« AnteriorContinuar »
of charming apparitions in ballroom attire.
Toward the farther end of the room stood a rose-pink apparition reading aloud into a metal cylinder thrust out from the top of a tall metal upright. Several powerful reflectors, with lights ready to be turned on when wanted, were grouped about her. A photographer waited his cue, bulb in hand. So that is why apparitions wear ballroom attire while broadcasting. An album receives their photographs; opening it later, I found portraits of half the celebrities in North America.
I own up to a slight flutter on being so suddenly plunged into this milieu of ultra-elegance. But there was a stronger feeling the desire to learn by observation the trick, if I may so call it, of broadcasting. To my surprise, it appeared that nothing could be easier. The apparition might have been addressing a mere class in domestic science, and her subject was-domestic science.
Well, why not? In the biograph's early days any picture that moved seemed wonderful-fire-engines running. trolley cars crossing a square, even a man eating. So with radio at present. Enthusiasts delight primarily in the thrill that comes of snatching from the sky any message whatsoever with an instrument they themselves have made, or they enjoy adding nightly to the list of stations they can "pick up;" only a few have grown critical.
During the apparition's performance the rest of us felt as vaudeville artists in the wings feel toward a vaudeville artist before the footlights. She was a rose-pink nuisance delaying our own onslaught on fame.
When at last she stopped reading, the piano struck up an interlude, lackeys moved the reflectors about at the photographer's command, a picture was taken, and then WJZ's official announcer proclaimed, "This being Literary Evening, Mr. Rollin Lynde Hartt, a contributor to The Outlook, will tell of his interview with Augustus Thomas."
All the decencies combined bid me pretend that my blood ran cold, or at least to declare that the condemned man went to the transmitter with a firm tread, but the truth is, I glowed and walked on air.
Confidently I began, "Hello! This is Hartt speaking. I just wanted to ask-” As the manuscript opened with an interrogatory sentence, it afforded an easy transition if I chose to read instead of talking. Did I so choose? I did not. There was no choice whatever. In an instant half the spunk had gone out of me. In the next, half the other half went. I quailed, and thanked my lucky stars for that manuscript. It was not only because my fellow-broadcasters kept up a running fire of conversation, nor yet because there came no response whatever from America, Canada, Cuba, or Porto Rico-not a hand, not a laugh.
Bad enough, this; but what over whelmed me with horror was the spec tacle I clearly beheld. Night! Illimita ble black mountains, alive with people" All hating me! From a sickening alti tude I gazed down upon them. The very air breathed malice and unutterable scorn. Forty years this lasted.
Looking back over that period of my life, I am at a loss to understand how I endured it. Despised, alone, and an outcast, I read grimly on to the bitter end, but there were no playful interruptions from Peking, no opportunities to rebuke the planet Mars. When I had finished, I dragged myself home, a misery of ach ing disgust.
I have since faced the instigator of this revolting drama-my editor and still my friend, my friend and still my editor. But where are the rewards of so much woe? Have long-lost relatives come swarming? Have old cronies turned up? Am I buried in letters that warm the cockles of my heart or show ered with adulation by a grateful halfcontinent and isles beyond the sea? Weeks have passed. The total result is nothing! Nothing at all! Less! Anybody wishing to borrow large sup plies of humility will know where to come. I am a blighted and ruined man, consoled by only one thought: That transmitter-was it working?
Moral: When invited to broadcast, do not hesitate; take deadly aim, and fire!
Bring me a whisky 'n'
"That's the Call of the East for you." So says the newly arrived American in China or the Philippines as he lounges back in his pin-pin chair and privately pats himself on the back (the only form of exercise indulged in until one is acclimated) for having put the thing so neatly.
But a brief sojourn in the Orient convinces him that this Occidentally obsolete phrase is not, after all, the key to the situation. He has overstated the matter. Boiled down to a monosyllable, the call of the East is "Boy!"-just "Boy!" What follows is immaterial.
