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shade of slur, sneer, and open insult. They finally goaded him to murderin the dark, in the tiny house he knew Carrie and Mat had taken in Little Rock.

"They're satisfied now, I reckon."

And then, raising his eyes, he saw that he knew neither of the dead. Mat and Carrie had moved.

"Thank God for that!" he breathed. "Jim and Little One will be glad."


John Galsworthy is frequently most brilliant and powerful, if not most pleasant, in studying a type of character in process of decay, and that is what he does in "The Last Card" (Red Book, February). It is Galsworthy in his most clinical, realistic vein a minute, almost cruel picture of a woman at forty six assembling threadbare powers of seduction for a last great play for what? Not, most assuredly, for the thing young girls want when they leave home incontinently. What the adventuress in Mr. Galsworthy's story wanted was security, decency, inner cleanliness, a protection that was not furtive in short, the assured position of a respectable woman.

The technical brilliance of Conrad Aiken's "The Last Visit" (Dial, April) approaches that of Mr. Galsworthy's story. It is equally meticulous, a little bit morbid, and certainly more frigid. There is no supreme dramatic crisis, either subjective or external, in a young matron's paying a visit to a dying grandmother, making an early escape, and keeping an assignation in a vaudeville theatre with a man whose relationship to her seems one likely to precipitate still another story, though one which Mr. Aiken does not tell. But there is a high literary skill in the way Mr. Aiken brings the decay and dissolution of age into juxtaposition with the passionate, centrifugal forces

of youth. The ending is a little perverse. It has mood and feeling, but it is not clearly defined.

We have had portraits enough of the poor harried wife of a cheap, tippling husband. Repetition in print, from the rostrum, and in the movies has made it both a literary and a social convention. From Sheila Kaye-Smith, who is no propagandist, we have an unprejudiced version of the theme in "A Working Man's Wife" (Woman's Home Companion, March). The story has action, plot, suspense, surprise, in excellent degree, but as a subjective study of a real woman whose eyes are on the hills, the story speaks with the very accent of poignant truthfulness.

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Age, which is only the foil for youth in the story by Mr. Aiken, becomes protagonist in Zona Gale's "The Dime" (Century, April). There is youth in this story, the extreme youth of Jeffrey Copper, aged six years. But the central figure is Grandfather Tarkoff, who had come to America when he was nine and had been here ever since eighty years. This is the tale of his latter end, his feebleness, his wistfulness, his uncouth awkwardness, his interminable anecdotes of the days when there was sap in him, and of his dime the first dime he had ever made, the one he still proudly displayed. No one listened any more except little Jeffrey. It was through the rapt attention of the little boy that the old man did his living. It was his one contact with life, his one reason for going on. But the inevitable day came when he lost even little Jeffrey. Then the old fellow quietly went out and drowned himself in the canal.

There is the indefeasible texture of reality in this. The comments of the bereaved relatives and friends at the funeral are monuments to the distance which separates one human being from

another, and one generation from another. Miss Gale is not hard or brittle in her handling of this theme. But she knows that we all walk alone, and that it is not only precocious genius which is misunderstood by a careless and unfeeling world.

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A. R. Leach, a new writer, and author of "A Captain Out of Etruria" (Harper's, April) has triumphed over a group of stock characters, a trite scene, and a genre of fiction which has always been somewhat thin and trivial I mean, the theme of the transplanted American society of the capitals of Europe. You will recognize the characters: an American woman artist with a touch of genius and a passion for people and motives, a young man of acute and sophisticated sensibilities, and a wealthy, newly rich American woman with a fragile, pretty, bewildered daughter in attendance. The latter two had come, of course, to ornament a society which was, tragically enough, quite uninterested in them. It sounds like farce or caricature. But it isn't. Miss Leach succeeds in individualizing her characters, she achieves real nuance, and gives a surprise ending to boot! It is a fair one, too.

