Agents and Witnesses
Pierre Bartas, a young French architect, is much more interested in his new neighbours – a certain Mme Keats and her two daughters, Marthe and Anna – than he is in the new and deadly malaria that is ravaging one of the remoter provinces of the island of Sankilos. It is Anna who particularly occupies him. Had it not been for her it is doubtful whether Pierre would have been more than a spectator in the momentous changes that were to take place in Sankilos.
Perhaps the most interesting person on the island – certainly the most dominating – is the multi-millionaire Sourelli Pasha. For all his doubtful past he is one of the few men on the island who are alive to the distresses of the province of Kole. Perhaps he is not entirely disinterested. His son, Nabil, thinks that this new-found conscience is a political manoeuvre and, as a result, pamphlets are distributed, a newspaper is established and bombs go off. Pierre becomes involved because Anna has taken a job on the newspaper.
Since the political life of Sankilos is very much more a question of personalities than of parties, the story is not quite so irresponsible as at first sight it may appear. Soureili and his son Nabil may think that they have had all the adventures. But they have had no insight into the minds of Pierra and Anna, into their delicate love story.