Sad Wind from the Sea
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A gunrunner’s hunt for a fortune in gold leads to a life-and-death struggle in Communist China
The classic Jack Higgins thriller
Mark Hagen’s streak of bad luck left him broke, despondent, and barely able to eke out a living smuggling guns in Macao. But things begin to look up when Hagen gets a lead on a bounty of gold, lying untouched at the bottom of a lagoon in the marshes of southern China.
Unfortunately for Hagen, he’s not the only one after the sunken treasure, and the race to the gold quickly escalates into a bloody struggle for survival on the treacherous waters of the South China Sea.
pretty hard to get that kind of stuff these days. Who would you take with you?’ Hagen had the answer to that one, too. ‘The girl, of course. She might get suspicious otherwise, and I need a deck-hand. O’Hara would be best. A Chinese boy might be a Commie plant.’ Charlie Beale snorted. ‘What good would that old rummy O’Hara be? He gets the shakes if he doesn’t have his two bottles of rot-gut a day.’ Hagen grinned. ‘I know, but when he’s sober he’s a damned fine sailor and at least he can be
channel goes in the right direction.’ He went into the wheelhouse and pressed the starter and took the boat forward at a slow speed. He carefully steered along the winding course, occasionally turning into tributaries to keep the correct compass bearing. It was almost with surprise that he took the boat into a broad lagoon one and a half hours later and cut the engines. ‘This is it,’ he announced. There was an excited babble of sound from his three companions. Rose stood at the rail, a hand
towards the centre and as he started to swim forward he felt afraid. In the other parts of the marsh the air was full of the clamour of a thousand living things but here not even the crickets sang. For a moment he shivered as he remembered stories he had heard as a child of fairy pools back home in Ireland, and then he said softly, ‘Don’t be a bloody fool,’ and kept on swimming. It was as if he was the first person ever to enter that place but he was not. He had known in his heart from the
hauled himself back over the rail. There was a towel lying on the deck and as he looked at it in puzzlement Rose came out of the cabin with a coffee-pot and two mugs. ‘Morning,’ she said softly. ‘How did you sleep?’ ‘Not so bad,’ he said. He towelled down briskly as she poured the coffee. His body was still bruised and marked from his fight with Mason and he had not shaved since Macao. ‘You look quite rugged and dangerous,’ she told him, handing him his coffee. He slipped the towel over his
him a lighted cigarette. ‘It could have been worse,’ he said. ‘You’ll have to bring up the odd bars singly.’ Hagen laughed sharply. ‘Hell, you’re right,’ he said. ‘We can’t grumble. Everything’s gone marvellously until now.’ He slumped down on the engine-room hatch and inhaled the cigarette smoke with pleasure. O’Hara was busily engaged in freeing the box from its cocoon of rope and Hagen saw that much of the gold had already disappeared from the deck. The old man kept stopping and listening