"To tell such a story convincingly a man must have what I call the rarest of literary gifts--the power to condense. Of the good feeling and healthy wisdom of this little tale others no doubt have spoken and will speak. But I have chosen this technical quality for praise, because in this I think Mr. Parker has made the furthest advance on his previous work. Indeed, in workmanship he seems to be improving faster than any of the younger novelists."--A. T. QUILLER-COUCH, in the London Spectator.
a man of quick decisions. He would have made a dashing but reckless soldier; he was not without the elements of the gamester. It is possible that there was in him also a strain of cruelty, undeveloped but radical. Life so far had evolved the best in him; he had been cheery and candid. Now he travelled back into new avenues of his mind and found strange, aboriginal passions, fully adapted to the present situation. Vulgar anger and reproaches were not after his nature. He suddenly found sources of refined but desperate retaliation. He drew upon them. He would do something to humiliate his people and the girl who had spoiled his life. Some one thing! It should be absolute and lasting, it should show how low had fallen his opinion of women, of whom Julia Sherwood had once been chiefest to him. In that he would show his scorn of her. He would bring down the pride of his family, who, he believed, had helped, out of mere selfishness, to tumble his happiness into the shambles.
He was older by years than an hou