In Greenmantle, by John Buchan, Hannay, a British officer, was on a secret mission in Turkey during First World War, and Britain send him there because it suspects that Germany is planning for a religion war led by a Muslim prophet, called Greenmantle and has four ministers, with the aid of a German woman called Hilda von Einem. Now Sandy, Hannay's friend, was a leader of Islamic orthodox coterie called "Companions":-

Then he told me the story of his recent doings. He had found out the house of Frau von Einem without much trouble, and had performed with his ragamuffins in the servants’ quarters. The prophet had a large retinue, and the fame of his minstrels—for the Companions were known far and wide in the land of Islam—came speedily to the ears of the Holy Ones. Sandy, a leader in this most orthodox coterie, was taken into favour and brought to the notice of the four Ministers. He and his half-dozen retainers became inmates of the villa, and Sandy, from his knowledge of Islamic lore and his ostentatious piety, was admitted to the confidence of the household. Frau von Einem welcomed him as an ally, for the Companions had been the most devoted propagandists of the new revelation.

I find the arrangement here a bit confusing, shouldn't it have been the opposite?

1 Answer 1


I can see why this phrasing is confusing, but essentially the "favour" here is that of the wider group, not the "Ministers". You could imagine inserting a full stop in the sentence, something like "was taken into favour. He was bought to the notice of the four Ministers".

Or to put it another way, Sandy must already have been in "favour" in order to have been deemed worthy for the next step up, meeting in the four Ministers.

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