3 DECEMBER 1904, Page 11

Curly. By Roger Pocock. (Gay and Bird. 6s.)—This "tale of

the Arizona Desert"—Arizona is described in vigorous language which makes one content never to have seen it—is a piece of very spirited work, quite worthy of the author of "The Frontiersman." We own that the dialect in which much of it is written is a little puzzling, but, after all, it is not so difficult as the " poker " tongue which seems to be spoken in other regions of the States. The story, too, must not be tried by any very rigid canons of probability. The great Balshannon v. Ryan feud, with its developments, makes a considerable demand on our faith, and as for Curly, a modern Caenis, iuvenis quondam nunc fenvina, he, or she, is as amazing a figure as any in modern fiction. But these considerations go for very little when we come to estimate the real effectiveness of such a story. It is full of life and action, without a halt in the interest from the beginning to the end, and thoroughly wholesome. We are not sure whether we are right in including Curl ii among "Gift-Books," but we can at least com- mend it as an eminently readable volume.