Roughing It in the Tropics
ONE day in my youth I stood on the six-hundredth rung of a twelve-hundred-foot ladder. And looking up from the deep shaft I could see the stars at noon. I was to climb this ladder many times, clad in a sort of Burberry (against the dripping hæmatite water), stringing great lengths of electric cable by candlelight. But that was in the temperate zone of upper Michigan, and, had it not been for the fact that several other undergraduates were on the same job, I might have felt the full dramatic quality of my experience. Pride, and the will to feel as well as to exhibit coolness, eclipsed our fears.
Some years later in London — still in my youth — I discovered that my adventure in the red Gogebic Range could never appear heroic. Not that I wished it so, but I was struck by a remark of Stephen Crane’s when he said that, unless one feels in the actual moment of one’s action a dramatic quality, the incident will forever remain commonplace. Now, when I look back through my present dislike of height, I imagine that it was indeed horrifying to have climbed that ladder. For I transform the youthful, slightly sick feeling of caution into the white fear I should know to-day. And yet at the time it was not a stirring experience.
But what of adventure in the Tropical Zone? If your own life north of the equator has been as normal as mine, you will agree that the tropic forests loom up full of terrors: a hundred stinging insects darting through the jungle for. every one of our New York gnats; tarantulas springing upon one; outlandish plants with razor-leaf edges; serpents; miasmic threats of disease.
So, when I set sail for the West Indies with Will Beebe, his smiling disapproval of my excited outlook did not allay my sense of heroics. I felt like the one undergraduate who had not climbed the red ladder — though we had laughed at him and said it was nothing. I was to see tarantulas at home and walk in a jungle choked with orchids.
At Christmas time we left New York, bumping through blocks of ice in the river and shivering all night in worse and worse winter although we were headed south. But three days later we were counting the flying fish and admiring the gold sargasso weed in the bluest water of all the seas. As yet there were no tarantulas, and I was grateful for a gentle induction into jeopardous adventure.
We had a sight, far off, of San Salvador, but we saw little land as we made for the Windward Passage through the Greater Antilles. And when we sailed into the bay of Haiti I was disappointed to see so little of the tropic flora. My absurd anticipations had outrun all reasonable limits of vision.
But the colors of the sky and distant crumpled hills! Concept serves us very ill when we imagine that mere degree will give us a clue to new appearances. The water and the sky were not simply bluer than the hues I had known — they were novel with an effect beyond that of clarity and heightened tone. The sea, of Salvia patens blue, moved in rounded wavelets with no cusps; and from the curved facets oddly colored high-lights shone — lavender, rose, and white.
The moment we landed we were shown into the General’s private launch for a streak down the rim of the bay, and into his motor car for the run up to his beautiful place in the hills. Along the lanes I saw scarlet Poinsettia and red Hibiscus growing wild; two kinds of Hibiscus later, red and peachblow; two kinds of Bougainvillæ; the lavender Petrea, deep-hued morning-glories, and rose-colored Liane d’Amour embracing the stony-hearted cactus; royal palms of great height, and the trees called Flamboyant.
The General and his wife received us on a terrace which might have been one of the colonial verandahs of Virginia or Lady Varley’s house on Camden Hill in London — except for the flower garden and the magical breeze and the view below of Gonaïves Gulf, now in turquoise, alkanet, mother-of-pearl. I can think of nothing more certain to overwhelm one with delight than a dinner party at the General’s, where one gets everything both ways — all the kindness and wit and humor of Northern culture set in the best of tropical heavens. I was told about the sights to see; the strange natives and voodoo and the jungle. The answers to all my questions brought surprise. ‘That is a breadfruit tree. This is native mahogany; and by the way, you will have mahogany honey for breakfast. And you will enjoy our walk to-morrow along a native trail in the jungle.’
No mention yet of tarantulas.
True, I slept under a mosquito net tucked around by kindly Enrico. True, I was told that the big cool brook-water bazin would be ready for me at seven; that breakfast (with mahogany honey) would be served at eight — the General pouring our coffee. But, temporarily safe in bed, when I faintly heard the voodoo songs and tom-tom beats far over the jungle glades, and near by the thump of mangoes ripening in the very night, I was thrilled with ominous thoughts: how I should have to sidestep, on the morrow’s excursion, velvety tarantulas, not to say malarial mosquitoes, voodoo charms, and razor-blade plants.
