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DURING one of my fairyland days in the Antilles, I ate from a West Indian pepper-pot. It was at the home of Mr. G, whose ancestors resided on the island where he still lives when the buccaneers and filibusters roved the neighboring seas. 'But we 've only got pepper-pot,' his wife said apologetically when she invited me to dinner. 'If you could only wait until the next steamer from New York we could give you a good roast.

I said: 'Pepper-pot's perfectly all right for me.'

Naturally, however, there was not only pepper-pot on the mahogany table with its old family silver, but also lobster, fish, pheasant, wood pigeons, and palm-heart salad and fruits — on the whole, enough good things to satisfy the Grand Mogul. I discovered that pepper-pot was a sort of glorified goulash, half chicken and half pork, and all Spanish pepper. It was extraordinarily good, and I asked for the recipe.

1 From Berliner Tageblatt (Liberal daily), November 14

'You take,' said Mrs. G, ‘a big earthen pot such as the natives make, and put in hashed pork already well roasted. Then you add a chicken cut up, a big onion, a dozen heads of shallot, and several dried chili peppers

you know what our peppers are like. You add a sauce made of two teaspoonfuls of cane sugar, a spoonful and a half of salt, a teaspoonful of cayenne pepper, and ten tablespoonfuls of "cassareep the juice of the bitter casaba. Then you let it simmer over a low fire and

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cool verandah, dreamily gazing across the green lawn into a bank of flowering trees, Mr. G— showed me as a curiosity an old account book, dated 1760, containing the names, the purchase price, and the place of origin, of the 245 Negro slaves on the plantation. At the same time he showed me a housekeeping book belonging to his great-great-grandmother, containing this memorandum dated 1829: 'Started a new pepper-pot in place of the one that was broken.' When Goethe was alive! That was the pot out of which I had just been eating — a dish that had been simmering on the hearth for four generations!

I cannot get away from the feeling that this fantastic island empire in which I am now sojourning is a kind of pepper-pot - hot, fragrant with exotic spices, a potpourri of unfamiliar ingredients with the flavor of centuries. I wish I could say what is simmering in this hot pepper-pot; but actually I can identify only a small part of the contents of this great goulash of the Antilles.

On the Barbados there are Negroes, whites, and 'Red Feet.' The 'Red Feet' are white people who live like Negroes, descendants of the indentured servants who were shipped out to the Indies after Cromwell's Irish campaign and after Monmouth's rebellion in England, in the seventeenth century. I have also seen on the Barbados the grave of Ferdinando Palæologus, who was a descendant of the last emperor of Byzantium, a churchwarden at St. John's, and the ancestor of unnumbered Barbados mulattoes. On the island of Montserrat the blackest of black men bear the name O'Donovan, and speak with a perceptible brogue inherited from Irish political convicts transported here centuries ago. Again, upon the island of Saba, which is an

isolated volcanic cone not far from Porto Rico, the inhabitants are exclusively whites-freckled, blonde, and blue-eyed. They live in the crater of the volcano, and see the ocean only when they climb up the rim. Nevertheless, they are the most famous boatbuilders of the Antilles. They are ruled by a Netherlands Governor, but they speak only English, and are the descendants of the old buccaneers. Although Trinidad, Dominica, and St. Lucia are English colonies, the people there speak French. The tiny island of St. Martin belongs half to the Netherlands and half to France, and its Negroes speak both languages. At Curaçao, which also belongs to Holland, they talk papiamento, a true pepperpot of tongues - Spanish-Dutch-English-French-Carib-Congo. I have heard even Europeans converse in that language. The principal street on the island of St. Thomas, which has belonged to the United States since 1917, is still called Kronprindsgade, for the archipelago was Danish for over a century.

Some Carib Indians survive in Dominica, and traces of another Indian tribe, the gentle Arawaks, whose women were reputed the handsomest in the world, can still be detected in the interior of Porto Rico. There are Hindus in Trinidad and Martinique, Syrian traders on most of the islands, and Chinese everywhere. But these are merely flavorings in the West Indian pepper-pot- the substance of the dish is everywhere Negroes, Negroes, Negroes.