Occasionally the cry is emphasized by a smart clapping of the hands, but this is superfluous, and in the case of one over-Americanized Filipino was keenly resented. When the head of the family first indulged in this indoor sport, Naba Potenciana respectfully but pointedly placed a bell before her-a bell of the
The United States, along with other foreign ers, maintains troops in China under the as of the Boxer Protocol of 1901. Specifi, our troops are there to reinforce the LegaGuard (U. S. Marines) at Peking and to ep the railway open from Peking to the seaa Tientsin. The 15th U. S. Infantry Is the egiment which has represented this country in Tientsin since 1912.
BY ELEONORE VON ELTZ
tinny, ten-cent store variety. It brought her to her senses with a jolt, and she hastily returned to the unadorned use of the magic word-that tiny syllable which, whatever the tone or accent, is the force that makes the wheels go round, from the harbor of Manila to the portals of Peking.
The sunburnt Britisher, wearily washing down a sandwich at the cricket club, drawls languidly, "Boy, pahss the mahstud!" (not an Eastern dish-merely the British rendering of the relish that goes with cold ham). As his exhausted accents meet the ear, one can picture him a few minutes earlier out on the cricket ground: "Boy, fetch the bally ball!"
The American Army officer en route to drill his company raps out briskly, "Boy! Gimme that Sam Browne, kwaikwai!" (Chinese for "Make it snappy!") Later, at the close of an arduous day in the field, he may be found in an attitude of pained reproach due to the discovery that his wrist-watch has run down. And now the plaintive cry is, "Boy, didn't tell you wind watch every day?
One day, two day, ting puhao (very no good). Must wind every day." The doughboy, merely to put the raw
recruit in his place, will probably drop into the vernacular: "Hey! Shohysa! Jobee!" (Hey! Boy! Rickshaw!) Tak ing his pick of the dozen which rush to his command, this young lord of creation in khaki lolls back at ease, manifestly the monarch of all he surveys. Suddenly he spies a buddy, likewise lolling and bound for the same goal. Does he alight to run an honest race on his own "pins." as he would term them? Not at alllet Boy do it!
The only exertion he permits himself at this point is to lean forward, the light of conquest in his eye as he growls. "Boy! Kwai-kwai!" Boy, ever faithful senses the situation instantly and the race is on, both coolies flinging taunts at each other, and, although they may be panting their poor lungs out, appar ently enjoying the fracas as much as the two soldiers. Arrived at the barracks, the winner-and perhaps the loser toowill probably pay his Boy three times over-assuming, of course, that thes events occur within three days after pa day.
And now we come to the America Army wife and the meaning to her of this call of the East. She and her hus band are but recently arrived in Tien
tsin to take their place in the 15th Infantry. They go to a hotel so that she may get her bearings before attempting to settle their new home. Within twentyfour hours she is discovered by another Army wife-an old-timer (meaning that she has been in China any part of two years). The following conversation, or rather monologue, ensues:
"Why, my dear! What are you doing in this hotel? You must have been here two days! Why don't you move into quarters? Have you a boy? No? Well, I'll see that you get one, and he'll move you right out of this expensive place and have you settled in your own home in a week's time. Trouble? Nonsense! I'll just speak to my Number One Boy." Morning brings a tall Chinaman clad in a long coat of rich, dark silk and a small round cap. Confronted with this garb and a countenance of calm benignity-not to mention dignity-the Army wife finds herself wondering if she is receiving a call from the Bishop or some other dignitary of the Chinese Church. But no-her illusions are dispelled by the smiling statement that Number One Boy of American Major send him see Missy. What Missy like?
She outlines her requirements, which seem so modest to the Bishop that he respectfully informs her that plenty officers have four-piece boy-three house boy and one-piece boy for rickshaw. But this Missy, being fresh from a Mexican border camp where she has frequently scoured her own frying-pans in the desert sands, feels that an establishment of four is an embarrassment of riches and holds out firmly for only two-piece boy.
Wong graciously humors the Foreign Missy of the Strange Ideas, serene in his private conviction that before many moons he will have his full quota of underlings with which to run the house "ploppa fashion, all same other officers' family." He takes unto himself, therefore, the combined offices of Number One Boy and cook, with the assurance that on the morrow he can catchee Number Two Boy.
