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Full text of "Smith College Monthly"

Smith College ,k1 " s 




Odrober 
1928 




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BOARD 

OF 
EDITORS 




Vol. XXXVII OCTOBER, 1928 No. 1 



EDITORIAL BOARD 

Editor-in-chief, Anne Lloyd Basinger, 1929 

Managing Editor, Ernestine Gilbreth, 1929 

Book Review Editor, Elizabeth Botsford, 1929 

Katherine S. BolmaNj 1929 Rachel Grant, 1929 

Elizabeth Wheeler, 1929 Elizabeth Sha^v, 1930 

Sallie S. Simons, 1930 

Art — Nancy Wynne Parker, 1930 

BUSINESS STAFF 

Business Manager, Sylvia Alberts, 1929 

Lilian Supove, 1929 Anna Dabney, 1930 Mary Folsom, 1931 

Mary Sayre, 1930 Esther Tow, 1931 Sarah Pearson, 1931 

Agnes Lyall, 1930 

Advertising Manager, Betsy Tilden, 1930 

Gertrude Cohen, 1929 

Circulation Manager, Ruth Rose, 1929 



The Smith College Monthly is published at Northampton, Mass., each month from 

October to June, inclusive. Terms $2.00 a year. Single copies 25c. 

Subscriptions may be sent to Sylvia Alberts, 12 Fruit Street, Northampton. 

Advertising Manager, B. A. Tilden, Oillett House. 

Contributions may be left in the Monthly box in the Note Room. 

Entered at the Post Office at Northampton, Mass., as second class matter. 

Metcalf Printing § Publishing Company, Northampton, Mass. 

"Accepted for mailing at special rate of postage provided for in Section 1203, 

Act of October 3, 1917. Authorized October 31, 1913."* 



/til manuscript should be typewritten and in the Monthly Box by the fifteenth 
of the month to be considered for the issue of the following month. 
All manuscript should be signed with the full name of the writer. 




I 

For Taxi Service - - Phone 55 
i 

LOWEST RATES IN THE CITY 

"Around the Corner from Treblas" 

Cadillac and LaSalle 



DRIVE YOURSELF CARS 

CHRYSLERS AND CHANDLERS 

SEDANS AND ROADSTERS 

Oldest Drive Yourself in the City 



Phone 55 - No " ha Z on Taxi 



i !> Masonic Street, 



X 



orthampton, Mass. 




CONTENTS 



1 



The Sour Grape 
Two Portraits 
Leaf in the Autumn Gale 
Entrance 
Visas 

In the Modern Manner 
Jaffa Gate 

"For King and Country" 
To a Fencer 
Return- 
Editorial 
Book Reviews 

Bambi 

The Magnificent Idler 

Marie Grubbf 

Cowboy 



Elizabeth Share, 1930 

Barbara Damon Simi.son, 1929 S 

Anne Lloyd Basinger, 1929 9 

Katherine S. Bolman, 1929 14 

Anne Andrew, 1930 15 

Patty Wood, 1930 18 

Rachel Grant, 1929 V? 

Elizabeth Wheeler. 1929 20 

Nancy Wynne Parker, li)3<> 25 





26 




30 




33 


•\ M. G. 


33 


R.G. 


35 


s. s. s. 


11 


E. B. 


15 



The oldest and most dependable 

taxi firm in the city. 
OPERATING 

Buick "Master-Six" Cars 

u<r Drivurse/f Department 

and 

Busses for Hire 



Phone 96 

Gitv Taxi Service 



J 

NEAR THE DRAPER HOTEL 




Smith College 
Monthly 

THE SOUR GRAPE 

Elizabeth Shaw 




fi 



ECENTLY the fermented grape has been the topic of 
interest for many of our dinner table and club meeting 
HH discussions. It has furnished conversation in many an 
arid desert of silence, when the weather has, by common con- 
sent been buried in a long merited grave; it has lent the spice 
of battle to otherwise peacefully dull dances; it has weathered 
the sternest gales of disapproval, to emerge smiling optimisti- 
cally at the end with a "y° u see this is the way I feel about 
Prohibition." Many a struggling author has clothed and fed 
his children on the femented grape, while the magazines thai 
published his enthusiastic originalities have developed thriv- 
ing circulations. The fermented grape has been boomed. Is 
it not time that we should pay some attention to its less start- 
ling, but equally galling companion, the sour grape? Is it 
necessarily more shocking that a man should spend his wages 
on bad liquor, and come home to chase his wife over the apart- 
ment with the coal skuttle bought on the installment plan, 
than it is that a tender and affectionate maiden aunt should 
perjure her immortal soul, in which she devoutly believes, 
by teaching a credulous audience of youthful nieces and ne- 
phews that those grapes which hang most succulently out of 
reach are of necessity sour enough to pucker the mouths of 
those who may be so foolish as to attempt to reach them \ 

There is a certain class of persons, largely composed of 
those who indulge in such professions as medicine, pedagogy 
and the ministry, who place their whole faith in the somewhat 
doubious doctrine of the sour grape. I have my doubts as to 



6 The Smith College Monthly 

\\ hether the fox who first pronounced his unattainable grapes 
sour, knew what he was doing in making his opinions public. 
He did not realize perhaps that in a short while husbands 

would be telling their wives that big ears were too much 
trouble to keep in order, that mothers would he telling then- 
children that the theater had so degenerated that it was a 
great mistake to go often and that children would he telling 
each other that the possessors of curly hair wore entirely to he 
pitied since it had to he put into cork-screw curls each morn- 
ing, while theirs needed only to he braided and tied. 

Those who have uncles scattered over the country in 
thriving parishes, and whose aunts organize sales that the 
deserving heathen may he clothed and converted: those whose 
relatives teach: and those who have been taught to believe 
that of all professions that of the general practioner is the 
noblest, will, I think, understand far better the misuse of the 
sour grape than those fathers in business who have either 
attained or are frankly striving for a good share of this 
world's goods, and who do not say in a cheerful tout 1 of voice. 
'Its nice to be comfortably off', but I should hate the respon- 
sibilities entailed by being rich", as they look up from last 
year's novel, in its lending library covers. This responsibility 
seems to be the chief objection against most otherwise desir- 
able grapes. How well we know the disparaging tone of an 
aunt, as we gaze covetously at the jeweler's window, quoting 
with hungry lips our Revelation verses, "The first foundation 
was jasper; the second sapphire; the third a chalcedony 1 ; the 
fourth, an emerald - -" Before we had reached the chrysolytc 
we would be recalled to earth. "Imagine the responsibility 
of owning valuable jewels, Tin sure I would hate it!* 1 Or 
later, as we pass the importer's window with its smart and 
lovely clothes. "Expensive clothes must be such a burden to 
take care of!" 

Soon we shall have our populace trained so that the 
hungry woman outside the restaurant will heave a sigh of 
relief al not having anything to eat. "Think of having to 
digest lobster Newburg whal a responsibility!" Or. at her 
home, as she pins a burlap bag over the broken window. 
"Well. Till glad that last pane is gone, now I won't have to 
worry any longer about breaking il !" Indeed how much we 
can find to be thankful for. There is the perennial minister's 
remark to his familv, "Mv dears, we should all be thankful 



The Smith College Monthly 7 

for the temptations we cannot afford", and once 1 found an 
old couple who live near us rejoicing over the fact that they 
could no longer afford to take the local paper, for they told 
me, "Now we can't spoil our eyes reading it at night." 

It is a fact that has often been observed, that self-per- 
suasion soon leads to sincere belief. Five minutes after the 
fox had decided that the grapes were sour, he would not have 
touched them, had they been handed to him on a silver salver. 
"Those grapes," he would have said in a condescending tone. 
"are sour, I don't care for them, but help yourself if you like 
them that way." And so it is. When the long expected legacy 
comes to the doctor, he remembers that when we have fewer 
things, Ave love and appreciate them more, that a big car is too 
much trouble and that a Ford is far more convenient for 
traffic, that his wife positively enjoys planning her two hun- 
dred dollars a year for clothes, and that it wouldn't be any 
fun if she could just go in and buy whatever struck her eye. 
that the public school is good for the children because they 
make a wide range of friends, that there are so few good 
books now-a-days that it doesn't pay to buy them, and the 
old Dickens and Scott will be perfectly all right if they are 
rebound, as he likes the dear old set. And so it continues 
until the doctor decides that the family does not need a thing, 
and large parts of the legacy go to Cousin Ben for his mission 
(he doesn't realize what a responsibilty clothes and a religion 
will be to the heathen) and the rest is a nest egg for travelling 
(perhaps he forgets how often he has remarked that he could 
see all the life and beauty he wanted in Brunswick, Maine; 
and that the City had grown so he didn't like to go there any 
more) . 

But according to the Scriptures, "Take the foxes, the 
little foxes that spoil the vineyards— " So perhaps they didn't 
believe what Father Fox told them about the grapes! 



8 The Smith College Monthly 



TWO PORTRAITS 
Barbara Damon Si mi son 



She shut her life up in a narrow box. 

Too narrow for the breadth of other men. 

But plenty large for such a one as she. 

Who put the cardboard cover down to stay, 

And even under pressure will not lift 

It up to set its contents out on view. 

Rut. some day. she will die, and then the box 

May still remain closed up — just as before. 

Though with a change — her life will all be gone, 

Despite her carefulness to keep it there. 



II 

She packed up beauty deep within her soul 

As if it were a trunk in which to pile 

The loveliness she saw around herself. 

That others did not see. or saw, and did 

\ot care about- the ripple of a pool in spring 

Beside the new-found wonder of a phrase or two: 

The wist fulness of pines that filled the night 

Beneath Madonna blue in rows of squills. 

When she unpacked her trunk she used all care. 

\ot spilling out its contents on the floor 

As I have seen some other travellers do. 



The Smith College Monthly 



LEAF IN THE AUTUMN GALE 
Anne Lloyd Basingek 



|>^r|S the car drew up before his house he looked at his 
1*H| watch. He had been out just an hour. Bending his 
Elfl head against the wind and rain he hurried across the 
pavement to the door; and in that moment of exposure felt 
the change of the season. Following three days of intense 
Indian summer humidity, this storm that closed in steely 
gloom about lamps and head-lights had chilled autumn to 
death. Tomorrow would be winter. 

He felt glad that he had gone over to his daughter's 
apartment, even though she had seemed fretful at his visit. 
It was not far; the car protected him from the storm. As 
twilight had fallen, two hours ahead of time, under the op- 
pressive clouds, he had decided suddenly to go and make sure 
that she felt well; for in her state she was subject to depres- 
sion. He had never learned to forget the premonitions of his 
wife before this daughter's birth, when in spite of all assur- 
ances from her doctors she had sensed her approaching death. 
Women live close to the nerve of nature ; they need a man's 
companionship in storm, he thought. So he had gone; had 
found her surprisingly exultant over this gloomy day; had 
fussed over her until she became irritable, and now returned, 
reassured. You cannot count on women; but so long as she 
was cheerful — well. He himself felt only dark restlessness. 

A card had been left on the plate. The business name 
he recognized; on the back, a scribbled note: "Missed again. 
Why? Conklin." 

He had been out just an hour. In that hour, Conklin 
had come, and gone again. Thus for the fourth time in 
thirty years they missed eachother. 

He carried the card into the study, and sat beside his 
fire. The rain beat at his windows incessantly. He rubbed 
his eyes with both hands, for his shaded lamp made the room 
oppressively dark; the clouds outside had shrouded the whole 
day; and as if through a film he strained to see a clear image 



10 The Smith College Monthly 

of things. Perhaps his eyes were tired: at least, the brighter 
edges of shiny objects tables, chairs, the andirons and his 
ink-well on the desk made for him only a devil-pattern 
tonight, lying llat and meaningless before his tare-. 

He rang for his little Japanese servant, and questioned 
him. Conklin, it seemed, had missed him by only fifteen 
minutes. He had left word that he had only a few minutes 
between trains, and could not wait. 

When they had missed eaehother the first time, it had 
seemer no more than a mischance. They were young and 
busy then, he himself just beginning to build a reputation of 
brilliant amateurism in literature, and Conklin entering the 
rail-road world in the- west, where he was to gain importance. 
They never thought of separation as more than temporary; 
and they had traveled enough to think of the world as a small 
plaee. lint the mischance repeated itself queerly. Twice in 
the west and now four times in New York they had tried, ami 
failed, to set eaehother. The margin of time grew narrower. 
Once Conklin had visited his home when he was in Europe; 
once, when he had gone to fish for two weeks up-state: once 
when he was spending a week-end in the country. Hut never 
before had he missed so narrowly as by fifteen minutes. A 
rail-road man is always in a hurry; it so happened that Conk- 
lin could never wait. lie left his card each time: all very 
alike. The first had read something like: ".Missed you. Better 
luck next time. Conklin." The two middle cards wore al- 
most identical. "Missed again. Only in town for the day. 
Sorry. Conklin." This last card in his hand gave a new note. 
"Missed again. Why? Conklin." And one could visualize 
Conklin. writing, "M issed you," in that scribble of haste: then 
pausing with a shadow of perplexity; writing "Why?" with 
an expression almost of astonishment : and signing, and plow- 
ing away doggedly into the howling twilighl street. The new 
word indicated a confirmation of a secret feeling that he had 
hated to waste time upon before: the feeling that something 
more than chance played their lives; that an external power 
persisted in separating them and bewildering them; and that 
they were prey to an unseen meddler. A literary man will 
siihmit to this sort of sen sat ion : he investigates out of curios- 
ity tli< reasons for things. Hut if casual, unimaginative 
Conklin. perhaps under the influence of this howling wind. 
delaved a minute to wrinkle his forehead and to write 



The Smith College Monthly 1 1 

"Why?" on his card, before turning up his collar and going 
away — there must after all be something wrong. Just so a 

dog or a horse gives sign of (list rust before a man, reinforc- 
ing by instinct an impression which his master has reasoned 
out of mind. 

And on this wild afternoon, under the oppression of 
spirits felt by so many people when the sky is darkly oxer- 
cast, such a slight sign as his daughter's restlessness during 
his visit seemed also to confirm the sense of fatality, hinting 
that she felt something going wrong, during his visit to her. 
She had begged him repeatedly to go home, with a nervous 
energy which, by exhausting her, had seemed to feed itself 
by her added persistence to overcome weariness, until he had 
wondered whether after all storm did not cause a disturbance 
far deeper than consciousness within her. At the time he 
had considered her to be arguing against her wishes, out of 
consideration for him; and so he had answered her fretfulness 
with stubborn calm, until at the end of half an hour she had 
suddenly fallen silent, drooping as if doped with a sleeping- 
powder; and had murmured that if he would only run away 
and stop disturbing her she could rest before dinner; and he 
had been satisfied, and had returned. These events he played 
over again now, very slowly, and told himself that more than 
her condition caused her irritability; that swinging as she was 
in the turn of the tide of life, giving more of herself away 
than her strength afforded, half-dead, perhaps, because 
drained of energy, but half-immortal, since creating like a 
goddess in herself, she had sensed the alien force in his life 
which separated him from Conklin, and had tried, not under- 
standing her own motives, to help him trick it. 

Under the intensity of his study, her nervousness that 
had seemed a coincidence at first became in turn the proof of 
that unnatural inter ferance, and convinced him that more 
than chance separated him from Conklin. But he could not 
guess any reason for that separation. Why. after all, should 
fate choose Conklin for subject? They had never been inti- 
mate friends; and inevitably they must have drifted apart as 
they pursued their different lives, lie could scarcely under- 
stand his own interest in the rail-road man. Met by chance 
when he himself had just graduated from college, and Conk- 
lin, five years younger, had run away from school, they had 
chosen to make their way around the world together, for 



1 2 The Smith College Monthly 

adventure. A queer wanderer named Capshaw, who must 
have been a little older than cither of them, made the third 
of the party. None of them defined the reason for such 

choice of company: they had nothing in common but the 
escapade: hut they had enjoyed eachother. Obviously they 
would have to part in the end. since one was a horn tramp, 
one a dabbler with hooks .and one a self-making novice in 
business. They had known it when they came hack to New 
York. Conklin was a less interesting boy than undisciplined 
Capshaw; if they had met again once or twice it would have 
satisfied them both. But — to lose eachother! In so small a 
world, in one continent, for two men used to travel and wide 
friendship to he separated forever, stung one to a defiance of 
hick, till from chafing their interest in eachother was in- 
flamed; and the memory of old friendship perpetuated itself 
in a disproportionate bond. Thus, though he told himself thai 
rough Conklin had virtually become a memory more than 
thirty years ago, he could not forget the ominous manage- 
ment which set fifteen minutes' time between them. And 
little Conklin's rugged face hailed itself before his eyes as he 
had last seen it on a morning in New York following their 
trip, to haunt him forever. 

They had parted so unexpectedly then. Standing in 
the lobby of their hotel, they had laid their plans, to do 
errands, see people, buy a hat. 'I will see yon here in an 
hour, then," Conklin had said. The words kept ringing 
louder in his ears nowadays: 'I will see yon here in an hour. 
then." Matter-of-fact, precise. Conklin walked one way, he 
and Capshaw another. lie never saw Conklin again. When 
they returned, they found a note explaining that Conklin's 
mother was ill; his father had telegraphed; he had gone at 
once. They had heen disappointed; hut they would meet 
later. And Capshaw did meet Conklin later many times: 

he, the casual vagabond, could drop in at Conklin's head- 
quarters and nearly always find him. even in an hour between 
trips, or could meet him unexpectedly out on the far ranges, 
Or could find him in the cities of the eastern or western sea- 
board, where he went only once a year. Capshaw met every- 
body; he carried messages between them. This malign luck 
never touched the adventurer. 

The plain square lace of Conklin! Mouse-brown hair, 
brown skin, tumpv features already wrinkled and homely 



The Smith College Monthly 18 

from squinting in the sun. It was no weird mask to haunt 
one for thirty years or so. If it had been Capshaw, instead, 
he would have gained in losing him. For Capshaw as he had 
found him first had been a man to stare at and remember: 
tall, spare, darkly savage; his teeth and eyes shone; he had no 
regard for appearanees. He was one of those men who, 
while so passionate as to be made ill from anger or the con- 
templation of suffering, yet practise rigid asceticism, betray- 
ing by their severity the nature of their dreams. If he had 
lost Capshaw, he would always have remembered the tiger- 
like man with whom he had adventured onee, and who had 
vanished to prepetuate himself in romantic memory. Vet 
Capshaw came back to him yearly, sometimes oftener; while 
it was ugly little Conklin whom some storm of destiny, like 
the rain and wind without, tore away out of reach. The face 
of Capshaw was not to become an ideal; it was to be exposed 
to view in every stage of its decay: through the brief prosper- 
ity of his life when he tried to settle down, through the pinch- 
ing times of destitution when he could find no work; when it 
received a scar during the world war; when the hair and the 
thin moustache grizzled and lost their startling blackness; 
when the brows came to beetle over eyes with drooping lids : 
when lines of relaxation fell from the inner corners of those 
eyes downward to the cheek; when vertical creases etched 
themselves on either side of the thin mouth, and the smooth 
throat which had been pale and straight as a column was dug- 
out into cords. Such decay appeared naked when Capshaw 
came every year ; but the immature features of an undistingu- 
ished boy remained with photographical clearness to be re- 
membered always. 

And again this night a fear came in around his curtains 
from the night that some day luck would desert him in his 
relationship with Capshaw- too; that this unbound wanderer 
would also drift away from his circle, and leave him alone. 
Possibly more might disappear; as the enchantment widened, 
every friend one by one would fall beneath a spell, till he 
could never again find those worth calling companions, with 
whom he had hunted, or studied, or enjoyed his life. And he 
would search the city, but see only strange faces; for fate 
would have cleared the others from his path, till not even a 
heel of them would be visible, as in a fraction of a second they 
moved beyond sight, hunting him, hunted by him, separated 



14 The Smith College Monthly 

forever in the puzzle of circumstance. Such imaginative stuff 
hazed his judgment tonight as never before; and it intensified 
the bafflement of every recent parting from Capshaw; catch- 
ing again the reverberations of his mood when, months ago, 
in the hustle of a sub-way platform, he had called alter him, 
feeling infinitely wistful; hut saying, with a shame-faced 

O JO 

gruffness, 'Come hark do you hear? Don't lose yourself!" 
The tall grey fellow had nodded; his Tare had glimmered 
weirdly in the electric glare, as faces ought to look when you 
see them for the very last time; and then he had gone; the 
crowds had received him into their heart: and silence had 
fallen. 



Thus on a streaming night, alone with a card which 
marked one more mischance, the man brooded his loneliness. 
And his thoughts were deadly-serious to him then. But when, 

next day. in the clean bravery of 'winter sunshine, he met 
Capshaw- in his worn familial' tweeds at a block from his door. 
he forgot such nonsense in the commonplaces of greeting; 

and only the fact of Conklin's advent remained as a queer 
mischance. 



ENTRANCE 

KATHERINE S. Hoi man 

I have wept and bruised my hands, 
'Till I could weep no more, 

I found it was ;i useless thing 
To beat upon your door. 
1 thought the way was barred, 
Beyond your high stone wall. 
I nt il I found the garden gate 
Was never closed at all ! 



The Smith College Monthly 15 

VISAS 

Anne Andrew 



El COLD wind blew twilight downstream towards us as 
I we left Budapest for Vienna and Linz. As to my fate 
TMtJ during the next twenty-four hours we were not quite 
sure, Paulette and I. Hers was to be simple enough, for she 
was on the boat bound for Vienna and, after a few hours of 
sighting, thence to Linz and Paris, but I was not as lucky. 
Through misunderstandings I had no transit visa for Hung- 
ary which I was hoping to leave. Lenient officials by per- 
suasions had let me on the boat, but they had ordered me to 
leave at Szob, the frontier, buy my Hungarian visa,, take the 
six o'clock morning train on which I would buy my Czechosla- 
vokian visa, later, my Austrian visa, and arrive in Vienna at 
five that night ready to resume my boat trip up the Danube 
to Linz. I was to be traveling in German speaking lands 
where neither my English nor my extremely bad French 
would be of great assistance, nor would Paillette's able 
tongue help me, for she had to remain on board to take care 
of our luggage. We talked long and it was advice in general 
and advice in particular which she gave me. For the advice 
in general, she taught me to count up to ten in German and 
she wrote down some useful expressions. I felt quite capable 
and poised, much more so than when I knew I was landing 
in a France, the rudiments of whose language I had been 
learning for four years. It was, however, time to leave and 
say au revoir. 

The boat moved slowly away from the pier. It took all 
the light with it and in the midst of the light was Paulette 
waving goodbye. Slowly upstream it went and was suddenly 
hidden by a mass of blackness. Only the rush of the waters 
down to Budapest could be heard. 

We left the landing and Avalked along the muddy paved 
streets of midnight Szob. Two arms supported me. One 
belonged to the short, dark Hungarian douane who spoke 
occasionally in scratchy German gutterals. His remarks 



J 6 The Smith College Monthly 

evidently verged on coarseness, for the "police" (not gen- 
darme but "police" as he insisted) stopped now and then 
to laugh. 1 1 is was the Other arm. He, too, was a short man 
but light in complexion and flabbier in body. His hand rest- 
ing on my arm was covered by a white cotton glove. He had 
told me that during the war he had been in a Russian prison 
camp where his hand had been cut off. It had been replaced 
bv a waxen one of hard colors. Now I shivered as I felt its 



nothingness rest on my arm. 



We walked endlessly past black houses and blacker t rees. 
We passed the village cafe. We walked on and on to the 
station where soldiers paced up and down or lounged in small 
sleepy groups. In the hare military office an official in shirt- 
sleeves stamped my passport, while another pulled the bed- 
clothes of his cot over his head. Still a third said he hoped I 
could get my Czech visa on the (> o'clock train. Alter a mom- 
ent of handshakings we were again outside. Then, 
acting on the decision of the "police" we returned to the cafe, 
and entered a large common room, oblong and wooden with 
a sordidness the uniforms of the soldiers intensified. \Vc went 
to sit at the- further end near the gypsy musicians who were 
dirty and inharmonious. For a time 1 talked of America 
and fiance Hungarians have such respect for that sort of 
tiling though he was. sad to say. only mythical. As I 
talked I was watching the soldiers gathered in one group 
and then four huge loud men amusing themselves with two 
gingham-dressed sisters, quite homely and rather doubtful. 
Shortly a Czechoslovakian soldier proud of his style asked 
me to waltz. (Would I be able to get my Czech visa?) Then 

the Hungarian national dance, the Tsardas.. We danced to 
the straining zither and violins. During long intervals I 

talked to the "police" refusing food and drink, for I could 

not bear the thought of being under any obligation to them. 

At three the cafe closed. I had intended to say good- 
night to the gentlemen and go to the station hut they would 

nothaveit. Verboten. They would look out for me and, too. 

I must rest. 'The "police" seemed suddenly unable to ex- 
press himself in French concerning his reiterating the word 
Verboten. Realizing the futility of a struggle I went with 
them to the douane's room in a nondescript cottage near the 
cafe. We entered the door, passed through a sort of kitchen 

lo a small hedrooin where the police lit a candle. In the 



The Smith College Monthly 17 

unsteady light 1 saw two single beds, a table, chairs and 
vague overhanging shadows. 1 sat down and opened up my 
map and books, all I had taken from the boat. I glanced up 
and to my amazement the douane was divesting himself of 
eoat, collar, tie, shoes, socks, and garters. Then lie lay down 
on the bed, pulled up the comforter, sighed, and snored. I 
wanted to laugh, I wanted to cry but I lit a cigarette and 
wrote down expenses. 

In a short while the police interrupted me and said 1 
should rest; besides, the candle had only a half an inch of 
wax left and pft — it would be out. Please to lie down and 
rest. His insistance was command; I obeyed. The light was 
blown out. Between the snores of the douane I heard a 
clock strike one, two, three, four. Silence seemed to shriek 
at me. The police creaked over and sat creak, creak on the 
edge of the bed. I could see nothing but I sensed everything. 
I waited. The whole of life, all emotions and thoughts, 
roared through my brain, and in the following silence so 
dead, I knew. My surroundings came into my field of con- 
sciousness and I realised that the police had left — that he had 
gone in that moment of silence. It was no dream, but reality 
no longer fearful. I lit the candle and by its light wrote on 
a scrap of paper, "Merci mille fois messieurs." The candle 
sputtered and went out. Somehow I left the man, somehow 
I left the room, the house, the street. Good God! would I 
get my visa and the train ? Again I heard a clock striking. 

It was a fresh sweet morning of late summer. The mud- 
dy road to the station felt soft underfoot; overhead the sky 
was growing a soft blue, leaves were a shiny gray green. The 
breeze came fresh and gentle as I strolled along in mood with 
the day. Yet the visa — 

Arriving at the station and using my German expres- 
sions, I bought my ticket. Time and to spare was mine so 
I looked over my map which interested a bored Czech soldier. 
In the course of our pantomimic conversation I learned I 
would have to return to Budapest for my Czech visa. I 
knew I could not do that; I had to get my visa and go on to 
Vienna.* While I waited, he went to search for a French- 
speaking ofriicial. 

I saw the six o'clock train leave. The next one would 
leave at ten o'clock. If I were unable to take it — but there 
was no use thinking of that nor of the hunger I felt after 



18 The Smith College Monthly 

twenty-four empty hours. Up and down 1 paced. Seven 

o'clock. The soldier cattle back with the official. We talked 
uselessly. 1 said why 1 had to take the train, why I must get 
my visa. He replied that 1 might possibly get it thereat the 
station, at any rate not e>n the train. Still he- thought it 
advisable to return to Budapest. 1 talked and talked. Eight 
< t'clock. He w cut away and came back. 1 1 is idea had not been 
successful. We talked and talked. 1 began to feel rather 
sorry for myself. Xine o'clock. He went away again and 
came hack with the same sad Look. Nine-thirty. 1 felt ex- 
tremely sorry tor myself. Tears came' to my eyes. Xine 
forty-five the train came in. Again the official left.. Xine 
fifty. IK' returned again, smiling. At last he had managed 
se> 1 was to have my visa. He shoved me into a small room 
where two officiers were busy writing. One arose, pulled 
on his white gloves, felt his sword, adjusted his cape, put on 
his cap, glanced at me and marched out. The other after a 
few moments ol* frantic writing handed me my passport. I 
grabbed it. rushed out to the' train and jumped on. It was 
ten o'clock. 

As I rode up to Vienna through the- wooded lands and 
marshes I wondered if they ever knew what I meant when 
1 wrote "Merci mille fois messieurs." 



IX THE MODERN MANNER 
Patty Wood 



Hend low. goldenrod, 
in the' flying wind, 
in the brown grass 
hend low 



Dust will swirl 

leaf on dry leaf, 

scraping 

lardy warmth of sun 

sickening to die 

Bend low, goldenrod, 
above a summer 

laid awav in I ime. 



The Smith College Monthly 10 



JAFFA GATE 
Rachel Grant 



The air is ashen 
With the passing of flocks, 
Grey sheep, their shoulders 
Rising unequally, press at the foot 
Of the tall arch- 
ils sudden emptiness of heat 
Pours like a fall of water 
Over them. 

Inside the seller of licorice water 
Clinks his chill cymbals 
And the herders pause; 
In the far corner a story teller 
Leans forward from his heels. 
Chanting legends of glory. 
His voice taut with their splendor— 
And there, the sand-prophet. 
His fingers flickering 
Between the cold threads of falling sand 
Stares at the magic forming 
On his silver tray. 

A shout — a quick shudder — and the flock 
Moves out. under a furious, blue sky— 



20 The Smith College Monthly 



yo\{ KING AM) COUNTRY 
Elizabeth Wheeleb 



IT the heart of Edinburgh, within the battlements of 
her Castle, stands the Scottish National War Memori- 
flj al. The doorway is superscribed with the words 'Lest 
we forget." Beyond, the walls of the dim-lit hall Dear 
panels "To the glory of God" and to the memory of all those 
who laid down their lives in the Great War. Here are re- 
presented all the Scottish regiments, the Air Force, the 
Navy, chaplains, surgeons and nurses; all other men and 
women who died; and even the canaries and rats who by 
their own deaths warned soldiers of the approach of gas. 
The names, written in gold, of battlefields — Verdun, Ypres, 
.Jutland, Gallipoli, Palestine — shine from the walls; and 
also blazoned there, are the sublimest expressions uttered 
by man through the ages concerning heroism and death and 
resurrection. The light through mullioned windows falls 
softly on burnished coats-ofarms and tattered regimental 
Hags. The only sound to he heard is the ceaseless muffled 
fall of slow footsteps passing through the hall- the host of 
the living come to pay homage to the dead. Some bore 
arms on the battlefields named above them in the company 
of the fallen here commemorated. Some approach as pil- 
grims to the shrine of loved ones who died for King and 
Country. And others who never knew the horror of a 
battlefield or the grief of an irreparable loss, go out from 
this hallowed place initiate into the proud sorrow of a mi 
I ion. 

These last will doubtless walk in silence down the stone 

causeway, thinking not at all. feeling poignantly as they have 

never fell before. They pass under the arched outer gate 

with its defianl motto— "Nemo me impune lacessit", and 
cioss the open square before the Castle, walking more brisk- 
ly ,'is who would banish from their hearts a new. unwel- 
come emotion. Bui al the head of High Street, a man with 
horribly disfigured face calls. "Postcards and guide to the 
Castle" in b half-strangled voice. lp the middle of the 



The Smith College Monthly 21 

street wanders a shabby, bareheaded man singing "The 
Long, Long Trail," his hands groping, his eyes unseeing. 

No, we cannot escape however much we would. Be- 
cause the war scarcely touched us, and so has receded into 

history with the passing of ten years, the recurrent sight 
of the suffering it has wrought must stab us the more keenly. 
And more heartrending than the countless memorials to 
the dead are the innumerable wrecks of the living. 

Some few Americans to whom the name of Robert 
Bruce is hallowed will visit the battlefield of Bannockburn. 
It is, however, a little frequented spot, but there is a guide 
who will reconstruct the battle for visitors. He is shabbily 
dressed, gray and haggard of face, and carries a cane which 
he uses to point out the positions of the opposing armies — 
but he drags one leg when he walks. He talks well in a 
broad Highland accent, and with his words the rolling fields 
echo again to the war cry of the clans. One peaceful sum- 
mer afternoon standing on the rock where the Bruce plant- 
ed his standard, we lived again that clay in 1314. 

"You know," said our guide, "the famous British 
square was first employed here by the Bruce. Front rank 
kneeling, second rank standing, to form a Avail of steel. 
Officially, it was last used in the Sudan. Personally. I can 
say we used it at Mons in 1914. We had to . . . I was the 
only man in my company who got out of there uninjured." 

Thus in one swift sentence he bridged the gap of six 
centuries from Bannockburn to Mons. Inevitably, we 
asked his regiment. He answered with a pride that is his 
heritage by the record of that regiment for two hundred 
years : 

"The Black Watch." 

Then, with a jerk, "Well, to return to this battle, and 
he continued his story. But the sense of reality was gone. 
Robert Bruce yielded to the soldier of the Black Watch. 
Later he said, 

"I was at Gallipoli too. That was the worst place I 
ever was in. Not a wash or a shave for seven weeks. I 
only saw bread twice from April to December. Men died 
of illness by the hundreds. . . I've often been tired in my 
life, but — Yes, I was glad to get wounded and get out of 
it." 

Once more with an effort he remembered Robert Bruce. 



22 The Smith College Monthly 

He had himself in action helped to make history: yet the 
hare need of food and shelter have forced him to bring to 
life in words the phantoms of history. His wages can Be 

only the- smallest pittance, and his tips, even it generous, 
must he few. Once he lived free in his native Highlands; 
then he gave his youth, his strength, his happiness, all hut 
his life, for his country; and now he exists from day to day, 
recalling with bitter pride that lie was a soldier of the Black 
Watch. 

But he is more fortunate than hundreds of his com- 
rades who number among Britain's million unemployed. 
They are everywhere present — destitute, unkempt, maimed, 
halt and blind. They wander aimlessly on every populous 
street in London. Barred by their disability from obtain- 
ing work, they must resort even to begging in order to live. 
Some manage to sell an occasional hunch of violets to a 
passing tourist. Some, ashamed openly to beg, hold out 
pencils or shoe laces, knowing that no one will buy, hut 
hoping that someone will give them a few coppers. In the 
more crowded thoroughfares, some of them pick at banjos 
or scrape away at violins. We saw three together one day 
on Bond Street — a man with one arm grinding a hand 
organ, a blind man with a fine tenor voice singing "Sole 
Mio", and a man with one leg passing the hat. At the cor- 
ner of Pall Mall and Regent Street sits a shell shocked vet- 
eran who paints, garish landscapes on the pavement. He 
had to obtain permission for this from the government from 
whom also he receives a pension that barely pays his rent — 
and he has a wife and four children. Sometimes, among 
his pictures appears a crude black cat for luck, or an appeal 
scrawled in chalk— "You will never lose bv showing a kind 
heart." 

One morning we were watching the change of guard 
at St. James' Palace. As the troops lined up in the court- 
yard, a voice addressed us. 

"You see the color-hearer walking up and down, and 
the captain with him? Well, that's a tradition of the 

guards. At the siege of when all the men were killed or 
wounded, except a few officers and (he color-hearer, they 
walked up and down on the rampart to make the enemy 
think the fort was si ill garrisoned/ 

\\Y turned from the spectacle before US to look at the 



The Smith College Monthly 23 

speaker. He was dressed in a suit of which the coat and 
trousers did not match. In his left hand he held a cigar- 
ette; his right was thrust in his pocket, and the arm, held 
close against his side, appeared strangely shrunken. There 
were deep lines about his mouth, and now and then he 
closed his eyes as he talked. He spoke with an easy grace 
of expression that bore witness of unusual culture. 

He had won our attention at once by his explanation 
of a ceremony that to us had hitherto been meaningless. 
Now he continued, "Whenever you see a wreath on the 
colors, it means the anniversary of a victory for the regi- 
ment." 

The strains of a Sousa's march blared loudly in the 
sudden hush of motionless traffic. "Ah! Here they come," 
he said, turning with a light in his eyes as the Scots Guard 
band swung into view. In their scarlet coats and fur bus- 
bies, every man over five feet ten, these Guards regiments 
are the most magnificent troops in the world. But some- 
how, beside this shabbily dressed man with his crumpled 
arm, they seemed unreal, mere wooden soldiers in a toy 
parade. 

When it was all over, he asked: "Would you like to 
see where the Prince of Wales lives?" So it happened that 
in the next hour we went with him from the Palace down 
the Mall to Whitehall. Along the way he pointed out monu- 
ments and buildings, coloring his information with glamor- 
ous details of tradition and anecdote, till we stood in the 
shadow of the massive piles that represent the nerve center 
of the Empire, built to stand and fall with the Empire. At 
length, emerging from the unpretentious dinginess of Down- 
ing Street, we left him on the busy corner in front of the 
Abbey. He moved slowly away into the crowd as one who 
has no incentive for haste, no destination for his aimless 
footsteps, more tragic than all his fellow-sufferers; for by 
birth and culture he was prepared to walk with his feet 
upon the hills; but circumstance has compelled him to share 
the lot of beggars who must live by charity. 

In Westminster Abbey, the Unknown Warrior sleeps 
among the illustrious of the nation. Nearby in Whitehall, 
men bare their heads before the wreath-banked Cenotaph to 
"The Glorious Dead." In one brief moment life was de- 
manded of them. They scarce had time to question or to 



2 I The Smith College Monthly 

mourn the end of dreams they had cherished in days remote 
and tranquil. All thought was refined, all desire purified 
in the Same of sacrifice. They died swiftly, unfalteringly, 
with steadfast courage, passed byond all doubt and pain, and 

arc at peace again. 

Hut these others, their living comrades, what lias been 
their sacrifice? They too offered life, hut it was spared to 
them only that they might he seared by years of agony. 
They were to know no longer what had once been part and 
parcel of their daily lives: — the light of friendly faces; the 
joy of striding free over the hills of home ; the clasp of greet- 
ing or farewell; the harmony of relaxed body and un- 
troubled mind. Rather, they yielded up all that was theirs 
save life. Their strength, their happiness, their youth. 

Ten years after peaee has come to their war-torn coun- 
try, it has not come to them. Poverty lias quenched their 
youth in middle age; has clothed their bodies in tattered 
garments; has stifled their pride and self-respect; and has 
made them the objects of pity of a nation itself too poor to 
help them. Their life is sunk to a sordid struggle for an 
existence which they cannot value; and the future is lit by 
no flickering torch of hope. but. rather, deeper shrouded in 
despair. For as the years pass, even pity, so poignant to- 
ward a man wrecked in the prime of life, grows sluggish 
towards that same man when his long life is nearly spent. 

So. while their comrades sleep in glory, they must five 
hour by hour with a resignation that has ceased to be depair. 
till at last Death conies to claim the shattered life that he 
refused when it was offered in the fulness of youth. 



The Smith College Monthly 25 



TO A FENCER 
Nancy Wynne Parkeb 



This is lean grace. 

Your uncoiling lunge 

Is a greyhound that passes. 

A swirl of wind outlined by quirks of silver. 

But you are suddenly stopped, caught, angled. 

You are a thing of daylight. 

Daylight mounds on your bare arms and chest. 

Waits fierce on your cheek's flattened curve. 

Smites from the lid-gripped cold of your eyes. 

In the grass 

Clear grapes hung cool from the temples of slim dancers 

Before you came. 

Swords weave, curve — echo — 

It is a bird your fingers hold against your steadied hand— 

A bird with a cry in its throat. 

I know a meadow lark along whose song 

Daylight slithers as cruelly. 

I have been stabbed by things hunched spiderlike. 

Half-choked by tremendous bulging knuckles of the brutes. 

Known the shattering darkness after bullets. 

But only song can pass slim torture through my soul 

This is grace flayed of slow curves 
Death laughing. 



26 



The Smith College Monthly 



RETURN 

Ernestine Gilbreth 



0TVENING came gently, The pine trees rustled and 
I trembled in the breeze. Far off in the distance sounded 

I the muffled cries of frogs. Tiny ripples fluttered hack 
and forth over the lake. 

On shore the bonfire crackled and burst into flame. Now 
the- first chords of the organ sounded; the voices rose in 
chorus, swelling out over the water, ringing hack from the 
cove. The sunset had faded until only a blur of pink stained 
the sky. The world was hushed, hilled in beauty. 

The hymns followed one upon another, mingling with 
the ripple of the water, the rustle of the trees. Long Haines 
darting from the bonfire, illuminated the rows of faces. 
Silence came completely, wiping away the distinctness of 
reality. Then sighing like a distant wind, louder, gaining 
strength and volume, sounded the first spiritual. kk \Vc arc 
climbing Jacob's ladder we are climbing The notes 

soared higher and higher, tense and shrill with emotion. 
"'Soldiers of the Cross". They faded, ending in a whisper. 
The negro singers stumbled away, their hacks hunched and 
transparent in the firelight. The sky was darker now. Deep 
clouds rolled over it. blotting out the crystal of the sky. The 
moon appeared, yellow and waning, smiling down from a 
wealth of effulgent wrinkles. 

They were drifting, breathing in the cool night air. Dan 
turned the canoe and started toward the cove. The service 
had begun to break up. People were rising from the benches; 
they scattered, melting into the darkness. Their voices echoed 
hack from the road and were lost in the pines. 

1 list inctively she had dipped her hand into the water and 
fell the cool drops trickle away. 'The contact sent exquisite 
shivers up her arm. The I ,akc it had been SO for years, cool 
summer nights and moonlight, drifting silently until a yoo- 
hoo in the distance, meant t ime to conic home. Hut this year 
there had heen no need for Calling; she was older now. able 
to judge for herself. 



The Smith College Monthly 27 

The past summers returned in swift, impressionistic 
Hashes. There were the old friends, strangely real, haunting 

now because of their vitality. Fred had been tall and blonde- 
headed with glowing blue eyes. September had come quickly, 

leaving him miserable and pathetically lonely. He had sworn 
never to return. Why then, did his hearty laugh continue to 
resound through her memory? Others had come and gone 
too. Now they filled every turn of the road, lingered under 
each pine, smiled from the club-porch. The lake was alive 
with their voices. The springboard reverberating "from a 
dive, recalled Woody, graceful as a girl, in spite of his mas- 
sive build. Raising fieree black eyebrows, he had boasted of 
his wives, loudly perferring them "young and silent". Win- 
ning him from a determined blonde had been a matter of ease. 
But again Septemher had come, deseending swiftly, leaving 
no hope for resumption the following year. For summer 
affairs were momentary, pleasant while they lasted, leaving 
an after-taste not to he quickly forgotten. So Woody con- 
tinued to dominate the spring-board, to fill the swimming 
dock with his shoulders, his quick, graceful motions. 

People rarely returned to the lake ; the crowd underwent 
a ceaseless change. Each summer left holes never quite filled, 
brought new faces smiling with an air of progressive posses- 
sion from the club-porch, faces which sang new songs, whis- 
pered new jokes — faces to which one became reconciled in 
time. The former spontaneity and enthusiasm had disap- 
peared; in their place were careful calculation and charter- 
ing, the application of technique. It mattered little that the 
lake remained as serenely beautiful, that the pine trees kept 
their stiff, relentless watch, that Sunday nights Avere illumi- 
nated with Song Service. These, the treasures of the past. 
had become mysteriously, imperceptibly transformed. 

The drops trickled away from her fingers and were lost 
in the lake. So it was with memories. One raised them 
gently, only to watch them recede once more into their source. 
They were created from the past through the medium of 
one's mind. Inevitably they returned whence they had come. 
Why then should she remember, why should she unconscious- 
ly project past events into the present, weaving bright 
threads through a dull and colorless web?' Life continued 
swiftly, surely. Foolish to mark time, to crane one's neck 



28 The Smith College Monthly 

backward like a reluctant puppy. Foolish hut when one 
did it Instinctively. 

A bal skimming past, brushed her cheek. Involuntarily 
she shivered with disgust. Reality, it was interrupting, 
like a bat. No, reality was about her, the moonlight, the 
lake, paddling toward the cove; material for dreams, yet 
actuality itself. And Dan! She glanced up at him, paddling 
with long silent strokes, at his shirt open at the neck, at the 
lean rugged features. lie was whistling, half-smiling to 
himself. ''Drifting and Dreaming!" How completely it fitted 
into her feelings! The lake yes. Dan loved it too. its chill 
beauty, its jagged curves. The realization swept over her 
chokingly. Dan and she were alive, .mutually appreciating, 
living in an exotie harmony of understanding. 

Now they had reached the cove overhung with tangled 
branches, damp and sweet smelling. The canoe humped 
against a dead root and lay drifting. Dan had put down his 
paddle. Still whistling, he lit a cigarette. She glanced up 
at him swiftly — at the hair blowing hack from his temples, 
that half-quizzical smile. 

Was she unconsciously making notes, hoarding the very 
essence of future memories!' 

*- -:- * * # 

A year had passed. Strange that it should he Sunday 
night again. The intervening winter and spring were com- 
pletely obilterated; summer had become everlasting. 

Again they were drifting silently, listening to the hymns 
following one upon another, the spirituals rising and fading 
into nothingness. She was a year older now. a year older 
and Dan had come back. Dan had come back! For the firsl 
time fate had sanctioned a continuance from summer to sum- 
i. er. The thread had been permitted to remain unbroken; 
memories and actualities existed on the same plane, could no 
longer he separated. 

lie had appeared one morning, smiling eagerly from 
his broad height, shaking hands with the old vigor, II is pre- 
sence surprised, hurt her beyond endurance. "Tonight. 
There'll he a song-sen ice tonight ! Til get a canoe if it means 
stealing It was impossible to repel his pleading. "Last 
year do you remember last year?" Certainly she remem- 
bered, hut now his proximity rang 8 sudden hideous discord. 
vibrated I hroucrh her mercilesslv. 



The Smith College Monthly 29 

Sunday night! There had been no chance to refuse-, no 
time to think, to adjust oneself to the facts. Reality and 
phantasy. Where and how to differentiate! Dan had re- 
turned to life, to the lake, miraculously, disappointingly. 

Now glancing at him, her memories conflicted, struck on all 
sides, always to his disadvantage. 

How perfectly she had recalled him during those inter- 
vening winter days, his hair blowing in the wind, whistling 
to himself. But now he was paddling. She could hear the 
water gurgling under the canoe. And suddenly she was 
frightened, by his nearness, by the healthy ring of his voice, 
by her utter inability to escape. 

"Drifting and Dreaming". It was fate which made him 
whistle that tune recalling sensations and impressions that 
could only hurt. No, this was not Dan. this masquerader 
sporting his air of proprietorship, trying to rekindle the old 
memories, to relive them once more . By his very presence he 
was sweeping away a world dim and beautiful with idealism. 
he was — 

Something was breathless, caught and choked within 
her. Dissappointment, crumpling illusions, these were there. 
But her whole philosophy, the unconscious appreciation of 
life itself, faded and died before her eyes. So she had been 
merely amusing herself, dressing and painting life into some- 
thing dead and embalmed? How naive to try to breathe life 
into what was already gone! Unsuspectingly Dan had re- 
fused her ornaments, calmly brushed them aside. Should 
she not appreciate — but a larger emotion swept over her. 
hatred for his clumsiness, his thoughtlessness, hatred for life 
itself. 

The illusions had been brushed down in a single stroke. 
The gaudy coverings of imagination once stripped off, left 
the past revealed for what it was. a mummy a hideous dust. 

It was of no significance that a bat flew by, skimming 
flatly over the water, that Dan was whistling and raising the 
paddle up and down, up and down. She had dipped her hand 
into the water, delighting to wince at the painful sensation 
it produced, at the drops falling silently, completely, back 
into the lake. 



•M) 



The Smith College Monthly 




EDITORIAL 




ST happens not infrequently to ladies of the arts. Take 
almost any popular actress. She had all the hard work 
of establishing herself, once; or even farther back, of 
picking up stage tricks while earning a living. Later she 
Hushed to the applause of her first triumph; and still later. 
having become fashionable, she played to houses of people 
who would not dare to admit they had not seen her. Those 
are the prosperous times; then the actress becomes aristocra- 
tic and even haughty; she spends money freely; her position 
seems enviable. Hut before she knows it her public come 
only out of habit; then, there is a newer star; then all at once 
her engagements thin out. and in a lew years more- she has to 
beg for a place. She is likely to wonder, then, how anybody 
can do without her; surely there must he a mistake? Hut the 
rejections hammer at her self-respect until it is mashed out 
thin and brittle; and she begins to think it would be queer 
lor anybody to want her. (Though there are always the old 
friends sentimentalists, probably; they still remember her, 
years ago. ) So she might go on indefinitely, and even starve 
somewhere in a garret, it the old friends did not come to her 
rescue; start a new fashion for her; pull wires and take season 
seats for her, and presently bring her forth, renovated, into 
a more dependable spotlight. 

It wasn't much use for her to act well, in that slump, 

when people were out for style. One needs a public. 

