A perhaps improbable relationship is so acutely conceived and developed that whatever curious factors exist initially gain their conviction through the consistency of the characterization and the delicacy of its observation. Leadbitter, a car-hire driver, a former Army man, hides behind his faultless appearance and rather formal bearing a lonely self-sufficiency and a churlish bitterness. He is hired, at frequent intervals, by a Lady Franklin- a young, rather fragile widow- who after the death of her husband has withdrawn from the world and still shrouds herself in her guilt and her grief. During their trips together, Lady Franklin takes a friendly interest in her driver- which he misrepresents as something more, so that when he reveals his love for her, her patronage ends- in recoil. Still obsessed by his fantasies, his protective vigilance- as she prepares to marry a worthless artist- contines and leads on to the fatal accident which takes his life and that of the man she loves. . . . L. P. Hartley, a fastidious and original writer, attracts an equally selective readership.