His monthly stipend is fixed at twenty Mexican dollars ($10 U. S. currency), the Army wife having received advance coaching from the old-timer anent this matter of the laborer being worthy of his hire. Theoretically, $5 Mex is for Number Two Boy, but it is better not to inquire too closely into its final disposition. This does not mean that the Bishop is dishonest-perish the thought! Missy has paid for the services of two boys and will receive these services. What is it to her if Boy Number Two works for no other compensation than his bed, "chow," and the sense of virtue and well-being said to emanate from honest toil? The apprenticeship system is a ruling principle in China, and he is borne up through its duration by the knowledge that his day as Number One is sure to come.
Missy is roused from her musings by a series of bows and smiles from the
Boy-her Boy now-who, with the destiny of her ménage resting lightly on his shoulders, is off in quest of kitchen utensils.
To make a long story short, all happens as predicted. The next day she is moved into quarters, the Boy himself transferring those articles he deems too fragile for conveyance in Army wagons. That night she dines in her own home, and within the week there are guests around her festive board.
In the days that follow she forgets that back in her home town there is a servant problem. She finds that this
Boy, whose name is on every tongueuttered all too often in sharp, discourteous tones-is a being who is always polite, never cross, never tired, never demands an evening out. He oils the wheels of the domestic machinery so expertly that menus are planned and executed, marketing accomplished far more economically than she could do it, Number Two Boys fired as well as hired, and the family shoes shined, with scarcely a thought on the part of Missy. Practically the only time she gives to housekeeping cares is a quarter-hour each week for checking over the books in which Wong accounts for every copper spent (for your Chinaman is quick to learn writing and figuring in English and requires no school other than a brief term of service in a British or American family).
Missy begins to wonder if this state of bliss can long endure. And with this doubt the storm clouds gather. Number Two Boy's acquired air of polite reserve is cracking under the strain. He is developing a "satiable curiosity" akin to that of the Elephant's Child in Mr. Kipling's story. Missy does not mind a friendly interest in the family affairs, but there are limits to sociability even in China. While setting the table he suddenly drops the silver with a crash and runs to examine with the children the workings of some new toy. He takes to peering over her shoulder when she sits down to write. She decides that "the time has come," and braces herself for the ordeal.
But by now she herself has attained to a degree of Oriental poise which permits her to broach the subject with seeming serenity. Along with the announcement that there will be four dinner guests that night, she issues her ultimatum:
"Wong, Missy thinks more better we have new Number Two Boy. Lee do many things we do not like. Can catch other boy?"
"Yes, Missy. Can do." And this without a trace of resentment, though the object of criticism happens to be his brother. The nuisance disappears that afternoon, and Wong engineers the dinner-party in his usual adequate style, with the aid of a borrowed Boy-his "flend."
Next morning, enter Wong to announce triumphantly that brother has been replaced by "new Boy name' Mah, who have very good face." Mah is brought in for inspection. Missy agrees with Wong as to his physiognomy, and the household wheels roll on without a jar.
The American Army wife has learned the call of the East, and knows now that while she bides "somewheres east of Suez" she will never call in vain.
What wonder, though, that she and her husband and a regiment of Uncle Sam's soldiers view with dismay the current press reports that all American troops may shortly be withdrawn from China!
THE BOOK TABLE
HE old writers of ballads and tales, if I remember rightly, used to speak with peculiar unction of October's brew of ale. It is usually true that the fiction brew of October is also vigorous and enjoyable, but this year, so far as novels of the first importance are concerned, October hardly equals its traditional fame. I have not as yet had the pleasure of reading Mr. Hugh Walpole's "The Cathedral," but even the fact that it deals with Job in modern times and in an archdeacon's costume, even as Mr. Wells once dealt with a Job of our own day, does not deter one from believing that "The Cathedral" must from its authorship be out of the ordinary and in the class of quality fiction, if I may use that phrase, rather than among the novels of mere excitement and amusement.
