IN her lifelike letters to her friends, Hilda Rose has written a record of contemporary pioneering equal to any in American annals. Living in the bleak shadow of the Rockies, this little woman — she tips the scales at eighty-six pounds—pitted her strength against the elements in an effort to support her aged husband, her young son, and two deserted little girls. Mrs. Rose is forty-seven years old. ¶‘ If readers should ask whether the events of “ Hardscrabble Hellas” are true,’ writes Lucien Price, ‘you may tell them that everything in it is fact. A few proper names only have been changed out of courtesy to living people. But not Mrs. Slaughter’s! That joke was too good to spoil.’ As every faithful reader knows, Mr. Price is the author of ‘ Olympians in Homespun,’ which we published in the Atlantic for April 1926. ¶One of the younger literary generation, Joseph Wood Krutch is an associate editor of the Nation and a biographer of Poe. ¶Familiarized with the Indian scene during his late services as the Principal of Rajahmundry College, Oswald Couldrey has returned to his native Berkshire, where he devotes himself to prose and painting. Certain of his narratives appeared in the English Beacon, a magazine of small circulation now extinct. ¶ Home from an eighteen-month pilgrimage through the Buddhist East,— India, Ceylon, Java, and Japan, — Dr. Kenneth J. Saunders resumes his lecturing at the University of California. Cambridge University has lately conferred upon him the degree of Litt.D., in recognition of his study in Buddhism.

Hunting through mythology, astronomy, and the classics, Lilian White Spencer has collected a menagerie the like of which was never seen on sea or land — and we include Noah’s. Ralph Linton, Captain of the Marshall Field Expedition to Madagascar, writes us as follows from the bush: —

I have just completed a trip across the northern part of the island, from Maroantsetra to Analalava, which took me through a good deal of wild and almost unknown territory. I had no adventures comparable to my experience with the Sihanaka wizard, but there were a good many interesting happenings. We got into famine country where the people belonged to a tribe hostile to that of our bearers, and had to make an eighteen-hour forced march to a French military post to escape a fight.

We publish his narrative by courtesy of the Field Museum of Natural History. D. H. Lawrence is one of the most individual and distinguished writers of the modern school. ¶As will be seen from other chapters of his autobiography, Carl Christian Jensen has come a long way from that fervent period when he believed that Doomsday was at hand. A Saga of To-day, containing all that has appeared in the magazine and more than as much again, will be published in the spring as an Atlantic publication. Mary Ellen Chase, professor of English at Smith College, reassures our belief in the intellectual attainments of Balaam’s ass. Edward A. Thurber, a resident of Colorado Springs, is an occasional contributor to American periodicals. Isabel Hopestill Carter, who from the Maine coast sends us sea stories full of salt and savor, remarks that her latest yarn is ‘almost exactly as it was told to me by a woman who used to go to sea.’

Had Elizabeth Choate stayed at her home in Southborougb, Massachusetts, she would never have known the force of the Florida winds and waves — and never have written her essay. It is a wise writer who disregards her own advice. Dr. Hans Zinsser is in the front rank of the world’s bacteriologists. He is now a professor at the Harvard Medical School. It is not too much to say that the progress of American medicine is intimately connected with the solution of the question here candidly discussed. ¶A recent graduate of Harvard, endowed with a traveling fellowship, John Finley, Jr., has been studying in the American School at Athens. ¶Born in Williamstown, John Carter, an editor of the literary supplement of the New York Times, declares that he has lived in the slums, in the apartments, and in the suburbs of New York City, ¶Deaconess in the Episcopal Church, Margaret Stuart Lloyd is in charge of settlement work in Boston. Her paper, as one may see, was not designed for publication.

A sensitive barometer of public and political opinion, Walter Lippmann is editor of the New York World. Assistant secretary of the Methodist Board of Foreign Missions, Stanley High is now on a worldwide tour of inspection. His present paper was prepared during a three months’ stay in South Africa, where he visited the chief cities of the Union and journeyed as far inland as the Katanga copper fields in the Belgian Congo.

Of the many letters that have come to us in response to ‘Unfinished Jobs,’ this would seem to be the most complementary to the writer’s argument.
LONG ISLAND, N. Y.