So Tm not any exception, thought Monthly, facing her 
thirty-seventh season; hut poverty, even common-place. 

feels night-marish. And she began to plan to economize; she 

would sell her house, and much of her furniture, keeping only 
the finest pieces, though they seemed less showy than her old 
crowded rooms. No exception. . .And I must cut down on 



The Smith College Monthly 31 

dress, too, just this year; I may have been extravagant. And 
there are so many things one wears that never show. . .(She 
blushed; all her friends wore laee from the skin out; she had 
believed sueh thorough finery was the mark of a lady.) Hut 
something must be given up. Plain underthings. Nobody 
ever saw her Editorial, for instanee; they expected one- some- 
where underneath; but they would be embarrassed to have to 
look at it. Well, she would leave off the Editorial, and the 
laee; and her elothes should be severe now. ( But if I had 
some good friends, they might revive me. and then, grad- 
ually, I would reinstate myself. ) 

All of this, she thought, was natural. Shabby-gentility. 
But when she found that her influential friends were working 
for her after all — making public opinion swing back her way, 
she tossed her head in relief, feeling awakened from an ex- 
hausting night of dreams; she splashed eold water on her 
face; sniffed salts, and then dashed eau de cologne under her 
nose; built her hair high: put on her Editorial for the last 
time that season, and walked out respectably at last, thanking 
her stars for the kind public. The first appearance of the 
season! Her mood was genial. Tomorrow, she promised 
herself, nonsense should cease; she would catch up for lost 
time, she Avould exercise her art; she would captivate them. 
Today in full regalia, ( including Editorial) she Mould pay 
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The Smith College Monthly M 





BOOK REVIEWS 



BAMBI ( A Life in the Woods) Felix Sal-ten 

Translated from the German by Whittaker Chambers- 
Simon and Schuster 1928 



"Bambi came into the world in the middle of the thicket, 
in one of those little hidden forest glades which seem to be 
entirely open, but are really screened in on all sides." "He 
stood there swaying unsteadily on his thin legs and staring 
vaguely in front of him with clouded eyes that saw nothing." 
In this fashion Felix Salten begins the story of Bambi's 
"life in the woods." 

The writer is interested in Bambi as a personality, and 
takes keen pleasure in describing his first vibating sensations, 
his fears and joys, the childish naivete so soon to be replaced 
by stern calmness. With treatment as poetic and sensitive as 
it is exact and simple, he describes Bambi's experiences in the 
forest, his rapid accumulation of knowledge. The relation- 
ship of the fawn to his mother and to Faline is carefully in- 
dicated. But more delicate is the bond existing between 
Bambi and "the old Prince." Salten has managed it. by the 
use of restraint and of consistently skillful suggestion. The 
aged deer who knows the secrets of the forest and teaches 
"the vital need of being alone", remains indeed the per- 
sonification of nobility, wisdom and courage. 

Nature pervades the book. Poetic descriptions of the forest 
reverberating with life, produce a striking combination of 
beauty and reality. One lives keenly, while the days pass 
and the seasons merge silently into one another. There is 
summer with the forest sweltering under a scorching sun. 
"Over the meadows and treetops the air quivered in glassy 
transparent ripples as it does over a flame." Similes and 
metaphors quiver from every line. "The forest lay as though 



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The Smith College Monthly 35 

hurt by the blinding sun." But winter wipes away all memory 
of warmth. The trees stand "as though violated, their bodies 
naked for all to see. And they lifted their bare brown limbs 
to the sky for pity." 

Bambi, Friend Hare, and the other unforgettable char- 
acters, speak easily in human dialogue. They are always 
charmingly consistent. Even the tiny midge-buzzings are 
peculiarly midge-like. Or as winter approaches one may 
over hear two leaves speaking for the last time. 

"Have I changed much?" asked the second leaf shyly 
but determinedly. 

"Not in the least," the first leaf assured her. "You only 
think so because I've got to be so yellow and ugly. But its 
different in your case." And then a little later. "You're as 
lovely as the day you were born. Here and there may be a 
little yellow spot but it's hardly noticeable and only makes 
you handsomer, believe me." 

Equally skillful is the relationship of the people of the 
forest to their most deadly enemy "Him". "The old Prince" 
is able to draw a lesson from a dead hunter. "He's just the 
same as we are. He has the same fears, the same needs, and 
suffers in the same way." Bambi listening, was inspired and 
said trembling. "There is Another who is over all, over us and 
over Him". But to most of the animals "Him" remains "A 
wave of scent blowing past, filling their nostrils, numbing 
their senses, making their hearts stop beating." A creature 
standing remarkably erect:" It was extremely thin and had 
a pale face entirely bare around the nose and eyes. A kind 
of dread emanated from that face, a cold terror." 

The reader loses himself, forgets his own world. Utterly 
free, he roams the forest, smelling the fragrant glasses, de- 
lighting in the touch of cool moist winds. With a new under- 
standing, a more sensitive appreciation, he listens to the 
midge-buzzings, senses the trembling of a hare. Heart 
pounding, he dares the sunlit meadows--with Bambi. 

E. M. G. 



"THE MAGXIFICEXT IDLER" Cameron Rogers 

Doubleday Page and Co. 1926. 
To those who find their own setting unexhilarating or 

negligible, there is a vicarious excitement to be derived from 
exploring the eccentricities, particularly the moral deviations, 



The Smith College Monthly 37 

of others. This impoverished curiosity frequently involves 
an irresistible desire to draw to itself, by its loud remark, the 
attention and interest of an unheeding world. Needless to 
say, for these people, the distinction between the actually im- 
moral and the merely complex or rare personality is too del- 
icate. A biography of Walt Whitman would seem to offer 
the most remarkable oportunity to that type of critic who is 
preoccupied with eroticism, with high-colored sensuality, and 
it is, therefore, the more unexpected and exhilarating to find 
temperate criticism, intelligent and palatable, unlike so much 
contemporary writing engaged in exhuming the decently 
buried. Cameron Rogers has written fearlessly, maturely, 
and with great humor, on the life of one of the notorious and 
little known men of recent literature. The biography tries 
to explain the emergence of so striking and profound a poet 
from an inarticulate background. Walt Whitman's poetry 
was, in a peculiar sense, borne of his life, shaped in his suffer- 
ing. Without literary guidance, hampered by an initial lack 
of taste and a damaging facility, he was faced with the neces- 
sity of creating an entirely new medium which could give to 
his great unwieldy thought, sufficient clarity, sufficient beau- 
ty ; the very nature of his thought made it impossible to util- 
ize created forms. 

As a child he loved trees and the sea, passionately. Later 
when the Whitmans moved to the city he transferred his ab- 
sorbing interest to people, watching them, considering their 
multiple relations, liking them. He read widely, thought 
through long hours of idleness, and turned to people again. 
There is an unusual emphasis on his childhood and Cameron 
Rogers makes him a very engaging child, lonely and abstract- 
ed, but vitally concerned with everything surrounding him. 
As he grew older he turned journalist, finding to his immense 
satisfaction that w r ords came easily to him. During this he 
wrote morose little tragedies, weighted with morals, which 
he admired and respected to a large extent. His mother, 
Louisa, met his literary productions with some reserve. She 
w r as a "skilled and experienced cook and her bread and her 
biscuits were perfectly leavened masterpieces. She sensed a 
certain sogginess in Walt's performance in his different field 
and in a homely flash of imagination, she visualized his little 
writings as muffins. . . .whose unwholesome heaviness became 
neither their size nor their significance as nourishment." Walt 



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The Smith College Monthly 39 

lacked the yeoman qualities of his ancestors; he bewildered 

his family and harassed his employers who could not appre- 
ciate his substitution of long- periods of meditation for the 
consistent and productive effort they demanded. He was 
hugely mercurial, driven here and there by an overwhelming 
energy of the imagination. His idleness possessed an elem- 
ental quality which impressed even his associates who did 
his work. 

As the life goes on Cameron Rogers writes with in- 
creasing insight. The account is one that would have pleased 
Walt Whitman. It is quite without sentimentality, orginal 
and comprehending. The unsophisticated conceit of the man, 
his pleasure in his published work, that writing which had cost 
him such agony, his simple amazement at the violent criti- 
cism which thundered over and around him, are written down 
in perfect understanding. After months of severe work, all 
his nonchalance and easiness gone, he had finished the man- 
uscript of "Leaves Of Grass". He had given up his various 
interests in journalism, in printing, in publishing, to devote 
himself to writing a book which should express his own es- 
sence and the truth he knew. On its completion he went to 
the "northeastern shore of Long Island to read it in its en- 
tirety. He was so excited that he kept his hand upon it in 
his pocket lest by some malison of chance it disappear, lost, 
dropped as he walk, to disintegrate again into the soil from 
which, assuredly it had come." He read and in agony saw his 
failure. What he had striven to express was still locked in 
him and his poems said nothing. "Leave of Grass" left his 
hand in fluttering, slanting flight and met the sea." Then the 
long struggle began again, against the formalism that bound 
him, until he could be fully and artistically articulate. The 
sixth manuscript reached the publishers. The story of its 
appearance and the instant clamor that assailed it, is too well 
known to need repetition. 

Cameron Rogers, with extraordinary subtlety, with- 
draws the figure of Whitman further and further from actu- 
ality as the book reaches its last chapters. The legend that 
shadows the decline of a great man. gathers closely about 
him, his enormous vitality lessens and the entire tonal quality 
of the writing follows its decrease. As he was less the poet 
and more an unseparated part of humanity towards his death, 
the impression of a great human being grows increasingly ;?s 



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The Smith College Monthly 41 

his presence, his power declines in weakness. There is a sense 
of intimacy, a friendless and a kind of gratitude, as the book 
ends. 

R. G. 



MARIE GRUBBE Jens Peter Jacobsen 

Alfred A Knopf 1925 

The increasing interest in Scandinavian literature in the 
past fifteen years has been both the cause and the result of 
the translation into English of several valuable works by 
comparatively recent authors. Alfred A. Knopf has pub- 
lished a series of which perhaps the most widely known are 
Hamsun and Undset. The latter, in the trilogy "Kristin 
Lavransdatter" , has accomplished the difficult fusion of a 
manner of life which is past with the motion of life which is 
present. Kristin and Erlend are dominant, absorbing per- 
sonalities, not bound by years or periods in spite of their 
entire and intimate participation in the customs of fourteenth 
century Norway. In "Marie Grnbbe" , lately produced by 
Knopf, history has not been joined to the present so defini- 
tively. Were it not for "Kristin Lavrandsdatter" one might 
say that the realistic effect of a story necessarily is damaged 
by translation, adequate though the translator may be; but 
I T ndset's work precludes this explanation. 

It is curious that "Marie Grubbe" , a book potentially so 
powerful, should give the impression of being twice removed 
from actuality. It seems to be the story of a story rather than 
the story of a life, its historical basis to the contrary. Seven- 
teenth century life is more convincing as it is presented in the 
old Danish histories. Jacobsen consumed volumes of them in 
the Royal Library in preparation for his writing. He says 
in a letter in 1873, " . . .1 read old documents and letters and 
lies and descriptions of murder, adultery, corn rates, whore 
mongery, market prices, gardening, the siege of Copenhagen, 
divorce proceedings, christenings, estate registers, geneal- 
ogies, and funeral sermons. All this is to become a wonderful 
novel to be called "Mistress Marie Grubbe. Interiors of the 
Seventeenth Centura." Most of these pastimes do discover 
a speaking acquaintance in the book. Mistress Marie, social- 
ly insignificant but aspiring and romantic, marries into im- 
portance through Ulrik Frederick, the King's natural son. 



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The Smith College Monthly 43 

He is the first if three men to whom she is successively bound. 
Each has a simple one-sided nature which is compelling to 
Marie until she discovers its weakness empirically with much 
tribulation. Sti Hogh, who for variety is paramour instead 
of husband, fascinates her by a melancholy voluptuousness, 
and Soren, the peasant serving in her father's house to which 
she returns after breaking with Sti, has the brutal stength to 
override her. Together they are driven out, and and she ends 
her life in plain garments and a tawdry brocaded cap as 
Soren the Ferryman's Marie. This emphasis on her dress is 
an instance of the frequent use which the author makes of the 
indirect method of approach to his characters, — a device 
which he managed with considerable subtlety. Jacobsen says 
that with Soren she was happy, but her contentment is not 
persuasive. It is true that when she is alone throughout the 
book she flashes into tangibility. When incidents crowd 
closely her personality fades until they seem only dissolving 
visions of her own imagination. 

Though it is plausible to venture a criticism of the char- 
acters in a foreign book, it is nearly impossible to judge the 
style, the excellency of which is a matter of convention. 
Jacobsen was a stylistic innovator in Danish. He admired 
"the luxuriant glowing picture." Reading "Marie Grubbe" 
in English is like trying to determine the whole signifance of 
of a quotation out of its proper context. The scholarly care 
the author exercised in supplying details peculiar to the 
century, the people, or their surroudings sometimes contri- 
butes to realistic effect, sometimes stultifies it. Overrichness 
in style corresponds to the lack of balance in handling which 
makes him introduce chapters about the besieged Copenhagen 
populace which behaves quite like any other mob and adds 
nothing to the progress of the novel. He has an extraordin- 
ary feeling for flowers and flower settins. There is ease in 
his descriptions and a facility which brings the prose near 
poetry. This is most evident in the long fire passage ; "Warm 
and pleasant and luminous the breath of the fire streamed 
through the little room. Like a fluttering fan of light it 
played over the parquet floor and chased the peaceful dusk 
which hid in tremulous shadows to right and left behind 
twisted chair-legs, or shrank into corners, lay thin and long 
in the shelter of mouldings. . ." If Jacobsen had been as in- 
terested in construction and characterization throughout the 



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The Smith College Monthly 45 

book as he was in aesthetic writing in which he was strongest, 
over-emphasis would not have struggled with mere outline. 

S. S. S. 



COWBOY RossSantee 

Cosmopolitan Book Corporation, 1928 

I realize that in undertaking this review, I am opening 
myself to criticism on the grounds that I am neglecting for it 
other more outstanding pieces of literature, books which will 
receive more praise and more discussion. I doubt wether this 
book will go beyound two or possibly three editions because 
it will appeal to the minority of the reading public. But I 
am ready to make a firm stand in its defense. 

From its title the general nature of the book is obvious, 
and might well prejudice a perspective reader who has long 
since been thoroughly disillusioned in the literature of the 
west. The west has been capitalized for a good many years 
by writers of little merit and less knowledge. We have had 
"The Virginian" which has become an American classic, a 
few obscure stories by Bret Harte and Hamlin Garland, and, 
more recently, by Will James — "Cowboys North and South" 
and two companion volumes of authentic stories and sketches. 
But the rest of the western novels have been, on the whole, 
justly named "trash". Their aim is sensational action, with 
the result that they only occasionally achieve truth of detail 
and actual characterization or atmosphere. There are excep- 
tions that I might make, but I am speaking generally. 

We have seen recently that excellent novels can be writ- 
ten on the Middle West and its pioneers. We have yet to see 
a novelist do full justice to the ranch country and to the men 
who spend so much of their lives alone with cattle and horses. 
These men have been misrepresented. They have been typi- 
fied in a romantic diffuse glow, and have lost their sturdy 
flame of reality. They deserve as much attention as the 
middle western farmer has received for they too have suffered 
hardships and have struggled against the forces of an implac- 
able nature . The two-gun cowboy and bandit of cheap novels 
has crowed out the hard working cow-hand, the camp cook, 
the flunky. The wrangler who rises in the black hours before 
dawn to run the horses in, the peeler who faces death every 
time he mounts an unbroken horse. The vigorous drama of 



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The Smith College Monthly 47 

the lives of these men has been sacrificed for exaggerated 
flashy tales manufactured to thrill jaded readers. 

But Ross Santee in "Cowboy" has aehieved a veracity 
and simplicity which are highly commendable in themselves. 
The people, the horses and the maimer of life have been 
learned through his own experienee as a cowboy, and he does 
not make any attempt to romanticize them. The unity of 
the book is maintained by the determination of a small boy 
from an east Texas farm, to become a cowboy. Button is 
not remarkable in any way, except for his stubborn courage. 
His rise from fifteen dollars a month, milking cows and feed- 
ing the chickens, to the glorious position of "bronc-peeler" 
is told humourously and with keen sympathy. Button is boy 
enough to have his day of conceit over his riding ability, 
(quickly taken out of him by one small black horse) ; and boy 
enough to worship Mack, the silent but friendly com puncher 
at McDougal's ranch. His joy when he is set to work break- 
ing colts, his pride over a new saddle, his intense excitement 
when he rode into town for Christmas for the first time, on a 
"big roan bronc," — these touches open up the wistful heart 
of a boy trying to realize his ideal. 

The humour is the keen spontaneous humour of a west- 
erner who jests over the greatest difficulties of his life and 
grumbles over the trifling discomforts. It is a rough humour, 
always ready in any emergency, and expressed in a quick 
figurative language. Comedy is balanced with tragedy, al- 
though the latter is treated with the philosophical impassivity 
which a cowboy learns. For them it is all in the run of things 
that the day should come when "old man Grimes" would be 
to old to lead his roundup, and that Mack should find a swift 
death beneath a falling horse, alone in a horse camp. The 
whole book is very real and very moving in its absolute sin- 
cerity. It is written in the concise and vivid vernacular of a 
cowpuncher, from Button's naive viewpoint. The descrip- 
tions are done with brief suggestion — - 

"We'd crawl out with the morning star. Our boot heels 
poppin' on the kitchen floor before it started breakin' light. 
You could tell who each puncher was by the jingle of his 
spurs." or — 

"At MeDongal's we always kept a bronc to wrangle on: 
an' that always meant a show, for the pony had been standing 
out all night, an' them nights got pretty cold. He'd always 



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The Smith College Monthly 19 

have a hump in his hack when you laced the saddle on, an' 
most of them had to be thrown and tied down before I could 
get on. That hour before daylight was always the lowest 
time for me, when I did'nt have no coffee in my paunch be- 
fore I started out. After the sun gets up awhile, a horse 
don't look so mean, but to hear one snort when you walk up 
to him while its still dark, especially if he's got rollers in his 
nose, always sent a chill through me. But no matter how 
cold the mornin' was, by the time I'd saddled an' crawled a 
bronc I'd be circulatin' good." 

Button should he allowed to make his own stand and to 
tell his own story. I only hope that I have in some way indi- 
cated the excellences of a book, little heralded in its arrival 
upon the market. It is high time the west be given it .due 
praise, and Ross Santee, although he has not written a best 
seller or a prize winning novel, has told the truth about the 
ranching country. He has written with a passionate honesty 
as though he felt that the friends of his cowboy life had too 
long been falsely painted. I recommend "Cowboy" both to 
those who know the west and to those who do not. If given 
a fair chance, it will enlighten many and do a great deal to 
remove the heavy prejudice against western novels. 

E.B. 



Smith College 




November 
1928 



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f* 




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No Throat Irritation - No Cough. 




BOARD 

OF 
EDITORS 




Vol. XXXVII NOVEMBER, 1928 No. 2 

EDITORIAL BOARD 

Editor-in-chief, Anne Lloyd Basinger, 1929 

Managing Editor, Ernestine Gilbreth, 1929 

Book Review Editor, Elizabeth Botsford, 1929 

Katherine S. Bolman, 1929 Rachel Grant, 1929 

Elizabeth Wheeler, 1929 Elizabeth Sha^ 1930 

Sallie S. Simons, 1930 

Art — Nancy Wynne Parker, 1930 

Business Staff 

Business Manager, Sylvia Alberts, 1929 

Assistant Business Manager, Betsey Tilden, 1930 

Lilian Supove, 1929 Anna Dabney, 1930 Mary Folsom, 1931 

Mary Sayre, 1930 Esther Tow, 1931 Sarah Pearson, 1931 

Agnes Lyall, 1930 

Advertising Manager, Betsy Tilden, 1930 

Gertrude Cohen, 1929 

Circulation Manager, Ruth Rose, 1929 



The Smith College Monthly is published at Northampton, Mass., each month from 

October to June, inclusive. Terms $2.00 a year. Single copies 25c. 

Subscriptions may be sent to Sylvia Alberts, 12 Fruit Street, Northampton. 

Advertising Manager, B. A. Tilden, Oillett House. 

Contributions may be left in the Monthly box in the Note Room. 

Entered at the Post Office at Northampton, Mass., as second class matter. 

Metcalf Printing # Publishing Company, Northampton, Mass. 

"Accepted for mailing at special rate of postage provided for in Section 1208, 

Act of October 3, 1917. Authorized October 31, 1913.'" 



fill manuscript should be typewritten and in the Monthly Box by the fifteenth 
of the month to be considered for the issue of the following month. 
All manuscript should be signed with the full name of the writer. 




tAT THE MASQUERADE 

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CONTENTS 




Caroline and Diana 

Education X 

The Duel 

Jealousy 

Shrine to Aesculapius 

Poem 

The Personal Touch 

Book Reviews 

Orlando 

Reginald and Reginald in Russia 

Pennagan Place 

The Island Within 



Elizabeth Perkins, 1931 5 

Barbara Damon Simison, 1929 15 

Elizabeth Wheeler, 1929 20 

Helen Fishe, 1930 25 

Sallie S. Simons, 1930 26 

Rachel Grant, 1929 28 

Virginia Farrington, 1930 29 



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Smith College 
Monthly 



CAROLINE AND DIANA 

Elizabeth Perkins 




aN 1830 there appeared in London soeiety an unusually 
gifted and beautiful lady. Her husband, the witty, 
gifted, and particularly efficient Tom Sheridan, having 
died while in the service of the Crown, the Crown had pre- 
sented her with a modest dwelling-place whither Polite 
Society soon learned to turn when in need of social inter- 
course at once intelligent and amusing. For the lady, in 
addition to her other admirable attributes, was possessed of 
three daughters whom, Polite Society insisted, one could not 
have believed to belong to one who appeared so young, had 
not her beauty and brilliance appeared to an unmistakable 
degree in them also. "Georgy" was perhaps the most strik- 
ingly handsome of the three, and "Cary" was considered the 
wit; but each of the sisters was an addition to the society 
which was quick to realize the fact. Wherever they went they 
were expected to be an ornament to the assembly, the life of 
the partv; and thev generallv were. Polite Societv called 
them "The Three Graces." 

It was hardly to be expected that any one of the Three 
Graces would remain long unsought or unwed. "Georgy" 
and Helen became respectively the Duchess of Somerset and 
Lady Duff'erin; the ladies were handsome, witty, and withal 
womanly; the marriages were quite suitable; Polite Society 
saw nothing of which to disapprove. But when Caroline, 
alike the most gifted and the most impulsive, married the 
Hon. George Chappie Norton, in whose character and social 
attributes the casual observer at least could discern nothing 



6 The Smith College Monthly 

worthy of note- except the possibility of his succeeding to a 
title-, murmurs were- heard. Who was this Norton? Caroline 
Sheridan, only nineteen, whose- brilliance was already prover- 
bial, whose promising literary career had already begun — 
what hidden merits had she* seen in this apparently uncoiii- 
mendable man' Society soon had an opportunity of judg- 
ing for itself: and its decision was not in favor of the object 
of investigation. He was pronounced a bore of "a coarse 
nature and violent temper;" one- writer states that he spent 
his time- in "taking pills and spinning conversation out of his 
own how els;" Maurois succinctly characterizes his as "son 
odie-nx mari." lie- was unpopular from the- start : without the 
most rudimentary social gifts, he was equally lacking in the 
means of supporting his wife or himself. It is probable that 
he- exerted as little- effort to acquire the- one- as the 1 other. Cer- 
tainly, amidst the pecuniary difficulties which soon beset 
them, he seemed to se-nse- nothing unworthy in the i'aet thai 
his wife's writings earned the- money which maintained their 
household. She* was. at this time, as she- continued to be 
throughout her life, a popular editor of and contributor to 
the literary journals of the daw which throve by a type of 
writing to which her talenl was exactly suited. Her first hook 
of poetry appeared only a short while- after her marriage-. 
Meanwhile- she- kept up as best she could the' social life, the 
constant entertaining which seemed almost essential to her 
nature-. It is significant that the diarists of the- time- seldom 
if ever mention Mr. Norton in this connection. They had 
gone- to a recepl ion at .Mrs. Norton's, or .Mrs. Norton had 
hern among those- present; or they had just heard of Mrs. 
Norton's latest witticism. Probably Mr. Norton remained 
in the- home' his wife- provided for him. and partook of pills. 
Society was at a loss to account for the marriage-. Three 
children were- horn to the- couple; still their relations were' 
uncordial and yet without an open break. The puzzle be- 
came more and more inexplicable. 

But the difficulties seemed to be lessened in one- way at 
least. Lord Melbourne, a devoted friend of "poor dear Tom 
Sheridan," found a government position for Norton, which 
rendered the struggle of Debit and Credil not ejuite' so one- 
sided. Unfortunately, Lord Melbourne at the same- time 
discovered in the lovely Mrs. Norton a woman who was both 
intelligent and charming; their tastes were in many ways 



The Smith College Monthly 7 

congenial; he met interesting and useful people at her seleet 
gatherings. He began to make his appearance quite regu- 
larly at Mrs. Norton's assemblies; he developed a custom of 
dropping in late at Mrs. Norton's after long sessions of Par- 
liament. This is all that was definitely known; out the low 
and disinterested murmur which had persisted since the mar- 
riage grew to a more menacing roar punctuated by sharp 
yelpings; stories flew, and in their flight became huge and 
distorted. The apparently phlegmatic Mr. Norton suddenly 
brought suit for divorce, naming Lord Melbourne as co- 
respondent. 

Polite Society and Politics were electrified. Greville 
writes (May 11, 1830) : "Great talk about Lord Melbourne's 
affair with Mrs. Norton, which if it is not quashed will be 
inconvenient. John Bull fancies himself vastly moral and 
the court is mighty prudish, and between them our off-hand 
Premier will find himself in a ticklish position. . .People rather 
doubt the action coming on. . .the Tories will fall on the in- 
dividual from party violence, the Radicals on his class from 
hatred to the aristocracy," 

This last sentence suggests the thought which was up- 
permost in the saner and less malevolent minds; that some 
urging of the Opposition was behind Mr. Norton's action. 
Certainly when the trial came on, the greatest wonder was 
how anyone whose case was so absolutely unsupported could 
have considered bringing suit. The trial was a farce; the 
jury found in favor of the defendant. 

The trials of Mrs. Norton, however, were by no means 
over. Attempting reconciliation, she was repulsed; and her 
husband, according to the incredible laws of the time, could — 
and did — refuse her money and the custody, even the sight, of 
her children. In one connection or another her name was 
forever being bandied about ; she was finally even accused of 
having sold to the Times a political secret confided to her by 
one of her admirers — a charge Avhich was investigated and re- 
futed only some years after her death. Throughout the bit- 
ter years of her notoriety as a woman, she was building up 
her fame as a writer and a wit. She seemed to inspire in her 
true friends a degree of devotion which now appears almost 
ridiculous. Janet Ross writes: "My mother had taken up 
(Mrs. Norton's) cause against her husband so warmly that 
she refused every invitation to great London houses to which 



8 The Smith College Monthly 

her friend was not asked." Wherever she went she was the 
center of attention. Her cleverness was possibly a trifle 
cheapened by the strain now put upon it: for "her position 
in society was to a great degree imperilled" and must be pre- 
served at all eosts. Even Mrs. Koss. one of her fondest ad- 
mirers, says: "I always thought she was more agreeable and 
brilliant when we were alone or 'en petit eoniite' than when 
there were many people: then she sometime posed and seemed 
to try and startle her hearers". She wrote continually: many 
poems which despite their uniformity of subject-matter, their 
sentimentality, and the faithful rhyming of "love" with 
"above," "water" with "daughter," "tear" with "bier," seem 
to have a basic sincerity; longer and more purposeful poems 
which brought out the weak points of her talent: novels: and 
a long stream of personal letters and formal articles setting 
forth the injustice of the existing laws for women and plead- 
ing for changes in them. 

Critics differ as to which was her most important type of 
writing. Home says simply, "the writing of Mrs. Norton 
breathes melodious plaints over the desecrations of her sex's 
loveliness," and the shepherd of "Noctes Ambrosianae" is of 
much the same opinion. "Chastity knows her ain sacred char- 
acter, and when inspired by genius, isna' she a touchin' 
Muse!" Arthur Arnold, on the other hand, declares: "The 
most distinguished literary woman of her time. . .her style 
was not employed in its perfection to protest against any 
other wrongs than those which had pierced her own heart." 
She made no claim to equality before the law, saying:" the 
wild and stupid theories advanced by a few women of equal 
rights and equal intelligence are not the opinions of their sex. 
I for one believe in the superiority of man as I do in the 
existence of a God." What she wanted was "protection," 
and she strugled valiantly for it. If she indeed fell that her 
main purpose was to secure changes in existing laws, it 
must be confessed thai she used her personal charm and power 
of gaining sympathy to obtain her ends. Her letters are all 
couched in the most personal terms: "There is a bill now be- 
fore the House in which circumstances have taught mc to 
take a deep and painful interest". "What I suffered respect- 
ing those children. God knows, and lie only." "I bless God 
thai at leasl mine was one of the cases which called attention 
lo the law as it then existed." 



The Smith College Monthly 9 

Occupied with her work, eagerly soughl after by her 
friends, harassed by troubles with her husband, for over 

forty years she lived a busy and worried life. At length her 
husband died and most of her notoriety perished with him; 
before her own death she had a few months of tranquil 
happiness, married to Sir William Stirling Maxwell, a lov- 
ing friend of many years' standing. 

Such was the life of the woman whose death occurred 
only a few years before the writing of "Diana of I he Cross- 
ways" In treating of one whose life had in it so much that 
was intrinsically dramatic, and whose name and history a 
few years before had been on everyone's lips, Meredith chose 
a subject sure to be of interest to his contemporaries; but to 
make the novel interesting without regard to its basis in fact, 
he had in the main a fourfold task: to explain the marriage, 
to explain the initial scandal, to explain the betrayal of the 
political secret, and to provide a more satisfactory finale. 
Each of these questions involves of course numerous minor 
explanations and changes, but these on the whole constituted 
Meredith's problem. 

The incredible marriage is his first concern. He begins 
by making his Diana a singularly unattached figure: poss- 
essed of a few close friends but apparently with no past as a 
background except for a few shadowy experiences with these 
same friends, and of no parents, guardians, or beautiful sis- 
ters. Then he makes her devastatingly beautiful and clever, 
painfully clever; (although one can never be sure how much 
of her discourse is Diana; all Meredith's characters speak and 
think in Meredithian, and it is difficult to strain out their 
own ideas.) The natural result of so much unprotected love- 
liness is a series of unfortunate attentions from amorous gent- 
lemen. She feels a sense of inferiority to men, a need of 
support strongly reminiscent of her prototype. Accordingly. 
upset by one final experience with the husband of her dearest 
friend, she accepts, as a refuge, marriage with "one" Mr. 
Warwick. Unprotected feminine charm to disturbed feminine 
equanimity to headlong feminine rush for shelter. 

The husband thus logically acquired, Meredith depicts 
not "of coarse nature and violent temper," but cold, 
humorless, polite, with "opinions in packets," totally lacking 
the spark essential to Diana. Diana's friends fear that some 
dav she will "lose her relish for ridicule and see him at a (lis- 



10 The Smith College Monthly 

tance." This is exactly what occurs; and, finding her hus- 
band incapable or undesirous of responding to her wit, she 
turns it against him. She feels stifled by the combination of 
his physical ascendancy and intellectual apathy; she gives 
vent to her feelings by ridiculing him not only when they are 
alone, hut, sometimes only too openly, in public. On the 
other hand, in her friendship with the prominent politician 
Lord Dannisburgh — in which she later insists there was noth- 
ing more shameful than an occasional handclasp a shade too 
long, a glance a shade too sympathetic, — she finds the stimu- 
lus of intellectual compatibility and the pleasure derived from 
the admiration of an almost-disinterested friend. It is 
scarcely to he wondered at that Warwick, stung despite his 
apparent apathy by his wife's taunts, should he driven to a 
frenzy by the stage- whispering of society, and should take 
such drastic — although senseless — measures as he did. 

The trial over, Diana's history for a time closely parallels 
that of Mrs. Norton, with one most important exception 
which, obscurely at first, paves the way for the "Happy End- 
ing." One sees Diana going brazenly (her term) into society, 
exercising her arts and graces in behalf of her own good 
name — for, "when a woman's charm has won half the battle 
her character is an advancing standard ;" one sees her keeping 
the wolf from the door with no weapon save her pen; "being 
clever," censuring herself Tor the occasional cheapness of her 
cleverness as a "drawing-room exotic." But her relations to 
her husband are totally changed from the original. There 
are no children of this marriage; and Diana, although con- 
sidering herself "the first martyr of the modern woman's 
cause," is campaigning only for a vaguely defined "freedom 
and protection," which one suspects do not present them- 
selves in any very clear form even to Diana herself. And in 
this instance it is the husband who sends repeated petitions 
for a reconciliation, the wife who with expressive gestures 
and overly-dramatic speeches publishes her refusal to con- 
sider any such project. And Mr. Warwick, instead of living 
on for forty-odd years, a constant source of anxiety and no- 
toriety to his wife, dies after a conveniently brief passage of 
time, thus further clearing the way for the "happy ending." 

Diana sets out, as has been said, to earn her living by 
her writing. Hersuccessal first is enormous, but differing 
again from Mrs. Norton her powers of being as brainy and 



The Smith College Monthly 11 

as popular on paper as she is in conversation quickly deeline, 
the sales on her books grow smaller. The wranglings of 
Debit and Credit which continually disturb the peace of her 
small but expensive household grow ever more bitter and 
more one-sided, with compromises less easily effected. Diana 
is without resources; Mr. Tonans, a newspaper editor to 
whom she has frequently given choice t id-bits of news, ral- 
lies her on the score of being "out of it;" she is forced to sell 
her beloved country home, The Crossways; to temporize; to 
seek cringingly from her publishers advance payment on a 
book which she feels sure she can never complete with any 
success. It is at this critical moment that Dacier, the rising 
young politician with whom only a coincidence a short time 
before has restrained her from eloping, confides in her a 
secret of state. Her vanity has been wounded by the accus- 
ation of her being "out of it" ; her nerves are on edge from 
the now continuous howling of the wolf on the doorstep; 
and she is evidently quite unaware of the value of political 
secrets. Scarcely has her admirer left the house when she 
hails a late-prowling cab, drives to the office of Tonans and 
tells him what has just been confided to her. There is a 
vague mention of payment — nothing definite spoken, but 
large sums hinted at. She is quite unaware of the import of 
what she has done until Dacier himself informs her. Thus 
Meredith seeks to exculpate an action which in itself seems 
inexcusable. 

Now for the "happy ending". Meredith's task here 
seems at first sight somewhat hopeless. Dacier utters in a few 
brief and pithy sentences his opinion of Diana, and almost im- 
mediately takes unto himself a fair, cold, very English, en- 
tirely suitable wife. Diana plays the broken reed very mo- 
vingly for several chapters, and resigns herself to an unsat- 
isfactory and loveless existence. Then appears once more as 
saviour of the situation the noble Redworth. who throughout 
Diana's career has played the part of faithful hound, loving- 
more or less dumbly, rendering every service in his power, and 
several times unknowingly rescuing Diana, as she herself ad- 
mits, when she was at the crossroads. This noble Redworth, 
the perfect type of "a good husband," seeks to make Diana 
his wife and to bring her the good solid comforts of home and 
family life which she has always lacked. Diana, experiencing 
again that feeling of friendlessness which w T as partly respon- 



12 The Smith College Monthly 

sible for her firsi matrimonial adventure, still shrinks from the 
worldly sacrament of marriage yet she feels herself op- 
pressed, driven, by custom, her helplessness and her apparent 
inability to manage her own life. To this arc added the im- 

portunings of her dearest friend, who argues in the hast com- 
mendable of ways by pointing out the long and faithful ser- 
\ ice of the suitor, his manly bearing in the lace of disappoint- 
ment and the dog-like expression of his eyes The weary 

Diana's last defense- is worn down; she sees "a regiment of 
proverbs bearing placards instead of guns, and each one a 
taunt at women, especially at widows", . . ."Banality, thy 
name is marriage!" she cries with a last attempt at a gesture, 
and goes "forth to her commonplace fate". Here she is, all 
nicely married to the noble man whom Nature SO evidently in- 
tended for her protection. Still the tone of the finale seems 
not quite satisfactory. Accordingly, in the last chapter, Diana 
is rather unaccountable "led to bloom with the nuptial sent- 
iment," returns from her honeymoon in the mental state con- 
sidered appropriate for a recent bride, and is speakingly 
silent, with an "involuntary little twitch of the fingers", in re- 
sponse to her dearest friend's sweet discourse of godchildren. 
This is what Meredith has made of Mrs. Norton. One 
cannot help wondering whether he was as fond of his Diana 
at the completion of the work as he was at the beginning. 
While still engrossed in the novel, he wrote to Robert Louis 
Stevenson: kk l am finishing at a great rate a two-volume novel 
partly modeled upon Mrs. Norton. I have had to endow her 
with brains and make them evidence to the descerning. 1 
think she lives." This is all very well. Certainly her almost 
masculine brain was the basis alike of her finest wit. of her 
great popularity with certain people and corresponding dis- 
like of her by others, and of the disastrous end of her first 
marriage. Hut Meredith as he advanced further into the 
story found much about his heroine which demanded expla- 
nation on other grounds than that of her brains. Surely the 
almost constant necessity for throwing an explanatory and 
flattering light on so many dubious actions must have become 
a soure< of vexation even to the tolerant and loving tran- 
scriber of these actions. Diana is a brilliant fascinating char- 
acter, and a living being despite the extravagances of her 
story: but she is none the less remarkably exasperating. Al- 
most everything she does shows her to be incurably romantic 



The Smith College Monthly 13 

and idealistic in attitude — or rather in that one of her atti- 
tudes which appears most often and most consistently. She is 
sentimental and given to dramatic attitudes, and like Mrs. 
Norton, she seems to inspire similar tendencies in her admir- 
ers. Thus we find Mr. Sullivan Smith, that ardent Hibern- 
ian, seeking duels on the slightest of pretexts, and several 
other gentlemen, ordinarily of perfectly sound mind, grand- 
iloquently leaving their cards on journalists with intimations 
as to how much shall be published concerning M rs. Warwick, 
or hunting down with grim zeal the perpetrators of each new 
story that crops up. 

Meredith makes quite plausible Diana's precipitate rush 
into the impossible marriage; but still finds it difficult to ap- 
prove of her subsequent treatment of her husband. Certain- 
ly she had genuine grievances against this parasitic creature 
who lived on her earnings; but her method of retaliation al- 
though it is made to account for a number af things, was mean 
and unworthy. And despite all Meredith's vivid description 
of Diana's later pecuniary difficulties, of her mental struggle 
and bewilderment, her betrayal of the political secret seems 
far from blameless. The plea made by the author through 
Diana's own words and thoughts — that of her ignorance of 
the secret's importance — quite loses its validity both through 
his own statement that he has endowed her with brains, and 
through her evident interest in and knowlege of politics. 

The intricate arguments contrived by Meredith to reply 
to such objections must have cost him no little pains and an- 
noyance; but these, after all, are personal objections raised by 
the reader. More important is the impossibility of making 
this one of Meredith's heroines correspond to his ideal of 
womanhood. Richard LeGallienne states that one of 
Meredith's main tenets was that of the union of body and 
spirit. ''Woman's conventional" purity.' and sentimental 
daintiness, are to him a dangerous superstition. . .'love, what 
is that but a finer shoot of the tree stautly planted in good 
gross earth'. .To love the flower and be ashamed of the root is 
a pitiable silliness in Mr. Meredith's eyes." Even in the novel 
"Diana of the Crosswaifs" itself, he says "True poets and true 
women have the native sense of the divineness of what the 
world deems gross material substance." In this case, Diana 
can on the whole be considered no true woman. She is ap- 
palled at the thought of anything material being connected in 



14 The Smith College Monthly 

any way with what seems basically emotional or spiritual. 
"What if her poetic frenzy had not been of origin divine? 
had sprung from other than spiritual fonts? had sprung from 

the reddened sources she was compelled to conceal?" The 
"physiological basis of passion" is to her a thing unthinkable. 

This conception of Diana's attitude grows on one from the 
beginning of the hook, as though without the will or even the 

knowledge of the author. As the story draws to its close he 
seems suddenly to realize that his heroine docs not come up 
to his standards, and makes a spasmodic effort to recover her 
position. lie declares her reactions, both present and past. 
to be due to "chastity of spirit, not coldness of blood," and in 
the last few pages depicts her in possession of the quickly ac- 
quired traits of his womanly ideal. Hut this complete and 
almost instantaneous change fails to counteract the impres- 
sion made by the rest of the tale of Diana ; it seems to lack the 
ring of the genuine, and gives the effect of having been tacked 
on hastily — and too late. 

One wonders if Meredith was. not only slightly dis- 
pleased, hut quite strongly surprised at the way his Diana 
turned out. The story of Mrs. Norton seemed to many, and 
probably to him. a dramatic one which without a great deal of 
tampering or exposition could he interpreted, made plausible, 
orderly, and heroic, lie must have found that the amount of 
apology and argument necessary was far greater than had ap- 
peared. I f he had omitted the last pages of the last chapter — a 
last vain attempt to capture the heroine he thought he had 
seen in .Mrs. Norton — his story would have had the pattern lie 
sought. By dint of much contortion and struggling he made 
his Diana's fictions and reactions seem plausible a wonderful 
feat : hut in the process the woman herself was clearly shown 
to he far from heroic, far from ideal, and not at all the ration- 
alized hut idealized Mi's. Norton Meredith probably expected 
to create. 



The Smith College Monthly 15 

EDUCATION X 

Barbara Damon Si mi son 



OME day, perhaps — waiting in my attic room for fame 
to come to me, I shall he hungry. Unlike Elijah, the 
raven will avoid me, and even my sonnets to the spar- 
rows will bring me no crumbs. Thus prematurely forced to 
burn the rejected manuscripts which are to do me no service, 
I shall finally sally forth in search of a job. I might become 
a parlour maid, and take up the art of dusting which I had 
abandoned so long ago. My delight in good food might 
make me invaluable as chief taster to a millionaire. But, be- 
fore I think of any such occupation I shall be reminded of 
the college diploma in the bottom of my trunk. The allure 
of making myself mistress of a schoolroom will inveigle me 
into the teaching profession. Soon, however, I am to learn 
that my preparation has been at fault. I only have one year 
of education to my credit instead of two! Therefore, the re- 
volt which caused me to spurn Education in my senior year 
will lead me to some country, or at least village, school — far 
removed from bookshops and lecture tickets, but a salvation 
place to such a one as I. 

Once there, moreover, I shall determine to make my one 
year of Education do the work of two. From the first, I shall 
put into practice the theories which had lain idle in black note- 
books for so long, and make them bear everlasting fruit. 

With such a resolution as this I shall step into my school- 
room on the day after Labor Day, when well-regulated 
schools begin. There, I shall find a heterogeneous group of 
pupils hitching in their seats, craning their necks to see what 
I look like. 

"That's the new teacher! That's the new teach-ir!" their 
stentorian young voices will assure me — knowing only too 
Avell how new I feel. 

"Good morning, children. I am your new teacher," I 
shall, in turn, reassure them, "Now let me see, you are of 
Junior High School age, I believe?" 

"No, no! Seventh grade, teacher!" one voice will deny, 
and, "Eighth grade!" "Ninth grade!" two more. 



J 6 The Smith College Monthly 

"Ninth grade? Do you have that? Well, never mind. 

1 will call you Junior High School, because that is what you 
really should be, you know!" The .Junior High School idea. 
1 shall recall, will help me to retain pupils; recognize individ- 
ual differences; secure better scholarship, and six other things 
1 had long since forgotten. It might be, 1 shall decide-, wise 
to relearn them to quote, in case of need. 

".Junior High School sounds more grown-up, teacher," 
one little hoy will pipe up with pride and new-found 
wonder in his tone. 

In the meanwhile, one small hoy will begin to choke. 
"Take him to the fountain, John!" 1 shall command another. 

"Fountain?" he will question, "You mean the one out 
on the green?" 

"No, the drinking fountain," I shall correct him. "You 
have one?" 

"Oh, you mean the cold water- faucet, teacher!" John will 
tell me scornfully. Or, perhaps, he will cry. "You mean the 
pail?" 

With such lacks as these ringing in my ears I shall 
trudge to and fro each day to my so-called "Junior High 
School". 1 may find my pupils sleepy, and decide to rectify 
their stupidity; wake them up with exercise. "At the end of 
every hour, children, you may have ten minutes for anything 
you like," I plan to inform them— not expecting the wrath 
which is to descend upon me from the teacher of the next 
room. 

"What on earth are you doing? You interrupted my 
biology lesson with your racket. Let me warn you — our 
principal will not stand for things like this. Your being 
new, 1 thought I had better tell you. lie demands absolute 
quiel at all times." 

kl Ycs, hut exercise!" I am to stammer. 

"They have plenty of time to play as it is." she will snap 
at me with years of experience to hack her up. so to speak. 
For this reason I shall allow my children to stumble stupidly 
on. although I will manage to let them sit idle for a little; 
let them relax while I tell them of Kohin Hood or King- 
Arthur. 

Other problems 1 shall manage less well. Little Jimmy 
Jones, freckle-faced and red-haired, may come to tell mc that 
he must leave school to go to work. Willi horror in my eyes. 



The Smith College Monthly 17 

I shall find myself urging him to stay a year or two longer. I 
may almost succeed in winning him over, when the principal, 
his head fringed with hair, will rebuke me for what he will 
term "interferenee:" "I eannot have my teaehers interfering 
with what I eall home matters. The parent is the sole judge 
as to whether his boy should or should not remain in school." 

"Very well — but— " I may begin; then eheck myself as L 
remember the slim roll of bills in my pocket-book. 

Another pupil, ready to enter high sehool, may tell me 
that he wants to go to college, but, sinee his I. Q. is low, I 
shall advise him that he had better try something else. I 
dimly remember that Vocational Guidanee should be a part 
of the work of every good teacher, and so, now, to the best of 
my ability, I shall inform Frederick that he is too mechani- 
cally inclined to waste his talents upon a liberal arts college. 
Just at the moment, however, when I have him almost con- 
vinced, I shall see my friend, the good principal, beaming 
benevolently upon us. 

"Ah, Frederick, my boy!" and his beam will become ex- 
pansive, "I hear you plan to go to college! That is fine, my 
dear boy. You will do us proud!" 

"But," I may argue, after Frederick has retreated," that 
boy will never be able to go to college. Besides, he is not in 
high school yet, and his I. Q. is low." 

"Yes, Miss S — , but I always try to instil the highest 
ideals in the young minds of my boys. He may pass yet. I 
cannot run the risk of letting my rating go down. There 
have always been six taking the college preparatory course 
from my school. This year, I cannot let it go down to five. 
Don't you see?" 

I shall nod when I feel like shaking my fist. 

"Another matter, Miss S — , I find that your boys do 
better in history and mathematics than the girls. Now those 
girls are not stupid." 

"No, that is not it. The girls do better in language 
study. It has been proven, psychologically, that this should 
be the case. Therefore I do not see that there is anything to 
do. It is a matter of interests." I may reason thus as though 
I believed it. The good principal will look bewildered and de- 
part — his arguments, mayhap, run out for the moment. I 
know, however, that he will soon be back — peering over the 
glass in the door when my back may be turned; standing, 



18 The Smith College Monthly 

perhaps, at the rear of the room when I am drawing a dinos- 
aur on the blackboard for the edification of the young savages 
under my control. I shall even see him usher in the county 
superintendent, who will puff across the room with his Order 
of Elks badge shining from his vest, and interrupt the Col- 
lectors 1 Club which 1 shall hold in school hours. 

"Now, don't you think, Miss S ," the county superin- 
tendent may begin, "that this is a waste of school time?" 

"Ye — s," 1 shall respond meekly, even reluctantly with 
a better answer on the tip of my tongue: "Repressed energy. 
Collectors' instinct. See Briggs, page 99, paragraph 2." 

"It puts extravagant ideas into their young brains. 
Economy is the program of this school," the principal may 
admonish me with a broad sweep of his plump hand. 

On another day. perhaps, 1 may have a more serious 
problem with which to cope. Cordelia will decide that she 
does not want to study; she may shriek, even, when 1 tell her 
to read. My educational psychology notes will then slide un- 
announced into my memory: "Watson's researches upon the 
new-born infants have revealed three generic types of innate 
response, each of which combines the impulsive and implicit 
mode with an explicit adjustment to objective conditions. 
These three types are fear, rage and love. . .An instinct per- 
sists with varied effort until the disturbed equilibrium of the 
organism has been restored. . .The innate patterns which 
form the background of all behavior are commonly called in- 
stincts." 1 do not now recollect whether our class was taugfll 
lo accept Watson's theory, or that of Ogden or Koffka. Wat- 
son's will do in this case, I shall reason, since this child is 
evidently in a rage. She will certainly be older than Wat- 
son's new-born infant, but. since rage is an early instinct she 
must still have it. Therefore, I will allow her to cry and 
Stamp, and bite, and tear, lor the benefit. 1 shall discover, of 
the selectmen who comprise the School Committee. 

