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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, January 05, 1936, Image 54

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PLAYING WITH FIRE TO SAVE LIFE VOLCANOLOGIST’S JOB
_ * ....... ■ - — ■ ■ — ~~
Eruption of Pelee in 1902
Set Perret on Unusual Study
American Scientist Is Guardian Angel of
Island Where Earth Tremors Give Hints
of Activity at Mount Soufriere.
The Gorge recording thermometer (x). Frank A. Perret, volcanologist,
is shown collecting water specimen at Montserrat.—Photo by C. E. Browne.
By John Francis Steele.
AD It not been for the Pelee
disaster on the Island of Mar
tinique in 1902, in all proba
bility, the name of Perret
would never have been known in the
field of science. At that time Frank
Alvord Perret, a Connecticut Yankee
with a French name (pronounced
Parrayj, was a young electrical engi
neer in New York tinkering around
with inventions and other electrical
devices.
Today as one of the world's most
oustanding volcanologists, he does not
feel quite at ease unless he is in some
uncomfortably hot place trying out his
test tubes on Vesuvius, Pelee. Sou
friere and the like. No little embryonic
mud floe can go a trickling down the
side of a volcano without Prof. Perret
having a name for it. These little
trickles known as Strombolian are
ever a delight to his eye. No little caper
can go uncharted and unidentified by
him.
His work as a scientist has taken
him around the world twice and to
virtually every upheaval of importance.
He has spent 32 years studying active
volcanoes. Much of that time has been
passed in Italy. As early as 1904
he became assistant to Prof. Matteucci
fit the Royal Observatory. Vesuvius,
Italy. He has done direct research
w-ork at Vesuvius, Stromboli, Etna,
Messer,a, Saskurashima. and was the
director of the Hawaiian expedition
of the Massachusetts Institute of Tech
nology, spending the Summer of 1911
et the crater of Kilauea.
The decorations he bears are signifi
cant: Uffiziale della Corona D'ltalia
and the Chevalier de la Legion
d'Honneur.
As director and foundateur of the
Musee Volcanologique at St. Pierre,
Mr. Perret has collected many valu
able relics not only from there but
from the world’s most famous vol
canoes. In this marvelous collection
of objects excavated from the ruins
of St. Pierre are iridescent and
melted glassware, perfume sealed in
glass, books still legible, carbonized
bread, spaghetti, a loaf of cheese and
linen. Then there is the fragment of
I crucifix from the church, the tower
from which w’as reckoned the latitude
and longitude of the Island of Mar
tinique. One sees the grating of the
dungeon of Auguste Cyparis, the only
survivor of the 1902 disaster, when
the lives of 30,000 people were snuffed
out in almost the twinkling of an
eye.
pROM the layman's point of view
there is nothing so interesting
as a small light bulb still bearing
parts of ashes and lava in which it
rested for 29 years. Since unearthing
it Mr. Perret has guarded it with
tealous care. The instant the light
* shone forth when his nervous fingers
turned the switch, he declares to be
the most dramatic moment of his
career.
This museum is on that sad little
thoroughfare with the imposing name
—Rue Victor Hugo. Looking over the
coping toward the sea the eye falls
upon ruined walls, grim reminder of
the former glory of the dead city.
To the left one sees Mount Pelee,
with a snowy sombero, basking in the
tropical sunlight, with its once ter
rible path to the sea, quiet as a coun
try lane in Yorkshire.
Martinique—Le pays des revenants
—was known to Columbus at Mati
ntno, where all the Inhabitants were
women of Amazonian type. The
place Is remembered if for nothing
else as the birthplace of Josephine.
Empress of Napoleon. A beautiful
statue to her stands in the Place de
la Savane and can easily be seen
from the harbor. She looks pathetic
and lonely in her immortal marble.
There was activity of commerce
on the island, but also time for
leisure and plenty of gayety.
Then came the ill-fated morning
Of May 8, 1902. There had been
a feeling of uneasiness on the island
as Pelee had been roaring out like
acme huge beast held in leash.
Nuees ardentes (flaming clouds) in
termittently arose from the crater.
Three days before a sudden rush of
boiling lava had engulfed a sugar
factory and destroyed a village of
ISO persons, roared madly along the
Riviere Blanche and hurried to the
water’s edge, turning the sea into
seething torrents of steam.
The fiery monster struck early in
. the morning as if all thb demons of
heli had gathered in the night for
hideous conclave. It was 7:52 a. m.
to be exact. A few minutes later every
vestige of human life was wiped out
save that of one poor colored man,
Auguste Ciparis, a prisoner in a dun
geon which was under a protected hill.
