He had been present at Trafalgar; he had seen Nelson lying dead; he had brought home the news of victory. What was left for him in life? So Clemence Dane sums up her brief novel of Lieutenant Lapenotiere, commander of the little Pickle which was sent back to Plymouth by Admiral Collingwood to carry news of the great victory, twenty ships taken, the French fleet destroyed, and the tragic aftermath -- Nelson's death. On the hectic ride to London -- and the Admiralty -- the messenger encounters Mary Ann, the girl he'd always known and loved. He had married another -- she had died. And Mary Ann and he made up their differences and she promised to marry him. Flashes of other stories glimpsed -- a balloon collapse over Stonehenge; an encounter between a young man about town, cousin to Lapenotiere, and the actress he loves; her vain attempt to make a success in Cymbeline; glimpses of Mary Ann at the married sister's home; glimpses of village, country, city life. A panorama of England as ""he brings great news"". A true story, embroidered with a scholar's contribution in running down the intimate details that bring it to life. But not of vital importance or great market appeal.