The Literary Magazine of Barbados
Introduction by John Wickham
Index compiled by Reinhard W. Sander
University of Nigeria and University of Sussex
KRAUS REPRINT CO.
Millwood, New York
Introduction O 1977. Kraus-Thomson Organization Ltd.
Index 1977 Reinhard W. Sander
Reprinted with permission of The Editors of BIM
KRAUS REPRINT CO.
A U.S. Division of Kraus-Thomson Organization Limited
Printed in U.S.A.
Before World War Two it could not be said with any accuracy
and certainly not without contradiction that an English Carib-
bean literature existed. There were, to be sure, a number of
Caribbeans (the word is coming into frequent currency as a
convenient designation for the inhabitants of the islands from
Cuba to Trinidad and of the northern coastline of the South
American continent) who wrote in English and whose work was
sometimes published in metropolitan countries. But a body of
writing substantial enough to qualify as a literature and to
compel, or even permit, serious critical attention and analysis
simply did not exist. What has been called the explosion of
creative writing which took place in the late forties and early
fifties owes an important debt to a little magazine in Barbados,
one of the smallest of the islands.
It is only within recent years that writing has become a
respectable activity in these islands and there may be some
critics who, even now, would deny this. The populations of the
islands, living in an environment which they had been led to
regard as inferior to the far off places whose praises were
constantly being sungby their masters, were, until very recently
unable to carry out the kind of honest exploration of that
environment upon which creative literature is based. The first
requirements are self-regard and self-respect, qualities which
did not flourish among a collection of people who had concluded
from the propaganda which had been fed to them that the great
good place was not by any means the place where they now found
themselves, nor even, for the overwhelming majority of them,
the place from which they came but, curiously enough, precisely
those places which their masters had forsaken in search for a
better and richer life. The contradiction inherent in that upside-
down formula was not missed by the Barbadian poet, M. J.
Chapman who, in his preface to a collection of his poems pub-
lished in England in 1833, commented wryly to the effect that the
author had little hope that a poem on one of the islands of the
West Indies, written by a native of the scene should excite public
attention. But it would have presented itself to the West Indian
readers of the review of Mr. Chapman's work which appeared in
Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine that October and which com-
plimented the poet in the following terms:
"The author writes the English Language like a Gentleman."
In such a climate of self-disparagement it was not to be
expected that the occasional work of creative West Indian minds
would be published in the West Indies, for who, in that event,
would read it? Attempts there were indeed to establish regular
literary publications: according to Sir Robert Schomburgk, writ-
ing in 1847 in his 'History of Barbados',
"A monthly periodical, called The West India Magazine, was
set on foot in May 1841, which however extended only to two
or three numbers.
"Native periodical literature (with the exception of a few
newspapers) meets with no support as yet in the West Indies.
Attempts have been made from time to time in Jamaica,
Demerara, Antigua and Grenada, to keep up a monthly
magazine devoted to literature and science, but they have all
failed; and the only periodicals at present maintained, ex-
clusive of the newspapers, are the annual almanacs, in some
of which literature finds a nook."
Almost a century later, in the 1930's, a small coterie in Trini-
dad produced The Beacon which had been preceded by two issues
of the magazine Trinidad. In Guyana, somewhat later, 'Kyko-
veral' appeared as did Focus in Jamaica. But all these were
short-lived and no one in his right mind would have given a red
penny for the chances of survival of a literary magazine which
made its appearance in December 1942 in Barbados. Yet, this is
exactly what happened, the magazine survived and survived
and is surviving.
BIM made its appearance almost stealthily. With an unpre-
tentiousness which has become a characteristic of the magazine,
it nosed its way on the scene, asserting no doctrine, offering no
policy, making no proclamations of intention to fill any vacuum.
And in Barbados too, of all the islands the one voted most
artistically barren, least likely to succeed in cultural venture, in
that same Barbados which George Lamming, one of its two or
three most distinguished literary products, has described as a
Victorian outpost, BIM was born. If you look at the first number,
you will find no note of introduction, not a word to herald the
birth, nor even to explain the origins of its name-a contraction
denoting a native of 'Bimshire' (itself a kind of Gilbertian confec-
tion in recognition of Barbados' reputed Englishness). Perhaps
it is the very humility of the birth that has contributed to its
being, thirty-three years after, the foremost literary magazine
of the Caribbean and certainly one of the longest lived of this
species of publication, to be described, again by George Lam-
ming, writing about the urgency of the need for West Indian
writers to seek beyond their homelands:
"We had to get out; and in the hope that a change of climate
might bring a change of luck. One thing alone kept us going,
and that was the literary review, BIM, which was published
in Barbados by Frank Collymore. This was a kind of oasis in
that lonely desert of mass indifference and educated middle
The survival of BIM and its contribution to the development of
Caribbean literature is no less than a miracle and so it has been
described by Dr. Edward Baugh of the University of the West
Indies writing in the Barbados Independence issue of New World
(1966). "Today," he writes, "the West Indian novel is an inter-
nationally recognized literary phenomenon, and we even speak
without hesitation of West Indian literature. But twenty-four
years ago, when BIM first appeared, neither phenomenon had
any recognized existence. For the fact that we can now speak of a
West Indian literature, we owe much to BIM."
If the explosion of West Indian writing since the forties is
related, as Dr. Kenneth Ramchand suggests in his invaluable
work, The West Indian Novel and its Background, to develop-
ments in popular education and the growth of national feeling,
then an important aspect of the BIM miracle was that the
magazine was there ready to receive the products of that educa-
tion and the expression of that feeling, the happiest coincidence
of material and vehicle. By the greatest of good fortune we found
ourselves with a home in the West Indies for all the products of
the West Indian imagination that were suddenly released in
what one anthologist has described as a flood of literary works as
diverse, complex, original and profound as any to be found in the
world today. Admittedly, it took the editors a little while to
recognize that the magazine had a West Indian rather than a
merely Barbadian role to play for even as late as the sixth
number we were still seeing ourselves as a preserver of an
essential Barbadianness; but we were saved from insularity,
that bugbear of West Indian integration, by the tide of events
which was making West Indians of us, by the luck of our earliest
contributors and supporters and the rapidly increasing frequen-
cy of movement between the territories and between the terri-
stories and London, which Ramchand was saying as recently as
1970 was still the literary capital of the West Indies. So it is that
they are all there in the pages of BIM when it and they were
young: Lamming, Selvon, Naipaul, Walcott, Brathwaite, Mittel-
holzer, Austin Clarke, Anthony, McDonald, Mervyn Morris,
Roger Mais, Eric Roach.
But little as we know about the mechanics of miracles, we know
that they do not merely happen: they are performed. Their occur-
rence rests on the most precise matching of circumstance and
resources, a confluence of spirit and event rare but not hap-
hazard, a conjunction of demand and supply so nice that when it
occurs, we seem, as Alexander Woollcott once wrote, to catch life
in the very act of rhyming.
If the exigencies of the times demanded a magazine like BIM
for the Caribbean then the birth and continued existence of the
magazine needed the presence on the scene of a very special
combination of assets. First there needed to be in large measure
the conviction that the task which was being undertaken was
worth the considerable effort while always remaining a labour of
love; then there needed to be a kind of hard-mouthed refusal to
be defeated by the persistent snubs and the snooty reviews;
these qualities had somehow to be mixed with and tempered by
an abundant generosity and tolerance that did not blur the
vision but could reason that if at times some contributions did
not merit encouragement, little harm had been done for at least
they did not deprive better writers of a chance. There needed to
be a percipience that could recognize at once the quality of the
boyhood work of George Lamming and Derek Walcott and there
needed, above all, to be a hovering midwife solicitousness that
attended to the need of every issue of the magazine, from
collection of manuscript (even writing most of it in the early
days) through negotiations with printers and advertisers, cor-
rection of proofs, setting up of dummy copy to dealing with the
accounts, writing to contributors, subscribers, reviewers and
critics. Caribbean literature owes an unpayable debt to the
dedication of the man in whose single person all these qualities
were miraculously combined, the man who, until the publication
of No. 56, was the editor of BIM. On the occasion of the reprinting
of these first fifty-six issues of the magazine, a word of personal
tribute to Frank Collymore is surely appropriate.
Colly once told me that he could not imagine that anyone in the
world had been more loved than he. What a wonderful thing to be
able to say! It occurred to me then that only a wonderful person
would be able to say such a thing. Frank Collymore taught me for
a while (so briefly that he cannot recall the experience), I have
seen him act, play cricket, drive a little red sports car, I have
heard his comments on people and things. I have seen him in
hospital, just emerged from the operating theatre and recently I
have seen him in pain and distress. I have yet to see him lose his
temper. There is a great deal in the present world and in modern
fashion (especially literary) which he does not pretend to under-
stand but he retains the original uncanny nose for the phony and
the same quality of insight which led him in 1949 to say of Derek
Walcott (who was a mere nineteen at the time):
"There are some of us who write poetry: to us the spirit
comes and goes and we are deeply grateful if at some time in
our lives it is our good fortune to be blessed with the divine
gift. But there are others, a select band, who are poets from
birth: to them poetry is all in all, the very breath of life; and I
do not think I am mistaken when I make this high claim for
He has received honours and honorary degrees; he has been
applauded on the stage and revered in the class-room but the
magazine BIM will remain for long a testimony to the foresight,
devotion and sheer genius of Frank Collymore.
The reputation of BIM as the literary journal of the West
Indies has spread so far and wide and the magazine has ac-
cumulated such an abundance of respect that the demand for
back issues from university libraries, research institutes and
scholars cannot be met. As the present generation of students
and writers begin to examine the origins of the West Indian
literary tradition of which BIM was the most active agent,
requests for the early writings of now established novelists and
poets are in constant flow. In order to meet this demand, BIM's
editors agreed some years ago that a reprint of the magazine
from the very first number was necessary and we have been
fortunate in finding Kraus Reprint Company a most willing
partner in the exercise. This new availability of BIM texts is
owing in no small measure to the interest of the publishers to
whom the gratitude of all who are interested in Caribbean letters
is now due. In this connection, a special word of thanks must go to
Professor Robert Hill of Northwestern University, General Edi-
tor of the publishers' series on Caribbean History and Society
whose industry and generous advice has really brought the idea
of re-publication to such happy fruition.
Readers will find much to engage their interest and give them
pleasure in the pages that follow: Collymore's collection of
Barbadian words and phrases as well as his whimsical drawings,
the early poems of George Lamming, Edward Brathwaite, a
sketch by Edgar Mittelholzer, an extract from an early Derek
Walcott play, a poem by Albert Gomes, an address by C. L. R.
James, a rare and valuable assortment of poems by Eric Roach,
the Tobago poet who died so tragically a year or so ago, poems by
Slade Hopkinson and A. J. Seymour, A. L. Hendriks, Gloria
Escoffery, E. Mc. G. Keane, Owen Campbell and Daniel Williams.
They are all there, as Frank Collymore might say, singing glory
Barbados Editor, BIM
Women Never Listen ..
Graceful Exit ..
Peter Plays A Part
The Coffin of Cheng-Lu
Plunder From Peru ..
SYNOPSIS FOR A NOVEL:
From a Window on Broad S1.
The Fall of The House of Utter
Bright Intervals-presented by
My Love Affair
Peculiar Pets (with illustrations)
F. N. K. MASCOLL
DICK STOKES .
E. L. COZIER
FRANCIS APPLETON .
E. L. COZIER ..
W. THEROLD BARNES .
W. THEROLD BARNES ..
PHILIp I. VIEIRA
E. A. CHAMBERS
W. T. B.
F. A. COLLYMORE
Barbadians in the Forces, 58-Quizz, 40-Winchellisms, 60
ROLL OF HONOUR .. 57
ADVOCATE CO.. LTO PRINTERS,
A Publication of
THE YOUNG MEN'S PROGRESSIVE CLUB,
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W O ii i 'i ,
Vol. I December 1942
Our Prize Story:
By F. N. K. MASCOLL
"RHYTHM, pulsing rhythm, dat's what we want. If you can
supply it, I know where to sell it..." Biley Crick was in form
using his best sales influence on an unfortunate looking in-
dividual who clutched a banjo under his arm. "Yes," resumed
Biley, "evah since dem white men visit Africa and ketch we
niggers it bin necessary to soothe de soul wid music; de throb o'
de Tom-Toms still cause the muscles o' we bodies to quiver"-
Biley hesitated a moment-"Of course, Mr. Musicianer, you 'ent
got Tom-Toms uh ? You got Saxes, and Clarnits and all dem
new tings, uh ?" Biley hoped he was right.
It was becoming increasingly difficult of late for Biley to
procure an Orchestra for his Palm Walk dance house, ever since
the little argument he had won with a previous String Band as
regards the pecuniary reward for their labour.
Mr. Crick resumed his orations; "Yes", said he, "dere's a
loud programme on the sheets for to-night, man; first a fight
between Kid Ceiling and Bomber Boy, and den the fun starts
wid de music. De sweeter de music, de bigger de crowd, and"
-Biley paused here in order to dramatise what he thought to be
the important factor-"de bigger de share you get fer swinging'
it out hot."
Mr. Musicianer so far had attempted to say nothing. Appar-
ently an interested listener, he had been satisfied to allow Biley
to rule the roost. His attitude now changed. He shifted his
position from the centre of the road-the usual place for all
business transactions-and sat on the bank, removed his cigar-
ette, and gave tongue.
"My name ent Mr. Musicianer, dey calls me Little George
Biley was struck by this announcement..
"You, you, George Bumley, de real George Bumley, dat mek
de ting call swing ?"
"Yep, dat's me," George reassured him, "but you ent say
what share fuh me an de boys."
Biley immediately recaptured his reserved attitude.
"Well, you know how tings is. we got to consider de rates,
an de Police dat gwlne get in free, but I'll be generous. Suppose
we say two dollars and drinks ?"
Mr. George Bumley rose his full height, bowed and retreated.
Old Biley Crick was nervous. An orchestra like this was
extremely necessary, and there were ways and means of chisselling
down the fees after the essential had been obtained. He could'nt
understand the fellow; he looked hungry yet he could afford
to walk off without even an argument. He was travelling, too,
better catch up and re-open conversations.
Biley followed in hot pursuit.
George was blessed with a long stride, and as sounds in the
distant rear reached his ears, he knew the first round to be in
his favour. An old hand at dealing with creatures of this sort,
he opened up an extra six inches per stride.
Biley attempted to shout, but achieved no more than a grunt;
such strenuous exertion was not a habit of his.
The Village turned out to witness the procession, a wonder-
ful sight. George, tall and lanky, striding with ease; Biley,
short and thick-set, struggling in the rear.
One faithful retainer of the Crick tribe, mistaking the
occurrence as a sign of Opening Hostility, immediately went in
search of Richard, Biley's son, heir, and right hand man in the
George slackened off somewhat as mingled shouts came from
"Wuh happen Biley ? Wuh ee do yuh ?" and when one
Rebellious Youth raised the cry "Stop ee," George cautiously
allowed Biley to draw level.
These St. Philip people had a peculiarity of stopping people
with sticks, sometimes putting a full stop on the unfortunate
Biley collared George; the crowd gathered; good clean fun
such as this was not to be missed. The Rebellious Youth, not
knowing that Biley's grip was for support rather than defiance,
thrust a stick into Biley's left hand.
Mr. Cummins, the schoolmaster, barred the shutters, and
herded his offspring to bed. In short, the decks were immediately
cleared-just in case something happened.
Biley's speech had as yet failed to return; every passing
moment found George a more bewildered man; events flew
much too fast for his dazed comprehension. Something must
be done, the right thing, and quickly too.
George straightened, thereby causing Biley to totter.
"Don't let 'ee push yu bout like dat," advised the Rebellious
Youth, "Do some'ting, man. You sick ?"
Biley did something. He knew that unless he acted prompt-
ly, some impetuous person he had the Rebellious Youth in
thoughts would start the fun, and away would vanish his
opportunity for minting the pennies to-night.
Up went the hand with the stick.
