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FICTION OF THE DAY.
ItIDBR IMG-ARD'S NEW XOVKL.
Age cannot wither nor custom stale tbe interest of Sir Rider Haggaid's Allan Qiia terniain stories. Tile latest of theiii is "The Ivor)' Child" (London: Cassell), a thrilling talc of nn expedition into the heart of Africa in search of a white -woman. The woman is discovered, eventually, in the snnctunrics of the "Kendall," a people who worship ii god in the form of an ivory image of a child. «She is the nurse, or guardian, of the child, and plays the "part of an oracle, uttering, hi trances, what arc Btipposed to he the decisions or desires of the gods. There are, however, two separate races, or strains, amongst the Kcndah-the light-coloured race, who worship Uio "c_ild,",arrd a darker race, who worship a fiendish deity, sup- posed to bo incarnate in an elephant. Tlie struggle between the black and the white Kcndah culminates in a terrible buttle at the close of this very engrossing and excit- ing story.
KNlJINEEIUKG IK AÍIERICA.
A vigorous and gripping story of pioneer- ing work by .1 young engineer in Western America is "Still Jim," by Honore Willsie (New York: Fredk. A. Stokes Co.). The interest of tlie novel never flags from the first page to the last, and, although the author has an obvious purpose, he does not allow it to overpower his tale.' The hero iß a 'young New Engländer, whoso Xaithcr has been lulled in a quarry. Descended from the original Anglo-Saxon stock, Ulis man lins learned, to his bitter cost, that the policy pursued by the United States, of opening her doors wide to immigrants' of every race, has had the effect of overwhelming the Anglo-Saxon stock, and making life very difficult for them. He sees the stock dying out and tlie country given over to polyglot races without a common national ideal, and the thoughts that beset him are very bitter. Still Jim-his son, who has earned the soubriquet hy his habit of quiet thinking and his infrequent speech, absorbs his father's ideas, and when he has qualified as an engineer, and enters the United States Reclamation Service, he looks forward to the work with peculiar satisfaction, -ccausc he regards it us a typically Anglo-Saxon scheme, and believes that in doing his part he will be leaving an indelible Anglo-Saxon mark on American civilisation. The story of his journeys and adventures and hair- breadth escapes in finding a site for the Makon dam is thrilling, ana the account of his work on the Cabillo project, and his light with the grafters, is equally absorbing. A strong love element, always subservient to the main story, lends a strong secondary interest. It is a book which is well wortli reading.
Characteristically American, in sentiment and ideas is Emma S. Allen's liook, "The House of Gladness." (Philadelphia: Geo. W. Jacobs and Co.; Melbourne: Geo. Ro- bertson.) It is the story of a young woman who has been brought up in a peculiarly worldly wealthy set in New York. Her father commits suicide, leaving her penni less. Her mother has predeceased him. By dint of selling her jewels, and by the help of some of her friends, she keeps going for a time, hoping for a proposal of mar- riage from a man who has been her warmest admirer, and whom she loves deeply. When he fails her, she is in despair, and taking a sleeping mixture lo induce a night's rest, she swallow's too large a dose, nnd is with difficulty saved from death. One-of the younger doctors in the hospital to which she is taken chances to be, her own cousin, and through his agency she is offered a home with bei father's sister. This aunt is married to a clergyman, and has never met her niece-so far apart their ways have Inin, though they have lived in the same eily. To the young girl with her worldly material outlook, embittered by her eruc-1 experiences, the atmosphere of love and gladness 111 her aunt's home is n revelation ot unseen and unknown forces in life. 'The greater part of the story is concerned wit- her life in these new conditions, and with the reformation 01 redemption of the man who failed her in the hour of her deepest need. It is a wholesome story, whose re- ligious tone will make a strong appeal lo many readers.
PAYING THE PRICE.
Miss Margaret Peterson is one of the younger novelists who is expected to do loilly good work. Ker "Lure of .the Little Dunn" was a book that attracted consider- able attention, for it manifested qualities of work above the average, and was written with a certain telling force. She has not so far produced anything else to equal it, hut her new-book, "To Love" (London:
Hurst and Blackett; Sydney: Edwards, Dunlop, and Co.), is distinguished by some excellent character drawing. The subject of the novel is one which, at the moment, /nils altogether to appeal. Joan Ruther- ford, a clever, impulsive girl, 1ms broken «away from the restrictions of the simple country life lived by her uncle and aunt, and "has persuaded them to allow her to earn her own living in London. She ab- sorbs'readily the ideas obtaining in certain eircles about marriage nnd freedom, and, having the courage of her convictions, when she falls in love agrees to dispense with the marriage bond. The arrangc^ment, however, is of short duration, and Joan, finding th.it lier lover's views of the situation are es- sentially different from her own, returns to her aunt in the country. There, after a brief time, her relatives are mode aware of what the girl lins done, and in their deep indignation they cast her off, arranging to pnv her an allowance for.her maintenance. Tlie story "f the difficulties and trials she has to overcome and endure before she finds 11 haven in the love of a good man, is told with consiilerable detail, and is not lacking in power. But the subject is less suited to the authoress's powers than that of her
first and best book.