19 NOVEMBER 1921, Page 23

Thirteen All Told. By Beatrice Harraden. (Methuen. 7s. 13d. net.)—Although

there is a good deal of charm in the first story of this collection, " The Enchanted House," Miss Harraden can do much better work than she gives us in. some of the other sketches. One or two of these—" The Woman Pave- ment Artist " and " The Jewel Ghost "—are dreadfully senti- mental, though the latter is perhaps redeemed by the originality of the lightning sketch of " Tamar Scott, of Dean Street, Soho, dealer in precious stones and antique jewellery." It cannot be said, however, that the short story is a favourable medium for Miss Harraden's talent. Her essays in this method are in the nature of long stories cut short rather than that of the ideal short story with one oentral motive, which ideal, as has been pointed out only too often, it is almost impossible to obtain from English. writers. The mystical element with which most of these studies are touched is not given with sufficient distinction to be impressive. One of the stories, " The Clarionet Player," has none of the faults dwelt on above, but is as simple and as direct as a poem by Crabbe, and indeed in motive it decidedly resembles his " Tale XVII.—Resentment." The solution of the Crabbe poem, " Go and prepare the chicken for our meal," with its smug expectancy of the continuance of comfort for the wife while the husband who has deceived her dies of want is, however, more poignant than the rather melodramatic end of Miss Harraden's story.