The crowd, misinterpreting his action, immediately signified
their approval and co-operation by forming a ring and passing
"People all," announced Mr. Biley Crick now fully recovered
and assuming his best oratorical poise, "Dis gentulmun is none
other than Mr. George Bumley. He was only racing to fetch
de res' of his band--Oh, pardon-Orchestra. Dem gwine play
at de Palm Walk to-night. A fine programme, as yu all know,
only a penny a dance, an six cents to see de fight. But uh try
to stop 'ee because uh thought it bes' to save 'ee strength, and
send somebody else to call de boys; so come, folks, we gwine
lift Mr. Bumley up to de dance hall!"
George knew better than to resist; better that he had been
detained by the resourceful Biley.
Unfortunately for all concerned, Richard chose this precise
moment for his grand but hurried entry. He carried his ockya
stick at the ready, and instantly realized the situation: here
was some Unknown Intruder being shouldered because he had
floored the defenceless old man-well, the Cricks still had fight
Richard quartered his staff and moved in. Two careful but
vicious swipes cleared the outskirts, and spread panic in the
George was left high up and fell hard.
A healthy shot in the rear added new life to a slow starter's
motive power, then Richard, the preliminary task being com-
pleted, turned his full attention to the prostrate George.
"Fight brudda." announced Richard, clipping George neatly
on the right ankle. "Rise and fight."
Richard was about to detach an ear when a well-known
voice arrested his attention-the voice of the man he loved-
couldn't help loving him, for after all, he had consented to be
his father, and even better, he had made casual mention that
the Palm Walk would come to Richard on his decease.
"Don't kill ee," warned the voice, "he is ma fren."
Richard, much as he would have cherished the sight of
George minus an ear, reluctantly refrained. Self-denial was
glorious, for when old Biley had passed on, he could dissect as
many ears as he chose and still retain his Dance House.
Richard withdrew, leaving George in the roadway nursing
a bruised ankle.
At a discreet distance from the main road, as if in an effort
to camouflage its complaints, reposed the Palm Walk; the only
inglorious thing amidst glorious surroundings. It boasted two
roofs and numerous faults. No carpenter would have touched
this wreck had he been offered his weight in gold. But to-night,
the night of nights, it held together with a noble effort, for
none other than that glamorous sportsman and all-rounder
Lieut. Kilkelly of the Government Industrial Farm had consented
to grace its threshold. He had even loaned his gloves in order
that the boys might have a go.
True to Biley's prediction, the night was loud. The pro-
gramme had not yet started, but already fourteen impromptu
scuffles had ensued. Three windows had been maliciously re-
moved by fervent but penniless fans, and the fighters themselves
had prematurely indulged in a short but heated combat. Spirits
ran high, and even now the two-thirds of the audience (which
happened to be on the outside, and intended staying there)
were diligently endeavouring to remove the sides of the building
in order to facilitate better vision.
Biley, a man of great resource, thought quickly. Music
would hold these hooligans in check. He unearthed the dis-
gruntled George, who was still concerned with his injured limb,
and demanded a tune.
"Swing it," whispered George into the liquor-shrouded ears
of his underlings, and they swung it as only George Bumley's
Wopsy Rhythm Orchestra could.
This unexpected turn of events certainly affected the crowd,
but in the wrong manner.
Among the insiders happened to be one buxom belle known
as Idealia. escorted by her current spar, Herbert. They both
showed signs of mild intoxication, and it radiated from every
bump and curve of Idealia's frame.
Nor did she care, she wanted to open the ball immediately,
so she and Herbert set in. Quite in order this was, except that
it greatly inconvenienced the other members of the assembly.
Idealia and Herbert swung and balanced to and fro, crushing
corns, and elbowing for space. Howls of anger rent the air, and
threatening words were passed.
"Richard," bawled Biley, "put dem out."
"Yes, pa," replied faithful Richard, and set to work.
[Continued on Page 61]
S The Story of a Dream.
By FRANK COLLYMORE
THE telephone bell rang again, stridently, urgently.
Beside little Sonya's cot, Tamara, one hand continuing to
stroke her sleeping daughter's head automatically, crouched
scarcely breathing. She was afraid, afraid of the bell, afraid of
the danger lurking out in the city, afraid of she scarcely knew
what. Alone in the little flat without Gregor, she lived in con-
stant fear of the terror that lay in wait in the darkness, waiting,
watching No one ever telephoned her. To Gregor the
telephone was a business necessity. But all who knew Gregor
knew that he was never at home at this hour, after dark. For
then he would be at the newspaper office where he worked night
after night from dusk till dawn. Perhaps it was a mistake .
perhaps .no, there it went again ting-a-ling, ting-a-ling!
Her heart beat faster. Stay, though, perhaps it might be Gregor
himself! Yet she was sure it wasn't Gregor. No, if it was, she
would feel, she would know. She would not crouch there, par-
alysed almost, with memories, ugh, what memories, crowding
out of the terrible past to choke her. Again lVustering up
such courage as she could command, she rose from beside the
cot and crossed the room with short hesitating steps. She en-
tered the adjoining room, the sitting room, and almost collapsed
into Gregor's armchair beside the desk where the little black
telephone squatted, its disk glaring at her malignantly. While
she was taking up the trumpet the bell trilled again imperatively.
She almost dropped the thing, but mastering her fears placed
it to her ear, her unoccupied hand clutching at her throat mean-
while, as though to stifle her voice should she shriek with terror.
She could feel her own fingers clutching there, bidding her be
silent, as she listened to the harsh, guttural, unfamiliar voice
so near, so near. She wanted to scream but she could feel her
fingers clutching still tighter. The harsh voice spoke querulously,
impatiently, but she could not understand what it was saying.
She could only realize it was questioning her, harshly and im-
periously in a foreign tongue. Still holding her throat tightly
she replaced the trumpet with a trembling hand. The voice
died away with a snarl. But the bell did not ring again.
For a long time Tamara sat motionless in the chair beside
the desk still clutching at her throat. When she did undress
and go to bed it was only to lie frozen with terror through the
long night waiting for the dawn, and Gregor.
It had happened three years ago. She had come from the
south, alone, to Leningrad. Her parents were dead. She had
had thoughts of going on the stage. And then, oh fool, she had
lost her passport, all her papers. She had been arrested and
charged with being a spy in German pay. She a spy She did
not know a word of German even. But what was the use ? She
could disprove nothing. The more vehement her protestations
of innocence, the more did those men smile and wink at each
other knowingly. "Come on, sister," one had said, "you're pulling
a good act, but it's no use." "Why not come clean and tell
us? You'll probably only go to the mines for ten years," another
had chuckled. Ten years, my God Ten years had already
passed in those last couple of weeks. Ten years would be eternity.
And the horrible, ghastly, incredible thing was that she felt
that pretty soon she would confess! "Yes, yes, I am a spy. Sure,
I speak German. And what ?" She could hear herself making
the statement with a sort of cold intensity. Anything to get
away from the mocking relentless questioning, anything. And
it was then that Gregor had appeared. Like an angel from
heaven he had come. His profession as reporter took him
almost everywhere. He had seen this poor, friendless, tortured
girl and had had compassion upon her. Somehow, up to the
present she didn't know how-she never wanted to know how-
he had saved her. He stood surety for her, pitied her, loved her,
married her. And since then she had been happy, though of one
thing she was never sure. Gregor had never told her, but she
felt it was so: he was never absolutely convinced of her inno-
cence. Love overlooks many things. Gregor still believed she
had been in German pay. But as much as he might believe that,
he also believed she would never, never do such a thing again.
For in standing as security for her Gregor had virtually pledged
his life on her behalf. No, Gregor trusted her. There had beeh
lovely, happy days; Sonya had come to them. She should have
been altogether happy, but the memory of those racking days
remained. Strangers terrified her. They might be secret agents.
They might be trying her out. Her name was there, set down in
their records for ever, suspect, a spy. Some day perhaps they'd
try to get hold of her again. If only she was sure that Gregor
knew, knew with absolute certainty she had never been a spy.
could not speak a word of German even then, then she felt
with the utmost conviction, she would have the courage to
fight, even when she was alone. And now to-night the
German voice over the 'phone! They were on her tracks again.
Oh Gregor, Gregor! Through the long night. Would Gregor
It was still dark, a grey November morning, when at last
she heard his footstep on the stair. Gregor Trembling, sobbing
in his arms, she told him what had happened.
"And you could not distinguish what the voice said
"No it spoke in German. Oh, why, why should they try to
catch me out like this, Gregor? Don't you see they were hoping
I'd answer trying to trick me?"
Gregor sat silent on the edge of the bed. He looked at
Tamara intently. His eyes were kind, his voice grave. He spoke
haltingly, as though he could scarcely bring himself to speak
"Answer me, Tamara. In me you have nothing to fear.
You know that. Was the .voice you heard had you ever
heard it before? Was it the voice of ." He stammered, his
whole face twitched as though he were acting under some com-
pulsion not of his own. .I mean, was it the voice of one
of the Germans you had known ?"
"Gregor!" Tamara's voice broke. "You believe ... ?"
Sonya, still asleep, stirred restlessly. Gregor leaned over
and patted her tenderly. To Tamara his voice seemed a long
way off when he spoke, a long way off, and in some queer
manner it seemed as though what he was now saying had been
said a long while ago, and he had gone on repeating it ever
since: "I do not know. I do not know."
He paused. Crouching now at his knees she could feel her
heart breaking. He did not know! Could he not feel?
Gregor spoke again. "I try to believe ... I try ... Tell me.
Tamara mine, you know that, don't you?"
She nodded wretchedly. Yes, he tried. It was some con-
solation. She pressed his knee with twitching fingers. But then,
he didn't believe. She broke into a passion of weeping.
"There, there." He tried to hold her up, to caress her, to
soothe her. "I believe you I think I do "
But she leapt from the floor and took up Sonya who, waked
by her mother's crying, had now joined in with a puzzled sym-
pathetic wail. Drying her tears Tamara set about her morning
duties. Gregor slipped into some old clothes and took Sonya
on his knee and patted her fair curly hair as he always did
when she cried.
"I have not the courage to go through with this," Tamara
thought "O Gregor, believe in me I need your belief, your
trust, your strength."
(Continued on page 65)
MY LOVE AFFAIR
At first you would not let me touch you or come near
To whisper loving phrases in your ear,
But then you let me brush my lips against your hair
And rub my cheek on yours, caresses rare.
To-night my seeking mouth has found your lips and there
It lingers, love's own kisses sweet to share:
But as I press your lips, so soft and dear,
Eyelids sweep down and blushes hot appear.
Limp in my arms you yield yourself to fear,
Afraid to let me know that you too care.
Then shyly, slyly, as though scared to dare
I feel your lips return the kiss they bear
Fresh from my own. Beloved one I swear
Ne'er from this course that now I chart to veer:
Together you and I, two as a pair,
Will seek and find in life's long maze so queer,
In spite of envious thrusts and bitter sneer,
In spite of hurt and pain and scalding tear,
That happiness, concealed but ever fair,
In every climb, in every fall, and everywhere.
Love rides the wind to-night, perfumes the air:
And now, passion confessed, Heaven is here!
W. T. B.
I And yet hear too much........
WOMEN NEVER LISTEN
By DICK STOKES
and thereby cause no end of trouble. For instance, what
happened this morning.
A lady looked into my garden.
"You may have the honestest face in the whole wide world,
but what DOES it matter?"
Elizabeth propped her elbows atop the wall, her chin on two
adorable hands, and went on:
"You are horrid and mean and ."
"And what?" I enquired lazily, from a comfortable position
on the lawn below.
"And I hate you, Mr. Christopher Martin, and will never,
never believe another word you say."
I lay back and enjoyed the delightful picture she made.
Elizabeth's golden hair was full of sunlight, vivid against a back-
ground of rust red bougainvillea, her small proud chin was stub-
bornly out-thrust, red mouth pouting and unsmiling. In one
cheek a little nerve twitched-a tell-tale sign of the storm that
was on its way.
Ever since since well, never mind since when, I had
been learning that this was a time to be silent.
"Well what-" she began at last-imperiously-uncertainly-
"What about a little drive," I suggested, "a sea bath some-
The effect was tremendous. With a gesture of sheer exasper-
ation she threw up her hands, fluffing up her hair into one
turbulent mass. The scorn of twenty-two explaining to the
doting and decrepit this simplest, simplest thing rang in her
"To-day with you after what happened last night. Mr.
Chris Martin, I would not go with you why, I would not even
be SEEN with you you you amorous old he-rabbit!"
Words failed her, and she stamped her foot in fury. There
was a sudden sharp crack, her yell of "Oh damn!" and she dis-
appeared in company with several red hibiscus that had senti-
nelled her position on the wall. It was obvious her last onslaught
had proved too much for the box on which she had been
The sun was warm and comforting. The grass smelled clean
and earthy. I lay back on the ground again and smiled up at
a little woolly lamb of cloud scurrying after its mamma in the
blue sky-field above. From over the wall came muffled explosive
words, then scuffling noises. Elizabeth could easily have returned
to the attack by smooth surface routes, but she preferred her
wall. Women appreciate the advantage of height-and a suit-
able background. She was, in plain words, being utterly un-
reasonable. However, it is the delight of young and very adorable
people to be unreasonable ... I had discovered that when ... oh
very well, no need to bring that up at this stage.
Thinking back over last night's sad story I burst out laugh-
ing. It is important, even imperative, that at the age of thirty
a man must retain some right of individual action, some in-
itiative and impulse-at that age at least he has paid for tnat
right in years of tough hard-won experience. Across the dance
floor last night had come one of the very young, charming and
debonair and handsome as you make them, and with a cheerful
"Hello, old Chris" and "Let's dance, darling" to Elizabeth, had
taken her off. "Oh very well," I thought, "it is as simple as
that, is it-we'll see." And she was sitting just there. Something
about her ready smiling............about the way her finely pencilled
eye-brows went up in feigned surprise............why, of course, it
was Rita. And what a lot she remembered about my last visit.
Let me see, it was before............just before I.................
Several ounces of garden-bed ricochetted off my forehead.
the fragments spattering into the grass around me. My lady
perched precariously on top the wall, red wedge-heels and all
digging hard into the soft limestone to regain her balance after
the dastardly attack.
"I hope you fall," I told her coldly, "on to the longest, point-
edest prickle that ever grew."
She took no notice but sat there, knees now drawn up, chin
in hand, like the lady on a monument Will Shakespeare writes
about. Despite her sulky pouting mouth, there was a fresh
loveliness of her head, her throat and fine-moulded profile that
matched the greens and yellows of the morning.
"You beast, Chris............you lazy beast. I might have hurt
myself, and you did'nt even ask............"
"You called me all that last night," I pointed out.
"And you deserved it. Rita............Rita from Trinidad. Funny
I've never heard of her before."
"But I told you last night............"
"You never told me anything. You just danced and danced
and left me..........."
"In very handsome company............"
"And when I wanted to go...........
"But you've never left early before............"
She slipped and landed neatly inside a bed of correopsis.
There was sudden swift annihilation in the ranks of tall yellow
heads. I brushed off the mud, but her shorts were a wreck.
Three minutes later we were back on the grass. Elizabeth
kicked off her shoes, and lay propped on her elbows, her chin
held high. The episode of the shorts had unnerved her.
"Chris, what are we doing this afternoon?"
Let me set it on record that I was reluctant to renew hos-
tilities. There is enough fighting going on in the world already.
So I hedged.
"Yes, this afternoon."
"Oh, THIS afternoon. Let me see, I thought of asking
R ita.......... ."
Her grey eyes opened angry-wide, then the lady was on her
"You mean you ASKED-"
"My dear, Rita has been so good............"
The blue sky was blotted out, and one hundred and twenty
pounds of golden haired fury sat astride my chest.
"Hey, stop............wait a minute !"
I struggled for breath in between gusts of laughter. A pair
of tight-clinched fists beat a tattoo on my chest.
"Say it again," she panted, "say it just ONCE more, and
you'll have a big black eye, two black eyes and............"
She sat up, suddenly cold and proud, and shook the hair
out of her eyes. Two red spots were vivid on her cheeks, and
those tell-tale nerves hammered and hammered.
"You forget, Mr. Christopher Martin..............you forget, I
think, you are............you are............"
"But we must do something for her," I protested.
"All right then, do whatever you like. Take her-take her
anywhere .......... "
"Oh, very well, I will. Rita Britten and I have a lot............"