"Nice little performance," I can hear them say as they 
shake their heads. I shall feel the slim roll of bills in my 
pocket with fresh qualms. Their watch-chains, brassily 
noisy, will clank their answer to me across the room. Their 
penned notice I shall find on my green blotter at H.'M) the 
next morning; "Miss S may find it best to resign at the end 
of the official school term." I can hear them making their 
decision now. ik lt is a pity, ureal pity my good principal 



The Smith College Monthly 19 

will say with magnanimity in his beam. The county super- 
intendent will hem and haw. "Great pity! For one so young! 
To be so serious about it!" 

"Yes," the School Board will answer, "She aets as if she 
means what she says. Very sorry ease very. Must do it. 
Have a new candidate for the job who has twel-ve hours of 
Education behind her. Evidently si-ix is not enough. Yet, 
she seems to believe what she says! Queer! She appears to be 
so serious. Can't afford to let such a person stay." 

So, I shall resign — not as they suggest with such polite- 
ness — "at the end of the official school term", but in Novem- 
ber. The teacher next door will give me a frigid good-bye. 
The I-told-you-so in her smile will seem to tell me that she 
has heard me teaching Robert Frost instead of the geography 
of New England (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont), or 
Amy Lowell when I was supposed to be reading Washing- 
ton's Inaugural Address. She will look askance when I 
smile back at her. "And she got fired!" I may hear her mutter 
as I wave my hand. 

It will be, then, with a sense of freedom and a great shak- 
ing of school-room chalk from my feet that I shall return to 
my garret. My memoirs as a school mistress shall never be 
written as I had dared to hope. Instead, my black notebooks 
shall go the way of my manuscripts — to keep me warm ! In 
the meanwhile, before I care to join the force of parlour 
maids, or the chief tasters' guild, I shall be hungry, and I shall 
write more sonnets to the sparrows, who will not bring me 
"bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the 
evening." But, at least, I can sit by my attic window and 
watch the children playing in the street — after their school 
is over ! 



20 The Smith College Monthly 



THE DUEL 
Elizabeth Wheeler 



.© 



HE "Lion d'Or" was crowded. Men gathered about 
every tabic, sonic playing cards, all drinking, all talk- 

| ing rapidly, gesticulating with half- emptied glasses. 
Their voices rose higher as the general din grew louder. Corks 
popped, glasses clinked, money /jingled. The air was heavy 
with smoke and the odor of wine. Dripping candles and oil 
lamps threw a wan glow on the objects nearest them; the 
light from snapping birch logs reeled among the moving 
shadows on the opposite wall. 

Four men lounged about the center table, animatedly 
discussing the other occupants of the room. 

"Bourbons, Bonapartists, bourgeois and aristocracy/' 
said the nervous little man with his back to the tire, and added 
with a dramatic gesture. "But all are children of la belle 
France." 

"No, my deal- Gaston," corrected the fat man next to 
him. "Not all. Look behind you." 

Gaston pivoted swiftly on one leg of his chair. On the set- 
1 le before the fire reclined an individual who was long and lean 
and built in folding sections, unlike the children of la belle 
France. His face was cold and still with an imperturbable 
calm. A pipe hung relaxed from his thin lips. 1 1 is eyes 
travelled leisurely down the page of a magazine propped 
against his knees; il was the "Quarterly Review." His expres- 
sion never changed as he read. lie was utterly oblivions to 
I be noise of song and argument that raged around him, and 
unconscious of the stares directed at him ; wrapped in his own 
thoughts and sufficient unto himself. 

Gaston swung around with a grimace of disgust. 

"Mon Dieu, these English! Wherever yon go, always 
the same, sour and stern, no joie de vivre." 

(Vision spoke loudly, but the Englishman did not hear. 

lie reached down bis band to pick up from the floor a glass 
of Burgundy. With his other hand, he removed the pipe 



The Smith College Monthly 21 

from his mouth, and drank slowly, his eyes still on the "Quar- 
terly Review." 

"Pah!" spat the fat man. "They think they own the 
earth. Look at him, appropriating the best seat in the room, 
just as if he belonged there instead of me who come here 
every night of my life." 

"The fool! You'd think he'd hear us talking about him." 

"Not he! He's far too superior to listen to anyone 'be- 
sides himself except possibly another Englishman. 

Gaston hitehed his chair nearer to the table and leaned 
forward. 

"Pardieu," he said in a lowered tone. "Mon ami, you 
shall have your seat by the fire. I'll make him move. If I 
know these English, their love of themselves is only matched 
by their love of gambling. Just wait and see!" 

Gaston hopped up briskly and approached the settle. 

"Pardon, Monsieur, but — would you care to play cards? 
One finds it so dull travelling, n'est-ce pas?" 

The Englishman looked up, and coolly considered 
Gaston's smiling face for a moment. 

"Thank you very much, I should like to," he replied 
gravely. Putting aside his magazine, he unfolded himself 
and stood up. They joined the others at the table, where 
Gaston urbanely effected the introductions. The English- 
man bowed stiffly, and took the seat vacated by the fat man 
who was even then ensconced in the settle before the fire. 

One of the Frenchmen counted out the chips. Gaston 
dealt, smiling pleasantly. 

"A sou a point, Monsieur: would that be satisfactory?" 

"Oh, quite." 

Before picking up his cards, the Englishman drew from 
his pocket a large gold watch which he laid before him on the 
table. 

"I have to catch the Paris stage at three," he explained. 
It was then eleven. 

They began to play. Gaston chatted volubly, laughing 
and gesticulating. The Englishman, intent on his game, 
replied in monosyllables; if he was annoyed at the garrulous- 
ness of his* opponent, his face did not betray him. As the 
game progressed, his pile of chips mounted higher, while 
those of the three Frenchmen shrank steadily. Gaston grew 



22 The Smith College Monthly 

silent, hut still smiled. The other two looked at him with 
open accusation in their eyes. 

Unfalteringly the Englishman continued to gain. 
Gaston ceased to smile. His eyes darted angrily from the 
sullen faces of his two compatriots to the face of the English- 
man, still masked in imperturable calm. Gaston slapped 
down his last card. The Englishman tossed his on top of it. 
He" had won again, and the hank was broken. Gaston swore. 
The Englishman said nothing, hut leaned back in his chair 
and lit his pipe, lie glanced tor the first time at the corner 
of the table where his elbow had rested, then folded himself 
and looked under the table. Straightening, he asked casual- 
ly of no one in particular, 

"1 say. has anybody seen my watch?" 

Gaston sprang to his feet, upsetting his chair with a. 
crash. 

"Monsieur, do you mean to insinuate?" he began pomp- 
ously. Then all control snapped, and he waved his arms 
wildly, exclaiming, 

"Mon Dieu, you have insulted me! This is too much! 
You come here and take the only comfortable chair in the 
room. You oiler to play cards with us. You rob us of our 
money. You are not content with a little, hut you must have 
it all. And then you say I steal your watch! ()-o-oh! 1 can- 
not hear it ! You have insulted me. We will fight a duel. 1 — a 
thief! Oh. 1 am insulted!" 

He was at last interrupted by-repeated cries of "What 
is it. Gaston? What is it?" All the occupants of the room 
were crowding round the table, shouting and pushing, thirst- 
ing for excitement. Only the Englishman remained calm. 
I Ie had risen from his seat, and had removed his pipe from his 
mouth. He waited until there was comparative silence as 
all eyes, following Gas ton's accusing linger, wore fixed on 
him. 

"Pardon me. Monsieur, 1 merely asked if you had seen 
my watch. 1 am sorry you misunderstood me." 

"Do you think I believe that? It makes no difference; 
you have insulted me. We will light. Pierre and .Michel, be 
my seconds. .Make I he a rra ngeinen t s with this English- 
man." 

The Englishman shrugged his shoulders. His eye fell 
on something that lay under the chair where he had been sit- 



The Smith College Monthly 23 

ting. He stooped and picked up his watch, looked at it and 
put it in his pocket. No one appeared to notice; all were 
thronging round Gaston and his seconds. The Englishman 

sauntered to the fire, and sat down on the settle, opening the 
"Quarterly Review" at the page where he had left oft*. 
Deuced awkward situation, this, he reflected. It was now one 
o'clock. He was due to leave for Paris at three, and in the 
interim he had got to fight a duel, thanks to that ass of a 
Frenchman. He'd be damned if he would hit him, and mess 
things up any further. Maybe he would be hurt himself- 
devilish nuisance in a place like this; but if that Frenchman 
was no cleverer with weapons than he was with cards, he 
wouldn't be likely to do much damage except by luck. 

At this point Gaston's seconds approached, with obvious 
contempt for their friend's adversary, and equally obvious 
enjoyment in the importance of their own position. 

"Is Monsieur prepared to discuss the matter of the duel \ 
Good. What weapons is Monsieur pleased to choose?" 
"Pistols. At twenty paces. In the dark." 
Under the cool gaze of the Englishman the seconds 
looked at each other apprehensively. 

"Monsieur would not prefer swords? A victory with 
swords is more glorious. . ." 

"And death in either case is quite as final." 
"Pistols it is, then. And when and where would Mon- 
sieur prefer to fight?" 

The Englishman pulled out his watch and made a lei- 
surely calculation. 

"At two o'clock, in any empty room that is available," 
he said with a finality that precluded any protest on the part 
of the obviously dissatisfied Frenchmen. They withdrew, 
muttering with their heads together, and the Englishman re- 
turned to his magazine. Presently he became aware that the 
foregoing arrangements did not please his adversary. 

"Pistols, in the dark," shrieked Gaston from the other 
side of the room. "Mon Dieu, these English cannot even fight 
like gentlemen in the open with gentlemen's weapons, but 
must fire away in the dark like highwaymen. Not even a 
lantern? Insult upon insult! To kill or be killed like a rat 
in a hole! Oh. I will have his blood for this!" 

During the ensuing hour, the "Lion d'Or" settled down 
to something like its normal composure. The tables were 



2 1 The Smith College Monthly 

once more crowded with gamblers and drinkers, singing and 
arguing as before, but suspense, heavier than the* smoke, hung 

over the room. Even those most intent on their cards cast 
frequenl fiances now toward the fire, now toward the dark- 
est cornel- of the room. The Englishman read on. pulling 
away at his pipe, his lace inscrutable. Gaston leaned on a 
table, tattooing with his fingers, drinking Burgundy, sput- 
tering dis jointedly to his seconds. Occasionally his voice 
rose and a few words became audible to those at the tables 
nearby. 

"What an insult! Pistols in the dark!" 
A clever swordsman, Gaston," someone remarked. "Hut 
he is gun-shy." 

At five minutes of two, when suspense had cooled the 
fever of the most ardent gambler, the landlord entered the 
room, bawling loudly. 

"This way, please, Messieurs." 

Gaston swallowed a glass of wine at one gulp, and al- 
most ran after the landlord, shouting. 

"Allons, nics amis!" 

The Englishman knocked the ashes from his pipe, and 
placed it with his magazine on the mantelpiece: then he 
strode alter his adversary. Behind him pushed all the other 
occupants of the "I aon d'Or." At the end of a long passage, 
he found himself together with the landlord, Gaston and his 
seconds, in a large rectangular room, unfurnished except for 
a huge fireplace opposite the door. 

The landlord held out several pistols. The Englishman 
selected one-, examined it casually, and took his place at one 
end of the- room, with the fireplace on his right. On his left, 
two deep along the- full length of the' wall stooel all his 
fellow-travellers, eyes Hashed with anticipation. Opposite 
him. at a < I isl .i i u-t of twenty paces which had just hern meas- 
ured by the seconds, Gaston shifted from one' foot to the- 

other, fingering his pistol, apparently almost unable to wail 

for the signal. 

The Englishman's eyes without moving, took in every 
detail. 

"By Jove," he thought, "What a perfectly rotten way to 

manage a duel! With all these chaps standing about, some- 
one's sure to be hurt. Damnme, 1 don't want to hit anybody, 
not even thai ass Gaston. What a ballv nuisance to be mixed 



The Smith College Monthly 25 

up in such an affair! Wait a minute, though! Of course — 
the fireplace. That'll do." 

With imperturable calm, he listened to the landlord's in- 
structions. 

"The lights will he extinguished. Then 1 will count 
three. At three you will fire. Are you ready, M essieurs ?" 

The lights were blown out. 

"One! Two! Three!" 

One shot rang out, and, strangely, it seemed to come 
from the fireplace. 

■'MonDieu, I am killed!" 

Lanterns were lighted hastily. The Englishman was 
standing in his place at the end of the room, a smoking pistol 
in his hand. In the fireplace, moaning and cursing, with both 
hands clasped around one knee, lay Gaston. 

An exclamation of surprise burst from the crowd as they 
surged forward around the unfortunate man. But in a second, 
as comprehension dawned, there was a shout of derision. 

The Englishman's face remained inscrutable. "By Jove, 
serves him jolly well right," he said to himself as he strode 
over to the fireplace. He reached up to lay the pistol on 
the mantelpiece. Then, looking down at Gaston over the 
heads of twenty babbling Frenchmen, he said coolly, 

"I say, I hope you're not much hurt." 

Gaston glanced hastily at him with hatred in his eye. 
then turned away, spluttering feebly. 

"You have insulted me." 

The Englishman swung around and strode out of the 
room. Presently he was reclining on the settle before the 
fire, his pipe hanging from his mouth, and against his knees 
was propped the "Quarterly Review." 



JEALOUSY 
Helen Fiske 



But when 

I loved the moon, 

The sun unsheathed his light 

From the scabbard of the hills and struck 

Me blind. 



26 The Smith College Monthly 



SHRINE TO AESCULAPIUS 

S.m.i IE S. Simons 




\KK as it is. there may be that peculiar harmony be- 
tween man and the things about him which induces a 
creative repose. It is not the- harmony which dulls the 
instant response- of sense to outward impression, the' sort of 
peace due' rather to lethargy in man than serenity in nature. 
An equality that produces a repose which still is active must 
be formed of motion and of quietness, a synthesis of change 
and continuity. This feeling, intangible and elusive, is ex- 
perienced, I think, only in the country. 1 cannot imagine a 
sense of rising power, coupled with the- most complete relax- 
ation, in surroundings pitched to a tautness of activity. No, 
the movement that 1 sense even late at night in the- city is 
harsh and restive, in no way comparable to the stirring in the 
country air. And it is at Pelham that 1 find its perfect expres- 
sion, [am most e-onscions of it in the spring, though I have 
felt it when color burned over the hills and when blue shadows 
drew across the snow. 

Pelham is only a generic name'. It seems to e-xte-nd in- 
clusively over the Berkshires east of Amherst. 1 believe there 
is a Central Pelham and a West Pelham through which the 
street ear sways with alarming purposefulness, bu1 both are 
slight, hampered. Xorth-of- Boston gestures, frugal, with 
narrow white- houses and a general store. To me, Pelham 
is ;i brown shingled house with a re-d roof, and woods that 
slope away from it down the long hill. As 1 open the gate 
I may be barked at, bu1 I am reassured to sev a poodle with 

,-, coal permanently and badly waved. I closed it behind me 
so n,,.,! the more regal Pekinese will not trot through majesti- 
cally, drawing the delicate buff plumes on his feet and tail 
into a less appropriate milieu. He would like very much to 

Stretch his svcll brevity on the single pile of stones which 

markes the one-time aspiration towards a gate post. Because 
it is still early spring, the rose hushes are only guileless 
sprouts, and six feel of hist summer's sunflower grins dryly 

€ .,l |1, ( . house. 1 leave my bag indoors and go into the fields. 



The Smith College Monthly 27 

which arc not cultivated, being maintained as hunting ground 
for the gentleman cat named "Winnie". 

The north edge of the pasture is lost in a growth of 
white pine. As the sun strikes obliquely on the highest 
branches, they lose color, the needles glinting like sparkling 
facets of spun glass. The houghs press down and in upon 
the path, and the ground is resilient under foot. I walk with- 
out noise, slipping a little on the needles, and leaving no im- 
print. There are late red checker berries and bluets no taller 
than the moss. The quiet odor of pine lies on the ground, 
but above the stillness I hear the wind moving evenly through 
the trees. The influence is irresistible, exciting, and those 
who love Pelham recognize beneath the movement a reserve 
which is a startling source of power the greater for its un- 
foreseen tranquility. 

As I come from green shadow into the open maple woods 
on the far side of the pines, I am increasingly aware of an- 
other sound, very like the wind but deeper toned and unvary- 
ing. It is the brook. Xot very wide, never more than ten or 
twelve feet, its course is rough with rocks, just inaccessible 
each from the other. A large one in midstream is within 
wading distance, and I often lie there to watch the water, 
tumbling up to it, part and slide in a long undulation around 
the sides, smoothing them gently. I try to catch a little as 
it slips resolutely and graciously under my hand. So I have 
wished on summer evenings to fasten in the air the fragrances 
of lavendar stock before it was swept away on the first night 
breeze like water running through the fingers. The sun 
glistens in a bubble and then plunges deeper reflecting reds 
and yellows on the stones. Where in the fall I saw a crystal 
emptiness flowing over pebbles, in the spring I found the 
warm amber brown of earth and old leaves held melted in 
the water. Brown is a still color, without motion, but merged 
with a quick red it turns to bronze, a color not impassive, not 
coldlv rigid, and vet not wholly changing. 

Not all people go to Pelham. One must bring an aware- 
ness of what is lovely and an eagerness for what may be 
beautiful. The little things become the great things, — the 
pine needles and the odor of the woods, the sound and color 
of the brook. I do not think that I should find the same 
completeness elsewhere. The harmonious perfection de- 
mands an increase of sensitivity, a fullness of appreciation. 



28 The Smith College Monthly 

Whether from the brook itself or from the wind flowing 
through the branches of the pines, there is everywhere the 
sound of running water, tranquil and yet strengthening. 1 
should be content to stay at Pelham. It draws from me a 
"quickened multiplied consciousness", a sense of repose most 
splendidly creative. 



POEM 
Rachel Grant 

These trees have drunk the sun. 

Fire-filled, their strength 

Breaks into clarion color on the hills. 

Maples, with a strange new energy, 

Burn in the wind 

And sumac kindles to a darker flame 

I n all the toreh-lit wood 

Only the blanched ferns are dim. 

Crushed beneath air, they break 

With a slight sound of foam. 



The Smith College Monthly 29 



THE PERSONAL TOUCH 
V 1 rginia Fa k EINGTO X 



ill 



ISS Baxter prided herself on the interest she took in her 
students. The Seventh Grade was her family, she was 
wont to say, and the proprietary air with which she 
addressed each eleven-to-thirteen year old unit of it hore out 
her assertion. It is doubtful however, if the Seventh Grade 
accepted Miss Baxter's interest in quite the spirt in which it 
was meant. In fact, there was a rumor that outside the 
white-washed fence which inclosed the grammar school play- 
ground, she was known to the ribald tongues of the pupils as 
"The Snoop." 

There was a neat card file on the oak desk which faced 
the roomful of thirty-three scrub-mopped or sleek pigtailed 
heads. "Taking 'Tendence" was the first process of the day. 
On this particular Monday morning the October sunlight 
sifting in broad beams through the yellow shades found only 
one member of the Seventh Grade absent from school. Thirty- 
two pairs of already grimy hands were folded on straight 
desks, thirty-two mouths were pursed in adolescent self- 
righteousness, thirty-two pairs of eyes — assorted brown, blue, 
tan, and green — were fixed on Teacher's face as she looked 
up from the pile of neatly lettered white cards. 

"Can anyone tell me where James Bendetti is today?" 
asked Miss Baxter. Her pale eyes fairly oozed sympathetic 
interest behind the hard glint of her rimless spectacles. 
Jimmy was not usually absent from class although there were 
those who thought it might be better for the Seventh Grade 
if he were. Perhaps he was ill today. That would give Miss 
Baxter an opportunity to see what his home conditions were 
like — she could take him a little note of condolence from the 
class. She loved seeing what home conditions were like al- 
most as much as she loved having her "little family" write 
notes of condolence of those stricken in health. Besides be- 
ing good practice in English composition it developed their 
sense of civic responsibility. 



80 The Smith College Monthly 

A dozen hands had sprung up in answer to her query 
as to Jimmy's whereabouts. There was always a delightful 
alacrity about the way the Seventh Grade offered inform- 
ation, and on this occasion it was more marked than usual. 

"Yes, Sophie. Do you know what is the matter with 
James this beautiful autumn morning?", Miss Baxter ad- 
dressed her favorite pupil, the daughter of the local hanker. 

"Yes'm. He's in jail." Sophie was an artist she did 
not spoil the effect of her announcement by attempting to 
add details. Her round eyes gazed with great enjoyment at 
her teacher's evident distress. It wasn't every day that she 
had a chance to throw a bombshell like this— Bud Fitch had 
just been aching to be the one to tell about it. Sophie twisted 
in her seat and struck the curly end of a malicious pink tongue 
in Bud's general direction. 

"\\ ny. now, how very terrible. And what was the cause 
of this catastrophe?" Miss Baxter was beginning to recover 
from the shock and to realize the possibilities of the situation. 
She could see herself in her best black coat holding the hand 
of an unjustly incarcerated .James, and reading the prisoners 
the Christian Science .Monitor. 

"Aw. he tried to knife a guy what he found kissing his 
sister. " Henry Graham volunteered this information with a 
scornful twist of his thin month. Nobody'd ever so makin' 
love to his sister, that was sure. She was the homelist girl in 
Delaware county, said the town. 

Miss Baxter felt the vvd Hood which had surged up into 
her virginal grey face subside. "That will do, Henry. \Yc 
will begin on page forty-three of the arithmetic book, if yon 

case. 

School didn't go very well that day. There was too much 
whispering behind the the large drab covers of Dickinson's 
Geography of the World; too many triangular notes tossed 
quickly from row to row; too restless an atmosphere through- 
out the bare walled room. The case of James Bcndetti was 
having a bad effect on the Seventh Grade. 

After dismissal thai afternoon. Principal Arthur called 
.Miss Baxter into his office. He was a pompous man with 
grey hair and an astoundingly small nose which was likely to 
wiggle a bit at the end in limes of menial stress. It was 
wiggling now. 

".Miss Baxter. I daresay von have heard that VOUnc 



The Smith College Monthly 31 

James Bendetti has been put in prison. A very sad affair 
indeed. It seems that he was protecting his sister's honor 
against the advances of a ruffian cousin who was boarding 
with them. The boy seized upon a kitchen knife which hap- 
pened to be at hand, and, it is believed, wounded this Paulo 
quite badly. No one censures James very severely — in fact 
I gather that he is something of a hero in the town. At any 
rate, Miss Baxter, I felt sure that you would want to go and 
see him, in accordance with the interest which you take in 
your pupils." 

"Thank you, Professor Arthur, of course I was plan- 
ning to do that. I shall try to make James feel that, while 
we deplore his action, we do not feel that he was greatly to 
blame." 

"Exactly, Miss Baxter. You have a wonderful way 
with children." 

"Well, as I always say, Professor Arthur, they are just 
like a little family to me." Miss Baxter's uplifted eyes and 
coy smile puffed out the principal's chest. He had long been 
convinced that were he an unmarried man, he would have but 
to say the word and Susan Baxter would be his. Even with 
his dear wife and four daughters in existence, this thought 
gave him a certain satisfaction. 

At precisely five o'clock of that same Monday, Miss 
Baxter in her best black coat was ushered by a red faced and 
obsequious jailer into the small cell of James Bendetti.. The 
criminal looked absurdly small, sitting hunched up on the 
narrow bed with his skinny knees drawn up to meet his chin. 
In the black eyes which greeted his visitor there gleamed a 
sullen fear that somehow was not quite in keeping with the 
righteously mournful expression on the thin dark young face. 

"Ah, James, I am very sorry, very sorry indeed, to find 
you here. We missed you in school today." She had decided 
not to take too serious a tone with him at first. — She w r as sure 
that James was a nervous, high-strung lad. She spoke of 
affairs of the Seventh Grade for some time to put him at his 
ease, then abruptly she asked the question she had been pon- 
dering. 

"James, won't you tell me just exactly how this hap- 
pened? You know I am very anxious to help you in any way 
I can, and I want you to know that I think it was very fine 
of you to go to your sister's rescue, although of course what 



32 The Smith College Monthly 

you should have done would have been to call the police." 
Miss Baxter was vaguely annoyed to feel that she was blush- 
ing again. The boy's stare was curiously malicious, it seemed 
to her. as though he found in her perfectly natural interest in 
a pupil, some evidence of a morbid curiosity. 

But .Jimmy's eyes filled suddenly with tears. He felt 
sweep over him the necessity of telling some one the truth, 
and his teacher was being as kind as she could. He would 
tell her, let them punish him. 

"It was this way. Miss Baxter. OF Paulo, this here 
cousin of ours, he was a mean one. He'd been boardin' with 
us for pret' near a month, and never would give none of us 
kids a penny or nothin', and was always kickin' us out of the 
way. Well, last night, my dad he was over on Guinea Hill 
buying some whiskey. My dad he sells more whiskey than 
anyone else in Walltown." 

Miss Baxter drew a sharp breath. The awful pride with 
which the boy made this horrible assertion! His home con- 
ditions were impossible, evidently. It was really wonderful 
that such an impulse of chivalry as must have actuated him 
last night had not been entirely stamped out in these sordid 
surroundings. 

"Where was your mother, James?" she inquired, to 
change the subject from an undesirable discussion of the 
merits of Mr. Bendetti as a vendor of whiskey. 

"Ma? Aw, she ran off' with a Greek that sold popcorn 
when we lived in Newark." James' tone was casual; he didn't 
remember his mother much. He continued in a tone which 
grew more dramatic, as he approached the climax of his story. 

"Well, I was comin' back from the poolroom 'bout ten 
o'clock. There wasn't any light in the house, I noticed, 
Ycpt in the kitchen, so when I come in, I went out there. 
Guess what I seen." 

"Saw, not seen, James." Miss Baxter sought refuge 
in grammatical correction. Her maidenly mind forbade it- 
self to indulge in any such wild conjectures as her pupil ap- 
parent ly expected. I Ie waited a moment, then went on, since 
no guesses were forthcoming. 

"Well, I'll tell you. Right there in front of me on the 
table was Paulo's wallet. And it was all stuffed full of bills, 
'cause he gets paid twenty dollars every Saturday night for 
workin' on the road. Jeeze, Miss Baxter. I couldn't do nothin' 



The Smith College Monthly 33 

but gawp around and wonder what had made ol' Paulo leave 
it there where us kids might find it. It was pret' dark in the 
kitchen with the lamp turned down real low. 'Nen all of a 
sudden I noticed Paulo and my sister Roise standin' in the 
pantry kissin' each other. They didn't see me at all." 

Jimmie's eyes were opaque and glowing ellipses in his 
olive face. He was talking faster now, and seemed to have 
forgotten his startled listener. 

"I never thought he'd turn around. I grabbed that 
wallet faster'n anything, and jus' as I did it, he did turn 
aroun' an' saw me. I was too scared to run — Jeeze, I was 
scared. OF Paulo, he grabs me by the throat. 'You dirty 
little thief!' he says, ' I will kill you quick.' So I grabbed a 
knife that was on the table and I dug it into Paulo ver' hard. 
It went squish! and he fell on the floor. So Rosie and me we 
made up a story to tell to the p'lice /cause Rosie don't really 
like Paulo, just the money he gives her," Jimmie ended with 
a grunt of approval. 

Miss Baxter was sitting bolt upright in her chair. Her 
horrified brain was not functioning properly — it refused to 
take in the meaning of sentences she felt related somehow to 
another world. Jimmy, who had been carried away by the 
relief of relating events as they had actually happened, came 
down to earth with a bump as he saw the expression on his 
teacher's face. He felt suddenly haunted. Had he been 
crazy? They might hang him for knifing Paulo, if they did 
not think he'd done it to help Rosie. Jeeze, he never should 
have told the old snoop all that ! 

"Miss Baxter, you know I'm a 'nawful story teller," he 
said wheedlingly. "I jus' get started on a story and I cant 
stop. That was all a big lie what I just told you, Teacher. 
I jus' made it up while I was sittin' here with nothing to do. 
'Course why I really knifed Paulo was to perfect Rosie's 
honor." He had heard Professor Arthur use this phase that 
morning, and he seized upon it in desperation . 

Miss Baxter's brain cleared itself slowly of the thick 
mist that had seemed for a few moments to penetrate it. No 
wonder the poor boy had gone almost insane — a terrible 
strain just to sit there feeling the disgrace of being in jail. 
And of course he had always been an incorrigible story teller. 
She remembered the tale he had told one noon to scare little 



34 The Smith College Monthly 

Sophie a lurid horrible account of the murder of an old 
darkey in a graveyard. 

"I understand. James. Professor Arthur and I will do 
all we can. Meanwhile if 1 were you. 1 should forget the 
whole affair as much as 1 could. You'd better cat your din- 
ner now, and get a good night's sleep." and Miss Baxter rose 
to leave as the /jailer brought in Jimmy's supper. 

As she walked briskly hack to her boarding place, she 
iclt a glow of acknowledged virtue. It wasn't every teacher 
who would have sat in that damp cell an hour, letting an 
imaginative pupil tell lengthy and morbid tales of unreal 
happenings. Well, she considered it part of her work — this 
personal interest in her pupils. 



The Smith College Monthly 35 



BOOK REVIEWS 



ORLANDO 
Virginia Woolf Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1928 





Looking at Michelangelo's Last Judgment one need 
not be very clever to realize that he did not use models for 
these struggling and heavily falling bodies. They are 
not posed; nobody ever took their orginals and pulled 
them into a posture which could be held by living flesh for a 
half hour, or even ten minutes, while the master sketched. 
They portray movement — the wincing, the reluctance and the 
leaden plunge of despair. How could they be posed? Pretend 
for a moment that Michelangelo equipped himself with a 
models' gymnasium, hung with safety nets for acrobatics ; he 
sent men and women up rope ladders to fling themselves out 
into the air, and plunge, and be caught ; he sat watching fall- 
ing bodies all day; and when his retina seemed etched with 
naked acrobats he painted the sight out again for the Last 
Judgment, Would that explain it? Look then at the Day 
on the tomb of Giuliano de' Medici; a figure in brief pause, 
but swelling to twist into action; could this be posed? And 
could his sister Night be found among the models of Renais- 
sance Florence? Those faddists who measure everything, 
put tape-measures on Day, and then went looking for his 
equal among prize-fighters; but having searched very thor- 
oughly they reported: no human being's muscles swell as 
large as these bands; no wrestler can reproduce his pose. And 
that is just the answer which even casual and inartistic sight- 
seers make before any of Michelangelo's frescoes and statues. 

From the same kind of tape-measure accuracy coupled 
with respect for authority the middling-intelligent man has 
come to accept the fact that great art refuses to be true to 
life. (Grand Opera isn't a bit like us, he says; a symphony 
sounds like nothing else you ever heard; and I suppose — since 



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The Smith College Monthly 37 

you insist — that a book is just the same. We can't expect it 
to imitate life.) Of course these persons prefer imitation, 
since they can understand it better; or a greater art, like 
Shakespeare's, in which they mistake their recognition of 
vague old feelings transfigured for mere accurate imitation. 
Other critics see the truth; that art should create; and that 
a character in a book, like a painting or a piece of music, has 
more to do than shadow an original. For truth is more than 
actuality; as a portrait is more than a photograph, and a 
lover's aria more than the phonographic eaves-dropping from 
the same type in a Bronx apartment house or a road just 
back of Main Street. Reproduction has held writers earth- 
bound, except as they could forget individual cases, let ex- 
periences enter into the fluid of their own personality to be 
dissolved; and finally produce a new creature, who has no 
nearer relative than the writer himself; a creation unbound 
by memory, who will live completely in a pattern formed 
from his own necessities and those of his environment. This 
process Mrs. Woolf knows well ; she has repeatedly given us 
men and women of intense individuality, whose days are 
flavored freshly, being neither stale nor warmed over ; whose 
life burns brightly within the' consciousness, not like our in- 
complete life, but like the life we might lead if we were not 
dull-sleepy most of our days. Shakespeare's lines have this 
quality of realizing the potentialities of our own smaller life. 
And as his situations brought from the players on his scene, 
Romeo, Othello or Hamlet, words not as we would say them 
but as we might hope to have them said, so Mrs. Woolf sur- 
prizes the knowledge lying behind our consciousness, com- 
pounding a language different from many we use, being a 
medium apart. This rare talent for new-born forms has 
set all her work apart, before Orlando. 

In writing Orlando she traveled dangerous ground. The 
subject would have been easier, and less complex, to a young 
writer who had not yet ventured to treat life itself, stripped 
of concrete example. Her two pieces of impudence were, first, 
to pick up a contemporary and drop her into Sham history- 
biography; and second, to write his biography as a joke. At 
once she flouted holy literary aloofness, (call it propriety, 
though it might better be described as artistic creation;) 
and her own sincerity. You may laugh sincerely, but all the 
parts of your joke will be grotesques. With some shrewdness 




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The Smith College Monthly 39 

she next broadened her field of targets; and reversed all laws 
at once, biological and temporal as well as literary; then she 
picked out critics, biographers, all writers; and mortal man. 
and herself, to tar with the same stick. Especially she 
amused herself with the sexes. Thus, while she was making 
enemies, she included most of mankind, and having equalized 
the mixture, hurt nobody; jealousies were impossible; her 
book retained a singular pureness from spite. W. S. Gilbert 
worked with the same impartiality, in the Savoy Operas. Sueh 
a joke, aimed at everybody, ceases almost to be a joke, and 
becomes an attitude of mind; so, paradoxically, Mrs. Woolf 
seems to have been sincere. Then, the central theme treated 
here would not have been invented at all, but through a kind 
of sincerity of interpretation. After all, there must be some 
reason for every act or thought ; in a simple case, we put an 
egg on to boil because we feel hungry ; more complexely, we 
give a friend a nick-name because something about her sug- 
gests the figure. So Mrs. Woolf describes a boy born under 
Elizabeth over three centuries ago; he does not grow old or 
die ; after a century or more he turns into a woman ; and we 
follow her vivid career till the twelfth stroke of midnight 
sounds: "The twelfth stroke of midnight, Thursday, the 
eleventh of October, Nineteen Hundred and Twenty-eight. " 
The account closes here; yet Orlando lives on. . . .Not even 
Mrs. Woolf" s imagination would build this story if it had 
not been given an initial push by truth. It is thus that she 
again evades censure for her joke; she must have meant a 
great deal of it. And, actually, what started this train in her? 
With characteristic complexity she saw in the original woman 
more than a solitary individual ; the rich old blood colored her 
life with reminiscent moods and acts; growing up from the 
home of her ancestors, she was compact of their lordliness 
and their gypsy adventuring; their imaginative restlessness 
and their changeable life. She was a woman who could never 
stand like a naked Eve, clipped of tradition, looking only for- 
ward. Again, her masculine mind, and perhaps an artifici- 
ality about her physical identity worked upon Mrs. Woolf for 
expression. Finally all these observations amalgamated into 
one form; the woman became her house; she came fluently 
down the centuries, undying. Such liberties as Mrs. Woolf 
took with time and with sexual identity gained value because 
Mrs. Woolf is incapable of leaving her subject alone; she 



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The Smith College Monthly 41 

must pour herself into everything; she sees with whomever she 
treats. The aesthetic experince of living with Orlando 
through five ordinary life-times has brough her beyond the 
bounds of joking; with conviction she flouts death; she allows 
humanity to slide from manhood to womanhood, changing 
manners as clothes change with time, and proprieties with 
climate; quite constant underneath all. The question of un- 
iversality is not forced; we should not believe Orlando to be 
like everybody else. The laughing mood covers all these 
slurred edges; time is not serious; sex is not serious; literary 
interests are more important, but literary people, how despic- 
able ! Orlando is not serious ; that is why he never kills him- 
self ; he has only a bright interest, pliancy and activity. The 
change from manhood to womanhood is drawn broader, much 
broader, than Mrs. Woolf has drawn before ; the ceremony of 
the Three Sisters, Purity, Chastity and Modesty, moves with 
a ludicrous, thumping dance to its climax. Suddenly we see 
the authoress turning Elizabethan herself, to jerk her original 
somewhat coarsely in the ribs. She does not work so grotes- 
quely again, until, perhaps, the theme of sexual change re- 
turns, and the Archduchess Harriet becomes a man; while 
still later Orlando's lover Shelmerdine plays back and forth 
across the dividing line with her as if they were dancing to- 
gether to a tune something like this: " 'Are you sure you're 
not a woman?' 'Are 3 7 ou really not a man?' ' Truly here the 
story avoids the bounds of biography, or novel, or even farce ; 
and it becomes a written dance, like a violent puppet-dance 
at first; then more human; and then increasingly graceful, 
less jerky, until we are caught in its rhythm and follow per- 
force to Mrs. Woolf's premise, which in the immediate case 
turns Orlando into a genuine woman for us ; Avhile secondarily 
it wipes out the dividing line between the characters of the 
sexes. If that broad comedy stings us unpleasantly in the 
scene of climax, it may be remembered finally as an appro- 
priate device to the form of the book. 

If, then, Mrs. Woolf trifled with truth and drew out a 
greater truth, what happened to her character, which alone 
in her book is drawn deliberately from actuality? Has 
Orlando been posed? Supposedly, if he came forth from his 
making new-created, he would have been divorced from his 
original, and the purpose of the book would have lost. Or 
if he was indeed the ape made to caper after his mistress, ever 



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The Smith College Monthly 43 

so gracefully, he would not, by the standards of so many 
critics, remain a fine creation. I believe that the answer must 
be sought in the quality of Mrs. Woolf's art, in which the 
world is dipped to change its very substance. Orlando en- 
tered it blocked out as a caricature, and left it carrying Mrs. 
Woolf's identity, for the time; walked through the centuries 
with eyes through which she watched mankind, amused; acted 
physically as she acts intellectually; broke through limiting 
actuality as she chips away the crust from a flowing imagina- 
tive life; and generally dismaved his neighbors by refusing 
to be a convent ion-poldder. I do not mean that he was the 
less like his original for being the person we read. I mean 
that Mrs. Woolf seems incapable of sustained insincerity or 
sustained imitation ; she cannot shut herself out of her people ; 
and when she has flowed in, she becomes like those indepen- 
dent people, only intensifid, heated, and individual in the tight 
packing of the character. Orlando will be considered no less 
than the greatest of her creations. 

A. L. B. 



REGINALD AND REGINALD IX RUSSIA 

Saki (H. H. Munro) Xew York: The Viking Press, 1928 

If it were possible for a butterfly — a little butterfly, but 
beautiful — to be entombed in a bit of ice, through which 
its delicate lines would seem more distinct, more perma- 
nent, and somehow unapproachable, it might recall Saki. 
The figure may be fantastic, but even that belongs to him. He 
is at the same time so inexplicably impalpable and yet so inex- 
plicably hard. Flight arrested; and the arrest miraculously 
translated in to cold tangibility. 

The work of man who was killed in the war has an advan- 
tage all its own: it makes an appeal, irrelevant to the content, 
because of a universal pity or sympathy or admiration for the 
author, even after some lapse of time. Sometimes the appeal 
blinds, appreciation becomes an expression of charity. Saki 
himself, with his characteristic irreverence of death, might 
have laughed at all this, and spoken epigrammatically on the 
literary and commercial advantages subsequent to "Pro 



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The Smith College Monthly 45 

patria mori". But those authors who appeal only to charitable 
natures do not live long, — in the literary sense; post-war 
memory is too short. Post-war appreciation, however, may 
be permanent and, in the case of Saki, accumulative, since he 
is known more and more widely. 

His strong point is his humor, to which his premature 
death adds a note of irony, which, again, he himself would 
have appreciated. Humor is here too general a term, but the 
cataloging of the various species of humor is so eternally de- 
batable! The frequent comparison of Saki to Wilde seems 
the best, though in many senses the two are very different; 
Saki, for instance, is certainly less artificial, more spontan- 
eous. He sees everything, even the tragic, with a little hum- 
orous twist, but he succeeds especially in his character obser- 
vation : 

"Before we had time to recover our spirits, we were in- 
dulged with some thought-reading by a young man, whom 
one knew instinctively had a good mother and an indifferent 
tailor the sort of young man who talks unflaggingly through 
the thickest soup, and smooths his hair dubiously as though 
he thought it might hit back." 

— "the girl, for instance, (at houseparties) who reads 
Meredith, and appears at meals with unnatural punctuality 
in a frock that's made at home and repented at leisure." 

But sometimes he descends to a sort of stained littleness: 

"The cook was a good cook as cooks go; and as cooks go 
she went." 

Perhaps he redeems himself, however, in the keenness of 
his general observations: 

"Every reformation must have its victims. You can't ex- 
pect the fatted calf to share the enthusiasm of the angels over 
the prodigal's return." 

And he may be forgiven much for his ingenuity and the 
achievement of a masterful incongruity in such breath-taking 
jumps toward the romantic as: 

"So I got up the next morning at early dawn — I know it 
was dawn, because there were lark-noises, and the grass 
looked as if it had been left out all night." 

He tickles, perhaps he goads a little, he tantalizes just 
out of reach ; he is a literary Puck. 

In the matter of style he is unique in his method of con- 
fusing the simple and the sophisticated — the mixture sym- 



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The Smith College Monthly 47 

bolized in his medium, Reginald, a very young man, who 
believes that "To have reached thirty is to have failed in 
life", but a very worldly person who kmnges about summing 
up people and things with a disrespectful but delightful acid- 
ity. The short stories in Reginald in Russia best illustrate 
Saki's simplicity; Gabriel-Ernest is unforgetable for that 
very reason. The first collection, Reginald, more sketches than 
real stories, brings out a complicated cleverness and, like all 
humorous writing, loses in volume form the force of the 
earlier intermittent magazine appearances. But whether 
his mood is simplicity or sophistication (and he jumps from 
one to the other so quickly!) , Saki's manner is different — not 
different in a glaring, tabloid sense, but different in a youth- 
ful, reckless, impertinent sense. 

Saki himself pricks so many balloons that it would be 
unfitting to give a well-blown generalization as to his degree 
of literary excellence, even that which he might have achieved 
had he lived; His work has an incidental element that may 
mean an incidental fame, though the present popularity 
would argue otherwise. 

Ellen Robinson '29 



PENNAGAN PLACE 

Eleanor Chase J. H. Sears and Co. 1928 

Pennagan Place is a 'first novel'. Reading it is like open- 
ing a window in a stale room. Unconsciously it throws a re- 
vealing light on the sentimentalism, the silly self-conscious 
cynicism, the pseudo-cleverness that has invaded present day 
literature. The clear wind of it blows their insipid flatness 
into the daylight. We cannot but be pleased to find a book 
whose natural charm and dignity is not marred by that lab- 
ored artificiality that is so much a part of the modern novel. 

The Pennagans live in the Middle West, three genera- 
tions of them, over by the ruthless old patriarch Giles. One 
cannot described them, the Pennagans, living proudly and 
contemptuously in the isolation of their home, because the 
author herself has not described them — she has created them. 
They are living people, everyone of them — Christopher, 
Nickodemus, Benjamin and Curtis and Donna and little 
Webby; most of all Giles — 'magnificent, terrible old man.' 



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The Smith College Monthly 49 

As characters they are entirely consistent throughout the 
book. And Miss Chase lets them live their lives in their own 
wilful way. She lets them wander in and out of the story as 
they please, drinking and laughing, quarreling and calling 
for more whiskey. This book is vital, amazingly vital and 
amazingly real — Lisa's port, Webby's bread flower, Gile's 
remarks, so wonderfully obscene and cruel and amusing. All 
of them become living realities. 

It is impossible to understand just how Miss Chase has 
achieved this result. But it seems to me that it is partly due 
to a quality of effortlessness. There is nothing forced, noth- 
ing labored throughout the whole. Almost unconsciously she 
has put her vitality and her own humor into the book. Because 
she knew the Pennagans intimately, we also can know them. 
Because she loved them and laughed at them, we love them 
and laugh at them with her. And it seems to me, also,that 
there is a certain basic conception in the book which gives it 
much of its power. This is the concept that sincerity and 
loyalty are the fundamental issues of life, before which all 
conventional moral codes are subordinated. Curtis and 
Donna stand at the opposite poles in this. Giles himself is 
an appaling old sinner, an amazing liar, yet he is loyal and 
wholly sincere. You will find almost all the sins in the 
Pennagan family, but only Donna is disloyal. This subtle 
recognition of sincerity, even though it is never mentioned, 
gives to the book the possession of truth, a direct, creative 
force, vitalzing the whole. 

And so we will always carry our memories of it — the 
autumn wind, Lisa, in a blown frock, greeting Giles and Min 
and the stage coach, Curtis in her yellow dress, Giles calling 
for champagne to celebrate Min's return, Nick whooping 
back to his family and tearing off again — and through it all a 
freedom of thought and a freedom of creation that has at- 
tained much. Anne Homer '29 



THE ISLAND WITHIN 

Ludwig Lewisohn Harpers 1928 

Can our individualistic and introspective age produce an 
epic? Can a modern author transcend himself and his little 
materialistic world to the epic scope with its time feeling and 
heroic breadth? 



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The Smith College Monthly 51 

That Ludwig Lewisohn's The Island Within is intended 
as an epic is evident, both from the author's preface, and from 
its subject matter. Here is presented the story of a Jewish 
family in its wandering from Russia where its prestige had 
been established, to Germany where much of its individuality 
is swamped, and finally to New York City where the vestige 
of its racial consciousness balks at assimilation. 

But Lewisohn's conception of generation succeeding 
generation is dramatic rather than epic or panoramic. Tie 
portrays only the crises in the lives of his successive characters, 
not the even tenor of their living or their more universal 
emotions which bind one age to another. To him, the in- 
dividual is too murningly important to be subordinated to the 
time chain, to the struggle of heridity and environment. On 
the contrary, the epic writer must survey the whole sea of 
time, not the crest or valley of a single wave. 

The epic, furthermore, cannot regard all individuals as 
important in themselves, as does Lewisohn. For it works 
with the dream-stuff, the ideals of a people, and with char- 
acters superlative in greatness, goodness, or even in wicked- 
ness. The Island Within lacks, consequently, the epic unity, 
usually obtained through one grandly dominating figure. 
Only the epic unity of strong racial feeling is here present. 

Although Mr. Lewisohn has not succeeded in his de- 
clared intention, nevertheless he has created a novel of in- 
dubitable merit. His thorough comprehension of the psycho- 
logy of the Jew. particularly of the Jew in American, enables 
him to create characters of a fiery intensity and to present 
problems whose depth and insolubility yawn like dark abysses 
before the cold light of reason which the author attempts to 
focus upon them. Anthropology and sociology may deny 
the existence of a Jewish racial type, but Mr. Lewisohn re- 
cognizes and poignantly portrays the seemingly inherent race 
feeling, and its fight against assimilation. His eye. keen for 
the dramatic, selects situations like the parental reception of 
the two exogamic marriages and the position of the Jewish 
doctor in the state asylum, and makes of them unforgetable 
pictures, through his concrete realism and his minute char- 
acterization. 

Without a doubt this book is more carefully written, 
more reflectively conceived, than Lewisohn's other novels. 
Lewisohn, the propagandist, is calmed by the age and 



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The Smith College Monthly 53 

breadth of the grievance to which he is giving utterance. He 
is writing the modern "epic" of his own people, and his man- 
ner derives loftiness from his intent. Unlike his earlier and 
more subjective novels, this book has a plan, and a big plan, 
and its parts are introduced by philosophic generalizations, 
certainly not unsuccessful. The Island Within deserves more 
consideration than we should, at first, think warranted to the 
author of the somewhat sensational Upstream and the slip- 
shod Don Juan. 

Ethel Polacheck '29 




BOARD 

OF 
EDITORS 




Vol. XXXVII DECEMBER, 1928 No. 3 

EDITORIAL BOARD 

Editor-in-chief, Anne Lloyd Basinger, 1929 

Managing Editor, Ernestine Gilbreth, 1929 

Book Review Editor, Elizabeth Botsford, 1929 

Katherine S. Bolman, 1929 Priscilla S. Fairchild, 1930 

Elizabeth Wheeler, 1929 Elizabeth Sha^v, 1930 

Rachel Grant, 1929 Martha H. Wood, 1930 

Sallie S. Simons, 1930 

Art — Nancy Wynne Parker, 1930 

BUSINESS STAFF 

Business Manager, Sylvia Alberts, 1929 

Mary Sayre, 1930 Anna Dabney, 1930 Mary Folsom, 1931 

Agnes Lyall, 1930 Esther Tow, 1931 Sarah Pearson, 1931 

Advertising Manager, Gertrude Cohen, 1929 

Assistant Advertising Manager, Lilian Supove, 1929 

Circulation Manager, Ruth Rose, 1929 



The Smith College Monthly is published at Northampton, Mass., each month from 

October to June, inclusive. Terms $2.00 a year. Single copies 25c. 

Subscriptions may be sent to Sylvia Alberts, 12 Fruit Street, Northampton. 

