OVER an armed camp, in a hard old Roman world,’writes the Reverend Joseph Fort Newton, ‘the song of the angels rang out, proclaiming “Peace on earth among men of good will.” How far off it must have seemed on that night! How far off it seems to-day!' That such ‘ farness’ is not infinite, that the ‘peace on earth’ of which Christmas is the perfect symbol shall indeed come again, is the bourne of Mr. Newton’s heartening prophecy. Recently, at the invitation of Bishop Garland, Mr. Newton has entered the Protestant Episcopal Church to become rector of the Memorial Church of Saint Paul at Over brook. moral of James Norman Hall’s delightful experience is that, if you cast your bread upon the waters, it may be returned to you as filet of sole on toast. ¶In his story, H. G. Dwight, who returns to the Atlantic after a lamented absence, takes sly, shy pleasure in describing some little-understood exhibits in an American Art Museum. ¶As an introduction to his manuscript, Paul Ernest Anderson sent us the following letter: —

I am twenty-seven years of age, and an American of many generations. . . . Born in the eastern part of the United States, I passed my boyhood in Germany and the Far West. I resided successively in Illinois, Utah, and California. It was in Los Angeles that I first became aware of the -wandering hordes of migratory workers, bums, tramps, and stiffs. I did not, however, at that time know’ that there were various groups of wanderers, each one differing from the other in many important characteristics.

Some few years ago I made the harvest; but it was not until the fall of last year, when, as I have outlined, I took a hike through the back country of the plains, that I commenced to gain the information set dowm in this paper.

I had not gone to the West to learn about tramps. In fact I had gone there merely for the fun of hiking and of observing the people and their manners.

I wrote the main facts of the paper last year, very late in the season. I felt that it must have some value either as news or as information to social workers in general. In conclusion, I took

pains to verify all the facts by diligent questioning of various tramps. Their accounts in the main agreed with what I wrote in this paper. I would unhesitatingly back up every statement.

The barb of Emily Stone Whiteley’s little skit will tickle or annoy, according to the disposition of the reader. first publication of some Leaves from Jane Steger’s Journal in the Atlantic for January, 1925, stirred our audience to a response rare in our experience. It is a privilege to record these later pages from the innermost life of a woman whose religion is her sole and strong support. Winner of the Newdigate Prize for Poetry while at Oxford, Franklin McDuffee is now an instructor in English at Dartmouth College. ¶From her vivid memory, A Woman Physician recalls those enduring events which destroyed her faith and created it again. ¶Commenting upon his strange story, Milutin Krunich remarks: —

Last September there was an oil-tank fire here (California), wiping out, in three days, the whole farm, and giving the inhabitants of Monterey, New Monterey, and Pacific Grove the scare of their lives. The fire was due to human stupidity and carelessness in not protecting such valuable property from lightning. And this stupidity I had in mind When I began the story. But after writing four or five pages the present theme came forcibly to my mind. ‘Without any trouble, with astonishing ease, I wrote it. All the people in it are imaginary.

Mr. Krunich will be remembered for his narrative, ‘We, the Cavemen,’which appeared in the November Atlantic.

The Reverend Vivian T. Pomeroy, of the First Parish, Milton, presents a parallel, as genuine as it is pretty, which leaves the honors about even between the past and the present generation. Canton, Nora Wain finds the materials and mood for the creation of her Chinese tapestries. ¶A resident of Lynn, essayist and poet betimes, Theodore Morrison may be found from nine to five at the Atlantic office. ¶For the past thirty years, William Dana Orcutt has been the moving spirit of the I niversity Press of Cambridge and the Plimpton Press of Norwood. Designer of the famous ‘humanistic’ type, Mr. Orcutt in 1924 was decorated by the Italian Government with the Cross of the Crown of Italy ‘for distinguished services in interpreting Italy to America in the sister arts of literature and typography. ‘ Incidentally, Mr. Orcutt is the author of fifteen novels. ¶With Wilbur Wright and certain farsighted airmen, Sir W. Beach Thomas has learned much in studying the flight of birds. essay which has been found among the papers oi the late Francis B. Gummere, professor of English at Haverford College, is as timely to-day as when written in 1918. Professor Gummere’s occasional word of pleasantness and wisdom has been missed in our columns.