DEAR EDITOR, — ‘Unfinished Jobs,’ in the November issue, I have read twice and expect to read twice again. The writer has duplicated so many of my own experiences that the parallel is startling.
About nineteen years ago I started as bookkeeper with a very old firm of importers in a city not far from New York. Four years later I was made the treasurer of the company, and, as required by law, given one share of stock. It was a close corporation. Just about this time the son of the founder, who was then about sixtythree, wanted to retire from active participation.
With his retirement some of the old traditions retired, so to speak, automatically, and a moneyed young man just out of college was taken into the organization and made the secretary. From the very start his salary was just two and one half times the amount of my salary. As he was unfitted both by inability and inexperience to do the work of the secretary, I did that as well as the duties of treasurer. About two years later, owing to some internal matters, it was found necessary to start liquidation with the hope that later the business could be resumed. Two of the best-known banking houses in this country had the liquidation in hand. It went along in this manner for about two years, when the bankers awoke to the fact that something radical had to be done. They dismissed the president, the secretary, and the salesmen in the New York office, and retained me alone. Our importations were raw materials. One of the bankers asked me if I thought I could make weekly trips to New York and try to sell the remaining merchandise, valued at about $100,000. I sold it all at better prices and within a shorter period than all my predecessors had done. I recall when I made a sale aggregating $40,000 to a competing firm, at a very good figure, the same banker remarked he could hardly wait until he would see the former president to tell him that Miss X had done the big thing. He then turned around to me and said in substance: ‘I know what your obligations have been in your home and family for several years, and that you have outclassed the men in this business by far, but because you are a woman I cannot give you any more money.’ I was so angry ‘within myself’ that I could not reply.
Just about the time I completed this liquidation the war was at its height, and owing to family obligations I was obliged to do ‘ war work. ’ It was again a man’s job, at a starvation wage, literally not figuratively, but it was my meagre contribution to my country and I make no complaint.
The day the Armistice was signed I started back into my old business, which I had learned to love. After the most discouraging setbacks, I finally landed something at a wage that any young man just out of high school would consider.
I was sent to the Orient three times, remaining the second time about a year and a half as a resident buyer. The merchandise I buy is raw material and of a highly specialized character. I not only have gone out there and bought, but have come home and sold to the manufacturers both in the United States and Canada. I have been told by many of the manufacturers that the merchandise I personally selected in the Orient was the best they have ever purchased for gradings and qualities.
Another firm with whom I later became associated had me go to the Orient, buy the merchandise, instruct one of their foreign employees there in the selecting and buying of the goods, come back to the United States, open the department here, sell the goods, instruct another person, of course a man, in the intricacies of this specialized but profitable merchandise — then politely told me they did n’t need my services after a certain date!

I have no grudge against business men, but I know from actual experience and observation that the majority of them depend upon a woman’s judgment in their guidance in many, many vital business issues. Should this same woman approach the age of fifty, they try delicately sometimes, more often otherwise, to get rid of her services, although women are keener when they approach middle life and their business experience gives them far greater insight than many men of the same age. Would any sane American consider President Coolidge too old for his job?
Yours very truly,
MISS X

Had we been the Lady, we too should not have waited to verify first impressions.
DEAR EDITOR, —
In the December Atlantic the Lady writes engagingly of the Tiger, ‘ Machan.’ But — 1. No animal’s eyes glow in the dark except to reflect a light thrown into them.
2. No cat, however large, can be heard walking, unless he steps on something that creaks or rustles — certainly not on soft earth.
3. The track of a cat (tiger included, of course) never shows the print of claws.
However, the Lady may have meant her tiger tale to be a fairy tale.
Yours truly,
GEORGE B. WINTON

It is indeed an ancient habit inaugurated in Adam’s fall.
INDIANAPOLIS, IND.
DEAR ATLANTIC, —
‘The Habit of Going to the Devil’ was old before the earliest date given by Mr. Hulbert in your December number. Witness — The World, by Adam Fitz-Adam, published in 1747, contains a letter, in part as follows: —
‘I am not so partial to the ladies, particularly the unmarried ones, as to imagine them without fault; on the contrary, I am going to accuse them of a very great one, which if not put a stop to before the warm weather comes in, no mortal can tell to what lengths it may be carried. You have already hinted at this fault in the sex, under the genteel appellation of moulting their dress. If necks, shoulders, etc., have begun to shed their covering in winter, what a general display of nature are we to expect this summer, when the excuse of heat may be alleged in favor of such display? I called some time ago upon a friend of mine near St. James’s, who, upon my asking where his sister was, told me, “At her toilette, UNDRESSING for the ridotto.” That the expression may be intelligible to every one of your readers, I beg leave to inform them that it is the fashion for a lady to UNDRESS herself to go abroad, and to DRESS only when she stays at home and sees no company.
‘It may be urged, perhaps, that the nakedness in fashion is intended only to be emblematical of the innocence of the present generation of young ladies; as we read of our first mother, before the fall, that she was naked and not ashamed; but I cannot help thinking that her daughters of these times should convince us that they are entirely free from original sin, as well as transgression, or else be ashamed of their NAKEDNESS.
‘I would ask any pretty miss about town, if she went a second time to see the waxwork, or the lions, or even the dogs and the monkies, with the same delight as at first? Certain it is, that the finest show in the world excites but little curiosity in those who have seen it before. “That was a very fine picture,” says my lord, “but I had seen it before!” “ ’T was a sweet song of the Galli’s,” says my lady, “but I had heard it before!” “A very fine poem,” says the critic, “ but. I had read it before.” Let every lady therefore take care, that while she is displaying in public a bosom whiter than snow, the men do not look as if they were saying, “’T is very pretty, but we have seen it before!”’
So you see, 179 years ago there were pessimists wailing in the wilderness — as to-day — and ‘the world’ grows better nevertheless.
Yours truly,
ARTHUR M. HOOD

