Ethel May Dell was a British writer of popular romance novels. Her father was a clerk in the City of London, where she lived with an older brother and sister. She began writing while young, and had stories in popular publications. Most of her stories were tales of passion set in India and other British colonies. After several years of work and many rejections, her first novel, "The Way of an Eagle" was published, and in four years went through twenty-seven printings. She was savaged by critics but very popular with readers, and appeared not to care what the critics thought.
"The Tidal Wave and Other Stories" is a collection of stories originally published in the "Red" magazine, a British women's magazine. The volume includes "The Tidal Wave," "The Magic Circle," "The Looker-On," "The Second Fiddle," "The Woman of His Dream," and "The Return Game."
In "The Tidal Wave," fisherman Rufus the Red finds his life upset. The Ship, the local inn where Rufus sometimes spends an evening, has a new resident. Columbine has come to live with the owner, her aunt Mrs. Peck. Rufus is a solitary man, capable of taking on any two men when his temper is up, and content to be left alone by others, but that is about to change . . .