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The Zeppelin's Passenger

The Zeppelin's Passenger by Edward Phillips Oppenheim

The Zeppelin’s Passenger is a tale of German espionage in England during World War I. Dreymarsh is a fictional “backwater” area in England with no apparent military value. The story begins with Dreymarsh residents discovering an observation car from a German zeppelin along with a Homburg hat near Dreymarsh. The mystery is further complicated when an Englishman, Mr. Hamar Lessingham, presents himself at Mainsail Haul which is the residence of Sir Henry Cranston. Lessingham bears with him, hand-carried letters from Major Richard Halstead, and a British prisoner of war in Germany. He presents them to Halstead’s sister, Phillipa and Helen, Halstead’s fiancée who have had no word of Richard’s fate and are deeply concerned. Phillipa, Sir Henry’s wife, is smitten with Lessingham, after Sir Henry appears to her to be a coward since he will not become involved in the war effort. Lessingham appears to be the perfect gentlemen but he is not who he pretends to be. Eventually, Phillipa and Helen discover that the delivery of Halstead’s letters come with a price. All becomes clear near the end to discover the secret of Lessingham, Sir Henry, and Mainsail Haul.

First Page:


By E. Phillips Oppenheim


"Never heard a sound," the younger of the afternoon callers admitted, getting rid of his empty cup and leaning forward in his low chair. "No more tea, thank you, Miss Fairclough. Done splendidly, thanks. No, I went to bed last night soon after eleven the Colonel had been route marching us all off our legs and I never awoke until reveille this morning. Sleep of the just, and all that sort of thing, but a jolly sell, all the same! You hear anything of it, sir?" he asked, turning to his companion, who was seated a few feet away.

Captain Griffiths shook his head. He was a man considerably older than his questioner, with long, nervous face, and thick black hair streaked with grey. His fingers were bony, his complexion, for a soldier, curiously sallow, and notwithstanding his height, which was considerable, he was awkward, at times almost uncouth. His voice was hard and unsympathetic, and his contributions to the tea table talk had been almost negligible.

"I was up until two o'clock, as it happened," he replied, "but I knew nothing about the matter until it was brought to my notice officially... Continue reading book >>

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