Through the small gratings of his
cell hot ashes crept in and scorched his
body. Three days later, more dead
than alive, he was rescued by persons
searching in the ruins.
The city went d^-n under a veil
table flood of molten lava. The devas
tated district was about eight square
miles, but beyond that lay a region
terribly damaged.
/")F THE eighteen ships which were
at anchor in the busy harbor only
one escaped, the Roddam, which
luckily had been ordered to quaran
tine some distance away. Charred
and burned until it bore little resem
blance to the proud ship which the
day before had dropped anchor at
St. Pierre, it slunk like a ghost into
Castries, St. Lucia, the nearest har
bor, 20 miles away. The deck was
strewn with scorched bodies and the
captain and his remaining crew were
blinded and tortured from their ter
rible experience.
The ghosts of the dead town still
stalk through the West Indies and one
meets many persons who witnessed the
cataclysm from Fort de France,
Bridgetown. Barbados, and as far
away as Port of Spain, Island of Trini
dad.
Within the past year Prof. Perret
received a hurry-up call to go to
the Island of Montserrat. British West
Indies, where earth tremors, sup
posedly from Mount Soufriere had
been giving the inhabitants of the
little village of Plymouth a bad case
of the jitters.
The writer happened to be a pas
senger on the same British steamer
and it was midnight when we ap
proached the harbor. Every one was
awake or awakened as a sickening
odor of sulphur filled the air. Its
presence gave rise to considerable ap
prehension among the officers lest
an eruption was at hand. To the
passengers it was just a horrible
smell but to Prof Perret it was a
scientific warning, something that
might portend disaster.
We watched his small, wiry figure
go down the gangolank and called
out our adieus as the splash of the
oars carried him into the darkness.
No doubt the whole village was awake
and breathed easier at the approach
of its “guardian angel.’'
Following a big shock In May, he
remained on the island observing,
taking tests of temperature and ana
lyzing the gases. For two years this
small island has had a series of local
earthquakes, which, seemingly, are
due to subterranean lava endeavoring
to reach the surface. His work here is
to prepare to give warning of any
eruption. Although he believes there
is no immediate danger of such an oc
currence, a field station has been es
tablished with buried microphones,
temperature recorders and detectors of
earthouakes.
The analyses of the gas and water
collections are yielding new and in
teresting data of value to science.
The gas issuing in higher concentra
tion yields by decompostion products
differing greatly fi;om the original
compound, which without disagree
able odor, was found to be extremely
poisonous. Among these rases was
the well-known sulphuric-hydrogen,
which in one instance was so strong
that it turned the immaculate white
Canadian steamer to a dark browp
over night.
• N>
'J'EN DAYS later on the return
trip when the steamer stopped
at Montserrat, Prof. Perret was pleased
to report that Mount Soufriere was
quiescent and that there was no in
dication to show that an eruption
was imminent. Prom the boat
anchored within a mile and a half
of the mountain a slight smoking was
in evidence but no odor.
In 1902, so little was known of the
terribly destructive nature of the pecu
liar type of volcanic activity impend
ing, that the people of St. Pierre re
mained in town in the face of a threat
so menacing as to excite our astonish
ment today. This appalling catas
trophe gave rise to a world-wide in
vestigation of volcanic phenomena in
the hope of reducing to a minimum
the loss of human life. Twenty-seven
years later at the first outburst of
Pelee St. Pierre was deserted, only a
few persons remaining over night.
However, it is an important fact that
ample warning always precedes a
great eruption.
It was in August, 1929, that things
were becoming increasingly interest
ing up Pelee Mountain way. The
"dome" of 1902, as described by La
croix, had been blown off, while at
the sea deltas were formed and huge
blocks and boulders lay scattered
everywhere. A flaming cloud had
swept around a small island and de
stroyed live stock and 4,000 coconut
trees that lay in its path. Just as
Vesuvius had grown enormously since
the Pllnian eruption, 79 A. D., so had
Pelee enlarged by filling the valleys
and the forming of a lofty dome
until a typical volcanic massif had
replaced the long, ridgelike eminence
of pre-1902 days.
Madame Pelee, Alt appears, is not
adverse to charting her head jeasy
The museum established at St. Pierre, Martinique, by Prank Alvord Ferret.
In casting off a domelike or helmet
shaped chapeau for the more trans
parent sky-piece with conical towers,
spiral windings and minarets, pro
ducing remarkable visual effects.
He conducted his study from an Im
provised shack on a hotel roof In 8t.