Advertising Manager, Gertrude Cohen, Capen House 

Contributions may be left in the Monthly box in the Note Room. 

Entered at the Post Office at Northampton, Mass., as second class matter. 

Metcalf Printing $ Publishing Company, Northampton, Mass. 

"Accepted for mailing at special rate of postage provided for in Section 1203, 

Act of October S, 1917. Authorized October 81, 191S.'" 



All manuscript should be typewritten and in the Monthly Box by the fifteenth 
of the month to be considered for the issue of the following month. 
All manuscript should be signed with the full name of the writer. 



DON'T BE THROWN ABOUT! 

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WITH CARELESS DRIVING! 

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OF YOUR SERVICE 

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AM) NOTE TIIK DIFFERENCE" 




CONTENTS 




Cover Design 

"How Many Mn.es to Babylon?" 

The Fatal Journey 

Inheritance 

Thirteen 

One Afternoon 

Chopping Wood 

Book Reviews: 

The Hamlet of A. MacLeish 

Lily Christine 

The Father 

"A Rover I Would Be" 



Nancy Wynne Parker, 1930 

Pris cilia Fair child, 1930 5 

Elizabeth Botsford, 1929 S 

Sallie S. Simons, 1930 20 

Ernestine Gilbreth, 1929 21 

Emilie Heilpin, 1931 25 

Elizabeth Shaw, 1930 29 



35 
45 
47 
51 






The Monthly 

takes pleasure in annoucing 

that Mrs. Curtiss 

has been made advisor lo the board. 







^AT THE MASQUERADE 

LADY CYNTHIA Milord, you're a perfect Chesterfield... 

LORD CHESTERFIELD Milady, every Chesterfield is perfect! 



Chesterfield cigarettes are mild . . . not 
strong or harsh. Chesterfield cigarettes have 
character . . . they are not insipid or tasteless. 

The tobaccos in Chesterfield cigarettes are 



blended and cross-blended in a different way 
from other cigarettes and the blend can 'tin copied. 
They are MILD . . . yes, mild enough for 
anybody . . . and yet . . . they SATISFY. 




Lfccrrr & Myeju To»acco Ca 




Smith College 
Monthly 




"HOW MANY MILES TO BABYLON?" 

Priscilla S. Fairchild 



Ij^lHE train was clicking along the track to a rhythm syn- 
|vl/| copated by grunts and squeaks and groans. Back 
g§§a over mv head my lifted hand touching the fuzzy sticky 
plush, and higher still the slick metal stippled to imitate 
wood. I realized suddenly where I was. We stopped, and 
pushing up the shade I saw a man's face and hand caught, 
transfixed in the light of an oil lantern that modeled the con- 
tours, and etched in sharp relief the edges of his features 
against the blackness. Hoarse cries of men's voices, the hiss- 
ing of steam, and ponderous thumps echoed in darkness that 
was like the concave, hollowed back-drop of a theatre, the 
setting for a symbolical mystery play, in which the effects 
though important are muted, subordinate to the drama of 
the central spectacular figure, in this case the man whose 
lifted lantern had sharpened and defined himself. Chief, 
then, among the confused impressions I bore as the train 
lurched forw r ard again, was this sight of an unknown man, 
who by some trick of circumstance had become the central 
figure in a play whose significance I could never understand, 
whose lines I should never know, however passionate the 
drama, whose end, like its beginning, would be no less a 
secret to me, because I had glimpsed a single illuminated 
moment. 

The train was rushing on again with a rhythmic clack- 
clack against the rails, swinging on their hooks my flopping 
clothes, those extra-ordinary ghosts whose life and colour 



6 The Smith College Monthly 

and motion is only borrowed from the flesh which they rover. 
Yet now in their loose slackness I saw a certain dangling 
reminiscence of myself, as a sick man in his fever detaches 
himself from his body and looking at it from a height sees it 
thin and empty as an old sack and yet undeniably his. 

Into my mind made vacant by the speed, the noise urged 
an old jingle. 

"I low many miles to Babylon? 
Three-score miles and ten. 
Can 1 get there by candle-light? 
Yes. and hack again." 

Drugged, numb, body lulled to a trance by the swift on- 
rush through the night, my mind became as fleet, and spun 
off through incredible distances. 

1 saw all the intense thin youth of a nation riding swift 
as .March wind, bright and boisterous as March sunlight, 
towards an unknown city, whose brilliance and glamour had 
spread as far as coloured autumn leaves blown down the 
dusty highways. Eager boys with hair blown back like a 
saint's in a stained-glass window, reined in their horses at 
the cross-roads with nervous fingers, and leaned out of the 
saddles to ask breathlessly, "How many miles to Babylon?" 

The answer, dry. laconic, bored, of a man who had seen 
so many rushing headlong for the city of high places, had 
stormed there himself, dry-lipped and wide-eyed. once. was. 
"Three-score miles and ten." 

"Can I get there by candle-lighl ?" 

Oh. hurry, hurry, old fool! There is no time to waste! 
We must he in Hahylon by candle-light, when the music be- 
gins, and rustlingly, languorously, the thin blue haze of even- 
ing thickens in pools down curving streets. To Babylon— 
to Babylon ! 

Slow, ironically mocking, there is an answer, "Yes, and 
hack again." 

lie came back, they all come hack from Babylon, and 
life goes on as it was before, Leaving a dry ashy taste now 
and then, and there is the desert to cross before you gel home. 
the sandy, metallic desert between Babylon, hoi and wild 
as a flame, and the cool streams and green fields of home. 



I had dozed the thick unnatural sleep engendered by an 
unaccustomed hed and strange surroundings, and with all 



The Smith College Monthly 7 

the queer sensations accompanying such an awakening, I 
stirred again and pushed up the shade. We were crossing 

the desert; and between the sand-hills and dunes of distorted 
shapes, pushed around by a careless wind, peered curious 
mesas, sand-eroded to figures easily interpreted into animal 
and human likenesses. A red and flattened moon was set- 
ting. The effect was as artificial and theatrical as a fiat seen 
in naked electricity, waiting behind the scenes for the next 
shift. In its very overwhelming impressiveness, the appear- 
ance of the land was stupid, too crude, too obvious. Tired 
and disgusted, I tried to imagine the ranch to which Ave were 
going. 

Would the mountains be bronze-tipped at sunset, like 
flaming lance-heads, purple-shadowed at dawn in their secret 
hollows, when the white mist curled up and was licked away 
from the river, as the sun in its rising drew up to us the smell 
of sage-brush and hot dust? Would the tremendous high- 
piled clouds, so different from those in the east, hang mo- 
tionless overhead until, borne lower and lower by their 
weight, they struck the flank of a hill, and were changed mi- 
raculously to an army of gray spearmen, bearing each a tilt- 
ed gray spear, and sweeping slowly from our sight each series 
of rises until they overwhelmed us in turn, bounding the vis- 
ible world to a narrow radius, moved forward with us? 
Would I know the insane love of terrific heights and depths, 
thin cold air, through whose transparency hot sunlight 
poured? Would there be new sensations, the prelude to 
which I had already faintly experienced this night? Drawn 
taut with a string of expectancy, woven of the promise of 
three months' .intimacy with strange people in an unknown 
place, I fell asleep, later, as the thumping wheels pounded 
out,. 

"How 7 many miles to Babylon? 
Three-score miles and ten. 
Can I get there by candle-light? 
Yes, and back again." 



The Smith College Monthly 



THE FATAL JOURNEY 
Elizabeth Botsford 



IV^lHERE had been a time when the world went only as 
|V^| far as the end of the street where the heavy trees moved 

rv£Sl together, and a horse and wagon disappeared strangely 
as though they had fallen into emptiness. It had been a 
small and comfortable world. The sun rose at one end and 
set at the other, apparently with no other purpose than to 
wake her in the morning and to send her to bed at night. No 
one else lived in the world but her mother and father and 
sister, the neighbors and half a dozen straying inquisitive 
dogs. Other people passed as shadows along the street, did 
not trouble her and left no trace upon her eonsciousness when 
they had gone. She had been completely satisfied with her 
world, with its soft lawns, dusty baek fences and strawberry 
patches, with its empty lot, its trees and the row of eool 
dark houses whose doors stood always open to her. Hut even 
before she began, daringly, to add block after city block to 
her private world by timorous exploration and thrilling dis- 
covery; even before she recognized the blurred memories of 
woods steeped in shadows and of a yellow road over a hill, 
not as dreams but as realities, — the western end of the street 
had held her with a peculiar fascination. She had stood on 
the horse-block many times wondering what happened to the 
crippled postman when he limped past the last house that 
she could see. over the world's cd^v. There was nothing 
beyond. She could not conceive of things unseen existing. 
Yet the next morning he came baek. Casually, too, as 
though to step over the end of things and return were noth- 
ing more unusual than to deliver mail at her front door. And 
the sun. every night, settled down softly into the trees and 
into that mysterious distance, drawing after it its slanting 
amber. The sun. too. came back in the morning unchanged. 
There was an inconsistency in her world which puzzled her 

vaguely. She had thought, holding her breath, of what would 
become of her if she walked westward until the street 



The Smith College Monthly 9 

dropped away beneath her feet, and then stepped beyond. 

Before she had quite collected the courage to march 
away from her familiar yard on this perilous adventure, she 
was told that the world was round, twenty four thousand 
five hundred miles in circumference, and swarming with 
people. From then on it grew daily about her, it never 
ceased. It stretched out of her grasp proportionately as she 
learned more and more about it. It reached terrible dimen- 
sions. She was never just as happy as she had been when the 
world was only ten or twelve blocks long, with so few in- 
habitants that she knew them all. 

There was always, however, the road west. It had now, 
with her vast knowledge of the city blocks, the miles, even 
the states that lay far along it, the most exciting possibilities. 
She imagined it running out over the bluffs past the farms and 
the towns that she knew now, across Minnesota which was 
tan on the school map, across yellow South Dakota into 
Montana. A long road curving around the elbow of a hill, 
dumping into an empty ravine and stretching out thin and 
breathless over wind-scraped prairies. Always following the 
sun. Xight after night she watched the sun go down over 
this first mile or so of that infinite road, and it seemed to 
draw her westward as it gathered in its slow oblique light. 

She began to learn about that far country, that it was 
open and full of sunlight, that beyond long prairies were 
mountains called the Rockies and they were many times 
larger than her Minnesota hills. She had stared at the bluffs 
across the river and had tried to imagine them reared up to 
immense heights. It was impossible. One day she had found 
a picture of a tall sharp crag with a patch of snow in the 
hollow of its shoulder and a lake at its feet that echoed its 
jagged height in a windless surface. And the sudden beauty 
had made her cold. She had hung it over her bed where she 
could see the moon upon it as she went to sleep, and where the 
sun lingered over it in the morning. It found a deep and 
secret place in her heart. 

With an insatiable desire she began to amass her know- 
ledge of this western land. She sat for hours over boldly 
covered novels, thick histories and biographies; and when 
she was interrupted she came back hundreds of miles and 
through many years to do as she was bid. She picked up 
the fragments of stories that men let fall from their lips 



10 The Smith College Monthly 

with careless tobacco smoke, hoarding them with the same 
indefatigable eagerness with which she hoarded pictures of 
cattle, cowboys, horses and wild game. The names of 
pioneers sang in her cars, and their gallant figures rode her 

imagination, hooted and spurred. Dan'l Boone, Lewis and 
Clarke, Kit Carson and Fremont, Davy Crockett and Buffalo 
Bill strange wayward figures whose Homeric deeds left 
her stirred and restless. Perhaps they wakened in her the 
blood tradition of her family which, on one hand, had brought 
her fathers people from the comfortable eastern eoast to 
the middle west early in the- nineteenth century; and. on the 
other, had sent her mother's brother to the fickle climate of 
.Montana where crops, eat tie and sheep failed one after an- 
other hut the ranchers stayed, half enchanted by the lonely 
inclement country. She did not know why she must go west. 
She only recognized that there was something within her 
clamouring to he satisfied, and that she would never he happy 
until she had followed the beckoning road that led past her 
own door. 

It was more than romance that had obsessed her. When- 
ever she had looked at the picture over her bed, silence had 
fallen around her. The same perfect silence that she knew 
too well from the river, the soundless harmony of nature 
undisturbed and at peace, of all life in such exquisite and 
faultless vibration that the result was not sound hut silence, 
deep, mellow and precious. She had been too much alone as 
a child, perhaps ever to he happy with many people. She 
half resented them because they brought noise and confusion, 
shattering the spell which had fitted her into the pattern of 
nature so that she was conscious of herself only as part of a 
summer day. made of its heat and its slow sifting motion, 
falling through sunlight as a particle of dust, with that de- 
finiteness and completeness of existence. She had been torn 
from that charm to he brought up as a normal child, hut the 
tal I (is of her other self were there reaching out to he welded 
again with nature. The silence of those remote mountains 
whispered promises of this fulfillment. (She had no thought 
of this at the lime. | 

Then, suddenly, she was fourteen. And at fourteen she 
wcnl west, even beyond Dakota to the Rockies. It was the 
culmination of years of an insistent desire, hut she realized 

later that it was much more than that. It was the most 



The Smith College Monthly 11 

momentous thing in her life. All the night before they left, 
she could not sleep but lay awake in the dark trembling 
strangely, with some dim sense that an emptiness within her 
would soon be filled. She did not know why she should be 
so affected. There were still uppermost in her mind, the 
cherished romantic conceptions of the west. She did not 
analyze why she should feel physically weak with impatience, 
and sick with the intensity of her anticipation. She did not 
guess what the journey would mean, how much she would 
lose of contentment, and how much more she would gain. 
She finally slept, and dreamed of riding alone in a high still 
place. 

Afe jfe <fc >fc ik, 

Remembering her first journey west, the realization of 
its significance had followed slowly the sense impressions 
which remained in her mind too clear for peace, even years 
after. The full value and fatality grew upon her as time 
passed, gathering power as she gathered age, and heightening 
her memories until they filled her with an unbearable ache. 
She found that she was bound unalterably with that distant 
country by some tie that she could never fully comprehend. 
Each time she went back it tightened about her. She knew 
now that she would never be free from it. And although it 
seemed only yesterday that for the first time she had watched 
from a train window the dusty Dakota towns shrivel out of 
sight, this unvoiced tenuous sorrow of separation from the 
west had lain for an incalculable length of time in her heart. 

She had been fourteen, that first unforgettable time. 
For her in that unwise carefree period of her life, there was 
glamour in the rhythmic whirr of train wheels, in dining cars 
and long green folds of a railroad ticket. And she was in a 
country twice enriched for her because of the years she had 
dreamed of it. Montana — lingering Spanish syllables, deep 
and poignant in their domination over her. She sat on the 
rear platform and tried to look both ways at once. They had 
left the willow green banks of the Milk River, the cattle 
grazing on low swells, the horses knee deep in water holes, 
crowded together to keep off flies with their restless tails. A 
rider along a sun-dried road waved his hat to her, and they 
left him behind quickly, riding at a jog trot to the small 
metal chatter of his spurs. The country rose with the climac- 
tic grace of a slowly rising wind. The green hills rolled up 



1 2 The Smith College Monthly 

to wooded foot-hills which, in turn, swept upward to the sky- 
line- abuptly. Behind the sharp fir heights was a pause of 
misl The train climbed, puffing. 

She remembered, even, thai they had eaten an early sup- 
per that day. From he' dining car windows, she' had 
watched the- sun prostrate itself reverently in a dark-laven- 
der hank of clouds. Then some' one' said with a strange note* 
of joy in his voice "Look, the' mountains." And the- clouds 
were- not clouds at all. They began to take- a definite' and 
massive shape-, moving forward out of a remote mist. Snow- 
caps appeared with relucani majesty, but their soft brilli- 
ance shifted like- a chamelon. They had. with all their hulk. 
a fragility. She- half expected them to fade' away again like 
a mirage. "The' mountains" another person repeated with a 
fading inflection of awe. So the weary out-rider of a wagon 
train must have' murmured to himself when he first saw them 
shaping before him out of the' haze', quietly opening up their 
deep beauty to recompense and comfort his fatigue. So he 
must have whispered, only more- gratefully, she thought, be- 
fore he' Sung back his triumphant shout to those- who fol- 
lowed, blind with travel. "The mountains". . . .She stared 
and could not comprehend. No one talked now. no one- read 
or played his tired game of cards. All sat close to the win- 
dows, eagerly. The mountains had east a religious spell 
over them all. The sun paused to lay its shining sac-rific-c on 
the- high spotless alters and then, suddenly, was gone. The 
shadows crowded together like' tall solemn monks. 

The train crept slowly, abjectly, over forested plateaus 
to the foot of the- mountains. She could feel the night air 
reaching timidly into (he stuffy cars. The darkness came 
down with a Sigh, and when they stopped at the' station the 
moon was up. higher and clearer than she had ever known it 
before. (The memory of this was disturbingly sharp to her, 

bringing hack the same physical exultation.) From the 1 mom- 
ent thai she had stood on the' wooden platform at Glacier 
thai night years ago, she was never again the' same' person. 
She had stepped into some ouc\ great cool arms. The dark- 
ness was Hung about her like- a crystalline cloak, and the 
fragrancy of virgin pines freshened by snow was a scarf for 
her throat. In the immense stillness the panting engijie and 
the voices «>f men were lost, they were as pine' needles falling 
through deep shadows. Before her the' mountains reared 



The Smith College Monthly 13 

up broad shoulders and great bare heads. Without a word 
they greeted her generously. Without motion they took her 
into themselves. 

She was fourteen And there were the looming 

figures of Indians with beaded shirts and tall nodding 
feathers. She could hear the soft booming toms-toms stac- 
catoing the wailing minor of Indian voices, and spurs trail 
ing over the wooden steps. She could see a tall hat in the 
starlight or the metal ornament on a pair of chaps. Beyond 
the station a white pony glimmered in the dark, and the 
splotch of color on another's rump. There was the continu- 
ous melody of horses' hoofs on the hard road, the waver of 
fires in between the shadowy tepees of the Indian encamp- 
ment. Always the swift clarity of the air filling her entire 
body. Impressions descended upon her keenly, etching 
themselves forever on her memory. (Even now, recalling 
that night, they returned to her, bodily, filling her with an 
ache of loneliness.) This one brief draught of mountain 
night alone had repaid her for the years of waiting. 

There was a mountain outside her window. She could 
not sleep for watching how the trees grew blackly up its 
steep sides, and how it seemed to have long arms reaching 
down to draw her into their embrace. The dark wind laid 
its fingers on her heart and quickened a fever there. She did 
not guess, at the time, that she would never again be free of 
it. But outside was the promise of all she wished for in 
adventure and beauty. She slept finally to the rough mur- 
muring of a stream. And while she slept, the moonlight 
sliding down from soundless heights to her bed, bound her 
to the mountains. 

So she entered the dominion of silence. 

Against the harmonious succession of days that had 
followed there were two personalities that she remembered 
with unusual clearness. One was Jimmie, a cowboy and 
their guide. You would not have noticed him without the 
ten gallon hat he wore, or his weather-scarred chaps. He 
was small, brown and quiet, and his voice had a soft slowness 
as though he talked much to himself. Astride a horse he 
gained the dignity of height, and his motion in the saddle 
understood the rhythm in the action of the quick gray horse 
he rode. He was a man of strange accomplishments. He 



14 The Smith College Monthly 

knew swift whirling tricks with the rope that hung at his 
saddle horn, he could toss horse shoes left-handed and heat 
her. ruder his hand and spurs the most "ornery" horse 
forgot to buck, and yet his own pony came like a dog at his 
whistle. She had seen him roll a cigarette and light it with 
one match on a mountain pass where a horse staggered 
against the wind, lie knew weird Hlackl'eet legends and 
old trail songs that had no beginning nor end. She could 
almost hear his sturdy nondescript voice and see him riding 
before her through the pungent brush that stood as high as 
his head. 

"Oh. I am a Texas cow hoy, 
Far away from home, 
I f ever I get hack to Texas 
I never more will roam. 

Montana is too cold for me 

And the winters are too long; 

Before the round-ups do hegin 

Our money is all gone." 
And bending over his pony's neck at a steep scramble over 
rock ledges — 

"Work in Montana 

Is six months in the year; 

When all your hills are settled 

There is nothing left for beer." 
High in the windy sunshine above the timber line— 

''Come all you Texas cowboys 

And warning take from me, 

And do not go to .Montana 

To spend your money free. 

Hut stay at home in Texas 

Where work lasts the year around. 
And you will never catch consumption 
By sleeping on the ground. " 

There were innumerable verses, and many other songs of 
equal length. 1 1 is memory was remarkable. One track in 
the mud was a story to him, and he could spot a mountain 
goal high on the rocks miles away. If he cursed fluently 
when the horses strayed into the jack pines and tangled 



The Smith College Monthly 15 

them selves in their reins, he remembered to say "ma'am" 
before a lady. He had herded eattle for the biggest ranch 
in Texas, and had broken three ribs at the Pendleton Round- 
up. If she had seen him in a crowd, she would not have 
looked at him twice. But she still saw him flapping his hat 
at her as he dead-headed some loose horses down an empty 
road, swinging to the light trot of his gray pony and grin- 
ning goodby. She would probably never meet him again, 
but she could not lose him. 

With Jimmie she associated the strawberry roan, be- 
cause Jimmie had led him up one morning for her to ride. 
"I've named him the 'Gentleman' " he said, and she knew 
from the tone of his voice that he liked he roan, 
"because he's the politest horse I've handled for a long time.'' 
It was the roan's first year on the mountain trails, (the brand 
was fresh and deep on his flank) and he remembered still 
the prairies and the freedom of his youth. A flat stretch 
lured him to a gallop, and there w r as a cock-sure swagger to 
his gait that steep switch-backs had not worn away. He had 
no claim to beauty. He was lean and raw-boned, scrawny 
at the neck and shaggy fetlocked; but he was lithe like a 
cougar, and as precise with his feet as a pianist is with his 
fingers. His coat was the color of dusty strawberries. He 
loved the long upward pull of the trail, the jagged corners 
over emptiness, the valley floors deep in grass where he could 
roll and run, and the buffeting mountain streams where a 
horse had to fight to keep his footing. He had a pleasant 
way of flicking back an ear attentively if you spoke to him. 
And no matter how long the day's travel, he was always 
ready to race for the home corral. She had ridden many 
horses since, but she did not forget the strawberry roan. 

Strange — how vividly the sense impressions came back 
to her, more clearly than the memory of people that she had 
met. The waking up the first morning to the rattle of hoofs 
under her window, the impatient gallop of a horse straining 
on tight reins ; the blanket of pine-cool air that lay over her 
bed; the sure thrilling knoAvledge of the day that was be- 
fore her. She lived through that day again. Xow it was 
symbolic for her. 

The morning had been hard to bear, it was so beautiful. 
They found the dew thick upon the grass, the clear chill of 
night hanging reluctantly in the shadows and the mountains 



J 6 The Smith College Monthly 

sheering up from their feel breathlessly. Jimmie waited for 

them patiently, cocked on the hitching rail with dangling 
hooted feet. Half a dozen ponies waited too. each tied by 
the reins to the other's saddle horn. The packs were fastened 
behind the cantles, the stirrups adjusted. Then the horses 
fell quietly into line behind Jimmie's small quick-moving 
gray, and they jogged out past the corrals, past the Indian 
encampment, past the ranger's shack to a slow swell of the 
mountain. 

They climbed gradually through blossoming thickets 
and meadows of daisies and lupine, with a quiet squeak of 
saddle leather and the light thudding of hoofs on the springy 
trail. The wind from remote ice fields cleared the last wisps 
of sleep from their eyes. Outlines were clean and hold in 
the morning,— the abrupt ridge of the mountain, the jagged 
profile of a pine against the sky. the smooth gray curve of a 
boulder and the petals of a wild rose beside the trail. It was 
all real and tangible, all comprehensible to her in those early 
brilliant hours. 

But soon conversation trailed away like a morning mist. 
They lost sight of the hotel roofs, pushing through the in- 
terlacing darkness of underbush and trees. The sunlight 
reached them in oblique smoky shafts, its warmth was remote 
and wavering. They were immersed in delicate forest night. 
She felt a change creeping over her as though the shadows 
were transforming her. She could not remember how she 
had rationalized that first bewildering sensation of re-encoun- 
tering silence. Perhaps she was a ghost wandering dimly in 
a world of tapering heights. Perhaps she was real and this 
was only the passionate imagery of desires still unrealized. 
perhaps she was only dreaming that she was here. Or else 
she was a misfit, too concrete, too prosaic for this place where 
a pine needle falling was a single note in some immense 
melody of years. And it was only this that within her 
something long dormant was struggling again for life, thrust- 
ing aside the neat barriers which society had set up against it 
and pouring forth into the slow light of the forest. 

They rode on boldly. 

She could not think any longer. A hundred sensuous 
impressions drowned thought and SO permeated her body 
that always she could recall them as sharply, as physically 
.•is she had first experienced them. The sweet rankness of 



The Smith College Monthly 17 

dead pine needles, of ferns and mosses in blind hollows, of a 
redolent vine crushed under a horse's hoof. The cool wet 
smell of a stream reaching her even before the sound of its 
water, a eold splatter on her face as the horses wallowed 
through the deep of the ford. She felt again the strong 
movement of the roan between her knees, the quick sturdy 
action of head and haunches as he elambered up a steep 
turn. The sensation of being earried steadily higher and 
higher into sunlight and increasing heat. 

Past the timber line the loose shale glared in the morn- 
ing, over-grown in dark ragged patches with jack pines 
flattened down by endless winds. Far behind them the hotel 
roofs appeared again, and the thin shining line of the rail- 
road. Eastward, Montana spead out like a relief map, the 
Bear Paws lost in a pallid blue haze, The trail led along the 
crest of the mountain. Here the hot sunlight was brilliant 
and hostile, the peaks closed in menacingly. For a terrible 
moment she felt absolutely alone, penetrating with colossal 
nerve an Olympian height. There had been nothing in her 
life to prepare her for this sudden revelation of distance, of 
tremendous beauty. She had been taught other dimensions, 
other values. For a brief space of time she w r as afraid. The 
little lessons she had learned could not explain this tall wind- 
burned peak, or the blue ranges that stood before her, hold- 
ing tight to their hearts their deep emerald valleys and snow- 
rimmed lakes. And the nameless portion of her which under- 
stood, could not speak. She was only something alien in a 
sacred land, violating world-old laws of beauty and silence. 

But cheerfully Jimmie led the way down the other side, 
along a narrow trail where the shale that a horse kicked over 
the edge fell a thousand feet down, where a lake at the 
bottom looked like a silver puddle. He even sang an old 
cowboy song, and the impudent smoke from his cigarette 
veered out over space. Valleys slid away beneath them. 
They edged upland meadows partially covered with ancient 
snow. One low cloud scuttled before them. 

Xoon was a reality, with the coffee boiling over a small 
fire, and the earth's strong inn under oip' head. A stunted 
pine with sagging branches made a tent of shade and fra- 
grance from the pressing warmth of the sun. She slept, and 
when she awoke the mountains had made peace with her and 
had taken her into their confidence. Thev offered them- 



18 The Smith College Monthly 

selves to her as a girl offers herself to her lover, showing her 

their most secret beauties. She had no fear now. Some- 
how while she had slept, that imprisoned part of her had 
escaped completely and had been made whole again. She 
was no longer herself. She was a pull' of shadow on a bald 
crag, a finger of sunlight in dense pine branches, the froth 
of melted snow spilling down through steep grasses. She 
was one with the shale dust in high places that knew only 
sunlight. She was one with the shining headed loam that 
an old tree uprooted when it fell. She had been born when 
these- were born. She eould not die while they remained. . . . 
While she had slept she had regained her heritage. 

The afternoon passed dimly, in a golden haze. She re- 
membered long trails twisting downward, the soft chill that 
stretched a hand up to her compassionately as they neared 
the tree line again, and the plunge from sunlight into shadow. 
There were vague impressions of the dappled rump of a 
fawn disappearing into a thicket, a bear's awkwardness as it 
lumbered across the trail, the chatter of a red squirrel on a 
log. magnified in the silence. The constant rush of a water- 
fall, muffled by trees. She had so expanded and merged 
into her surroundings that she filled this world, knowing it 
all. part of its perfection. . .She existed only in her realization 

of her own existence The sunlight shrank until it 

touched only the tree tops, the scarred crags and paused 

tremulously. 

The horses were tired. They moved slowly and patient- 
ly, but once on the thick green floor of the valley they broke 
into a shuffling trot. A deep sapphire lake appeared mir- 
aculously with the mountains rearing up to enormous peaks 
around it like tall guards standing over a priceless treasure 4 . 
A lew shacks huddled in their heavy shadows. Coolness 
bathed her face and throat. Her horse' nickered and shook 
into a canter. 

The night came down with an infinite' gracious silence; 
fitting into every crevice and hollow. There was a hush as if 
the lake- and mountains were' waiting. The 1 stars were' bright 
points of expectancy. Then slowly the' moon rose', flushed 
and full, and e-ame- to the darkness. 'The' water washed softly 

alone the rocky beach, a fish broke* the' surface and the' nifihl 
flatly. Prom a moon-lit meadow fell a slow t*l ink-clink as 
the bell man- moved in her grazing. 



The Smith College Monthly 19 

She went to sleep with a new knowledge of peace. 

All night the moon wheeled over her, holding her in his 
magnetic silver gaze. And though her body slept, she 
watched the moon lay his pale hand benificently on one peak 
after another, and withdrawing it tenderly, leave them to the 
still blue dawn that followed, lifting up his dark train. She 
saw the dew pour upward into the grass and hang quivering 
to the imperceptible rhythm of the earth. She knew how 
the mountains drew the night about them, loving it, and then 
tossed back the black robes splendidly to meet the day that 
sidled over the plains to fawn upon their somber majesty. 
And how the sun rushed upon them with long golden strides. 

The days passed, and the weeks. She had found again 
the happiness of a child, the wise joy that is one's birth right. 
It did not seem that this could end, any more than it was 
possible that season should not follow season, merging and 
changing but continuing endlessly, faultlessly. She lived, 
breathing deeply. All that bound her in the fetters that 
men inflicted upon themselves, she recognized dimly and ac- 
cepted as inevitable; but for herself, she was free. She had 
lost all conception of time and circumstance. She was com- 
pletely in harmony with nature, keen to its beauty and to its 
sanctity, unconsciously filled with its eternity. 



V > 



But the end came, like a blow in the face. And when 
she climbed into the hot train again, she felt that she was 
dying. She took one long look at the mountains. They 
stood as she had seen them that first night, with their arms 
open wide. The cool wind was seaching for her throat, the 
moonlight was waiting for her shadow, and the trails resting 
for the slow hoofs of her horse. And she would not be with 
them to know their great enchantment. She looked deeply 
that she might keep the memory forever. 

The train swayed downward to the plains and the night 
hid the mountains from her straining eyes. She was gone 
before she knew her sorrow for a reality. She has left the 
silent altars where she had worshipped in tranquillity. They 
were for other eyes now, and other hearts. They were for 
the day and night to know and love. She would be forgotten 
as a passing wind is forgotten when it has ceased to stir the 
sharp points of the pines. She was gone, body and mind, 



20 The Smith College Monthly 

all of her thai had a name, back to the intricacies of a man- 
made world. Hut something remained, something that had 

hern set free into the golden depths of a mountain noon. This 
strange, inexplicable part of her clung to the heavy grass of 

valleys, to the spray from an impetuous stream, and was still 
alive in the dripping sunlight of the day and in the- pause, the 
kneeling pause of the night. It left a nameless pain where 
it had been, close to her heart. She guessed, prophetically, 
that the pain would always he there, that she had reached a 
perfect happiness which she would not find elsewhere. That 
wherever she went, whatever she did. these memories would 
follow her to torment her with their (lawlessness. She would 
go hack to the river, to the quiet Minnesota hills and they 
would not satisfy her. She would ride empty country roads 
and I'eel only the contrast. She had paid an enormous price 
for her joy and her religion. It had been a fatal journey 
from which she returnd forever changed. Hut she had been 
elose to the fundaments and the truth of life. She had 
achieved a complete harmony of existence. The experience 
and the memories were worth the sacrifice. 
She knew' all this. And it was so. 



[NHERITANCE 

Sam, ik S. Simons 



I have a chain from you. 

Of red-gold, four times linked 

II lies in long lluenl eoils in my hand. 
Light, almost withoul substance; 

Hut when its meshes. Palling, interwine, 
I start at the muted sound within them, 

A sound as of Hat brasses struck in a Burmese temple 

Years ago w hen il was found. 

I have a chain from you whom I can never see. 

Hut whom I know. 



The Smith College Monthly 21 



THIRTEEN 

Ernestine Gilbreth 



F^ANE slipped on her pajamas and yawned loudly. She 
l^^l was half-aware of Josephine already in bed and look- 
feff&q ing expectantly toward the light. Josephine evidently 
would be in no mood for conversation. 

The house was entirely silent. Margaret the younger 
sister, had gone to her room and was doubtless undressed. 
Her light no longer sent a long yellow stream down the hall 
rug. There was no sound, not even the faint snoring that 
usually followed one of her "staying-up-nights". 

"Margaret must be asleep." Josephine spoke gently. 

"Perhaps, but I doubt it. Anyhow she looked very 
well tonight, didn't she! That blue dress is quite good; it 
hides most of the scrawniness. Thirteen' s such a grotesque 
age!" Jane hunched her knees up to her chin and stared 
thoughtfully at her mules. "Give her a couple of years, and 
a lot of those embryonic hang-overs should disappear com- 
pletely." 

"Awfully strange kid," Josephine's voice betrayed a 
certain pride. "She acts years older than we do and seems 
to have such a good time doing it." 

"She thinks she's wiser, at any rate. It's going to drive 
me crazy one of these days. One teaspoon of contempt added 
to a cup of severity and you produce the adolescent atrocity, 
vour gro wing-girl-sage. Some day I'm just going to kill 
her!" 

Josephine was trying unsuccessfully to keep her eyes 
open. "Listen, I'm awfully tired tonight. But I tell you 
this, she's much more interesting than we ever were; she has 
a much better time too. There's something rather magnificent 
about her intensity, if you don't mind." 

They were silent for a minute, both aware of an un- 
pleasant discordance, of the barrier that a discussion of 
Margaret was sure to produce. If only Josephine 
wouldn't always take her side, defend her. Well, one 
of these days perhaps she would understand, perhaps 



•>•> 



The Smith College Monthly 



tonight, any time now Jane began to look mysterious, im- 
mensely pleased with herself. 

From downstairs a clock sounded eleven dull heats. The 
vibrations echoed up and down the hall. Silence followed. 
.Jane had stiffened and was holding one long finger to her 
lips, (flaring with pleasure, she waited expectantly. 

Someone had begun to speak, complaining bitterly in 
a gruff and unpleasantly nasal voice. The sound came dir- 
ectly from Margaret's room, from the vicinity of her bed. 

Josephine jumped to attention and began a frantic 
search for her negligee. But Margaret's voice followed re- 
assuringly. "But my dear, you must realize that I'm doing 
the very best I can. Just you go to sleep now George, and 
I'll tend to it in the morning." 

George seemed to refuse to be silent. In spite of 
Margaret's tearful pleadings, her poor "Hushes", he con- 
tinned to scold and criticize. Josephine listened, her eyebrows 
contracting with horror. Margaret and a man — that child — 

Jane had ducked into her pillow and was laughing in 
great gulps of joy. "George! Isn't that the sweetest name? 
Vou know, really, it's just my favorite. He's Margaret's 
brain-child, no less, and exactly three nights old. She gave 
birth to him on Saturday, and I've been chaperoning them 
ever since." 

Josephine was beginning to understand. "The little 
devil. My God, how does she ever manage that perfectly 
fearful voice? It sounds like a radiator dragged around the 
room, clankety, clank clank. Of course I'll try to be hospit- 
able to him, but whv couldn't the kid have. thought of some- 
one more attractive?" 

"A brother-in-law and a half, if yon ask me. I always 
did hate the name "George". Say, he certainly personifies 
the overworked bureau of complaints. 1 haven't heard him 
approve of one single thing in this house. Vou should have 
heard him crabbing aboul the dessert for yesterday's lunch, 
and even that new blue evening dress of mine. As for his 
remarks on Mother and Dad I was positively shocked. 
really I was. Ifs not Margaret's fault, you understand; she 
wears herself out defending everything and everybody. I 
think she's a bit ashamed of him already. The man's simply 
outspoken and decidedly bad-tempered. As for his voice— 

They listened a minute, grinning with amusement. 



The Smith College Monthly 23 

"Catch that one, Jane/' Josephine was softly clapping her 
hands. "He believes that Margaret should pack up and leave 
home this very night. Nobody around here appreciates 
her—" 

"He does, does he?" But Margaret's whimpering, her 
desperate pleading seemed to submerge everything else. 
"But my dear, you don't seem to understand. They don't 
mean a bit of it, really they don't. If you knew them as I — " 

"The poor boob. I'll bet he wears checked suits and a 
derby." Josephine jerked her head with satisfaction. 

"It doesn't matter what he wears, "Jane's temper flared 
through her cheeks. "The point is, I'm damn sick of this sort 
of thing. It's not the first time, you know. I'm just ready 
to wring George's neck, and Margaret's too, for that matter! 
Lord, what we've been through lately! You remember the 
religious craze certainly, and the cross she used to hoist up 
on a pole every single morning. It was funny for a while." 

"But the best was Abbie. Don't you remember — our 
little colored sister? Margaret was perfectly right too. She 
couldn't have her in the house, with Mother and Dad feeling 
as strongly as they did — 

Of course not. Margaret explained that very carefully. 
But she did collect all the old dresses and make picnic lunches. 
Why, she just wore herself out. It was a "very-real-de- 
votion," shall we say?" 

"You got rid of Abbie somehow, didn't you, Jane? I've 
forgotten, but it was very clever. I've never heard her men- 
tioned since." 

"No, she died, I believe, after one of the picnic lunches. 
But the lonely place has now been filled to overflowing — " 

"By one royal gripe named — George." 

"Named George!" Jane made a violent face. "And I'm 
tired of him too, dead tired. You haven't been kept awake 
for three nights running; this is no time for being humane. 
Come on, action is what I crave. I won't have that man 
around here. I tell you, he simply infuriates me." 

Josephine was calm. "But certainly your sense of 
humor — No? Well then, I think you're acting like a fool. 
After all, you know, we're at a disadvantage, overhearing— 
'loves sweet complaints' and ail-that rot." 

"Overhearing, nothing!" Jane was almost writhing. 
"You know verv well the kid's trying to be subtle. Whv, she 



24 ... The Smith College Monthly 

wanted us to listen. Wasn't that cute? No it was not! Too 
darned obvious. 1 won't stand it either." 

Josephine had become bored. "Well, just remember 
she's only thirteen and probably having a hell of a good time. 
She'll get tired of the whole thing pretty soon and chuck 
George out. Turn off that light now and stop being tem- 
peramental." She squinted her eyes shut with an air of fin- 
ality. 

Jane stared at her a minute with blazing eyes. "All 
right." She began to mimic furiously. "Just you go to sleep 
now, George, and I'll tend to it in the morning. You bet 
I'll tend to it—" 

She sat upright for a minute, smiling with satisfaction. 

But Margaret's voice sounded sweetly from the direc- 
tion of the hall. "Yes, I always believe in talking things 
over.. Now my dear, don't you worry a minute more — 
tomorrow's always a new day." 



The Smith College Monthly 25 



ONE AFTERNOON 

Emieie Heilprin 



IICKETT and Pock and Bramble were having a holi- 
day, so they planned a picnic. 
^M^ As they walked along through the city, on the way 
to a certain meadow outside the town, they saw a large croud 
in the street. They went up to see what it was. 

It was a most unusual and unheard of thing for a mod- 
ern day and age. A wandering harpist stood in the center 
of a gaping group. He was an aged, small man, like an elf 
two or three sizes too large. And because his eyes were black 
and mocking, all the young folks liked him. Because his 
smile was slow and crinkly, all the children liked him. The 
older people liked him also, because he knew the by-gone 
songs of their youth, such as "Kelly's Blue Necktie," "Pretty 
Little Thing", and so on. 

Bramble liked the Harpist for the way his hands 
twinkled in and out among the harp strings. But she would 
have preferred him to play something other than the favorite 
songs of past youth. She said as much. 

"Oh", said the Harpist, "So you don't like these songs?" 

"No sir," answered Bramble. 

The old player began to strum out some very modern 
jazz, to the delight of the young people. Bramble, however, 
looked annoyed, and Pickett and Pock looked cross. 

"How did you like that?" the Harpist asked them when 
he had finished. 

"Not at all." they answered. 

"Ah," remarked the Harpist, and his eyes sparkled 
blacker than ever, "You are difficult to suit, But is there 
no quiet spot where I can play for you?" 

"Yes," spoke Pock quickly, "Bramble is taking us now." 

"Then let's be off." said the Harpist. But first he 
bowed solemnly to the crowd, pocketed the nickels they had 
collected and strapped his harp over his back. After this, 
the four of them inarched away. 



26 The Smith College Monthly 

"Pock and I didn't mean to be rude." apologized Bram- 
ble as they walked along." It was just that — " 

"No offense," broke in the Harpist gaily. "In fact, quite 
the opposite." 

"Why then, do you mean you don't like those songs 
yourself?" queried Bramble. 

"My business" replied the Harpist," is to give pleasure. 
Haveing pleased every one else today, I shall now try to 
please you." 

"What you play for us must be awfully different." said 
Pickett, not meaning to be conceited. 

The Harpist smiled. "This must be the quiet spot," he 
said. "It looks just right." 

They were in a wheat field which resembled a golden, 
tossing ocean. It was the sun and the wind which had worked 
the magic of this; the sun burnishing the grain brilliantly, 
and the wind billowing through it, till it had turned to gleam- 
ing waves. Farther back, out of this riotous sea, rose a hill, 
like a gaunt, black ship. The sky hung very close above, so 
that you could have poked a hole through it with your fist. 
To do this, you would have had to stand on the tip of the hill. 

The three children curled up in the most golden part. 
The Harpist sat bolt upright beside his instrument. He be- 
gan to play, making slight motion with his arms, and only 
his fingers twinkling among the harp strings, as sunlight 
twinkles through the bars of a gate. 

-'i'- ^ic 2l'. ik. ^k. 

I low long he played, Bramble could never tell. If it 
seemed a hundred years, that is not to be wondered at, for 
a summer's afternoon can be filled with a century of mellow- 
ncss. And the solemn minutes flow by too burdened with 
joy to count for less than hours. So the Harpist played for 
years, if you please, or for one afternoon. Pickett and Pock 
mikI Bramble lay motionless, listening thirstily. And as they 
listened, they watched the grace of wind-blown grasses, and 
the faint, taut veil of the sky and the constant, weaving fin- 
gers of the old man. And they forgot many things they had 
once known, but they also remembered others. 

Bramble fell into a soft, deep peace. 

Pock murmured, "Bramble has gone to sleep." And 
Picket I answered, "She might be the Sleeping Princess. Do 
you think shell lie here till a hedge grows around her?" 



The Smith College Monthly 27 

"Hush," whispered the Harpist as he went on playing. 
But Bramble did not hear them. 

vJC $L £|& ili ^L 

For she was lying on her back, torpid with lovely sensa- 
tion, as cats grow torpid with sunlight. She was trapped in 
a hopeless, mad tangle of thought, sound, sight and scent; 
the tangle that has baffled men since the beginning of con- 
sciousness. It is in striving to untangle this snarled network, 
that all the poetry of the world has been achieved. A poem 
is only one deftly-found loose end. Bramble, lying still, had 
not the strength nor skill to untangle, but only to wrap her- 
self thickly in the fine meshes of its splendour. 

It seemed to her that the sky and the grass and the trees 
and the rocks were made up of music; that each could be 
dissolved into a special song which was the fabric of its being ; 
that the universe was expainable at last, as a total symphony 
in which all things played their individual parts, solid bodies 
like rocks, with the condensed weight of ponderous themes, 
and intangible bodies like air, with the heavenly lightness of 
ethereal themes. It needed but a note, the right note, to 
melt the world into symphony and rhythm. 

Rythm was the motive power of all things. It was the 
reason people continued to progress and struggle, when all 
odds were against them. It was the reason men kept march- 
ing when their tired feet became gashed with blood. It was 
reason enough for life. 

Bramble became lapped in serenity, like a soft, warm 
blanket. The wind, with long, gentle fingers, ruffled her 
hair. The sun beat through her body as though she were 
made of cloud. 

All the afternoon the Harpist played, his melodies 
changing and blending as exquisitely as colors are blended 
in the plumage of birds. At one time, Pickett got up and 
began to dance, imitating the swaying of the wheat, for the 
Harpist had matched his playing exactly to the wind's tune. 
And Pock, at one time, began to shout, for the Harpist had 
imitated the quick tatoo of drums. And Bramble, once, be- 
gan to sing, for she couldn't keep her joy to herself, there 
was such an excess of it. The Harpist smiled a crinkly, slow 
smile when he saw them. 

Then suddenly he stopped and said, "Are you pleased?" 
The children blinked at him, but had no words to tell of their 



28 The Smith College Monthly 

pleasure', lie understood and said. 

"I'll race you to the top of that hill. One — two — 

three -" 

Off they went. There was never in a hundred years such 
a fast, light race. The four seemed to bound with swift leaps 
all the way up the gaunt black hill. When they reached the 
top. they found a sunset. 

The Harpist said, 

Now I'll play you one more song:" and he played 
them the theme of Running, which is one of the greatest 
themes known to man. On the last note lie smiled another 
slow smile and said, 

"It is getting late." 

So the three children started down one side of the hill, 
for town, turning back often to wave to the Harpist. He 
too. when they had disappeared into the distance, started 
down the hill. Hut his path lay in the opposite direction. 



The Smith College Monthly 29 



CHOPPING WOOD 

Elizabeth Shaw 



IwlHE leaden sky pressed heavily down, seeming to rest on 
V-/ the tops of the dun coloured hills. The air .was raw 
£§£§| and moist, cold, but oppressive to breathe, and abso- 
lutely still. In the yard the old man was chopping wood 
Under his axe the block was scarred and cracked by the blows 
of three generations, but it still stood steady, resisting his 
powerful attacks. Confused by the echoes that came back 
from the hills, the sounds of his chopping were continuous, 
repeating themselves indistinctly over and over. Grasping 
the heavy axe handle his hands were red, ridged with veins, 
and distorted with lumpy muscles and joints. As Rosie 
watched him from the window she fluted the edge of the torn 
curtain between her fingers, wondering at the still powerful 
shoulders that pulled the old drab sweater at every blow. His 
cheeks were red with a network of tiny veins and from under 
the boy's cap he wore pulled down over his ears hung a thick 
fringe of yellowish white hair. He had a heavy white curly 
beard. Rosie pulled at the edge of the curtain. Gramp had 
certainly chopped a lot of wood that afternoon. He liked to 
work, of course, but it hardly seemed right that he, an old 
man who should be sitting in front of the fire, should do as 
much as all that. 

From the kitchen came the sound of someone walking 
gently around. That was Gammy. Rosie had hoped that 
she would sleep until supper time but Gammy always slept 
lightly, and Rosie didn't wonder at all that chopping wak- 
ing her up. 'T would wake the dead, the noise it made. Pre- 
sently the kitchen door opened and Gammy poked her head 
out. 

"Rosie" she piped, "be you there?" 

"Yes, Gammy, I'm here." 

"Where's Gramp?" Gammy came farther into the room 
as she spoke. She was very short and almost bald, her brown 
head showing through the carefully combed strands of gray 
hair. Her face was like an old nut, wizened and covered with 



30 The Smith College Monthly 

a myriad of wrinkles, and her head nodded a little as she 

talked. 

"Can't you hear him, Gammy?" Hose answered rather 
impatiently. "You ain't deef. He's out ehoppin' again. 
He'll kill himself with all them logs." (Tammy stepped to 
the window and rapped on it with her knuckles. Gramp 
drove his axe through the pieee he was splitting and looked 
up. lie grinned at her, displaying discoloured toothless 
gums and waved his hand still bent to the shape of the axe 
handle, and then turned to pick up another log. 

"Time to come in, Gramp," Gammy called shrilly. 

"He can't hear you way out there. Do you want me to 
go out an' fetch him in? He probly won't come for me but 
I'll try. He'll be all wore out if he keeps on ehoppin' like 
that."" 

"So do," Gammy agreed, her head bobbing more vigor- 
ously, " So do." Rosie went into the kitchen, pushed the 
kettle forward on the stove, and went out the back door. In 
the dull air she paused shivering, folding her arms tightly be- 
fore her and huddling into herself. She was a tall bony 
woman of about fifty, her iron gray hair pulled back into a 
tight knob at the back of her head. In the yard were two 
piles of wood, one split and one unsplit; there was a saw 
horse, and under it a pile of raw yellow sawdust. Beside it 
stood the chopping block and the old man wedging his axe 
into a half-split log. 

"Gramp" called Rosie," It's gettin' too dark to see. 
you'd better come in." 

"Pretty soon, Rosie," he answered, "Ain't I done a lot 
of work?" 

