FICTION: Parachute

PARACHUTE — Ramon Guthrie — Harcourt Brace ($2).

The Story. On the shores of Lake Undega in New York State is Berkenmeer. Its Main Street has a gaudy haberdashery shop, but there are also ancient elm trees that once sheltered a tougher tribe of Yankees. Arthur Gordon, a descendant, is the grand vizier of Berkenmeer. With an air of detached gentility, he saw to it that "the hay was got in from the golf links before a thunder shower, dances were run off with no deficit, horses were not frightened "by steamrollers....

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