Pierre which reassured the people and
helped to allay the great fear which
prevailed. His little portable micro
phone had been mounted Inside a
sterno tin which In turn had been ce
mented to the bottom of an ordinary
gasoline can. The apparatus was buried
at a depth of two meters in the south
wall of the Riviere Seche Valley and ,
awwy from the sea to avoid the sound, i
Except for a short length of Iron, a4
double line of copper wire was strung
on poles all the way to 8t. Pierre
station where batteries and earphones .
completed the equipment. In this j
work. Prof. Perret was given the finest
co-operation and assistance from all
classes of people. The result was most
gratifying. The slightest sound, even I
the sleepiest yawn of the haughty |
mistress was recorded.
J-IIS MAIN purpose was to watch for
any indications of abnormal activ
ity. Not unlike Atlas with the world
on his shoulders, the professor had a
volcano on his hands with the lives
of many trustful human beings look
ing to him for safety. He was well
aware of the importance of his vigil.
Came a day when there were signs
of activity in the “castle”—a clank
and a flash as if the armored knights
were having a lively tilt with their
swords. This was a bird of good and
not bad omen. What followed was of
vast importance. A strong upward
emission of gas and ash at the crater
seemed to indicate a very consider
able release of energy. This important
refcase caused almost complete calm
the next day. This discharge of gas
preceding every notable output of lava
is a phenomenon stressed by the pro
fessor.
The change in the nuees ardentes
was marked. Instead of rolling over
the ground, buoyed up by powerful
gas pressure, they moved along the
earth gouging out deep furrows as ,
Head of native woman, from a statuette in terra-cotta, at the St.
Pierre Museum.
they went. The castle now had dis
appeared and Madame Pelee was
going about her business shaping a
new dome. Her once artistic castel
latel head-piece was shapenlng Into
a dangerous and war-lilce helmet.
Silence was everywhere—a definite
warning that a menace was masked
under the dome of stillness. The Gov
ernment station at the Morne des
Cadets was notified. Two phases were
shown here: The emission of nuees
ardentes with their self-explosive lava
and their dome-building with their
virtually gas free but Incandescent
lava.
The courageous scientist kept his
vigil. He watched with awe those
brilliant convolutions of ash and va
por as they seemed to spring and roll
like raging lions. Just a small part
of the ever-recurring phenomenon.
Heavy tropical rains caused new
activity. Deep Indentations were made
In the side of the vol.-ano as the mud
and water poured rapidly down the
descending slope. This downpour gave
rise to a most terrifying spectacle—
a steaming nuee ardente—lacking the
explosive character but forming an im
pressive train of rolling dust-charged
steam cloud which continued through
the night.
Accompanied by police officials, the
volcanologist crossed the River des
Peres on the back of a powerful negro
whose foothold among the rolling
stones was a marvel. It seemed al
most unbelieveable that the action
being witnessed could be provoked by
an outside agency. The dome was
reduced thirty meters in height. The
highly protective powers of the ele
ments are well known as Incalculable
tons of ash and debris are borne away
by the wind which greatly reduces
the danger of the volcanoes.
ANE OF the devices which comprised
Prof. Perret’s equipment was a
tuning fork which accurately deter
mined the decrease in bulk or the in
crease in lava. It seemed to be a case
of nip and tuck between the sharps
and flats. Sometimes the A's had it
and sometimes the B's.
The very rythmic French names—
Petit Bonhomme and Chat Couchant—
are given to two "gate posts” which
constitute a feature of volcanic mor
phology. The sentinels guarding the
approach to Madame Pelee mark the
old crater wall, being fragments of
it but increased to enormous size by
the accumulation of new lava. These
to scientists are a morphological curi
osity.
Gases which would give the average
layman frightful nausea to Mr. Per
ret are only a part of the day’s work.
He had an experience in the eruption
of 1929-1932 that almost cost him his
| (Continued on Eleventh Page.)
Photoplays in Washington Theaters This Week
WEEK OP
JANUARY 5
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Joe Penner and
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Edward G. Robinson
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Oaorte Raft and Joan
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MaJ. Bowes’ amateurs.
Frank Parker in .
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Edmund Lowe in
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ConradVtedtln "Pass
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Rochelle Hudson and
Henry Fonda
JJWay Down East.'^
George Arlise In
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; Ronald Colman and
i Joan Bennett in "Man
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The Marx Brothers hi
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■port nek
Monday
Mary Carlisle In “The
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Jean Arthur In
_“Public Menace.
Joe Penner end
Jack Oakie In
“Collegiate."
_• Cartoon._
TheM»rx Brothv* In
"A Night at the
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Sport reel._
Rochelle Hudson and
H"nry Fonda In
‘ Way Down East."
Cart. Novelty. News.
Fredrlc March and
Merle Oberon
in
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The Marx Brothers in
"A Night at the
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_Novelty._
Walter C. Kelly In
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Joe Cook comedy.