Although the majority of the stories of the month hardly belong in the first class, there are some so good that one is inclined to except this general assertion. Such a book undoubtedly is Miss Alice Brown's "Old Crow."1 Miss Brown's short stories were remarkable in their living pictures of New England character and life. Her novels have
gone deeper, although they are not always as closely knit or as single in presentation of the main theme as one would like. As a study of New England traits and ways "Old Crow" goes beneath dialect and into the fiber of character. It is profound and intense in its presentment of the clash between what is spiritual and what is base in life, and of native purity faced with hostile heredity and environment. It has emotion but not emotionalism. It is
1 Old Crow. By Alice Brown. The Macmillan Company, New York. $2.
human tragedy flecked with the rays of cheerfulness, sympathy, and devotion.
Another story which for quite different reasons distinctly rises above the average of the month is Mr. Christopher Morley's delightful volume called "Where the Blue Begins." It is easier to read this than to describe it. We are pleasantly introduced into a dog world, where the dog people live and talk and act very much like human beings, so much so, indeed, that an intention of gentle and humorous satire runs through the whole. One hates to use the word whimsical in speaking of Mr. Morley's work, for he must be heartily tired of seeing it. It is his own fault, however, for no word begins to describe his peculiar appeal as that does.
Readers of New York newspaper "colyums" will certainly take a special pleasure in comparing Mr. Morley's new book with that of Mr. Heywood Broun. "The Boy Grew Older" is cleverly written. It has considerable realism in its reproduction of newspaper men's talk, but joined with a spirit of human kindliness and friendly feeling that saves the talk from the kind of realism that makes "Babbitt" in its essence pessimistic. Certainly there is much enjoy ment to be got from Mr. Broun's picture of the young sports editor, who marries in such haste that one at first dubs him an ignorant fool, but later finds that in his inexpressive way he is really the victim of a deep-lying passion. When his wife skips away from him to gain fame as a singer and dancer, the poor sports editor stolidly but bravely undertakes the task of bringing up his baby boy. He makes queer work of it, but again as the reader goes on he is impressed with an undercurrent of feeling and steady purpose that balances the apparent restlessness and recklessness of the young father. That the book is humorous is a matter of course. It is also odd, and its oddity holds the attention closely.
Mr. Marshall's "Pippin" is quite different from his previous stories. Years ago he made a most agreeable impression with his novels of English country life. They were always compared with Trollope's novels solely because both "featured" the parson, the squire, and the gentry generally, with villagers and farmers respectfully in the background. Mr. Marshall did this sort of thing capitally, and thereby gave gentle and humorous enjoyment to tens of thousands. Then came the war; the old order of things had a severe jolt; perhaps it was for this reason that the author abandoned his former field;
2 Where the Blue Begins. By Christopher Morley. Doubleday, Page & Co., Garden City. $1.50.
The Boy Grew Older. By Heywood Broun. G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York. $1.75. Pippin. By Archibald Marshall. Dodd, Mead
& Co., New York. $2.
but for a time he seemed to stray rather listlessly in unfamiliar fields, and his more recent books have not satisfied. But in "Pippin" he strikes an entirely new vein; and a delightful one it is for those who care for delicacy of writing and the quiet depiction of human nature. Pippin, a little restless in his too comfortable home life, obtains his parents' consent for a wander-year in which he shall see the world. Mainly he rambles on foot through the English countryside, talks and works with a "gentleman tramp" who also is a selfish rogue, with a wise peddler who loves children, with people simple, amusing, or singular. His longest stay is with a circus troupe. Finally he comes home, contented, and meets at his approach the girl who had been the last to say good-by. All this would be nothing if it were not for the really exquisite way in which it is written. In its own genre "Pippin" is a little masterpiece.
Those who wait impatiently for each new Joseph Lincoln book to come out will not be disappointed in "Fair Harbor." It has one of the fine old captains that the author loves to drawshrewd, clever, humorous in the Cape Cod manner; and the curious situation in which the captain finds himself as skipper of a women's home gives ample chance for incident and fun.