Elizabeth's whole expression changed. Her well-kept eye-
brows went up unbelievingly, and a knee dug hard into my ribs.
"Rita Britten," she demanded, "Rita Britten from Trinidad?"
"Yes, Rita Britten........... Jack's wife."
"You never told me............"
"Woman, I did. I told you all the way home............"
"You did not............you never said a thing, all you said............"
"Elizabeth, I did............"
There I stopped. To argue it out was worse than useless, as
I knew from............from............well, never mind how I knew.
Elizabeth sat silent again staring over the garden wall, over
the tops of the evergreens............over and away into the distance.
"Jack, the old he-man. I had wondered so often what she
would be like............and now I know she is lovely. Chris, she's
14 B I M Deer. 1942
really lovely. You see, Jack and I had argued so often about
I sat up as best I could. This WAS news.
"Uh-huh............you and Jack have so often argued............Go
on, little girl, now we are really hearing things............"
Elizabeth clapped two cool hands over my ears.
"Well, you will not hear any more, Big Chief Long-Ears.
Now let me think,............we could get Frank and Linda Timber-
man, Bill and Joan and............"
"Here what's all this?" I protested.
"Party for this afternoon, ducky. One must do SOMETHING
special for Jack's wife. I was even thinking............"
The sweet pretty lips were now trembling with laughter and
expensive planning. I pulled her head down and kissed them.
A man MUST kiss his wife sometimes !............
FIGURE THIS OUT...!
It is wonderful what some people can do with figures. Mr.
J. A. Melrose, a Durban reader, came in with one of these tables
which I set out for your edification. What their potent is I
leave to you.
Mussolini Stalin Hitler Roosevelt Churchill
Born ................ 1883 1879 1889 1882 1873
Came into Power 1922 1924 1933 1933 1940
Years in Power 19 17 8 8 1
Ages ..... ............. 58 62 52 59 68
3882 3882 3882 3882 3882
These figures are up to date, and the totals divided by two
make 1941.-Natal Daily News, S. Africa.
Synopsis for a novel .....
By W. THEROLD BARNES
F AME, with her tongue in her cheek, swung the spotlight so
that it rested briefly on James Bowley.
Fortune had already smiled on James Bowley. At forty-five,
happily married and with an income sufficient for his modest
needs, he felt content. Suddenly Bowley found himself famous,
for no reason and without warning.
James Bowley had several hobbies. Possessed of unlimited
energy he was always dabbling in one thing or another; but
his favourite hobby tas sketching in water-colours; his subjects
always the children of his imagination-brilliant impressionistic
little studies of elfin faces and fairytale fantasy. There were
a score of them in his desk and many more scattered all over
the house, poked away in drawers and cupboards and forgotten,
all of them unframed and unhung.
And then Smitten, the calendar man, came to dinner, and
sipping his Cointreau talked "shop".
It was Mrs. Bowley who mentioned the watercolours, casually
and with no trace of enthusiasm. Half eagerly, half ashamedly,
James produced his latest sketch: a whimsical study of a bright-
eyed child dancing before the Fairy Queen.
"Not in my line exactly," said Smitten commercially. "But
it's good, damned good." He held it at arm's length appraising
it. "What's a thing like this worth you ?"
James Bowley, embarrassed, grinned boyishly. "I've never
tried to sell a sketch of mine. Why do you ask ?"
Smitten ran the tip of his tongue around his lips." Look
here, Bowley, I'll tell you what. My firm handles all sorts of
stuff in the picture line and maybe Browne could do something
for you if I sent this up. Willing to take a' chance on it ?"
Smitten was genial, smiling. Unconsciously he had slipped into
the suave salesman personality that earned him his bread and
Bowley, puzzled, shrugged his thin shoulders. "What have
I got to lose? It won't cost me anything, will it?"
Smitten raised an eyebrow. "Browne's a good man, keen
as mustard....but he's a careless son of a gun. You may never
see this again." He waggled the picture in one hand and sipped
his liqueur, a pudgy, ring-laden finger held daintily aloft.
Bowley took the sketch from him and looked at it. It was
gay as a butterfly drifting on the breeze, and it was clever....but
once the inspiration had been transferred to paper the subject
lost importance for James Bowley.
Handing it back he said carelessly "It won't much matter
if he does lose it."
It was as simple as that. There was no reason why Smitten
should bother himself on Bowley's account and no reason why
Browne should waste his time on amateur efforts of an unknown.
Mrs. Bowley made all this quite clear to James as he brushed
his teeth at the corner wash basin and James Bowley knew
she was right.
But in three years time a monthly magazine devoted to
children and to the home was featuring Bowley covers, the third
series of Bowley nursery pictures was selling in thousands and
a leading manufacturer of china was featuring children's table-
ware with Bowley designs. And Bowley retained the original
studies, sold a few at prices ranging from ten to fifty guineas
and presented others as Christmas gifts to the children of his
Always passionately fond of children, the arrival of Elizabeth
had been for him the realization of a life-long ambition. The
two-year-old Betty became for Bowley everything that mattered,
the reason for his work, for his very existence.
Money would buy Betty everything. That money had
already moved the James Bowleys swiftly up the social ladder
meant nothing to James Bowley except in relation to Betty's
Mrs. Bowley was not particularly fond of children. She
had been frantic with worry when she learned of approaching
motherhood, the possibility of her figure being ruined being the
sole reason for her concern.
With money to purchase clothes and the entree into society
her figure had become an important consideration. James
Bowley, on the upswing to fame had paid a specialist for expert
attention to exercises to restore her svelte lines after Betty had
So completely had Bowley submerged himself in attention
to the child that his wife's indifference to Betty passed almost
unnoticed. Not that Mrs. Bowley ignored Betty entirely; on the
contrary, her clothes and the nurse# that came and went were
matters for careful consideration.
Betty was the child of a famous man, the daughter of a
beautiful woman determined to take her rightful place in society
among the wives of other successful men. Betty must fit into
that picture and the sound judgment of her mother was essential
in grooming her for the part.
A famous firm of publishers had commissioned Bowley with
the illustrating of a special edition of Hans Anderson's Fairy
Tales to be followed by a companion volume of the Fairy Tales
The figure agreed on for the twenty colour plates for the
Hans Andersen volume would have seemed astronomical to the
James Bowley who had pottered around with watercolours as a
But the figure interested Mrs. Bowley far more than it did
James Bowley. There were times when Mrs. Bowley was infuri-
ated at the lack of business acumen her husband displayed.
Not that he was a difficult husband; he fully realized that with
the change in their social position his wife had become a very
busy woman and never uttered a protest at her continual absence
from the expensive apartment to which they had recently moved.
Costumiers, hairdressers, masseuses and beauty specialists
were a constant round of preparation for the cocktail parties,
dinners and other social events that followed in endless
Mrs. Bowley explained her husband's absence from these
affairs by gentle hints at temperament and devotion to his art,
but indeed the fascinating Mrs. Bowley seldom found such excuse
necessary: "James Bowley" on a watercolour was the hall-mark
of acceptance; James Bowley as an individual did not exist for
the social set to which fame had introduced his wife.
Society shook its coiffured head, winked a shadowed eyelid
heavy with mascara and whispered through painted lips that
the delightful Mrs. Bowley and the handsome Count de Gaume
were inseparable -such a perfect couple !
James Bowley completed the colour plates for the Hans
Andersen volume and knew that his work had never been better.
With Betty as his constant companion his gift for putting
the delightful realm of fantasy on paper had developed beyond
possibility of comparison. Never had the immortal Fairy Stories
of Andersen been so beautifully and whimsically illustrated.
The publishers visualizing their ambitious effort as a certain
commercial success hastened to secure James Bowley's signature
to the agreement for the companion volume.
James Bowley, as usual, retained the original studies and
indeed no money could have purchased them. While Bowley
worked on these illustrations there had been at the back of his
mind a delightful idea which, immediately on completion of
the contract, he proceeded to put into execution.
THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY
SThe Psychologist looks out .....
FROM A WINDOW ON BROAD STREET
By PHILIP I. VIEIRA
T IS amazing in a City of the size of Bridgetown what a
wealth of material exists to provide the student of human
nature with food for thought.
At any period of the day the psychologist could not want
for matter on which to meditate and attempt analyses of the
multitudinous motives and reactions of this strange species
From almost any window above the level of the street,
erroneously called Broad, one can obtain illimitable material
for the serious as well as the frivolous compilation of character
Standing at the entrance of one Drug Store is a young maid
suffering severely from certain discrepancies of the heart. Day
after day that young woman arrives with the regularity of a
Swiss eight day at a specific hour and patiently awaits one
who may be romantically described as her Loved One. His
breakfast hour either does not coincide with her's or he believes
that only gentlemen keep a lady waiting. Possibly he is
seeking an effective way of cooling the lady's ardour or he may
be experimenting with the old saying about absence. She's
smiling now. That's the surest indication that he is at hand.
He rides up, and dismounting from his bicycle with a nonchal-
ance amounting to indifference, parks his cycle at the door,
and they both retire to the soda fountain. They must both
enjoy more than the customary hour for breakfast for they
spend quite sixty minutes dallying over their liquid refreshment
which, I suppose, has become an institution with this interest-
As they leave their trysting place they are nearly run into
by a middle aged business man whose face betrays a definite
anxiety about some business matter or other. His is a typical
story. He worships at the shrine of Croesus and his holy
trinity is s. d. He hurries on, no doubt to keep some business
appointment, to "book an order". He is completely blind to
most of the things about him. I believe he hardly notices what
a lovely day it is. The fact that a light drizzle creates the
impression of diamonds dropping from the brilliant sunshine
escapes him altogether. He is intent. He is intensely intent
on money making. He barely notices and casually salutes a
lady acquaintance of his. Evidently a housewife, she hastens on
probably to her grocers in time to be told that there is no more
steak until to-morrow. She clutches her bag with such proprie-
tary earnestness that one concludes she must have succeeded
in already obtaining some of the necessities, if not luxuries, to
replenish what might be a sadly depleted larder.
Three of the most dejected human beings now appear.
They may have just come from the Employment Bureau where
a sympathetic officer may have given them the usual nebulous
consolation, "I will make a note of your name and address and
IF anything turns up I shall let you know." They are the
"respectable working type". They are not the "my gentleman,
I ain't eat nutten since las night" sort. They would feel inex-
pressably happy to have the chance of earning a bite to-day.
And it is the irony of fate that the fruit seller just misses the
attention of a wealthy country "Mistress" in offering her wares
and succeeded, quite by accident in pushing her basket of
fruits right under the noses of this hungry trio, with "lovely
oranges ma'am". How fate can mock sometimes?
Stepping along with that brisk air which bespeaks confi-
dence in oneself in particular and the world in general, a young
beauty floats past, a vision of delight. Truly Max Factor knew
his art and this young mannequin has employed his aid to
extremely good effect. Her heart-shaped lips can be described
by only one word in the English language-luscious-. Her
figure, a study in symmetry is cunningly garbed in a military
uniform ensemble with the squared shoulders concealing the
droop habitual to office workers and stenographers who crouch
all day for a living. She sees and smiles at a young man on
his cycle and he very sensibly applies his brakes immediately
and finds himself at her side. He is evidently a member of the
clerical staff of one of the bigger offices, his somewhat prosper-
ous appearance ruling him out of the ordinary Broad Street
Clerks' category. He chats with her for a moment, no doubt
with the secret, and who knows, perhaps with the expressed
wish of meeting her at the Club to enjoy a bath together. And
who can blame him?
Above the general rumble of chatter from passers-by, a
strong, stentorian voice is raised "Mauby coooooool?" In a
semi-questioning tone the mauby seller, a national character in
Bridgetown, states the condition of her goods with an emphasis
which makes adequate description a matter of much more space
than is possible now.
Aha, that's strange! Surely that man is a planter. That
khaki suit, sun helmet and bulging leather bag ARE the trade
marks of a planter. What's he doing in Town to-day. This is
not Friday? Naturally the first acquaintance he encounters
questions him about his unexpected appearance in Town. And
he essays an explanation which is unfortunately lost to us.
A small boy rushes across the street from one store to an-
other. He is one of that crowd known as the Cash Boys. His
little, spindly legs, having become accustomed to speeding all
day in the store, backward and forward with bills, change,
(Continued on page 97)
The old order changeth, giving place to
the new: with grace and dignity.
By E. L. COZIER
THE monthly meeting of the Dorcas Society was in session.
The occasional click of swiftly plied knitting needles and the
soft cooing of the doves in the large oak were the only sounds to
break the peaceful silence. What a touching scene : the good
ladies of the parish doing their bit to ease the lot of their more
unfortunate sisters. A scene almost too good to be true, eh? Yes,
it is painful to record, you are quite right. The actual scene was
far different from that which has been so touchingly described.
The monthly meeting of the Dorcas Society was certainly in
session. But the occasional click of needle was so occasional as
to be hardly noticeable; the doves had long since flown affright-
ed from the spreading oak; the peaceful silence had long since
given way to a babel of female voices, pitched in every key, each
seeking to gain attention, each growing higher in pitch with
In this vocal pandemonium it would, of course, be impossible
to appreciate the conversation en bloc. Perhaps by 'tuning-in'
on one voice, the cause of the excitement may be made clear.
Miss Mapleton, the forbidding looking spinster who runs the
little millinery shop at the corer, possesses a nice piercing high-C
sort of voice, which though decidedly cracked is definitely pene-
trating, and her staccato delivery should be quite an aid to the
casual eavesdropper. Let us lend her our ears.
"........bound to be trouble. He can't afford to offend her. Why,
my dear, I know for a positive fact that last year's concert would
have been a complete failure if Mrs. Groom had not paid--out
of her own pocket, mind you--nearly the whole cost of produc-
tion............Of course, I know she's getting on in years and her
voice is not what it used to be, but, my dear, she is Mrs. Groom,
and you know what that means to the church........"
We begin to see the light. So Mrs. Groom is in danger of
being dropped from this year's concert. Well, well! We always
thought the old lady had left her prima donna days behind. Won-
der who is going to take her place? Certainly none of the other
regular concert party for their voices are a darned sight worse.
Let us tune back in our virginal B.B.C.........
22 B I M Decr. 1942
"........a very promising voice indeed, I believe. Is having it
trained in Dublin--he's Irish, you know. Only an Irishman, my
dear, would do a thing like this. I tell you there's going to be
plenty of trouble. If his sister's as good as Galli-curi and Melba,
or whoever it is, rolled into one, there's going to be trouble......
Wouldn't surprise me in the least if the Grooms went over to
the chapel........Wonder what Mr. Groom will say in his speech
this year........Wouldn't surprise me if he doesn't go to the concert
Well, the whole thing is clear now. The parson's sister will
sing. Miss Mapleton. for once you're right! If we know any-
thing of Mrs. G. there's going to be the dickens of a row. We're
sorry for poor Rev. Burke, though; he's such a nice young fellow.
Pity his career is going to be spoiled this way. And he's only been
here about four or five months. Somebody should tell him. Hullo!
what's happened? The old ladies are very silent all of a sud-
den. Well, well! Talk of the devil. There's Mrs. Trowbridge
obsequiously ushering Mrs. Groom through the garden gate.
This is going to be interesting.
We cannot overhear the two ladies, so let us watch the cats
preparing to launch their attack. Ah, Miss Ethel Smigley is the
spear head of the advance. We're not surprised. She goes over
to Mrs. Groom with her knitting and book.
"Dear Mrs. Groom", she begins-In the tense expectant silence
we have no difficulty at all in hearing that shrill falsetto.-
"Dear Mrs. Groom, do have a look at this pattern. It's so difficult,
and I'm quite quite unable to go on. Do have a look at it for me."
"Nonsense, Ethel, nonsense". Mrs. Groom is nothing if not
brusque. "You know perfectly well I'm not much good at that
sort of thing. Besides I'm in a hurry. Have to get some things
for the concert."
"Oh, for the concert. Yes, of course. We are all so looking
forward to the concert. You have absolutely no idea how we en-
joy your singing".
"I have a damned good idea, you can be sure of that", an-
swered Mrs. Groom a bit sharply, "But if it's any news to you I
am not singing this year".