Our correspondent in the Solomon Islands has been enjoying Florida weather.
OVI HARBOR, GUADALCANAL BRITISH SOLOMON ISLES
DEAR ATLANTIC, —
To have one’s slumbers disturbed by a severe shaking is not a pleasant thing. An earthquake was very evident at 4.30 A.M. on the seventeenth of September and it was with difficulty that I managed to get out of the house. I could hear things smashing in every direction. My first thought was of the tidal waves that would surely follow the earthquake. I called to some native laborers to go to our launch which was anchored a little distance away, for only immediate action would save it.
Then the tidal waves were evident. At the first wave, the sea completely emptied itself, and only reef was visible, but the tide returned. Then the waves became severe and lasted about two hours. The sea rushed right over the banks and the earthquake left the Island full of cracks and holes in the earth and with several lava slides. I longed for the moon to shine, but there was not even a star in the skies. When daylight appeared I was able to see the actual damage.
All the houses were at an angle. The whole Island seemed out of repair and it was a disaster one is not likely to forget. The tidal waves completely washed away part of the foreshore. This is the second earthquake this year and the old chiefs tell me they have never experienced them till now. The weather has been severe for months. Abnormally low tides, then abnormally high. The natives are terrified and declare it is due to evil spirits on the reefs. I was here alone and three native boys were of little or no use. Their motto is, ‘Every man for himself, and God for us all.’
For four days after the earthquake there were earth tremors every ten minutes and I was in constant dread of another severe shake, so I was obliged to sleep under God’s blue skies. I am glad to think I am alive to tell the tale.
(MRS.) EDITH SVENSEN

A question for sportsmen to decide.
VERMILION, S. D.
DEAR ATLANTIC, —
What is good sportsmanship?
The other night I was playing ‘smut’ with a group of people and for three or four hours I succeeded in missing the burnt cork. The rest of the crowd only needed black bathing suits to be ‘niggers.’ They were simply wild to initiate me into their élite group, but because of their impatience and a natural ability for card playing on my part they consistently failed. Finally in desperation the three men in the game invited the ladies to quit. For the sake of the fight I consented to play on, although I had long since tired of the game. Then lo and behold, when I would get out first they would want to quit and start over again, promising me that when I did get ‘smutted’ I would get more in one time than any of them had. I was n’t even to have a chance at smutting’ them. What was I? Simply a victim put up to slaughter. They grumbled and said I was n t a good sport because I insisted on ‘smutting’ all of them when I finished first unless they played it out. Then when I began to lay the smut thicker and thicker on them because there was no unsmutted place, in desperation they resorted to crooked means. The climax was reached when I was beaten largely because one of the three who was already out looked at my hand and told the others how to play. When I protested they very emphatically told me I was not a good sport! Perhaps I was n’t, but neither is the rabbit who won’t sit by the roadside and let the hunter kill him without the trouble of alighting from his car. And then the rabbit, to be an ultra good sport, in his last throes of death should kick toward the car so the chauffeur could reach forth a long arm and get it.
If that is their code of sportsmanship it is because their ego prompts them that only luck can beat their superior intelligence, therefore to combat luck they should resort to any means. Lord help the poor, misguided sport who quits a poker game when he is a winner. He should by all means stay until all of the potshotters trim him, when they will trump up excuses to quit which will not violate good sportsmanship. Now, what is good sportsmanship?
HORACE DAY

