In a new collection of short stories (a medium in which many find Mr. Bates more successful than in his novels) there is once again the often exquisite prose, the always expert command of narrative intention which lend an importance to these intervals in the lives of the many people who cross the pages here. And again too the stir of the seasons, the soft countryside which is forever England to Mr. Bates has a more than occasional imprint. In the title story, a farmer, long by the memory of jealousy which led to manslaughter, ends his prison term perhaps to repeat the pattern of love and hate. The intensity of sensuous passion is found again in the holiday idyll, Across the Bay, but it recedes to a regretful in Country Society where a middle aged man is warmed by the excitement of youth, in The Small Portion where a girl witnesses the tenuousness of a flirtation. In A Place in the Heart as once again romance flickers and fades. These and others offer their change of scene and mood, and although a more general American audience may find some of them insubstantial- they are never insignificant.