"You done enough now, you'd better come in." 

"Pretty soon, Rosie, pretty soon." Then suddenly quer- 
ulous, "1 ain't hurtin' any one out here. Why don't you leave 
me be? I'll be in pretty soon, pretty soon." 

"Oh, all right, Gramp. Don't get mad at me. Gammy 
scut me out to tell you." Hut Gramp was not listening any 
more and her voice was drowned in the thud of wood and its 
sharp splitting sounds. She was really cold now and walked 
quickly back over the frozen ground to the kitchen door. In- 
side Gammy had scaled herself in an old rocking chair, her 
eyes had closed and she had fallen again into one of her light 
dozes. Hut at Rosie's step she opened her eyes. 



The Smith College Monthly 31 

"Ain't he comin' in?" she demanded. "They ain't no 
need for him to ehop that a way." 

"He knows it, Gammy, but he's just got his mind set 
on it and they ain't nothin' you can do. He's terrible set on 
things it seems now-a-days." But this critiscm was too much 
for Gammy. 

"Ain't you shamed to talk of your Pa that way, Rosie? 
He ain't neither too set on things. He'll be ninety this year 
and they ain't any one round as old as thet who kin chop 
wood like him. He's as spry as the day you w r as born." But 
Rosie was not listening. Imperceptibly the darkness had 
been increasing until now the corners were blocked with 
black shadows. Rosie was taking the smoke chimney off the 
lamp on the table, she shook it to see if there was any oil 
in it, turned up the charred wick and lit it. With a yellow 
gleam it flared up, making long points of shadow on the 
floor. Outside the chopping had ceased and dull sounds of 
wood against wood told the two women that Gramp was 
stacking the wood. Rosie opened the stove and put in two 
sticks from the wood box beside it. They crackled softly as 
Gammy creaked back and forth in the old rocker. Slamming 
down the stove cover with the falsely efficient air she ahvays 
assumed when taking care of the slatternly kitchen, Rosie 
remarked to Gammy: 

"Guess I'll go out and see if they's any eggs for supper." 
Gammy did not answer and Rosie left the room, going out 
through damp, cold, back passages to the shed where in the 
dry darkness the drowsy roosting fowls emitted sleepy clucks 
and gurgling noises. Reaching her hand skillfully under 
the feathers of the setting hens she felt the warm ovals of 
the eggs and pulled them out in spite of the sleepy remon- 
strances. Four eggs — that wasn't a great many, but you 
couldn't expect the fowls to lay much this time of year. Hold- 
ing them carefully she went back to the kitchen, wondering 
if Gramp had given up his foolishness and come in. 

As soon as Rosie had left the kitchen Gammy had slid 
out of her chair and walked stiffly across to the door. She 
opened it and looked out into the darkness, but her eyes 
blinded by the lamp-ligiit, could see nothing, "Pa", she called 
in a wavering voice, abandoning the "Gramp" that with the 
advent of the first grandchildren had become his name, "Pa, 
where be you? Come in, its gettin' dark." From beside the 



32 The Smith College Monthly 

wood-piles came the cheerful answer. "Don' you worrit, Ma, 
I'll be righi in. I .just aim to lay these last logs. I've split 
nigh a cord of wood altogether. You go in, you'll ketch cold/ 
Gammy went slowly hack and shut the door just as Kosic 
came hack into the kitchen. 

"You ben callin' him agin, Gammy? Wun't he come in 
yit? What ails him any how? lie never used ter act like 
this: old men don't chop wood an' work all day long. They 
should set by the lire and pest, they never can tell when they'll 
need their strength." Rosie spoke mournfully, "lie may drop 
dead any day." Gammy began to whimper. "I don't know 
what ails him. lie's that set! Oh. Lordy!" Just then Gramp 
came in. lie set his axe in the corner of the room and going 
to the sink pumped some cold water on his hands, rubbing 
them with yellow soap, saying nothing to the two women. 
Rosie had been setting three plates and some bread and but- 
ter on the table, now she took the eggs off the stove where 
they had been boiling and broke them into three white cups 
which she put on the table. In silence the three sat down to 
eat. Gramp cut off great wedges of bread which he piled 
with hut ter and gummed efficiently, while Gammy's c<x<j; ran 
in little- yellow streaks over her chin. Presently the old man 
looked up. "Ain't they no baked beans in the house. Rosie?" 
he demanded "Seems to me that this is pretty slim pickings 
for a man who's been choppin' all day." 

"No, they ain't, an' it' they were you shouldn't have any. 
You oughtn't to eat baked beans. They ain't good for a man 
of your age. An' I shouldn't he proud of that choppin' 
neither. It ain't right for you to work like that. What would 
anybody think if they saw you?" The old man said nothing. 
Kosic got up and carried the dishes over to the sink, coining 
hack lor the lamp, which she placed on a shelf over her head 
l<a\ing the two old people in comparative darkness. She 
began to wash the dishes in the cold water, then she took a 
cup and made a lit tie tea in it which she gave to Gammy, who 

drank it noisily. Presently Gramp rose and tramped up 

stairs. They heard him take oil' his hoots and put them 
heavily on the floor, and then the springs of his bed groaned 
and squeaked under his weight. 

As soon ;is he had gone up. Gammy turned to Rosie. 

"Why don't you hide his axe. Rosie, then he can't chop 

tomorrer?" 



The Smith College Monthly 33 

"He'll be awful mad", but Rosie had crossed over and 
held the heavy axe meditatively in her hand. 

"Oh, Lordy, Lordy, I know it," the old woman moaned 
to herself, "but Rosie, he'll kill himself choppin'; old men 
can't chop like that. Hide it down cellar, praps if he don't 
see it in the mornin' he'll forget about it." Rosie picked it 
up and went down cellar. When she came up again Gammy 
was asleep. She woke her and they both went up to bed. 

The next morning Rosie was waked early, Gramp was 
calling her. 

"Rosie! Rosie! Where's my axe? What you done with 
my axe? Rosie, wake up an' come down here, someone's 
stole my axe! Where is it. Rosie?" 

"Lordy, Gramp, I dunno. What do you want to chop 
for this early in the morning anyhow? Don't yell so, you'll 
wake Gammy." But Rosie rolled out of bed and putting on 
an old coat, went down stairs. The old man's face was suf- 
fused with blood and he was breathing hard. 

"You done something with my axe, Rosie. Tell me 
where it is, I gotter have my axe. Where is it?" 

"I tol' you I dunno. You don't want to chop now any- 
how. Sit down an' I'll make you some coffee". 

"I want my axe, I want my axe. What you done with 
it Rosie? You think I'm too old to chop, you hide my axe, 
you lie to me. Where is it? I'm a-going to chop wood till I 
die, I ain't old, I'm strong enough to chop. What you done 
with my axe? Give it to me, gimme my axe." He staggered 
forwards towards Rosie, his face purple and his blue eyes 
popping and blood-shot. "Gimme my axe, gimme my axe, 
gimme — " He lurched forward grasping at Rosie, and fell 
face downward on the floor, where he lay breathing stertor- 
ously. Rosie looked at him dully, then opened the door and 
ran out through the yard onto the road, muttering to himself. 
"I must get doc quick. I alius knew he'd kill hisself, doing so 
much chopin'. He should have sat by the fire and saved his 
strength. I said to Gammy last night, he should, I said he 
might fall dead, and now he has. I told him he didn't ought 
to chop so much." Her bedroom slippers flopped as she ran 
along the frozen road, breathing fast. Upstairs Gammy 
woke, listened for the chopping, and hearing none, sighed 
with relief and fell asleep again. 



34 The Smith College Monthly 



r 



BOOK REVIEWS 




THE HAMLET OF A. MacLEISII 



Houghton Mifflin Co. 1928 



We were informed a few weeks ago in one of those com- 
petitive literary conversations in which each individual tries 
to outdo the other in announcements and criticisms, that 

Archibald MacLeish had written a II (unlet. We were some- 
what horrified by this apparent sacrilege at the altar of the 
great literary deity, and since the conversation swept on 
relentlessly and would not permit our frantic questions, we 
ran down to the Bookshop, at the earliest opportunity, to see 
for ourselves if Mr. MacLeish were actually guilty of such a 
presumption. The title of his new hook quieted our per- 
turbed spirits. It was not Hamlet by Archibald MacLeish. 
It was The Hamlet of A. MaeLeish. We realized a distinc- 
tion, and with relief carried the hook home to read at leisure. 

Mr. MacLeish's daring is only to he gussed at from the 
title of liis hook. For centuries critics have puzzled over the 
mystery of Hamlet, have sensed his dark and troubled heart, 
and have written down their faltering interpretations. For 
centuries those who read Hamlet or saw it enacted before 
them, have felt the timelessness of the Shakespearean pro- 
tagonist, and, projecting themselves into his being, have 
found their sense of the incomprehensibility of life voiced 
through his eloquent lips. Many felt a kinship with the 
ghost-ridden Hamlet of the sixteenth century, hut no other 
has dared to name his hitter experience his own Hamlet. 

Archibald MacLeish recognized in himself, as in the 
Danish prince, the consciousness of the sinister and the in- 
tangible evil in the world, of the "dreams" that haunt the 
sensitive soul of a man who, hy reflection, seeks an adequate 
answer to his insistent questions. He parallels his own exis- 



The Smith College Monthly 35 

tence with the tragedy of a man of an older time, knowing 
that his fears and misgivings, his attempts to rationalize and 
understand have lain a long time in the hearts of men. The 
outward manifestations of these intimations of evil that man 
is heir to may ehange, but fundamentally they are the same. 

"No man living but has seen the king his father's ghost, 
None alive that have had words with it. Nevertheless the 
knowledge of ill is among us and the obligation to revenge, 
and the natural world is eonvieted of that enormity 

In the old time men spoke and were answered and the 
thing was done clean in the daylight. Now it is not so." 

The ghost comes directly to the Shakespearean Hamlet 
and lays before him in plain words the crime that has been 
done. The evil is translated into concrete terms. But for 
the Hamlet of A. MacLeish the revelation comes haltingly — 

"There have been men a long, long time that knew this. 
The words come to us 

Far, faint in our ears, confused. They have told us of 

Signs seen by night and the vanishing signals. They 
have told of the ominous 

Stir over the leaves and the showing among them of 

Mysteries hiding a dark thing. . . ." 
And for him there is no answer. 

By this parallel Mr. MacLeish has made a striking con- 
trast of the eternal problem of a thoughtful man in two 
widely separated ages; one embodied in actuality, the other 
forever evasive, and complicated by the over-rationalization 
of the minds in which it is conceived. That is, the Hamlet of 
this day may no longer believe in ghosts. He can explain 
them away just as he can explain the immediate causes of evil, 
of passion, and of dreams, with his vast scientific knowledge. 
But he is still haunted by ghosts. There is still for him the 
blind struggle of the Shakespearean hero translated into the 
abstract, the conflicts of emotion, the sense of the bleak over- 
whelming secret of the universe. 

We may detect in Archibald MacLeish's presentation 
of his conception certain familiar modernistic tendencies. 
These we would criticize mainly on the ground that they are 
too conventional of this" period for a piece of work which, 
although itself characteristic of this century, has also an 
element of timelessness, The greatest art is that which es- 
capes from the pattern of its age toward universality. But 



36 The Smith College Monthly 

over and above these occasional influenced passages stands 
the impassioned sincerity of the whole poem, which is enough 
in itself. There is no pose or affectation of feeling, bui rather 
a terrible frankness which scorns half measures and implica- 
tions, coupled with penetrating thought which is half divina- 
tion. We find, as in Street* of the Moon, great beauty of 
description and a delicate detail of phrasing, here electrified 
by the tremendous force of the emotion behind it. Mr. 
MaeLeislfs imaginative conceptions are expressed with re- 
markable eonereteness and symbolism — 

"Ha, hut the sun among us. . . .wearers of 
Black cloths, hearers of secrets! 
The jay jeer of the sun in the ear of our 
Pain. . . .and the nudge of the blunt pink 
Thumb troubling the pride of despair in us. . . 
Ha, but the sun in our air." 
It is this ability of his to put the nameless suggestions of his 
own mind into forms in which we may recognize their dim 
significance, which has made possible the success of his 
attempt of his Hamlet. This is his ghost — 
"Much of the time I do not think anything: 
Much of the time 1 do not even notice 
And then, speaking, closing a door, I see 
Strangely as though I almost saw now. some 
Shape- of thing 1 have always seen, the sun 
White on a house and the windows open and swallows 
In and out of the wallpaper, the noon's face 
Fainl by day in a mirror; I see some 
Changed thing that is telling, something that almost 
'Fells and Ibis pain then, then this pain. And no 
Words, only these shapes of things that seem 
Ways of knowing what it is I am knowing." 
His diction is curiously compact without giving any sense 
of being over-crowded. The history of man. "the Cloth-Clad 
Race, the People of Horses." lies in a few brief lines 

"Westward they move with the sun. Their smoke hangs 
Under the unknown skies at evening. The stars 

(io down before them into the new lands. 

Behind them the dust falls, the streams Mow clear again. 

Vultures rise from the stripped bones in the sand. 



They dwell at the last shores. Years pass. They vanish. 



The Smith College Monthly 37 

They disappear from the light leaving behind them 
Names in the earth, names of trees and of boulders, 
Words for the planting of eorn, leaving their tombs to 
Fall in the thickets of alders, leaving their fear 
Of the howling of dogs and the new moon at the shoulder, 
Leaving the shape of the bird god who delivered 
Men from the ancient ill, and under the loam their 
Bronze blades, the broken shafts of their javelins. 
They vanish. They disappear from the earth. 

And the sea falls 
Loud on the empty beaches 

and above 

The king rises. Lights, lights, lights!" 
It is difficult to put one's finger on that actual quality 
of Mr. MacLeish's poetry which embodies so completely his 
ideas. It is not merely the careful facility of his lines. It 
is a quality to be felt rather than to be put into words, lying 
in the force of the generative emotion and its lasting intensity. 
We feel this best when Mr. MacLeish keeps closely to his 
original theme. The violence of the scene in the Queen's 
Closet, which we understand ( Ave would not have realized it. 
had we not been told) is directed against the "swell guy" of 
the literary world, is discordant because it is too reminiscent 
of the kind of violence one finds in Webster or Tourneur in 
the sixteenth century. While opposed to it, the scene at 
Ophelia's burial is done with a great sincerity which is in- 
finitely more moving than the excessive brutality of the 
former passage. We feel that when Archibald MacLeish is 
least influenced and most himself, he writes poetry of extra- 
ordinary beauty of conception and expression. 

An analysis of the tragic effect of Mr. MacLeish's 
Hamlet and of Shakespeare's Hamlet is justifiable since they 
are dominated by a common theme, and illuminating since it 
reveals that the former cannot truly be called tragic. Shakes- 
peare ends his play on a note of serenity, of a sudden calm. 
Hamlet, at last, achieves his revenge and, though he dies in 
so doing, he is triumphant in his conquest of evil. Peace, 
justice and human equanimity are restored. True to the 
Aristotelian demand, pity and fear resolve into a peace of 
mind which recognizes in the magnificence of his own soul the 
ultimate answer to man's questionings. The Hamlet of A. 
MacLeish, on the other hand, ends little farther than where 




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The Smith College Monthly 39 

it began, with an acceptance of life that is a confession of 
man's impotence. And with the reiteration of his presenti- 
ment — 

"Thou wouldst not think 

How ill all's here about my heart." 
We close the book with that same illness in our hearts, and 
realize that we have been convinced by Mr. MacLeish's pas- 
sionate words. The impression remains. Our consciousness 
of the guilt of the world has been aroused, but there is no res- 
toration of peace and order to complete the katharsis of our 
emotions. 

Mr. Krutch in his essay The Tragic Fallacy in the 
November Atlantic Monthly informs us that tragedy is no 
longer possible for us of the twentieth century, that we can 
no longer conceive it and will soon lose even our ability to 
appreciate it. He says that, in comparing a modern so- 
called tragedy such as Ghosts and a play of Sophocles or 
Shakespeare, the question "is not primarily one of art, but 
of the worlds which two minds inhabited. No increased pow- 
ers of expression, no greater gift for words, could have trans- 
formed Isben into Shakespeare. The materials out of which 
the latter created his work — his conception of human dignity, 
his sense of the importance of human passions, his vision of 
the amplitude of human life — simple did not and could not 
exist for Ibsen, as they did not and could not exist for his 
contemporaries. God and Man and Nature had all some- 
how dwindled in the course of the intervening centuries, not 
because the realistic creed of modern art led us to seek out 
mean people, but because this meannesss of human life was 
somehow thrust upon us by the operation of that same pro- 
cess which led to the development of realistic theories of art 
by which our vision could be justified." 

Our world, having no faith in man, rationalizing him 
out of his once magnificent possibilities, can no longer con- 
ceive a true tragedy which is "essentially an expression, not 
of despair, but of the triumph over despair and of confidence 
in the value of human life." Our too sophisticated society 
"has outgrown not merely the simple optimism of the child, 
but also that vigorous, one might almost say adolescent, faith 
in the nobility of man which marks a Sophocles or a Shakes- 
peare, — has neither fairy tales to assure it that all is always 



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The Smith College Monthly 41 

right in the end nor tragedies to make it believe that it rises 
superior in soul to the outward calamities which befall it. 

"Distrusting its thought, despising its passions, realiz- 
ing its impotent unimportance in the universe, it can tell it- 
self no stories except those which make it still more acutely 
aware of its trivial miseries." 

Mr. Krutch's essay seems particularly a propos of 
Archibald MacLeish's new book. The title, The Hamlet of 
A. Macleish, lead us to infer that it is tragedy and to be con- 
sidered as such. Therefore, while the parallel of thought 
throughout is of great significance, the change in the end of 
Mr. MacLeish's poem, the failure to fulfill the requirements 
of true tragedy by some katharsis of emotions, — may have 
even greater significance. It may be, as Mr. Krutch says, 
that "the tragic solution of the problem of existence, the 
reconciliation to life by means of the tragic spirit, is now 
only a fiction surviving the art." Or it may be as Hamlet, the 
Hamlet of Shakespeare says, that "nothing is either good or 
bad, but thinking makes it so." And that Archibald 
MacLeish thinks too much. 

E. B. 



LILY CHRISTINE 

Michael Arlen Doubleday Doran 1928 

"From out of a deepened experience of grave illness and 
line recovery Michael Arlen has created this new vision of a 
woman — a brilliant, loyal, passionate creation — the modern 
ideal mate for a man." 

So runs the perhaps embarrassingly confidential blurb 
on the paper cover of "Lily Christine". We are sorry if 
Michael Arlen has been ill, and we congratulate him on his 
recovery; and perhaps, during this deepening of his exper- 
ience a new vision of a woman did come to him. We are 
obliged to the publishers for supplying this rather personal 
information, for certainly it is wholly personal. If Mr. Arlen 
was the recipient of such an amazing gift from those notor- 
iously miserly donors, the Muses, as actually a new vision, 
(and of a woman, at that!) he has kept it discreetly to him- 



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The Smith College Monthly 43 

self, except for his confidences to his publishers, quite rightly 
judging such a gift too precious for the eye of the public. 
At all events, to our, perhaps undiscerning eye, "Lily Chris- 
tine" contains no visions, not even a distant whiff (if one can 
whiff a vision!) . 

Lily Christine is the saccharine, Arlenesque centre of a 
group of astonishingly stupid, Arlenesque friends. And the 
point of the whole business revolves about Summerest, Lily 
Christine's husband, whose joints fairly creak as he lumbers 
on and off the stage. Lily Christine makes the mistake of 
loving him too much for the sole reason that he appears 
"somehow helpless" to her. Xow that may be a good reason 
for loving a man to the point of tumbling under automobile 
wheels when he decides to divorce one — we scarcely feel in a 
position to judge. We do, of course, feel sorry for Lily 
Christine, however insipid she may be, for having such hard 
luck in a husband, although she does seem to really love him, 
calling him tenderly "her old cart horse"; and for having 
such a circle of utterly unintelligent well-meaning friends. 
We are told that she has children, yes, we remember that they 
were mentioned several times, two of them in fact, but their 
existence seems to impress her as little as it does us — perhaps 
that's because she is so near-sighted. 

Oh, yes, its amusing if you don't mind a rather unin- 
teresting style with plenty of clinches thrown in for good 
measure. It's really rather interesting in spots for those who 
like Michael Arlen trying to be high-minded and serious. 
And we are glad that he is better and that he created his 
vision. But why, oh why, did he write "Lily Christine"? 

E. S. 



THE FATHER 

Katherine Holland Brown John Day 1928 

The people who awarded the Woman's Home Compan- 
ion — John Day Prize of twenty-five thousand dollars to 
Katherine Holland Brown for her novel, "The Father," say 
that it is a book "notable not only as a good novel, but as an 
authentic piece of Americana." And so it is, within limita- 
tions. Distinctly "The Father" is neither clever nor pro- 
found, nor yet epoch-making, but read it when you are 






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The Smith College Monthly 45 

fagged, and it does you good. You feel that it was written 
with a great deal of love, and for that reason it has warmth, 
and a kind of romantic glamour not usual in modern books. 

For it is not a stylish sort of book. The heroine — there 
is no other label for her — Mercy Rose, is beautiful, sweet 
and wise; the hero, a young gallant of great strength and 
honour. They are all perfect, even to the utterly depraved 
villain. Their saving grace is a rather choice sense of hu- 
mour, which surely Mercy Rose needs to get her through the 
uncommonly stupendous amount of housework she must 
have had with a family of seven besides herself after they 
moved out West, to say nothing of knitting stockings for 
them all — and she only sixteen at the time. Miss Brown has 
somehow accounted to herself for the way in which this labor 
got itself done. A detail like that does not really bother the 
true romantic. 

But "The Father" is also an historical novel, and as 
such succeeds as well as most. The time is during that 
troubled agitation and uncertainty before the Civil War, and 
before the Abolitionist cause had any following to speak of. 
The Father, John Stafford, editing a struggling but ardent 
anti-slavery paper, first in Massachusetts and afterwards in 
Illinois, finds no support and little sympathy for his views, 
even in his friendship with Lincoln, who, I think, has suf- 
fered as usual from a somewhat sentimental feminine inter- 
pretation. Emerson, and Horace Mann and "Nat" Haw- 
thorne, come into the story, and naturally, without that effect 
of being lugged in on pedestals, which has ruined so many 
historical novels. Of course in the novel which has a defi- 
nitely historical setting, the author comes up against the 
problem of appeasing a public become all at once pedantic, 
who complain that this or the other never happened, and is 
therefore a sacreligious invention concerning people who 
have actual dates ; or that some pet and cherished opinion of 
theirs has been rudely assailed. Miss Brown has used a 
great deal of ingenuity in avoiding these snags, partly, per- 
haps, because she takes her material chiefly from the anec- 
dotes of her father, who knew the men and the times. 

One is able to put together a vivid if not very coherent 
account of the Middle West in those days, although some- 
what limited bv the fact that John Stafford seems never to 



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The Smith College Monthly 47 

have talked to anyone but his family and Mr. Lincoln — his 
subscribers communicating their disapproval merely by hold- 
ing- out on another bushel of mildewed grain. Except, of 
course, when they ruined his press and tried to shoot him. 

Miss Brown has undertaken to portray the struggle of 
a devoted father between the relative claims of four mother- 
less children, and of his belief in himself as an apostle of 
truth, against a background of history. At the end she loses 
sight somewhat of her problem and becomes increasingly 
interested in Mercy Rose, the eldest child and only daughter. 
Even the Father himself comes second. The book is to be 
read for its sensitive historical feeling, for the humorous 
quality which lasts throughout, and for the color infused into 
a period which ordinarily does not attract the imagination. 
Especially there are Aunty and the parrot Zenobia, little 
Thomas, Jacob's coat, "not only a family relic, but a family 
tree" — and Mercy Rose's diary, a better one than we ever 
hope to keep. 

E. R. Haw 



"A ROVER I WOULD BE" 

E. V. Lucas E. P. Dutton & Co. 1928 

The cover is rather entrancing, and so is the frontispiece 
of the little "Sleeping Sentinel" from the Xational Museum 
in Rome. Besides, who would not be a rover if nothing 
pressed him into service in the everyday routine of life? Mr. 
Lucas, too, has already written several works of that order 
which is known paradoxically as "a guidebook that isn't a 
guidebook." So, although I had read none of these former 
books, I was nevertheless prepared by his reputation to find 
in him a delightful essayist. 

Perhaps my hopes were raised too high by the sound of 
its name, or it may be that to an ardent traveller the reac- 
tions of another to parrots in English inns and waiting in 
French post-offices never seem quite adequate. Surely there 
are many of us who would disagree with the author's assur- 
ance of the soothing effect of being "rocked in the cradle of 
the deep" and I doubt if we should like to see giant search- 
lights (donated, as the author suggests, by "Some rich 



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The Smith College Monthly 49 

American eager to do something fine and memorable for 
Paris") playing at night upon the facade of Sacre Coeur. 
However this may be. we cannot make adverse criticism of 
a book simply because we disagree with the ideas it happens 
to represent; we must first consider how these ideas are ex- 
pressed. 

Mr. Lucas is evidently a collector of information, odd 
bits of intelligence and experiences of travelling, for this is 
the material he has most readily at his fingers' tips. His 
chapters on the homes of Shelley and Cowper, on the Ched- 
dar Gorges, on Sir Walter Raleigh who "enjoyed a pipe 
while* the executioner was sharpening his axe" are best be- 
cause they are based on fact, which the author can best deal 
with. The attempts at humor are usually forced and unsuc- 
cessful and one notices often an aptitude for misplaced flip- 
pancy. For such essays as the brief one on the passing of 
Mali Jongg and the one on Swans and Geese, Mr. Lucas has 
chosen subjects that Lamb might have treated with grace 
and delicacy, but which he cannot handle brilliantly because 
he has not the lightness of touch and the facility of transition 
from one subject to another that contribute to the essential 
charm of he informal essay. 

Besides this general lack, there are two serious defects 
in the style of the book. One of these is an unfortunate 
choice of words. We object to such combinations as "a tinkle 
of bells married to the beating of hoofs," and various inap- 
propriate epithets that make their appearance. The faculty 
of choosing the vividly accurate word to suit a description is 
not a part of Mr. Lucas's talent, and his phrases sound 
strained when he tries to attain it. Nor has he perfected the 
art of concluding an essay, of which Stevenson has given us 
so many happy examples. The Horsensian after-dinner 
speakers, he tells us, made their talks extraordinarily brief. 
"Directly they came to a real point and had shot their bolt, 
they sat down. Some, I will admit sat down with an abrupt- 
ness which rather surprised me, and even seemed now and 
then to surprise them." This is exactly what the author him- 
self does. He no sooner gives us an introduction to a situa- 
tion and launches our interest in the direction of the ideas 
that we expect to find behind it, than he "sits down" upon 
it, and that is the end of the matter. We should like to hear 
more about Turner's water-colors and "the game of the 



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The Smith College Monthly 51 

sparrow," not to mention our desire for a deeper insight into 
the psychology of a perambulator and an answer to the ques- 
tion "Do the fish that look like men in clubs converse and 
behave like men in clubs?" Mr. Lucas evidently prefers to 
leave these things to our imagination. 

What I did find in the book was a large amount of ma- 
terial which, although it might have been better presented 
and more gracefully developed, showed enthusiasm and in- 
terest, as a traveller, a ready power of observation and a style 
which when it allows itself to be natural has a very pleasant 
conversational tone. We are introduced to such odd char- 
acters as Thomas Tomkins who said in 1777 that "Poetry 
was originally intended to express our gratitude to the deity 
and teach mankind the most important precepts of religion 
and virtue" and we find sentiments that are common to us 
all in such passages as the description of the "Compleat 
Chauffeur," who "always asketh the way of the wrong peo- 
ple first." And for us who are not English there is great 
delight in finding the manifestation or rather the humorous 
criticism of the typically British attitude, summed up in the 
paragraph where Lucas tells of the two great Claudes and 
the two great Turners hung side by side in the National 
Gallery, put there, he says, "so that the world may have the 
opportunity of comparing the masters, French and English, 
and deciding that the English is the better!" We wonder 
whether it is with conscious or unconscious irony that he says 
"If we (the English) were to adopt a flower and endow it 
with fortunate characteristics, we could not do better than 
choose the violet." In token, I suppose, of English modesty. 

The book is chiefly interesting, then, to one who can over- 
look its faults of style in order to enjoy the subject matter, 
and who can be sufficiently drawn into its atmosphere of 
leisurely observation to forget that its language is not that 
of Lamb or Stevenson whom it seems to imitate. And for 
those of us who confess our inability to pass over these de- 
tails, there is still a pleasure in recognizing familiar names 
and places, in learning new facts about them, that makes the 
book worthwhile and enhances for us the out-of-the-way 
corners of England and France. 

K. S. B. 



Smith College 




January 
1929 




BOARD 

OF 
EDITORS 




Vol. XXXVII JANUARY, 1929 No. 4 

EDITORIAL BOARD 

Editor-in-chief, Anne Lloyd Basinger, 1929 

Managing Editor, Ernestine Gilbreth, 1929 

Book Review Editor, Elizabeth Botsford, 1929 

Katherine S. Bolivian, 1929 Priscilla S. Fairchild, 1930 

Elizabeth Wheeler, 1929 Elizabeth Sha^v, 1930 

Rachel Grant, 1929 Martha H. Wood, 1930 

Sallie S. Simons, 1930 
Art — Nancy Wynne Parker, 1930 
BUSINESS STAFF 
Business Manager, Sylvia Alberts, 1929 
Mary Sayre, 1930 Anna Dabney, 1930 Mary Folsom, 1931 

Agnes Lyall, 1930 Esther Tow, 1931 Sarah Pearson, 1931 

Advertising Manager, Gertrude Cohen, 1929 
Assistant Advertising Manager, Lilian Supove, 1929 
Circulation Manager, Ruth Rose, 1929 



The Smith College Monthly is published at Northampton, Mass., each month from 

October to June, inclusive. Terms $2.00 a year. Single copies 25c. 

Subscriptions may be sent to Sylvia Alberts, 12 Fruit Street, Northampton. 

Advertising Manager, Gertrude Cohen, Capen House 

Contributions may be left in the Monthly box in the Note Room. 

Entered at the Post Office at Northampton, Mass., as second class matter. 

Metcalf Printing <§• Publishing Company, Northampton, Mass. 

"Accepted for mailing at special rate of postage provided for in Section 1203, 

Act .of October S, 1917. Authorized October 31, 1913.'" 



Mil manuscript should be typewritten and in the Monthly Box by the fifteenth 
of the month to be considered for the issue of the following month. 
All manuscript should be signed tenth the full name of the writer. 



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CONTENTS 




Domestic Relations 



Nancy Hamilton, 1930 5 



DlAN 



Patty Wood, 1930 11 



'Tell Me Where All Past Years Are" Priscilla Fairchild, 1930 12 



Just Speak Easy 



Ruth Rodney King, 1929 17 



Shelley at Field Place — 1804 



Sallie S. Simons, 1930 21 



Tour 



Ellen Robinson, 1929 22 



Hair Pin Evening 



Patty Wood, 1930 27 



Five O'Clock 



Ernestine Gilbreth, 1929 30 



Book Reviews: 







"That poster reminds me ... a horseback scene like this would make 
a good cigarette advertisement ..." 

"Sure, call it 'Thoroughbreds' and it would be perfect for Chesterfield!'* 




THEY'RE MILD 

and yet THEY SATISFY 

#»>2«, LIGGETT & MYERS TOBACCO CO. 




Smith College 
Monthly 




DOMESTIC RELATIONS 

Nancy Hamilton 



aT is true, books and the play work strong, sub-cons- 
cious unrest in the minds of the innocent. Take my 
mother, for example. When she was younger, she 
admits she read innumerable books of the "Elsie Dinsmore" 
variety, and her father took her regularly to the theatre. 
This has had its calculated effect.. Mother has grown up 
with a multitude of literary and dramatic superstitions, chief 
among which is the servant superstition. From all her 
abandoned reading and play-going, this has insinuated itself, 
like a worm, into her consciousness, and that worm has lived 
and flourished. Servants are, for mother, something feudal 
and fundamental. If she could have had her way, our serv- 
ants would have been born and bred in the ancestral home 
and lived and died, dusting down stairs in the service of their 
lady bountiful. I am sure mother has always felt secretly 
thwarted that when she was married there was no old nurse 
in the bridal household to rush to her side, crying, "I will 
not leave darling little Miss Margaret! From babyhood 
have I cared for her. Her husband cannot part us ! Where 
she goes I go!" As I say, mother never had this comfort, 
and the lack only served to redouble her ardor. Her one 
matrimonial ambition was to have an "old family servant", 
and in fulfilling this ambition, she has gathered about her a 
collection of Lithuanians, Czechoslovakians, Welsh, En- 
glish, Irish and Africans, that would stagger a character 
less determined than she. But let me not be misleading. 



6 The Smith College Monthly 

The flags of all these nations do not wave simultaneously 
from the kitchen rafters. They represent a scries of serv- 
ants, throughout the years, who, long since gone, still re- 
turn with five children and an offering of Saner Kraut to do 
homage to their benefactress. With unfailing regularity, 
on the day that we arc- having company for dinner, one of 
the "old family servants" comes back to spend the after- 
noon and ask tor a twenty dollar loan: and mother, still 
cherishing fondly the idyllic picture of a funeral procession 
in which the beloved lady of the house was followed on foot 
by all her faithful and adoring retainers, listens to their 
family troubles and gives them the- twenty dollars. 

As I look hack over the passing of the years, it seems 
to me that there was a decided favoritism shown to all for- 
eigners, and preferably those who had been so newly im- 
ported that "Hello" and "Noo York" were their onlyEng- 
lish terms of approach. Mother's interviews with the na- 
tion's most recent immigrants are memorable in the 1 annals 
of the family. She is at her best at such times. Then is 
something soothing about the way in which she 1 slowly and 
gently forms the simple and more elemental words of the 
English language, her flexible lips patiently mouthing the 
syllables. Never does her voice 1 become loud and harsh. If 
she cannot make herself understood by careful articulation, 
she resorts to a series of guttural sounds, which, she claims. 
is German for "Mow much does it cost ?" and the Immigrant 
always stays. 

The first of these was Pauline. She came into the 
family before it could properly he called a family at all. — 
that is she served as cook to the bridal couple and ushered 
ifi the advent of my older brother. In fact, she hid fair to 
he an "old family servant", and had not matrimony claimed 
her. some two years after mother had taught her to speak 
English, she mighl well have been. As it was. she 1 met a 
Hungarian on one of her "Thursdays out" and nothing 

would do hut that she should marry. So. after tears and 
well-wishes and the gifl of some table linen and sheets. 
mother went one day, and saw Pauline marry her Toni in 

a Hungarian Catholic Church. The first "retainer" had 
departed, hut she was not lost to us forever, for she is the 
ring-leader in that great gathering of continental peasants 

who call on us annually with the children and Saner Kraut. 



The Smith College Monthly 7 

The last time she came she brought Stephaine, Louie and two 
chickens with her, and stayed five hours. She was full of 
little family incidents. "Mrs. Mami'ton", she said, "I used 
to tink you vass so mean to Mr. Marshall, ven he vass a 
paby. You speak so crool to him. Now I haf my Louie, I 
shmack him tree times in de face, he iss so cracy," and a 
vicious, foreign light gleamed in her eyes, as she looked 
over at Louie, idly throwing rocks at the flower pots on the 
front lawn. She was very troubled, too, over George, her 
eldest. "He iss in hospital, Mrs. Mami'ton. His apprendix 
iss bat and he haf opera. Oh, I don't mean to say any ting 
wrong, but if any my childern iss to die vy couldn't it be 
Louie, instead of George? He iss so cracy!" and just then 
there came the noise of crashing pottery on the flagstones 
in front of the house. So mother listened to Pauline's naive 
brutality, and even subjected us, the children of her heart, 
to the influence of such barbarism, and all for the sake of 
the servant superstition strong within her. She likewise 
contributed somewhat to George's "apprendix opera", and 
last Christmas we were graced with a picture of the family, 
all recovered and standing in filial devotion around Toni, 
who looked belligerently into the camera, from an upright 
position in a stiff-back chair, a fat cigar in his right hand, 
which was resting delicately on his knee, his left hand plant- 
ed firmly on Pauline's shoulder, which rose above him. 
Pauline had written on the back of the picture, "Der Mrs. 
Hamiton, I trid to get Toni to cut his mustashs for the 
photograph, but he voodent do it. Merry Christmas, Paul- 
ine." Mother looked upon Pauline's attempt to cut Toni's 
moustaches, as a personal tribute, and speaks of her with 
tears in her eyes. 

When Pauline succumbed to the charms of her Toni, 
and forsook the Hamilton hearth to enter into the state of 
matrimony, mother was forced to cast about for a new 
family servant, and finally Lucy Muse was hopefully 
brought home. Lucy was a well-proportioned African of 
comfortable ways, and I have no doubt but that the idea of 
a negro mammy teaching the children to say "caint" for 
"can't" was an unquestionable lure. Father's camera was 
urged into action, and many little family groups were 
"snapped", with the children playing tag around Lucy's 
voluminous person, or hanging playfully from her apron 



8 The Smith College Monthly 

strings. When Marshall once told her she was so nice that 
she was getting whiter every day. mother at last put her 

down as the- family servant, and rejoiced. Quite suddenly. 
however, Lucy joined the Holy Roller Church. Mother 

tried not to let this make any difference, hut when Lucy 
insisted upon making a joyful noise unto the Lord even in 
the home-, and when all of us children, who loved her so 
devotedly, followed her example with frying pans and egg 
beaters, the time had come to discard Lucy and she left. 

"Nursie" was the next venture. "Nursie" was an ancient 
Welch woman — too ancient, 1 am afraid, ever to have grown 
old in the service, .Mother realized this when first she saw 
her in the employment agency, hut Nursie developed an 
immediate aft'action for mother, and such affection could 
not he rejected, so Nursie was ultimately brought home, in 
the hope that she might, just possibly, live longer than at 
the time it appeared probable, and in the end, die an "old 
family servant". Nursie was a delightful woman, who 
swathed herself in a yellow woolen shawl and regaled us 
with tales of her "separated" husband. "lie used to cum 
in drunk 'nights and wish ta hang heself, till finally when 
Ld see him cumin' reelin' down the street I'd say 'Hurry up, 
chuldern. Git the trap. Ycr father wants ta hang heself 
again!' " Such comfortable anecdotes only served to streng- 
then the bond between Nursie and the family until suddenly, 
one winter's evening, Nursie's husband appeared, an aged 
but spirited old toper, and bore her off, in what seemed to 
ns a whirlwind of romance. .Another hope frustrated! 

So the long list grew — Beatrice, the Bohemian, Lydia, 
the Czechoslovakia!). Pearl, the New Yorker and Delia who 
ran off with a married man. The search still continued for 
thai one who was to be the family servitor. Then Bridget 
came into our lives. It was generally agreed when Bridget 
came thai she would only stay until we could get some one 
else, lor she brought with her no less than three hundred 
pounds net weight, and a set of whiskers lhal would scare 

,-i large-sized policeman into a trance. Bridget it was agreed. 

was too unsightly, ever to be allowed to stay. Hut soon it 
was discovered lhal farm horses could not drag Bridgel from 
the comfortable house she had found for her declining years. 
\\Y were an endowed institution, maintained for her sole 
benefit, and from which she drew her weekly allowance to 



The Smith College Monthly 9 

be handed over to the church. Thirteen years ago Bridgel 
came and she is still with ns. We can not shake her. 

Every morning at half past six sharp, her ponderous bulk 
thunders down the back stairs, and light sleepers are awak- 
ened by ominous crashings and rumblings from the nether 
regions of the house. Every morning at ten she raises her 
piercing, tuneless voice in ecstatic song to the canary-bird, 
as she scours the dining room, her heavy step rattling the 
silver on the sideboard, and every afternoon without fail, 
just at five, she pokes her head into the living-room and 
shouts, "Tell yer mother she forgot the potatoes," and then 
retires, wildly pleased with herself, for having reported the 
lack just after the stores have closed. She is the demon in 
our home. Everything must be run according to Bridget. 
If one wants guests for dinner, one consults Bridget. 
"Bridget, my own, would it be too much to suggest that 
we have Mr. and Mrs. So and So for the evening meal?" 
If it is agreeable, she snorts briefly and goes on about her 
work, but if on the other hand, it is the least bit inconvenient 
she calls "God" loudly several times, and lightly lays her 
hand on the carving knife. Her methods are crude, but 
effective. Under such circumstances we generally do not 
have guests for dinner. It is often wondered why we keep 
Bridget, but we can do nothing but keep her. She refuses 
to leave, unless by force, and she is a large woman. 

Two summers ago we decided to take Bridget to Cana- 
da with us. It was a bold step, but she would not be left 
at home, so at last we risked the consequences and said she 
might come. When the day appointed for the journey was 
at hand, Bridget put on a large, well-modelled corset, a blue 
serge suit of unknown vintage, with a sailor collar attached, 
and a cartwheel hat of black straw, with a white lily on one 
side. It was evident that this was a great occasion for her. 
A razor had essayed the arduous task of removing some of 
the whiskers, but it had failed, and left behind a patchwork 
effect, startling, and unique. Her suitcase — a large wicker 
box — was Bulging with some mysterious and speculative 
contents and one stocking, just above her high black ground 
grippers, was swelled out like an apple, where her money- 
roll stretched it. As we waited at the station for the train 
Bridget began to show signs of weakness. She panted up 
to mother, drew her aside and said in a gruff, terrified voice. 



10 The Smith College Monthly 

"They tell me there's aothin 1 but tissue paper between the 
berths!" Mother tried to explain the technique of sleeping- 
cars, ending with a comforting word about the colored porter 
who would fix her berth for her. As the engine steamed in- 
to the- station. Bridget shouted. "The further that nigger 
stays irom me the better fer himself!" with which hostile 
threat she was pushed and shoved into the train. We scarce- 
ly dared leave her to work out her destiny with the porter, 
hut having seen her into her berth we could do little more 
than pay the unfortunate' darky to keep his distance. It was 
a long, hot journey. When, in the morning, we came hack 
for her, she was sitting just as we had left her, with her coal 
still tightly fastened over her ample bosom, and her hat a 
trifle askew. "Give me air!" she shouted so that all the car 
might hear and he- frightened, and plunging blindly, like 
stampeding cattle, she flew for the platform. 

This was. needless te> state, a performance which none 
of the family, much less Bridget, cared to repeat, hut toward 
the- end of the summer the inevitable question arose, how to 
<4et the- coe>k home? There was some' talk of shipping her. 
and not a little of drowning her. hut Bridget finally solved 
the problem herself, by declaring that she' would go he)ine' 
in the- day coach, where a body could breath if it wanted to. 
This seemed the' besi solution possible, so having drilled her 
for weeks on what to say to the customs men at the border, 
and how to acquire a respectful, submissive attitude toward 
them, when they wanted to inspect her luggage, we put her 
oil the- day coach, with an unspoken farewell and tremulous 
prayers. The next morning, with bate'el breath, we weni 
through the' coaches, and there' sitting triumphant and men- 
acing, her feet firmly planted on her wicker box. was 
Bridget. "Did you sleep we'll. Bridget?" we' asked in a 
chorus. "T did not!" she' cried, "it was air T Mas after and 
I gol that!" "And did you open up your bag for the cus- 
toms?" "Sartinly not! The man came around and says 
'What did ye gel up in Canada? 1 and T says 'nothin' but a 
lot of hard work.' and he' says 'you're exempt.' Bui there 
was one pool- uirl caught fer smugglin' in eighteen dollars 
worth of diamonds! \iver again to Canada fe>r me'! There's 
nothin 1 to do unless you sink a boat, and nothin' to see unless 
von climb a tree!" And the' thought of the tree- with Bridget 
in it. has so unnerved us. that we have never re'turned! 



The Smith College Monthly 11 

So Bridget rules the home. She is as much a part of us as 
Peggy, my } r oung sister, with whom she arrived simultan- 
eously, and she rules with a rod of iron. Guests at our 
table are often startled into fasting by a shrill cry from the 
kitchen, "God! why don't they hurry up in there! Ye'd 
think I had all night to wash the dishes!" and leaning across 
the beautiful damask, we children explain gently "Oh, yes, 
that's our faithful old family retainer. She's been with us 
thirteen years, and wouldn't leave if you bribed her! Isn't 
she a dear!" 



DIAN 

Patty Wood 



The memory of brightnesses extinguished; 

Exultings frozen perfect at their height, 

And cooled to marble warmth as sculptured things; 

The captured whisperings of evening, strung 

Upon a thousand strings ; and corners of 

The sun remembered; laughter undefined; 

The depths of emerald waters ; tragedy 

Reborn from burial in fragrant years. 

Incarnate of such things, your beauty, and 
It speaks to me of them, thru them ; it binds 
A cord of swiftly-twisted strength from them, 
That reaches out, and winds, and coils, and ties 
Me, with its deep and perilous power, to you. 



» 



12 The Smith College MonVhly 



"TELL ME WHERE ALL PAST YKAKS ARE" 
Prisciu a S. Fairchiid 



E 



ER hand shivered upon a tabic, palm pressed againsl 
the grain, fingers wavering delicately, fantastically, 

^Tiffd like- fronds of sea-plants o\ crw he line (1 in the current. 
A ray of sunlight plunged ninety million miles to strike her 
between the breasts and impak her on a background of long- 
legged, pink-billed birds. She sat relaxed, her pupils ex- 
panded to a fantastic size, hollow and dark as the entrano 
to a cave. A chain out of the past had wrapped its dragging 
links about her and swept her away. 

She became suddenly an abandoned city, the rubble of 
an autumn field, a house deserted. The indrawn sag of her 
nostrils emphasized a garden faintly crumpled by neglect, 
where weeds blurred the edges of the flower beds. Win- 
dows, black empty horrors, looked out on a walled garden, 
where the sun flung itself on geranium-colored bricks. Fruit 
had ripened and rotted here, leaving a sweet smell of decay, 
and the buzzing of wasps. No longer trained in pyramid 
shapes the trees sprawled, heat-soaked and indolent, and the 
fountain, drugged wit li neglect, slithered over its pedestal in 
a slimy track. 

An accumulation of years tilled the house with sod- 
den relies. Silver, worn paper-thin by many hands, tarn- 
ished in the warped side-boards, while long ago the crystal 
drops of the lamps had dashed themselves to a leap of bril- 
liant splinters on the floor. 

On the broad shallow steps ghosts passed each other in 
a curious intermingling. The hands of one melted without 
definition into the body of another. and from their union 
appeared the head of a third. Their feel left no track on 
the dust of floor bu1 their shoulders whispered againsl the 
wall-paper, whose languid population mocked their trans- 
parency. Blue and while plates on the dresser reflected a 
paleness as they passed. Dulled pewter glowered at them 
over the hearth. Brass leered ironically under a pfreen pa- 



The Smith College Monthly 13 

tina of age. Their coming troubled not at all the trembling 
gilt Hakes on a Venetian Mirror, in the deep-sea surface of 
which appeared only their eyes, cold and desireless. Hands 
wavered over the maple chairs in white streaks of under- 
water light. Old books exhaled a mustiness for their breath- 
ing. White ashes nourished them and dust comforted their 
senses. 

She was the house, and the objects in the house, and 
those who inhabited it. She was the crumpled skin of the 
outside wall, and the broken brick in the fire-place. Each 
ghost contained some part of her, and all of them were con- 
tained in her. As house she watched the ghosts moving 
within her. As ghost she saw the house, the shell of her 
being, and the other ghosts, sharers in her existence. 

The picture that blackened on the wall, the lawn glitter- 
ing with mist, the slow crumpling to shreds of leather and 
silk and w r ool, were the tearing to pieces of her present life. 
Changes occurred, new pictures came, after a little they 
rotted with mildew on the walls, but no old figure ever dis- 
appeared, nothing disintegrated so completely that its dust 
was not to be discerned overlying new additions and sifting 
through the house. New shadows wandered dow r n the halls, 
ceaselessly, silently, pausing to look at a table, a chair, a ban- 
jo clock, fingering imperceptibly the leaves of a book. Never 
speaking, nor yet quite soundless, their whispering silence 
shivered through the cob-webbed rooms, echoed the tap- 
tap of branches stumbling over the window-panes, the stut- 
tering of rain in the leaky gutters, the rasp of leaves shuf- 
fling over the floor. 

She relived herself by living in turn the life of each 
ghost in the house. That one in which she existed took on 
for the time a reflected light, an imitation, a mockery of the 
past, which however cast a pale gleam over the house. She 
was possessed by the creature in which she lived, and which 
lived in her. Haunted, rapt, she moved like a sleep-walker 
through the rooms and about the country-side. 