But the modern high-powered automobile, chauffeured to a turn, and the modern facilities, electric ice, thermos flasks, cigarette lighters worked by the metal lanthanum instead of flint — these comforts, as we rode to the edge of the forest, knocked out my sense of roughing it. I do say, though, that when we trailed through the jungle glade with Will Beebe leading, — hawk-eyed, seeing all twenty seconds ahead of us in time and twenty yards ahead in space, — I do say it was hard going for me. But the General’s wife took the uneven paths like a gazelle. She made us laugh; she made us go on; and incidentally she made us think that the Hibiscus and Liane d’Amour were, not exactly dull flowers (she called them divine), but certainly mere side decorations as she serenely, on the jungle trail, entertained us.
There was nothing she did not know about the Haitian woods, and I observed more than my unguided eyes would have taken in. The overwhelming sensation was to see trees and vines green and flowered, as I guessed, twelve months in the year and showing so little sign of their relation to the trees I know.
It was not the orchid season, but I saw many. I had thought that orchids were too much like animals: there had been something weird and almost suggest ive of a satanic trap when I saw them in England — so out of place. But here the trees seemed pleased to have them clinging; they were as welcome as the perching birds. And thus the delicate orchids won my heart for the first time, now set out in their own way. The scene was pleasing, not sinister.
The sense of the forest, the spirit of it, is known to many of us — the spirit of the Northern wood. What is the spirit of a tropical forest? I remember one night at a country-house party in England when we were analyzing our feelings in regard to the surrounding wood. I said the forest near by was not alive, and the hostess exclaimed, ‘Trees not alive? How can you say that?’ and Algernon Blackwood shouted, ‘Thank you, Moro; I have been contending that this wood is dead. There are no hamadryads here.’ We were accused of mystification!
There is in the Northern wood, when it is right, the sense of a hushed temple — I can put it no more clearly. But in the jungle forest this is not so. There come into my mind all sorts of farfetched analogies when I try to convey the idea. I think of the visit of an Athenian poet, a little later than the Golden Age, to the palace of Crœsus across the Ægean; and I wonder at the scene when the quiet, philosophic Athenian entered the room and was greeted by the mighty Lydians! And the entertainment, the rich-colored setting, and the pleased and flattered but somewhat disturbed, cool-tempered visitor.
Here in Haiti was a forest silent enough, but it was not the silence of a temple. Here was beauty, but the beholder was too much stirred; and as I looked I seemed to understand, all at once, why men had so often devised religions based on asceticism: as if beauty, full tilt, at its height, were dangerous! I am not able to believe that the moral judgment has had any success when it has touched upon the perception of beauty. And yet . . .
In the forest clearings we came upon natives in their hovels set in groves of cultivated banana trees, and plantations of exotic vegetables never served at the Savoy or at Childs’. The natives are gentle, pleasant people and we were told to say, ‘Bonjour, madame’ (we are told in England to say ‘ma’am’ to the Queen) and the black wives smilingly replied, ‘Prends courage, cousin.’
My ideas of negroes were put awry by the clear articulation in French patois, so different from one’s idea of what African lips must do. Along the roads outside we met these black women riding burros on a day’s journey to the market in Port-au-Prince. Here they were dressed for Sunday with bright bandannas covered by broad straw hats. And on their feet heelless slippers hanging perilously on the big toes but never falling. Haitian chic! I offered to buy the sixty-five cents’ worth of merchandise, but was told that two dollars would not be accepted so far from the market. Tomorrow’s gossip and bickering at Portau-Prince give the maximum profit. The black wives are independent and occupy no inferior position; and one might possibly see them ruling chalk lines for their lazy husbands.
Sounds of a violent domestic quarrel in the deep glade below reached us while we lunched on the ridge, and the one epithet was ‘Ou-mim!’ — which is patois for ‘Vous-mêmes.’ But in a few minutes all was silent and peaceful. The strange trees made a cool shade from which no tarantula dropped upon us.
The natives are the descendants of African slaves imported in the eighteenth century to relieve the cruelty to the Caribs, whose serfdom shocked the conscience of a tender-hearted priest. But more than a hundred years of freedom won when Napoleon was not at his best — and he was ever vague upon questions of overseas control — has given little to the Haitian. ’T is a sad country. The calm negroes move in the scene knowing nothing of snow or white reason. They strive ever toward yesterdays, and it is well not to probe too deeply into their manners. Though they have a great palace for their President (by the way, he is a very learned and exceptional man) and a Palace of Finance with the Haitian flag flying blue and red, — the French white torn out, — a half-dozen laborers lapped from the gutter a bottle of yellow chartreuse which slipped from my arm the other day.