Novelty._
William Powell and j
Rosalind Russell in
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_Comedy. News._j
Edmund Lowe. "King
Solomon of Broad
way.” Zasu Pitts In
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“In Person.” with
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George Brent.
_Melody Master.
Gary Cooper and
Ann Harding in
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News.___
Margaret Sullavan
and Walter Connolly
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Mickey Mouse cart.
Joan Crawford in.
“I Live My Life.”
News.
Comedy. ___
William Powell In
“Rendeivous."
Cartoon.
First ahow at S: 15.
Paul Muni and
| Ann Dvorak In
"Dr. Socrates."
Comedy. News.
William Powell i
In
"Rendeivous."
_Musical. 1
Miriam Hopkins and
Edward G. Robinson
In
_"Barbary Coast.” _
~Leslie Howard and'
Merle Oberon In
"The Scarlet
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Edward O. Robinson
and Miriam Hopkins
in “Barbary Coast."
_Cartoon._ News. _
Nino Martini and
Anita Louisa
In
"Here’s to Romance^
Clark Gable and
Charles Lauahton In
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George Raft and Joan
Bennett in "She
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Also "Java Head.”
Loretta Young and
Henry Wllcoxen in
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Cartoon._News._
Paul Lukas and Wal
ter Abel fn "The Three
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_Cartoon._
James Casney and'
Margaret Lindsay in
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MaJuBowes’ amateurs.
Prank Parker in _
"Sweet Surrender."
Edmund Lowe in
_"JGrand Exit.”_
Conrad Vledt in "Pass”
lna of the Third Floor
Back." Also "Wings
Over Ethiopia.”
Rochelle- Hudson and
Henry Fonda
_^Way_Down. East.^
°*M?tt”“ j
Who Broke «»• Bank
at Monte Carlo.
The Marx Brothers to
Tuesday
Spencer Trier In
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Norman Potter In
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Joe Fenner and
Jack Oakie In
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The M«rx Brothers In
"A Night at the
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. ___8port reel._
Tulllo Carmlnatl and
Mary Sills In
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Fredrlc March and
Merle Oberon
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J'Dark Angel."_
The Marx Brothers in
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_Novelty._
James Cagney and*
Margaret Lindsay in
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Charlie Chase comedy.
Chester Morris and
Sally Ellers In
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Cartoon. Band. News.
Douglass Montgomery
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Clive Brook In
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Pat O Brim In
•"Stars Over Broad
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_ Comedies._
Margaret Sullavan
and Walter Connolly
in
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Margaret Sullavan
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Mickey Mouse cart.
Jack Benny and
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Kay Francis in
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Zasu Pitts and
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Cary Grant and
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Charlie Ohas^ comedy.
Lawrence Tlbbett and
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_Oomedy_NoYtlty._
Leslie Howard and
Merle Oberon in
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Warner Oland and
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Joan Crawford and
Brian Aherne
T Live My Life."
cfark Oable and
Charles Laughton In
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Nino Martini in
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Edmund Lowe In
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Loretta Young and
Henry Wlleoxen ha
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Lionel Barrymore in
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James Dunn and
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Nino Martini In
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Lola Wilton In
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Joan . Bennett and
Oeorg* Raft in "She
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f Newa. Comedy. _
Jack Benny and
Bleanor Fowell in
"Broadway Melody
of 1036.** _
Florence Rice in
_^Ouard That Oirir.
Kay Francis and
Ian Hunter In
SrrfSSfc
Gary _Qoop«r and
. &
Wednesday
i Spencer Tracy In
• Dante * Inferno."
Norman Foster In
' ''Buperspeed.”_
j Clark Gable and
Charles Lauahton In
"Mutiny on the
'_Bounty."_
Preston Poeter and
Barbara Stanwyck in
“Annie Oakley."
Laurel andHardycem^
Oary Cooper and
i Mary Brian in
•The Virginian.”
_Com«dy. _Newg._
William Powell and
Rosalind Russell
in
!_“Rendezvous."_
Edward O. Robinson
in
“Barbary Coaat."
Cart oo n.__
James Cagney and
Margaret Lindsay in
"Friaco Kid "
Charlie Chase comedy.
Cary Orant and
Gertrude Michael In
•The Last outpost."
Comedy._News._
Douglas* Montgomery
in "Harmony Lane.”
Clive Brook in
j;Dres»ed to Thrill.^
Pat O’Brien In
"Stars Over Broad
wav."
_Comedies._
Margaret Sullavan
and Walter Connolly
In
“So Red the Rose “
Edward O. Robinson
In
“Barbary Coast.”