The "Three Fires," by Amelia J. Burr, is a thrilling and stirring romance of Ceylon. It is founded, so far as atmosphere and racial depiction go, on the author's own study and observation. The "three fires" are avarice, ambition, and love. How these affect the life of a sweetnatured and devoted young Hindu girl
5 Fair Harbor. By Joseph C. Lincoln. D. Appleton & Co., New York. $2. The Three Fires. By Amelia Josephine Burr. The Macmillan Company, New York. $1.75.
Photo by Mary Dale Clark HEYWOOD BROUN
By Charles Rumford Walker. Atlantic Monthly Press, Boston. $1.75. A crisp, well-written account of the experience of a young man, a college graduate and an ex-army officer, who went into the steel mills as a laborer. The hardships, the long hours, the drain on man-power involved in the present methods of production in what may be regarded as America's basic industry are presented in realistic style. The book is an exceedingly good example of a class that has become somewhat familiar. REAL TSARITSA (THE). By Lili Dehn. Little, $3.50. Brown & Co., Boston.
The poor, dead Tsaritsa cannot defend herself from the flood of narratives
JOSEPH C. LINCOLN
comes closest to a common type is that of the Tammany boss; others vary so far from the type idea that they are practically short stories. A curious use is made in some of these sketches of one of the fundamental ideas of psychoanalysis, that of early continued repression followed by strange reaction in mentality or character in later years.
The author of "Richard"s has never quite repeated the success of her first The story, "Christopher Hibbault." present novel is excellently written and $ Richard. By Marguerite Bryant. Duffield & Co., New York. $2.
THE NEW BOOKS about her life and conduct. Whether any particular one of these is accurate in its facts and analysis of the personality of the Empress is difficult to judge, but certainly all cannot be true, for they are inconsistent. Madame Dehn, we are told, was a member of the Russian Court, a personal friend of the Empress; her book purports to throw light on the inner history of the royal circle and the life of the Czar and his family after the Revolution broke out.
HISTORY AND POLITICAL ECONOMY BOZEMAN TRAIL (THE). By Grace Raymond Hebard and E. A. Brininstool. 2 vols. Illustrated. The Arthur H. Clark Company, Cleveland.
The Bozeman Trail, from Fort Kearney, Nebraska, to Virginia City, Montana, a distance of nearly a thousand miles, led through hostile Indian country, and was in the sixties and seventies of the last century the scene of many battles between whites and Indians. This work is really a history of those encounters and of the opening of the overland routes to the Northwest, and the story is presented with elaborate detail and with a comprehensiveness that is probably without parallel. The work will be of absorbing interest to any one
holds the interest perfectly. But the reader cannot quite accept some incidents and situations; and, what is worse, the lovable character of the young criminal is radically inconsistent with his acts and his companionship with low criminals. The situation is extremely tense, for the convict lad escapes from prison only to come under the eyes of his father, a British judge. The father compromises with his conscience by concealing his knowledge while insisting that the son live practically as a prisoner in seclusion and under rigid superintendence. R. D. TOWNSEND.
whose memory goes back to pioneer days.
SECOND EMPIRE (THE). By Philip Guedalla. Illustrated. G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York. $5.
What so jejune as the story of Napoleon III and his reign? The reader familiar with it in all its details might think so; but it is more than probable that every such reader who takes up this book will lay it down only when the last page is finished. The author is a stylist as well as a historian, and his pages scintillate with striking but unforced phrases that make his subject glow with interest. His knowledge is exhaustive but is not obtruded; his narrative flows easily along and yet is restrained within reasonable limits; and his judgments are often novel but always worth pondering. This is an exceptional book and it will give a host of readers a new interest in history.
ESSAYS AND CRITICISM HOMESTEADER'S PORTFOLIO (A). By Alice Day Pratt. Illustrated. The Macmillan Company, New York. $2.
