The Finger of Fate

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The title story in this wry collection concerns acquaintances Staunton and Barstow, who witness a bizarre spectacle outside a bar in an Austrian village. A thin-lipped aristocrat steps down from his plush horse-drawn vehicle, and commences formidable target-practice on some playing cards – the Five of Hearts and the Five of Spades. Barstow remains utterly still during this peculiar display, and it emerges that he has witnessed this on six consecutive days – the shooter is the husband of his mistress, and he is challenging Barstow to a duel. Further stories of love, revenge, jealousy and fate complete this stirring volume.