Among the massive ruins of the old fort on Brimstone Hill, in the English island of St. Christopher, I have seen apes playing who had come out of the neighboring jungle. Now apes are not supposed to exist in the Western Hemisphere, and I asked a white colonist how they happened to be on St. Christopher. The man replied: "The devil

take them! They eat all our bananas. Do you know what kind of apes those are? They are European apes, sir. Back in the days when an English garrison was stationed on Brimstone Hill, where you see those ruined barracks, the soldiers brought tame apes with them from Gibraltar. You know, there are a lot of them on the Rock. These are their descendants. Curious, is n't it?'

'Your story is no stranger,' I thought to myself, 'than the stories of the Negroes whom your ancestors brought here from Africa - whole tribes, whole nations.' Often, in walking through the stench-laden Negro alleys of a West Indian town, I have tried to puzzle out whence the forefathers of the people around me came. Their descent would be as difficult to trace as that of a street cur from a fleeting suggestion of terrier or dachshund. Yet now and then you see unmistakable features of nearly every racial type in Africa, from the diminutive bushman to the gigantic Nubian. Occasionally, though rarely, I have caught sight of a brown, finely chiseled head betraying Arabian blood. But these are exceptions: most of the Antillian blacks are hopeless mongrels, crossed, moreover, with all the nations of Europe with Indians and Hindus, with Syrians and Chinese, with Palæolog princes and Spanish hidalgos, with Danish vikings and English buccaneers. All this has been simmering in the big West Indian pepper-pot for three centuries, and I am curious to know what the dish will be like when it is done.

For years and years European nations scrambled and wrangled over the sweets of the West Indies sugar, chocolate, vanilla, and bananas - like greedy children. The seventeenth, the eighteenth, and even the nineteenth century, was filled with West Indian

wars, with naval battles fought for chocolate and sugar prizes. It was for sugar that the Indian aborigines were murdered. It was for sugar that slave ships abducted half Africa to the sunny Caribbean. Now that the big spree is ended, and West Indian sugar is a drug on the market, four white nations remain in the possession of this island empire to say nothing of a mulatto and Negro republic.

The rich archipelago from which no small share of the wealth of England and Spain have come forms to-day a curious realm without much economic importance for anybody. The last remnants of France's colonial empire in the West Indies- the Martinique of Empress Josephine, and wild Guadeloupe lie desolate, ravaged alike by volcanoes and by party factions. Just now they are suffering from the collapse of the franc, political intrigue, and general demoralization. The British West Indies are a chaos of diminutive colonies, fairly well administered, but never united into a rational whole. I am speaking now of the Lesser Antilles, which are the only English islands I have visited. No one who has not been here can form any adequate conception of their confused political and economic status. Almost every tiny islet is a separate entity, paying for the upkeep of its own all-powerful governor. Since they produce the same commodities, there is practically no interisland trade, and consequently little intercourse among them. From almost any of these islands you can see two others; but if you want to visit them, you must either trust yourself to the uncertainties of a hired sloop or take a steamer via New York. Two of the groups, the Leeward Islands and the Windward Islands, form each a loose federation, but that simply means an expensive governor-general and a

superfluous bureaucracy. For some reason the big Federation of the British West Indies so much talked about still hangs fire. Differences in culture and civilization among these islands are equally striking. Barbados is a charming little England, the most densely populated place in the world, scrubbed clean, perfectly policed, disinfected, and ultracivilized. Dominica, on the other hand, is a virtual wilderness. On Barbuda, which used to be a great place for breeding Negroes in the slave days, gigantic blacks still live in round reed kraals, as they do in the Congo. Several colonies have their own currency in pounds and shillings, but they all keep their accounts in dollars and cents. Add to this the hodgepodge of confessions - Catholics, at least twenty Protestant sects, Hindus, and Mohammedans; while a part of the Negroes still at the bottom of their hearts believe only in the obi man and the devil worship of the big serpent. I have also met Mormons and Seventhday Adventists among them.

The former Danish archipelago, now owned by the United States and rechristened the Virgin Islands, is no better off. Washington has imposed its ruinous tariff upon its tiny possessions, which were formerly supported almost entirely by trade with the neighboring islands, and beyond that does not trouble itself about them.

