Galusha the Magnificent

by Joseph C. Lincoln. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1921. l2mo, pp. $2.00.
CAPE COD has been a rich harvest field for novelists, and none has gathered larger crops from its sandy soil than Joseph Lincoln. He is in the
company of ’best sellers,’ with such undesirable characters as Harold Bell Wright and Gene Stratton Porter, although Mr. Lincoln’s sales of two and a. half million are overshadowed by the seven and eight millions of those two writers.
Mr. Lincoln does not belong, however, in the rose-pink sentimental school. His books have a clear sincerity. He knows his characters through and through. He is master of the history of Cape Cod from Buzzard’s Bay to Highland Light. He commands a lucid style. His humor shines from every page. His understanding of eccentricities of character, of the affectionate illogic of his women and the obstinacy of his men, might rank him with far more pretentious artists. Meanwhile, he is loved by many a simple soul. The writer of this review knows a group of a hundred women who gather weekly in the winter, for a ‘Mothers’ Meeting.’ The yearly novel by Mr. Lincoln is read aloud to them while they sew. and though they know neither Meredith nor Galsworthy. nor Rudyard Kipling, they could pass an examination on Cap’n Eri, The Portygee, Sharings, and Extricating Obadiah.
Galusha the magnificent is an absent-minded, shy, unattached devotee of archæology, teamed in the lore of Egypt, but entirely ignorant of the problems of practical life. A whimsical fate lands him, exhausted and fainting, in the hospitable sitting-room of Miss Martha Phipps, capable and lovable old maid of East Wellmouth.
The kindly accident thrusts upon him various amazing responsibilities for the affairs of ‘the neighbors.’ Two lovers sternly separated by a father half-crazed over spiritualism; a rascally usurer who has the whole village in his clutches; the maid-of-all-work, Primrose. — ‘some Indian, the rest white, with a little Portygee strung along in somewhere,’—whose warm heart and clumsy hand make troubles for her; and even Miss Martha herself, are, first and last, debtors to the generous good sense of the queer little Egyptologist. Finally, Galusha and Miss Martha themselves develop into a pair of delightful, middle-aged lovers. The scene shifts from East Wellmouth to Shepheard’s Hotel, Cairo, whence they explore Egypt, and incidentally the depths of their own natures, to their mutual satisfaction, and finally, no doubt, to the good of the world.
Perhaps the finest quality of Mr. Lincoln’s work is its humor. It smacks of the New England soil. Its effect upon the sophisticated Worldling is to make him burst into a peal of laughter, regardless of his surroundings, and to his own unbounded surprise. Let any weary soul who has forgotten how to laugh try the refreshing-experiment of reading Galusha, the Magnificent.