WHEN Elizabeth C. Forrest (p. 129) and her husband exchanged the toil and vicissitudes ut farming in Eastern Oregon for the rigors of Arctic life, they little thought that concern for the health of a young son, then unborn, would be the determining factor in returning them south again. Of the written record of their stay one hundred miles from their nearest white neighbors, Mrs. Forrest has this to say: ’ It is the work of Segevan, James Angashuk, Anga, Tooluk, and of all our other brown friends, among whom I spent the three best years of my life.‘

‘I never tackled a problem more difficult,’ wrote Oswald Garrison Villard (p. 138) in submitting his present paper, a comment indicative of the vast amount of detail which the former editor of the Nation had to estimate — and estimate accurately — in his determination of our armed forces to-day. Since Mr. Villard’s article was made ready for the presses, President Roosevelt has startled even Navy circles in Washington. At a press conference on December 13, he stated that after a two-hour White House conference with the chief officers of the high commands he had decided to increase the Naval Deserve from a present total of 25,000 to 130,000 men — this to be a ‘really effective force.’

Geoffrey Household (p. 150) is an Atlantic ‘discovery’ for 1936. In this issue he contributes the second of his short stories on the Latin temperament. An Englishman, Spain is his other land; in fact at the moment he is in Málaga keeping warm and incidentally working on a novel which will some day bear the Atlantic imprint. In a letter to the editors, Mr. Household makes this interesting comment upon his short story, ‘Technique’: ‘“Technique" was evolved instantaneously in a Bilbao cabaret, when I saw the lady I called Isabelita imitating in her box a German girl on the stage. I needed some other imaginary brutality with which to shock Anna out of her senses — and the very next day life provided a better one than I could ever have invented. The poor kid was actually fined by the civil governor for indecency. As a matter of fact, it did n’t worry her much.’

Whether in Brussels or New York, Albert Jay Nock (p. 161) likes most to explode fallacies, to run generalities to earth — to bring order into the loose thinking which besets mankind.

Graduate of Bugby and Oxford and a poet on either side of the Atlantic, George Allen (p. 170) is spending this year at Harvard as a Commonwealth Fellow in Literature.

Born in England forty years ago, H. B. Elliston (p. 171) has spent nearly half his life in service to the press. After an apprenticeship on the London dailies, he was sent to the Far East as correspondent for the Manchester Guardian and the London Observer. following seven years’ experience on the China Coast, his work called him to the United States. To-day the Financial Editor of the Christian Science, Monitor, Mr. Elliston is particularly well qualified to survey and contrast the methods which England and the United States have employed in their recovery from the depression. The first half of his study, describing Britain’s readjustment after the war, appeared in the January Atlantic. It should not be missed.

Stephen Leacock (p. 179) writes the best of his humorous sallies in those drear (for the most of us) hours from 6 to 8 A.M. Then he downs a stout Canadian breakfast and goes off to his congenial duties as head of the Department of Economics and Political Science at McGill University.

Curator of the Worcester Art Museum, Francis Henry Taylor (p. 182) helped to solve some emergencies in American painting during his service as chairman of the New England Committee for the Federal Art Project.

Lawrence Sullivan’s shrewd summary of the growth of political patronage (p. 189) is based upon nearly ten years’ intimate knowledge of the Washington scene, where he has been variously correspondent and While House reporter for several press associations, and more recently for Forbes Business Magazine.

Vice Admiral Boyle Somerville (p. 198) had some venturesome experiences while in the hydrographic service of the British Navy.

A Virginian and graduate of the University of Edinburgh, Robert Buckner (p. — 208) took pains to have the facts of Captain Bradman’s adventure verified from official British and Belgian sources. His story may well be an important footnote to World War history.

James E. Boyle (p. 217), professor of Rural Economy at the Agricultural Experiment Station, Cornell University, has his doubts about short ways to end long troubles — notably the old Farm Board, the NRA, and the AAA. In this connection it is interesting to observe that Professor Boyle’s colleague, George F. Warren, the Cornell professor of gold-purchasing fame, has now turned critic of the AAA. Prolessor Warren advances the theory that if the Supreme Court should throw out the processing taxes and production control, and if the whole AAA programme were forthwith abandoned, it would not necessarily hurt the farmers. On the contrary, he asserts that the prices of hogs, cotton, and wheal would show an immediate and appreciable rise. The paper was written with some prescience before the Court decision.

