Having said that the book was going to be predictable yesterday as it reached its concluding half is slightly unfair and fails to appreciate the skill in Waugh’s writing. Chapter four includes some twists that you did not see coming and you cannot help but be rooting for Boot as he finally gets the story even if it looks like he has lost the girl.
Highlights from chapter four
Boot remains the only journalist left in the capital but because Hitchcock has terminated the story and the other jacks are still stuck in the field he is sacked by the Beast. But he sends what he believes will be his final story after Katchen tells him in passing that the president is being held hostage and a junta has started. It turns out that the root of the problem is gold ore with German and Russian factions both fighting it out to get control of the mining contract. Having sent his scoop his notice of termination is rescinded and he sends a follow-up that is so explosive it stops the presses. But Katchen’s husband returns and they borrow Boot’s canoe and set off to the French owned area promising to be in touch once they are free