The Master is all I know of the devil. I have known hints of him, in the world, but always cowards; he is as bold as a lion, but with the same deadly, causeless duplicity.
I did eventually get through it, and enjoyed it, but it did take a while to get the hang of the cool-headed and ruthless plots that make up the plot. Spring tales and summer tales, and even autumn tales, are the tales of youth; but the subtitle of the book is A Winter's Tale.
I still have that single-volume book, but I will be re-reading The Master of Ballantrae in a different edition, the 1965 Heritage Press edition, with an introduction by G. B. Stern and color lithographs by Lynd Ward. It is quite a handsome book, with dark blue binding and silver lettering, and a pattern of silver thistles, appropriate to Scotland, stamped on the front and back covers.
How much time I will have in the next two weeks, I am not at all sure, but I notice that the old time radio program This Is My Best had a radio version of it after Orson Welles took it over; the episode stars Orson Welles and Agnes Moorehead, both of whom were among the best radio actors who ever lived. In combination that means it would be a great and unforgivable wrong if I did not at least try to listen to it at some point, so I hope to discuss how they handled the radio adaptation, as well.