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which fall to few men, and he has evidently enjoyed them. He • Days of y roars. By Sir Melville I,. Macnaghten, C.B. London: Edward Arnold. [12e. 6d. net.]

writes his reminiscences with a robust stomach for the grisly, and readers who lack his fortitude may be advised to limit themselves to the reminiscences of Eton in the " sixties " and `.

seventies" which fill the first fifty pages, where they will find a delightful portrait of a tutor who, sooner than inflict a penalty on a pupil, would refuse to believe that he had incurred it. Sir Melville himself has been more strictly pro- fessional. He has had twenty-four years of experience of the Criminal Investigation Department at Scotland Yard ; be has been Chief for ten years; he has helped to bring to justice some of the greatest criminals of our generation, and he would hardly have suited his Department if he had looked upon offenders with the lenient eye of an Eton tutor. The O.LD. sees humanity in a wide perspective. What is the relationship to the normal of a woman like Mrs. Pearcy P • It was she who invited to tea a woman of whom she was jealous, and killed her with a poker; then, when the police were searching her house and demanding explanations, she sat strumming at the piano and chanted her reply, " Killing mice, killing mice, killing mice." Or what is the outlook on the chances of life of such a man as Seaman, who was executed, together with the Muswell Hill murderers, Fowler and Millsom P Fowler, in the dock at his trial, had tried to get at Millsom, who had turned Queen's evidence. Seaman was banged between the two, and as he stood over the drop remarked that " This is the first time as ever I was a — peace- maker." Is such a man merely, as Sir Melville Macnaghten suggests, "insensible of mortality," like Barnardine in Measure for Measure ? Not all the quotations in this book are quite so apt. The clichés are well-worn ; men are "specimens of the genus homo," a big man is "a true son of Anak," jealousy is green-eyed, rumour is a lying jade ; and there is a dreadful parody of Longfellow quoted with apparent approval as the text of a chapter. But the real interest of the book lies not in the manner but in the matter, and in many places less in what is said than in what is left unsaid. Sir Melville plainly knows a good deal more than he can tell us, and in one or two cases, such as the Camden Town murder of 1907, it is not difficult to guess his mean- ing. In others, whether or not he knows more than he writes, he contrives to set an engrossing problem. How is it that so little public attention was centred in the Battersea Park Road mystery of 1910? Neither the Moat Farm case, nor the Crippen case, nor the Sevenoaks crime offered such a puzzle, but for whatever reason it did not touch public imagination so deeply. Yet it would serve well enough for the moat complicated of feuilletons. A lady teacher of elocution is giving a lesson to a young man in a first-floor flat. They hear two pistol-shots ; the young man looks out of the window and sees a figure climbing over a garden wall, but takes no further notice. Passers-by summon the police, who enter the empty fiat below, and find a hand- bag and a pair of heavy boots; on the doorstep outside lies a dead man wearing carpet slippers and with a murderous life-preserver in his pocket. The young man is called down- stairs and fails to identify the dead man, who turns out to be his father and a friend of the lady teacher. Outside in the garden are the footprints of the man who climbed the wall There the mystery remains; no solution has ever been forthcoming. The story makes perhaps the best chapter in Sir Melville Macnaghten's book, and might be taken, possibly, as complementary to a critic's pronouncement that " there have been few chiefs at the Yard who have taken the failure of the Department to solve a mystery so much to heart." It would be difficult to imagine a Chief who loved his work better; or who could write with deeper feeling of the " black Saturday" on which health compelled him to give it up.