Editorial Reviews. muscpertastsunear.tk Review. To Cut a Long Story Short reads like a series of site Store · site eBooks · Literature & Fiction. From the master storyteller comes a masterful collection of fourteen riveting tales of elaborate confidence tricks, political chicanery, immoral behavior, and. Read "To Cut a Long Story Short" by Jeffrey Archer available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and get $5 off your first download. From the master storyteller.
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The fourteen short stories in To Cut a Long Story Short show Jeffrey Archer's great skills with a wide variety of character, of subject and of setting, but all with that. Read "To Cut a Long Story Short" by Jeffrey Archer available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and get $5 off your first download. In this short story collection by. Fraud, deceit, deception, lying, bankruptcy, infidelity: these are the recurrent themes that concern Jeffrey Archer in his fourth collection of short stories, To Cut a.
Frank Vintcent arrived on the Thursday evening, carrying a bottle of cognac and two pizzas. Otherwise this place would look like a pigsty.
Come to think of it, how do you cope? Neither of them spoke again for over an hour, most of which Frank spent trying to defend his queen. He had often repeated that he would have preferred a longer period to prepare the catalogue and send out an extensive mailing for such a fine collection, but at least he showed some sympathy for the position Mr Barrington found himself in.
The auctioneer also recommended that a full page be taken in the Chudley Advertiser the following Wednesday, giving details of what was coming under the hammer, so they could reach those people they failed to contact by post.
Cornelius left Mr Botts a few minutes before midday, and on his way back to the bus stop dropped into the removal company. Certainly no one crossed the road to pass the time of day. It was not until the early evening that the last stick of furniture had been removed from the house. He retired to the bedroom— the only room in the house that was still furnished— and continued to read the novel Elizabeth had recommended before his downfall.
Cornelius sat in the only chair while Timothy perched on the end of the bed.
The old man studied his nephew more closely. He had grown into a fine young man. He must have been twenty-seven or twenty-eight—about the same age Daniel would have been if he were still alive. He wondered if he was about to be disillusioned once again. Timothy appeared nervous, shuffling uneasily from foot to foot as he perched on the end of the bed.
He had hoped that just one of the family. Before I leave, is there anything else I can do for you? Timothy must have read about twenty pages when he suddenly stopped and looked up.
Shall I leave it there, Uncle? They will then be able to bid for them at the auction next Friday. The selected pieces will be auctioned separately in the morning, with only the family and close friends present. She hesitated for a moment.
The second call came only moments after he had put the phone down on his sister. She remained silent for some time. Timothy wrote the following day to say he was hoping to attend the auction, as he wanted to pick up a little memento of The Willows and his uncle and aunt.
Pauline, however, told Cornelius as she tidied up the bedroom that she had no intention of going to the auction. But did you have your eye on anything in particular? Neither Cornelius nor Frank was able to concentrate on their weekly chess match that Thursday evening, and after half an hour they abandoned the game and settled on a draw. I find the situation has its compensations.
Cornelius was the first to arrive at the auction house the following morning. Observing his client deep in conversation with Mr Botts, who would be conducting the auction, he took a seat towards the back of the room on the right-hand side. Cornelius gave his sister a nod before walking down the aisle and taking a chair three rows in front of Frank.
To Cut a Long Story Short
Hugh and Elizabeth were the next to arrive. They stood at the back for some time while they considered the layout of the room. Eventually they strolled up the aisle and occupied two seats in the eighth row, which afforded them a perfect sightline to the podium, while at the same time being able to keep an eye on Margaret.
Opening move to Elizabeth, thought Cornelius, who was quietly enjoying himself. The rest of her body remained hidden behind the door until her eyes settled on Cornelius, who smiled encouragingly.
She stepped inside and closed the door, but showed no interest in taking a seat, retreating into a corner instead.
The auctioneer beamed down at the hand-picked invitees as the clock struck eleven. Each of you has been invited to select one item from the inventory, for which you will be allowed to bid. Should you be successful you may not bid for any other lot, but if you fail on the item of your first choice, you may join in the bidding for any other lot.