Mrs. Wharton occasionally gratifies an interest outside the world which her admirers have assigned to her as peculiarly her own preserve. One of her occasional interests is New England. Another is the nebulous realm of witchcraft, old racial superstitions and dreads, the agonies of a mediæval religion. Such of her stories as "Kerfol", "The Hermit and the Wild Woman", "Afterward", and "The Lady's Maid's Bell" serve as illustrations. Both of these interests are present in "Bewitched" (Pictorial Review, March). The scene is New England in the grip of winter; the charac

ters as grim and frigid as the season. Saul Rutledge is "haunted" by Ora Brand. At Mrs. Rutledge's request a quiet committee sits upon the matter and all the cloudy superstitions of the men and women who burned the witches at Salem rise in the cry of the formidable Mrs. Rutledge:

"A stake through the breast! That's the old way, and it's the only way. The Deacon knows it!"

But they do not drive a stake through the breast of the dead girl. A series of bewildering and mysterious events occur which bring rest to Saul Rutledge and to the community. Mrs. Wharton's chief excellence here lies in the picture she gives of a communal state of mind, and the significance with which she endows it. A complete rational and realistic solution is not offered, so that the reader is left balanced between a matter-of-fact and a mystical explanation of what really happened to Saul Rutledge.

I cannot explain "V. Lydiat" (Atlantic, February) by L. Adams Beck, and Mr. Beck does not wish to. It is a frankly mystical story, dealing with the extraordinary conjunction of two personalities whereby a stream of amazing fiction concerning India and the Orient was given to the world. It is also the story of how that stream of fiction ceased to flow forever. There is no solution offered for the whole thing, even less clue given than in Mrs. Wharton's story. But the meticulous skill with which the atmosphere of Eastern faith and philosophy is created and substantiated until one accepts the fantastical as plausible and true, is notable.

There are several Booth Tarkingtons. The best one, the Tarkington of "Alice Adams", wrote ""Thea Zell" (Red Book, April), the story of the rise and fall of the belle of a midland

city whose name, one surmises, might conceivably be Indianapolis. 'Thea Zell was reared by her mother to be a dainty show animal, and she ran true to breeders' form; she had no brains. But "Thea Zell had exquisiteness and temperament and vanity, so she ran away from her husband upon the night of her local dramatic triumph, away to the fabled city where the lights are brighter and success comes without stint to the deserving.

That was 'Thea Zell's great mistake. She had only her beauty, and years and years of one night stands took care of that. At the end of the story, when "Thea's dissolution has gone pretty

far, Mr. Tarkington returns her to her old environment, to complete the contrast between her life and that of the sister and the children she had left behind her.

It is not a pretty moment, though a powerful one, I think. Mr. Tarkington's simple, vernacular way of conducting a narrative is not the less artistic because it is apparently homely and artless in style and structure. 'Thea Zell is the perennial figure of the erring wife, middle class, middle western, broken by the fatal lure of the street which, according to one of our national ballads, has a broken heart for every light upon it.

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By Grant Overton

With a Portrait by Bertrand Zadig

HERE are so many ways of considering Albert Payson Terhune that a little confusion at the outset is excusable; the only inexcusable thing would be lack of consideration. You may view him as a person, and then he is as all-round as the compass except that he is entirely without a northern or frigid exposure. If you contemplate him as a writer, his triplicity is remarkable: dog stories, mystery stories, and sport-and-miscellaneous stories are his thrice divided Gaul. But there is a Terhune apart from the writer and the person, somehow, and yet interpenetrative with them always, that I wish I knew how to name.

This, this Third Terhune, is a hard one. I can give you clues but I can't produce them as evidence. Length and breadth are two lines easily drawn on paper. Thickness is a dotted line which we agree shall stand for the dimension we can't represent (on paper) otherwise. I'll try to draw the dotted line but don't ask me to sign on it. Don't expect any "X marks the spot" where the Third Terhune may be accurately and finally located.