Until the expeditionary schooner came in we stopped at the General’s house, and the soothing run of my introduction to life at 18° N. continued to make philosophy redundant. Our conversation on the terrace ranged over all tropical countries, and my interest in hot lands increased as the General told me of many colored peoples and their customs and governments. The horror of voodoo human sacrifice is no more — an improvement on the year 1864, when a mother, on being asked how she could bring herself to kill her own child for voodoo cannibalistic sacrifice, replied brightly, ‘Who has a better right?’
From the General’s terrace we watched the horizon of Gonaïves Gulf for the coming of Will Beebe’s floating laboratory. This was the four-masted schooner Lieutenant, sailing from New York on December 31, 1926. The strange cargo of scientific apparatus and khaki tents, in which we were to work and live on deck, made a burden far below the normal nine hundred tons, and we knew that the beautiful vessel would ride high in the water.
The schooner carried no auxiliary engine, and her arrival was a question of fitful winds even before she was off San Salvador. She was compelled to make Easting; and at last, after twenty-one days out of New York, she came into view rimming westerward the coast of San Domingo. We had a sweepstake for the date of arrival, and Dr. Jamieson won it when the Lieutenant sailed down the bay with John Tee-Van at the wheel. I marveled at John’s sea-dog verve, for I had thought that an ichthyologist would know nothing of navigation. But the vessel had been brought down by Will Beebe’s group of clever assistants, under the command of her skipper.
We were all tanned and acclimated. Will and Jamieson and I had not spent our entire month on the General’s shaded terrace, and certainly the ichthyological crew had known exposure. We began at once to fit up our laboratory, rejoicing in the heavy toil. The skipper, I think, looked on with disapproving eye, amused and cynical, as we put up the khaki tents on deck: the big library and work tent, with its microscopes and forceps and trays, its tables and seal jars and slide rules; the big mess tent, with its dining table made by Merriam then and there, with long benches at the sides; and our sleeping tents, our carpenter bench, and the pet monkey’s ample cage — dearest Cheery, the darling spawn of Satan. Serge, our Russian refugee Préparateur (of whom a poignant and arresting and then a delightful history can be told), remarked: ‘Oh, much work; plenty carpenter; no glace.’ Ice! That is what Merriam and I were expected to produce. And we did, eventually, when the dynamo was fitted and the methyl chloride gas began to run its expanding and contracting cycle in the great refrigerator. That job was done. And from that day we had a great supply of two-inch cubes of ice. Over all tents and the ice box we stretched great canvas flies, and around the refrigerator we packed five niches of kapok fibre. Tables and benches, aquarium stands and shelves on deck and below in the hold — these went up fast under our army-ant efforts.
The work was chiefly sea work and at sea we were anchored. We had no mosquitoes, no land pests of any kind; and twice a day a cool sea breeze. At ten that first night we slept, each on his own cot in his own tent. A good job done. The régime, never broken during four months, was as follows: —
Up at 6.30. Into the sea.
Work (of which, details presently).
11.40. Into the sea. Lunch at 12.
4.20. Into the sea.
4.50. The first and only drink: iced rum punch.
At 5, dinner and perhaps a half hour’s recreation.
Work, and to bed at 10.
Recreation is a stupid word in many contexts. If it merely suggests idle fun it has little meaning in laboratory work; for when I look back over thirty-five years, and think of the breathless joy of research, golf is nothing at all. And there is no quickening change of occupation quite so thrilling as the next and the next moment in analytic observation. We labored joyously, we had one drink of rum, and we rested in black velvet slumber.
We were anxious to repeat Will Beebe’s use of a bright light in the sea, and very soon after sundown we lowered into the water our powerful electric projector. The jellyfish bothered us, being plankton, a name which hints that they have no will of their own. In the spread of the beam, which made a celadon-green fan of jeweled light, hundreds of jellyfish phototropically moved to make a sort of glass log-jam and clogged our field. But it was not always so, and many fish and other quick-swimming creatures came from their beds to see the lamp. Dozens were collected and studied.