Popeye. _
Florence Rice and
Preston Foster in
’’Superspeed."
__Comedy._
Margaret Lindsay In
“Personal Maid's
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Musical. Cartoon.
ZasuPitts and
Hugh O'Connell in
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Cary Grant and
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Charlie Chase comedy.
Kay Francis and
Ian Hunter In
"I Found Stella
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Leslie Howard and
Merle Oberon In
■The Scarlet
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Warner Oland and
Irene Hervey In
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Joan Crawford and
Brian Ahernt
•1 Live My _Llfe.*!_
Clark- Osble and
Charles Laughton In
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Nino Martini in
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Bdmund Lowe In
“Grand Kxlt.’’
Loretta Young and
Henry WUcoxen in
•The Crusade*.
_Cart—
Lloi Barrymore hi
‘Th -
Davit and
t Brent In
al Agent.”
_y. Cart. Hews.
i Htno Martini in
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Lola Wilson In
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Joan Bennett and
George Raft in “She
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Hews. Comedy._
Jack Benny and
Eleanor Powell In
“Broadway Melody
_ Of 1938.”_
Florence Rice In
“guard That Oirir.
Kay Francis and
SkSSWu.
Pariah?' Comedy._
r and
M to
Thursday
John Boles in "Red
heads on Parade."
Also "The 8panish
Cape Mystery."_
Clark Gable and
Charles Laughton In
"Mutiny on the
_Bounty."_
Preston Foster and
Barbara Stanwyck in
“Annie Oakley."
Laurel and Hardy com.
Gary Cooper and
Mary Brian in
•‘The Virginian."
Comedy. _News.
William Powell and
Rosalind Russell
in
"Rendesvous."_
Edward O. Robinson
in
• Bsrbary Coast."
Cartoon.
Lee Tracy and
Gall Patrick in
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Comedy. Vsrlety.
Jack Oakie and
Burns and Allen in
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Warner Oland. “Char
lie Chan in Shanghai."
Noel Coward in
1 "The Scoundrel.'*
William Boyd in
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Musical.
_Band reel._
The Marx Brothers In
"A Night tt the
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|News.
Edward O. Robinson
in
"Barbary Coast."
Popeye._
The Marx Brothers in
"A Night at the
Opera.”
__Comedy._
Walter Abel in
"The Three Mus
keteers.''
_Travelogue.
Warner Oland in
"Chan in Egypt."
Jean Parker In
"Princess O'Hara."
Warren"flull and
Margaret Llndaay In
"Personal Maid's Se
cret." Oom oddity.
The Marx’Brothers in
"A Night at the
Opera."
_Comedy._
Fredrle March and
Evelyn Venable in
"Death Takes a
_ Holiday.”_
William’Powell *nd
Rosalind Rusaell In
"Rendesvous."
_Cartoon. News _
James Cagney and
Margaret Lindsay
in
_"Frisco Kid."_
Ronald Colman and
Joan Bennett in "The
Man Who Broke the
Bank at Monte Carlo."
Lionel Barrymore in
“The Return of Peter
Grimm." Jack La Rue,
"Hot Off the Press."
Dick Powell and
Ann Dvorak In _
"Thanks a Million."
Cartoon. News._
George Murphy and
Jean Arthur In
"Public Menace."
Musical. Cartoon.
Bette Davis and
George Brent in
“Special Agent ”
Oomiar. Cart. _Newj.
Richard~Arlen in
"Let 'Em Hive It"
Shirley Grey In 'TO
Girl Who Came Back."
Victor McLaglen in
"The Informer."
. Peter Lorre in
' "Mad Love."
Miriam Hopkins and
Edward G. Robinson
in "Barbary Coast.’*
_Serial._
William Powell In
‘‘Rendesvous.”
Cartoon.
Band reel.
William Powell
ssr" -
Friday
John Boies In "Red
heads on Parade'
Also "The Spanish
Cape Mystery."_
Clark Gsble and
Charles Laughton >n
"Mutiny on the
_Bounty.” __
Cary Grant
in
"The Last Outpost.”
El Brendel comedy._
Pst O'Brien and Jane
Fromsn In "Stars
• Over Broadway.”
_Amateur nisht.
John Wayne in
• Westward Ho.”
Serial.
_Betty Boop._
Sally Blane and
Sidney Toler in_
-This Is the Life ”
Oomedy. Sport reel.
Winnie Shaw and
Lyle Talbot in
"Broadway Hostess.”
Comedy. Musical. __
Jack Oakle and
Burns and Allen in
"Bit Broadcast of
1638." Com News.
Warner Oland. "Char
lie Chan In 8hanthal."
