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THE ADVENTURES OP A TROPICAL TRAMP. By Harry L. Fostec Podd, Mead & Co. MOST travel (books may be grouped into two heads: Those that the restless seeker after new sights and sensations takes with him as companions and monitors and those which help less fortunate or lazier mortals to satisfy their wanderlust in the safe shelter of their own firesiie. There is a third and, much rarer type of travel book whose appeal is human rather than geographical. It may have the heightened color of an exotic background, but its interest centers in personal experiences, odd types of character, cross sections of life sketched on a world wid ? canvas. It may lack the methodical accuracy of a Baedecker or the vivid word painting of a Pierre Loti, but in its capacity of many sided, harlequin human document it offers entertain ment equally to the incurable roamer and the inveterate stay at home. "The Adventures of a Tropical Tramp" is a hook belonging to t." is enviable third type. It might not prove a very helpful volume If you were preparing for a visit to Bolivia or Peru or for a trip up the Amazon, and plctorially it misses the riotous flare of tropic color, the seiene immensity of Andean heights. To Mr. ,Foster mountains are primarily an obstacle to be surmounted, and forests, even tropical forests, a labyrinth through which to g^ope one's way. To be sure, they offer adventure; but the kind of adventure which Mr. Foster craves is not battles with the elements, but encounters with all sorts and conditions of men. ne is an explorer into uncharted regions of human nature? in vagabonding down the Andes, he merely followed his own line of least resistance. Turn him adrift at any of the world's strange cros<>ways and he would inevitably bring home just such another inimitable panorama of motley and picturesque human lives, and with that same quirk of caricature that makes the sketchiest portrait memorable. At the outset Mr. Fosdr insists upon the nice distinction between a Tropical Tramp and a Beachcomber: the latter subsists on the alms he can wheedle from his fellow countrymen with hard luck stories; the tramp works for his living and Is called a tramp merely because his love of adventure keeps bim from working long in any one p'ace. The informal fraternity of tropical tramps who drift from country to country in search of nevr scenes and new adventures includes any one from college graduates to illiterate, provided only that he possess the common fa-ling of wanderlust and the common virtue of helping a fellow T. T. in distress. Mr. Foster made the initial mistake of seeking romance in the Panama Canal Zone, for he landed at Cristobal tome eight years after romance had fled. A temparary job in the Government commissary's shoe department proved unendurable. since the wives of the civilian employees, having few household duties Owing to the cheapness of local labor, found their chief amusement in a daily ca'l at the shoe department, where they tried on the entire stock, departing with a pleasant "Good day; I'll b.' in again tomorrow." Although young and s'f-ceptible I soon began to wonder whether shoe clerks ever marry. 1 ne sight of a woman entering the shoe department sent cold stivers up my spine. There was only out in the whole Zone that our shoes seemed to please. She was a little girl who waited daily outside the door in order to be the first one in, and she usually remained until the pangs of hunger forced her to go home. ... I never figure^ out wh^thnp tk'Qfi n Kncr An ihn o>?K_ ject of slippers Or whe'her ^he came merely to enjoy the ecstasy of having her toes pinched by male fingers. The announcement of a new consignment of 2,000 pairs of shoes and a special ladies' week in the shoe department caused our author hurriedly to close his eyes and jab a pin at random into the map of South America?and the pin landed in Peru. His accumulated salary just sufficed to purchase steerage accommodations on the next outgoing Pacific coast 6teamer. These steamers, he tells us, are a peculiar type "designed by some Glasgow Scotchman under the popular impression that the tropica are always warm. The steerage quarters are entirely on deck and exposed to the four winds." THE NEW YORI >ond in South The voyage to Peru is memorable, because here we first make the acquaintance of Hernandez, with his gorgeous raiment and equally gorgeous dreams of greatness. He was arrayed in a most glorious green and yellow checked suit, with a purple striped silk shirt and a blue necktie, and liis headpiece appeared to be a cross between a high hat and a derby. The costume excited my curiosity, but I hesitated to inquire if