There are some species which cannot be caught by any hook or net or trap. These are fish not seen near the surface, and it is necessary to study their habits by going down in a diving helmet.
A walk on the sea floor is an experience never forgotten. You see many a gem in the caves of the ocean, and if the poet Gray had left Stoke Poges for the Greater Antilles, to know these beauties first hand, he would, like Bates, have tarried long out of England.
You wear a heavy-windowed helmet, fitted at the end of a long hose pipe, and you go down a ladder off the stern of the boat while a trusty friend pumps the air. All of a sudden you are weightless and the dearest dreams of dance and grace come true. You are in the enchanted garden of Rasselas. You move as a Nijinsky, remembering his Spectre de la Rose, for to step over a three-foot piece of coral is no effort. Oddly enough, under the hypnosis of your outlandish adventure, the magic world becomes strangely, faintly normal. That is to say, you begin to remember the scene, to imagine you have been there before. For you have known it all in your dreams.
The atmosphere (so it seems, for there is no sense of water; one is not wet) is of a transparent faint celadon green, and distances appear abnormal. Valleys stretch out and tempt one to wander.
On some of the reef floors it is impossible to walk on account of closely massed jagged coral, which stands up still and gaunt like frozen plants. But we found one reef with alleyways of snow-white sand. And here was a long-fringed moss of Chinese camellialeaf powder-green, above which waved red-purple fronds of miracle lace.
Sponges are colored! I had thought they were all of light gray-yellow, but in the sea garden where they grow they show the hues of famille verte. But alas, the color washes out above, in the freshwater world. One cannot rob the gems of ocean with profit. And surely we know this, for what have we ever brought back from the land of dreams?
Rock gardens at home show broken stones, but on the sea floor rocks are unsplit spheroids of coral with labyrinthine designs upon them. I saw three lilies growing on one of these boulders, their silken corollas crimped and scalloped to show captivating changes in color. One was scarlet, one was like a yellow picotee, and one was pale sky blue. I wished to pick one, but zip! it vanished — as things do in dreams.
These might be Hemerocallis euleipióeis — a dog-Greek name I have invented for them, the botany game being played in this way, I believe. But Will Beebe has the right official name, which does not do them justice, though I know now that they are benthic animals.
Fish swim about you unafraid, and the one most often seen was half pure blue and half lemon yellow. The colors and designs are uninventable, and I have seen feats of camouflage that put the chameleon in the shade. We all know that black is not black in usual environment, and that a dark-lined cavern like the pupil of the eye is blacker than any surface pigment. Yet there is one fish (his eye is all pupil, of course) which has a black pigmentary band across him and across his eye equal exactly in width to the eye diameter; and the pigment is of such velvet blackness that the eye is not seen. Is this enough in the way of disguise? No! Far from his head there is an imitation of a bright eye like those on butterfly wings!
And there was a rare fish, never seen near the surface, which Beebe captured only after two weeks’ study of its habits in situ. It had a mantle of Tyrian purple so bright that we could find no paint to match it. And so it goes; I won’t attempt further to convey the detailed wonders.
I do not speak loosely when I mention dreams and refer to the sense of haunting memory. I have not forgotten Plato’s charming suggestion that our perception of beauty is a primordial recollection. And he said that wisdom (or was it knowledge?) is a memory! William James, also, has had much to say on the incidence of a memory sense in very odd mental experiences. The first green of spring always stirs in me the exquisite wraith of age-old memory, and in the sea garden I felt again that strange inexpressible emotion.
I have discussed this with my friend Alfred Whitehead, who has some illuminating philosophic things to say about it. I agree with him that the physiologist’s definition of memory will not bear analysis and that an apparent sense of recollection, when the facts of memory are nonexistent, is something to conjure with. Who knows the truth wrapped in this great mystery? Who can contemplate space-time, with its infinite miracle of past and present?
Conscience-stricken at last, on giving a stray thought to your pumping friend, you go up the ladder and the impatient gods above lift off the helmet. You are again in the white air and you notice on all light objects a pinkish hue. This is because you have tired out the Nankin parts of your retina.
At night, incredibly soon after the quick sunset, the sea is black, but if the water is torn — if the slightest disturbance is made in the sea — it shines out in a liquid silver luminescence. White flames, much brighter than moonlight, flash and ripple away; and a stone dropped will show the silver trail down and down as it sinks, while on the surface widening rings, fainter and fainter, spread away. We dropped a pin from the rail and saw a tiny flick of light on the sea twenty feet below.
