks an ex-con pal for a gun, just in case Major tries to off him before the money is forthcoming. But where will the tunnel lead to? The vaults under Austen's, London's largest department store, where jewels, securities, and great sums of unreported cash are stashed in locked boxes. Much digging later, Walton takes his share and invites Peggy for a Bermuda holiday- -while Major is buying himself the rank of Lieutenant-General in an emerging, venal nation. Slight, but not without charm, as old-hand Daniels (aka Peter Chambers--The Day the Thames Caught Fire, 1990, etc.) sets in motion a twist or two, including one implicating Walton's former nemesis in the Austen's venture.