For fifteen years James Murphy has been actively engaged in the study of Italian questions. During the war he was appointed by the Italian Government to direct its press propaganda in London, but upon the advent of the Fascists to power he returned to Italy as a correspondent for the British press. He contributed to the Fortnightly Review and the Edinburgh Review, and to the London Daily News. Because of certain criticism, especially in regard to finances, contained in his articles, his position was rendered so unpleasant as practically to compel him to leave the country. Although some of his opinions arise naturally out of his personal experience, they in general possess a wide implication, involving several perplexing episodes whose cause and relation have hitherto defied explanation. flA tax expert, Raymond Edwards Huntington gives us a personal and provident solution of his grievouspriiblem of4 Death and Taxes ‘ in the September Atlantic. Mr. Huntington wishes to thank Prentice-Hall, Inc., for the use of certain information contained in his article. Arthur E. Suffem sends us his sobering review of the coal situation from the Washington Institute of Economics, which numbers among its officers Robert S. Brookings. Arthur T. Hadley, and David F. Houston. In 1914, Mr. Suffern was made Special Investigator of the Coal Industry by the United States Commission on Industrial Relations. Wolfgang von Weisl is a former Austrian cavalry officer, who since the war has been the correspondent for the Vienna Nene Freie Presse in Palestine, Syria, and Arabia, where his services have won the commendation of many Eastern experts.

In order not to complicate further an extremely circumstantial account, the editors deemed it necessary to withhold all personal references in Mr. Hoagland’s essay, ‘Science and the Medium,’ wherever possible. For those readers who are interested in the minutiae of the case, we should like to add that Mr. Grant H. Code, who contributed much to the solution of the Margery case, is now an instructor in English at the University of Delaware. At the time of the investigation, Mr. Code was an assistant in the English Department of Harvard, and together with his colleague, Mr. S. bostcr Damon, and Mr. Hoagland was instrumental in organizing the Harvard sittings.

We believe that the Atlantic Monthly was the first publication to take serious cognizance of the inequities of Quarantine 37, which threatens to play havoc with the garden-lovers of this country. We note with satisfaction that, pursuant to the discussion roused, the case has been reopened by the Department of Agriculture, dhe official version issued by the Department follows.

When Secretary Jardine took office in March, these restrictions came to his attention, together with arguments that conditions might have changed since the plan was originally decided upon. He thereupon determined on a detailed review of the situation, including not only a much more thorough examination of bulb imports than had previously been possible, but also a survey of the extent to which pests carried by the bulbs might already have a foothold in the United States. The information being assembled bv experts, from imports still coining in and from field surveys, will be available to a sufficient extent to permit within a few weeks a decision based exclusively on actual facts as they exist to-day.

Discussion, it seems, does have its advantages.

It is a privilege to give the testimony of another observer who, like Sir Martin Conway, has endeavored to look Russia squarely and impartially in the face.

On my way to Russia in the summer of 1924, I heard of Sir Martin Conway’s visit to that country to examine the condition of art treasures under the Soviet Government, and I found in England that he had given an account of his study, the more valuable because literal and not prejudiced by judgments on general economic or political condit ions in that extraordinary country. His article in the September Atlantic corroborates our deductions in other fields of inquiry — those of public health and child welfare. Indeed, some of our experiences were identical.
Upon the invitation of Dr. Samasliko, Commissar of Health of all the Russias, I went to Russia with Professor Lillian Hudson of the Department of Nursing and Health at Teachers College, and Elizabeth Farrell of the Department of Education of New York City. We were most fortunate in securing in New York the services, as interpreter, of a Barnard College graduate who spoke Russian fluently.
Dr. Alice Hamilton, Professor of Industrial Medicine at the Harvard Medical School, was invited to visit Russia with us, but, because of a meeting of the League of Nations, was forced to make her trip some months later. Dr. Hamilton summarizes her investigations in the Journal of Industrial Hygiene for February, 1925, by saying that Russia has much industrial hygiene and little production, while the United States has much production and little industrial hygiene.
The Russian Government extended the invitation to us that contacts might be made in order to bring about an intelligent understanding of the theory and practice of their institutions for children. They desired to obtain the benefit, of our observations, and to discuss freely public health, nursing-problems, and the diversified means of protection implied in the term ‘child welfare.’ Wherever we went we found courtesy and a willingness to have us see and examine their methods, and our frank criticism was genuinely solicited.
The Russian practice lagged far behind the theory of social work, but we found cleanliness in the places we visited — in the institutions, in the hotels, in the railway sleeping-cars, and on the Volga boats. Before we left London, Mrs. Philip Snowden, who had been in Russia at an earlier period, assured us that a ton of Keating’s Powder (insecticide) would be insufficient, but we had no occasion to open a single package of the many so tenderly bestowed upon us for our protection. Since our travels took us mainly to the cities, we had no opportunity to test the hygiene in the peasants’ homes. On our journeyings we found the trains not only clean but on time as well — further evidence that Russia was in such realistic matters well organized according to modern standards.
Objects of art, music, and the ballet seemed to us to be almost venerated, though we saw statues that had been thrown from buildings and pedestals, reminiscent of the deeds of historic French and other revolutionary mobs. We saw one picture at the Winter Palace in Leningrad that had been slashed by an angry mob in the first hot ‘ Red’ days, but the curator, obviously distressed by the mutilation, assured us that the offender had been punished for what was considered a serious offense, and the picture still hung in its accustomed place as the ' horrible example. ‘ The personal possessions of the unfortunate Tsar and Tsarina were in order and carefully protected from vandals.
Sincerely yours,

Interesting in itself and in its bearing on Mr. Huntington’s paper in this number is this dignified and indignant protest against the tax policy of these United States.