"Not singing this year?" purred Miss Smigley, obviously get-
ting into her stride. "But how terrible. Not having trouble with
your throat. I hope?"
"My throat has never been better and you know it. I am
helping with the show, because I had promised. I am not tak-
ing any part in it for the very simple reason that I have not been
asked". And with this Mrs. Groom swept out slamming the gate
with much violence behind her massive figure.
Once more pandemonium-pandemonium one hundred-fold!
But let us creep silently away and leave the dear ladies to discuss
in friendly discord the possible consequences of the wrath to
Rumour had always ruled the village, but never had that
deceitful Dame held such undisputed sway as the few weeks pre-
ceding the Annual concert.
First tid-bit of gossip was the juicy information that Mrs.
Groom had withdrawn entirely from the production. This did
not surprise the village; it was known all along. That she had
not done so before was surprising, but anyway she had with-
drawn. That was a fact. She was unable to assist through
illness, which was very surprising, for her health and vigour were
well-known. This illness, therefore, was not wholeheartedly
accepted as fact.
The second dainty morsel was the news that Mr. and Mrs.
Groom had gone to London-to consult a specialist. So they
weren't coming to the concert at all We knew it all along !
Now speculation ran rife as to who would be asked to be patron
of the Show, an honour accorded Mr. Groom for the past many
years. Mr. Vane? No, he hadn't been long enough in the vil-
lage. Mr. Bridges? Scarcely, to ask him would offend Mr. Vane.
And so on, and so on. A most enjoyable few weeks!
On the night of the concert the Hall was packed at an early
hour. Rumour had received fresh impetus from the fact that
the parson's sister had been absent from the dress rehearsal the
night before. Though there were quite a few interpretations of
her absence, the consensus of opinion was that Rev. Burke, for
all his Irish blood, had got cold feet at the last minute, stopped
his sister coming, and written Mrs. Groom a long letter of apology
asking her to return.
But Dame Rumour is a lying jade.
Once in the Hall, tongues started wagging all a-fresh; this
time in bewildered speculation. for whereas the cover of the pro-
grammes tended to confirm the majority opinion by the an-
nouncement that the concert was "Under the patronage of Mr.
and Mrs. J. Purcell Groom". Item 5 and 12 were "Vocal Solo........
Miss Eva Burke". Not even Miss Ethel Smigley could pretend to
be able to reconcile these obviously conflicting statements.
The first four items went without a hitch. Mr. and Mrs.
Groom had their usual front seats and applauded dutifully.
The audience divided their attention between the stage and the
patrons, and in the expressions of the latter each member of
the audience read a separate emotion. The curtain went up for
Item 5. This was the signal for a general craning of necks, sit-
ting up in chairs, scraping of feet, rustling of programmes and
other signs of nervous tension. As we say, the curtain went up
and there stood-Rev. Burke.
"Ladies and Gentlemen", said the parson, obviously ill at
ease, "I am sorry to have to announce that Miss Burke has not
yet arrived, and so, I have asked our old friend and stage favour-
ite, Mrs. Purcell Groom to come to our rescue. Needless to say
she has graciously consented to help us out of our difficulty, and
you will I am sure enjoy her rendering of Love's Old Sweet Song.
This was anti-climax with a vengeance. Mrs. Groom mount-
ed the stage, and that well-known voice, slightly aged but still
strong, sang once again the song which we were accustomed to
expect at our Annual Concert. Love's Old Sweet Song was old
all right, but it had long since grown sour-or else our appetites
She sang, and the old ladies listened with rapt attention. On
their faces, as they leaned comfortably back in their uncomfort-
able chairs, one could, with effortless ease, detect that look of
smug satisfaction which, put into words, means 'I told you so'.
They had known it all along !
During the interval the old dears enjoyed themselves, meta-
phorically patting one another's backs and simply wallowing in
the golden glow of 'What-did-we-tell-you'.
The second half of the programme proceeded uneventfully.
There was the requisite amount of applause, but the soul of the
audience had been lost. These were but perfunctory plaudits;
the spectators were thinking of the great fun in store for the
Dorcas Meeting next Tuesday. There would be lots to discuss!
The curtain went up for Item 12. No longer was this a signal
for any action; no necks were craned; no one sat up in her chair;
feet remained complacently crossed and not a single programme
rustled. Perfect calm followed nervous storm. As we were say-
ing, the curtain went up and there stood-Miss Eva Burke.
Before the stunned spinsters could grasp the startling truth,
the pianist had played the introduction and the hall was filled
with rich melody. She stood there, a winsome slip of a girl, if
not beautiful-enchantingly pretty. She sang selections from
Gilbert and Sullivan. All the old favourites: Buttercup; Tit-
Willow; Tell me, pretty maiden and others; and the packed hall
called for more. It was after the second encore that Mrs. Groom
once more mounted the stage. There was a deep hush, awed yet
expectant. Mrs. Groom, the magnificent Mrs. Groom kissed her
on both cheeks, while Mr. G. handed up a beautiful bouquet.
Then Mrs. Groom--the formidable Mrs. Groom-turned to the
audience and made a short spetch.
"And now, you cats", she said, "you will hear a beautiful song
beautifully rendered. The young lady will sing Love's Old Sweet
THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF
By EDGAR ALLAN CHAMBERS
T O-DAY I must write. Is it right to write? I alone am left
to write-all the others are back to the front........solitude,
Correspondents, correspondence-the stars in their courses;
two correspondence courses and the goat has eaten them both.
Plot........what need of plot have I? I have a mood. ; ? !
Why was I not born a Russian-a Pupski, the son of a Pup-
ski? Just another Utter: there is a glut of Utts.
Froth, froth, froth- All around me is froth-I am foaming
at the mouth. Where is the blotting paper?
It floats........in the purple blackness of mid-day: it is my
mind, 99 93/100% pure. Purity, white purity........why is my brain
Why was I born? Why is my name Susie Is my name Susie
........my sister and I. Why are there soldiers?
Green buttons on a gray shirt........sew, sew, and so & so. I
write the tale of a shirt-why should I write a shirt tale? what
has it done for me? It has choked me........I will write a short tail:
my life is at an end.
I am dead! Why do I breathe? Why does my heart beat?
Froth, Froth........where is my straw, has it broken the camel's
oack? Seven stomachs, ah! And I with but one cannot drink....
....why did I bite that dog?
I, the last of the Utts--the utterest Utt of the house of
Utter--have bitten the mutt of Utts, my ancestors mutter.
They laugh, they shriek, they hoot! I am the butt of Utts.....
froth, froth. Froth on the butter........
They came, long men in clothes. Why? Why not in leaves?
Are there no fig trees? Yesterday I saw an apple.
Why does the grass smell purple........my thoughts are green
Green thoughts that eat like acid in a salt pot!
I am hungry, my mouth is full of sawdust........why can't I eat
the hole of a doughnut?
Froth, froth........my ancestors they drag me down, down,
down. I must escape must get out, out of the rut of Utts. I an
Utter, shall rise from the Gutter!
They told them where I was when........ah. they found me:
out in the Uthouse, my hut of Huts, my hut of Utts.
My grandfather was a soldier, Boom, Boom! Froth, froth,
bloody froth! "Gee, Utts, up an atom!"
Where is the bull tied, where is the springtide, if winter
comes can spring betide behind?
Froth, froth........They came, I saw who conquered....
I put my heels on my toes and walk backwards........I chew
grass: nobody knows I am a crab.
This is my shell:,.where is Santa Claus? I am a cheese, I
am a Dutchman's head, I am bald- Nowhere can I find a hare,
where is my Easter Bunny?
Froth........froth. My clothes are chaotic, it is the cut ol
Utts........why is my jacket straight?
I am the last of the Utts, the Uttermost, the Utt of Utts!
They told me in red whispers that I was the nut of Utts........
I drift into a cloud. It tastes pink, like beer. Froth........
When President Roosevelt was a young lawyer just getting
started in New York, he was retained to handle a difficult civil
case. The opposing lawyer was a very effective pleader, and
completely outshone his youthful rival in the argument to the
jury. However, he made one fatal mistake: he orated for several
As he thundered on, Roosevelt noticed that the jury wasn't
paying much attention. So, playing a hunch when his turn
came, he rose and said:-
"Gentlemen, you have heard the evidence. You also have
listened to my distinguished colleague, a brilliant orator. If you
believe him and disbelieve the evidence, you will have to decide
in his favour. That's all I have to say."
The jury was out only five minutes and brought in a verdict
for Roosevelt's client.
From within the gates .....
By FRANCIS APPLETON
I AM writing you this, Richard, to implore your help. Although
it is ages since I saw you last, you are the only friend 1
have; I have no link with the past but you. Nobody knows
me here; they are all strangers; and though I suffer so, they
will not heed me. They will not understand.
Our youth together--how far away is it? I do not know.
And yet, fresher in my memory than the happenings of yester-
day, lives the rememberance of the little wood and the cove
where we used to sit and talk. You will remember that happy
holiday we spent together just before we parted and that last
conversation in the cove gazing over the restless sea. Did we
part that day in anger? I forget. I forget so many things. And
yet I must try to remember, try to piece together this life of
mine, rather, these scattered fragments of life which mocks
me and seeks to elude me. It is so tantalising: sometimes I
fear my mind may break beneath the strain. Ah, no: I must
put that thought from me. That must not, cannot be. The
mind. What do you and I know of the mind, and of the vast
forces which lie around us, in us and not yet wholly of us,
secret, prowling, mysterious, fraught with such power as is be-
yond our knowledge, watching and waiting to encompass us, to
overthrow what we call the seat of the reason,-the mind whose
powers and weaknesses we can never hope to comprehend?
You know that I was always reticent and retiring, a
dreamer. After you had sailed away (was it very soon after?
I am not sure), my father died and I was left alone in the
old house by the woods. I suppose you heard he had left me
well off, as they say. There was no need for me to work. I
was thankful for that; I do not think my health would have
been equal to withstand the rigours of the outdoor life which
I had once planned with you, nor do I think my temperament
would have been suited either to a commercial life or to the
professions. I was glad to be independent enough to be alone.
To lead my life as I listed, to be alone and to dream. A mis-
take perhaps; but there again you know what I was like: you
know how for days and days, even in that far off time when
you knew me, I would avoid you, and, as you used to say, "shut
up" my mind to you. Ah, I remember now, it was one of those
moody spells of mine that caused us to part in anger that day.
You with your sane and hearty commonsense would not under-
stand me; you despised me, thought me cowardly.
You called me a dreamer. So I was, and ever shall be.
It was the old house, I think, that gave me the peculiar fancy
that life itself was a dream. Yes, that house, so old, so very
old, with the unforgotten lives of past generations of our family
lying thick about it, in the large, sober dining-hall, in the
whispering corridors that ran their ghostly course around and
about it, but, above all, in the room which was mine, that
house, I say, and especially that room, moulded me, made me
what I am. Born in the old house, from my earliest childhood
I was aware of the strangeness of that particular room, its
strangeness and its sinister beauty: they entranced me. In its
gloomy recesses lay thick shadows which invaded me day by
day, but at night, when all was silent and dark, the shadows
thronged triumphant, whispering to me strange secrets obscure
and fleeting as my troubled dreams. Memories of some remote,
ancestral past-what they were I knew not-but often in my
childhood I have lain, feeling them crowding upon me, crowd-
ing remorselessly, whispering to me of my destiny, terrible and
sure. My father knew of my fears and fancies, but with rough
laughter bade me be a man. Cruel, cruel. Is he one of those
dark shadows now? The very soul of my room, I sometimes
think, must have entered mine as the years rolled on, and sub-
dued me to its vast, impersonal force which awaited but the
allotted moment to crush me utterly.
For many years I lived in the old house alone. I read
and I dreamed. Looking back to that time, I cannot say that
I was lonely; indeed I considered myself happy. And yet, in
this mutability we call life, how may we designate happiness?
It is only by our sufferings that we can appreciate happiness,
and when that hour is vanished, its memory but makes our
sufferings more intolerable.
So I lived in the old house alone. I do not think I had
any visitors during my long seclusion. I wrote a "little, but
my subject was, I fear, too evanescent for me to grasp such an
elusive theme. I cannot explain even now what it was I sought
to discover: the mystery and beauty and dread of dreams, their
subtle power acting and reacting upon our weak human wills,
the link with the unsubstantial and indefinable-can I ever
hope to explain? Perhaps a dream of dreams.
During those long years I had no companion but old Cato,
my retriever. You will remember him. He loved me. During
those brooding hours, when, seated at my desk in the old room,
I strove to marshal my wandering thoughts, when I wrote far
into the night, when the moon, pale and gibbous, shone through
the bleak mullioned windows upon the wan sheets of my empty
bed, and the shadows leapt and danced hither and thither as
the swaying flame of the candle at my elbow made them, he
sat at my feet and somehow strengthened me. Absurd, you will
say, but I shared a strange communion with him. We under-
stood each other.
I think it was his death that drove me to the outside world.
I missed him; I became physically ill. I must have been ill for
some time. Eventually the doctor forced me to seek a change.
I demurred, but I was too weak to resist. I had been living,
too lonely a life, he said. I must mix with people, forget my-
self. The old house was closed. They took me to town.
After a while I began to feel stronger. I met people; I
have forgotten them all; vague faces they remain in my memory.
I actually dined out, danced. I think I was very ill then, more
so than before I had left home. I was excited, tremendously
excited, borne on by a nervous energy that was totally foreign
to me. And more than ever I missed the old house and its
mystery. I was flattered wherever I went. They knew I had
money, more perhaps than any of them. They wanted me, the
fawning mothers with their hot-house daughters; mine was the
As you know, Richard, although no misogynist, I had never
been attracted by women. Do you remember how you laughed
at me that day when I ran away from your sister and her
friends, ran away, and hid myself in the attic? But now, charged
with that nervous excitability which possessed me, I felt a
recurrent desire to acquire one of these products of the artifi-
cial society in which I moved. A desire to establish power over
another human being, mine for the asking, urged me on. I
was being driven on, I know now, to begin the working out of
my destiny; the shadows bade me.
And so I made my choice. Let me try to recapture my
impression of her when I met her first. It was her strangeness
that appealed to me, a dark and wayward aloofness which seem-
ed to scorn everyone, a passionate pride of spirit that lurked
and peered, untamed and unafraid from those half-veiled eyes,
a flame of unrest tormenting the fragile body that flitted like
a firefly over the marches of the social circle that was ours.
The swaying poise of her delicate body attracted me, her very
disdain goaded me on. Baited with the social veneer that her
mother had slabbered upon her, she played her part, and loath-
ed and despised herself for it. I had the money. I bought her.
I had the old house redecorated. Thither we returned after
our brief honeymoon.
30 B I M Decr. 1942
There was that occult sense within her too; an inexpressi-
ble sensitiveness that seemed to find in the old house some-
thing which she realized to be stronger than herself. Scornful,
indomitable though she was, I knew that the spell had been
cast upon her. What spell, do you ask me? I cannot tell you.
She, too, had realized the unreal.
You could never understand the relationship of our mar-
ried life. Urged on by some unknown power, I persisted in my
wooing. She yielded me her kisses coldly, with deliberate dis-
dain. That I did not mind, but I did mind that the secret of
her soul should to me remain unread. The more I tried to
fathom its dark meaning, the deeper did it recede from me, till
it became lost in the labyrinth of her innermost self. Only the
scorn, the ineffable scorn of her unfathomable eyes met mine.
In the dark heart of the house I could feel her power; she en-
countered my soul, encountered and repelled it, overcame it
and drove it reeling and conquered away. In my gloomy room,
her room now, hers and mine, I would sit in the semi-darkness
and watch her as she stared upon the changing heart of the
fire, oblivious of my presence. Her mind was a sealed cipher;
her body I had bought.
She seemed to prefer the seclusion of the house. Grad-
ually our acquaintances drifted away from us and we were
left alone. The death of her mother brought no tear of com-
passion or regret from her unflinching eyes. Before my mar-
riage I had sometimes felt that I was on the track of the
mystery which baffled me, but now I was like a rudderless ship
in the ominous calm of the approaching typhoon of my fate.
I was more than ever alone. And so was she. But the force of
her will was such that never a word did she utter to betray
the solitude of her soul. She suffered in the deeps.