he. too, were traveling third class, lest he prove to be the owner of the shin. So T sat there and twiddled my cane and looked at him, and he sat there and twiddled his cane and looked at me. Finally I broke the silence. . , . "Where are you going?" . . . He came from Madrid, where he was a great bull fighter, and was now on his way to Lima to win fame and fortune. "So am I," I said. "What? Then the Senor is also a great bill! fighter?" "No. I am a great writer." "But, surely, do great writers travel third class?" I explained that nothing I had written had ever been published. "Ah, the Senor is like me. I have never killed the bull." At Paita, one of the,, local stops, a motley horde of "cholos," the half breed Indians of the Sierra, came on board, bringing all their family possessions, including fighting cocks, flea bitten dogs, a few goats and one cow. After a night in the center of that mass of live stock and humanity Mr. Foster awoke to discover that "the numerous fleas had hailed him as virgin soil." The bull fighter, was already sitting up, scratching himself. "Did you have a pleasant night?" I inquired. "Carramba, no!" "Fleas?" "Fleas? No. I am accustomed to them." "What was the trouble then?" "That cow! It licked me in the face." f My grin must have offended him. "You laugh, Senor, but you cannot understand. You are not a bull fighter." n. Lima, the City of the Kings, Mr. Foster found rather disappointing. "It is in the intermediate stage between the ancient and the modern; it is losing its Old World charm and is only beginning to acquire the modernity of Santiago, Rio or Buenos Aires." He admits, however, that the tourist who loves ancient carved doorways and old churches might And the city interesting. For his own part, he did not visit these show places, "never having understood why tourists continually hunt relics of the past instead of seeing a country's life in the present." From ! Lima he drifted over the "world's highest railway" and secured a job in an Andean mining camp at Morococha. It was here that he came into close contact with a number of tropical tramps of the roughneck division, "morose, silent men who seldom spoke of their pasts and to whom an inquiry regarding their reason a>r coming to South America would have proved an affront." Among them was Judstin, the little Texan, who had killed three Mexican bandits in his time, "although he w.ws quite harmless in appearance, with washy blue eyes that squinted almost timidly through horn rimmed glasses. 'It wasn't any adventure.' he explained; 'it was darned hard work.'" Here also we meet Bolshevick, "a big Australian construction boss with Greenwich Village ideas about iife. . . . He had wandered about the world as a general troublemaker. had been kicked out of several countries and was proud of it." Mr. Foster's experiences in Lima include a rather lengthy connection [ with the one American newspaper in the city and a much shorter experience as attache at the American Le gation. It was while acting in this latter capacity that he made.the acquaintance of that inimitable charlatan, Dr. G. W. Lesser. Although his Job was only that of official interpreter, he informed every American in Lima under pledge of deepest secrecy that this position was only a "blind" and that he himself was second in importance to President Leguia himself. Many people tried to sum up Dr. Lesser adequately; he was variously pronounced a German spy, the champion liar and the biggest lunatic on the west coast. It remained for lied Patterson, when quite drunk, to do him full justice: " ' 'E's a great man.' protested Tied, still swaying against the Iwr. 'When *e drinks a toast to William Jennings Bryan 'e's got sonse enough to let me pay for j the drink. 'E's no lunatic; . , . I C HERALD, SUNDAY America e's a great man; . . . 'e's the fellow what wrote the Declaration of Independence, composed the Lord's Prayer and Invented tl\e victrola. 'E's the only man that Mary Pickford ever really loved!"* The most exotic part of these ad ventures is the trip overland throug the little traveled Amazonian junsrle I to Brazil. The opportunity was of I fered to accompany two high ofS jcials of a Protestant missionary go ciety over this dangerous route; an the humor of such a bizarre part nership loses nothing at the hand of Mr. Foster. One is tempted t quote extensively from this pic turesque narrative, including a scor of hairbreadth escapes from poisor ous snakes, beasts of the jungle an hostile Indians?but the imperativ limits of space make it necessary t leave the reader to make these plea: ant discoveries at first hand. On final anecdote, however, insists upo being reprinted. Upon reachin Iquitos, Peru's