Interesting sketches of the author's life in the Northwest on her own homestead. The ups and downs of the woman homesteader are described with hun
13 Christmas Gift-all for
Issues of ST NICHOLAS and One Book of Your Own Choice
EARCH no more for that gift for your boy or girl. Here it is! Lovable St. Nicholas-the magazine of pleasure, instruction and guidance in things that are good and permanently helpful. For fifty years, it has been youthful America's favorite magazine. It will be better than ever in 1923. Splendid new serials and short stories by leading authors, inspiring articles; digests of the latest in news and science-these will fill St. Nicholas twelve times a year.
As a SPECIAL CHRISTMAS OFFER we will send St. Nicholas for one year and any one of the books sted below; also a beautiful Christmas Gift Card.
KIM-By Rudyard Kipling
A book every boy should read, and will re-read. Tells of India, the land of tigers, intrigue and mystic lore-and how the son of an Irish soldier grew up in the native secret service, and foiled welllaid plans of the foreign enemy.
St. Nicholas Christmas Book
A careful selection of the most striking Christmas stories and poems that have appeared in St. Nicholas Magazine. The kind that even the "grown-ups" like to read on Christmas Day. Intensely interesting.
-or any one of these fine books
The Complete Radio Book
Many of America's most prominent men give thanks to St. Nicholas for its wonderful guidance in their youth. Even for boys and girls who do not ordinarily like to read, St. Nicholas appeals irresistibly with articles on sports, games, nature studies, and with prizes for writings, photographs, drawings, etc.
FILL OUT THE COUPON and make that boy or girl happy with a copy of St. Nicholas in the Christmas stocking.
ST. NICHOLAS MAGAZINE, Subscription Dept. P-22, 353 Fourth Ave., New York For the enclosed $5 please send St. Nicholas Magazine and the book mentioned below. (If magazine alone is wanted, enclose only $4.)
end (Book selected).
and Gift Card to
THE BOOK TABLE (Continued) and philosophy, and the book is well worth reading, especially by Easterners who long for the open range and a new start in the West.
SKYLINE CAMPS. By Walter Prichard Eaton. W. A. Wilde Company, Boston.
Many agreeable sketches of travel that will be interesting especially to mountain-lovers are found within the covers of this book. The "camps" are mainly in the Northwest, and numerous photographs accompany the descriptions.
TRAVEL AND DESCRIPTION FROM ADAM'S PEAK TO ELEPHANTA. Edward Carpenter. E. P. Dutton & Co., New York. $3.50.
A new edition of one of the very best books of travel, observation, and study of racial aspirations and characteristics in Ceylon and India.
SIX YEARS IN BOLIVIA. By A. V. L. Guise. E. P. Dutton & Co., New York. $7.
A well-written book of adventures in Bolivia by a mining engineer. The author has a keen eye for the picturesque and a clever knack of describing it. An abundance of personal incident makes the book exciting reading.
REIGN OF RUBBER (THE). By William C. Geer. The Century Company, New York. $3. The reticence of large manufacturers about their labors has resolved itself into a new sense of partnership with the public. The processes of great factories are no longer things of secrecy and mystery. There is a terse, authoritative eloquence about some of the newer type of industrial generals when they make speeches or write books. "The Reign of Rubber," by Dr. William C. Geer, VicePresident of the B. F. Goodrich Company, of Akron, Ohio, exemplifies just this trait. It is an excellent record of the epic of rubber. It tells all about its sources, growth, manufacture, and uses. A final chapter deals arrestingly with the future of rubber.
HISTORY AND POLITICAL ECONOMY DAYS OF THE COLONISTS. By L. Lamprey. Illustrated. The Frederick A. Stokes Company, New York. $2.50.
ESSENTIALS OF AMERICAN GOVERNMENT (THE). By Francis Newton Thorpe. G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York. $1.75. IMPERIAL WASHINGTON. By R. F. Pettigrew. Charles H. Kerr & Co., Chicago. $1.23. INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF CHINA (THE). By Sun Yat-sen. G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York. $4.50.
PROBLEM OF CHINA (THE). By Bertrand Russell. The Century Company, New York. $2.