25 SEPTEMBER 1926, Page 33

THE MAN THEY HANGED. By Robert W. Chambers. (Appleton and

Co. fs. (Id. net.)—As sweeping and adventurous a tale as any that has been published for many months, this new work from Mr. Chambers takes for its principal character Captain Kidd, hanged for piracy in 1701. He disposes of the popular belief that Kidd was guilty, and shows him to have been a fine, honest man cruelly sacrificed to save the faces of great people of his time. The story is told here, ingenuously, by one Dirck Hazlett, whose love-romance with Kidd's adopted daughter runs parallel to the genial sea-captain's deep devotion to his lovely wife Sarah. The New York of the late seventeenth century comes vividly to life. Pirates but slightly disguised as honest persons frequent the City : there is war with France on the seas and in Canada : Jacobites are in conflict with adherents of the new King William : peaceful commerce and Puritanism war with rapacity and licentiousness within the walls of the town. Against this tumbled back- ground the adventures of Dirck and his sweetheart Sancia are played out. When Captain Kidd is chosen by those in power in England to scourge the pirates, whose enemy he has always been, Dirck sails with him. His simple narrative gives a most lively and circumstantial account of the misfortunes that befell the punitive expedition to the Indian Seas, and of the treachery and malice that pursued Kidd when he returned to America, and eventually swept him, a wholly innocent man, to the gallows in London. Mr. Chambers has made of The Man They Hanged an absolutely first-rate historical romance, glowing and full of conviction, and miraculously free from even a suspicion of tedium anywhere. It makes the most delightful reading imaginable.