A more popular slant than previous Standish novels, this story of the power of a place over people has something of a Kipling plus Hichens flavor. On Ceylon Tom Carey changed failure in coffee to success in tea planting and roused a nemesis when he built his big manor across a long used elephant trail. His motherless son inherits the land and house as well as the vengeance of the elephants, marries Ruth on a visit to England. Although she is ready to accept the pattern of life George has lived as a bachelor, Ruth is faced with the animosity of his old friends, her fear of and sympathy for the elephants. Her passion for Wilding, George's estate manager threatens her security, and he leaves for World War I not knowing she is to bear his son. Announced missing, he ruins her dreams of freedom by his return to the plantation, again arouses her but kills her feelings when she discovers his native mistress. Ready for loyalty to George, sure of the future for her son, whom George believes his, Ruth's hope to be free of the house is brought about by the destruction caused by the old elephant about to die... Not on the original side but a readable portrayal of the lost colonial way of life.