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: The Thirty-Nine Steps is an adventure spy novel by John Buchan written in 1914. Told from the first-person point of view, it relates the adventure of "ordinary fellow" Richard Hannay, who is thrust into a plot involving the theft of crucial military intelligence by German anarchists. Richard Hannay's ordinary life is shattered when he receives a frantic visitor, Scudder, who tells Hannay of a sinister plot by anarchists to assassinate the Greek Premier. Hannay allows the man to stay in his flat to hide out. Scudder writes down the whole plot in a black note book. One day Hannay arrives to the flat to find it ransacked and Scudder dead with a knife in the back. Thinking the police would not believe he was innocent, Hannay becomes a man on the run, pursued under false pretenses by the police and evil anarchists.