"The Short Line War is a story that will appeal more particularly to the sterner sex, and we take it that the hyphenated name, Merwin-Webster, stands for two healthy-minded young men who have put their heads together and who have mapped out this story of a railroad war, in which politics form a considerable part. Jim Weeks is the central figure in the fight, and we like him so much better for knowing of the romance in his early life. He was a man 'without much instinct or imagination; he took everything seriously and literally, he could not understand a whim'--therefore a very foolish little woman came into his life only to leave it desolate. And when we meet him again after the years have rounded him, and when he stands 'before the world a man of solid achievement, calm, successful, satisfied,' we are quite prepared for the kind and tender things he does for the son of the woman he once loved. The Short Line War is not essentially a love story, which fact led us at the start to say that its healthy, vigorous style, with its politics and its railroads, will lead many a masculine novel reader to find enjoyment in its pages." — Bookman (1899)
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