19 OCTOBER 1929, Page 42

PLAIN SAILING. By A Gentleman with a Duster. (Mills and

Boon. 7s. 6d.)--All who appreciate the exquisite polish that " A Gentleman with a Duster " (who is now known without question to have been the late Mr. Harold Begbie) applied to his work will enjoy what is, unfortunately, his last novel. The story of a millionaire's son, who was different from the rest of his family, is very well told indeed, and the character of his mother, a marvellous woman whose fatness was the natural response of a sympathetic body to cream, butter, sugar and chocolates," is charmingly rendered. The tale is that of a young man who marries an actress and then discovers that he loves another woman better. The author -concerns himself with three separate households—the bouquet-littered flat of the actress, the home of the self-made millionaire, and a country houie that is full of dogs, aristocrats, and traditions. It is a great feat to have written a book about quite ordinary people and commonplace happenings, to have written it, moreover, in such a way that every one of the many characters is as distinct in the mind of the reader as are his own friends. " The Gentleman with a Duster " scorned all the usual aids to novel writing : he has given us no dramatic situations, no coincidences, no misunderstandings and very few theories. It is all very plain sailing indeed, and therein lies its charm and its cleverness.