Joseph Conrad has come into his own. The three stories contained in this volume take rank with the most mature and romantic of his work. The charming love and adventure of the life which he depicts in remote places confirm the growing belief that he is among the greatest of living creative writers.
Contents: A Smile of Fortune; The Secret Sharer; Freya of the Seven Isles
d out quietly.
I was not placated. I had the sense of having been circumvented somehow. Yet I had deceived myself--if there was any deception. But the confounded cheek of inviting himself to breakfast was enough to deceive any one. And the thought struck me: Why! The fellow had provided all these eatables himself in the way of business. I said:
"You must have got up mighty early this morning."
He admitted with simplicity that he was on the quay before six o'clock waiting for my ship to come in. He gave me the impression that it would be impossible to get rid of him now.
"If you think we are going to live on that scale," I said, looking at the table with an irritated eye, "you are jolly well mistaken."
"You'll find it all right, Captain. I quite understand."
Nothing could disturb his equanimity. I felt dissatisfied, but I could not very well fly out at him. He had told me many useful things--and besides he was the brother of that wealthy merchant. That seemed queer enough.
Conrad writes of lands known to no other writer, fertile and beautiful islands of the tropics, barren islets, a sea so hard and blue that it looks solid, a sea "fit to turn your hair gray only alooking at it," or "a straight line of the flat shore, joined to the stable sea, edge to edge with a perfect and unmarked closeness." And the civilized people who come to live in these barbaric landsówell, really, you know, they act in an unusual fashion! Their lives are florid, and their deeds most unexpected. Yet, as you read the stories, you have not the slightest doubt that truth is pictured for you.
Recommended, as good as most of Josef Conrad's, better then some.