GIFT - Booics. — The Four Miss Whittingtons. By Geraldine Mockler. (Blackie and Son.
5s.)—Four young ladies, left with a very slender provision for their support, resolve to spend their capital in the effort to fit themselves for earning their livelihood. One draws, a second sings, a third is bent on climbing the educational ladder, and the fourth has no special endowment but good sense. Their hopes and fears, successes and failures, are well told, everything being kept strictly within limits of moderation. The promise of the voice is the one most falsified, and this is eminently true to fact. There are a hundred successes of the drawing-room for one of the concert.—An Incorrigible Girl, by M. H. Cornwall Legh (R.T.S., 2s. 6d.), is another story of
effort, though of a different kind and in another direction. The " incorrigible " is Lydia Barton, half a gipsy by birth, who is the despair of all who would try to help her, but has, notwith- standing, good qualities which the right touch brings out.-
//member the Maine.' By Gordon Stables, M.D. (Nisbet and
Co. 5s.)-This "Story of the Spanish-American War" is con- structed on the familiar lines which the author has used so often and so well. The subject is full of interest, though just now somewhat eclipsed by the struggle in South Africa. But Dr.
Stables's cheery manner, his capacity for making a stirring story, and, not least, his hearty acceptance of the Anglo-American
entente cordiale, make for success.-Ned Leger, by G. Manville
Fenn (S.P.C.K., 5s.), takes us back from the time of Spanish decadence to days when the "Spanish Main" was still a name that meant something. Mr. Fenn is always readable, and, indeed, something more.-Phil and I, by Paul Blake (Nelson and Sons, 2s. 6d.), is a tale of war times (the war that was ended by Waterloo), though the scene is laid in England during a great part of the story. " Phil " is the son of a French émigré, the teller of the story an English lad. They make an interesting contrast, and the tale of their adventures may be followed with pleasure.
-The Girl Captives. By Bessie Merchant. (Blackie and Son.
is. 6d.)-This " Story of the Indian Frontier" has the look of being drawn from reality. The " girls " who play the part of heroines, with varying success, are Chrissie, the daughter of Captain Felton, who has risen from the ranks, and the niece and two daughters of Major Boyd, who is the nephew of a Baronet.
This is the cause of various social complications which are worked with considerable spirit and skill into a story of peril and suffer-
ing. Chrissie befriends some strangers from the hills, and her kindness turns out largely to her benefit. More we need not say; but the story may be heartily commended. It is well constructed and never fails in interest.-Another story of Indian warfare is Tom Graham,V.C., by William Johnston (Nelson and Sons, 3s. 6d.) Tom is a schoolboy who gets into a scrape, lays the blame of his discovery on a schoolfellow (who does not deserve it), knocks him down, and flies in the belief that he has killed him, a conclusion at which he arrives somewhat hastily. That must be excused ; Tom had to be started on his career. But he is not off yet. Various adventures have to be gone through, and at p. 187, though our hero has taken the fateful shilling, he is still in England. In fact he does not reach Umballa, where the real action is to start, till the tale is more than half told. But when the real thing does come it is good enough. The story, among other things, takes us to the disastrous field of Maiwand, where we lost nearly one thousand killed : Europeans, three hundred and ten ; natives, six hundred and fifty-four. It is true that the killed were about five times as numerous as the wounded.-Three Indian tales may be mentioned together. These are Uncrowning a King, by E. S. Ellis (Cassell and Co., 2s. 6d.); In Bed Indian Trails, same author and publishers (28. 6d.); and The Master of the Strong Hearts, same author and publishers (2s. 6d.) The first takes us back to the early days of New England, when the white man had to do his best to keep a place for himself on the American soil. The story conducts us through many changes of fortune, for King Philip, otherwise known by his Indian name of Pometacom, was one of the most formidable enemies that the colonists ever encountored. Philip was badly treated-Mr. Ellis holds the scales of justice fairly-and did not rise against the white man till after much provocation. When he did it was no trifling danger that had to be encountered. This is the foundation of the story told in Uncrowning a King. In the second story the scene is changed and the time. We are taken back about sixty years ; the place is Florida ; the adversary is the tribe of the Seminoles. Another generation has passed when we reach the action of the third. This is otherwise called " Custer's Last Rally," and describes one of the most thrilling combats of Indian warfare. The death of General Custer and his troopers was all the more tragic because he had the reputation of being invincible. All the story, however, is not occupied with fighting. It is relieved by the glimpse of a brighter future which we get in the civilised Indian, Dr. John Young Wolf, who is reconciled to being one of the "vanishing race," by the thought that he becomes a part of the great coming people.- The Fellow who Won, by Andrew Home (Nelson and Sons, 3s. 6d.), is a story of school life by a writer who has made no inconsider- able reputation in that line. Is not the last scene a little melo- dramatic? Such a change as was wrought in Field is not impos- sible, but to put it into a story is scarcely art.-Terry's Trials and Triumphs, by J. Macdonald Oxley (same publishers, is. 6d.), is a cheery and amusing story of a young Halifax (N.S.) lad, who has his chance, uses it well, and rises not too rapidly or easily to fortune. The story takes us to Hampton Roads, and we have a graphic description of the great battle in which the Merrimac ' worked such destruction.-Blind Loyalty, by E. L. Haverfield (same publishers, 2s. 6d.), is a story of life at a girls' schooL The relations between the school- fellows seem not a little complicated and artificial, but the story is not without interest, and the characters drawn with some skill.-Driftwood, by Mary E. Palgrave (R.T.S., 5s.), is a sad story, too sad, we venture to think, for the young readers for whom it is presumablylintended. Maidie:is a fine, spirited creature, and we cannot help thinking that some happier fate might been reserved for her.-In a more familiar manner we have A Goodly Heritage, by R. M. Eady (Nelson and Sons, 2s. 6d.) A pleasant story, where the right things happens to the right people.- The Board of the Sea Wasps, by F. Scarlett Potter (Wells Gardner, Darton, and Co., Is. 6d.), is a particularly well-told story of the sea.