James Still (p. 226), a new contributor to the Atlantic, sends us his poetry from the Hindman Settlement, Hindrnan, Kentucky.

Earnest Elmo Calkins (p. 227) left Galesburg, Illinois, to become one of the leading advertising agents in Manhattan. The farther he got from Galesburg, the better he liked his home town, the quicker he wanted to return.

Born in Germany and educated at Marburg, Vienna, and Heidelberg (where he received his doctorate in 1925), Carl Joachim Friedrich (p. 236) has taught for a number of years in America. His Continental training has made him particularly sensitive to certain problems in the path of American professors.

For two years past, George W. Gray (p. 242) has been interpreting the new aspects of the physical sciences to Atlantic readers. His illuminating and well-coördinated book, New World Picture, will be published on March 20.

Geoffrey Household has this to say about his story, ‘The Salvation of Pisco Gabar,’leading contribution in theAtlanticfor January: —

Yes, I think ‘Pisco Gabar’ is fairly authentic. The priest, the path, and the image in the sailor suit really exist — according to a graphic yarn I was told —in the northern Argentine. The original of Pisco himself is a good friend of mine, and still far, I trust, from salvation.

An author corrects himself.

Dear Atlantic,
I wish to acknowledge a factual error in my story, ’Doctor Winton.’ The high holiday. Rosh Hashonah, comes first, then is followed by Yom kippur a week later, which is a fast day. In my story it was vice versa. If you deem fit to insert a small explanatory note in your magazine, I should appreciate it. In my next collection of short stories I intend to rectify the matter.
ALBERT HALPER
New York City

Apparently there are widows and widows.

Dear Atlantic,
Re ‘Notes on Being a Widow’ and Mrs. Darkness s assertion that she speaks for all widows, November number.
I object! I refuse to be put into a class, into a tube to be squeezed out like so much Kolynos. So I insist, contrary to Mrs. Darkness, Widow is not my hallmark. It never dawns on me to refer to myself as such or to sign myself thusly. I threaten to return letters not addressed Mrs. Frank E. I am just a person. I have never worn mourning. I have no nieces or nephews, bought or otherwise. I have no sons, hence no room in a daughter-in-law’s home is waiting for me. I have no ’chronic’ lawyer, nor, up to date, have I arthritis.
I have never been imbecile enough to ‘hide photographs and take a meal of them now and again’ or to try to trick myself holding pictures to a mirror. I know when I am beaten. My husband is dead and I accept the hard, Cold fact.
But that does not make, anything special of me. There were two of us — now there is one. I am alone. Well, what of it? My sister is alone. She has never been married. I am that to the good. An intimate friend is an old maid; she would rather be a widow. Another is married, is not a widow, and is most horribly alone; she would like to be a widow.
If I am wrong and Mrs. Harkness is right, and most windows are as she says they are, then there is no hope for them and all these exhortations will do no good. But if I am right, and she is wrong, then they do not need the gratuitous proddings.
Personally I could not use ‘a stately pleasuredome,’ but God forbid that I be condemned to a remodeled cottage of my own contriving.
I am a funny widow.
FLORENCE D. WALLIS
Paris, France

Henry Williamson’s illuminating chronicle, ‘Salar the Salmon,’calls forth this interesting response from an American naturalist.

Dear Atlantic, —
Regarding the story ‘Salar the Salmon’ which you have been running through three numbers of the Atlantic, I am prompted to tell you a thing or two about salmon to be found in the Pacific. The interesting point about a Pacific salmon is that when he turns into the Columbia River and heads for spawning grounds in Idaho he has a thousand miles to go without a bite to eat. He will sometimes bite at a spoon in the shallows, but he has no disposition to eat because his digestive department has gone out of commission and his stomach keeps on shrinking. He will tight cataracts, bore through rushing narrows, and spend long hours leaping at a waterfall until he has found a way to gel over it; his life is not plain swimming, but a surprising exhibition of fish athletics. And it all has to be done on the oil stored in his tissues when he heads in from the Pacific. On the one filling of oil he has got to go from spring or early summer till November, when spawning is done; and if he is bound for Idaho it will take him all the time to get there. If is the world’s best exhibition of oil economy and good combustion. When you think of all the hard leaps and the energetic rushes he has gone through in one summer it would hardly seem possible that it was all latent in one load of fuel. All the while the roe and the milt have been growing in Mr. and Mrs. Salmon, and there is hardly room for what little there is left of stomach and intestine.
They do not all go to the headwaters; some go 800 miles, others 600 or less. They run in clans and each clan knows just where to turn into its native branch of the Columbia.
I do not believe in making fish talk, or even letting them think, though I would accord this privilege to a Columbia River salmon in preference to any. But if, by any chance, one of our Western salmon got into British waters and started up an English estuary, the conclusion he would come to after a few days’ swimming would be that the country he had got into needed bigger and better rivers. CHARLES D. STEWART
Hartford, Wisconsin

Heil Hitler!

