lighted. Yet the night is not the still, sleep-wooing night we know at home. The orchestra of the tropics is never silent, but plays responses to the deep, incessant chorus of the lowland jungle we have left. A shrill noise of insects fills the air. Huge beetles as large as a baby's hand beat against the light walls of the hut, or crash through the net on the little windows and fall with a thud upon the table. They are glistening gray, blue, and black in color, and have long scissors-like legs that sound like a snare drum as they scamper across our books and papers. Our Malay servants pick the huge insects up in their parchment hands and hurl them into the black, moist night without. Others immediately take their place. One hits the lamp chimney and knocks it off, then lies with fluttering wings on the table like a frightened royal plaything. I pick him up. He is the color of blue satin, and circled with greenish-yellow moonlight stripes.

The door opens. A man, naked except for the sarong around his waist, enters with soft mats. A host of insects follows him, and gives our two Malays plenty to do. Eventually they chase them forth, except one huge shining bug who takes refuge in the teapot without injury, however, to our appetites.

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Our Chinese cook enters with a dish of rice, which he hands to the matweaver. "This is Midan,' he says, presenting his old friend.

'Rain,' remarks the brown peddler, and opens his left hand, in which he holds a beetle concealed. He points to the open window, and the two Malays hang a mat in front of it.

Midan the mat-weaver has hardly left when the rain begins to beat upon the roof-not in drops, but in cascades. The water splashes in torrents down the cabin's woven walls. All night long it falls.

That is night in the tropics.

Whenever the downpour momentarily subsides to a light drumming on the thatch, we again hear the insect chorus outside. Life never reposes here; it is ever active and vocal. The roar of a tiger echoes in the jungle beyond the kampong. We hear through the darkness the trumpeting of elephants, the barking of apes, bird voices in the trees and bamboo clumps, and distant grunting sounds from animals in a swamp. What prodigality of life! What boundless energy of creation! Every living thing in the tropics is the home of hundreds of other forms of life. Vines cling to the tall trees, and poppy-red air plants nestle in the vines. Lianas entwine the palm trunks, and themselves house a host of minor plants. Endless in their infinite multiplicity are the forms into which Mother Nature casts her creations. Never has the riddle of existence seemed more unfathomable to me than in this remote jungle resthouse. As I lay on the soft bast mats listening to the rhythmic drumming of the rain upon the thatch above, and hovering between slumber and wakefulness, a sense of my own littleness in the great scheme of things overwhelmed me, far more forcibly than ever on the broad ocean or on mountain heights. I felt utterly submerged in this myriad-formed life, in this eternal chain of birth and death, in the incomprehensible phenomenon of creation.


THE following cartoons from Holland, Germany, Italy, France, and South America have not been selected from sources more critical than the average of our policies in Nicaragua. They represent, of course, popular opinion, and not an unbiased weighing of all the facts involved. Our readers may draw their own conclusion from the fact that no British cartoon adorns the series.



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RIDING FOR A FALL (L'Humanité, Paris)

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(Kladderdatsch, Berlin)


Far-flung Frenchmen

WHILE imperial Britain worships Thomas Hardy and writers of the rustic school, France, proverbially the most provincial of nations, scans wider horizons. Paul Morand set the fashion with his highly successful and entertaining stories laid in every capital of Europe, and he has followed this sort of thing up in the most thorough way, culminating in his latest book, Rien que la terre, the spiritual travelogue of a disenchanted globe-trotter. A critic on the Revue Bleue has lately remarked that Morand and his ilk represent a return to classicism, for, given certain experiences, their responses can be predetermined absolutely according to their iron-bound little knapsack of prejudices that they carry wherever they go. Such a one is Roland Dorgelès, whose romantic novel, Partir, laid on an ocean liner, deals with the amours of a distinguished tenor. The coat that M. Dorgelès wears, says a Mercure de France reviewer, is made of the same cloth as M. Morand's, although Morand is rather more of a wit.

