Reprint: An Australian's Novel

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After collaborating with Miss Ruth Bedford in "The Little Blue Devil," Miss Dorothea Mackellar makes a successful debut as a novelist on her own account in "Outlaw's Luck." Here again Miss Mackellar shows ber penchant for out-of-the-way corners of the earth and deeds of derring-do, where dash and courage are conspicuous by their presence, and respect for the law, as often as not, conspicuous by its absence. The scene opens in the Argentine of a few years back, when each man was more or less a law unto himself. Here "Kid" Prevost, horse thief and gambler, whose guileless appearance conveys to the world quite an erroneous idea of his character, passes himself off as a "tenderfoot" at an English estancia, and carries away its horses. He also carries away Katherine, the sister of the owner, in order to conceal his tracks. After various vicissitudes, in which the "Kid" impresses his charm alike upon the reader and upon Katherine, the latter passes out of his lite, though not before her influence with that of his brother turns him towards the paths of virtue. He goes to Texas, where he becomes a blameless ranch owner, but the past still pursues him, and an unfortunate incident, in which a bowie knife plays a lethal part, makes him fly the country. In the end he suddenly falls in love, and marries a New York society girl, but even here happiness is denied him, for a postscript tells us how wife and child died, and "left 'Kid' quite grown up at last and broken." We feel that sad as such an ending is, it is the inevitable solution, for with all his good qualities it is impossible to imagine "Kid" a staid father of a family. The book is well written, although the denouement is rather hurried and abrupt. The ne'er-do-well, capable of better things and essentially fine in grain, has been drawn before by many; but Miss Mackellar has contrived to make the insouciant "Kid" quite a convincing and original figure. There is besides a feeling for the open spaces of the earth and a great appreciation of courage and endurance even when directed towards lawless ends, that lift this novel well out of the ordinary rut. (Mills and Boon; G. Robertson.)

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 24 May 1913

[Thanks to the National Library of Australia's newspaper digitisation project for this piece.]

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on August 10, 2011 7:50 AM.

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