Sometimes she walked on a road by the edge of the sea. 
Tall rank grass grew up on each side, and about its roots 
she could see crabs and snails scuttling in the shallow roots. 
A white fog blurred the limits of the farther islands magni- 
fying the rim of the trees. The world closed down to the 
circle in which she moved; existence narrowed to the print 



14 The Smith College Monthly 

of her heels in the sand, filling with water after she passed. 
Her feet rasped on the pebbles, carving a hollow out of the 
booming silence. A row of deserted bathing-shacks, dirty- 
gray and white, in creaking proof of desolation Happed their 
doors emptily. Completely alone, in a naked blind world, 
the physical desolation emphasized her feeling of the spirit- 
ual loneliness of men. The log about her grew alive with 
men and women, eyeless and dumb, who groped for each 
other and found a hollow sea-shell, who grasped at perfec- 
tion and threw it away for a handful of sand. Across the 
incredible distances of their isolation they reached out their 
arms, but not even the tips of their fingers met. She saw 
lovers lying body to body and mouth to mouth who knew not 
that they stood isolated on pinnacles a million miles apart, so 
that even the gnat-like wailing of their calls disappeared in 
the void between them. 

She flung out her arms with a violent resolution to be 
completely at one with some one, so as to confound and 
refute this hell of loneliness and isolation. Fire would 
mingle with fire, eating away the log out of the plains. The 
mountains would bow their heads and the pinnacles come 
together. Union complete and absolute would be achieved. 

For a long time that day she ran down the beach, with 
the salt wind dragging at her hair, the coldness struggling 
lor her body. She exulted proudly in the flame that kept 
her joined with the lonely air, that would ultimately give 
her complete unification. 

As other ghosts she slipped from place to place through- 
out the house, peered through the tattered curtains, until 
each room she visited sprang into vivid relief, renewing its 
life with the glowing intensity of freshly-fanned coals. In 
one small room the air smelled lavishly of ilowers. and be- 
yond the windows a noisy summer rain splattered the lawn. 
Across from her sitting in a low chair, a man plaited a piece 
of grass through his fingers, under and over, over and under. 
1 1 was green, she noticed, and his hand shook a little. "That's 

all," he was saying, "that's all that happened." He laughed 
abruptly, and rose, leaving the room quite still, for the rain 
thumping on the panes mattered not at all. The spear of 

grass lay on the floor, claiming her minutest and most pro- 
found attention. "Two inches from the third brick on the 
left," she thought, knowing that he had gone, but refusing 



The Smith College Monthly 15 

to consider that his departure affected anything but the posi- 
tion of the grass blade. Footsteps clashed across the gravel. 
Her eyes left the floor although a cold ring of steel clamped 
its way inevitably around her heart. The silence, thick and 
heavy, clung like fog to the furniture. 

The shower stopped soon, and rays refracted from rain- 
drops struck their way into the room. Dully she leaned 
over and placed one hand on the floor. "And four inches 
on the right," she said aloud, and the sound of her voice 
boomed hoarsely, with the unnatural croaking of words 
spoken alone. Her nails screamed over the boards as she 
dragged her hand back, quick as a snake. The muscles of 
her body contracted and she cried out on a cracking note. 
After the echoes fell flatly away, waves of silence beat back 
into the room,lapping over the chair in which she sat, look- 
ing stupidly at her fingers, which were bleeding a little on 
the tips. 

That person slid imperceptibly back to nothingness, 
the outlines blurring and wavering, the fire dying, until she 
resumed the appearance of a pane of grey glass, bearing a 
faint reflection. 

From ghost to ghost she passed in a succession not 
logical but irrelevant, governed by no desire but erratic and 
involuntary, as they sifted by each other throughout the 
house with a vague unregretful murmur. 

Once she lay in a room whose corners a light from out- 
side, filtering through the trees, partly suggested. The in- 
definiteness of its size impressed her with a slight and very 
tired dismay, for the walls floated away as she raised her 
eyes, and the ceiling, now concave, now convex, soared 
cloud-like over her head. Half- waking from a restless sleep 
she felt extraordinarily light, and yet as heavy as iron in 
the bed. Time lost all significance. A minute awake be- 
came that long period of eternity when the world swings 
in its orbit with the heavy roll of a log in the trough of the 
waves, an hour disappeared in the brief clutch of an indrawn 
breath. 

As a magician possesses a seed capable of springing in 
an instant to a stalk, a flower, a fruit, only to rot and dis- 
appear, so a moment of that night carried embodied in it- 
self the essence of the time-span, the terrible antiquity of 
the dark itself. 



J 6 The Smith College Monthly 

She lay trance-like, unable to move or even to recog- 
nize the presence of her body, while past her hurried the 

hours, their black wings beating the air with the noise of 
roaring torrents, with the stillness of furred night-moths. 
In their swiftness, in their insatiable rapidity, she drew but 
one breath, experienced hut one passing flicker of an emo- 
tion, lived one impossibly brief second, tor the space be- 
tween midnight and dawn passed as swiftly as the wrinkling 
<»i a smile in the outer corners of the eyes. 

She heard the cock crow two distinct and chuckling 
notes at dawn. Between each note she lived again and 
again. Not dying she passed from existence to existence 
and the years flowed by like water, swift and silent, al- 
though they were- held inescapably in the acorn-cup of an 
instant between two crowings of the cock. Her thoughts 
spun round like a wheel, now one, now another coming to 
the surface, tangling themselves with her emotions into an 
intricate pattern. 

For a long time she lived in the memory of that night. 
Its ghost pursued her down the corridors, to lay a remind- 
ing hand like a feather of mist on her arm. to wind shadow- 
tentacles about her heart. Hut the dust continued to gather 
on the house, shutters clattered in the wind, the paint peeled 
and l'otted. Stones crumhled off the terrace onto the lawn. 
and under them the grass grew yellowed, flattened, and wet. 



The Smith College Monthly 17 



JUST SPEAK EASY 
Ruth R. King 



m 



E walked down East Fifty-Sixth street, trying not to 
look as though we didn't know which brown-stone 
front was the one we wanted. 

"Twenty is the number, isn't it?" 

"Yes, I'm positive about that." 

As we passed each house we looked furtively at the 
numbers on the vestibule. 

Sixteen, eighteen — 

"It's the next one," I whispered. 

We looked up and saw "Restaurant" written in gold 
letters on the door. I gave him a dig, and walked up the 
steps firmly. He opened the door for me, and we were in. 
From the door it was rather hard to see the restaurant be- 
cause of the profusion of potted ferns and palms w T hich 
made a wall of green, so that to enter the room one had to 
walk past these and around in again. 

The room was typical of the rooms in all residential 
brown-stone fronts. It had two long windows on the street, 
and a very high ceiling with an elaborate chandelier grow- 
ing like an inverted mushroom from it. But the room was 
so large that I came to the conclusion that a wall had been 
knocked out, throwing two rooms into one. It was very 
quiet. The small tables against the walls held two or three 
diners, or were empty. A maitre d'hotel came up. 

"Two? Right here, Madame." He pulled out my 
chair. John relinquished his coat, and sat down facing me, 
a self-conscious smile on his face. "Would you care for a 
cigarette?" proffering me his silver case. He was so cour- 
teous and deliberate that I knew he was nervous. I laughed 
and he kicked me, under the table. A waiter came up, pad 
in hand. John blew out a match and looked up carelessly. 

"Could we have — " the sentence faded out and John 
raised one eyebrow significantly. The waiter became all 
apologies. 



18 The Smith College Monthly 

"Menus! Certainly, sir. One moment, sir. I fought 
1 seen you had menus." He hurried oil'. 

1 laughed aloud and .John looked darkly at me. 
"All right," he said. "I'll show you." 

The waiter came hark with the menus. 

"What's good today" I asked, casually familiar. 
"Try the znocchi, miss. \cr" good. Artichoke all-so, 
vcrr' nize." 

"Znocchi are those awful pasty little ' I began, but 
John trod heavily on my foot, and taking the conversation 
to himself as a man picks up a. distasteful burden, leaned 
hack in his chair and said firmly. "We will have znocchi, 
some salad, plain, and Tor dessert — well, we'll order that 
later." 

The waiter, writing briskly on his pad. turned away, 
hut John stopped him. and i>i vm .U' nie a long look, drew the 
waiter near him. and breathed huskily in his car. "Could 
we have some, uh — some, uh — \\ r ine?" 

It was out. In a sudden heat of self-consciousness I 
started to look on the floor for something I might have 
dropped. John ashed his cigarette on the white tablecloth. 

The waiter vanished, but reappeared almost instantly 
with the maitre d'hotel, who bent discreetly over my bro- 
ther and murmured. "What is your name, monsieur?" 

John had been preparing for this test but I saw the lie 
freeze on his lips. 

"Gordoir", he said miserably. "G-o-r-d-o-n." 

Knowing that this would be completely inadequate he 
hesitated a moment, then blurted. "Tve been here quite 
often with M\\ Hoss. I thought — perhaps you'd remem- 
ber me." The name Hoss seemed to be all that was neces- 
sary. The maitre d'hotel smiled and bowed. 

"Oh yes, of course, of couse. You would like wine. 
Monsieur? l\ed wine or white?" 

"Red", said John happily, and kissed his hand at the 
hacks of the depart ing waiters. 

"Whal did I tell you" he began. "It's easy. Absolute- 
ly nothing to it. All I had to do was to tell him my name 

'J hope this red wine of yours will be Chianti," I in- 
terrupted. "And I do wish We didn't have to eat those hor- 
rible lit t le znocchi !" 

"Oh. it doesn't make any difference what we cat — " 



The Smith College Monthly 19 

"Oh doesn't it? Well, why don't you get cocktails and 
highballs and things." I have always loathed znocchi. 

"Oh Lord, we should have had cocktails, do you know 
it? Well, we'll get some Martinis with absinthe for des- 
sert." The order of things never has bothered John. 

The lunch, despite everything, was delicious. John 
and I grew happier under the influence of the red Chianti 
which the waiter poured from a straw covered bottle. We 
noticed that the handful of other diners was composed most- 
ly of elderly gentlemen, and on only one table did we see 
anything but water. The quiet calm of the room, the wait- 
ers, the diners, and the complete gentility of the atmosphere 
struck us as curiously incongruous, and at the same time 
delightfully consistent, with that form of law-breaking which 
had made this restaurant known to us. "Of course," said 
John grandly, "I should like a highball, but as long as we 
are going to have those Martinis, you'd better not have any- 
thing more. You can't hold a thing, you know." 

I laughed at him as though he had said something amus- 
ing. But after John had said to the w r aiter: 

"We'll dispense with dessert, please. And bring us 
two Martinis with absinthe" I found everything amusing. 
The Martinis tasted rather badly and John assured me, 
with delighted wickedness, that they had "a kick like a 
mule." When my glass was half empty I felt deliciously 
airy and vague, and John's forehead became quite rosy. We 
grew extremely silly and laughed inordinately at everything. 
The waiter looked like a beagle; the room was like a plant 
house: we were fried; the znocchi had tasted like fish-bait; 
the room was hot as hell; we were fried. "Xo, we aren't 
really fried. As soon as we get out doors this'll all go." 
John solemnly lit a cigarette and solemnly blew out the 
match. Everything was funny. 

I took another swallow of the Martini. It was coldly 
sweet in my mouth, with an under-taste so bitter that I gave 
an involuntary shudder as it burned down my throat and 
flamed inside me. My head grew suddenly so heavy that 
I had to support it on my hand, and my body ceased to be- 
long to me. John, with a naughty chuckle, emptied his 
glass, giving his head a little shake after the last swallow. 

"Got a kick like a mule,". he grinned. 



20 The Smith College Monthly 

"Isn't it too awful? I'm fried!" I laughed at him, my 
eyes half-closed in delicious languor. 

"Conic on, old bean. A little fresh air. you know, 
and all that." 

'All right. I'll sit lure while you gel your coat." 

Feeling very uncertain of myself. 1 was afraid to stand 
up. hut 1 found I could walk perfectly on feet that had no 
sensation whatsoever. John took my arm as we walked 
down the steps, and strolled up the street. 

"This is the most divine feeling," 1 said. 

"You look happy," said the sobered John. He steered 
me around the corner, into the bright sunlight that Hooded 
Fifth Ave. I still found it hard to keep my eyes open, and 
I smiled happily into the haze of people, shop windows, and 
sunlight. I felt a sudden pull on my arm from John. 

"Hey, snap to," he said. "There's Pete." 

He propelled me toward Pete. We gathered on the 
corner of Fifty-fifth Street. Pete seemed to have friends 
with him. We were introduced. 

"You remember my sister. Pete?" 

"Absolutely. How are you ? Do you know Miss Gor- 
don, Mr. — ; Mr. — ." I didn't get their names hut I didn't 
care. "This is Gordon, Joe, Bill, you remember John." 
There was a splendid confusion of cheery young men, incon- 
sequential chatter, laughter, and dazzling sunlight. I heard 
someone say to John: 

"No kidding? Listen Pve heard of it. Around here. 
isn't it? What's the number?" "Twenty Fast Fifty-sixth" 
said John. "It's a cinch. Just go in and say you know me 
or Ross. Easy, you know. Never saw anything so easy." 

I was dropped from the conversation, which centered 
earnestly ahout John. Soon with much handshaking and 
hand heads they left us, and we continued down Fifth Ave. 
which had grown more distinct and normal to mv eves. 

"What did I tell you!"' said John. "Wasn't it easy" 
If you know how, I mean." 



The Smith College Monthly 21 



SHELLEY AT FIELD PLACE— 1804 

Sallie S. Simons 



Look! 

Do you see the rain- driven wind 

Riding the trees down? 

It has unloosed the horned moon 

And blown it free of the sky. 

That's why it is dark in here,-- 

The candle gives no light,-- 

It is dark, dark, I say! 

And listen ! 

Do you hear the gray step on the ceiling? 

H's an arch-fiend the alchemist, 

Who lives on shreds of brocade in the attic. 

His name is Cornelius Agrippa, 

And he covets the silver shining raindrops. 

There! He has shattered his lantern 

Against the rafters, 

And moans in the dust and dark. 



K The Smith College Monthly 



TOUB 

Ellen Robinson 



f^TjlIK sun pushes up over the horizon like the suns on 
|vl/| picture post-cards. It is the proper time- lor all correct 

| small birds to twitter in their soft nests high in the 
swaying trees, hut if there is any such romantic expression 
on their part, it is lost in the early morning preparations of 
the Hoggs family. Mr. Hoggs lias brought the car around 
to the side entrance and Mrs. Hoggs and the three children 
are Sling out to it at intervals, depositing great armfuls of 
bundles and a number of suit-cases. The ability to pile these 
in and about the car so that the Boggses themselves may 
eventually find room, if not comfort, LS a true science, but 
one which they have studied for many years. .Mr. Hoggs is 
Strapping three suit-cases and a golf-bag on the running- 
board : Ik stops grunting for a moment and stands upright. 

"HOW many times must I tell you children not to get the 
car all scratched up!" 

.Mrs. Hoggs appears at the side door with a box of as- 
pirin and a bottle of aromatic ammonia. "Sam, will you put 
these in the right front pocket. Yes. I know you think it's 
silly, but I won't 'feel safe. And tell the children to come in 
to breakfast." 

Breakfasl is a gloomy meal; everyone feels a little ill. 
Julia the cook kicks the swinging-door as she goes out for the 
coffee. Mrs. Hoggs whispers to her husband: "She goes 
around looking like a thunder-cloud. Til be glad to get 
away from her for a little while. And I am going to put 
my fool down on a few things when we get back in Septem- 
ber. 

Mr. BoggS nods patiently; he is studying a road-map. 

making long computations in a little note-book. He breaks 
forth suddenly. "Yes, ['think we'll make it about twenty 
a fter three." 

Molly, the youngesl . reaches for the bul ter and somehow 
pushes a grape-skin on to the sleeve of .Jo's coat ; he is sixteen. 



The Smith College Monthly 23 

He jumps up as though she had stabbed him and begins to 
brush the spot carefully, glaring at her silently. Dot, the 
oldest, speaks suddenly, "Oh! what did we do with the bath- 
ing suits?" 

The other two join in. "We've got to have a swim to- 
night. Can't we, Mother?" 

Mr. Boggs snorts. "I'm not going to have all that stuff 
left in that ear all night. Every one of you has to turn in and 
help un-paek. As soon as we get to the lake." 

"But after that. Please, Mother!" 

"Ask your father." 

"Dad!" 

"Oh. . .just as your mother says!" 

"All right. Here, take my keys and go up and get them 
out of the big trunk in my room." The three race up-stairs, 
Jo keeping a little behind. Mrs. Boggs calls after them, "Be 
sure you all drink another glass of milk before w r e leave. I 
don't want to leave a thing in the refrigerator." Julia stamps 
in and slams down a plate of toast. 

Dot calls from the stairs, "Where's Percy?" 

"Yes, where is he? Where is he? He hasn't been any- 
where around all this time." 

Jo goes to the door and calls, "Here, Percy. Here, 
Percy, Percy." His voice breaks in the middle of each word. 
Molly squirms into the door- way beside him. 

"There he is, Jo. Jumped into the car all by himself." 

"He's so afraid of being left. Isn't that cute!" Dot taps 
on the window with her finger-nail. An enormous airedale 
sitting in the car turns and looks at her appealingly, brushing 
his club-like tail along the seat. 

At five-thirty they begin to get into the car, Mr. and 
Mrs. Boggs in front, and Molly and Jo in back with Percy — 
and a small space left for Dot. 

"Where's Dot?" 

Jo sniffs and crosses his legs. "We always have to wait 
for her. Was she ever ready? That's just the way they are! 
These women!" 

Mr. Boggs folds up the road map. "It really seems to 
me, Margaret, that you could have had the children ready. I 
simply can't do everything, with all this driving before me." 
Mrs. Boggs attempts to shrivel him with a look, but he is again 
busy with the little note-book, occasionally blowing the horn 



24 ... The Smith College Monthly 

for Dot. She at last appears, carrying a large leather-cov- 
ered ledger, a messy sheaf of papers, and five or six hooks. 

"You don't want all those. Dot?" 

"Yes, 1 do. Mother. How ran 1 write my novel un- 
less... " 

"Then why didn't you put them in the trunk?" 

"Hut I have to have them to-morrow. I feel that I'm 
going to start writing again right away. You can't suppress 
Art in trunks and things. Art is forever. . ." 

"Blah," exploded Jo." 

"Hut, Dot, there isn't any room!" 

"Oh. don't worry about that. 1 don't mind sitting on 
them;' 

They hack slowly out of the yard. Julia waves a gloomy 
farewell from the dining-room window. The sun has risen 
with a great, impersonal beauty; no one notices it. The car 
turns the corner and is gone. 

But in ten minutes it stops in front of the house. Julia 
stalks out to it with a thermos bottle and a box of dog-bis- 
cuits. Mr. Hoggs is impersonating any number of early Chris- 
tian martyrs as they start oil' again. Julia stands at the 
curb, her arms folded in front of her. No one waves. 

II 
The Boggs have lost the road, though Mr. Hoggs prefers 

that it he stated in other terms. "Why. 1 know this road 
from Spadeton to Harby Mills like a hook! Used to survey 
all around here the summer of my Junior year. Know every 
little hill. 11' you will just he quid and leave it all to me." 

In silence they mount higher and higher; a little hoy in 
overalls Stares at them as though he had never seen a ear he- 
fore; the road begins to grow a little green heard between its 
two wrinkles, as Dot puts it softly. Percy is restless and 
walks hack and forth over the children. Molly stands up sud- 
denly and thrust her dirty little pug-nosed face between her 
parents. ".Mother, I want another cookie. Tel] Dot to gel 
me oik 

"No, you've had six since breakfast." 

"Can I have an orange then?" 
"No." 

"Aw. .Mother " 

"Well, ask Dot to peel it for you." 
"Want to suck it." 



The Smith College Monthly 25 

"No, not while we're riding." 

"Aw." 

"All right, but sit down. This road gets worse and 



worse." 



Another ten minutes during which no one speaks. Jo has 
been compressing himself against the side of the car. "Mother 
I just wish you'd look at Molly. Just look at her. Why, 
she squirts way over here. Mother, just listen to her. Honest- 

ly!" 

Dot hears nothing; she stares dreamily down into the 
valley. "Somebody tell me what rhymes with leafy." 

"Beefy." 

"Mother, make Jo stop. How can I create?" 

"I want a hot-dog." 

"Not till lunch time, Molly." 

"I tell you I know this short-cut like a book. Known it 
for years." 

"But just for fun, Sam, let's ask this man. It's the only 
farm we've seen for the last half-hour." 

A tall man in hip-boots leans reflectively over the car 
door. "Got quite a load there, ain't ye? Why 'n't ye bring the 
cat and the chickens?" He laughs and spits. 

"Say, captain, this is right for Harby Mills, isn't it? 
Just want to make sure, you know." 

"Harby Mills! Well, I'll be! Ye'll be in Spadeton in ten 
minutes." 

"Oh, yes! Thank you. . .Good-bye." 

Silence. Molly throws the orange-skin away and it rest 
jauntily on the running-board. She leans out recklessly. 
"Mother, why did Dad call him 'captain', especially when he 
was a farmer?" 

"Sh! It's just a little habit of your father's. He proba- 
bly learned how when he was surveying all around here. Like 
a book." 

Mr. Boggs opens his mouth, considers a moment, and 
shuts it with a repressed snort. 

Eventually they re-enter Spadeton and find the state 
highway. Mr. Boggs settles himself. "Well, let me see: I 
think we'll make it about ten after four ; of course I can't tell 
for sure. But ten after—about. Not bad, though last year it 
was exactly five of." 

"When can I have a hot-dog?" 



26 The Smith College Monthly 

"Mother, make Molly sit up; she leans all over Dot and 
then Dot has to Kan on me. Motherl" 

Sam, 1 think the left front tire- is down."' 

"Nonsense. It's your imagination. Do you think I'd 
r\ er start out with bum tires?" 

"Oh!" 

The car pitches unhealthily. At last Mr. BoggS stops 
it. "Jo, step out there and look at that front tire." 

Jo climbs gingerly over the bathing-suits, knocking over 
a hot tic of sun-burn lotion. 

"Flat as a pancake, Dad." 

"Tough. 1 > i j t we'll have to fix it." 

"Aw Dad! It makes yon get so dirty! Drive on a while; 
there must he a gas station." 

"Can I buy a hot-dog then ?" 

".Joseph, this is an emergency. Let US meet it here." 

"Aw, just wait till somebody comes along. I'll go find a 
man at some garage." 

"Joseph! Take off your coat." 

Mrs. BoggS waits on a dampish hit of grass in front of a 
sign-board. Dot has found a dilapidated wooden gate and 
leans one elbow on it. Mr. Boggs takes oil' his vest. "Mar- 
garet, w ill you please call Molly out from under the car?" 

"Molly!" 

"Aw, Mother, can't we eat lunch now!' Everything else 
is gone. Can't we Mother?" 

"Oh, bring me the basket." She begins to takeout soggy 
stacks of sandwiches and deviled eggs to which the paper has 
stuck. Percy sits close to her. almost pushing her over. 

"This OUghl to make US gel there ahont twenty-five 
after, I think. Margaret." 

"Oh. no. Sam. Don"! you think ahont twenty- seven and 
a half?" 

Soon the five of them gather around the basket. Jo sits 
oil' to one side on a little rock. A car passes them and 

another and another. Mr. Boggs speaks nervously from 
behind the cap of the thermos-bottle. "Better hurry up. 
\V< \ e go1 to gel going." 

"We can't Sam. Molly going to be sick." 

lie Cflares, and lakes mil the little note-hook. 



The Smith College Monthly 27 



HAIRPIN EVENING 

Patty Wood 



a NEED another hairpin most awfully— another hair- 
pin right there." She stuck a long finger low into the 
krinkling gold mass. "And I can't take one from any 
other place, because I need every one just where it is. O I do 
need another hairpin!" 

He loved her like this, when she was mock- serious and 
her voice was whimsical and her topaz eyes krinkled at the 
edges. Then all her golden beauty seemed to warm toward 
him, and glow for him alone, as if she were saying, "You and 
I, my dear— isn't it delightful?" These moments were price- 
less, but O so perishable.. He had learned the secret of them, 
tho. To prolong them, he must take up the gentle banter. 
Then she would become even more melting, more liquid 
golden; then she would laugh that half-silent, krinkling 
laugh which was so peculiarly her own, clasping her hands 
around one knee and rocking gently backward and forward, 
or turning her head slightly to one side, deep in the pillows 
of her high-backed chair. "O how delightful! My dear, we 
do so enjoy each other — understand each other. Isn't it 
glorious?" Of course, she never said such things, but it was 
just as if she had, because she looked them, she acted them. 
Once, it was before he had learned what his reaction should 
be, he had made a fatal blunder. She was talking about 
green cats, was saying that life would be fearfully dreary 
until she possessed "a lovely jade-green kitten;" she had seen 
one once, and would never be quite happy till she had one and 
could "roll it into a soft, furry, green ball, right here in my 
neck." He had said, "But Laurel, there never was such a 
thing as a green cat." O it was a terrible mistake! Her golden 
beauty had suddenly grown metallic, and she had said. "O 
don't be so hopelessly literal!" 

But he had learned his cue, so he now said, "When my 
ship comes in, it will be laden with a cargo of hairpins — all 
for you — long thin golden hairpins that zig-zag in the middle. 



J* The Smith College Monthly 

Ai.d you need never use the .same one twice -for there will 
be an endless number, you know." She was laughing now, 
nodding her head among her pillows, as if she were- saying, 

"Yes, yes O do go on." He wanned to his subject. "You can 
throw them aw ay as soon as you pull them Out, while you take 
down your hair." Here his voice trembled a bit, Tor his own 

words startled him he had always wanted to see her take 
down that lovely glittering mass. Once he had asked her to. 
hut had been painfull)' reprimanded by her swift "Of course 
not how absurd!" She was waiting now. so he continued. 
"And there w ill he a gold wastehasket for you to toss them in- 
to, and on your dressing table a golden box always with a 
fresh supply." 

"Just like the Hihle miracle." she suggested, smiling and 
golden and radiating. 

lie- nodded, hut inwardly felt a hit shaky, for 
he did not know which miracle. lie was afraid 
of this uncertain feeling it had so often been the means of 
destroying these precious moments of cameraderie. That 
always happened when she slipped away from him. sat slim 
and cold, all wrapped up in herself, her eyes far and like 
transparent amber glass, her voice Far and not for him. When 
she said, right in the middle of perfectly sensible conversa- 
tions, things like "And rosemary for remembrance" or "For 
God's sake let us sit upon the ground And tell sad stories of 
the death of kings.'" I hen he was terribly confused. I Ie simply 
couldn't follow her; he couldn't understand her meaning, or 
if she had one. At such times he could only look at her in 
pained silence, at thai Lovely golden beauty, krinkling less 
and less, getting farther and farther away, aloof and self- 
sufficient, like one cold hand of sunlight. Two agonizing 
memories Hashed suddenly hack to him. The day they sat on 
the sugar-loaf rock at the beach, thrilling after a long swim. 
indolently splashing the water with their feet. She had 

slipped away then, purring to herself "Five miles meander- 
ing with mazy motion Thru wood and dale the sacred river 
ran, Then reached the caverns measureless to man. And sank 

in tumult to a lifeless ocean." 'There had hcen much more'. 
something aboul a waning moon and a woman wailing for her 
demon lover. She had stayed away long that time, hut sud- 
denly coining hack, had said that they must go home immedi- 
ately, and she was silent all the wax into the city. Then that 



The Smith College Monthly 29 

other time — he had mentioned someone with a "strange" face. 
She seemed to have heard only the one word — "It hath the 
strangeness of the luring west And of sad sea-horizons," she 
said dreamily. "O that lovely, lovely thing," and she had 
quoted a long passage, saying upon finishing, "The most 
idyllic blank verse I know. Once — once — " O she was so far 
away! "Once I knew someone — for whom that was written. 
It couldn't have been written to anyone else. O she was 
lovely!" And he had sat there all evening, seeing that other 
person in her eyes. That, in turn, reminded him of the time 
she had said love was like a pancake, "so delightfully temp- 
ting when fresh (It makes you say M-m-m, and you feel 
M-m-m all over) , but so dreary and unappetizing when cold." 
He had protested vehemently. "Love," he said, his voice 
quivering with intensity, "Love— ' But he had got no far- 
ther — he did not know what he was going to say. — "is the 
greatest thing in the world," she had supplied, mockingly, 
" 'Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, 
endureth all things.' " O sacrilege! He had been deeply hurt 
by those cutting words, and by her eyes, narrowed and glin- 
ting like a cat's. 

So now he steered clear of the Bible miracle — that was 
thin ice, and he an inexperienced skater. "Of course, all the 
hairpins won't be the same," the words fairly tumbled from 
his lips, bumping against one another in their haste, "there 
will be many, many different kinds." Her smile was glowing 
her hair and eyes krinkled. They said, "Of course — differ- 
ent — these thrilling hairpins. But what will they be like?" 
He hurried on. "Some polished and glittering, some softly 
dull like clouded crystal." Xow he was sure of himself, now he 
was happy, with a little rush of excitement. The evening 
stretshed before him, golden with hairpins — hairpins. 



30 The Smith College Monthly 



FIVE O'CLOCK 

Ernestine Gilbreth 



j^iIIK sun reached down from the hills, making tiny pat- 
vl/ terns on the sidelawn. The smell of warm leaves and 
gggg j crisp fern drifted in from the gardens. A sudden 
ireeze caught and ruffled the syringa bushes and Japanses 
maples. It pushed them swaying against the porch, caught 
in a rapid rhythm. 

Five o'clock. This was Sarah Gibb's hour; it belonged 
completely to her. Always as the front hall clock struck the 
five dull heats, she had that sense of relief. Now she could 
leave the baskets stacked with mending, the endless sorting 
and straightening. Away from the hum of preparation in the 
kitchen, from the children dressing for dinner, she sought the 
sunporch. I lair askew, she ran lightly, thrusting open the 
door and closing i( firmly behind her. For twenty years it 
had been so a swift plunge into the cretonned hammock, 
the unconscious ducking of her head, so that it could not be 
seen through the windows. No one would disturb her. She 
could lie in complete peace — for an hour. 

The creaking of the springs as she settled herself on the 
cushions, brought memories Hocking hack. Strange that her 
mind centered upon the past, refusing to look ahead. De- 
tails she lived in them. The present and the future be- 
longed to Will. He handled the big things, delighting to plan, 
lo decide with a brisk jerk of his chin. 'Tin very selfish about 
decisions, Sarah." Will had confessed il immediately after 
their marriage. "Besi to leave them lo me!" She had left 
them for twenty years, stifled by his ability, rejoicing with 
him as the plans crystallized. There was no doubt about 
Will's success in everything he touched. II is business she 
understood it vaguely, the change in partnership, some new 
method of financing. He was proud of il. but prouder of his 
home, of the four children, especially of .Jane now she had 
finished her third year at college. 

Will! She tingled, remembering how handsome he had 



The Smith College Monthly 31 

been at breakfast that morning. The coffee had been cold; he 
was tired, distressed by the finical junior-partner, by Jane's 
late hours. Gruff, difficult at times, but so fine, so ambitious, 
— his white hair, the high glistening forehead and firm lips! 
Her love for him suffused her, still made her feel choked and 
breathless. 

She knew that she was tired. Passing the hall mirror just 
now, she had seen deep circles under her eyes, the lines that 
had become tighter across her forehead. But there were so 
many things to be attended to — Junior's new coat at the 
tailor's ; it should have come back this morning — Jane's green 
silk needed lengthening, half an inch at least — fresh flowers 
on the table — all the innumerable tasks that were hers. No 
ending; no beginning. From day to day she continued, re- 
peating endlessly. 

The children needed her less these days. Young people 
wanted to shift for themselves, to think independently. No 
longer must she lie awake at night listening for the twins, or 
for Junior's cough. But she liked to stay up for Jane — one or 
two o'clock — and last night — .She remembered now. Jane 
had been drinking. "Don't kiss me good-night, Mother," — an 
embarrassed little smile — "just you run on to bed — " 

But she had persisted in following her into the room, 
tucking her into bed. Jane — her little girl — if Will — 

Perhaps Junior was right. She worried too much. "You 
don't get out enough, Mother," he had tickled her under the 
chin, "There's no need hanging around home all your life — " 

There were her girl-scout activities, and the Ladies 
Guild. Junior had smiled at that. What a big boy he was 
getting to be, almost as tall as his Father. 

Even the twins objected to her "fluttering around". 
That had hurt. It Avas a part of Sarah's code to feel that she 
was needed. 

Yes she had forgotten. The children were growing up 
now — the twins would ^o to high school next year. She must 
remember not to kiss them before people; she should know 
better. Bob had spilled some grape juice on his new gray 
sweater — she must remind him — Then Jim mustn't Avear his, 
the blue ones "would do until — Of course they should dress 
alike — only a few years more — - 

Then that chair in the dining-room. She must remem- 
ber to have it fixed. Will had remarked on it again this 



82 The Smith College Monthly 

morning. But there were so many things — she never fin- 
ished — 

The hammock was swaying hark and forth gently. 
Sarah's head ached. The throbbing had been much worse 
these last few days. If she could only stop worrying. The 
perfume from the syringa was suddenly comforting. That 
sweet, sweei smell. A few blossoms in a hlue bowl would 
look well in the library. Think of those hushes flowering still, 
new Bowers on the same bushes. Will liked syringa too — next 
to lilies-of-the-\ alley, wasn't it ] Yes, next to lilies — she 
would pick some tomorrow. 

The hush creeping in from the lawn, soothed her. She 
found herself less tense. Beautiful world. How lucky she 
was Will — the children! "Such a nice family — you should 
be proud. .Mrs. Gibbs". Someone had said that just the other 
day. 

Yes, she was lucky. But sometimes she wondered if Will 
realized how she was trying to help, to keep his home for him. 
There were times — but he never meant a word of it. He was 
worried lately — there was always the business, that trying 
partner. Oh yes, she must ask him about the twins tonight. 
Shouldn't they be outside more — playing tennis perhaps? At 
their age. staying in the house, reading — 

A draught whipped suddenly across her hack. Mercy! 
Someone must have opened the door. Her eyes snapped 
open. "I'm out here. Who wants me?"-— the exhilaration of 
being needed. "Yes, Junior — " 

He was apologetic, a little confused. He had disturbed 
her. So handsome, wasn't he -Will all over again — 

Raising her head on her hand, she surveyed him. Those 
.jagged lights again. She must take it easier next time. "Sit 
down, son" hut she had sensed the sudden blaze of pain in 
his eyes. Had news — something had happened. 

Courage! Vision! She strove for them blindly. The 
world, twisted, wasn't it? He was gripping her hand until 
it prickled with pain. Then at last his voice, flat, calm. 

"Steady, .Mother you see Dad — 

A sudden sharp pain dug through her heart. "Lord, 
dear Lord " was she praying? Hut in the hack of her mind 
was the dining-room chair. She must remember — 



The Smith College Monthly 33 




BOOK REVIEWS 




THE BRIDAL WREATH 

Sigrid Unset New York: Alfred Knopf, 1928 

Alfred Xobel (accent on the last syllable) was a Swedish 
inventor-manufacturer who left his fortune to advance the 
world's literature, science, and the cause of peace. His speci- 
fication for literature was that it should be the "most ex- 
cellent work of an idealistic character," and this year the 
Academy in Stockholm awarded the prize to Sigrid Unset. 

Of her trilogy of the early 14th century Norway, 
"Kristin Lavransdattef\ the first book is "The Bridal 
Wreath' '. The story tells Kristin's life from early childhood, 
through her romance to her marriage. 

She grew from the young animal that sniffs the air, 
learning its scents, to the young girl who feels vague stirrings 
of responses. That everyday people live on co-existent planes 
which never touch, she first sensed out on the open with her 
father. But her longing for that contact so rarely effected — 
that "warm and live love" — did not come until her betrothed 
kissed her. Suddenly she thought back to her childhood 
friend Arne, but recently dead, and knew that between her 
and Simon there would always be the "uncertain shadow that 
dulls life." Thus she willing went to the Sisters in Oslo at 
the suggestion of Simon. "I know a little of some of the 
maidens who are there," he said laughing. "They would not 
throw themselves down and die of grief if two mad younkers 
tore each other to pieces for their sakes. Not that I would 
have such an one for my wife — but, methinks Kristin will be 
none the worse for meeting new folk." 

The second part, "The Garland", is her passionate, wil- 
ful romance with Erland. It is not strange to us that Kristin 



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The Smith College Monthly 35 

saw her own and recognized him. Life behind convent walls 
could not keep her and she managed meetings again and 
again. "Once, while she was looking at the dark head that lay 
in her lap, between her hands, something bygone Hashed on 
her mind. It stood out clear,yet distant, as a homestead far 
away on a mountain slope may start to sight of a sudden 
from out dark clouds, when a sunbeam strikes it on a stormy 
day. And it was as though there welled up in her heart all 
the tenderness Arne Gyrdson had once begged for while she 
did not as yet understand his words." The tenderness was 
part of that "living love" which eventually drove Kristin to 
having her engagement broken, and to returning home to the 
silent reproach of her family. 

The third part is the culmination in marriage of her 
romance after long days of weary thoughts when "Kristin 
thought each morning that she could bear no more, that she 
could never hold out to the day's end. — But still, when the 
evening came, she had held out one day more." During the 
wedding preparations, she discovered that she had not been 
punished with sterility by a just God, but that she was to 
bear Erland a child. She alone knew it, but what her father 
suspected when he saw her unmaidenly glances from the 
bridal bed towards Erland was not far from the truth. 

The story seemed all Kristin to me. Perhaps it was be- 
cause I was Kristin during the 377 pages. All my friends 
and relatives were those people, mentioned above, those 
people on co-existent planes. Only Erland's plane seemed 
occasionally to touch mine. Lavrans, my father, and Ragn- 
frid, my mother, were in my life. But, as Kristin, I knew 
them only as mother and father. As the reader I saw them 
and heard their own stories from their own lips as they set- 
tled down for the night after Kristin's wedding. I heard 
Lavran's sigh as he said of Kristin, "She has come to the 
bride-bed with the man she loves. And it was not so with 
either you or me, my poor Ragnfrid." 

As I said above, this is an historical novel of medieval 
Norway, but far removed from the novels written by roman- 
cers like Scott. Clothes are not costumes, scenery is not 
the painted background of the historical cinema ; nor, on the 
other hand, do the two together overwhelm the reader by 
the detail of knowledge. It is a beautiful Gobelin of mellow, 
rich color. Technically it shows the great skill of the weaver 



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The Smith College Monthly 37 

in the composition and the decoration borders, but artistically 
it is even greater in the figures which seem not woven but 
standing and moving against the hanging tapestry. 

The story of Kristin might well be written with the 
color of any age or country for its setting, it is so universal 
a tale. Pick up the book to read, and, before long, time will 
pass unnoticed, the shorthand of the clock will move from 
figure to figure until you shut the covers of this book and 
reach to pick up the next of the trilogy "The Mistress of 
Husaby." 

Anne Andrew 1929 



THE HAPPY MOUXTIAX 

Maristan Chapman The Viking Press 1928 

Out of that new South which gave to contemporary 
American letters Du Bose Heyward, Julian Green, Ellen 
Glasgow, James Boyd, Julia Peterkin, Paul Green, Burton 
Rascoe, Frances Newman, T. S. Stribling, Elizabeth Madox 
Robert and Conrad Aiken, comes Maristan Chapman as the 
latest to retain what is characterized in the November Har- 
per's as a "poetic quality of style in dealing with the pedest- 
rian prose of experience. If Ross Santee and Will James 
have helped the West to escape from Zane Grey and his 
confreres, so has Mrs. Chapman in The Happy Mountain 
rescued the Cumberland from the clutches of John Fox, Jr. 

Taking the dangerously simple triangle as her plot, 
(but not as her motif) , Mrs. Chapman developes the story of 
Wait- S till-on- the-Lord-Lowe's fight with Burl Bracy for 
the love of Allardene Howard. The tale is written with a 
keen eye for detail and an awareness of the beautiful. It is 
written in an idiom new to us, the real speech of the Cum- 
berland's, which is different not because the hill-billies say 
"hyar" or "gwine", but because spring nights are "lown" 
(gentle) , and the fields are "fere" or "fellowly," and the hills 
are lost in "smirr" (mist). These coined words of intrinsic 
loveliness are woven by the author into lyric passages which 
are the more surprising and delightful because of their com- 
plete unselfconsciousness. 

u The way the moon shrinks the hills is a sight to see! 
One hour they'll be standing dark, and reaching up to 
heaven, proud as they needed no salvation. Then up comes 



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The Smith College Monthly 39 

curling the bare, white moon and they flatten out and spread 
and run down the valley, creeping and ashamed. 

"The night thickened in the hollows, while the high 
places were smeared with fresh moonlight. The drifting sha- 
dows made the forest a living, moving thing, that at one 
time both threatened and sheltered his homeplace." 

Or:— 

* 'Going on is like dreaming,' Waits told himself, 'and 
living is just like going on. Then living and dreaming must 
be the same thing, and we all of us live in a dream.' He 
stopped to look at what he had said, and being unable to 
make it out, went on again more quickly to get out of its 
w r ay." 

These are words that sing, and if the song is occasionally 
interrupted while the words go on in a talking voice, even 
that is of a pleasing quality. Mrs. Chapman's music is fine 
enough to hold our interest through a few r intermissions. 

While we are still considering the mechanics of the 
book, two things must be noted : that the characters stand out 
as individuals instead of as types; and that the relations be- 
tween them are indicated with a quick subtlety not often 
found. As illustration of the first point Ave might use never- 
to-be-forgotten Uncle Buddy Shannon, who "looked the 
picture of a down-gone Santa Claus that had'nt been washed 
since Christmas," and who made up for an irateness ex- 
pressed by "scattering swear words that flew around like 
spent bullets", in his eagerness to share the last crumb of 
leftments in his hovel with his guest. For the second — listen 
to Waits and Barsha, his mother: 

" 'I'm going far 'n' beyond,' Waits went on, 'far 'n' be- 
yond, and even farther than that, maybe so far as down to 
Fentress and Cumberland.' 

"Barsha crossed the kitchen and took the water-pail off 
its shelf. 'Here! Take this to the spring for fresh water,' she 
said, 'Least-ways lessen you're gone right XOW!' 

"Waits grabbed the pail from her and, unmindful of 
his steps, ran into the doorside and spilled the water dregs 
on the clean floor. 

" 'Heard the news?' Barsha asked. 

"'What?' 

" 'Fayre Jones fell off en a foot-log watching a fence- 
rail float clown the creek yar morning. He's another that 
never could do two things at one time neither/ 



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The Smith College Monthly 41 

' 'Heard you tell that before,' Waits gave baek; and 
turning at the foot of the steps he called to her: 'What's the 
best way to keep May frost often the crops?' 

" 'Plant 'em in June,' Barsha said. 'And if our old man 
should to find us acting simple this way, the house wouldn't 
be worth living in for a perfect hour." " 



But to me, it is not in her natural felicity of phase, or in 
her delineation of character, or in her nice indications of the 
relationships between people that Marisyan Chapman is 
greatest. For in Waits Lowe, torn between love and the 
wanderlust, going forth from his homeland to satisfy his 
"nedd to wonder", to resolve a little the Chaos left over in 
him by the Lord, faring forth to find words and booklearn- 
ing, coming back with Vegger his fiddle in place of these, 
contented, yet still yearning, — in this Wait- S till-on- the- 
Lord-Lowe, she has given us a universal creation. There is 
a happiness in Mrs. Chapman's philosophy, but it is quietly 
aware of pain. Most of all there's truth, for Waits, if he 
finds peace in his love, is nevertheless "not one mite nearer 
being easy in mind;" and at the end of a search that has 
brought him back to his starting point, we find him owning: 

" 'I'll have yearnings all my days 'n' years, and desires 
not to be quenched, but I've come full circle, and hereafter 
my shoes are no more swift for roaming; my head, maybe — 
but there's Venger." 

Here is the eternal seekingness of man understood, 
without bitterness at the knowledge that all we ever find is 
another question or another want. In this understanding, 
in her insight, in her joy, however poignant, and in her loyal- 
ty to what is true lies Mrs. Chapman's worth. For if her 
mountains are filled with the sounds of gladness, she leaves 
her forest brooding. 

K. Lawrence Stapleton 1932 

THE CASE OF SERGEANT GRISCHA 

By Arnold Zweig. 

Translated from the German by Eric Sutton. 
New York: The Viking Press, 1928. $2.50. 

Arnold Zweig is a new name to American readers, and 
he comes to us credited with having written the best novel 



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The Smith College Monthly 43 

that has been written about the World War. He is not to 
be confused with Stefan Zweig, familiar to many of us as 
the adaptor of Ben Jonson's Volpone, reeently played in 
Xew York by the Theater Guild. Arnold Zweig is a young 
man, who conceived the plot of The Case of Sergeant 
Grischa during the war, wrote it as a play in 11)21. and final- 
ly produced it as a novel in 1927. This book is the second 
of three volumes whose collective title will be A Trilogy of 
the Transition. Both the first, Education before Verdun, 
and the third. The Crowning of a King, have yet to be pub- 
lished. 

The story is concerned with the Russian peasant, 
Grischa, a prisoner in a German prison camp on the eastern 
front. He carefully plans and executes a dramatic escape, 
spending the winter wandering through the forests towards 
his Russian home, in which are his wife and the baby he has 
never seen. Before long he comes upon Babka and Kolja, 
two Russian refugees. Babka and Grischa live together, and 
she tries to make him forget that he is an escaped prisoner 
longing for his home. Finally she realizes his unhappiness 
and urges him to go, even getting him another identification 
tag to make things easier in case of capture. He is arrested. 
The identification disc proves to be that of a Russian spy. 
which means the death sentence. 

He is imprisoned again, this time at Mervinsk, under 
the supervision of General von Lychow. There he succeeds 
in establishing his innocence, and by his good humor, his 
services, and appealing peasant innocence, he ingratiates 
himself with his immediate superiors, eventually coming to 
the notice of the General, himself. Maj or- General S chief - 
fenzahn is commander-in-chief of the German army in the 
eastern sector. Yon Lychow appeals the case to him, almost 
sure of its being dropped, but to his amazement Schieffen- 
zahn orders the sentence carried through for the sake of 
discipline. Von Lychow delays; he makes a trip to head 
quarters to see the Major-General. Then there follows the 
duel between old Germany's justice and new Germany's dis- 
cipline which carries you through a desperate struggle to 
the end of the book. It is a battle between von Lychow of 
the old nobility and Schieffenzahn risen from the merchant 
class; it is a battle of doffed resistance on the right side and 
shrewdness on the wrong. 



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The Smith College Monthly 45 

The people in Anold Zweig's book are so convincing, so 
real, that it is nearly impossible to select one characterization 
more perfect than the rest. There is Grischa, whom you 
pity as an unfortunate pawn in a game between greater pow- 
ers. There is von Lychow, whom you admire intensely for 
his sympathy and old-world courtesy, whom you love for his 
kindness and gentleness to everyone with whom he comes in 
contact. There is Schieffenzahn, supposed to be a study of 
Ludendorff, who conforms perfectly to your conception of 
the typical German officer — relentless, brilliant, hard, auto- 
cratic. There is Babka — " the rough peasant woman who 
had fought two fights and killed three men with her own 
hand", and holding for Grischa "that entire affection in 
which mistress and mother are united". She followed Grischa 
to the end, bearing his child, comforting him, fighting for 
him. 

It is only after finishing the book that you can fully 
comprehend its power, its intensity, its greatness. During the 
reading you are far too conscious of the rapid motion of the 
book, of Grischa's struggle for existence, of a new and un- 
known aspect of the war. Arnold Zweig did not attempt to 
soften the world's opinion of war time Germany. But we 
can definitely admire the people who fought for Grischa. 
Perhaps with the completion of Zweig's trilogy we may 
grant humanity and justice to this side of Germany we are 
just beginning to know. 

M. M. S. Johnson 1930 



College Lamps a Specialty 

Repairs while you wait 
A very attractive Line of Gifts 

CATY'S 

Electric & Gift Shop 
NEXT TO BOYDEN'S 

THE TARDIFF SHOP 

Antiques and 
Reproductions 

40 CENTER ST. 

Careful attention given to packing and 

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Watches, diamonds, high class gold 
jewelry, silverware, clocks, fountain 
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especially good variety of costume 
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FRANK E. DAVIS 
164 Main St. 



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1 Green St. Northampton 

The College Girl's Favorite Store for 

Immediate Wants 
Girdles, Corselettes, Beaudeaux, Gloves 

Silk Underwear, Crepe de Chine 

Underwear, Sanitary Goods, Hosiery 

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BOARD 

OF 
EDITORS 




Vol. XXXVII FEBRUARY, 1929 No. 5 

EDITORIAL BOARD 

Editor-in-chief, Anne Lloyd Basinger, 1929 

Managing Editor, Ernestine Gilbreth, 1929 

Book Review Editor, Elizabeth Botsford, 1929 

Katherine S. Bolman, 1929 Priscilla S. Fairchild, 1930 

Elizabeth Wheeler, 1929 Elizabeth Sha^v, 1930 

Rachel Grant, 1929 Martha H. Wood, 1930 

Sallie S. Simons, 1930 
Art — Nancy Wynne Parker, 1930 
BUSINESS STAFF 
Business Manager, Sylvia Alberts, 1929 
Mary Sayre, 1930 Anna Dabney, 1930 Mary Folsom, 1931 

Agnes Lyall, 1930 Esther Tow, 1931 Sarah Pearson, 1931 

Advertising Manager, Gertrude Cohen, 1929 
Assistant Advertising Manager, Lilian Supove, 1929 
Circulation Manager, Ruth Rose, 1929 



The Smith College Monthly is published at Northampton, Mass., each month from 

October to June, inclusive. Terms $2.00 a year. Single copies 25c. 