Noel Coward In
_"The Scoundrel.”
William Boyd in
"Eagle's Brood.
Musical.
_Band reel._
The Marx Brothers In
i "A Night at tha
I _
Carole Lombard and
s Fred MacMurray In
"Hands Across the
_Table.”_Comedy.
; The Marx Broth-rs in
"A Nlaht at tha
Opera."
!_Comedy._
Warren William in
"The Case of the
Lucky Legs."
__Popeye._
Warner Oland in
"Chan In Egypt.”
Jean Parker in _
"Princess O'Hara.”
Barton MacLans
In
"Man of Iron.”
_Easy Aces. •
The Marx Brothers In
"A Night at the
Opera.”
_Oomedy.
Fredrtc March and
Evelyn Venable in
"Death Takes a
Holiday."_
William Powell and
Rosalind Rusaell in
"Rendesvous."
_Cartoon. News.
James Casney and
Margaret Lindsay
In
_"Frisco Kid.”
Ronald Colman * and
Joan Bennett in "The
Men Who Broke the
Bank at Monte Carlo."
Lionel Barrymore in
‘The Return of Peter
Grimm.” Jack La Rue,
"Hot Off the Press."
Dick Powell and
_Ann Dvorak In _
•Thanks a Million.”
Cartoon. News,
Bob Steele la
"No Man's Rants."
Musical.
_Cartoon._
Spencer Tracy and
Claire Trevor In
"Dante’s Inferno.”
Comedy. Cartoon.
Shirley Grey in "The
Girl Who Came Back."
■In* Crosby tp„
"Two for Tonight.
Comedy.
_News. _
Miriam Hopkins and
Edward O. Robinson
in "Barbary Coast.'
_Serial._
WUUam Powell In
"Rendetvous.”
Oeerae-Arlissln
••Mr. Hobo.”
_
William Powell
'teSSK*"
Saturday
Ben Lyon in
■'Frisco Wsterfront.
George O’Brien in
JJA Holy Terror."
Ronald Colman and
Jo»n Bennett in "The
Man Who Broke the
Bank at Monte Carlo.'
"Music Is Magic.”
"Last Days of
Pompeii."
Serial. _Mtckey Mouse
George Raft in "Shi
Couldn t Take It.”
Cherles I; in
••Fighting Youth.”_
Jack Benny and
Una Merkel in
••It'S in the Air.”
_ Serial. Comedy. _
Wheeler and Woclsey
In ‘The Rainmakers.'
No. S of "Oreat All
■Mystery.’’ Comedy'
"This Is the Life.”
"His Family
Tree.”
• Cartoon._
Edw. Everett Horton
in "His Night Out.”
Qeo. O'Brien. “Whis
pering Smith Speaks.”
Joe E Brown in
"Alibi Ike.”
Gene Autry in ‘The
Singing Vagabond.^
"Annie Oakley."
•To Beat the
Band.”
_Cartoon._
James Cagney and
Margaret Lindsay in
"Frisco Kid.
_Comedy.
Wheeler and Woolsei
in ‘TheRainmakers.'
No. 3 of “Great Ail
_Mystery.”
Ken Maynard in
"Heir to Trouble."
Serial.
Comedy._
Gary Cooper and
Richard Arlen in
•The Virginian.”
Serial (matinee only)
William Powell and
Rosalind Russell In
“Rendegvous.”
_Cartoon. News._
"The Rainmakers.”
"Too Tough to
Kill.”
Cartoon.
Walter C. Kelly and
Btepin Fetchlt la
"The Virginia
_Judge.”_
Fredrlc March and
Evelyn Venable In
"Death Take! a
_Holiday.
George O'Brien and
Irene Ware In “Whis
pering Smith Speaks.'
_Comedy,_News._
Robert Armstrong ir
"Little Bit Shot.”
Also "Wings Over
_Ethiopia.”_
•'In Person.”
with Ginger Rogerg
and George Brent.
_ Popeye. _Novelty. _
Esther Ralston In
"Forced Landing.”
Oene Autry in
"Melody Trail.” .
Dick Powell and
Ann Dvorak in
‘Thanks a Million.
Cartoon. Newa. _
Kay Francis and
Oeorgt Brent in
“Goose and the Oan.
der " Comedy. Sport
Wheeler and Woolsei
In "The Rainmakers.’
Ken Maynard in
“Western Frontier.”
Ben iron in
“Frisco Waterfront.’'
Buck Jones in “Tht
Ivory-Handled Gun.
Jack Benny in
“It's in the Air.”
Hoot Gibson in
_"Sunset Range.”,
James Dunn In
Also Tvory?Handled
_Guns.”_
Betae Daniels in
“Music Is Magic.”