most isolated city, th party was met by the British Con Prison E THE ENORMOUS ROOM. By E. J Cu minings. Boni & Liveright. THIS is an uncanny book. On puts it down with a feelin, of nausea, which is doubtles according to the writer's intent, bu also with a strong conviction tha it is a book which never should liav been printed. It serves no purpos except to disgust. For, even if on takes Mr. Cummings's narrative ex actly at its face value, making m discount for any possible exaggera tlon, granting that he was the vie tlm of injustice and as such is en titled to complain, and granting als that there is no other ulterior mo tive in writing it the book never theless leaves one quite unconvincec The author has succeeded in givin a singularly unpleasing picture c himself and his fellow victim; s much so that the reader is com pelled to suspend judgment?realiz ing that there is obviously anothe side to the story, which Mr. Cum mings carefully doe3 not tell. In brief, the facts as alleged b Mr. Cummings are that he and an other young American, designated a B , were arrested, in Octobe 1917, by the French Government, oi suspicion of being spies, that the suffered several months' iraprisoE ment at various prisons and camp and were finally released and allowe to return to America. So far as an; basis for the arrest is hinted it a[ pears to have been due to certain let ters written by B , which wer "misunderstood" by the censors, an that Mr. Cummings was taken alon chiefly because of his friendship ft this B . He gives an accour ill tup ivy !*?*-' IT. THE C OF GE1 I Written during This is a social i of supreme import more fully "in the and at the same tii point. He has wril bly the most sign most surprising, from a German s< At All Bookstor CHARLES SCR1BNE mm ? , MAY 14, 1922. sul, whose cordiality took on a mor? genuine tone when he discovered that Mr. Foster was not one of the missionaries. "I suppose I'm prejudiced Mjainst sky pilots," he told me con Aden tially. "Last time the Bishop of the Falklands was down this way, you see, I had to go down to welcome the Jolly beggar. |_ I said to him nicely, said I, 'Let h me carry that suitcase for you, your Excellency.' And he just looked at me and said, said he, 'Young man, I'm not your Excellpnnv * T'm vnur * Ca I said to the bally rotter, said I, d "Right-o, * your Reverence, carry > your own suitcase and be is damned.'" o Such are some of the high spoti in this volume; and a backward e glance reveals the significant fac1 i- that only a small proportion of them d have an inherent connection witt e the tropics, which only goes to prove o the opening contention th&J^fr. Fos( ter's interest lies first of all in hit e main subject?human nature?and n only secondarily in his chosen stage g setting of the Andes and the Amae son. i-l FREDERIC TABER COOPER. xhalations & | of his examination which present! it as a farce. Thereafter the book 6 is taken up with the details of his S prison life. s It may be admitted at once that t this description is luridly effective, It tells a hideous story, with & rare 1 minuteness of detail, with much plce turesqueness of diction and undee niable rhetorical power. In the often e repeated phrase of the book itself, Co par. It is meant to reek, and it does reek. No form of filth is un0 printable for it, though it does some* times cover itself with the French instead of the English wo^rd. It wal* lows. It not only delves into the ? dung hill but shout* about the treasures it is turning up. One gathers from it that the French military prisons were unspeakable horrors of g unsanitary. stupidity, ftf incredibh f brutality and savagery, o On the other hand we are introi duced to many amiable characters among the prisoners, of all nation r alities, net forgetting some who had - had the "misfortune to be born in Germany." There Is scarcely a y Frenchmen in the book who Is not . either a monster or a comic abs surdity. r, If Mr. Cummings's narrative is n taken at his own valuation he was. y beyond doubt, entitled to complain, t- But beside protest and what might s pass for honest indignation there d is also a snarl, sometimes a whine, y and always a virulent malice in his ?- complaint, reaching from his owr > commanding officers in the Ambue lance Service, where he was a driver d to almost every official, French or ig American, with whom he deals. Th< >r | book in itself is distinctly unsaniit I tary. IEMOIRS ROWN 1 RMANY his exile in Holland and Historical narrative ance. No German wat know" than the authov roe so detached in view* tten what is incompara< ificant, as well as the record that has come >urce since the war. es. 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