The Runagates Club

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The Runagates Club
AuthorJohn Buchan
GenreShort story collection
PublisherHodder & Stoughton
Publication date
Media typePrint

The Runagates Club is a 1928 collection of short stories by the Scottish author John Buchan.


The collection includes twelve tales of great variety[1] told as reminiscences by members of The Runagates Club, a dining society. Several of the tales are recounted by recurrent characters in Buchan’s fiction, including Richard Hannay, Sandy Arbuthnot, John Palliser-Yeates, Charles Lamancha, and Edward Leithen. The stories are entitled:

  • The Green Wildebeest: Sir Richard Hannay’s Story
  • The Frying Pan and the Fire: The Duke of Burminster’s Story
    • 1. The Frying-Pan
    • 2. The Fire
  • Dr Lartius: Mr Palliser-Yeates’s Story
  • The Wind in the Portico: Mr Henry Nightingale's Story
  • ’Divus’ Johnston: Lord Lamancha's Story
  • The Loathly Opposite: Major Oliver Pugh's Story
  • Sing a Song of Sixpence: Sir Edward Leithen's Story
  • Ship to Tarshish: Mr Ralph Collatt’s Story
  • Skule Skerry: Mr Anthony Hurrell's Story
  • ’Tendebant Manus’: Sir Arthur Warcliffe’s Story
  • The Last Crusade: Mr Francis Martendale's Story
  • Fullcircle: Mr Martin Peckwether's Story


According to Buchan's preface, the book's title is taken from Psalm 68: “He letteth the runagates continue in scarceness”, a reference to the "execrable" quality of the club’s food and wine.

Critical reception[edit]

The stories are "pleasingly diverse in subject, incident and treatment" according to a contemporary reviewer in the Times Literary Supplement[2]

Andrew Lownie, in John Buchan: The Presbyterian Cavalier (2013) notes that this work, Buchan's only collection of post First World War short stories, is unique in including all of his major characters. He holds the stories to be beautifully self-contained, and to demonstrate “the usual Buchan themes of an unwitting amateur drawn into adventure and the fragile division between civilisation and chaos”.[2]


  1. ^ Daniell, David (1975). The Interpreter's House. Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd. p. 165. ISBN 0 17 146051 0.
  2. ^ a b Lownie, Andrew (2013). John Buchan: The Presbyterian Cavalier. Thistle Publishing. pp. 201–202. ISBN 978-1-909609-99-0.

External links[edit]