an account of the trials and disappointments of an indomitable young Englishman, who has left home because he is ambitious, because he hates the drudgery of a Lancashire cotton mill, and because he has lost his heart to a young woman who seems hopelessly beyond his reach; and has emigrated to the great, free, unbroken region of the Canadian Northwest. There is a breath of strong, clean fresh air blowing through the early chapters of this book, a suggestion of wholesome, honest toil, and undaunted determination to wrest a victory from Nature, in spite of drought, and frost, and treacherous elements. But, intermingled with this straightforward chronicle of pioneer struggles, there is a misplaced and rather exasperating vein of melodrama—the sort of melodrama that properly belongs in Mr. Bindloss's other type of story and which is as much out of place in the present volume as a scarlet patch in a suit of grey clothes. Women, of course, we expect to find in the story; but the way in which two women in particular who had figured in his life in England continue unexpectedly to cross his trail in the mountainous wild of Canada, always turning up at the psychological moment to add new comp'ications to his difficulties, forms a tax upon our credulity which tends to discredit even that part of the story that is soberly and sincerely told.
"I can't fancy you tramping behind the plow in a jacket patched with flour-bags, Geoffrey;" while, feeling myself overlooked, and not knowing what to say, I raised my cap and awkwardly turned away. Still, looking back, I caught the waft of a light dress among the fern, and frowned as the sound of laughter came down the wind. These people had been making merry, I thought, at my expense, though I had fancied Miss Carrington incapable of such ungenerous conduct.
In this, however, I misjudged her, for long afterward I learned that Grace was laughing at the stories her companion told of his strange experiences with sundry recruits, until presently the latter said:
"She stoops to conquer, even a raw Lancashire lad. I congratulate you on your judgment, Gracie. There is something in that untrained cub--could recognize it by the steady, disapproving way he looked at me; but I am some kind of a relative, which is presumably a warrant for impertinence."
Now a saving sense of humor tempered Miss Carr