Mr. Farnol has returned to his early manner and given us here another "romantic" novel. The story moves animatedly through an atmosphere of patches and perukes, lace and ruffles, with moments that call for the ready rapier and pistol, the "admirable Betty" being, of course, the cause and centre of both comedy and adventure. Despite the disapprobation of realists, there is a constant audience for fiction of this kind, to whom Mr. Farnol's somewhat artificial and exclamatory treatment will be rather an attraction than a drawback.
"Sergeant, you may--er--go," said he; whereat the Sergeant saluted, wheeled sharply and marched swiftly away.
"And pray," questioned the Major again, "who might you be?"
"A maid, sir."
"Hum!" said he, "and what would your mistress say if she knew you habitually stole and ate my cherries?"
"My mistress?" The grave blue eyes opened wider.
"Aye," nodded the Major, "the fine London lady. You are her maid, I take it?"
"Indeed, sir, her very own."
"Well, suppose I inform her of your conduct, how then?"
"She'd swear at me, sir."
"Egad, and would she so?"
"O, sir, she often doth and stamps at and reviles and rails at me morning, noon and night!"
"Poor child!" said the Major.
"Truly, sir, I do think she'd do me an injury if she didn't care for me so much."
"Then she cares for you?"
"More than anyone in the world beside! Indeed she loveth me as herself, sir!"
"Women be mysterious creatures!" said the Major, s
In my opinion, this book is not as entertaining or romantic as the majority of Farnolís other fiction. The story has a lot of scenes that are unconnected with the central theme, the lady of the story unnecessarily hides her scheme to the point of being cruel and life threatening, and the scheme seems unlikely it could have been pulled off. I would recommend others of Farnolís books prior to this one.
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