Author: Dennis Wheatley
Original language: English
Vendetta in Spain
The story takes us back to Spain, in 1906, when the Duke had not yet succeeded his father, and was still the Count de Quesnoy. In these days it is not easy for us to realize that, less than fifty years ago, there was hardly a Monarch or President who could leave his bed in the morning with any certainty that he would live through the day. Anarchism permeated every country in Europe. Not a night passed without groups of fanatics meeting in cellars to plan attempts with knives, pistols or bombs against the representatives of law and order; not a month passed without some royalty or high official falling a victim to their plots.
In Spain, an historic bomb outrage that led to scores of innocent people being killed or injured, gave de Quesnoy ample cause to vow vengeance on the assassins. His attempt to penetrate anarchist circles in Barcelona nearly cost him his life. In San Sebastian, Granada and Cadiz he hunted and was hunted by them in a ruthless vendetta. Only after two years did it end in a final desperate gamble with death.
It is against this background of true history, subtle intrigue, sudden violence, terrorism, blackmail and suspense that there develops the bitter-sweet romance between the gallant young de Quesnoy and the beautiful Condesa Gulia, the wife of a friend he loves and honours. Their frustrated passion leads to a denouement that rivals in surprise and breath-taking effect the outcome of his vendetta against the anarchists.