I think I have said that she was frail. She grew frailer
but the power in her grew. Grew, till I felt afraid of the
smouldering hatred that shone in her eyes, a hatred which
was now but dimly masked by her immutable scorn; and I
knew that I too hated her. Why did I hate her? I hated the
delicate perfumed body which I had purchased in the social
mart, the unyielding mind that resisted and mocked me: above
all, I hated her because of my ever having tried to win her.
It was as though I hated in her all that I hated and despised
in myself. But the hatred that festered in her,-ah, in her it
was stronger, deeper than in myself. In her it typified the re-
volt of the woman, the odalisque, the slave born and bred to
be sold at auction to the whims and desires of the lustful ever-
conquering male,-it was the hatred of the sex which had de-
graded and enslaved her, a hatred fixed and rooted in her in-
most self, a hatred old as the world, which had in its passion-
ate intensity supplanted every other emotion that had ever
existed in her embittered soul. And it was when she told me
[Continued on page 77]
The plotter snared .....
PETER PLAYS A PART
By DICK STOKES
A S Joan and I stepped on the dance floor the music stopped.
The dance had been booked that day by telephone, I
had wrested Joan from her lingering former partner, and barg-
ed a way for two through the clumps of broad and long human-
ity thronging the vestibule. It was certainly an occasion for
"Go ahead," my partner laughed encouragingly, "say it."
The words were framed on my lips when Joan's cool fingers
reached up and smothered them.
"No, stop," she commanded, "it's for Peter. We've forgotten
it's his birthday."
Peter Bliss, that large red-headed mutt, never failed to do
the wrong thing at the right moment-even to having his birth-
days. There he was at the far end of the long ballroom, tall
and bulky and grinning, in the act of lifting a girl to a seat
on top the piano.
"Marcia Parley-it would be her," grumbled Joan as we
slipped across the floor. Everyone was shouting wishes to Peter.
Someone pushed him up to join Marcia. The band was playing
"Happy Birthday". From the moment a penny bun appeared
in Peter's hand, joined a minute later by a carving knife, it took
half an hour to do justice to his birthday. The Blisses seldom
did things by halves-
Afterwards in the garden Joan reviewed the situation.
"Nice work Marcia's putting in; I bet she cut that poor bun
"And Joan twice, Betty twice, Dorothy too........"
"That's enough from you," said Joan very distinctly.
Her Lunar Highness slipped from beneath a blanket of
cloud, and the evergreens and paths and summerhouse roof
grew patches of light and shade, for all the world like snow
on the thaw. It was perhaps unkind that down a new corridor
of moonlight came Marcia and Peter. Peter, the charming sin-
ner, had one arm slipped comfortably around her, smiling down
into her eyes like the little boy he was with a new birthday
"You SHOULD know the way to the rose-garden, Peter
Bliss," murmured my partner to herself.
"Meouw to you, Miss Blair", I laughed, "and when were you
there last yourself?"
My lady jutted her small defiant chin up to high heaven
and ignored the remark. Peter's laugh drifted over the hedge
from across the rose-garden.
"She's spoilt and pampered," Joan announced, "but still
she's not a bad sort. I have seen quite a bit of her recently."
"She's lovely to look at," I added.
"She's got face, figure AND cash-with brains thrown in.
The combination might be too much for Peter."
I laughed at that.
"Give her just one more week; I have got a cousin coming
up from Trinidad. You know Peter's way."
This was where I came in. Peter was my best friend-the
sort of friend you always seemed to know more about that you
did about yourself. We had our arrangement-well, never mind
about that we had our angles on this marriage business.
Peter never made up his mind about anything very definitely,
big decisions were not in his line. He enjoyed skating on thin
ice, he did it very skilfully, but many was the time-as was
coming now-when I had found a distraction.
"You leave this situation to your Uncle Bill," I assured Joan
"She's always had life as she wants it", went on Joan,
pursuing her train of thought very relentlessly, "and no one
could live with Peter like that."
Down the pathway came Marcia, with Peter following a
"Come on, Peter. My hair is in an awful mess-I must do
something before we go in. What will people think-"
"That," said Joan, "is exactly what I mean."
Early in the morning, before the sun had time to rub his
eyes, the telephone rang. Curse these automatic machines.
In the good old days one could settle down to several minutes
sleep before the lunatic calling could persuade the exchange to
ring again. In the good old days this mutilator of morning
rest would have been exhausted by such turning of the handle,
or rung someone else's, or contracted appoplexy from his exer-
tions. But now everything is done for him, he reclines at ease
and this noisy monstrosity does his dirty work. I clawed off
the sheet, and fell downstairs to get to grips with the instru-
ment. Then it stopped ringing. In those good old days one
got some satisfaction: one asked the operator, one looked in the
numerical section and saw that Joan not Phyllis had rung, but
this robot contraption, this soulless mechanical contrivance........
I banged the whole infernal machine on the table, hoped its
intestines were dislocated, and went back upstairs.
I had just got into bed when the bell started again.
"Stop it!" I yelled, "If the asylum discharged you so early
there is no need to celebrate; ring them and they will be de-
lighted to send........"
"A voice said "Hello, Bill."
Such familiarity was indecent. The lunatic even knew my
"Stop shouting," the voice insisted, "It's me, Peter."
"All right then," I roared, "take the usual prescription. Two
aspirin, strong coffee, and some early morning sleep. Tell your
Uncle Bill all about it to-night."
"I have not been to sleep," yelled Peter. "Put your head
under a tap, and come over right away. It's important."
That really shook me. Peter never used the word "impor-
tant" in that way normally. I pictured a smashed donkeycart
somewhere, and bloody battered bodies lying around. No-
probably it was just another stunt gone wrong. Same old
stunts, with the same silly slip-ups. Well, these things will hap-
pen. Now just WHAT might Peter call IMPORTANT? The day
he was arrested for trying to kiss a policeman, or the night he
drove the wrong girl home and left the little Jervis kid stranded
at Calupi Beach. That meant a ringing and a driving at 3
a.m. to get things straightened out, but Peter's charm and my
car got away with it as usual- He thought that a great joke-
afterwards. It never ranked as "important."
Peter Bliss was sitting on the edge of his bed, arms folded,
legs outstretched, and eyes staring through the window. A
perfectly awful dressing-gown, patterned with green and white
snakes of every description, was wrapped around him.
"And you said you had not been in bed." I opened fire.
It took him several seconds to wipe off the far-away vistas
act, and put on a grin. One of his I've-got-to-own-up grins.
"Morning, Bill." he said, "Take a good strong seat."
I did. He pulled the snake-strewn cloth until a boa-con-
strictor peeped over his left shoulder.
"Fact is, Bill, I'm up against it."
I gave him no encouragement. After another minute of
his far-vistas stunt, and a brace of sickly smiles, he went on.
"It was the moon, and the stars, and the waltz we had just
finished. It just came over me all of a sudden."
Thin ice-thin ice; there, I knew it. Joan was nearer being
right than usual.
"What came over you, you big stiff," I shouted, "a cold
shiver, a wet blanket, or a vision of your awful end?"
"Nothing like that," Peter smiled in a superior dreamy
way. "Just an idea. I kept thinking how nice it would be to
marry Marcia. and the idea Rrew and arew. and before I could
stop it........before I could shut her mouth........I asked her."
"You mean to........" I demanded.
"To-to marry me, you fool," said Peter, "and she said.......
I burst out laughing. So that was the big trouble. Peter
with a new idea-Peter's ideas were always the whole world
to him. Marcia of course said "no", and now Peter's world
was wobbling. I had the old cheer-up technique on cold storage
from a dozen previous occasions.
First I thumped the large white, snake that was crawling
across his back.
"Rotten luck, you old mutt. Damn it, Marcia's not worth
all this fuss. Now I've got a cousin coming up from Trinidad
next month- She's lovely to look at, and just........"
Peter's eyes popped.
"To hell with your cousin," he said rudely.
"Buck up", I went on, "It's only our manly vanity that gets
"Manly vanity be damned," roared Peter, "Marcia said Yes!"
It is nearly a month since I broke Peter's chair. That is
what the shock did to me-and the chair. It had taken some
time, but gradually we were all getting accustomed to the idea:
Peter and Marcia, Marcia and Peter. A new Peter too: "Peter,
darling, we're due for bridge to-night." "Yes, Marcia." "Peter,
we MUST be going." "Certainly, darling." To invitations it
was "I should love to, but it all depends upon Marcia." This
was not Peter-not even Peter in love. Whenever the old love-
blitz hit Peter before, he never forgot to keep the weather eye
lifting for a pretty face, but now there were no other pretty
faces, not for Peter. Even Marcia was puzzled sometimes. I
noticed her little gestures of annoyance whenever Peter over-
did the "Yes" stunt.
Of course we guessed Peter was painfully trying to convince
himself-and all the world, that his mind was at last made up
for good and ever, but one could not tell Marcia this.
Sooner or later the Peter-demon would break loose. This
phase could not last. The problem was, would Peter burst out
in some absurd stunt before he got married? I mean, it was
not playing the game to Marcia if we let her marry Peter with-
out seeing him at his best-or worst. Was it right too for Peter
to marry Marcia without knowing how she would take it?
"As Peter's best friend you must do something," decreed
"As Peter's girl-friend pre-Marcia", I retorted, "you should
know what to do."
Joan was furious, and the fact and the problem remained.
[Continued on page 85]
B 1 M
"There's naught no doubt so much the
As rum and true religion" Byron.
TIME was when rum (by-product of sugar) occupied a prom-
inent position in the economy of the sugar estate, but as
processes became more and more efficient the quantity of spirit
per ton of sugar diminished and the quality deteriorated.
Rum was the drink of the community as a whole, and then
later rum ceased to be the drink of the better classes.-Now,
because of the War, King Rum reigns again. The quality (or
quantity) of rum is now the subject of much of the general
conversation one hears here, there and everywhere.
In case you'd like to toast him, the little feller who does
the trick of switching sugar into alcohol is a yeast plant with
the family name of Saccharomyces. The Jamaica branch of his
family is very exclusive: they regard themselves as the aristo-
cracy of the tribe.
Now while rum is alcohol it does not follow that alcohol
must necessarily be rum, and true rum flavour can only exist
where bacterial action has created organic acids which have
combined with alcohol to form others. And because these bac-
teria are associated with the conditions under which the sugar
cane is grown, true rum can only be obtained when molasses
is processed m sugar cane producing areas.
As to which area does the job best no Barbadian has ever
expressed the slightest doubt.
Just how did this word "Rum" originate? Way back in the
Seventeenth century in an article describing our tight little Isle
somebody wrote:-"The chief fudling they make in the Island is
Rumbullion, alias Kill Divil, and this is made of sugar canes
distilled, a hot, hellish and terrible liquor" while a certain
Thomas Tenison, who spelled the word one or two terminal let-
ters as the spirit moved him, had some unkind things to say
about "Rumm". He warned "Woman Kind" off this liquor
which he .says "is a little refreshing, yet you cannot but know
is destructive to Nature, wasting the Vitals and an Enemy of
Rum was the currency of the slave trade, and of almost
all the trade in the Western Hemisphere in the 17th and 18th
centuries, taking the place of silver and gold........Rum-bullion?
Of this period someone has written that "the entire fabric
of commerce was immersed in Rum."
Just how large a part rum played in the history and shap-
ing of the United States should prove an interesting subject for
In those days in Virginia, and to some extent in all the
Southern States, rum had become an important item. At six
o'clock in the morning the working-man clambered out of bed
and at once fortified his system for the coming day with "a
Julop made of Rum, water and sugar, but very strong". Exactly
the sort of thing our friends in Trinidad are wont to accuse
Barbadians of to-day.
The gentleman of Virginia did not arise so early. His first
potion of rum came at noon, in the form of a cold Toddy, but
he dined at Two o'clock and continued to drink Toddy all
Believe it or not but George Washington ventured into the
slave trade and the rum trade when he shipped and swapped
an unruly servant for a mixed lot of merchandise including "a
hogshead of the best rum."
Paul Revere himself set out as a strong silent man on his
famous ride but paused briefly at the home of one Isadore Hall,
Captain of the Medford Minute Men, who owned a distillery.
After several stirrup cups of Medford Rum which "would have
made a rabbit bite a bulldog" he proceeded on his way and to
give tongue in no uncertain manner.
In Colonial Taverns rum played an important part, and in
these Taverns the political and social life of America developed.
How far rum went towards creating the right atmosphere we
can only surmise.
When the customers did get "at loggerheads" that really
meant action more violent than the phrase suggests to-day.
The Logger-head was the official name for the poker which was
used to heat, by immersion, the Flip that was America's favour-
These pokers, which were numerous and easily available,
were handy and effective arguments in Tavern brawls.
And now, for those who would like to dip into the past, in
search of Christmas spirit, we suggest the old Colonial Flip, quart
This was what the customer got when he ordered "One
yard of Flannel."
"Put Ale on fire to warm and beat up three or four eggs
with four ounces moist sugar, a teaspoonful ginger and nutmeg
rubbed with fine lemon peel in a mortar, and a quarter of
good old rum. When Ale is near to boiling put it into one
pitcher and the rest into another. Pour from one pitcher into
the other until it is smooth as cream. To heat, plunge in the
red hot logger-head or poker."
M 'm........m! Those were the days!
A tale of Old China .....
(Moral: Wise man prefer pickle-jar to ornate casket.
....Precepts of Lao-Tsetse....l
THE COFFIN OF CHENG-LU
By E. L. COZIER
SNCE upon a time (as all good stories should begin), or, per-
haps, many many years ago in the days of the Ho-De-Ho
Dynasty (which is the way all good Chinese tales begin), there
lived in the beautiful village of Lo-Phei a most remarkable man.
Now Lo-Phei, as every one knows, is a very famous village on
the banks of the H'an River, which is one of the largest tributar-
ies of the Yellow River in China. So for a man to have been
remarkable in this remarkable village, he must have been very
remarkable indeed. And indeed he was, or rather, in words if
not in deed !
The name of this man was Cheng-Lu (or Lu-Cheng, I for-
get which), and he was, like all good Chinamen, a Mandarin
(or Mandolin, I can never remember which). But although that
was his name, and a very good name too, as you, who are familiar
with China, will agree, that was not the name by which he was
generally known. Instead he was called Man-Ti, which, freely
(but not easily) translated from the Chinese means: 'The bald
man with the flowing beard'. He was thus called, as you may
have guessed, because he was hairless of pate, but hirsute of
Cheng-Lu (or Lu-Cheng) was by trade (but more by inclina-
tion) a Philosopher, and, let it be recorded, Cheng-Lu (or
Man-Ti, this time, if you prefer) had every qualification for suc-
cess at his chosen profession. A Philosopher is a man-History
makes no mention of female philosophers--who does nothing,
and does it well; who says nothing, and says it better; and,
above all, who thinks about nothing with a superlatively know-
ing air. Had the universities of ancient China awarded de-
grees, there is no doubt that Man-Ti would have been an M.P.,
which, though the qualifications are the same, does not mean
Member of Parliament, but Master Philosopher.
Men of learning are of the opinion that as a philosopher
Man-Ti (hereinafter so-called) was one of the very first flight.
Like Demosthenes (or is it Damocles?) he lay idly in the sun all
day; Like Socrates he talked incessantly about nothing and about
Death; while like all good philosophers he did not worry himself
unduly about the necessities of life, but said "The Good Lord
will provide", though, being a good Confucian, he actually said
"My good neighbours will provide". And, however unbelievable
it may seem to Ripley and other sceptic (or is it septic?) scof-
fers, provide they did!
It may seem strange in these modern days that a village in
such an enlightened country, as China then was, should sup -
port a lazy good-for-nothing parasite, philosopher or otherwise.