Subscriptions may be sent to Sylvia Alberts, 12 Fruit Street, Northampton. 

Advertising Manager, Gertrude Cohen, Capen House 

Contributions may be left in the Monthly box in the Note Room. 

Entered at the Post Office at Northampton, Mass., as second class matter. 

Metcalf Printing <§• Publishing Company, Northampton, Mass. 

"Accepted for mailing at special rate of postage provided for in Section 1203, 

Act of October 3, 1917. Authorized October 31, 1913.'" 



sill manuscript should be typewritten and in the Monthly Box by the fifteenth 
of the month to be considered for the issue of the following month. 
All manuscript should be signed with the full name of the writer. 



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CONTENTS 



1 






The Land of Opportunity 

Archeologist 

The Day 

Sappho 

London Streets 

Iseult 

At the Sight of Blood 

Manana 

The Lekythos 

Gardenias 

Book Reviews 

Scarlet Sister Mary 
Joseph and His Brethren 
The Lost Lyrist 



Mary Chase, 1931 5 



Patty Wood, 1930 10 



Priscilla S. Fairchild, 1930 11 



Marion Bus sang, 1932 14 



Ernestine Gilbreth, 1929 15 



Marion Bussang, 1932 22 



Dorothy M. Kelley, 1931 23 



Sallie S. Simons, 1930 25 



Frances Ranney, 1929 26 



Edith Starks, 1929 27 



28 



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College 
Monthly 



THE LAND OF OPPORTUNITY 

Mary Chase 1931 




5«jARY first met Joseph Sabin just after he graduated 
>M from college, where he had been revently regarded by 
T(fM the undergraduates as a literary genius. He was at- 
tracted by her strange, Slavic beauty, and she, for her part, 
was much impressed by his interesting if somewhat ape-like 
appearance, and by the tradition of intelligence that had 
grown up about him. She knew also that he cherished great 
hopes of being a newspaper man, and writing for the Atlan- 
tic in his spare moments. 

By the time she married him, he had made a few steps 
toward fulfilling his ambitions — he was a reporter on the 
Chicago Daily News and had had an article on the evils of 
city life accepted by the Atlantic. Alary had little sympathy 
with his views on city life, or on life in general, but she re- 
spected his ambitions and his rather meager achievements. 
So she married him, hoping vaguely that she could handle 
him and make him a credit to her. 

For seven or eight years he worked steadily and was pro- 
gressing, although too slowly to suit him. He complained 
that he could never write, cramped in a city as he was — that 
he had genius, as he could show if he were free, and living 
the sort of life he fondly supposed an educated farmer could 
live. Alary was contented in the city, in spite of the fact that 
they \\ere uncomfortably poor, and always had difficulty in 
taking care of the six children who appeared in quick succes- 
sion. They, however, furnished Joseph with an excellent 
argument — country life is good for children — but still Mary 
refused to leave the city. However, the next April, when 



6 The Smith College Monthly 

Joseph was sent down to Florida to cover a murder trial in 
Tampa, he bought an orange grove, disregarding Mary's 
wishes and came back to fetch her and the children. He was 
full of glowing but rather apologetic descriptions of the 

platt "There S a house of course it isn't very nice yet. 
but I'll fix it up for you. A creek that only needs cleaning 
out runs right by the house. The schools are good they're 
rather Car away, hut the school bus goes right by our gate. 
The roads aren't very good yet, hut they're putting in new 
ones next year. Anyway it's primitive and healthy and that's 
what I want. It's warm the children can run about hare- 
foot all day. I'll have a man to manage the grove; and 
you know how much oranges cost -we'll make money and 
1 'II he free and can write." 

Tlu- train stopped beside a small sign which said 
"Sutherland Station", and with the help of two porters. 
Joseph got the- bags and the children out. Near the sign a 
very old Chevrolet was waiting, with a thin, drooping old 
man standing beside it. lie took the hags and some of the 
children and packed them in the hack seat, while the rest of 
them sat in front. The sun had made the car almost un- 
bearably hot. The metal door burned Mary's arm when she 
leaned against it: and the younger children, crowded to- 
gether in the hack, began to cry. The old man started the 
car. and. following two ruts in an otherwise blank, Hat and 
uninteresting field, they rode for an hour or two through a 
series of fields, each a repetition of the first, with almost the 
same arrangement of scrubby palmettos and tall, naked pine 
trees. After a long time the ruts turned and began to run 
along beside a narrow creek, choked up with weeds and poi- 
sonous-looking loots. Mary decided that that must he the 
creek that "only needed cleaning out", and looking ahead 
saw a house, distorted to her sight hy the oily waves of heat 

rising from the ground. "That's ours," said Joseph, and af- 
ter jolting over an insecure bridge they Stopped at the gate. 

It was a blind-looking house, dirty-white, with torn screens 
in the windows and a poreh shuttered with tarred paper. The 
grass had obviously been left to itself for a long time, and 
had grown Coarse and stalklike, tangled in a thick mat over 
Mm ground. There was oik big tree shading the west side 
of the house, two smaller ones with big white flowers on 
ih« in. and a few bushes. Behind the prove, Marv could sec 



The Smith College Monthly 7 

the beginnings of the grove, and on each side, the waste land, 
like the fields through which they had come. "See that land?" 
said Joseph, "Nobody's ever put a plow in it before. I'm 
going to set out a new grove there." While he was talking he 
kept brushing his hand across his face, and soon Mary 
noticed little, darting black specks before her eyes. She dis- 
covered that they were gnats who seemed to be attracted by 
her eyes and who danced back and forth in front of them, 
occasionally darting in at her eyeballs. To escape them she 
went into the house while Joseph took the children off to see 
the grove. 

For several months she could think of nothing but the 
heat and the gnats. Whenever she went out, the hot light 
rested like a weight on the top of her head, so that she felt 
crushed under it. And indoors or out, the gnats spun like 
black specks before her eyes and stuck to her skin. She was 
afraid of this tropical country where everything happened 
so quickly — it seemed to her as if she could see the grass 
grow, die, and decay. The color of the leaves was also 
strange to her. At first she often tried to find a word to 
describe it, but since she always failed, she soon stopped try- 
ing. It was a dark, dull green, almost black, and the surface 
of the leaves was rough and dusty, although there was no 
dust anywhere — only the sand in which nothing good would 
grow. Joseph and the children seemed to have no such feel- 
ings of insecurity and distrust. The children played hide- 
and-seek in the thick palmetto clumps. Joseph was happy, 
walking through the tall weeds, directing the negroes in the 
clearing. Mary was afraid. At night when the tall pines 
stood stark and black against the sky, and the land looked 
flat and lifeless, it seemed like a setting for a great funeral ; 
but in the daytime the land was agressively alive and grow- 
ing, always fighting her and her family. So she stayed in the 
house, while Joseph and the children lived outdoors. 

When winter came she felt less unhappy. The country 
no longer seemed so oppressively tropical, and the grass and 
weeds stopped growing at the fearful rate that had weighed 
on her mind so, at first. Joseph had started a book, and, with 
the cold weather, he and the younger children were in the 
house most of the day, while the older ones were away at 
school. But in the spring, Joseph found from the sale of his 
fruit crop that orange groves were not as profitable' as he had 



8 The Smith College Monthly 

dreamed. He dismissed the negroes, and with the help of 

an old cracker, did the work himself. Then Mary noticed 

that the oldest boy was thin, and looked pale and unhealthy. 

So she and the hoy made the long day's journey to Tampa, 
crawling through the miles of deep, sandy ruts. The boy 

had hookworm, and they stayed for a week in Tampa, while 
he was being cured. After that, the children never went 
barefoot, and when, a month or two later, one of them met 
a rattlesnake in the grove, Mary could see that they wore 
beginning to share her terror. 

Joseph felt no fear, hut he was beginning to he driven 
by the land. By the time they had been in Florida two years, 
he had stopped writing entirely and spent all hs time work- 
ing in the grove, coming home at night too tired to keep 
awake. The work hent his back and made his shoulders and 
arms heavy and strong. He would come shambling home at 
night, hent over with his long arms hanging in front of him. 
his hands almost touching his knees. Mary sometimes won- 
dered if he swung; from tree to tree in the grove, like the apes 
he resembled more and more. 

She feared these thoughts and buried herself in her 
work, to keep from thinking. She felt safe in the feeling 
of detachmenl her work gave her, and gradually became in- 
different to the life around her, and even to the circumstances 
of her own life. On the rare occasions when she caught Sight 
of herself in a mirror, she could see that the fire and color 
which had made her beautiful, had gone out of her face. With 
her hail", faded to a drab brownish grey, and her shrunken 
face, she was becoming like the old cracker women who sat 
in the hot sun outside their ramshackle cabins and dipped 
snuff. Hut she was past caring even for that. A hurricane 

came and lore up half of their trees. .Joseph worked steadily 

for a year, and had just repaired the damage when there 
was a freeze and the fruit crop was lost. Then, slowly, their 

fortunes improved. Land became more valuable, the fruit 

crop was good for three years in succession; Joseph boughl 

.1 Ik \\ car. It was all the same to Mary, In summer it was 
a tilth hotter, and in winter a little colder; she baked and 
scrubbed, and the time passed, as it always had. 

Oik morning in the fall, while she was working in the 
kitchen, she heard a shout from the yard. She went to the 
door and s;iw Joseph leaning against the gate. "Snakebite," 



The Smith College Monthly 9 

he said. She ran out to him, and, ripping oft' his stocking and 
rolling up his trouser-leg. she saw the two red marks in his 
swollen leg. "I'm done for," he said, "Get me a piece of 
paper, for a will. I want you to stay here — the grove and the 
land — ■" She didn't wait to hear any more, but ran into the 
house to get the medicine and the paper. While she was 
fixing the potash, she looked out of the window and saw 
Joseph, squatting on the ground with his leg doubled under 
him and his heavy hands exploring the bite, She could think 
of nothing but the thought that had obsessed her for so long— 
how like an ape he looked. Why should she be ruled by an 
ape? She ran back with the solution and the bandage, and 
saying, "There's no time to make a will," she put the tourni- 
quet on his leg, not twisting it very tightly. While she 
rubbed the potash into the bite, he told her about the snake. 
"I was pruning a tree and stepped backwards. Something 
hit me in the leg, very lightly, and I thought I'd stepped on 
a stick. When I got around to the other side of the tree and 
saw the snake, I knew what had happened, but then it was 
too late, so I ran." Then he closed his eyes and slumped for- 
ward. By the time Mary had the car ready, she had to shake 
him to arouse him, and then, finally, almost to drag him to 
the car. When the long ride to the nearest town was over, 
he was dead asleep, and the doctor could not wake him. He 
died, in the doctor's office, that afternoon. 

When the doctor came out, Mary was looking steadily 
at the Avail opposite. After he told her, she said nothing. She 
was thinking that, with. luck, she and the children could leave 
for the north within two weeks. 



10 The Smith College Monthly 



ARCHEOLOGIST 

Patty Wood 1930 



Remember, remember — 

Why must you always he *~ 

Remembering? 

I think, for you. today 

Is hut a time for seeing yesterdays. 

And there is nothing in tomorrow. 

Remember, remember — 

You dig, and hurrow. ferret out. 

And when, from some ohseure and rotting tomb, 

You have unearthed a moment of the past. 

"Treasure!" you cry and. gloating, 

Dangle it before my eyes. 

Remember, remember — 

I hate it. hate 

I ts brokenness, its failure; 
What of loveliness there w as 
Is tarnish, 
All of magic has been lost. 

And there are tatters 

Remember, remember 

Why must you always he 

Remembering? 



The Smith College Monthly 11 



THE DAY 

Priscilla Fairchijd 1930 



@ ELL this has been a day," she sighed, sinking suddenly 
down to the purple flowers and green leaves of the 
sofa. "This has been quite a day," she repeated, and 
felt experimentally around her head for the wandering 
prongs of hair-pins poised like dragon flies for flight. 

Even getting up at seven to drive Fred to the train 
didn't make the morning long enough. Mrs. Doyle had 
come to clean the pantry after breakfast. All the china 
taken down, washed, dried, put back again, clean bubbles 
of glass glowing on the lace-petticoated shelves, hot smell of 
ammonia and soapy water, garrulous Irish voices resound- 
ing through the house all day. 

About ten she got the lists and gave the orders to 
Norah. A long process this, in which she stood tranced, 
ecstatic, tapping the oil-cloth of the table with a pencil, 
thinking of nothing, of everything, the fly buzzing in the 
window, summer and bathing and wet hair, the garden to 
be weeded, strawberries, hungry children. "Oatmeal," she 
said trumphantly, "oatmeal, I knew it all the time." Norah, 
faithful acolyte, murmured "Oatmeal, of course." So they 
went through all the list, searched the ice-box, peered into 
the closet for red and yellow packages. "Cinnamon," she 
hummed, "clove, allspice and mustard, red pepper, white 
pepper, salt, sugar and tea. Now for dinner shall we have 
. . . ." Her mind spun off again. Stop at the bank, write 
to Talbot ; Anne needs a new evening dress. Would she look 
well in black? A miniature Anne in a black dress pirouetted 
through her brain, fascinating, adored by everyone, the most 
attractive girl at the party. . . . 

"I shall get the material tomorrow, and make it next 
week when I have more time. Such a lovely idea in my 
mind." 

" And caramel custard for dessert, then, that's 

always nice." 

Caramel custard and string beans are favorites of 



1 J The Smith College Monthly 

>li< was going upstairs whistling an assortment of 
tunes curiously jumbled together, and as she moved 
through the rooms, the crystal <In>|>s on the old-fashioned 
lamps tinkled an obligate to her firm tread and the click of 
her In < Is. 

Then the laundryman made his weekly dramatic rush 
up the dm 

"Yes, the wife was better, thank you. It was a rotten 
job driving a truck around, waiting at hack doors in the rain 
and mud. Fine open winter it had been though.' 1 

Soapy must be tied out. lie watched her from the 

window scat where he lay in a pool of sunlight, his tail 
thumping joy and expectation. "You worm," she said 
through her closed teeth, and swooping suddenly over him. 
crumpled his ear in her fingers, "you little brown worm." 

Tied to the tree, he saw her walk away over the sodden 
lawn. She picked tip a handful of dried sticks from under 
the hedge, to scatter them forgetfully in a minute as she 
pulled three weeds out of the flowerbed. The earth had a 
rotten feel, a rotten smell, the musk decaying before the 
kernel sprouts. "So many leaves to he burned, and borders 
eded, and the garden must he ploughed soon. Perhaps 

ii< \t summer we can have a man ... I must pop down 
and give the furnace a little shake/' 

Hut ^1k still stood, her grey-green eyes decked with 
d staring aimlessly across the road at a telegraph pole, 
i hi' hand clutching a headless weed, the other holding a cook- 
hook, till finally the Vague current of her thoughts allowed 
her to move again, and whistling loudly, tunelessly, she 
entered the house. 

Immediately lit' fell upon her with the soft clatter of 
a dropped pack of cards. Norah and .Mrs. Doyle wrangled 
m the Kitchen. A man came to solicit money for the Salva- 
t ion A rmj . 

"After lunch. " she thought, and walking through the 
dining room, 8he stopped to rub a spot off the sideboard, 
immediately and utterly forgetting her motive Tor coming 
into the room al all. "After lunch. I shall just lie down and 
take a lit 1 1 < nap, I don't believe Pve sat down once all day." 



The Smith College Monthly 13 

But after lunch, (on a tray in front of the window, the 
leaves of the morning paper strewn generously around on 
the floor), the telephone whirred with the rasp of an insect 
on an August night, and Soapy harked out of devastating 
boredom. Xorah cleaning brass downstairs, ("I'm sure 
she's spilling polish on the hard wood floor, and it does eat 
into the wax so.") Xorah dropped the andirons with the 
gesture of a man beating cymbals in an orchestra, determined 
to make the most of his moment, that has finally arrived. 

The two worst possible bores came to call. Under the 
rumble of platitudes her mind leaped and darted like a 
speckled trout. How long will they stay, oh God, how long! 
Why do fat women with yellow faces wear light green? 

Her eyes wandered to the book-cases. Those glass 
doors must be washed, you can hardly see the names. Does 
any one nowadays read Rutlcdge and Misunderstood? .... 
How I loved them. Little wrinkles ran up the sides of her 
nose as she smiled. 

Always the outer flow of conversation rambled on. Xow 
and then, vaguely, she fell a little behind, repeated herself, 
asked meaningless questions. ''How the children laugh at 
me when I do that ... I must write Talbot after dinner." 

It was when they had gone that she murmured to her- 
self. "This has been a day." The room closed in about her 
with that intimacy of a late winter afternoon when it is 
nearly time to go upstairs and dress. Little rumbling noises 
crept out of the fire. Soapy snored heavily. At last, at 
last, she could sink into herself, think of nothing at all, have 
no demands made on her, just the luxury of sitting and 
staring. 

The door clicked and swung. "Fred, is *hat you? Are 
you very cold ? Just a minute, and I'll ring for more hot 
water. Did you have a hard day?" 

"Well, we sold five hundred bales today. The market 
was good, silver has gone np. Skinner came into the office 
and I told him . . . ." 

His eyes were still very blue, sailor's eyes, puckered in 
the corners from squinting, a little faded now. almost the 
color of that china cow she had had as a little girl. It was 
really a jug, you lifted it up by the tail, and poured the milk 



1 4 The Smith College Monthly 

out of its mouth, always a distinct shock to see. The jug 
and the green hook with the gold title "Little George's 
Journey to the Land of Happiness," were always associated 

somehow 

"And what have you been doing today?" he was saying. 
" B< en \ ery busj .'" 

"Oh no. just the same old round. I don't really think 
I've done a single thing all day." 



SAPHO 
Marion Bussang 1932 



When did they last 

Plait your hair, 
By a (hep sea? 
Your purple hair? 

Did you tip hark your head 
Exquisitely \ 

And slip a soft smile 

From your perfect lips? 

I )id you touch your dim hair 
With your fingertips? 

By a deep, cool sea. 
( )ne afternoon 
Near M vtilene, . . 



The Smith College Monthly 15 



LONDON STREETS 

Ernestine Gilbreth 1929 



THE INTRODUCTION 

For the pleasure of my readers as well as for my own, I must piek 
and choose those who have an itching inclination to be conducted through 
the London Streets. For their satisfaction and my own diversion we 
must be a company stouthearted and sturdy-legged. I shall not expose 
the vanities and vices of the town to those who smart easily, whose eyes, 
ears and noses are forever a matter of care and preservation. But if 
there be amongst you, a suitable temper to walk about and take a com- 
pleat view, I bid you welcome to our company. We'll take a turn quite 
round and then we shall escape nothing worth observing. 



leec 



f** E have left a world of peace, law and traffic regulations, 
vl/ and come by foot to eighteenth century London. Here 
is the very metropolis of England, a city which is in- 
the heart of the commercial and financial systems, the 
warehouse and clearing-house of business life. Stealthily it 
has crept along the lines of existing roads or old country 
lines, frequently submerging the cow-pastures themselves. 
Ever widening, it extends through new and further roads. 
Here is a growing residential district, alive with unceasing 
progress and more definitely, congested masses of people. 
Here are streets straggling in every direction, topsy-turvy 
with life and action. 

There remain many dark alleys, foul, dismal and devoid 
of light or fresh air. Narrow streets retain their ancient pav- 
ing of hard stone hammered into the ground, their filthy 
gutters sometimes a succession of stagnant puddles, some- 
times almost a rapid stream. Broader streets are beginning 
to be provided with flat paving of freestone; the more im- 
portant ones have posts. The dangerous kennel in the mid- 
dle of the streets tends to be replaced by gutters on either 
side. One looks in vain for curbs. Obstacles to ventilation, 
light and walking, project from the houses. But there are 



I () The Smith College Monthly 

suggestions of improvement. The old personal obligation of 
each householder to pave and keep in repair the street in 
Front of his own door, has been replaced by a commission 
appointed for this very purpose. 

Before these changes due to the new Paving Avts, of 
streets had suggested a colony of Hottentots. It was diffi- 
cult to rest lain the nighl men and scavengers from emptying 
their carts in the streets. The accumulated filth thrown out 
from the doors and windows of neighboring houses meant "a 
menace to health and safety." Householders invariably failed 
to sweep the- road in front of their houses. The passerby 
was constantly in fear of stumbling into a projecting bal- 
cony, unfenced open cellar, or unprotected coal-shoot. 
Should he- escape being struck by a falling flower-pot, there 
was still danger of being drenched by spouts projecting 

from the- house-tops. 

Hut many inconveniences still characterize the streets. 
In spite- of continued effort to bring the houses into line, 
there are shops, especially on the smaller streets, which throw 
out bay windows, or doorsteps advancing into the narrow 
pathway. The pavement remains in a ruinous condition even 
where it consists of nothing hut round stones; there is con- 
stant danger of bullocks driven through the' streets. One is 
ii< \ er safe from the packs of dogs taught to defend the* house, 
lo fly at strangers and to fight in the* ring. Crowds of 
pars swarm back and forth. A merciless procession of 
street-cries jibes with the bawling from the shops. 

In the early pari of the- century, the' lighting as we'll as 
the paving was considered the personal responsibility of the 
householders. Lights were supposed to be hung out during 
the- six winter months from six to e'le've'n P. M. on dark 
nights by the calendar. (On eighteen nights in each noon.; 
The shops which were usually kept open until eight or nine- 
o'clock in the evening, made the streets (phte- agreeable with 
their half-hearted Lights. Hut il was nevertheless necessary 
for those who sallied forth in the evening, to he* accompanied 
to and from their card parties, by 'prentices carrying clubs. 
The Paving Ads however, brought both the- lighting power 
and ih< new paving projects under a body of trustees. Also, 
.is in the case of paving, to no purpose. The- lamps which 
were lit at sunset, were mostly out by eleven o'clock, because 
t h< light ers si< >l< most of the oil. 



The Smith College Monthly 17 

The streets have their distinct atmosphere. Loeal odors 
of all varieties and degrees of intensity, keep the pedestrian 
ever-conscious of his sense of smell. Thames Street is the re- 
gion of fish and meat markets and oil merchants. Past Fleet 
Street one becomes aware only of the noxious open stream 
at the foot of Ludgate Hill. It is a relief to reach "the per- 
fumed paths of fair Pall Mall." Indeed as Gay points out 
in Trivia 

"Experienced men innr'd to city ways 
Xeed not the Calendar to count their days." 

Addison expands the subject in the Spectator, and 
emphasizes the prevalence of street-cries. " There is nothing 
Avhich more astonishes a foreigner and frights a country 
squire." He divides them neatly into the vocal and instru- 
mental. "As for the latter they are at present under great 
disorder. A freeman of London has the privilege of dis- 
trubing a whole street for an hour altogether with the twankle 
of a brass kettle or frying pan." There are also the watch- 
riian's thump at midnight, the sowgelder's horn. But "Vocal 
cries are of much larger extent and indeed so full of incon- 
gruities and barbarisms that we appear a distracted city to 
foreigners." There are "the excessive alarms in turnip sea- 
son", the call of the pickle hawkers "which like the song of 
the nightingale is not heard above two months". "And one 
cannot be deaf to the shrill note of the milkman, the hollow 
voice of the copper, and the sad and solemn air with which 
the public are often asked if they have any chairs to mend." 

Attention is also attracted by the signboards hung out 
before almost every house. Monstrous, heavy with ironwork, 
they can be heard swinging ponderously in the wind, adding 
to the uproar of the streets. The sign painters enjoy a fine 
business and keep large stacks of them "both carved and 
painted, spit grapes and sugar-loaves, lasts and teapots in 
the round, as well as the still familiar lions and white 
harts." Every shop has its sign of copper, pewter or wood, 
painted and gilt, some very magnificent. 

The finest shops are scattered down the courts and pas- 
sages. Those on Strand, Fleet Street and Cheapside are 
very elegant, enclosed with great glass doors and adorned on 
the outside with pieces of ancient architecture. The shops 
of the drapers are particularly beautiful, inspired by the 



is The Smith College Monthly 

noble fronts of banking houses with emblematic statins over 
the doors. The windows of the jewelers and pawnbrokers 
concentrate upon respendeni window-displays to the public. 

Many of the shops hav< sonn outward mark signifying 
th< occupation of their tenants. The baker lias a latice; the 
al( -hous< . checkers; the barber his pole; the clothier, a golden 
sh( ( p. Bui walking along the street one is aware of many 
less obvious objects the milk-score chalked on every door- 
post : the "flying-barber" on a Sunday morning; white glo^ e 
mm a knocker to show the arrival of a child ; pickpockets held 
under the pump, or the butcher's orchestral hand of morrcn - 
bones and cleavers congratulating a wedding party. 

Bui the London Spy in describing London, is more im- 
pressed by the number of advertisements "hung thick round 
the Pillars of each Walk. The Wainscote was adorn'd with 
Quacks Hills instead of Pictures. Never an Emperick in the 
town hut had his name in a lacquer'd Frame containing ;< 
a t'aii- Invitation for a Fool and his Money soon to he parted." 

The streets seem alive with amateur roysterers and pro- 
fessional pickpockets and footpads. The criminals comprise 
the Bold-bucks and Hellfires. (We find no evidence pointing 
to the existence of .Mohocks.) Less harmless arc those whose 
favorite pastime is the breaking of windows or storming of 
hearses. The Apprentice hoys evidently find in these harm- 
less pursuits, their only outlet for amusement and exercise. 
Gambling, the ciub, tavern and alehouse were doubtless res- 
ponsible for had masters and consequently lor troublesome 
apprentices. So we find these hoys, any hour in the evening, 

shouting and clearing the pavement of all persons, boxing 
w it 1 1 those wIki dare to offer resistance, or in times of scarcity. 
fighting among themselves with sticks. 

More serious are the rogue's den. the smashing mint, the 
abodes of villains, thieftakers and informers, found in every 
eet. Even in the busiesl thoroughfares such as Ludgate 
Hill, the pedestrian must be prepared to fighl with club or 
tists. The rogues themselves are limitless. The very women. 
'i the common prostitutes, know how to use their fists as 
well .-is bo rob. 

Stealing of luggage occurs all day long. Without so 
much aa a l»\ your leave," the vistor to London may see 
his trunk disappear. Hackney coachmen stand in villi the 
thieves and take their 'regulars". Rvervone is a "smasher" 



The Smith College Monthly 19 

and a successful one. Caddees profess to be fellows hanging 
around for six penny jobs, but devote their energy to pass- 
ing off bad money for good, and selling it to everyone for 
handsome profits. Picking pockets has also been reduced to 
a science. Thieves mix in every crowd, wherever there is 
any show or exhibiton of goods. "If a horse tumbles or a 
woman faints away, they run to increase the crowd and con- 
fusion; they create a bustle and try over the pockets of un- 
suspecting persons." Or they get up sham fights and calm- 
ly rob the bystanders. 

All day long the streets resound with fighting. "The 
journeyman of every trade, the fellowship porter, the steve- 
dor, the carter, the waggoner, driver, sailor, watchman," 
are prepared to defend the rights of the lower classes, should 
the occasion happily present itself. But gentlemen also 
carry into the streets a stout walking stick far more useful 
than a sword. They too are very anxious to use their fists 
and are eager for a bully shoving into the crowd, or a per- 
son taking the wall of everyone. It is considered a right 
and a pleasure to treat footpads and pickpockets to a cudg- 
elling or the pump. In every crowd the hasty quarrel, the 
oaths and the blasphemies of disputants, the fight in the ring 
sure to be promptly formed either with fists or cudgels, 
mean the blocking of the streets by radiant onlookers who 
remain to see the ordeal by battle decided. At the mere 
suggestion of a disagreement, the porters and dogs run bark- 
ing from all corners, and the handicrafts leave their garrets, 
making a circle about the boxers. The standers-by are care- 
ful to see the laws of combat strictly observed; they block 
and crowd the streets until the battle is decided. 

We find aside from the vehement action in the streets, 
a motley group of people who make their living here. Lon- 
don is a favorite place for beggars and vagrants of all de- 
crees and kinds. Any persons born with a defect or deform- 
ity, or maimed in such a way as to be rendered miserable, 
have free liberty of showing their nauseous sights to terrify 
people and force them to get rid of them. It is frequently 
the custom for those less hideously deformed to stir up busi- 
ness and competition by borrowing babies at 4d. a day from 
the parish nurses. 

If the streets seem noisy and alive during the daytime, 
they are equally so at night. The city seems fairly to swarm 



20 The Smith College Monthly 

with waifs marching about in the dark, playing before the 
houses. The London Spy niel such a "Gang of Tatterde- 
malions" "A very young Crew of diminutive Vagabonds 
who marched along in rank and file like a little Army of 
Prestor John's Countrymen, as if in order to attack a bird's 
nest." "When questioned one of the Peri Frontiers an- 
swered We Master, are the City Black Guards marching 
to our Winter quarters. Lord bless you Master, give us a 
Penny or a half-penny amongsi us, and you shall hear us 
(if you please) say the Lord's Prayer backwards, swear the 
Compass round, give a new Curse to every step in the .Monu- 
ment, call a Whore as many propel' names as a Peer has 
titles. We gave the poor Wretches a penny and away they 
trouped with a thousand God bless ye's, as Ragged as old 
Stockin' .Mops, and I'll warrant you as Hungry as so many 
Cat-ta-Mountains. Vet seem'd as Merry as they were Poor. 
and as Contented as they were Miserable." 

The London Spy is also a pretty judge of women and 
has much to say of the mistresses and whores found in 
abundance on every street. "They were to he had of all 
Ranks, Qualities, Colours, Prices and Sizes from the Whet 
Scarf to the Scotch-plaid petticoat. Commodities of all sorts 
\\(iit off, for there wanted not a suitable Jack to every 
Jill." 

Quacks also conduct flourishing businesses, addressing 
the rabble and recommending vehemently, "A sound mind 
in .'i sound body as the Learned Doctor I Ionorficieahilit ud- 
initatibusque" has it. and selling "Pacquets of Universal 
Hoflg-podg." One also finds innumerable Puppet shows 
where monkeys in balconies imitate men. and men. monkeys, 
to engage "some of the weaker pari of the Multitude, as 
women and Children." The London Spy also engagingly 
describes the storekeepers "a parcel of Nimble Tungu'd 
Sinners" who leap out and swarm aboul the pedestrian like 
"so many Bees aboul a Honeysuckle, shrieking "Buy any 
Clothes?" Chimney-sweeps, the chandler with his basket, and 
the butcher with hj s greasy tray, likewise assail the unsus- 
p< cting. 

Even on ;i respectable Sunday morning the streets are 
not bare of affronts. People going to church must fairly 
jump over rows of drunken men laid out on the pavement 
I" Fore the public houses, Even in the most respectable (lis- 



The Smith College Monthly 21 

tricts the ears of ladies are offended by the bawling of coarse 
songs in the taverns, and by the balladmongers turning every 
event from a victory to the hanging of a highwayman into 
a ribald song. 

Indeed the streets seem teeming with disorder. There 
is obviously no street patrol by day, no means of regulating 
the slow, congested traffic, of capturing thieves, of dispers- 
ing curious crowds. It is optimistically expected that the 
people themselves will preserve order. The Government 
does offer large rewards for the apprehension of street rob- 
bers, but to little effect. The city although spasmodically 
admonished to clean itself, to light itself, to rid itself of 
rogues, and to keep a guard at night, remains in an almost 
primitive state of unconsciousness. The watch is not set 
until nine o'clock in the winter, ten in the summer and 
spring, leaving therefore, four or five hours in complete 
darkness. But at night as well as day, it is true that the 
'prentices are able and anxious to fight. They make an at- 
tempt to preserve order, in their own Avay. 

The daily patrol or watch is inefficient and ineffective, 
subject always to uncomplimentary opinion and expression. 
The watchmen themselves are stout and sturdy fellows. 
Their fault is obviously not one of age, but of eagerness to 
take bribes. So the poor streetwalker, for example, in 
order to exist, has always to bribe the watch first, the con- 
stable next, and the magistrate (if she ever appears before 
him) last. These fellows: 

"Do most thro' Interest, and but few thro' Zeal 

Betwixt the Laws, and the Offender deal." 

(Ward, The London Spy.) 

The great good that they seem to do in the streets is "to Dis- 
turb People every Hour with their Bawling, under pretence 
of taking care that they may sleep quietly in their Beds; 
and call every old Fool by name seven times a Night, for 
fear he should rise and forget it next Morning; and instead 
of preventing Mischief, make it, by carrying Honest per- 
sons to the Counter, who would fain walk peaceably home 
to their own Habitation; and provoke Gentlemen by their 
sauciness to Commit these Follies 'tis their business properly 
to prevent. In short, it is reasonable to believe they play 



M The Smith College Monthly 

more Rogue's tricks than ever they Detect and occasion more 
Disturbances in the Streets than ever thev Hinder." 



Behind ns the London Streets stretch into the distance. 
The pavement is more even now, and glides smoothly under 
one's fret. The crowds are less: the bellowing of SOngS and 
street-cries has become suddenly faint, a mere jangle of 
notes flung upon the memory. 'There are only the ache of our 

legs, the ierk of our eyes, an imperceptible tingle of the ears, 
to recall the reality of this world so vital, so blundering with 
action. But these one treasures as something apart, yet 
personal, ever-resounding with life and vigor. 



[SEULT 
Marion Bussang 1932 

Powerless, oh white beauty, to have gone 
Bruising your marvellous feel over the stone. 
Down into caverns under the sea alone; 

Creeping into the dark, with the fetid chill 
Of the deep and the cold and the silence trying to till 
Your wonderful hair and your eyes and your throat, until 
i 

Only a shadow stretched in the gloom is all 
I -<l't of the body of [seult; never a tall 
Candle lighting the rare head, dark in its fall. 



The Smith College Monthly 23 



AT THE SIGHT OF BLOOD 
Dorothy M. Kelley 1931 



>— rlLWAYS afterward, at the sight of blood Lucha re- 
jL| member with sickening intensity the afternoon of 
5HI93 the revolution. She felt an echo of the fear that had 
stretched tightly, like sharp, glittering wires, across the 
muffled sounds that came to them through the mattresses, 
which buttressed them under the table. Shots suddenly 
whirred, and hummed metallically, followed by the crashing 
of heavy wooden doors, and screams of pain, clashing of 
steel, and trickle of crumbling plaster walls. Horses' hoofs 
clattered and rang on the cobblestones. Soft Spanish voices 
had turned hard and hateful, were cursing each other. The 
constant echoing of the bullets in the narrow street turned 
the air itself into a shrill roar which penetrated through the 
dull grey mattresses as if sight had been taken and only 
sound remained. 

The reverberations of the shots, the thud of falling walls, 
the pulsations of the house, shook them like noiseless organ- 
pipes. The big door of the patio rattled. To the children 
it was like the shaking of the universe, to have that immense 
door waver. Suddenly, the cathedral bell pealed out, as if 
its fear had overcome its silence. The sustained ringing 
throbbed fainter and fainter and died into the air. At such 
such a moment the well-loved, mellow striking could por- 
tend only evil. The glass of a window-pane crackled and 
tinkled to the floor. Bobbie began to pray rapidly and in- 
congruously, "Now I lay me down to sleep," just as fast as 
his stiffened lips could chant. Lucha realized that Inez had 
been sobbing mechanically, but was evidently now wearied 
into silence. 

The stuffiness between the mattresses was unbearable, 
they could breathe only hot, musty air through the padded 
greyness. Lucha tried frantically to awake from this noisy, 
trembling, hot nightmare. One must always awake before 
anything too awful happened. She pulled at the corner of 
the mattress and crept out. 



2 I The Smith College Monthly 

Through the balcony-window by the table, she could s< i 
caverns of twisting smoke- and dust, glimpses of vague dark 
figures grappling with each other, the black Sash of guns, 
sweaty, distorted faces, the downward gleam of steel knives. 
Right outside the window, clear of the smoke, a palm tree 
waved its long fringed arms languidly, just as if men were 
not fighting and dying before it. The haze dissipated a little. 
A black snorting horse reared as his rider fell. He was a 
young man shot in the forehead so that blood seemed stream- 
ing from his sightless eyes. Lucha shivered with horror and 
shrank back against the mattress. She raised her head again 
at the sound of staggering foot-steps. A man came reeling 
into the room, holding his arm. Blood spurted between his 
fincrers. The whole room turned bloody red to Lucha. gleam- 
infif, wet red. then dark vcd. then black, and she could not 
remember after that. 



The Smith College Monthly 25 



MAN ANA 

Salue S. Simons 1080 



(Fishermen on Monhegcm say that Captain 
John Smith landed there about 1612) 

The summer people have drilled four holes in a broad-stand- 
ing rock and nailed up a tablet to his name. 

They feel proud as they hurry by to post their manuscripts 
and their thickly wrapped canvasses, 

And they think, "He sought and found. Grateful, we cut the 
letters of his name in bronze. My work is praised, ful- 
fils its purpose. I wish someone would lay my ghost 
like that when I am gone." 

But the men who walk with their arms full of fish nets and 
amber glass floats, never see the tablet. 

They are looking with the eyes of John Smith across the 
channel to Man ana, 

Across the sucking tides that curl back from its cliffs to bare 
revolving milk-green cones, 

Across the gathering tides that plunge against reefs where 
spray falls with a hissing sigh. 

Only five hundred yards of water, yet these men know, 
though they are simple, that their dories will not reach 
the island. 

Their quittance comes in listening for the foam at night as it 
edges around the sharp shore, in watching colors shift- 
ing on the grass at the cliff top, where no trees grow. 

When they go past the tablet every morning they are looking 
toward the channel; 

They are thinking that John Smith never reached Manana. 






The Smith College Monthly 



THE LEKYTHOS 

Fran< is Kannkv \ l .)'2\) 



B SMALL, round man bounded down the steps of the 
Field Museum, his fat checks quivering with the mo- 
-T(?°d tion. As lie reached the street, he pulled down the 
frayed and tightly-buttoned coat that had wrinkled toward 
his collarless neck in the precipitous descent. Blood-shot eyes 
glancing furtively aboul him, lie patted a bulging pocket. 
After assuring himself of the innocent and unsuspecting na- 
ture oi the bypassers, lie leaned against a tree so that he 
might survey the building from which he had just departed. 

The smooth, white pillars of the Museum rested on the 
horizon with the harmonious calm and simplicity of an 
Athenian temple. The azure tints of the sky and the spark- 
line sfreen-blue hues of Lake Michigan served to accentuate 
its whiteness. 

The small round nan did not recognize this classical 
mblance. In fact, he had not the faintest notion of the 
implications of the word "classical." He did know, however, 
I hat nothing marred the peace of the building. No brass- 
buttoned official appeared on the steps, shrieking whistle to 
his lips. 

A sigh of relief (scaped his puffy month. 'There was 
no evidence of any chase. Luck was with him, for once. 
Drawing a greasy cap and a do/en new pencils from a baggy 
pocket, he shuffled on down the street, a grinning, sheepish 
ex pression on his bloated face. 

"Nice new pencils. Nice yellow pencils. Five cents 
apiece. Silly .John wants a cup of coffee. Help poor Silly 
.1 1 dm. he whined. 

li was a chilly day. hut the sunlghl bathed the side- 
walks with ;i yellow warmth. He would have liked, no 
doubt, to squat down in it. doubling his legs under him in a 
pitiful, crippled position, hut Silly .John was in a hurry to- 
day. Ai short intervals his grimy fingers caressed the cool, 

miimmI |i < i!> |(cl iii his pocket . 

II< turned up Michigan Boulevard on the easl side. He 



The Smith College Monthly 27 

usually crossed over to where streams of people passed be- 
fore the shop windows, but today he chose the opposite side. 
where the sidewalks was empty hut for the lingering hoboes 
and tramps that watched the endless iron and smoke of the 
Illinois Central Railway. Here no one would notice him. 
He felt safe. 

An old friend sidled up to him, his shifty, heavy-lidded 
eyes shadowed by smoked speetaeles. It was Frank, the 
"blind" fiddler, whom John had met at various Salvation 
Army lodging houses and with whom he had often shared 
a newspaper blanket when the weather permitted sleeping 
on the ground in Grant Park. Silly John did not like the 
smoked speetaeles — they made him uncomfortable. 

"Got the price of a drink on yer?" Frank whimpered, 
his voice as high and thin and timeless as that of his cheap 
violin. 

"Nope Business rotten," answered John, staring direct- 
ly at the smoked glasses with exaggerated unconcern. 

"Aw, y'er no kind of a sport," the beggar whined, tap- 
ping his cane impatiently. "Wot's the idea? Wot y'er over 
here for if y'aint a'ready made yer pile this mornin'? On yer 
vacation, maybe, huh!" 

"Shut up! I haven't made a cent yet this mornin'. S' 
help me, 's the truth." A sly, cautious expression came into 
Silly John's narrowing eyes. 

"Why don't ya get over where people is 'n make some 
then, ya idiot," the blind man snarled, tap-tapping on down 
the sidewalk. 

As Silly John went on, avoiding the eyes of any ac- 
quaintance he could chance to pass, a sharp gnawing doubt 
crept into his consciousness. Luck had heen with him too 
long — it could not last. Bv this time the Museum officials 
must have discovered that a certain pale, smooth object v as 
missing from its glass ease. Soon they would track him 
down. It was always that way whenever he stole anything, 
for he was a fool. He could not think straight like other 
people. He could not even remember, now. why he had 
stolen what he had. He did not even know what it was 
called, or for what it was used. He was a fool. Jail in- 
evitably followed his luck — jail, with a bed and good food. 
but no whiskey! 

Beads of perspiration broke out on his dirt-creased neck. 



28 The Smith College Monthly 

Prank! Had "Blind Frank" suspected anything? lie- had 
been suspicious of his presence on the east side of the- street, 
to be sure. Could he have sensed anything else? What an 
idiot he had been to say thai aboul no! having any money so 

far this morning, Hut he always made mistakes he could 
no! think straight. 

Soon he reached the Art Institute with its dingy pillars 
and smoke-lined friezes. Around to the side Silly .John 
shuffled, the cap with the yellow pencils in his hands. He 
reached the "Five Sisters" and stood watching the jets of 
sparkling water till the air with crystal heads. He liked this 
fountain; the water was as cold and silvery as the side of a 
fish. 

He leaned over the rail and looked into the sliding, 
shining bottom of the fountain. There, beneath the bent 

knee of one of the "sisters" was a hollow just large enough 
for an object the exact size of the one he had. hidden in his 
pocket. No one was in sight. Swiftly sliding his hands into 
the eold. clear water, he concealed his treasure. 

I Ie hurried away. 

At noon time he bought a can of baked beans and got 
sonic coffee at a lunch wagon down on Canal Street. lie was 
satisfied with himself. lie. Silly John, who could not think 
as other people did. had accomplished something, lie had 
stolen a beautiful "thing"; it was smooth and had pale colors 
nn it. \n one had seen him. Moreover, he had concealed it 
in ;i spot where not even the cleverest or most brass- buttoned 
person in the world could find it. It was his. his very own. 
to keep and look at occasionally, there beneath the sliding 
w ater. 

As soon as the sun went down and mists began to gather 
over the lake, Silly .John, with his waddling shuffling walk, 
made straighl for the "Five Sisters" fountain. He would 
look once more al the pale, beautiful object he had stolen. 

I [e splashed his hands into the cool water and fell along 
tin hot loin. It was not there! Frantically, he slid his fingers 
over Hi* smooth surfaces of the statues. It was not there! 
I Ie splashed the water about, and tears ran down his fat, vc(\ 
cheeks. Someone had taken his beautiful "thing". Frank! 
It niiist have been "Blind Frank" with his staring, smoked 
trlasses. Ami \< I. how could he have known? 



The Smith College Monthly 29 

Silly John stopped splashing the water and sat down by 
the side of the fountain. Luck was always the same. 

In the Tribune the following day, this article appeared: 

Valuable Lekythos Stolen 

A priceless Greek funeral urn of the eighth century 
B. C. was stolen from its glass case in the Field Museum 
yesterday morning. The glass was broken, and the beautiful 
polychrome lekythos forcibly removed. As there were 
many visitors to the Museum during the morning, there are, 
as vet, no clues as to its whereabouts. The Director places 
the loss at $20,000." 

Under the cool, wet knee of one of the "Five Sisters", 
the palely-colored lekythos lies forgotten. Silly John does 
not remember, for he can not think like other people. 



GARDENIAS 

Edith Starrs 1929 

There are no words in my heart 
As delicately penetrative 
As the breath of one of these. 
I would tell you that I love you ; 
That as I lay these flowers 
Fragile, white, and rare 
For the last time, here before you 
On the cool marble altar of your passing- 
It is consecration. 

They are beautiful ! and wounding . . . 
They have eased my pain. 



30 



The Smith College Monthly 



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SCARLET SISTEB MARY 

.J II i.\ Peterkin 

Bobbs-Merrill Company, Indianapolis. L928 

The work of such writers as Julia Peterkin is of two-fold 

interest : and a critic should remember its double value. I ni- 
versality mixes with purely local elements, based on back- 
ground, on the little social group discussed, and on dialect, in 
every novel or play. Hut sometimes one element overbalances 
the other: sometimes their separation comes to us sharply. 
where background has been made so picturesque or so re- 
mote as to stand alone. Sahatini. Stevenson. Conrad, Knnl 
Ilamson. I>ret Ilarte and Hardy can he judged as writers 
simply by their success at the weaving of the two themes: 
and how many stand the test!* Add indefinitely to this list 
of men who choose their peculiar background; and still we 
return to Thomas I lardy, who in the end is the strongest, 
the wisest: the man who has strength to lace the universal 
and the particular both at once, and remain clear-sighted. 
And Raphael Sahatini exemplifies the man who rides his 
horse backwards into thickets of sentimentalized history. The 
two extremes, one so easy to drift towards, the other so far 
above common power, may easily be round in the literature 
of the American negro, who is sometimes sentimentalized, 
sometimes ridiculed, hut almost never understood. To all the 
other forces of the particular dialect stronger than any 
other in America; setting, whether in the crowded negro 
s< cl i"i is of cities, or on the southern plantation; and private 
customs, is added the subject of racial difference: color, his- 
tory, social prejudice, and the strangeness of savagery mixed 
with Ami ricanism. More closely than ever the reader watches 
the author's point of view here. For no American author, 



The Smith College Monthly 31 

we believe, can write a book on the negro unprejudiced. How 
far, in faet, ean he or she indulge in the universal ] 

Mrs. Peterkin is a southern woman who lias observed 
this people from the vantage-point, by inheritance, of the 

mistress; but by taste and by inheritance also, it appears, as 
a friend. It is difficult to define such a relationship. Certain- 
ly it does not grow out of a breaking-down of barriers: more, 
it derives from the special love of the good master or mistress 
for the good plantation darky. Children nursed by their 
mammies, and allowed to play with the servants' children. 
often grew old before they dropped their negro accent: they 
turned to the mammy or the old cook often er than they would 
to any French or English governess; they did not doubt their 
own position, nor did they express it. The intimacy of a long 
life together and of plantation solitude bound southerners, 
very often, to their negroes. Of such experience. Julia Peter- 
kin continues to interest herself in the darkies, neither con- 
descending nor theorizing, but watching sympathetically. 
We know that she must always be conscious that these are 
a special people whom she describes: but we must also re- 
member that she chose them, and has so far kept to them, 
for her subject. Hers are not the leaders of the negroes in 
America, traveled and sophisticated; nor are they the town 
negroes treated by Du Bose Heyward; they are people clos- 
est to Africa, who made one move when they came to Amer- 
ica; and have remained since the Civil War in the same state 
that preceded it. 

What are the special limiting characteristics of that 
subject? I need not mention the language which has been 
compounded of African dialect and the provincial English 
of the south. There are three chief facts which set the negroes 
apart: simplicity; the part that nature plays for them: and 
superstition. Simplicity describes the back ground: a nar- 
row street of huts; broad eotten-fields ; woods: a single little 
shop, Grab- All, that gets their money; and a boat that con- 
nects them with town. It describes their elementary and 
elemental life; they raise vegetables and cotton; keep pigs 
and chickens; supply each other with everything they need 
in the village, save clothes; and it suggests their pleasures 
from the nature of their work. This simplification extends 
to Julia Peterkin's books, which show not that false simpli- 
fication which becomes mere mechamical book-writing, but 



32 The Smith College Monthly 

.•in easy routine which emphasizes the passions and events of 
life, making pleasure and catastrophe both easy; making the 
characters pattern their lives without blurrings by the ncc< s- 
sities of food and livelihood, and by love and hate. Religion 
also is emotional: love and hate; but it concerns itself strong- 
ly w ith superstition. 