Beebe studied certain of the inland fresh-water creatures in the brackish lakes at Matalas and Thomazeau. And one day when we had waded through the sulphur swamps at Source Matalas we had a thrilling experience. We found no sign of life in the strongsmelling waters and were on our way home when we saw the bright flash of a leaping fish. To my eye ’t was merely a flash, but Beebe shouted, ‘Tarpon!’ I think this wonderful, for how could anyone give a name to a flick of light? I had read somewhere that up to this time only one breeding ground of tarpon was known in the world, far away from Haiti; and how could any creatures live in such sulphur water?
We went for our fifteen-foot net and began a sweep of the small sulphurgreen lagoon. And all of a sudden, without warning, we had fifty-six baby tarpon leaping like mad to escape our seine! And here was another breeding place for the great sporting fish. The little tarpon is, to my eye, exactly like the grown monster in every detail but size. What his father leaps in feet, he leaps in inches, with every fin and tooth the same. And the bright wild eye is there.
It would be a pleasure to devote the whole of my article to Beebe. His fame — which in science is even greater abroad than at home; and I should like to quote Sir Ray Lankester and Professor d’Arcy Thomson — his fame as an observer is a splendid thing. And I smiled in lessening wonder when everyone in Haiti seemed to be in competition to serve him. One day an aeroplane came from far inland at one hundred and ten miles an hour to bring Beebe a brook fish just caught. It was packed in ice and the colors were still fresh.
The thought jumped to my mind that I should like to see the island of Haiti from above as well as below, and Major Geiger of the Marines took me on a flight. I was trussed up according to standard and belted into the observer’s seat in easily slipped buckles, a parachute on my hind quarters.
‘If things go wrong, dive headfirst over the side; straight down, mind you. Then count three and pull this ring. That ’s all.’ These were grim words to a tenderfoot, but all thought of danger was gone in a moment when we soared over the sea. And as I rose up to zenith I saw more of nadir. Looking downward, I could see the very fish I had so nearly caught in my hands when I had walked among them.
We made for the mountains and rose more than a mile to clear the furled air off the peaks. But we had a few airhole drops which are rather terrifying to the beginner, and yet I found myself unaccountably thinking of equations of the nth degree and of the loss of La Gioconda from the Louvre! This would n’t do; it was the sign of turbulent emotion.
We passed so high over the Artibonite River that I could see its whole sinuous extent — a silver cord, in and out, almost tangled; and I thought of the string we used to pitch over our shoulders, at Halloween, to read a cryptic message on the floor. The great river meandered over a large part of the visible land, a green disc two hundred miles from rim to rim.
When one is a mile and a quarter above the earth, the horizon is still level with one’s eyes, not sensibly below one. I pointed outward, level with my eyes, with outstretched arm, and the horizon of the sea was less than three quarters of an inch below the tip of my forefinger.
It is to be remembered that one’s view of the earth from an aeroplane is that of a microscopist. When we look through a microscope at the green velvet mould on a lemon, for example, we see fronds and trees in a great tropical forest. And if, as in Fitz-James O’Brien’s charming story of ‘ The Diamond Lens,’little humans moved in the scene, we should have the very view that I had of tropical Haiti.
Now the man in the forest has a high-power view of his earth. He sees the life line on his infinitesimal hand, while we, high above, get a low-power view. The homunculus sees fine detail, but there is another type of detail not appreciated from his close-up view: the elements of large masses with color showing only a faint difference from outlying parts. And thus from the aeroplane we could distinguish the sites of ancient farms long since vanished from the close-up view. In England airmen have identified ancient Roman land divisions by taking photographs from a height of half a mile, and in Haiti Captain Boyden has discovered the sites of old fortifications and roads not recorded in the vaguely written histories.
We live in one situation and think we grasp the whole relation between our place and that of distant cities. But as I passed high over Haiti, and saw two or three or four towns simultaneously, I had a sense of human habitation strangely new. Great tropical trees were now fuzzy buttons on crumpled velvet cushions, and men were slowly moving dots. Pigs, with their solid stumpy shadows, are more easily seen than men, whose shadows are like needles; and the thought occurred to me that the gods, looking down, might well neglect to record man as the most important creature on earth.