Cornelius smiled—every one of his pawns was now in place. But the law states that if anyone has previously left a written bid, that bid must be recognised as part of the auction.
I shall make things as easy to follow as possible by saying if I have a bid at the table, from which you should assume it is a bid left at our office by a member of the public. Elizabeth looked a little shocked, as three thousand was just below the low estimate and the figure she and Hugh had agreed on that morning. Fair warning. I see no bids, so I shall have to withdraw this item and place it in the afternoon sale.
Mr Botts looked a little disappointed, but moved quickly on to the second lot. Margaret looked round to see that her sister-in-law had joined in the bidding.
To Cut a Long Story Short
Suddenly there was silence. Cornelius wanted to burst out laughing. He smiled down at Margaret, as if she had made a wise investment. Do I see a bid of one hundred? Everyone looked round.
Mr Botts smiled in her direction as he brought down the hammer. What shall I say for this item?
Thank you, sir. Can I say three hundred? Can I say four hundred? A magnificent Louis XIV table, circa , in almost mint condition. Its provenance can be traced back to its original owner, and it has been in the possession of Mr Barrington for the past eleven years.
The full details are in your catalogue. I have a bid at the table of sixty thousand. Do I see seventy? Her catalogue shot up again. I have a bid at the table of eighty thousand. Do I see ninety? Do I see a hundred and ten?
Thank you, madam. Are there any more bids? Cornelius turned round and winked at Frank, who remained impassively in his seat. He then rose from his place and made his way to the podium to thank Mr Botts for a job well done. As he turned to leave, he smiled at Margaret and Elizabeth, but neither acknowledged him, as they both seemed to be preoccupied. Hugh, head in hands, continued to stare down at the floor. As Cornelius walked towards the back of the hall, he could see no sign of Timothy, and assumed that his nephew must have had to return to London.
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Cornelius was disappointed, as he had hoped the lad might join him for a pub lunch. After such a successful morning he felt a little celebrating was in order. Mr Botts had promised to call him the moment the sale was over and report how much the auction had raised.
Having enjoyed the best meal since Pauline had left him, Cornelius began his journey back from the pub to The Willows. He knew exactly what time the bus would appear to take him home, and arrived at the bus stop with a couple of minutes to spare. He now took it for granted that people would avoid his company. Cornelius unlocked the front door as the clock on the nearby church struck three.
He was looking forward to the inevitable fall-out when it sank in to Margaret and Elizabeth how much they had really bid. He grinned as he headed towards his study and glanced at his watch, wondering when he might expect a call from Mr Botts.
The phone began to ring just as he entered the room. He chuckled to himself. It was too early for Mr Botts, so it had to be Elizabeth or Margaret, who would need to see him urgently. Have you forgotten that as it failed to sell this morning, it will automatically come up in the afternoon sale?
It was ten past three, so the auction would have only just begun. Running towards the bus stop, he tried to recall what lot number the chess set was.
All he could remember was that there were lots in the sale. Standing at the bus stop, hopping impatiently from foot to foot, he scanned the road in the hope of hailing a passing taxi, when to his relief he saw a bus heading towards him. I am a lover of the short story form and so when a friend, who is a big fan of ex-Lord Archer, lent it to me it seemed a good place to begin as it would be a win-win.
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If I liked his style of writing then I could throroughly enjoy them and perhaps move on to something more substantial later, if I did not, well it was only a small part of my reading life wasted. I did enjoy the stories but perhaps not as much as I had hoped I wo As far as memory serves this is the first Jeffrey Archer I have read.
I did enjoy the stories but perhaps not as much as I had hoped I would. The book consisted of 14 stories varying in length from 3 pages to They were enjoyable enough but perhaps a bit of a curate's egg as so many collections of short stories often are. Time to read. June 4, Categories: English Publisher: Retail Price:. BookShout Price:. Print books are available for download with a minimum order of 50 books.
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