Dear Atlantic, —
Just arrived from abroad and an American friend of mine told me he is disgusted with your magazine, which is becoming 100 per cent Jewish, like the rest of the press in this country. (This country is already under Jewish yoke, yet mild and cleverly veiled.)
You New Englanders boast so much about your moral qualities! It is just a bluff and nothing else! Don’t you know that the Soviet Government is a gang of Jewish murderers and thieves? The money they pay you is soaked with Christian sweat and tears and spluttered with Christian blood. Only ‘modern’ Judas Iscariot will accept it.
Articles of your ’historian’ Frank Simonds are pure bunk! He is probably a Jew or pro-Jew — that means traitor of Christianity. As regarding the article of William Chamberlin in the September issue (comparison between Hitler and Stalin). it is a record of idiotism! Hitler is a German and an idol of 85 per cent of Germans! Stalin is a savage of Caucasian tribe and a paid executioner of Russian Christians. Do you think that all of your readers are idiots?
A EUROPEAN OBSERVER

An interior decorator takes exception to the strictures of modern art as set forth by Francis Henry Taylor in the DecemberAtlantic.

Dear Atlantic, —
Mr. Francis Henry Taylor, like Europa, has gotten astride a powerful but gentle bull. She, seeming to know it was Jove himself who was taking her ’for a ride,’held on to but one horn (vide Tennyson), He, astride a museum job, must needs hold both horns (academic and modernistic) to play safe. But Mr. Taylor the man, a student of the arts, must have a positive opinion as to what constitutes good art. The dilemma is his and not the modern artist’s.
I resent the statement, ‘that most horrible of all artistic conventions, the easel picture,’ and will proceed to justify my resentment, assuring you I do not earn my bread as a painter. The people of all nations have always hung works of art on the walls of the home—paintings on clay; the woven picture; the kakemono; yes, and the ‘easel picture.’ Only the wealthy patrons of art, the church and the nobility, could command painting as part of an architectural interior. Although oil painting is a process invented but a few centuries ago, from the beginning it was used for the framed picture. What would Ghirlandajo have thought of Mr. Taylor’s invective? Or Millet, Hals, or Holbein, or our own Winslow Homer? What a dreary place would be the Worcester Art Museum without them.
Take the pictures from the walls of our homes? Nonsense. They are decorative, they may be beautiful, they stimulate the imagination, they are a part of our culture. No, Mr. Taylor, you must remove all the pictures from your own walls, whether prints or paintings, if you are honest. Perhaps you have done so, in which case I care not to visit your home.
Now as to the alleged dilemma of the living artist. First we will agree not to include the great unkempt army of unskilled and unimaginative mimics, the mere followers of a school or cult, or those who cash in on a passing fad. Art is and always has been influenced by the financial and mental state of the community, and the resulting fluctuating degree of culture. It is not static. Whosoever can draw well, has an appreciation of color values and is gifted with imagination, paints as he is inspired to do. Whether or not he acquires his métier from other painters at an academy is a matter of little moment if he is an artist. He talks but little, must think constantly, and as to looking— he is ever at it.
That we provide him with nourishment for his body—that is, buy his pictures—is a kindly but somewhat patronizing gesture. It dealers were prevented from exploiting the paintings of psychopathic cases, and museums would refrain from exhibiting them, public opinion would not be divided, and the artist would be rewarded according to his merit.
I have added another bull with the public astride it. That makes three bulls in all, but only two with the horns of a dilemma, on which the museum director and the public are going around in dizzy circles. Europa rode safely to Crete and bore a king by Jove. The modern artist has also received the divine spark, by Jove, and brings forth beautiful ‘easel pictures.’ HORACE MORAN
New York, N. Y.

And here is Mr. Taylor’s reply.

Dear Atlantic,
I am afraid that I shall have to do what poor Europa never did (if we are to believe the ancient authors) — that is, relax and enjoy it. For, after all, the horns of the bull are probably far less dangerous than the horns of the dilemma. And much more fun. FRANCIS HENRY TAYLOR
Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Mass.