Until now the white man has ruled over these dream islands. But what has he made of them? The truth is that little by little they are becoming the home of a new, European-veneered Negro race. More civilized blacks live in the United States, but there they form a minority. In the Antilles they are the people, and the nation of to

VOL. 332-NO. 4297

morrow. To be sure, they have only one sentiment in common their hatred of the whites. In Martinique the Negroes spit in front of the monument of their famous countrywoman, the Empress Josephine - she was a planter's daughter and an advocate of slavery. If a white man reproves a Negro, the latter's stock answer is, 'I am no slave.' Each island has its white club, which Alexandre Dumas or Pushkin would not be permitted to enter, because they had a trace of Negro blood in their veins. But there are also black clubs, in which distinguished gentlemen, not very dark, but with curly hair, play billiards, and in which the declassed white man would not dare to venture. One meets here and there black doctors, lawyers, journalists, and political leaders. It will not be long before these educated Negroes will refuse to be discriminated against in their own country. The average black man may still squat clownishly on the ground with a yellow mango in his big-lipped mouth; but he, too, will change. Europe is already dancing to the Negro's tom-tom. Jazz is only an echo from his mystic jungle drum. We are all becoming a little niggered. We have made a beginning.

So we dragged half of Africa, willynilly, to the West Indies, thrust her children into the great pepper-pot, civilized them, and mixed the ingredients thoroughly. Let the pepper-pot simmer a century or two more, and then see how its dark contents will taste to you. Possibly we whites are training and educating here the leaders of some future huge migration of the blacks, the teachers and the generals of Africa, the avengers of the tortured victims of the slave ships.



CHINESE immigrants thrive everywhere; they can withstand the hardships of field labor and also the germs that plague the dwellers in a city slum. Their natural field of race expansion, however, seems to lie within the tropics. Here they find fertile countries, such as the archipelagos of the Pacific, held by dark races who are natural agriculturists, unfitted for life in the town. Such a country lacks an upper class. This want is first supplied by the whites, who develop the lands and control them; while, between the governors and governed, slips in the yellow race, pressing on both strata of society.

The islands of the Caribbean are so well fitted for Chinese immigrants that it is strange to find that their settlements have been small. In some islands they number a few hundreds; in Trinidad a few thousands. Nowhere do they form more than two per cent of the people, and throughout the greater part of these countries the yellow element is a fraction of one per


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In other islands for example in Mauritius - the increase of the Chinese has been phenomenal. On the west coast of America, in California, Chile, Peru, they flourished and multiplied until checked by drastic exclusion Acts. Every great seaport from San Francisco to Singapore, from Cape Town to London, has its Chinese inhabitants; and the white dominions believe their lands to be menaced by millions of would-be settlers from Eastern Asia. These crowding myriads

From the Contemporary Review (London Liberal monthly), November

Publication rights in America controlled by the Leonard Scott Publication Company

have not yet, however, taken the easier path into the West Indies.

The Caribbean Islands are a black man's world. The white man owns the land; the blacks inhabit it. Englishmen and Americans form the greater part of the professional class, control the great trading companies, and hold the chief offices in Church and State. Not many Europeans are found in the lower middle class, few work as mechanics or small tradesmen; for these countries cannot afford to use many of these highly paid men, and they, in their turn, cannot resist intermarriage with the half-breeds. Thus society forbids the formation of a white middle class. In no case do the whites come into conflict with the Chinese, of whose presence they are scarcely aware.

The Negro is a born agriculturist, and thrives best as a small-holder. He is best off in Jamaica, where an acre of land may be easily obtained, on which he may build a house and grow his food. He is contented even in Barbados, where land is too valuable to be sold piecemeal, and where he must work on a sugar estate for wages and buy his food at the shop. In the towns he is less prosperous; for he works very badly as a mechanic, and, in the West Indies, rarely succeeds in working his way up in the world. He has a genius for making slums; all West Indian cities, close behind their broad main streets, hide a drab quarter where, tucked away in crazy yards and hovels, lives a rabble with no visible means of subsistence. These are blacks who have drifted to the towns and have sunk in the social scale how low, no white man can estimate.

With these people the Asiatic does

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