1 DECEMBER 1894, Page 11

The Wild-Catters. By C. S. Hyne. (Sunday School Union.)— "

A Wild-Catter,," the author is good enough to explain, "is a prospector who goes to a new region and sinks a well on the off- chance of striking oil." This is what Mr. George Hathaway does, after he has been swindled out of his money by being induced to purchase a well that had been " salted," " salting " being a word borrowed from the practice of sprinkling gold in localities not really auriferous, and so taking in the adventurer. Hathaway, with his two associates, " Dick " and "Hiram Staines," "strike oil" to some purpose, promptly realise, and find themselves masters of a million dollars apiece. It is just as well for a tale- writer to be generous while he has the power. The book is decidedly entertaining, with its sketches of the feverish energy and wild fluctuations of fortune which characterise the beginning of such an industry as oil-pumping. The friends ask for a private sitting-room at the hotel. " We haven't one," answers the pro- prietor, "but if you'll just step into the bar I'll send word to the carpenter, and build you a beauty in two hours."