A little thought, however, will reveal that there is really nothing
very strange about it, for the custom has been preserved down
through the ages, although in this progressive and highly civ-
ilized twentieth century, the thing is done scientifically and in
a much bigger way. In these days all such philosophers are
gathered together, fed, clothed, and lodged in a beautiful large
cool mansion purchased by public subscription and grossly mis-
In any case Man-Ti was a credit to the village of Lo-Phei,
for although other villages in China had their Philosophers,
their Oldest Inhabitants, and their Village-Idiots, just like mod-
ern villages, how many could boast of a 'bald man with a flow-
ing beard'? Indeed so venerable and wise did Man-Ti appear
that not only American tourists, but even the people from
neighboring villages would journey to Lo-Phei to consult the
aged philosopher and to stand him a drink at The Sign of the
Golden Lotus, as the local bar parlour was called, for, like most
philosophers, Man-Ti was partial to a 'wee drap.'
Indeed, as a matter of positive fact, Man-Ti had spent the
first half of his life carefully acquiring (and tenderly nourish-
ing) a strong taste for the various forms of alcohol. Being of
a mathematical turn of mind, he had painstakingly experiment-
ed with the many permutations and combinations derivable
from a wide selection of more potent spirits, and had made many
interesting discoveries. By the time this story opens, however,
he had, by a process of elimination, arrived at the conclusion
that Gin, taken with a few drops of Bitters, was the drink most
suited to his peculiar philosophical temperament. Thus when-
ever invited to 'state his poison' he invariably replied, tersely
and succinctly, 'Gin-and-Bitters'.
Do not for a moment think that Man-Ti was just a lazy
idle impostor without ambition. Lazy, he was; idle, yes; an im-
postor, certainly; but he had ambition, albeit one solitary am-
bition-to be properly buried. To this end, all his life he had
pinched and saved: but mostly pinched. Then one fine day,
when he had collected sufficient money for the purpose, he
bought himself a most beautiful casket.
This casket, or coffin, if you prefer the term, was made by
the leading casket-(coffin-) maker of Pekin to Man-Ti's own
specifications and measurements, and cost a considerable
amount of money. Needless to say it was his dearest possession,
and many days did he spend polishing its glistening surface.
It was, like all the best Chinese coffins, made of rose-wood, and
was inlaid with jade, mother-of-pearl and rare woods in ex-
quisite designs. There were five-clawed dragons, strutting pea-
cocks, winged fish, birds of paradise, and all manner of figures
from Chinese mythology. Altogether a magnificent burial box.
One day, not long after the purchase of this wonderful coffin,
there arrived in Lo-Phei an American tourist, one Cyrus P.
Franklin. This name is without doubt familiar to you, for he
was none other than the famous Franklin of Franklin's Magic
Hair-Restorer-"Hair springs eternal on the human chest." He
was travelling, as always, despite the fact that he had now re-
tired, with a full supply of his famous product, and his presence
in Lo-Phei was to cause a very great upheaval in Man-Ti's
mode of living.
One glimpse of the philosopher's glistening globe was quite
enough to stir up the blood of this peripatetic Yank. Cyrus p.
Franklin was not the kind to ignore a challenge. Visions of
two photographic busts of the famous Man-Ti swam before the
eager eyes of the super-salesman: one was entitled 'Before',
the other labelled 'After'.
Like all good salesmen, however, Cyrus P. did not rush his
fences by going up to the philosopher and offering his product
for a free trial. His was a subtler method. He immediately
realized that baldness was the chief stock in trade of the phil-
osopher, and without approaching the sage at all, he entered
the Pub. Like all good Bar-keeps, the bartender of The Golden
Lotus was a willing conversationalist, and it did not take the
wily Cyrus long to plan his campaign.
Later that evening, and, indeed, far into the early hours
of next morning, two figures could have been seen, seated on
high stools at the bar of The Golden Lotus. One was obviously
our American friend, none other than Cyrus P. Franklin him-
self. He was drinking, heavily and with careless abandon,
glass after glass of delectable Tomato Juice, for your good
American never touches the stuff during business hours. The
other figure, with equal dash and vigour, was tossing off glass
after glass of that philosophical nectar 'Gin-and-Bitters'.
It need hardly be added that within two short weeks,
reckoned in the Chinese fashion of seven days a week, a beau-
tiful growth of softest down appeared on the hitherto shining
cranium of the 'bald man with the flowing beard'. In course of
time, or, as you might say,-in time, of course,-this velvety
floss gave place to a most luxuriant growth of beautiful black
tresses, so that in a short while Man-Ti was sporting a pig-tail.
which was the envy of all the young bloods in Lo-Phei.
DO YOU KNOW ?
1. Is amoeba (a) animal, (b) plant, (c) mineral?
2. Who was the father of Solomon ?
3. What is the weight of an adult human skeleton ?
4: Is a totem pole an idol ?
5. How many edges has a cube ?
6. Who was the wife of Hiawatha ?
7. Is it true that Africa is within ten miles of Europe ?
8. Who pays for the bride's bouquet?
9. On what is the Mona Lisa painted ?
10. What is a kookaburra ?
11. Do fleas have wings ?
12. What is a bread and butter letter ?
13. What is a quirt?
14. Is a jerkin (a) a close waistcoat, (b) a short jacket, (c) a
15. What is the name of the husband of Judy ?
16. If a trepang is an edible sea-slug what is a trepan ?
17. Why was John the Baptist beheaded ?
18. What is a bawbee ?
19. Is the sun a star or a planet ?
20. How many legs has an Australian joey ?
21. If a gibbet is a gallows what is a flibbertigibbet ?
22. What is shagreen ?
23. Is a picayune: (a) an Indian, (b) a small child, (c) a coin ?
24. What is an ell ?
25. Is a talbot a dog or a fish ?
(Continued on Page 99)
Emeralds are unlucky .....
PLUNDER FROM PERU
By W. THEROLD BARNES
S6. OT for me, thanks," Whitman interposed as Smith clapped
Shis hands for the bell-boy.
"Gosh !" marvelled Knight, exhaling cigar smoke, "These
people serve rum-punch that's fit for a king, and their green
swizzles. Well, let me tell you, I'd slip that bar-tender five
bucks for his formula; it would buy me social success in my
Smith raised an enquiring eyebrow." What's up, Bert?
Doctor's orders?" Whitman smiled and picked a chip of cigarette
tobacco from his lip so that the ring on his finger glittered in
the sunshine. "No, just had enough."
"Two drinks and you quit" jibed Knight. "Since I came to
this land of abiding sunshine I've grown a thirst Nero would have
"Wasn't it Nero who drank from an amethyst goblet so that
he should not become drunk?" queried Smith. "By the way Bert,
isn't that an amethyst ring you have there?"
Whitman reddened perceptibly, "Yes it is purely a co-
incidence, I assure you."
'"Naturally," Smith put in quickly "you'd hardly believe in
that rot about the influence of gems on one's life."
There was an uncomfortable silence for a moment and then
Bert Whitman replied steadily "Is it rot? How can one be sure?"
"Good Lord, man, isn't it obviously all tripe to believe that
a bit of cut crystal, some ordinary chemical compound, can affect
your life or health?" Smith paused and looked at him incredul-
ously." You don't really consider it as a possibility do you?"
"I don't mean the influence of precious stones in general. 1
agree with you that it is fantastic to think that an amethyst
could protect the wearer from drunkenness or that an emerald
could improve the owner's eyesight. But an individual gem with
evil associations........with a history of disaster: is it beyond the
realms of possibility for such a jewel to acquire potency, to exert
a baneful influence on the life of its owner?" Whitman rubbed
out his cigarette in the ash-tray and lit up another from Knight's
rapidly proffered case. "Suppose I tell you a story," he said, lean-
ing forward on his elbows, "a personal experience."
The bell-boy, who had taken a numbled "Same" from Knight
and a nod from Smith, arrived with two rum-punches and Knight
said with broad humour "Shoot, Buddy; with this as a standby I
can take it."
Smith sipped his drink slowly and waited for Whitman to
"My grandmother was Spanish," said Whitman "she belong-
ed to a grand old family and inherited along with all the fine
old traditions a healthy regard for things occult, with a concrete
example in the shape of the Peru Emerald."
"Peru? Didn't know they mined emeralds in Peru." put in
"On the Spanish conquest of South America vast quantities
of emeralds were taken from the Peruvians", Whitman explained,
"but the exact locality which yielded the stones was never dis-
covered. This was one of those gems. Like most fine jewels
it had a tragic history and around it had grown the story of its
"To inherit it incurred for the new owner the loss of his wife
or his eldest son and to sell it entailed violent death for both
vendor and purchaser."
"The standard plot for early motion-picture serials and the
proved pattern of school-boy thrillers," Smith interrupted.
Whitman nodded. "I know the entire history of the family
ran true to pattern. A long unbroken chain of coincidences
linking the curse with the descendants of the first Castilian
owner of the Peru Emerald."
"But there was some way to break the hoodoo, wasn't there?"
questioned Knight smirking and winking knowingly as Whitman
nodded, his whole person a fat I-told-you-so.
"Yes, there was one way to break the spell according to tra-
dition," explained Whitman, "but the value of the gem and an
implicit belief in its power were the factors that kept it in the
family. One had only to give it away, unasked, to be free of the
jewel's curse and to inflict with its malignant influence the
person who accepted the gift."
"Give it away! What was it like?" asked Knight, with inter-
est "the real McCoy?"
"It was an emerald, flawless and rectangular in shape about
an inch and a quarter by seven eighths of an inch."
Knight whistled with astonishment, mentally hazarding a
valuation. "See me giving that away on account of a cock-and-
There was a slight pause. "Was this jewel properly cut and
mounted?" asked Smith for lack of something better to say.
Deer. 1942 B I M 43
"My father had It removed from its crude setting and recut
in Holland when he inherited it. He took receipt of it, recut
and unmounted, a week after my mother's death."
Smith and Knight both reached for their drinks and offered
no comment.. "Just another of those coincidences," said Whit-
man quietly". When my father died I inherited the stone, with
its history written in his own hand. My father had never men-
tioned it to me for all the time I knew him."
"Understandable," Smith broke in. "His recutting of the
stone proved his disregard for its history, and the loss of his
wife right after seemed like the fulfilment of the curse. One of
those things........ "Have you still got it?" Knight interrupted.
Whitman ground out his cigarette and reached for his wal-
let. "I was young and impulsive. I got into touch with a man
named Emerson, who was supposed to be an authority on preci-
ous stones, showed him the gem and related its history. He was
a queer looking customer with a spade shaped beard and thick
round glasses. After a careful examination he pronounced the
gem a fake and practically valueless."
"The lapidary in Holland........" Smith put in and Whitman
nodded. "That was what Professor Emerson suggested."
Knight, disappointed at so tame an ending leaned back in
his chair. "Well, at least you didn't have to worry about the
curse any longer", he bantered. "Have you still got the thing?
I'd like to see it."
Whitman shook his head. "No, I haven't. The Professor
offered me a pound for it, because it was well cut although al-
most worthless. I gave it to him and told him I was glad to be
rid of the thing."
Smith put down his glass slowly. "So you gave it away,
unasked?" he said, with new interest. "And then?"
Whitman unfolded the newspaper clipping he had drawn
from his wallet and placed it on the table.
Together Knight and Smith looked at the picture of a strange
individual with round glasses and a square-cut beard, and read
the brief report of the finding of the body of one Jerome Emser
in his rooms. The victim had been brutally done to death with
the usual blunt instrument and little was known of him except
that he was a dealer in precious stones and had recently sold
a magnificent emerald for a fabulous sum to a wealthy Ameri-
can, Walter G. Spencer. The safe had been forced and looted
so that the motive, presumably, was robbery.
"Spencer--Good Lord!" Smith halted and looked at Whit-
man keenly. "The oil man who........" Whitman nodded and
picked up the clipping.
44 BIM Decr. 1942
Knight, puzzled, looked from Smith to Whitman. "Say, I
don't get this," he ventured.
Smith drained his glass and answered him. "Walter G.
Spencer went down on the Titanic........"
"On the same day that a little man known alternately as
Emerson or Emser came to a sticky end," finished Whitman,
tucking his wallet into his pocket.
"What a hell of a coincidence!" said Knight as he clapped
loudly for another round.
There she stood, barefooted up to her chin.
(H. Allen Smith).
An egoist is a person of low taste, more interested in him-
self than in me.
The way to fight a woman is with your hat. Grab it and
run. (John Barrymore).
"Lord, reform Thy world, beginning with me."
Everytime I argue with my wife words fail me.
He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but he's never
made much stir with it.
Anyone found near my chicken house at night will be found
there next morning.
I know a lot of fellers who say 'have eaten' who ain't et!"
Sympathy is what one girl offers another in exchange for
He's a man of few words, but he keeps repeating them.
He who laughs lasts............
(The Lighter Side of the War)
M ANY people are putting up brighter curtains to combat the
blackout. Keeping their chintz up!
How about calling it the Land of the Rising Scum?
Nazi definition of diplomacy: Cutting the other fellow's
throat without using a knife.
A neutral is a country both sides are suspicious of.
A new hymn which might well replace the Horst Wessel
song has been submitted to Hitler. It is a new version of an
old favourite and its title is "Land of Dope and Glory."
EPITAPH TO LORD HAW-HAW.
Here lies that most affected voice,
So seldom listened to from choice,
Till a Blenheim with a well-aimed bomb
Quite upset its cool aplomb,
And Satan with a sad grimace
Carried him to a warmer place.
The aftermath of war is nothing compared with the after-
At the close of a Nazi meeting, we are informed, party mem-
bers sing "Rile Britannia."
The Nazi leaders are said to have made full preparations
for a quick get-away should things go wrong. They keep a
squadron of planes for this purpose, we understand, and this
leads us to suggest the name "The DOORN Patrol".
Goering wanted more night bombers very urgently, so he
went along to a factory.
"I want a dozen of your planes", he ordered; "they must
be ready three nights from now".
"Impossible!" exclaimed the works manager.
"I command!" roared Goering. "The crews will be here at
the time stated."
The time came, and so did the crews. German efficiency
had triumphed; there were the planes. Without loss of time
they set out for their target-England.
Over London the leading pilot pulled the bomb-release lever
-and out dropped three of the factory's night shift.
Substitute materials, we read, are causing radical changes
in German fashions for men. There will, however, so we are
informed, be absolutely no change in men's pockets.
Please, Mr. Nazi, bomb my neighbour's garden,
His wife will hang her washing on the line.
His rubbish heap is really past all pardon.
His cabbages are forwarder than mine.
His dustbin stinks: his roller squeaks: his mower
Murders the afternoon when I would rest.
He keeps as many noisesome pets as Noah.
His watchdog barks: his chicken run's a pest.
The sight offends me of his earnest labour.
Why can't he let his blasted garden be?
Please, Mr. Nazi, bomb my next-door neighbour;
But take great care, and don't go bombing me!
NEW STATESMAN & NATION, LONDON.
Recently King Christian of Denmark noticed a Nazi flag fly-
ing over an official building and remarked to a German officer
that this was contrary to the treaty between Denmark and
Germany. The officer replied that the flag was flown according
to instructions from Berlin.
"The flag must be removed before 12 o'clock; otherwise I
will send a soldier to do it", the monarch declared. At five
minutes to twelve the flag was still flying. The King announced
he was sending a soldier to take it down.
"The soldier will be shot", the Nazi officer warned him.
"I am the soldier", the King replied calmly.
The Nazi flag was lowered.
F. A. COLLYMORE
My Aunt Jemima lived alone,
All interest from her life had flown;
She shunned romance, she wouldn't dance,
Just ate one meal per day-perchance
To keep herself from dying.
And then one day when she was worse
(They had bespoke a lovely hearse),
A kind friend caught, and to her brought
A gift which would, he said, he thought
Make her last hours less trying.
The gift her thoughtful friend had brought
Was but a homely little Praught,
But Aunt Jemima ceased to cry,
A gleam of hope suffused each eye,
And soon she was improving.
And now she is completely cured,
She's even had her life insured;
She smiles, you see, and on her knee
Her Praughtie praughts with gentle glee.
The sight is very moving.
The nightingale was praised by Keats,
The lark by Percy Shelley,
And other bards praise other birds-
Give me the Lirralelli.
He doesn't sing at dewy eve
(Dew always makes me shiver),
He doesn't haul you out of bed
And chill your lungs or liver.
He sings at concert halls that are
Quite nicely ventilated:
The arias he trills cannot
Be possibly o'errated.
He is indeed a prodigy;
Moreo'er he sings so well he
Brings fame to mere accompanists,
Unselfish. Lirralelli !
