29 JUNE 1912, Page 9


MR. LEHMANN'S "Admiral Thunder," who explodes amongst the lesser inhabitants of the present volume like a rather

sulphurous rocket amongst a handful of squibs, is un-

doubtedly an attractive creation. The Dandie Dinmont, Galpin in A British Boxer, Mrs. Huggins the "Cambridge Bed Maker," and The Black Kitten are all pleasant in their way, but for a kind of inflammatory charm commend us to the Admiral. He had a cold, and the narrator tells how, advancing towards the Admiral's study in his house in the

New Forest, he heard his voice "booming through the door and along the passage like the broadside from a three- decker."

May Heaven forgive me,' he was roaring, 'if that is not the most astoundingly immoral and incomparable act of double-distilled folly that even you, abandoned worm as you are, have ever com- mitted in the course of your misspent life. Why, you hoary old Japanese mask, I told you not much more than an hour ago . . . an hour? it wasn't half an hour by all the immortal powers.' . . At this point I entered the room. . . . 'Here,' he continued, 'is a friend who will bear witness to what I say. This man, sir, has the effrontery—I can call it nothing else, by gad—he has the un- paralleled effrontery to bring me my white wine-whey now when he knows that I cannot by any possible concatenation of circumstances want it for another hour.' . . . At this point a violent fit of sneezing came upon him, and when he recovered from it his anger had vanished like a summer cloud, and he not only greeted me warmly, but accepted a dry handkerchief from the hands of the attentive Amos, and took his white wine-whey without another murmur as to its premature appearance."

Having finally recovered from the cold he went to London and saw Trilby acted.

"'By the Lord Harry, sir,' he said as we came out, 'I could hardly contain myself from springing on to the stage and throttling that greasy, dirty, swab-faced Svengcai. The man tainted the air, sir, he poisoned it by his foul presence. May I be fed for ever on bilge-water if he oughtn't to have a thousand dozen.'" The reader leaves the Admiral explaining that he has indu- bitably got hip disease, and being consoled by the administra- tion of oysters and porter. The remainder of Mr. Lehmann's "charcoal outlines," though individually agreeable, especially

those dealing with Cambridge and its inhabitants, are in the aggregate not very satisfying. Perhaps it is because the impressions are too short, inconclusive, and disconnected to bear continuous reading that the reader turns the last page with a feeling of rather discontented pleasure.

• Sport:mien mut Mors. By It. C, Lehmann. Illustrated by J. L. Booth. Lonclun : liegan Paul, Trench anti Co. Les. Gd. net.]