On the author's name and fame this has a definite place. In the reading, it is a well told tale, with the leisureliness of manner one associates with the author, and a certain charm of setting and skill of characterization. BUT -- it is fundamentally poor Swinnerton, almost bad Swinnerton. Picture the pattern. Three men knew each other in boyhood. No. 1 and No. 2 were comrades; No. 3 was a bullied small boy. No. 1 becomes successful and pulls the wires that control the lives of Nos. 2 and 3. He despoils the sweetheart of No. 2, and threatens her later life when she marries No. 3 (both innocent of the cross wires in their pasts). No. 2 steals the sweetheart of No. 3 and marries her; years later, she becomes the mistress of No. 1, who plays Don Juan pretty generally. In the meantime, the girl who has always loved No. 3, left adrift emotionally with his marriage, leaves the town which had been their homes, goes to London, meets and falls passionately in love with No. 1 (who has a wife on the side) -- and goes away with him. Just in time, she comes to her senses and escapes -- to the protection of No.3 and his wife. When No. 1 discovers this, he wrecks the career of No. 3. But war and Fate (in the death of the wife) baulk him, and No. 3 wins the girl who loves him. The long arm of coincidence, overstrained, spoils what might otherwise be a well told tale.