The Orient presents a singular fascination to all Europeans at just this moment, and the French have not been behindhand in succumbing to its charms. La Tentation de l'Occident is the name of a book of imaginary letters between a Frenchman and a Chinese. The author, André Malraux, brings out the mental contrasts between the Oriental who admires European culture and the European who cherishes a corresponding reverence for institutions east of Suez. La Féerie Cinghalaise is a less serious piece of work, but it too re

VOL. 332-NO. 4301

flects the same interest in Eastern af fairs. This new book by Francis de Croisset dwells less on the religion of the inhabitants of Ceylon than it does on the almost simultaneous conquest of a stenographer by two young servants of the British Empire. Though the plot lacks high seriousness, it is certainly not untrue to life in the tropics.


Poor old Europe still attracts some writers, among whom are the MM. J. Kessel and Jean Cassou. The former has written a study, entitled Les Captifs, of the unfortunates who inhabit tubercular hospital in Switzerland. There is a distinctly Nietzschean flavor to the poor hero, whose very weakness makes him all the more full of admiration for soundness and strength. Jean Cassou's inspiration wells up from even more distant sources. Les Harmonies Viennoises is a romance set in the time of Schubert and Beethoven, full of love interest and things like that. Further away still from modern France in space, if not in time, is Henri Bachelin's La Maison d'Anniké. The scene of this novel is set in Iceland, forty years ago, and the hero is a Breton who falls in love with the seductive Anniké, 'white flower of the glaciers.' Those who know about such matters say that the atmosphere is absolutely true to life, and that the psychological study of Celt and Scandinavian in the toils of passion is illuminating in the extreme.

To those of us who are familiar with the French literary traditions of Balzac, Flaubert, Proust, and even Anatole France, none of whom often romped far away from his native heath, this cosmopolitan vogue is surprising and significant. Even Pierre Loti, to


whom Morand is vaguely compared, carried with him a personal atmosphere quite different from Morand's fixed intellectual prejudices. Whether any of these new books will live as literature is still uncertain, but that they reflect a real change of mind and outlook in the reading public cannot be denied.

Real British Humor

THERE is a peculiar type of humor, intrinsically British, that we Americans never seem quite able to capture. Try as we may, it eludes our crude grasp, and the wisest among us have long since resigned ourselves to sitting back and applauding the subtle feats of the mother country without any hope of being able to equal them ourselves. A group of six playful young Liberals were responsible for the latest of these pranks when they retaliated on the explorer Mr. Mitchell-Hedges for having, in the presence of the National Liberal Club, accused England of sinking to the level of a C3 power. Although the Liberals themselves have long been free from the responsibilities of government, certain younger people who heard the taunt decided to take this accusation to heart and to prove to Mr. Mitchell-Hedges the error of his ways.

How to do it there was the question that confronted them. How could they show him his mistake and at the same time exercise their own talents for humorous persuasion? The questions are purely rhetorical, for no American could be expected to answer them. The young British Liberals, however, suffered from no such uncertainty. Their observant ringleader, Miss Ellen

Graves, was not slow in discovering that Mr. Mitchell-Hedges looked alarmingly strong for the little jest she had in mind, and she therefore summoned six husky youths to her aid. Gentle Miss Graves knew that the

burly explorer was in the habit of driving down a certain road at a certain hour. She therefore assembled her gang at the right time and place, and they had little difficulty in stopping Mr. Mitchell's car, luring the chauffeur away, and attacking the owner of the car and an indiscreet companion. A good old-fashioned fight followed, in which the six young Liberals finally succeeded in gagging their two adversaries, tying them to a tree, and making off with a little bag they had left in the


The next day their victim was informed of the joke and his bag was returned. Since it contained four human heads and a number of extremely valuable documents, the prank turned out to be even funnier than was anticipated. He also exhibited a scar he had received over the right temple. This, however, was really Mr. MitchellHedges's own fault, for he had put up too much fight. Miss Graves announced that their victim had been a good sport, and she felt sure that he could never accuse Liberals of not having guts provided, of course, that the odds were three to one in their favor. Mr. Mitchell-Hedges murmured, 'I realize that it was a practical joke.'

Interviewing Daudet

WITHOUT much doubt, the most adaptable man in France, if not in all the world, is M. Frédéric Lefèvre, editor of the Nouvelles Littéraires. This genial and industrious person spends all his time interviewing the great ones of this earth-authors, scholars, statesmen, and scientists. In England he bearded Chesterton, in France he has sat at the feet of Caillaux, Poincaré, Maurois, and Keyserling, drawing each out on his favorite topic. His latest exploit is perhaps the most difficult of all

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