Mr. Raymond Edwards Huntington in the September Atlantic, writing on the theme of ‘Death and Taxes,’ mentions, among what he calls the ‘sore spots’ of the inheritance-tax situation, the taxation of life insurance.
The mulcting of the estates and beneficiaries of the provident and thrifty through inheritance taxes levied both by the Federal Government and by the States is only part of the iniquitous treatment that the insured public receives at the hands of the taxing authorities. Administrators of estates in which life insurance usually makes up the greater part of the property value find out to their indignation what the inheritance tax means. That is a direct tax which the deceased person probably never thought about. But there are indirect taxes which the insured constantly pay, amounting to millions and millions of dollars yearly, in the mutual life companies of the country. For example, the Federal Government takes 12½ per cent of the interest income of such companies, less the interest required to maintain their legal reserve and other minor deductions. This in effect neutralizes the theory of tax-free bonds because the Government indirectly collects a tax on the interest of these bonds which are the property of the membership of the company.
In addition to what the Federal Government does, every State in the Union except Nevada imposes a tax on the company’s income within the State. This is done without any uniformity whatever. Of course this in effect violates the principle of mutuality. The State that grabs the most gets the most. If a company should undertake to equalize this in the dividends paid to the policyholders in such a State, the probabilities are that the State levying a three-per-cent tax on the premiums collected in that State would cancel the company’s license to do business.
Last year the company with which I happen to be connected paid to the Federal Government anti the various State Governments nearly four million dollars in taxes and license fees.
All this, of course, takes no account of what estates pay under inheritance taxes.
The Dominion of Canada in this, as in some other things, sets an example that we might well emulate. The life-insurance corporations are perfectly willing to pay whatever taxes may be necessary so that their supervision shall be no charge upon the general public. The Dominion of Canada requires life-insurance companies to pay in taxes an amount equal to the cost of maintaining its insurance supervision. In 1923 my company paid about .06 per cent of our premium income to the Dominion Government of Canada. In the United States this tax varies from one to three per cent.
The legislatures of various States, casting about for sources of revenue, find the insured an easy prey. As the United States Bar Association said on one occasion, ‘Premiums paid on life insurance constitute money in sight,’ and the average legislator cannot resist the temptation to take it. The insured is defenseless — in fact, generally speaking, he does n’t even know that he is being taxed!
President, New York Life Insurance Co.

Indians and inefficiency.

Leo Crane’s knowing and most readable article on the Hopi Indians in the July Atlantic arraigns briefly and incidentally, but effectively, the conduct of one Bureau of Government. My only connection with Government affairs has been with that same Bureau, and my opinion of its efficiency, at any rate during some periods of its operation, coincides perfectly with Mr. Crane’s.
President Roosevelt appointed me a Special Allotting Agent, in the Indian Service, and I was ordered by wire from Washington, on a twenty-third of November, to proceed at once to Pala to allot that reservation. When my instructions arrived they directed me to divide the reservation, containing about 3600 acres, into as many parcels of land as there were individuals, men, women, and children, among the Indians interested, and to give one of the pieces of land to each Indian. Such a simple plan — and one that would have worked admirably, for instance, on the plains of South Dakota. But Pala lies in a narrow valley of the San Luis Rey River and is surrounded by high mountains, along whose skirts the land extends. So one Indian would receive a level and very fertile farm in the river bottom, while another would be obliged to make his home on a rocky hillside with no water, either for irrigating, which is necessary here, or even for house use. Such a condition had actually prevailed once there, and one would think that fact might have prevented the Commissioner of Indian Affairs from doing such a thing again.
Some years before there had been three families of the original Pala Indians squatting in the valley, and Mr. Albert K. Smiley, who for many years entertained the annual Indian Conference at Lake Mohonk, and was for long on the Board of Indian Commissioners, was asked to select allotments for them.
Mr. Smiley placed the Indians on three very fine contiguous forty-acre tracts lying in a line from east to west in the river bottom. But at the General Land Office in Washington it was found that the westernmost forty had been filed on by a white man, so the armchair experts shifted that Indian family to the next forty west, lying in the same line. That forty, however, was on a mountain so precipitous and so rocky that the engineer who was sent to establish the corners could not get up it with his instruments. There was just room on the allotment at the base of the mountain for a cabin, and that is where the Indian family lived, for the imbecile injustice was never remedied.
Naturally I protested against following such instructions and gave reasons, but without changing the official attitude. I continued to protest, submitting a plan which I considered feasible. After some weeks a clerk in the Indian Office who sympathized with my efforts told me privately that there was a difference of opinion in the Office which amounted to a controversy. But seemingly it did not occur to anyone to send a competent man to look the ground over and advise with me.
When I had been held on the ground without doing any work exactly six months I was ordered by wire to Washington. Even then the Commissioner’s chief concern seemed to be to build a thoroughly modern and commodious jail on the Pala reservation. Those Indians were the ones who had been evicted from their long-time home at Aguascalientes and forcibly transported to the new location; they were supposed to be in a very bad humor, and consequently must need a jail.
I explained to the Commissioner that. Pala already possessed a very strong concrete jail of one room, and that it was almost never occupied, only very rarely to serve as a one-night bedroom for a drunken Indian. But it would not do — Pala, for several reasons, was to be made a show place. The old jail must be moved off and a new one built. I explained again that I believed that could not be done, as the concrete walls were very thick and I was pretty sure were anchored to rock.
‘Very well, then,’ said the Commissioner, ‘the building must be dynamited and cleared off. We have plenty of money in the building-fund. ‘
That Commissioner, fortunately, was not in office long enough to build a new jail, and he has since died.
Thus endeth the first chapter, and it might be followed by many more.
Yours very truly,

