2 DECEMBER 1899, Page 10

In The Young Master of Hyson Hall (Chatto and Windus,

Ss. 6d.) Mr. Frank R. Stockton is, of course, entertaining. The people who figure in the story have more than a shade of oddness about them, and there is a mysterious double-barrelled shot-gun, called Old Braden, which is not effective in its proper function, but seems to have a magic power over the owners of Hyson Hall. Three boys figure in the tale, and they are as natural as one could wish boys to be. Then there is a supposed treasure ship, which one of the three, with a boldness and ingenuity which we could hardly match in this country, contrives to blow up. The result reminds us of the parable of the young men who dug up the paternal orchard for treasure, and found it, but not exactly in the way that they had expected. All through Mr. Stockton gives us little touches of the humour which we expect from him, as when the boys, elated by the result of one of their exploits, feel that the "whole world seems more cheerful, and that the sun shone with great brightness." This latter phenomenon "had been noticed before by the workers in the harvest field."