Well, then, the first clue is in a certain little book called "Now That I'm Fifty". Maybe you've read it. It is a brief résumé; what Walt Whitman would have called "A Backward Glance o'er Travel'd Roads". Its resemblances to other essays of its kind are superficial; for under the popular crispness and the manner of apothegm

there is a curiously grim touch and a sort of savage honesty. It is as if Bert Terhune were overheard saying, from one of the deep corners of his mouth which smiles downward as well as upward: "I'll be inspirational, all right. But a good stiff jolt is worth any six adjectives."

Or take Terhune, the man. He stands six feet something and in a coonskin coat is the principal cause of New York subway congestion. He can play poker all night and write all day. Stripped and placed in the middle of what geometers know as the squared circle, he early showed an A. P. T.-itude (cross word puzzle pun), a skill and a science which were unfortunately lost to history owing to the invention of the typewriter. But both his lefts and his rights to the solar plexus of the standard keyboard are still the world's best. Yet there is immense gentleness in him; inexhaustible patience.

Some years ago he took a vacation from people by getting interested in dogs. Now it is a mark of Bert Terhune that when he gets definitely interested in anything, he becomes professionally interested. He may choose to keep amateur standing but he instantly discards amateur standards. He expertizes. So he hadn't been doing dogs any time at all before he was specializing with collies, and breeding aristocratic collies. He was soon a judge at

dog shows. He began writing stories

dog shows.

about dogs.

He loves dogs; but so far as I have heard he would still rather write verse than do anything else in the world.

"There is keen pleasure", he writes in "Now That I'm Fifty", "in striking out, across country, on a cold morning; escorted by a swirling, rackety, exulting mob of collies."

The Third Terhune - not the writer, not even the capital good fellow really lives, I am pretty sure, on such a tramp.

a more professional

Writer families and accurate term than literary families are neither rare nor common. Albert Payson Terhune was born into one. He is, in fact, with the single exception of Stephen Crane, the best newspaper man ever born in Newark, New Jersey. The event took place just before Christmas (December 21) in 1872. His father was the Reverend Edward Payson Terhune and his mother, who had been Mary Virginia Hawes, was nationally famous under the pen name of Marion Harland. (It is interesting that she was born in 1830 and lived until 1922 I consider the American history she saw in the making!) Bert Terhune took his A.B. at Columbia in 1893. A sister, Virginia Belle Terhune, herself a writer of an industriousness fairly comparable with her mother's, became the wife of Frederic F. Van de Water, whose extremely good short stories you have probably enjoyed in current magazines, and whose comment on new books is original and refreshing. Terhune himself married a musician, Anice Morris Stockton of Hampden, Massachusetts, a concert pianist and organist who had studied abroad and who is now almost equally a composer and an author. Mother, wife, sister, and brother-inlaw; I don't know anything quite like it among contemporaries.

After college Terhune spent a short time in a New York newspaper office. One day he put his desk in order, left a note to the managing editor, and went abroad. He rode on horseback through Syria and Egypt, 1893-94, investigating leper settlements, living among the Bedouins of the desert, and accumulating literary material which is not wholly used up even today. A Bedouin tribe adopted him. Leaving a note for the chief, he returned to America.

From 1894 to 1920 he was on the staff of the New York "World". His first book, "Syria from the Saddle", was published in 1896. The next year he did "Columbia Stories" and afterward a novel in collaboration with his mother, who was then seventy. This is said to be the first instance of such a collaboration. He began writing novels, and some of his series in the "World", such as the articles on the famous love affairs of history, were brought out in book form. He was also writing short stories. In 1919 his "Lad: A Dog" was published, achieving a success probably greater than that of any animal story since "Black Beauty". Mr. Terhune's days as a newspaper man

were over.

At one time Bert Terhune was amateur heavyweight champion. I think it was in the days before Mr. James Corbett reparteed the engagement between Mr. Jeffries and Mr. Johnson at Reno, Nevada, that Bert Terhune gave Mr. Corbett a fine battle one night.

"Lad: A Dog" and succeeding volumes are his best known work. What is there to say about these stories of collies? The first thing to be said is that they are to a considerable extent biographical. Mr. Terhune lives in a New York apartment in the winter, but all his summers are spent at his

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