Ken Maynard in
"Lawless Riders.”
"Preston’Foster and
Barbara Stanwyck ic
-Annie Oakley."
Serial._8port reel.
Paul'Lukas and Wal
P^BSh!
Mauna Loa W eirdly Lovely
In Close-Up of Eruption
Eye-Witness Account of Difficult Climb to
Peak and Rewards It Offered Given by
Woman Who Risked Its Hardships.
The eruption of Mauna Loa at night. Being on the windward side
of the outbreak permitted the photographer to get within a thousand
yards and when the wind did suddenly change he was peppered with hot
j cinders and effluvia.
By Harriett K. Whitman.!
ON THURSDAY evening. No
vember 21. soon after a
short sub-tropical twilight,
a great red glow was seen !n
the southerly sky. Friends telephoned
friends that the long-expected event
had happened and that there was an
eruption on Mauna Loa, the ‘'Old
Faithful” of volcanoes under the '
American flag, located on the Island
of Hawaii some 200 miles away. Hun
dreds of Honolulu residents crowded
vantage points along Oahu’s coast,
watched and speculated on the red
glow that suffused the horizon.
The first Inter Island plane left
at 8 o’clock Friday morning, and I
was fortunate enough to get a seat,
on the second plane, leaving John
Rodgers airport at 8:30 a.m. Shortly
after leaving Honolulu we were able
to see a huge cone of smoke which
grew in size as we flew toward it,
slowly, in our impatience, passing the
| islands of Lanaii. Molokai and Maui.
Our plane climbed steadily and
soon we were able to see the color of
; fire. Most of the nine passengers
i had cameras and rushed from one
window to another to get pictures
j from every possible angle. Finally,
at 13.000 feet, we saw the crater itself.
Collars were turned up and there
were complaints of cold feet—because
it does get cold at 13,000 feet here in
Hawaii. All eyes were concentrated
upon the huge fountain of fire and j
we were 13,300 feet before we saw the
lava flows. Gasps of awe and wonder
as we looked down upon the most
magnificent of all spectacles! Tongues
of fire leaping skyward and cascading
into a huge red caldron. Five great
flows—looking like veins of deep red
blood flowing at a terrific pace down
the mountainside.
j It was so awe inspiring that we
were silent, and even forgot our
cameras for a moment. The pilot
pointed the plane toward Hilo, but
fortunately the president of the Inter
: Island Airplane Co. was with us and
sent forward a ncte to circle the
volcano again and again.
Speechless with the terrible beauty,
we flew on to Hilo where box lunches
were awaiting us as we had 20
minutes before the plane left for the
J return flight to Honolulu. I knew
; that I could not leave the island with
out seeing this amazing spectacle at
night so I decided to stay and chance
seeing more.
T OCATING friends of mine on the
j ^ other side of the island on their
j way to Humuula I set out for Weimea.
I was able to get in touch with them
at a C. C. C. camp, watching the
| volcano eruption at an altitude of
j 6,500 feet, but 9 miles from the
j bottom of the flow. They told me they
j planned to return to Waimea, drive
i around the island, and climb the other
| side of Mauna Loa. by way of the
Mauna Loa Trail. This sounded mad
but everyone was mad with excite
ment. So, instead of waiting for
them I took the Humuula Trail and
drove toward the red glow in the sky.
The trail was only a cow path and
scarcely wide enough for one car, but
there were dozens* going in each di
rection. Progress, naturally, was slow
and dangerous.
About 10 o’clock I met them, and,
hearing that I could see but little
more at the C. C. C. camp than from
where we were, we all returned to
Waimea, then on to Paauhau, a sugar
plantation, where we spent Friday
night.
Up early on Saturday and hurried
telephone calls for sweaters, blankets,
boots, horses and food. In Hilo we
made a fruitless search for woolen
underwear, but found only a pair of
boy’s outing flannel pajamas. The
customers in the sub-tropics of Hilo
want cotton and there is no need of
carrying woolens.
The manager of the Kapapala
Ranch had picked six of his best
trail horses for our party, accompanied
by two cowboys and two extra pack
horses. They were sent to Five Tanks,
which is on the Kapapala Ranch at
the end of the automobile road and
the point where the Mauna Loa trail
starts winding its tortuous way
through lava fields to the top of the
volcanoes. Four men, another girl and
I tied every available sweater to our
saddles, also slickers for protection
against the wind. Our hurriedly as
sembled costumes were unique and
amusing. I think mine was the most
grotesque—consisting of the striped
pajamas a man's gray sweat shirt,
brown riding breeches held up by a
black and white bathing suit belt,
men’s white woolen socks, my high
heel brown sandals, a felt hat tied
on with a polka dot scarf, white
cotton gloves, dark glasses and a
masque of cold cream.
