WAR ON THE DARNEL by Philip Turner


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Two wars actually, on that formidable Darnley Mills estuary that's been the scene of prior adventures-for-adventures'-sake with Peter and Arthur and David. One's an exuberant mini-battle in Which the trio takes on a competitive group of fund-raisers for Christian Aid who've taken over a mid-river island to collect tolls from passing punts. The crew of Sea Peril II won't stand for the piracy (or the threat that the pirates may amass more than they did); Peter-alias-Einstein masterminds an involved bit of mud-slinging (not the figurative kind) based on differential calculus and after endless preparatory machinations the trio triumphs. Next case--defensive--against the storm interrupting their return to shore: with retired Admiral ""Trouty"" and his millionaire American Colonel friend they rescue the thwarted pirates and some flooded almshouse oldfolk, and save imperious Lady Bridgebolton's bridge. . . whereupon said Colonel is permitted to run his sentimental railroad (that's a sub-plot) across her veddy proper property. They're a busy bunch in a quite busy book, typically Turning a nice phrase now and then between dialects and in-jokes. As the Admiral says in one of the story's rare reflective moments: ""This is what it had all been for--the fear, the death, and the fighting. That two groups of riotous boys might engage in hilarious and harmless battle on an English river."" Well carry on then boys--for whomsoever will run with yon rollicking motley.

Pub Date: Nov. 17th, 1969
Publisher: World