13 DECEMBER 1940, Page 34

Don't Blame Me. By Richard Hughes. (Chatto and Windus. 51.)

THE distinguished author of High Wind in Jamaica found him- self when war came host to seven small evacuated children from Birkenhead. "After a few months, one by one they all went home again (like the little mermaid) ; but if they happen to see this book, perhaps they will recall the time they spent in an old stone farmhouse in the Welsh mountains as pleasantly as the author recalls it" The stories are subtly divided between male and female interests (parents of twins note), but the little mermaid is likely to be the favourite. Not since Mr. Wells's seaside adventuress has a mermaid been so objectively considered—even to the smell of fish.'