MR. PETRE?

Although a modern character, having been created by Hilaire Belloc in a book of the same name, Mr. Petre is likely to find a place amongst the immortals. The most surprising things happened to Mr. Petre, who may be said to symbolise men who get incredibly rich in spite of themselves. Losing his memory on the boat home from America a gentleman of moderately comfortable means can suggest nothing but " Petre " when asked his name. It so happened that a multi-millionaire was due from America about that time, and the gentleman of moderately comfortable means was mistaken for him. The result was that financiers, lawyers, brokers and hordes of other people thronged around him, and without his doing a hand-stroke for himself he was soon the possessor of an amazing fortune, which went on increasing until the real Mr. Petre arrived. The book is a satire on our financial system, and is written in Mr. Belloc's best style.