I have never really quite understood
Why the cat-I speak generically-
"The harmless, necessary cat"
(Shakespeare-Merchant of Venice: Act IV Scene i)
Should be regarded
As forming one complete and independent species.
For each cat is different
From every other cat
Which is in turn different
From each and every other cat,
And so on.
Take this eat, for instance:
I say nothing of his habits
Which are, to say the least, peculiar,
I say nothing of his ways,
But I ask you : Look at him,
Look at him now
As I am looking at him
Sitting here, at my ease, in my garden,
And contemplating him.
Look at himl I ask you.
Even to the most inexperienced eye
Even to the eye of one who is not versed in the study of felinity
It will become immediately apparent
That my Catt is queer-
I mean, he's different,
If you know what 1 mean.
Now that I regard him intently
That he is quite different from what he looked like yesterday,
Indeed, this morning,
In fact, a moment ago.
Can it be
Can it be
That he is not quite well?
I atr feeling a bit queer too
In the head
B I M
From far Paraq
The Swonk's imported,
From forests grim
Where he disported
In muddy swamps
To sounds of drumming
On rude tom-toms
And native strumming.
But when he is
He's quite inflated.
His mincing gait
And snifty glances
Are quite as foul
As Cousin Frances'.
Decr. 1942 B I M 55
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.
Roll of 'onour
"Their duty done; their reward certain."
ARTHUR PAKENHAM FITZHARDINGE BERKELEY
MARK RADFORD CUKE
GEORGE HAROLD FREDERICK INNISS
H. F. V. SMITH
ROBERT OWEN WILCOXON
All the nice girls love a uniform .....
KHAKI, WHITE and BLUE
[Barbadians serving overseas-a few random selections.]
Pilot A. WEEKS
Lt. BEN HASSELL
Gnr. D. C. BARKER
Pte. R. GABRIEL
Pilot Officer J. W. S. SKi TER
Pte. Louis H. SEALE
Pte. D. K. FOSTER
Pte. G. H. NURSE
60 B I M Decr. 1942
SLesson in the art of verbal expression.
AS WINCHELL PEPS IT.
He doesn't go back on his word-he just detours around it.
She gets passed around like a naughty story.
She has a small mind but she knows it thoroughly.
"Ex" marks his spot in her heart.
He's nice even to people who can't do him a favour.
An evening dress more gone than gown.
A platonic friendship-play for him and tonic for her.
A woman's fondest wish is to be weighed and found wanting.
Her dresses show everything but good taste.
The shy rustle of spring slipping into something cool at night.
He was scared-looked as if he'd seen a guest!
He didn't exactly come from a good family-he was sent.
He has his heart in a sling.
Twilight hatching a million stars.
Puddles dimpled with raindrops.
She's on the beach in her baiting suit.
Twinfants and mother doing nicely.
We're overpaying him, but he's worth it.
They're on spiking terms.
When money talks she doesn't miss a word.
Lady: A woman who makes it easy for a man to be a
PENNY DO: (Continued from page 6)
Two hot lashes were administered to Idealia's rump, and
Herbert was the recipient of a quick jab to his fifth rib.
The matter was closed. The outsiders were increased by
The Orc., as if satisfied with the disturbance it had created,
ceased to function, and Biley climbed on to the stage.
"Quiet everybody," he yelled, "at last de time has come for
de great event to tek place. As yu all know, dese two boys bin
nursing a grievance for some time. Well to-night, before us all,
dat grievance gwine be settled, and in de right manner too.
All de rules must be observed, an de refree will be nun other
than Lieut. Kilkelly."
Biley, who had learnt his piece by heart, would have con-
tinued indefinitely, but just then the foremost outsider requested
him to desist or take the consequences.
The two combatants entered the ring, and immediately
Bomber Boy announced to all and sundry his disinclination to
fight unless Kid Ceiling paid for his extra nine pounds advan-
Consternation followed in the wake of these grievous senti-
ments. Silence reigned temporarily; then every spectator started
to comment freely.
The mercenary type demanded the immediate return of
their cash. Bomber Boy's fans called Kid Ceiling a bully and
a host of other undignified names. Kid Ceiling's followers sug-
gested that Bomber Boy was greatly afraid of his opponent.
The Rebellious Youth, who had been stuck outside, now
came parachuting through the window clutching his faithful
George Bumley, sensing something wrong, motioned his Orc.
to the rear exit.
Lieut. Kilkelly withdrew.
Biley was the only individual to hold his own in this vast
throng. He leaped on the stage where the combatants were
hastily removing their gloves in order to mix up on the canvas,
and held a hasty conference. Every moment was precious. The
crowd was growing restless. The Rebellious Youth had gained
a Ringside Seat, and was fretfully beating the floor with his
Action was imperative one way or the other.
The conference was ended, promises had been made, and
now the show would go on.
Jack Mountain, ex heavy weight champion and spree boy
volunteered to be referee.
The bucket was struck, and the fighters clinched.
THE QUALITY PRODUCTS
OF YOUR ISLAND HOME.
' GREEN SEAL"
S Etc. Etc.
D. HOPE Ross
& SONS, Ltd.
(INCORPORATED IN TRINIDAD)
Jack administered two hefty jabs and the fighters unclinch-
ed. The crowd praised the referee, who bowed in acknowledg-
In the meantime a multitude of side steps and body shifts
were being executed by Bomber Boy as his adversary, intent on
hammering him to earth, rushed with swinging arms.
The crowd roared and clapped; everybody had suddenly
gone Bomber Boy.
This applause only served to heighten the Kid's anger. He
seized his opportunity as the referee paused for a brief chat
with a female ringsider. "No time like the present," thought
Kid as he cornered the elusive Bomber. "Got you" he breathed,
and administered a record in Low Shots to the Bomber's middle.
The Bomber doubled up, clinched, yelled, tripped Kid to
the canvas and bit deeply into his Left ear.
The crowd enjoyed these tactics, they were now pro-Kid,
and were as yet ignorant of his loss.
Richard was first to raise the alarm: "Oh God, somebody
ear hoppin' bout pun de floor."
The contest was finished with nine rounds and seven seconds
to go. The noise had just begun; right and left, blows were
being indiscriminately shared.
George Bumley, safe in the distance, sighed with relief as
Herbert-whom he had tipped-plastered two hot shots adjacent
to Biley's right kidney, and as if to crown a glorious event, the
house, unaccustomed to such activity, allowed one of its roofs
"Richard," bawled Biley, "tek dis man off, 'ee gwine kill
muh." But for. once the never-failing Richard was unable to
comply. He had difficulties of his own.
The Rebellious Youth, finding none other, had picked on
"Ub gwine beat you," he pointed out, "de only place uh ent
gwine lick yu is pun you tongue." Having thus expressed his
desire, he loosed a Long Seven which measured Richard from
toe-nail to teeth.
It was only the roof that staunched the flow of blows. It
descended slowly at first but finally with a rush and blanketed
beneath its naily bosom eleven writhing contestants in various
stages of disorder.
The night staff of the Almshouse laboured diligently. Cuts,
bruises and broken parts were rife, but no major casualties were
evident. It took more than a mere roof to restrain Biley and
Next Saturday night, thought Biley, as he lay swaddled in
bandages, "I'll keep dat house in order ef a storm brek loose."
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PROOF : (Continued from page 9)
All day Tamara hoped and prayed, but even while she did
so she felt it was all in vain. Gregor eating his breakfast, play-
ing with Sonya, supine now on the bed trying to get a few
hours' sleep Gregor only tried to believe. And outside in
the secret nerve-cells of the city they were plotting to catch her.
She could see their faces. "Think we'd forgotten you, sister?
You'll come back and go for your trip to the mines." Waiting,
watching "We never forget, sister. We'll get you yet."
When Gregor bade her goodnight on his departure to the
office she held him tight to her. She could feel him trying,
forcing himself almost, to believe her.
"Tamara mine, I'm sorry. Forgive me."
But she had nothing to forgive. It was so.
"Should the 'phone ring ."
"Leave it. Don't go to it." Then kissing her and looking
into her eyes steadily with the kind, grave glance she loved,
"We'll talk this over together, dear. Don't let it worry you.
And now he had gone. All night she waited for the tele-
phone to ring. Or to hear a knock at the door. Perhaps the
owner of the voice would appear in person. And behind him,
in the dark hall-way "Come on, sister, we've got you this
time." But no bell rang.
All night she lay awake waiting. Till again the grey Novem-
ber morning and Gregor. And so on for days. Possibly a week,
but it might have been a lifetime. Gregor's nerves, too, were
frayed. He loved her so much he had become infected with
her terror. Gregor, too, waited for the inevitable. And this
time there would be no one to save him.
This thought grew upon her day by day. For if she was
arrested it would mean the end of Gregor's career. He'd have
to go too. And Sonya? What would become of her?
She made up her mind. She'd kill herself. To-morrow when
Gregor returned he'd find the letter. The river was close by.
Deep and cold. An unhappy solution, but still a solution. To-
morrow. She should write the letter to-night.
That day they went for a walk, the three of them. Dark
and grey the huge buildings towered above the snowy streets.
They walked past the shop windows. To her it was all terrible.
Every face that looked at them might be the one. Every now
and then she would glance over her shoulder. Surely they were
being followed. At last they left the busy thoroughfare and
turned down a side street It was darker there but silent. No
one passed them by. Here, at any rate, there was no one follow-
ing them Gregor with little Sonya in his arms turned to her.
1I I1 i
"Tamara, I .. I am afraid!"
"I know, darling, I know."
"If they come for you again, I cannot save you. I, too, will
have to pay the penalty."
Tamara could not answer. She longed to tell him what she
had decided, but that would have been of course impossible.
"I have thought it all out. I will not let you be tortured
again. I will not. And I do not wish to go on without you."
"O Gregor. God bless you" her heart said.
"They will not get us." He paused and looked at Sonya
who with arms spread wide was catching the falling snow flakes,
catching them and watching them fade into nothingness in the
rosy hollows of her little palms. "I have decided."
"I shall not go to the office to-night. I have made other
arrangements. To-night we-you, I and he could not
trust himself to utter her name, only clasped Sonya more closely
to him, "to-night we say goodbye. To-night we go out ... into
"Gregor, Gregor!" There were blinding tears in her eyes.
But her heart beat stronger with a feeling that was unaccount-
ably like joy. She could hardly hear herself speak: "You love
me like that, Gregor?"
Gregor's eyes so kind, so sad. He nodded. "It is best.
It is the only way. It solves all."
There was no occasion for words any more. They walked
on through the falling snow.
"If only he believed, I could die without regrets," she
thought. And then: "Though he doesn't, yet he will still die
with me." Closer and closer to Gregor she pressed her body
all the way home.
Gregor put Sonya carefully, tenderly in bed and bent over
and kissed her. Tamara watched him, the tears scalding her
eyes. But she must be brave. She turned away. In the sitting-
room a postcard lay on the floor. They hadn't noticed it when
they entered. She stooped and picked it up. It had been posted
in the city. It was addressed to Gregor in an unfamiliar hand-
writing. She looked at-it closely. A few lines scribbled in a
foreign language She turned swiftly and ran with it to
Gregor turned slowly, looked at her terror blanched face
and then at the card.
Tamara watched him closely. Perhaps the final ruse.
Oh, they were cunning! They'd do anything anything.
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Decr. 1942 B I M 69
Gregor seemed to take an unusually long time to read the few
lines on the card. He seemed to be reading them over and over,
uncomprehendingly, almost. Then, suddenly, inexplicably, he
did the strangest thing. Tamara's mind could not comprehend
all that followed. For he began to laugh, to laugh and sob at
the same time uncontrollably. He rushed at her, caught her
in his arms and hugged her till she thought she must collapse.
Then he began to dance, dragging her with him round and
round the room. Sonya woke and instead of patting her head
gently as he always did, he snatched her up and soon all three
of them were mingled in one sprawling embrace.
At last Gregor set Sonya down and trembling in every limb
began to speak.
"Tamara mine, all is well. We are saved. All is well, all
"But, how?" she questioned "I do not understand."
Gregor pulled her down beside him.
"How could you, darling? I must explain. I have a friend.
He is a Scotchman. I have not seen or heard from him for
several years He was one of those reporters who came over to
Moscow with the Labour Mission. A nice fellow you will
like him, Tamara. And now he is back here, once again. Here
in Leningrad. He is staying here a couple of weeks and wants
to meet me again."
"A few evenings ago, he writes," and here Gregor read:
" 'I telephoned you but could get no answer. Someone did take
up the receiver, but though I called and called there was no
Gregor paused a moment. His eyes sparkled.
"My darling, don't you see? My friend speaks no Russian
and of course must have spoken ... He broke off as though
some new idea had just flashed into his mind.
"Then it was he who ... Tamara began.
But Gregor interrupted. He shouted. "But of course, he
spoke English, Tamara, don't you see? English!"
"I thought ."
"Yes, that it was German." His eyes filled with tears. "Tam-
ara mine, will you ever forgive me for having doubted you?"
Tamara caught his head in her arms and held it close to
"You know I always tried to believe ."
But Tamara held his head still closer so that the last words
died away in a series of little muffled explosions.
"All is well: the terror has all gone now," she whispered.
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Decr. 1942 B I M 71
THE BOOK: (Continued from Page 17.)
The twenty original sketches were bound, with the standard
text of the Hans Andersen Fairy Book, in white leather: a gift
for Betty on her twelfth birthday.
That the book must lie for so many long years untouched
waiting for little Betty to grow up was too practical a consider-
ation to have entered James Bowley's head....here was the ideal
gift for a child of twelve, young enough to revel in its stories
and old enough to value and care it.
And then it happened. There was no warning for James
Bowley....no soothsayer whispered to him of the unkind blow
Fate had in store for him, no passerby called out to him that
the Ides of March was at hand.
James Bowley, sprawled at length in an easychair, was read-
ing a newspaper because Betty was not there to keep him com-
Mrs. Bowley had taken Betty to have her hair curled. That
the little blonde Elizabeth should have inherited the uninter-
esting, lank, straight hair of her father had been always a
source of annoyance to her mother. With Betty going to an
important birthday party the next day, something had to be
done about it.
The Count deGaume drove them there, his low-slung sports
car gleaming with chromium wherever possible, and returned for
them when little Betty's crown of curls had received its final
benediction at expert hands.
The slim car snarled off and snaked through the traffic, its
chrome trim mirrored on the wet street. As the road cleared
the needle quivered and crept around the dial of the speedometer
while the car swept on with a throaty roar peculiar to sports
The bulk of a loaded truck nosed suddenly from a cross
street and the Count's trim shoe trod the brake savagely. Sud-
denly and without warning Fate took the wheel with death at
Like a shining toy dashed from the hands of a petulant
child the car swerved and skidded across the street piling up
with a sickening smash against the laden truck.
James Bowley could only say again and again in incredulous
apprehension "Not Betty! No. not Betty........"
That Betty should have been killed outright while the Count
de Gaume and Mrs. Bowley escaped with trifling injuries that
received expert attention at the hands of the doctors and society
columnists was a sorry jest that embittered James Bowley.
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Almost overnight he saw his wife for the first time in her
true colours and from that moment life held little for James
He refused to sign the contract for the illustrating of the
Fairy Tales of the Grimm Brothers because he knew that it
would be impossible for him to fulfil it. When his wife remon-
strated with him that it was throwing good money away the
expression in his tired eyes came near to loathing.
Mrs. Bowley in due course asked him calmly for her divorce
and he put the matter in the hands of his lawyers with the
request that they attend to it as promptly as possible. When
later they protested that the demands made by Mrs. Bowley
for a settlement were out of all proportion he refused to con-
sider their objection.
The Count and Countess deGaume were photographed here
there and everywhere but the former husband of the Countess,
Mr. James Bowley, had dropped completely out of the picture.
A collection of Bowley originals was given anonymously to
a Children's Hospital in Brooklyn and six months later a similar
gift, also with no hint as to the donor's identity, was made to
another such institution in London.
James Bowley was himself in hospital at the time and sol-
emn visaged doctors were telling him that his heart condition
was frankly serious. Just how serious he learned when he
demanded to know exactly what they meant by that official
tag....but the end was not yet for James Bowley.
