15 JULY 1905, Page 24

Twenty Years in the Far East: Sketches of Sport, Travel,

and Adventure. By W. S. Percival. (Simpkin, Marshall, and Co. 7s. 6d. net.)—Mr. Percival's "adventures" began long before he reached the "Far East." Travelling down from Fenchurch Street to the Albert Docks he fell among thieves, but was able to give a very good account of himself. So much for chap. 1. In chap. 2 we reach Australia, and are introduced to a very delightful family in the Bush, and to the business and sport of a cattle station. On p. 111 we do really come in sight of the East. "Twenty-four Hours with a Madman" is a very exciting tale of life at Shanghai. Here we come across a very strange ghost story. A friend of Mr. Percival was found dead outside his house. The doctors pronounced the cause of death to be aneurism of the heart. Nothing had been taken from the corpse except the shoes. In falling to the ground the dead man's cheek had touched a piece of jagged granite. This was embedded in it, and it was left when the corpse was buried. The "madman'. of the story was the deceased's uncle, who arrived immediately after the occurrence, and Mr. Percival offered to take charge of him for a day,—he was in a state of excitement, naturally increased by what had happened. In the course of the day Mr. Percival was in great danger from his visitor. The madman seized him as he lay in a reclining chair, and was on the point of using a carving-knife which he had secreted about him, when the dead man entered the room, with the piece of granite visible in his cheek, and said: "Uncle, come this way and let us talk quietly." The madman, not a whit surprised, quitted his hold. Not the least interesting chapter is the fourth, which tells us about Japan as Mr. Percival saw it some twenty years ago.