At one hundred and ten miles an hour we soon reached Cape Haitien in the north. And after viewing the beautiful bay, on which ships looked like wisps of straw, we turned back and made for the terrible Citadel, built by Christophe, the black Emperor of Haiti, on the highest peak. We banked steeply and skimmed past the windows of the great fortress, and I had many stirring thoughts as I remembered the story.
Christophe, when the blacks had massacred the French and had torn the white from the tricolor, enslaved his own people more horribly than the foreigner had done; and he built this fortress solid and sheer on the precipitous mountain to defy all comers. I saw the great bronze cannon which never fired a shot.
The black Emperor killed his French prisoner-architect when the last stone was laid. But he had a short reign, and I wondered what had passed in his dark mind on the last night when the slaves came roaring up the hills for him; for he shot himself with a silver bullet (some do say gold) and ended all.
To-day little negro boys show one gayly through the passages. Old grayheaded negroes look up at the Citadel with an expression which suggests that the world is too active, too unknowable. They know the story vaguely, but they turn to their furrows and think no more, while the walls of the fortress, stone by stone, slowly crumble into the valley.
On coming back Major Geiger, bully fellow, flew out to sea and circled our laboratory schooner. He came down so close I thought he’d cut our outriggers (newly painted) and I waved to my friends.
When I came aboard again these friends were hard at it analyzing the ways of fish, forming a life history. The technical work is extensive and heavy. A specimen comes in and its colors are carefully matched with Ridgeway’s exhaustive scale of hues. If any doubt arises, notes are taken and sample trials with pigment mixtures are made while the colors are still fresh. This is important, because after death the colors of a fish either change or vanish. Measurements are made from point to point and certain ratios are calculated. Photographs are taken — plain, colored, and moving.
The internal organs are examined, the food of the fish is determined, and it seems to me that no analysis I have ever seen in many years of laboratory work is quite so exhaustive. All previous references by other observers are read; and if there is any discrepancy additional specimens are obtained and all variation is noted. Thus there is no question of doubt, and the species, new or old, is fixed for the locality in which it was found.
To get the specimens requires untiring ingenuity. Some fish can be got only by the use of dynamite. After one has gone down to the bottom and learned the location and the habits of a species, a stick of dynamite is exploded and the compressional waves kill the fish without visible physical injury. Other species we get at night with the immersed high-power electric light. And Merriam got a very rare fish by shooting it far under water with a special gun he had invented. We have very small nets of silk thread; linen nets one hundred feet across; hand nets with long poles and short; grains (pronged tridents), arrows, hooks, and traps sunk to the bottom of the sea and left with marking buoys. Fishing rods — minnow and tarpon; and quick, sponge-closing hands to capture in them the massed riches of Haitian waters.
There is much to do. Sea water runs in glass aquarium boxes and fresh water in others. Colored lights are ready to test specific reactions — such as those of a strange spider crab who would swim only toward a red light, and a camouflaging fish who changed his color from blue to lemon yellow. Green lights, amber lights, day-colored lights. Then the complex photography requiring many different sorts of lenses and plates and a cinematographic camera designed by Tee-Van for taking movies on the sea floor.
There are coral rocks to be broken up, revealing microscopic creatures of incredible design and hue; great harpoons and ropes to deal with Gargantuan sting rays or sharks. Sharks, by the way, are no more dangerous than strange dogs, which, of course, we avoid even when we walk up Fifth Avenue. But we do not scream and run, because we know that strange dogs do not seek man as food.
Then there is the microscope, and I ’m sure I should have the experience of Fitz-James O’Brien’s man with his diamond lens were I to gaze too long. Creatures divinely beautiful come out of the water forests as in that pretty tale, and I can now believe the age of the earth to be ten thousand million years, for to create their forms would surely take that long.
We watch the jellyfish in the fan of light after dark, and we see now and then a hundred silver fish leap out to escape an enemy; we watch the swift scarlet sea worms swimming in circles. A rare red-headed bird swoops in from the dark and away. Down on the water someone shouts for the No. 17 net, and it must be lowered instantly with no fumbling. A new creature is scooped in and we all rejoice.
We have risen at six-thirty and swum in the sea, have had our breakfast and worked on until the next and the next swim just before dinner. At four-fifty we have sipped our iced rum punch, and after dinner we have worked again. At ten we are in bed, and no one dreams of tarantulas. . . .
Thus I roughed it in the tropics.