One day, when the sun beat down from a sky incredibly blue,
while the liquid emerald and sapphire of the tropical Atlantic
whipped white foamsteeds to the broad beach, James Bowley
sat, bare-headed and tanned to the shade of old mahogany, at
the foot of a tall, tortuous coconut palm.
From beside him, in the tangle of wild ipomea vines, his
thin quivering blue veined hands took up a flat parcel and
fumbled with the string of it. From unfolded paper wrappings
James Bowley took a white leather book and opened it tremb-
To-day Betty would have been twelve, he told himself, and
this book would have been hers: the Hands Andersen with the
original Bowley illustrations.
One by one he looked at them and his eyes glistened. He
must be careful; a tear would prove disastrous to the dainty
water colours that lay gossamer-light on the white paper.
A shadow fell across the page and he looked up. A little
native girl with a skin of burnished copper looked gravely down
at him with clear gray eyes.
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From whom had she inherited those eyes and the long
straight hair braided in neat twin plaits he wondered....perhaps
from some early settler from Devon.
She smiled at him, a shy little smile that made him want
to talk to her, to ask her name and how old she was.
To his first question she answered softly "Margery, sir!" and
to the next "Twelve, sir."
James Bowley came to his feet and squared his shoulders.
He felt strangely refreshed and happy. Into her hands he put
the book and hurried away with the shambling gait of an old
man, leaving her wordless and wide eyed clasping the white
leather book close to her.
He told himself that he was hurrying to finish packing for
his steamer that evening and that his haste had nothing to do
with the wonder ini the child's big gray eyes or the unshed tears
in his own.
Margery, breathless because she ran all the way home, told
her father, the gaunt fisherman with eyes as gray as her own:
"And it's mine....I don't have to give it back like the books they
lend me at the school....It's my very own!" Soon, snug in a
corner, she began, word by word, to read the wonderful book
with the beautiful pictures....
In the early morning the steward knocked at the door of
James Bowley's cabin to tell him that the boat was approaching
the Bocas, but James Bowley could not hear him. He was
sleeping his last long sleep and smiling at something that only
he could see.
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SHADOWS: (Continued from page 34.)
that sne expected to bear me a child, that i fully realized the
implacable hatred blazing in her heart.
The months passed. Thank God, the child was born dead.
A few weeks had elapsed since her confinement, when one
evening I was sitting by the window in the old room. The
lights were low. She lay, a mere shadow, amid the deeper
shadows of the bed.
And I resolved to kill her.
Yes, so much had I grown to hate and fear her. It would
be very easy, thought I. There was no vitality in the wasted
body; only the flame of her spirit brooded there. Fool I was
to think I could slay that. Yes, a sudden sure grasp of that
frail throat, and all would be over, I should be free.
I watched her narrowly. Her eyes were closed. Thinking
she slept, I arose from my chair and approached the chair
whereon she lay. Suddenly she opened her eyes and called my
name. I drew back, and before she spoke I knew she had
divined my intent.
"You fool," she said, "do you think to kill me? I, whom
you, you and this accursed house have sought to destroy, will
She rose to a sitting posture. Her dark soul burned a
channel through her eyes. Her cheeks were shadowed hollows;
her neck a brittle stalk a child might snap. In the half-light
I could read the scorne and sneer of her blanched lips.
"I have never known happiness, but you will,-though not
She paused, fighting for breath, and I knew that my des-
tiny depended upon the next words that I could see trembling
upon the shrivelled lips.
"For I shall return to claim you."
Her strength was ebbing; I knew that she was dying. But
the forces of hell had been launched against me. I threw up
my hands to ward off the curse as if it had been a tangible
When I looked again, with her words still echoing in my
ears, she had fallen back into a huddled mass and I knew that
she was dead.
After her funeral I was more at my ease than I had ever
been. Do you know Richard, I actually took pleasure in mix-
ing with others? The old house, somehow, seemed to have lost
its hold upon me. I felt at the moment as though, by her
death, its spell over me had been broken; perhaps, thought I,
I had escaped its wrath through the sacrifice of the woman
who had died. Never once did I experience aught of her pres-
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ence. I remembered her valediction, true, but to my conscious
mind it brought me no foreboding.
Time passed. I was stronger, healthier. I wanted to mix
with my fellow men. I went to town and rented a small apart-
ment. And then, I met Elaine. Perhaps you too have loved; I
know not. If you have not, it would be useless for me to try
to explain the wonder and beauty of that time: if you have,
you will understand. This was my happiness. I thank God
for it: it was all I should know. How I lover hed, my Elaine,
with her sweet slow smile, her trustful eyes, mirrors of her fair
soul, and the swift curve of her neck, dauntless and free! We
met, we loved. There was no delay. We were borne on upon
the crest of the wave that surged in our hearts, and in the
exaltation of our mutual bliss, we saw no reason to wait. I
cannot tell you how long a time elapsed between our meeting
and our marriage. To me, in the shifting obscurity of the past,
that time gleams swift and fleeting; a solitary star in a storm-
tossed sky, one moment there, the next moment gone forever:
it might have been a month, a week, a day. Oh the memory of
it, the memory.
We married. There was no elaborate ceremony. I have a
recollection of us two, hand in hand, before the priest, the great
church silent. And the happiness.
And there was no foreboding of the future. Strange I can-
not account for that, I, who had been always so sensitive to such
impressions. And why did I consent to take my bride to the old
house? Now Alas, I realize my folly. I should have dissuaded
her from ever going there, but she longed to know where I had
lived. She knew the story of my youth and loneliness, of my
unhappy marriage, and she desired to enter into that past cheer-
less life of mine, to dispel the gloom of the old place by the
power of her love. I yielded to her plea when she asked me to
return there after the ceremony.
It was already dark when we arrived. We had been so eager,
it had been so sudden, this marriage of ours-I had had no time
to have the house put in order; we should have to make the
best of it awhile.
Black and almost animate it loomed in the starlight, men-
acing. Hand in hand we entered, and together we prepared
and ate our supper. Here in the ancient dining hall its former
gloom seemed to have disappeared, dispelled by the light of
her innocence and love. I laughed at my former fears; the old
house had been vanquished by a stronger power now that Love
had ventured within its sinister doors. Yes, I was conscious
that the shadows had been put to flight, and I told her how
cheerful her presence had made the old hall- And she laughed
and kissed me and looked into my eyes. Elaine, Elaine!
You didn't order your
No wonder you look as you do!
Pr i.Hny t il28
Pr. Wm. Henry St.
Why too did we decide to sleep in that room, that room of
all others? I had shown her over the house, had heard her
cheery laughter echo and re-echo throughout its grave and
sombre fastnesses, and when she had chosen that room, I had
not denied her choice. Had she even known its grim secret,
she would still have dared. In her innocence she knew no fear,
and from me too, had she cast the shackles of the past.
I woke trembling, the clammy hand of fear upon my brow.
I listened carefully.- I could hear only the faint breathing of
my bride, lost in slumber. The dying fire in the hearth cast
grotesque shadows upon the wall. But,-I could feel those
shadowy presence, so well remembered, thronging about me,
pressing upon me, hounded on by an implacable hatred which
not even the grave might abate. Fool, to have thought I had
escaped them! I could not move. I could hear once again
those words of doom pronounced. I had returned to the pit pre-
destined to engulf me. Of what avail hope, manhood, love?
Down, down........This moment was, I knew, the prelude to the
climax of my destiny. Now I glimpsed the meaning of the
shadows, the dreams. My brain peered into the mystery of the
unknown and recoiled reeling, sick, afraid-
And suddenly as I lay there, I experienced a perceptible
change invade the heart of the -room. Something mephitic and
obscene, something too awful for the human mind to contem-
plate had taken place; what it was I dared not imagine. The
sweat poured from me and a fit of nausea seized me. I could
endure the terror of it no longer. I stretched out my hand to
awaken Elaine. Her bare arm, thrown above her head was
Shocked and choking with terror, I sprang from the bed,
and fumbling in the semi-darkness, I lit the candle which stood
by my bedside. By its feeble gleam I saw her huddled, drawn
tense beneath the dim sheets. Her distorted appearance terri-
fied me yet more. She looked........different.
I pulled her over roughly, turned her face to me.
Can I ever tell you, ever hope to convey to you the sense
of the shock which palsies my hand even now as I write?
For the face which was turned to me, the wasted shoulder
which I had grasped, were neither the face nor the shoulder
of my bride, but of her, of her who had died, and dying had
cursed me. And as my senses swam with the ghastly realiza-
tion of this unimaginable horror, I saw the half-veiled eyes
open, saw the depths of the deathless hatred lurking there, saw
the proud tormented scorn of the blanched lips, and heard the
voice, mocking and bitter as the grave:
in lubrication "
"Fool, your happiness is over: did you not think I would
Blind with the nameless rage and loathing which seized me,
I stretched out my hands and clutched the fragile throat which
throbbed with unholy life.
"Where is she, my Elaine?" I shrieked.
But the mocking eyes, the mocking voice were mute.
Then slowly, slowly I choked the foul life out of her until
I felt the body limp and lifeless in my grasp- Dead she was
And then........oh Christ!........how can I tell you? Slowly, by
imperceptable degrees I saw the appearance of the corpse slow-
ly change. Those staring mocking eyes that had gazed into the
gulf of hell assumed an expression mild and tender as the blue
heavens above. The wasted form altered its proportions as I gazed
down upon it. incredulous, and became clothed in perfect sym-
metry, the throat, the weak stalk that I had snapped, took upon
itself the curve, the curve I had so loved, dauntless and free,-the
corpse had become the corpse of my beloved, my Elaine. And
on the neck which erewhile I had so passionately kissed, there
grew, deeper and deeper, the stark livid marks my fingers had
They took me away,-when I know not, I who have lost all
sense of time. Ages ago. They brought me here.
Richard, for God's sake help me, help me. They say that
I am mad........
A SALVATION ARMY BAND was grimly playing its solemn airs
on a street corner. When a sizeable crowd had gathered,
the leader stopped the hymns and called on each member of
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"Well," she began, "before I was saved I used to smoke one
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"I used to drink, too, at least a pint a day. I've been saved
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PETER PLAYS A PART: Continued from page 34
It really was a low trick, but drowning men must catch at
straws, and Peter and Marcia had it coming to them.
We were all working for the Vanity Fair. The Farley do-
main boasted a wide sheltered verandah where one could choose
between a hammock and book, table tennis, or work at 6 p.m.
with cocktails handy-as we were doing now. Marcia was
drawing an elephant. Peter was cutting the tail out of ply-
wood. I handled the cocktails.
"Not that way, darling," Marcia stopped the fretsaw." It
comes down so, then a wiggle so, then a kink........"
"But this is an elephant, cherub, not a skunk."
"A skunk, Peter -ugh!"
"All right then, down so, then a waggle........"
"A wiggle, darling-"
"Well a wiggle's a waggle!"
"But, darling, a wiggle's smoother than a waggle........"
Over their heads I caught Joan's eye. The precious pair
were completely absorbed in their wiggle and waggle. Silently
Joan and I agreed: this must not go on.
My cocktails always slip down smoothly. No kick, mind
you, just a slipping luxurious warming inside. One is comforted.
Comfortable, and sometimes capable of anything,-after two or
"Look through these jokes will you, Bill", said Joan, "Marcia
wants some for the progra'mme."
She pushed the slips of paper across the table.
I have always heard inspirations, inventions and catas-
trophes come in a flash, like lightning or the bursting of a bomb.
Now nothing, all blank and empty space, then flash, something,
an idea cut and dried. Or now something, there and solid, then
bang, nothing, just space where something was before. I do
not know which way it happened, whether my commonsense
gave birth to a lightning idea, or the idea-bomb blew to smith-
ereens my commonsense.
Anyway, there it was. Right on top of the pile: the idea.
I repeat, it was a dirty trick. The blame must be equally
distributed between my desire to help Peter and my swift hand
I looked across at Joan. She was cutting out a large paper
camel. No, I could not bring her into this. A woman's sense
of humour is-well, to say the least of it-a ticklish and un-
known quantity, especially if she is prejudiced........"
"I'll just dash off that advertisement for the paper," I mum-
bled. "It must come out to-morrow."
"Um-um" said Joan, her scissors gliding around the camel's
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It took three minutes to run the thing off on the type-
writer, along with the ad. for the show.
"Just running down to the paper with the ad. you wanted
put in to-morrow, Peter," I called out.
"What," said Peter. "Oh, ad. Yes, that thing-thanks a
So that was that. On the way I argued it out. Nothing
sillier or madder than Peter had often pulled off himself-just
the kind of stuff Marcia would HAVE to stand if she married
him. IF she married him? Dash it, I did not like that phrase.
I might spoil something real, spoil two lives. But the impulse
It came out next morning in clear black print amongst the
WANT notices. Never was a notice so clearly done.
YOUNG MAN ANXIOUS TO MEET YOUNG LADY,
ATTRACTIVE, ACCOMPLISHED, GOOD TALKER AND
WALKER, WHO FINDS THE GREATEST DIFFICULTY
IN PASSING TREES WITHOUT EXPERIENCING AN
OVERWHELMING DESIRE TO CLIMB THEM.
And all the world knew that was Peter's number.
I evaded the man all day. Lunch at the Club instead of
McKinley's and tea at McKinley's instead of the Club, but Peter
rang me just before four.
"I say, Bill," he began without preamble, "someone rang."
(Of course they did. I had carefully arranged it with my
"Wait a moment", I hedged, "who rang who about what?"
Peter was amazed-and almost a little hurt.
"Here am I the talk of the town", he complained, "and
you asking a darn silly question like that. The notice in the
paper-the girl who climbs trees-all signed with my phone
"How darn silly", I said.
"Not at all, old boy", chortled Peter, "she rang-a girl with
a voice, and what's more we are off to Calupi this afternoon."
"Hey, you", I yelled, "what about Marcia?" but Peter was
Was this, or was this not, according to plan. Obviously
Peter should be stopped, and just as obviously not. This was
exactly what Marcia would find in her married life. Peter with
a new idea: Peter dashing off, forgetting everything else for
the moment: Peter on the track of a girl with a voice!
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At 8.30 I was still sitting at home puzzled and anxious,
feeling somewhat like a field-marshal out of touch and out of
sight of his own pet battle. Not a word, not a squeak from
either side. Then suddenly the telephone shrilled-
"THIS", said a voice, "is Marcia. Where is Peter?"
"But Marcia, how should I know?"
"That perfectly ridiculous notice. People ringing him all
day-and now this-this disappearance."
I managed a laugh.
"There's many a slip twixt-I mean print in slip-slip in
"Many," agreed Marcia, "and apparently Peter has slipped
as well. They tell me he has slipped to Calupi."
"Calupi Beach, Marcia?"
"Yes, perhaps you have never heard of it."
Some further brisk give and take followed, then Marcia
said bluntly: "I shall call for you in five minutes. We can
look for Peter together."
It was a drive I shall not forget. One does not travel every
day with a tight-lipped fury in a hell-bent V-8, taking its
corners on one half its wheel quotient. Once I shut my eyes
and recited "Twinkle twinkle little star, How I wonder where
we are" until Marcia heard me.
"What the devil are you babling about, Bill?"
She swerved off a donkey cart, and shied at a stout ten
"Just my childhood prayers," I assured her. "Who taught
you to drive?"
"Peter," said Marcia-
After that I held my peace. A minimum of mental calcu-
lation assured me that she and Peter had known each other
exactly five weeks.
We found them ten minutes later. Peter was bent double
over a flat tyre, and in the car-of all people-sat Joan. She
waved. Marcia swerved, missing Peter by inches, dashed on to
the crossroads, reversed, and swooped back almost in the time
one takes to tell it.
"Well," said Marcia coolly shutting off, "and what have you
two got to say for yourselves?"
It was just about the most explosion-asking remark she
could have made. And the bomb burst on me. Peter's eyes al-
most popped out. He got up very slowly, a jack in one hand,
a heavy screwdriver in the other.
"So you did it, Bill," he accused.
Now jacks are jacks when kept in their place, but shaken
in a large aggressive fist, under your nose, they are barbingers
of things to come.
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