A gentleman from Missouri answers Colin Dale’s conundrum.

The last contribution to the Contributors’ Column of the October Atlantic contains a question concerning poetry, and you decline to answer the conundrum, but pass the buck to your readers.
My answer is that some poets do ‘ intentionally pile colorful words upon colorful words, the whole fabric interwoven with no meaning.’
I have aroused the ire of hero-worshipers who see something soulful and beautiful in lines that my limited mind fails to discover. My own family have scorned me for making light of beautiful lines; and to clinch the matter, and to impress upon me the gross ignorance that attaches to me, they have said, ‘ Would these verses be printed in the Atlantic if there was not a beautiful underlying thought which you are too ignorant to discover?’ Would they Indeed? That was a poser.
Stung by the sarcasm of my friends, my otherwise loyal wife, my family, I decided to write verse. On the impulse of the moment I sat down to my trusty typewriter and dashed off a lyric. I can assure you that the words had no meaning, — to me, anyway, — and I committed forgery and signed the name of one of the writers that I had most severely criticized. I took it home, submitted it to my wife and to others, and said, ‘There is a copy of a poem by Miss—. Read it, and if you can find any sense in it please show it to me. ‘ I was astounded to find that there was a deep, hidden meaning, too much for my feeble intellect to comprehend; and moreover, it was ‘one of the best poems that Miss-had ever written.’ My little story is absolutely true. Can you beat it? And is not my answer to the conundrum the correct one?

What every Noah knows.

Another rainy day, — the eighth in succession, — and I marooned in a cottage in the mountains of north Georgia!
Though the titles of the volumes in the cottage’s one bookcase matched well with the gloom outside, I had braved several of the less forbidding, after exhausting my meagre store of magazines and daily papers. Moved by desperation for something to read,’ I sent my maid to the house next door, to which, the day before the rain, had come an army officer with his wife and daughter. With a note and my ten or twelve magazines the maid waded over, returning shortly with a stack of twenty pale-yellow magazines of uncertain ages and this delightful note:—
‘My dear Miss Brimmer; I am sending you a few of my precious dog-eared Atlantics without apology as to their age or condition. If you’ve read them, you ‘11 not mind reading them again, since they are all dog-eared copies. Nomads such as we can’t keep all our magazines, so our little family has the habit of turning down the front cover of the numbers we simply can’t discard and these we cart, about from post to post. To be dog-eared, a magazine must stand a terrible test. Perhaps it will be interesting to you to guess which article or articles won for these copies this distinction. When the floods have ceased, come over and tell me your guesses.’
I had only a newsstand acquaintance with the Atlantic, but, obeying a whim, I counted down the pale-yellow pile and pulled out the seventh copy, which I opened at random to a story called ‘When Hannah Var Eight Yar Old. I read it once, twice, three times. Before the close of that summer I had read all of the twenty copies and had made dozens of notes about them.
I felt like a prospector who had discovered a gold mine. In October of that year (1913) I bought stock in the Atlantic Gold Mine to the extent of one year’s subscription. Every succeeding year I have made a like purchase. So pleased am I with the dividends that every year I have induced one or more of my friends to purchase stock — baiting them always with my own dogeared copies of the Atlantic.