Our pack horses were laden with
blankets, food and water. The excel
lent horses all had painfully wide
stock saddles, in which we became
restive long before we reached u»e
top and which we thoroughly loaufcd
by the time we returned to our start
ing point.
After a hurried picnic lunch under
a koa tree at Five Tanks we began
our long climb at 2 o'clock Saturday
afternoon. We rode through an old
koa forest and grassy country on into
kiave bushes and then to fields of
lava of prehistoric origin. Climbing
all the while—lava, lava, lava. Smooth
pahoehoe lava and black, broken
clinker-like a a lava. Hard on the
horses’ feet, harder on our nerves, and
the saddles cramping our joints each
step of the way. Night came on Just
as we reached the Rest House, a
tiny ranger’s cabin situated in the
middle of a supposedly extinct cinder
cove at an altitude of 10,100 feet,
where the winds were blowing cold
blasts into our tired faces. Our
watches showed it was 5:15 pjn.
The rest house consisted of a large
room with a tier of bunks and a
small space for the kitchen. Fortu
nately, there had been rain a few
days before and there was enough for
the horses. A ranger was preparing
supper and let us use his kerosene
stove to heat our coffee and steaks,
which were already cooked and packed
in a thermos. We rested until 7, left
one exhausted pack horse and started
out again. The cold night was ex
quisitely beautiful—the stars seemed
just out of reach in a wonderfully
clear sky as we rode toward the red
glow.
J'HE great red flow, however, wa*
no assistance in keeping to the
trail, as it blinded us and the horses.
The trail is over various kinds of
lava, the most difficult being the
rough, black aa. mentioned earlier.
We stumbled along slowly, as the
newly cut trail was almost impossible
to And at night and was also dan*
gerous, even more so than we realized,
until we saw’ it by daylight on our
return trip. Several members of
our party grew so saddle weary that
they tried walking, but falling into
lava blisters waist deep soon dis
couraged them. Many times we found
ourselves off the trail and had to
reconnoiter with our one flashlight
until we found it again.
The jagged lava was like a bed of
metallic clinkers and the monotony
of the climb and the clink of the
horses' feet on the glistening volcanic
rock put our nerves on edge. As we
drew nearer to the top we were able
to see the flows again, tearing down
the mountains in all directions. Our
horses broke through old lava blisters,
smoke curled around their legs and
made them nervous, and the Hawaiian
cowboys became alarmed. They said
it was unsafe to take the horses
nearer. Actually, we suspected, they
feared Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of
fire, who has lived on all of the
islands and has taken up her last
abode on Hawaii. When a volcano
erupts it is an expression of her
anger.
We urged them on and continued
climbing until we felt the heat from
the volcano on our faces. This was at
II o'clock. We were forced to lead
our frightened horses the last quar
ter-mile. The wind was blowing a
terrific gale, the temperature falling
at a distressing rate, we were numb
with cold and every joint ached.
DUT—there beside us. at an altitude
U of 12,000 feet, the volcano was
sending forth what looked like molten
gold—into the sky a hundred feet or
more. Fantastic designs shot from the
fountain like dreamland fireworks—
Dante’s Inferno—another world. Riv
ers of gold flowed and one. more
furious than the others, suggested the
speed of an express train at night.
It was too great to "describe in
words, and when we had suffered as
much cold as we could bear we found
a hole in the rocks, slightly pro
tected from the wind, threw blankets
down, crawled in, pulling more blan
kets over us up to our noses and
watched what the Hawaiian* call
"Pele’s anger" until ealy Sunday.
Our seven-hour horseback ride down
was even more painful and monot
onous than the climb up, but the
experience was the greatest of my
life.
DANCING.
Pref. and Mrs. Aeher’i Stadia. 11*7 10th
st. n.w. Class and danelny Fridays. 0:30 ta
11:80 p.m.. with Berryman’s Orchestra. Pri
vate lessens toy spot. Met. 4100. Bst. ISOft
EDWARD F. MILLER STUDIO
814 17th St. N.W. No. 8093
"It It It Dance Wt Teach IV'
CLASSES FOR BEGINNERS IN
DANCING
TAP—BALLBOOM—SPANISH
Start Friday January lOth
12 Lessons, $6.00
Private Lesion, toy Appointment!
Trial Lesson, 81.00
Instraetlan In year own hems. M
yap desire!
Special Ratea ta Couplet
Canellis Dane* Studios
007 18th St. N.W. Dlstrlet 7000
Open Daily IS—10 Bandar le—6

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