Who’s a bibliomaniac?
PHILADELPHIA, PA.
DEAR ATLANTIC, —
Somebody said somewhere of books, ‘While it is a very plesaunt thynge to have meny, he whose collection has come to be other than the means and signs of culture, or the beloved companions of his solitude, has passed a perilous line,’ and I would point to this old saying as a text for all those engaged in the happy occupation of book gathering.
The embryonic collector would certainly lose courage upon reading ‘On Finishing Collector’ in your November issue. What chance for him, with Carolyn Wells and all the other ‘finishing’ addicts, with practically unlimited funds, in the field?
‘Be not discouraged,’ I say to him, in the words of the poet whom the contributor designates a conceited old egoist. ‘Be not discouraged, there are divine things well developed. I swear to you, there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell.’ For that is what I have found in my own modest little collecting of Whitmaniana over a period of fifteen years.
Each precious volume has a story of its own, sometimes of sharp self-denial. This second edition of Leaves of Grass, for instance (the one that stirred up so much criticism by its publication of Emerson’s letter), reminds me of the winter I gladly wore an old coat to buy it. The family said I was a disgrace to them that year, but I was warm — warm with affection for my longed-for book.
Then came the autographed ‘Birthday Edition,’ with its personal dedication (how I wish there was space to quote it, so apropos it is to this subject). Shall I ever forget the great day when my children combined their financial resources and gave me that treasure for a Christmas gift?
My second volume of the two-volumed Centennial edition cost me but a trifle, but to complete it I gladly sacrificed the price of a new hat (amid more groans from the family).
These instances of a few of the joys of the unfinisher could be multiplied indefinitely, for each item acquired has brought with it a satisfaction and refreshment never to be had by purchasing collections as one does groceries, clothing, furniture, or other material necessaries of life.
Your finishing collector knows nothing of the real joys of the book hunter. She is merely ‘possessed with a mania for owning things.’ The unfinisher, on the contrary, finds not only her collection but her whole life enriched by personal contacts with those most delightful folk, fellow collectors and booksellers, through whose intelligent sympathy and guidance she is led into closer association with the ‘Great Companions.’
MADGE BARTON FEURER

From one who is almost persuaded.
CEDARBURG, WIS.
DEAR ATLANTIC, — I am very interested in the article, ‘Islam and Christianity,’ in the November issue, for I am at present seriously considering joining Islam. The article disappointed me in one respect. It failed to strike at the real weakness of Christianity — its paranoiac belief that it alone of all religions given to humanity is the chosen vehicle for the world’s redemption. There is to my knowledge no other religion which holds this impossible belief. Small wonder that Islam does not yield to the missionarizing efforts of Christianity!
Mr. Hutchison shows more than the usual spirit of fair play when he counts Christianity as equally guilty with Islam in bloodshed and religious wars. Personally, however, I am inclined to question that Islam ever was guilty of such cruelties as the inquisition committed in the name of Christ. In the Western world ‘the unspeakable Turk’ has become a synonym of religious persecution and torture; history forces one to wonder whether ‘the unspeakable Christian’ would not be as applicable, or more so.
One of the puzzles of my life is the utter blindness of supposedly educated ministers, in an age which glorifies facts, to the unmistakable testimony of history. As the daughter of a minister I had been brought up in the most orthodox fashion and had caught the habits of thought of Christian circles, but my reading of Poole’s translation of the Koran left me with a firm resolve never to believe any statement disparaging to any religion made by anyone, missionaries or otherwise, without first-hand investigation.
History bears witness that the ‘unspeakable Turk’ was far more generous in the treatment of defeated enemies than were the Christian crusaders. Nor may we ignore the fact that Islam played a big part in bringing about the Renaissance which ended the Dark Ages into which the Western world had sunk under purely Christian rule.
There is a widespread belief that Islam encourages carnal gratification. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are few Christians who would be willing to practise the self-control demanded of Muslims during the month of Ramadan alone and it would be just as justifiable to lay Western ‘gold-madness’ to Saint John’s vision of the City of Gold as to blame moral aberrations of the followers of Islam on the material pleasures of paradise described in the Koran. The one is as much of a symbol as the other and it is only failure to grasp the meaning of Oriental symbology that gives prurient significance to Islamic descriptions of paradise.
I am not a convert to Islam in a strict sense. I do not know any professed followers of the creed personally. One interchange of letters with a European mission of that faith is the extent of my personal contact with it. To join or not to join is largely a question of possibilities of greatest service. It is Islam’s fearless devotion to truth that attracts me and the tenderness of its love that holds me — for Islam knows the tender compassionate Christ no less than does Christianity. Is He not the world-teacher of this era, the inspirer and sustainer of all religions even though Christianity refuses to see Him in any but the Jesus incarnation? Knowing the needs of the world, He devises manifold ways of guiding His children home. Islam recognizes this fact and Christianity does not. How can it hope to convert the former?
Unless Christianity rids itself of the delusion of grandeur that it alone is the chosen vehicle of God it will not only fail in realizing its dreams of world dominion, but it will be in danger of losing its place among the great religions of the world.
Mr. Hutchison is right. All that Christianity needs to do is to become genuinely filled with the love of Christ. If it then still fails to convert its Islamic brethren it will not mind, for with real love the desire to proselyte automatically ceases. It will value the love and coöperation and trust of its Islamic brethren far more than their conversion, One of the first fruits of genuine love as applied to religious questions must always be a great tolerance and a fairness in representing the beliefs of others. Christianity has much to atone for in this respect — especially to Islam.
E. STRASSBURGER