In praise of ’Country Christmas.’

Dear Atlantic,
’Country Christmas,’in the December Atlantic Monthly, would make a splendid companion volume for Dickens’s ‘Christmas Carol and Washington Irving’s ‘Old Christinas.’ A line literary trilogy!
the same conditions of weather prevailing this morning — a fine, steely-gray mist over the pines and cedars, with a threatening storm of rain or snow — made a fit setting for a third perusal of the story, which is, in my own estimation at least, a classic. Why should n’t one give praise where praise is due?
LOUISE A. BUCKNAM
Bath, Maine

The Pedestrian Protective Association — or P. P. A., if you are fond of initials — so ably espoused in the Contributors’ Club for December has provoked editorials in the press and shouts of acclaim from those who dodge motors on the run. Here is the Eighth Law proposed for the P. P. A.

Dear Atlantic,—
My daughter Elizabeth, ten years old, offers this addition to the seven diverting laws proposed by the Pedestrian Protective Association:—
8. It shall be unlawful for more than two motorists to run down a single pedestrian. Yours for new game laws,
MYRTLE CRUZON GEYER
Chicago, Illinois

’Ole and young wirgins.’

Dear Atlantic, —
Among my father’s papers was the following letter, written by an old colored woman of New Orleans to Madame Bouvier, of Philadelphia, on the death of the latter’s sister. As the times this letter typifies are passing so rapidly away, I thought the letter worth preserving.
Mrs. C. F. HARD
Greenville, South Carolina

Dear Lady:
I has the honor to salute you and beg a pardin fur botherin of dis present time, but I has loss of patience waitin to git somebody fur to write an thank you fur de fine opinion what you seems to have of der Holy family and der thoughtfulness what you shew in de prayers of pore colored folks—dey all joins you dese compliments and is heartfelt sorry for to hear dat you has been dieted fur de death of your respectable sister, but when you gits to combine greay hairs an eatin de suft part of de loaf kase you quin’t got no teef I’o de crusts you’ll kind be rejoiced she’s don fought all her fights and has no mo’ tears to drop in dis here walley, fo Jordan is a pebble road to trabel. Dere’s neber no day widout somethin goin upside down ways. I neber has an hour ob peace kase I has awful miseries in my back and my legs keeps swellin til I tink they’ll bust. I has brought into dis world seven of der fattest blackest babies what you ever sot eyes on & dey all turned out scamps, so I has as many swords stickin out o’ my heart as the blessed mother had. No, I had one mo’ kase she only had one husband & I has been a widow twice. It is only wirgins what aint continually in bilin water & sorry I is dat I did n’t find dis out sooner. My last was the hat dullest ole nigger in all de plantations of Louisiana. I always kep my head risin in de air kase I was injun blood A neber feared no one, but he wanted to put Liza’s nose in der ground & we was always WARRIN gin each other. Liza has seen hard days when de drops tricklin down dese black cheeks made my soup so watery I didn’t know if dere was a speck of meal in it or not. Liza’s things is all ready fur de grave, tis de only rest in place what a slave keers of A she puts by all her picayninnies in der Lord’s bank kase she is pore A don’t intend to have her kin wipin dere eyes for to see what money ole Mammy lef in der ole stockin. Please give my compliments to all what I know & all what I don’t know for I is much attached to ole & young wirgins.
LIZA NEBBIT

Evidence — if evidence need be—that Atlantic testimonials are not bought and paid for.

Dear Atlantic,—
The discovery by a member of my family of my letter published in the advertising section of your December issue, in space which has the appearance of having been especially designed for it, makes me wonder what impression it may produce upon such of my friends as may happen to find it there.
I am sure that you will take pleasure in giving them my assurance that it was sent purely as an expression of good will, and that there was no ‘deal’ of any kind connected with it.
No reward could be more gratifying than that of being accepted as an in-law of the Atlantic family; but, confidentially, I wonder whether any member of that family has even begun to suspect what a priceless treasure I possess in the editor’s kindly note of acknowledgment.
JOHN W. CHAPMAN New York, N. Y.

Dear Mr. Chapman, —
Your note of November 30 still further endears you to the Atlantic family.
The truth is I had meant to write you apologizing for the libelous use to which your letter was put. Such an apology could only come appropriately from me, as the handiwork was mine. Certainly it stood us in good stead, and I thought made an amusing and alluring piece.
THE EDITOR