7 MAY 1927, Page 26

THE SMALL BACHELOR. By P. G. Wodeho (Methuen. 7s. 6d.)—George

Finch, a nice young bachelor," is one of the richest men and worst painters New York. He meets casually in the street a beau girl, Molly Waddington, and determines to make her wife. He traces her identity and place of residence, by ingratiating himself with her father—the wealthy good-natured old " bu 16 r " without whom a Wcde novel would not be complete—he gains admission to Mo home and presence. The romantic Molly, supposing to be a penniless artist, falls in love with him. But - step-mother. in Amazon of a woman, has chosen r Molly. Battle is joined between and Waitilington, and before George emerges triump there Is a welter of incident, in which a number of en and highly original characters are perpetually finding th selves at cross purposes. Chief among the minor figures a very human Irish policeman, in whom loyalty to and hope of promotion are constantly undermined sentimentality and a love for champagne, and a delight satirized efficiency expert, by whose coolness and bluff tangled skein of accidents is finally unravelled. So far its action is concerned, Mr. Wodehouse's story belongs, course, to the world of pure farce. But it is written unflagging gusto, and its humour has that inspired kind absurdity that lies close to the borderland of sanity sweet reasonableness.