Nature, says Mrs. Peterkin, is kind to darkies: and in 
life, as in her book, it neither dominates them utterly, nor re- 
tires into a landscape background. The seasons and mens 
occupations and also their emotions change all together, a 
part of a whole. Plants, crops, animals and men all undergo 
the same general processes of life. That is why negroes talk 
so intimately to animals. Hut negroes can sow crops, and 
pluck cotton, and sell it for clothing. If nature roots up the 
garden and damages the house, it pays back later by draw- 
ing up the seed into plants. 

Superstition proceeds naturally from the combination 
of nature's tremendous intimacy with the negroes, and from 
the simplicity of their natures. They arc a new people in 
America, but old in Africa, and uncivilized; and many of the 
old beliefs have been transplanted with the first men and 
women to new soil. Somebody taught them about Jesus: 
and they believe in him too. And in hell. And they fear (iod 
the Father. Hut underlying this religion lives their own. 
which grew from nature, and which puts spirit into inani- 
mate things. For emotion and pleasure, they put on shoes 
mm Sundays and go to meeting; they bring up their children 
to have a vision, and repent of their sins: to be baptized, and 
become members of the church. Then they can join the 
shouting. This is a pari of religion, and seeking grace, and 
avoiding the Everlasting Bonfire. Hut outside, they can 

!m> to old Daddy ( udjoe. and gel the right kind of charm to 
put magic over a man. or send the devil out of the soup, or 
save a life. Daddy Cudjoe governs the force which can 

help people, having gol it from his ancestor who came from 
ili< older country as a conjurer. Even an old woman like 
M.mjim Hannah, in whose house all Christian meetings are 
held when tin church is closed, recognizes that nothing else 
can help. "In the old days, all the people trusted to magic 

to rule and river and clouds and seasons as well as their tools 

and each other, but t imes have changed. ( )nly Daddy Cudjoe, 

of all the old people left, knew any of the old secret ways. 



The Smith College Monthly 33 

When Maum Hannah's adopted child Mary lost her hus- 
band's love, the old woman told her that "If she had stayed 
a good Christian girl, as she started out to be, then God 
might have listened to her prayers. But she sinned. She was 
a fallen member. She would have to depend on magic now, 
the only power that will work as well for a sinner as it does 
for a Christian." And everything needs to be charmed soon- 
er or later; "Everything gets out of order and gives trouble 
sometimes. Men and women and pots and pans and axes; 
everything needs to be ruled." Evidently all the things in 
the world fall under spells; and only magic can really help. 
At least it is more generous and tolerant than Christian re- 
ligion for helping people. Jesus is a kind gentleman, very 
mild; but hell too must be included in a church-goer's belief. 
Magic does not threaten with hell. 

This, then, is the darky's world: land; his house and 
tools; his neighbors whom he knows from birth to death, 
since he does not travel; the rules and privileges of church- 
going; and the mysterious service of magic. Everything is 
partly magical to him. 

Since Black April, Mrs. Peterkin has lightened her em- 
phasis upon superstition. Conjure and charms play a part; 
but they do not rule the destiny of the characters. The earlier 
book was gigantic and terrifying; April himself walked in 
it like a hero, full of a hero's strength and fatal self-confi- 
dence. He was conjured, and he died miserably. The book 
itself was complicated and powerful; while nature in its 
jungle supremacy seemed to press in upon the village of 
black people, defying them, defied by them. We remember 
April catching a rattle-snake behind the head, holding it at 
arm's length while he squeezed his hand close about its throat, 
and spitting into its hissing mouth. Meanwhile the little boy, 
his illegitimate son, waited beside him with a knife to cut out 
the sting, if April should miss and be btten. We remember 
too the heavy theme of charms and African rites that filled 
the jungle to our imagination with shadows of horror. Scarlet 
Sister Mar//, on the contrary, has been simplified to a single 
story of few characters. Being a woman's story, it leaves the 
jungle for the narrow street, and the men and women who 
live there; while the pots and pans of Si' Mary's hearth are 
as important. The storms that disturb her crops, and the 
weather that is answered by the growing things in her yard 



84 The Smith College Monthly 

and by tlu animals tethered there alone reach her; she re- 
sponds like all living things to the spirit of the seasons; hut 
she does not know their horror. Ihr tragedy is told in human 
terms, when the husband that she loves deserts her. Her 

physical recovery is effected by physical excitement: her 
spirit never heals entirely, for when that first man returns at 
last, she cannot lace him with a whole mind. She learns 
tolerance and wisdom with experience; and she knows that 
she has seen more of pleasure and sorrow than stuffy good 
women do. When she goes to Daddy Cudjoe for a charm 
to use on her husband, she cannot hear after all to try it at 
once; and he gets away before she acts. So she uses it on 
other men. Hut if the- sophisticated reader wishes, he can 
disregard the charm; the story is a universal, almost a hack- 
neyed theme, which would have grown from her nature alone. 
Yet the hook remains faithful; less congested than Black 
April: less legendary. The portrayal of negro temperament 
and negro belief is as true; the theme is less specialized. Tlu 
two hooks supplement each other. From the heroic to the 
common-place, from the ornate to the simple, from grand 
racial legend to more obscure individual life, Mrs. Peterkin 
has carred her interest in tin's people. It is significant that 
Scarlet Sister Mary has on the \ hole less dialogue, and there- 
fore less dialect, than its fore-runner. Singly, it will not be 
as impressive as Black April; hut together with it, the new 
hook will define more clearly than before the point of view 
which readers must have been hunting. Mrs. Peterkin has 
never made the mistake of pointing a moral. It is our snob- 
bery as readers which will over-emphasize the racial clement. 
We must remember that there is scarcely a white person in 
either book; they might have been written of a world of 
ii' -nns. lint the race in its own characteristics is perfectly 
defined; and human nature, which we call psychology today. 
is Faithfully treated. The first novel paid that race the com- 

pliiiH nt of telling a deeply stirring heroic story for the race 

itself; the second shows one of its members in her full re- 
semblance to our own people. The special and the general 
have both been shown, then. Thirdly, Julia Paterkin has in 
Scarlet Sister Mary added to literature one more analysis 
of a character often damned by moralists, and sometimes 
over-dramatized; a character whom Mrs. Peterkin has 



The Smith College Monthly 35 

treated not as a thing apart, leperized; but as a sensitive in- 
dividual, close to our own experience. 

A. L. H. 



JOSEPH AM) HIS BRETHREN 

H. W. Freeman Henry Holt and Co. 1929 

With the eastern part of Suffolk, England as his back; 
ground, H. W. Freeman tells the story of Crakenhill Farm 
and the Geaiter family. For Joseph and his Brethren is 
most concerned with the farm itself, which dominates the 
lives of Old Benjamin and his sons. 

It is evident that Benjamin Geiter was nobody's fool 
and that he bought the old place with his eyes open. Contrary 
to all previous experience in spite of unfavorable predictions. 
Crakenhill flourished and improved from year to year. "Ben- 
jamin had always had to struggle against a world that he was 
used to regard as his natural enemy. But for all that, he did 
not spare his enemies, even his own sons." He put them to 
work immediately, with his "old dogged and systematic en- 
ergy." Like Crakenhill, they flourished, each year becoming 
sturdier, more firmly rooted to the soil. And it was not until 
middleage that any of the "boys" realized how unstintingly 
they had given, how faithfully they had toiled, how tightly 
bound they had become to every inch of their precious two 
hundred acres. 

Throughout the novel runs a twofold domination. 
Stronger is the land which demands unsparingly, receiving 
alike the strength and the devotion of its men. All except 
Ben the oldest son, grow impatient, balance it against an out- 
side attraction. Bob and Hiram start their runaway trip to 
Canada, "the new country." But it is "the summerland of 
ourn, so neat and reg'lar all over" and the "rare fine horses 
they are, to plow" that send them sheepishr? back. Ern, on 
the point of volunteering, forgets the glamour of an Army 
uniform, for his sows farrowing without him, and plunges 
desperately across the fields to Crakenhill. Again pride and 
love of the farm, more definitely the chance bleating of a 
restless ewe, force Harry to cast aside Jessie and dreams of 
marriage. So Benjamin's five sons remain uncomplaining, 
stolid, silent slaves from morning until night. Over them the 



B6 The Smith College Monthly 

father holds his rod of iron, insists on showing himself the 
master of the house. He proves if by seducing Nancy. When 
her condition is evident : 'You thought you w ere going to get 
Nance and you didn't." lit- had seen them gathering cow- 
slips and following her about the kitchen. Benjamin wasn't 
blind yet. 

This is not indeed the subjection to the soil, described 
by Tolstoi or Turgeney the cruel exaction of unmitigated 
toil. There is none of the lack of balance between the rich 
and the poor, no hopless, thankless servitude, snuffing man's 
energy until he is left only feebly glimmering like a burned 
ash. Freeman is concerned with an absolute devotion to the 
soil, which keeps the Geaiters fighting against nature certain- 
ly, but which includes the joy of possession, of struggling, 
.mi Immense satisfaction that the land is being brought "into 
good heart." Is it not enough to know that Crakenhill has 
become the best farm in the whole county? 

One is struck by the similarity between the life of the 
Greaiters and that of Isak and Lnger in the Growth of the 
Soil. Hoth Hamsun and Freeman deal with the direct re- 
lationship of man to the earth. There is no trace of artifice, 
of complexity, of subjectivity. The development of Isak is 
i pieal timeless; man. evolving, building. It is told objective- 
ly, with an absolute impersonality, a magnificently elemental 
strength. 'The progress of the Greaiters is similar. They are 
unlimited by time; they might exist in any farming district. 
P>ul they are more definitely a unit, a family revolving about 
Crakenhill. restricted in orbit. lake Hamsun, Freeman is 
objective, tells his story directly, and permits his characters 
in Ii\< their vigorous silent lives unhampered by analysis iw 
i xplanation. Bui the writer cannot resist stopping to breath- 
the delicate sweetness of the cowslips, to count the five speck- 
led sky-blue eggs reposing in the bottom of a little round 
nest, or io see the earth and sky. after the faint October sky 
has vanished, meeting in a dark embrace. 

Both the CJeaiter family and Crakenhill remain singu- 
larly untouched by time. They live in the seasons coming 
and going swiftlv, necessitating the cutting of beans or the 
ploughing and seeding of a Held. But the years themselves 
pass silently, imperceptibly. It is only Benjamin's dramatic 
death in the fields, or Nancy's remarriage, or Joeys love 
affair, thai marks off a broader spacing, jerking one to the 



The Smith College Monthly 37 

reality of events. Yet with no .surprise, the reader watches 
the brothers drawing more closely together, pathetically 
overtaken by middle-age and no longer sure of their strength. 
Young Joey shoots up and becomes taller and stronger than 
any of them. But it is perfectly plausible for his five hall- 
brothers to be "as proud as if he had been their own son/ 1 
The whole development has been managed with perfect con- 
sistence. The reader, like the characters, has so lost himself 
in the prevalence and importance of everyday necessities, of 
minor incidents, that the general trend of events remains 
woven distantly into the background. The interest centers 
increasingly upon "Xance's boy," although the emphasis re- 
mains to the last, on Crakenhill. The title vigorously asserts 
itself, "Joseph and his Brethren." Freeman's concern is how 
Joey's learning to plow and mow, w r hile the others w T atch 
over him with fatherly care, correcting him and guiding his 
hands, "each telling him all that he knew". With character- 
istric restraint, he indicates the unspoken affection between 
these silent men, their mutual love of Crakenhill, and even 
stronger, their devotion to Joey. But Joey has his own pro- 
blems to solve, the weighing of outside excitment against the 
earthy beauty of the farm, Daisy's happiness balanced 
against that of his brothers. Penetrating every decision, is the 
hold of the soil, the quick joy of working in the clover with a 
scythe, with one's shoulders bowed "like a sapling in the 
wind." 

Every page of the book smacks of the earth. Uncon- 
sciously it portrays the beauties of nature. There is always 
the contact of man, elemental, direct, free from artifice. But 
it is not in this alone that Freeman is successful. He has 
created from Suffolk background, a group of characters 
typical and definitely of a group, yet so individualized that 
they remain sharply differentiated in the memory. Without 
comment or analysis, he has presented men and women who 
live. E. M. G. 



THE LOST LYRIST 

Elizabeth Hollister Frost Harper & Brothers 1928 

"Be sure yourself and your own reach to know, 
How far your genius, taste and learning go ; 
Launch not beyond your depth, but be discreet , 
And mark that point where sense and dullness meet." 



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The Smith College Monthly 39 

Before Pope's admonishing words one quails at attemp- 
ting just criticism, particularly \\hcn the work in question is 
lyric poetry. With narrative poetry one can side-track skil- 
fully on dramatic effect and characterization. But lyrics 

are more intangible, concerned immediately with the emo- 
tonal reaction; they are more various in form and more de- 
pendant upon it. They must be handled like butterflies, 
carefully, lest one brush the shining dust from their wings. 
And one must always realize that no tAvo people will feel a 
poem in exactly the same way. The quality and extent of 
the appreciation is an individual matter. 

I may point out to those for whom the quotation from 
the Essay on Criticism has recalled the whole trend of eigh- 
teenth century critical thought that poetry has, on the whole, 
divorced itself from an emulation of the classics. It is a far 
cry from Pope to Sandburg. Poetry today is in a period 
which some future commentator will be sure to brand "transi- 
tional". We are not yet convinced beyond all doubt of the 
success of free verse. We have not yet reached a satisfactory 
definition of poetry which reveals its undeniable and eternal 
essence. With Humbert Wolfe we still debate form and con- 
tent, rythmn and thought, in spite of a general agreement 
that they are both important ; and we are piqued because we 
cannot reduce the art to a scientific formula and the exact 
knowledge of the proportionate ingredients. In the face of 
an argument which has been going on for centuries, and the 
wise couplets of Pope, criticism of poetry becomes perilous. 
One may well throw up his hands and say in dismay, "Que 
sais-je?" However, with necessity at the heel, one is still 
justified to ask in poetry significance and originality of ex- 
pression, sincerity, and successful use of verse form or of the 
lack of it. The whole, resulting from a proper but mysterious 
balance of these qualities is an aesthetic experience of some 
value. 

The Lost Lyrist would probably never have been writ- 
ten if Mrs. Frost had not encountered profound sorrow at 
the death of her husband. Her poetry is clearly the neces- 
sary expression of a sensitive personality saturated with a 
terrible and steadily growing sense of loss. It grows out of, 
is dedicated to and embodies an extra-ordinarily beautiful 
love and the grief which forced it into words. 



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The Smith College Monthly 41 

"Joy flickers out in grief articulate 

And my first song strikes, startled, on the air." 

It is the revelation of an experience of unbearable poig- 
nancy because it is an experience inevitably universal. 

One reads almost shyly, with the same embarrassment which 
makes one avoid looking at the distorted face of a woman 
crying. The implication is not that Mrs. Frost's poems are 
cut out of the first uncontrolled burst of emotion, but that 
their intimacy and their exposure of the clarity and depth of 
the lost relationship lay open the innermost chamber of sor- 
row. One looks within with a sense of trespassing. Yet it is 
an unrealized privilege, for if we see and understand the 
complete emotion which gave birth to these lyrics, we have 
looked into a crucible of experience and have seen the molten 
material of poetry. In The Lost Lyrist that material has 
been poured out and cooled into tangible forms. Whether or 
not the poems are great art. they bear the marks of the 
creative pain of great art. 

We cannot doubt, then, the significance of Mrs. Frost's 
book in poetry's inescapable reference to life, or the sincerity. 
I, personally, cannot give sincerity too high a place in any 
literature. Nothing is more disgusting than the travesty of 
any emotion for the sole sake of a rhyme, or a name in print, 
or a fad. Poetry must satisfy an inner need (if I may use 
a highly romantic phrase), and it has no value of its funda- 
mental structure is not truth. Knowing how simply Mrs. 
Frost turned to it for relief and for no other reason, we can- 
not question her sincerity. It is, therefore, a difficult problem 
to deal with certain of her poems which may be called "sen- 
timental", although it is a treacherous term. She does not 
indulge her motions to the point of being mawkish or maud- 
lin. The failure lies less in the content than in the embodi- 
ment of it. The minor tone and fragile style of Edna St. 
Vincent Millay turn up proverbially. (One feels that Miss 
Millay is losing ground rapidly because of her prolific fol- 
lowers, and pays a severe price for being so imitable. ) 
Occasionally the ghost of A. E. Housman stirs and casts a 
weak shadow of his lyric melancholy. These reflections, like 
the reflections on ruffled water, are not perfect, and without 
their original poise and finish have a second-hand quality 
which we term "sentimentality." Or Mrs. Frost has allowed 
in her poetry endearments and extravagances which in speech 



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The Smith College Monthly 43 

might be accompanied by a whimsicality and lightness which 
they lose, impressed into written form. Again, she has allowed 
herself to take a worn figure or a thread-hare word to con- 
vey her meaning. In all cases the failure seems to he a mat- 
ter of carelessness, as though she permitted her emotion to 
take the most familiar and the easiest course of expression. 
This observation throws a new light on "sentimentality" 
showing it up as often purely a poor adaptation of form. One 
realizes the importance of that intermediary stage of a poem, 
between the stimulus and the finished product, in which 
the artist dissects, rearranges and proportions his generative 
idea. Neglect in this stage is dangerous. 

Mrs. Frost's work is fortunately, however, uneven. 
Many of her lyrics do not merit such adverse criticism. The 
best are those which less obviously echo her predecessors, 
and they attain a fine simplicity. Their brevity is effective. 
It startles one and, being soon over, allows the slower re- 
flections to flow around it. From Respiration — 

"Stretched on the horizon 

Eternity, asleep, 
Drew in with his breathing 

One of us to keep." 

Suddenly quiet, the very smallness of her words betrays their 
overwhelming importance. She may say— 

''Agony is something- 
It takes a while to make" 

and the tense restraint is eloquent. One reads with a grow- 
ing realization of the unusually beautiful relationship which 
has been lost. From The Shattered Urn— 

"Marriage is an urn 

Chiseled out of love 
Fashioned by four hands 

And the skill thereof: 

Point and drill and file, 

Turn it to the light, 
Keep the tools from rust, 

Never finish quite." 

In her best moments her images are distinctive, again char- 
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The Smith College Monthly 45 

"My thoughts fly backward from me like blown hair" 
is the essence of her verse, the aspiration and a suggestion 
of its spiritual quality. Besides this dedicated portion of her 
work, there is a close relation with actuality, a vivid descrip- 
tive sense. A house "wears a pale and narrow face", "a white 
wind pries the doors apart", there is a "poised breathless 
moment on the ledge of day." I succumb to the temptation 
to quote one of the most successful poems in the book because 
it is illustrative of all that is excellent in Mrs. Frost, par- 
ticularly of her delicate imagination. She often expresses 
the feeling that a house retains a memory of its inhabitants 
and the stilled echoes of their footsteps, and is somehow wise 
to the life within it. One may guess that Prescience em- 
bodies for her a poignant experience. 

"We kissed and laughed, 

The lattice winked, 

The chimney snorted, 

The fire blinked ; 

The moonlight stepped 

On the old stone floor, 

The dark from the hall 

Looked in through the door ; 

We did not remark 

The cynical eyes 

Of the candles, 

Or hear the spark's surprise — 

We thought we were safe 

With our youth and You — 

But I wonder now 

If the house knew?" 

If I have been prejudiced for Mrs. Frost in my critic- 
ism, it is because I believe in her poetry as the sincere ex- 
pression of her life, and that at its best it has the significance 
and originality which I have stipulated as the requirements 
of the art. Knowing little of versification, I do not dare 
launch beyond my depths. I can only judge it negatively 
and says that it is conspicuous neither by its absence nor its 
presence. The form is (again, at its best) a smoothly run- 
ning and pleasing vehicle for the burden of the thought. 

It is highly doubtful that Mrs. Frost will ever become 
an outstanding figure in poetry. Her work is deficient in 
vigour to stand the buffeting of many years of criticism, it 
is not creative enough to be of eternal value. It lacks the 



PLYMOUTH INN 
TEAROOM 

I ()( MID IN 

PLYMOUTH INN 

"AT THE GATES OF 

SMITH COLLEGE" 

DINNER MUSIC 
EVERY WEEKEND 

MRS M \ T SCHOENECK, Mgr. 



Allison Spence 

Photographer 



100 Main St., 



Northampton 



WALSH'S 

Cleaning, Dyeing 

Pressing 

! 23 Green Ave. Next to Scott Gym. 
Tel. 409-R 



W. O. KIRTLAND 

( rObd Shoes 

160 Main St., Northampton, Mi 
SMART FOOTWEAR 
| for 

SPORT AND DRESS 



Boston Fruit Store 

The Pioneer Fruit House of 
Northampton 



When you come to New York 
Stay at the 

SMITH COLLEGE CLUB 

239 Easl IT Street 

Telephone Algonquin 790B 

Transient rooms at $2.10 and $2.70 

per night 

Dormitory cubicles $1.80 
( 209S less for club members 

The latchstring is out for all Smith 
women and their guests 

THE 
NEW HOTEL GARAGE 

Storages Washing, Supplies 

Stephen S. Sullivan Phone 8050 

OlMV HOTEL NORTHAMPTON 



THOMAS F. FLEMING 



THE SHOE SHOP 

Exceedingly Smart Models 

— and moderate prices — 

Painstaking, Courteous Service 



12 CRAFTS AVENUE 



The Smith College Monthly 47 

authority which Humbert Wolfe demands in poetry. "Au- 
thority"" says Wolfe "means that the magic poet of all times 
recreates his material, and in the moment of recreation as- 
tonishingly assimilates his expression to that of his predeces- 
sors and of those who follow him." And authoritative verse 
of any age, language or form has fundamentally "the same 
calm accent of finality." Which makes poetry a case of per- 
spective and evolution, and the poet a magician. We may 
safely say, however, that The Lost Lyrist lacks authority 
inasmuch as we understand by authority that "finality" and 
powerful beauty of expression which is timeless. It is too 
frail to live long. But it will find a small circle of readers 
kindly because they understand this well-spring of poetry, 
and a word or so of praise is owed to this quiet and delicate 
monument to sorrow. 

E. B. 



College Lamps a Specialty 
Repairs while you wait 

A very attractive Line of Gifts 

CATY'S 

Electric & Gift Shop 
NEXT TO BOYDEN'S 

THE TARDIFF SHOP 



Antiques and 
Reproductions 

40 CENTER ST. 

(ireful attention given to packing and 

shipping Students' Furniture. 

Tel. 2867-M 



The Frank E. Davis Store 

Watches, diamonds, high class gold 
jewelry, silverware, clocks, fountain 
pent, novelties, leather goods and an 

especially good variety of costume 
jewelry. Some <>f the most attractive 
being very moderately priced. Watch 
and jewelry repairing solicited. 

FRANK E. DAVIS 

IM M.iiii St. 



ARTHUR P. WOOD 



THE JEWEL STORE 



197 MAIN TEL. 2898 



THE MANSE 



Julia B. Cahill 

4 Green St. Northampton 

The College Girl's Favorite Store for j 

Immediate Wants 
Girdles, Corselettes, Beaudeaux, Gloves 

Silk Underwear, Crepe de Chine 

Underwear, Sanitary Goods, Hosiery 

I Iandkerchiefs 



FOR COLLEGE 

NOTE BOOKS 

FOUNTAIN PENS 

AND STATIONERY 

go to 

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153 Main St. 



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Opp. Posl Office Northampton 



Just tlu> fight note 

So mam things arc not quite 
lit in this perplexing world, 

that a touch of authority is 
actualN refreshing. . . . And 
thai ifl whv people of sensi- 
ti\c taste hold fast to Camels. 
Thai perfect blend strikes 
jusl the ri «rht note in the 
scale of cigarette enjoyment. 





WiaaUfr-SalaB.lf.G 




Smith College 




March 
1929 




BOARD 

OF 
EDITORS 




Vol. XXXVII. MARCH, 1929 No. 6 

EDITORIAL BOARD 

Editor-in-chief, Anne Lloyd Basinger, 1929 

Managing Editor, Ernestine Gilbreth, 1929 

Book Review Editor, Elizabeth Botsford, 1929 

Katherine S. Bolman, 1929 Rachel Grant, 1929 

Elizabeth Wheeler, 1929 Priscilla S. Fairchild, 1930 

Elizabeth Shaw, 1930 Martha H. Wood, 1930 

Sallie S. Simons, 1930 Mary F. Chase, 1931 

Elizabeth Perkins, 1931 

Art, Nancy Wynne Parker, 1930 

BUSINESS STAFF 

Business Manager, Sylvia Alberts, 1929 

Advertising Manager, Gertrude Cohen, 1929 

Assistant Advertising Manager, Lilian Supove, 1929 

Circulation Manager, Ruth Rose, 1929 

Mary Folsom, 1931 Mary Sayre, 1930 Anna Dabney, 1930 
Sarah Pearson, 1931 Agnes Lyall, 1930 Esther Tow, 1931 



The Smith College Monthly is published at Northampton, Mass., each month 

from October to June, inclusive. Terms $2.00 a year. Single copies 25c. 
Subscriptions may be sent to Sylvia Alberts, 12 Fruit Street, Northampton. 

Contributions may be left in the Monthly Box in the Note Room. 

Entered at the Post Office at Northampton, Mass., as second class matter. 

Metcalf Printing & Publishing Company, Northampton, Mass. 

"Accepted for mailing at special rates of postage provided for in 

Section 1203, Act of October 3, 1917. Authorized October 31, WIS," 



All manuscript should be in the Monthly Box by the fifteenth of the 
month to be considered for the issue of the folloiving month. All manuscript 
should be signed with the full name of the writer. 




A Place of Original Charm 

ijotpl £fariljamptcm 

,, Preserving Colonial Beauty with Modern Comfort 

Tht Optn Door 

AWiMta-Houl MAIN DINING ROOM COFFEE ROOM 

PRIVATE DINING ROOMS 
PHONE 3100 125 ROOMS MOTOR PLAZA 



Just Phone 

80 



McAllister 

NEW YORK 
PARIS LONDON 

Paddock Tailoring Company 

CLEANING — DYEING 
PLEATING — FURRIER 

Jl MASONIC 81 NORTHAMPTON, MASS. 

Telephone 374 




CONTENTS 




Wrangling at Night 
Lake Rhazamene 
Speak-Easy Nights 
One Mo' Rock 
Museum Portrait 
Dancing School 
Temperature Almost Normal 
Winter Moon 
Ten Dollars 



Elizabeth Botsford, 

Patty Wood, 

Priscilla S. Fairchild, 

Mary Chase, 

Barbara D. Simison, 

Georgia Stamm, 

Rachel Grant, 

Marion Bussang, 

Elizabeth Wheeler, 



Concerning Means of Locomotion 

Elizabeth Perkins, 

A Legend of Old Russia Pauline Slom, 

Book Reviews: 

Keats's Shakespeare 

The Desert Road to Turkestan 

Boston 

The Well of Loneliness 



1929 


5 


1930 


11 


1930 


12 


1931 


17 


1929 


18 


1932 


19 


1929 


25 


1932 


27 


1929 


28 


1931 


33 


1932 


36 




40 




40 




43 




45 




46 




That delicious interval 

When the curtain goes down, 
and the lights come up. and 
the landaulet is waiting . . . 
in that interval, so to speak, 
between supper and Sardou 
. . . a good cigarette seem- to 
acquire a New Significance. 
. . . And perhaps you have 
noticed that Camels always 
play the leading role in these 
gay little comedies of pleasure. 




I 1929 R.J. Reynold* Tobacco <:<>., Winston-Salem, N. 




Smith College 
Monthly 



WRANGLING AT NIGHT 

Elizabeth Botsford 




H~|ATE in thf afternoon it began to rain, an infinitesimal 
rain descending in thin gray clouds which lay around 
ggjgg the mountain peaks like chiffon scarfs. When we left 
the camp about seven o'clock, an opaque dusk had already be- 
gun to fill the high valley where our tepees were pitched, 
rising up from remote bottomlands and the lower slopes of 
the mountains like a strange vapour that darkened the sight. 
We abandoned the bright crackle of the cook fire, the clatter 
of voices and the sizzling bacon smell for the hostile embrace 
of a slow wet wind. There was no sound as we crossed the 
opening to the timber but the squelching of our boots in the 
boggy ground and the rattle of the stiff bridles hung over 
our arms. In a few moments pine and balsam boughs thrust 
themselves darkly between us and the camp. The trees were 
not thickly set, but the forest floor was littered with enormous 
fallen trunks that reared grotesque roots over our heads. 
They left rank caverns where they had once stood, filled 
with hummocks of crumbling loam and colossal fragments of 
bark. If we separated we were immediately lost from one 
another in the brush and the debris of hundreds of years. It 
was bad going and we clambered without words, pushing 
slowly up towards the pass. A chill silence made our foot- 
steps sound doubly laborious, and a rotted log giving way 
beneath one's heel echoed and re-echoed. Before we realized 
it we were in the depths of the forest, surrounded by tall 
spruce darkness. I held tightly to the memory of the tepees 
as I had seen them last, illumined from within bv small fires 



The Smith College Monthly 

\\ hich metamorphosed them into dully glowing cones haunted 
l»\ impossible shadows. 1 remembered the angles of the poles 
.•iikI i1k lacework the smoke had made among them. 

A half hour of stead} walking and still no break, no in- 
creased light to reveal the end of the timber. A fawn soared 
<»ul of the brush above us ,-it our left, paused a moment to 
Stare al us with brilliant eyes and wide-spread delicate ears. 
We stopped and stared back. It seemed almost as though 
he understood a kinship among us. We moved toward him 
slightly. 1 Ic Sung up his head as the alien scent disturbed his 
nostrils, turned in mid air and went up the mountain in long 
rubber-legged hounds. Ili^ white tail Hashed into a thicket. . . 
. . .There was no trail to follow. We were the iirst people in 
years to penetrate this high and silent luart of the Rockies. 
We could not find the faint tracks we had made riding in, or 
the scattering trail of the horses when they had wandered 
hack to graze. The motionless and soundless hostility of the 
forest confused us. An endless wilderness of rain-soaked tree s 
folded us into its cold breast. 

The- sensation was that of a shade- rising slowly and 
without warning, allowing greater light. We saw a clear 
ridge above us, dully covered with the' faded lupin of August. 
From the- top of it we could look hack down the' valley where- 
a wavering feather of smoke distinguished itself only by 
motion from the steel dusk. In front of us the- pass spread 
out widely, a long ilal-hol tonied valley lae'ed with streams 
which descended abruptly from precipitous summits. The 
peaks on either side- formed harriers of incredible height to 
tin world beyond them. At their feel lay a jumbled mass of 
iron gray lock, armor that they had cast aside during the' 

long restless years, I drew a deep breath. The air seemed 
fr< sher here, quickened by a sharp wind that had a flavour 

of snow . At th< foot of the shoulder on which we were- stand- 
ing, t wo of the pack horses nuzzled the- bare ground, the- aged 

bonj Xilchie and while- l)iiiir;iii with the- sore back. They 
snorted w hen they saw us and moved away warily. We- passed 
ih< m. descending to the floor of the- pass. A quarter of a mile- 
away, nine or ten more horses hung together in a draw, and 
beyond them, across the valley, was a larger group. We could 
pick on I outstanding ones as we approached, Patches, White 1 . 
Blue Robin, H< <lw ing, Flossie and her coll. Snake-, the- never 
trusting, grazed apart, nervous and forlorn. 



The Smith College Monthly 7 

A long stretch of glacial mud lay between us and the 
horses. The main westward running stream was fed by 
thousands of rivulets and seepings which had so undermined 
the grassy stretches that one had to climb for firm ground. 
Ted plowed ahead determinedly, jumping over the soft spots 
like a boy playing hop-scotch. Hegie was behind me, whist- 
ling his foreign tunes. Occasionally he would stop long e- 
nough to mutter about the wet. The bridles clinked and crack- 
led, the water under our feet gurgled as it oozed in and out 
of our boots. The wind grew colder and darkness was at 
its heels. We hurried. 

Close upon the first group we put the bridles behind our 
backs and assumed the appearance of an innocent visit. Ted 
stepped tactfully up to Tex, holding out the salt. The wise 
old buckskin sniffed, pricked up his ears and stretched out 
his lean neck. Ted began to croon to him — 

"Come Tex. Steady, boy. Steady, old fellow." 

But Tex was wise in the ways of wrangling. He reached 
out a long pale tongue, then ducked from under Ted's rapid 
hand and whirled away. Out of reach he plunged and bucked 
viciously to display his temper. (He was the mildest horse in 
the outfit.) 

"Damn," Ted murmured. "We'll never catch him now, 
the old fox." Yet with his peculiar patience with horses he 
again offered the salt, making low musical noises in his throat. 
Tex shook his head with an air of finality, kicked up his heels 
and clattered away. From a safe distance he watched us, his 
head set defiantly in the wind. Here on this lonely pass he 
had taken on a wildness and spirit which were hard to re- 
concile with his familiar docility. Ted lifted his shoulders 
resignedly and caught Big Jack, an enormous lanky bay. 

Hegie now ceased to be a respectful spectator. He 
turned to me with a w r ide grin. His even white teeth gleamed 
in the brown of his face. "I catch for you Prince. You ride 
him. He ban for bareback one good horse." He began an 
absurdly dignified approach upon that dozing animal, then 
pounced upon him suddenly. The bridle was over Prince's 
head before he woke up. Hegie was triumphant. "See," he 
nodded "Not hard." 

Prince's body was wet and slippery with the rain, but 
it was warm between my knees. I settled myself on his fat 
back and let him toss himself resentfully. His muscles moved 



8 The Smith College Monthly 

smoothly under my legs. We left Hegie doggedly pursuing 
Baby Face, his ow n saddle horse, up the draw, and rode over 
to tin larger bunch. Ted looked like a small boy on top of his 
(all horse. He rode with a marvelous loose certainty, falling 
into the rhythm ^\' Big Jack's jarring trot. He was rapidly 
counting the group in front of him. 

"Forty-five," he decided. "And all the colts. There are 
m \( n missing." We reined in a moment to stare up at the 
bleak ridges for the vagrants, and hack over the pass. "Guess 

they're way hack there on the other side of the divide," said 
Ted. "Somet hin's grazin' there. " lie crossed the soft valley 
at a blundering canter, making for a clump of black specks 
hall' a mile or so away. Before he had gone two hundred yards 
he became a toy figure on a toy horse. The mountains on 
either side of him were twice their size. Ted and Big Jack 
disappeared. 

Hegie and I rounded the horses into one hunch, and 
tried to hold them waiting for Ted. They had been running 
free for three days, and they were restless. 'They swayed hack 
and forth across the valley as though they were moving to keep 
warm, they split at the stream and a dozen or so strayed up 
lo higher ground. Wayward old Kate and her colt again ex- 
hibited the basis for suspecting their derivation from a moun- 
tain goal and headed straight up the steepest slope. Hegie 
yelled, waved his arms and made splattering reckless dashes 
after the wanderers. Forty-five uneasy horses, crowding, 
snapping and kicking. A bright sorrel gelding trotted about 
the edges of the hunch with springing steps. His eyes flared 
with excitement. Boob, lost from his beloved Kate, whick- 
ered pitiably as he nudged about searching for her, I found 
myself surrounded by their flying heads; their rumps pushed 

at my knee, and their breaths warmed my bridle hand. I 

was glad to have them near me. In this high rain-filled pass I 
had lost some of my self-confidence, and there was a reassur- 
ance in their vigour and in the heat of their steaming bodies. 
They Ailed the chill wet silence with the rattle of hoofs on the 
stony creek bed, with the thud of flank against flank and with 

chit tered snorts. 

A shrill whoop announced Ted's return, lie came alone. 



The Smith College Monthly 9 

shaping suddenly out of the mist. He was laughing, bending 
down over his horse's long ears. "Caribou," he called from 
a distance. "Thought they were horses. Seven of them too." 
He rode up to me and swung his leg over the bay's neck so 
that he sat sidewise, scanning the mountains inch by inch. 
The clouds were sliding lower and lower over the mountains. 
A long yodel from Hegie quivered down to us. He was across 
the valley scrambling up an almost perpendicular ridge on 
foot, dragging Baby Face at his heels. Above him were seven 
black specks against the remote bare wall. Hegie looked like 
a monkey. His elbows and knees shot out at rapid angles. 
Baby Face climbed with strong rabbit-like action of the hind 
quarters. The specks were not caribou this time. Hegie waved 
reassuringly at us. 

We sent our bunch across some good firm ground at a 
full gallop. The horses ran eagerly. Redwing took the lead 
with beautiful ease, his small fine head thrust forward into 
the mist. Ted was sitting up on Big Jack's neck like a jockey. 
"Hey — aa. Hey — aa," he yelled. I could feel Prince gallop- 
ing smoothly between my knees and the thin rain brushing 
by my ears. The grey dusk blew about us. The leaders 
plunged suddenly into the muskeg, and slowed to a walk in 
two steps. They piled into a jumble, and then of their own 
accord fell into single file, following the trail over the pass 
that we had made three days earlier. The trail made a wide 
IT, doubling back across the valley. There they were strung 
out like a parade — the black horses, the bays, the pintos and 
the roans. In the dull light the sorrel gelding stood out like a 
flame, and Patches' white face gleamed as he tossed his neck. 
Their heads bobbed in unison. Their manes flagged in the 
wind. A strange pilgrimage in a cold gray waste, winding, 
serpentine, to a forgotten destiny. 

Ted and I sat our horses on a small knoll, waiting for 
Hegie. Ted's warm round voice ceased in the middle of a 
line. 

"Look," he pointed to the sky. 

The night was descending visibly. It came down like a 
dark curtain falling from the roof of the sky, furling over the 
ragged peaks. I held my breath, watching the fringe come 
nearer and nearer my face. Rapidly it fell, without a sound. 
The soft luminous quality of the dusk snapped out like a 
dim electric light. The night was upon us Now the pass 



10 The Smith College Monthly 

me a mysterious void of blackness in which horses wen 
only moving sounds. The mountains around us were over- 
hanging shadow s. { lie valley below, where the camp had been, 
was lost. 1 sat still, glad to feel Prince's heaving sides: and 
remembering, for the sake of campanionship, Ted's face as I 

had seen it last his wide blue eves. Now it was only a pale 

blur, illumined for one Raring moment when he lit a match 

e the time. 

Above us, hoofs roared, and the stones trickled down 
from the ledges. Hegie's voice whooping at his horses. 
"Hey aa. Hey aa. Hey aa." Seven swift holts came 
down recklessly out of the dark heights. The shod hoofs 
struck sparks on the rocks. Hegie was on top of them, exult- 
ing in his daring We began the long drive home. 

There was nothing to do now hut to let old Blue Robin 
take the lead and follow the trail hack to camp, plowing 
through the night with lowered head. Nothing to do hut 
watch for dodgers in the brush, wait for a wet branch in the 
face, and brace oneself against the sag of one's horse's knees 
when he fell into a hole. Nothing to do hut crack lagging 
rumps with the ends of the reins, whoop at the lazy ones. 
chase the sly ones out of the brush onto the trail. 

We were in the timber again. Ears were better guides 
than eyes to know the ground underfoot, the noises off the 
trail. We passed almost silently with our long procession. 
save for the chanting of the hell on Old Fox's neck. The 
horses' hoofs were muted in the moss. 1 could see only one 
horse ahead, hut 'Ted's voice came hack with startling clarity 
when he yelled at Maggie or Greenwood. Behind me Hegie 
was whistling his foreign tunc, snapping his reins cheerfully. 
I was w< i and cold and still', hut I remembered the gallop 

back on the pass, the way the night had come upon us. the 

(ju< i r shapes the horses made scrambling up a ridge. 1 was 

Content w ilh these things alone. 

The tawny Same of the cook lire picked Ted's face out 
of the darkness. We let the horses go, knowing they would 
not wander far before morning. Prince shook himself and 
dr< w iii ,-i long snuffling breath. The camp was asleep. We 
stood ,-i moment watching the horses fall to grazing in the 
little opening. The bell on old Fox jangled more and more 
slowly. II' eeth glistened. There was a warm blue smile 

in T< d "s < \ < s. 1 put my hands into the firelight. The rain 
had stopped. 



The Smith College Monthly 11 



LAKE RHAZAMENE 
Patty Wood 



Here have your eyes held tears, 
Fl owe r- cupped — 
Blue myrtles opening to rain. 

Here have you forgotten years, 
Lying limp with Beauty — 
Passion fire-and-ice. 

Here has your long pilgrimage, 
Earthy trek over earth — 
Come to sweet end. 

Here came 1, with heritage 

Of earth — brought back the years 
In heavy flood — dried your tears 
Of ecstasy — forever took away 
Your bright-happy day. 



11' 



The Smith College Monthly 



SPEAK-EASY NIGHTS 

PkisiM 1 .\ Fairch 1 1 D 



HE scrubbed the red and white cotton table cover idly 

with her knuckles. The smoke in the little room sank 

heavily in her lungs until drawing a breath was so 

i«.|( nt and inadequate a physical effort as to leave her 

unsatisfied, [ce settled noisily in the drinks, audible even 

over the roar of the room and the clatter of broken .uiass 

from the bar, 

Allan leaned across the table, his eyes very large in the 
smoky light, strangely luminous, the color of a silver spoon 
in a cup of strong tea. 

"You're wry beautiful," he said, "and that is the most 
important thing. I don't care what you're like inside. 1 
mean. Because you have an unusual line from the corner 
of your eye to the tip of your chin. I am content. Your 
possession or lack of other qualities matters not at all." 

She shrugged her shoulders in a sudden violent gesture, 
an involuntary movement that crept out of some recess of 
her body and spread through her in a quickening momen- 
tum. "What about courage and integrity? What about 
f< < ling and 'keeping face' and one's own standards of per- 
fect ion ?" 

"Oh," he said, with disgust, "You're drunk. Things 
like that are worn out. and you know it, certainly." 

"You make me sick." she said dully, and stared at her 
Iiiilv r naiK in abstraction, while neither spoke for the time 
it took a chorus-girl with a banjo to wail for her mammy. 
Two soft shoe dancers emphasized their next words with a 
rhythmic patter that obsessed her mind. 

I think III go home," she murmured, hut her brain 
throbbed to the rap-rap patter of the dancing feet. 

'You can'l go home, it's still very early, and I won't 
lak< \<ui." 

I in going home," she said obstinately, hut syncopa- 
tion stumbled drunkenly throughout the room. Hvpno- 



The Smith College Monthly .13 

tized she stared at his black tie and then down to his two 
pearl studs. 

"I'm so very diga-diga-doo-by nature," screamed a 
negro girl, exemplifying her statement to the utmost. 

Excitement, that steel spring, wound up taut inside of 
her. The muscles of her legs felt strong and supple as rub- 
ber. Her back flattened as her shoulders straightened and 
drew back. The feeling crept up to her mind, that swayed 
with the control of a snake's head raised to strike, glancing 
and lightning-quick. Alternately she was a concentric coil 
bound in upon herself, or a flash of invisible motion, sneer- 
ing and contemptuous in rapidity. 

She rose and gestured to Allan to dance. To her im- 
agination the other dancers turned to the skeletons they 
would eventually become. Through the flesh of the negro 
girl she saw dry bones rubbing together. Eye-sockets peered 
at her from the corners of the room. A hand resting on 
the frame-work of a shoulder rattled a tattoo as she passed. 
Under the slamming music she heard the faint tap of flesh- 
less feet beating the floor. 

I am alive, she thought, and they are dead; but 
through the excitement a stiffness crept over her. She looked 
at her arms, expecting to see the flesh curl off the gleaming 
bones, and the lightness of her feet no longer surprised her, 
who knew to what brittle cages they were reduced. The flame 
of her body burned out, leaving that fever of the bones, that 
icy brilliance, which cold tons of deep sea water cannot 
quench, or damp mould riddled with earth-worms utterly 
smother. 

This is no death, then, she thought, as the drum punc- 
tuated each word, this flame in the marrow, this trans- 
parency of the flesh. They are dead, long ago, who have 
forgotten the bone for the body, the hard for the soft. 
And she moved closer to Allan in the pattern of the danc- 
ing, and as his arm closed more tightly around her she 
laughed aloud to think of their two skeletons stepping so 
daintily, fastidiously. 

As the music stopped the spring of her tension ran 
down. She moved heavily to the table, placing each foot 
with elaborate care. Her wrists ached, her body weighed 
her down, the line of her chin sagged under the pressure of 
her head. Marking out a diagram with a fore-finger on the 



1 4 The Smith College Monthly 

cloth, sIk stared sullenly at the table. Her lungs could 

scara ly lift the lead that oppressed them, and her shoulders 
sank forward as if under a burden. 

"For God's sake say something," Allan said. "You 

l<»ok as if you'd seen a ghost." 

"Not -hosts, hut skeletons." she answered. "And 
there's nothing to say. or else I don'i know how to say it." 

She noticed his amazed look as vaguely as if curtains 
'< \ fog hung between them. Ghosts and skeletons, and 
she was both. The fact of her reality grew to he impossible. 
If she could not speak to Allan, convince him of the im- 
portance of these things, so vital to her. did she exist at all? 
Had she become as nebulous as an unexpressed thought? 

She neatly placed a cross in each square of the diagram 
with the (iid of a burned match. 

"Bui Allan, you see — ." she began, and stopped. What 
did he see? [f she could not speak, did she, then, exists If 
she did not exist, how could she possibly speak? Could 
he perceive her meaning if she failed to exist, through this 
agonizing incapacity for speech? 

She saw herself a phantom, lacking in life, because the 
words beating in her brain disappeared before they reached 
I" r mouth. No agony or intensity on her part could force 
h< r f< < ling into expression, her thoughts into sentences. 
II« r head fell filled with empty papers idly rattling about. 
She grasped a! them hut they fell to pieces, or proved blank, 
or were covered with a language whose secret she did not 
know. Sometimes in her ears she heard the beating of 
wings, whose significance travelled to her tongue, only to 
dissolve there, vaguely and incoherently. 

"Nothing at all. it doesn't matter. " she continued, as 
Allan put down his glass and stared at her, in a rather 
strange way, she thought. Perhaps she had been making 
>"h\ fact s, as people do when they hold council with them- 
selves. Perhaps Allan thought she was mad, to gibber as 
she undoubtedly had been doing. Certainly she must be 
mad and this then was a dance in a mad-house! 

Th< six' I' Ions turned to maniacs forthwith, and she, 
in fancy, pulled ahoul and modeled each face as if the feat- 
ures w < i< made of putty, until it resembled a Daumier draw- 
ing. Sli- s< I them swirling wildly as she completed in turn 

each pan- thai passed by the table. Their frenzy increased 



The Smith College Monthly 15 

with the violence of the music, and the revolving colored 
lights here touched up a nose to a livid blue, there ehanged 
a laugh to a toothy glare. She put her hand to her faee, to 
feel if she herself had altered, and the lack of difference in 
the state of her features surprised her into an unconscious 
smile. 

In astonishment she watched Allan's face contort itself, 
amazedly she noticed how the planes broke up and re- 
formed into strange patterns, how odd lines appeared, and 
wrinkles. She realized with a little shock that he was smil- 
ing a response to her, and she became aware again of his 
presence, but with such a detachment that she placed him 
as far away as one of the outermost stars. 

She made another try, "But Allan, there must be some- 
thing more than just futility." As she said the w T ords they 
bounced, hollow, in her head. Another voice, not hers, 
had surely uttered those incredibly unnatural syllables. They 
boomed endlessly along the ceiling, the orchestra could never 
drown them, not the concatenous collision of all the stars 
could erase them from her eardrums. She hurried on des- 
perately, knowing that nothing but her own voice could 
give her even a pretense of help. 

"I mean there's really something else." Why didn't 
someone stop her from letting these words slide limply out 
of her mouth? They kept on in an avalanche, meaningless, 
trite, overwhelming her. She saw his mouth twist at the 
corners, the sentences stringing helplessly along. Finally 
in an agony of foolishness, she arrived at a lame finish and 
sat in silence, one part of her brain scourging her, the other 
encouraging, until the conflict so tore at her nerves that 
with an exclamation she dragged on her coat and stumbled 
for the door. She looked around quickly, saw Allan 
slouched in the same position, his very shoulders curved 
mockingly, his hand tapping a cigarette on the ash-tray, 
then the coloured light slid off him, on to the dancers. With 
a deep breath she pushed at the handle and moved out into 
the street. 

Over the powdery snow the lamps threw a net- work 
of patterns. Cool air slid down into her lungs, poured over 
her hot eye-lids and throat. She walked, her head a little 
bent, forgetting to think or worry, content in this imper- 



I The Smith College Monthly 

sonal world of softly settling Bakes. For blocks this daze 
held her, then finally she stopped and lifted up her chin. 

"It's this, all this." she murmured half out loud, look- 
ing around. "Perhaps now that [*ve seen it again, some- 
thing that goes on. and on. and doesn't change,— something 
that has an ( ssence, an integral part that is always the same, 
and always renewed -I could explain it better." 

A little latei- she sat opposite .Allan across the red 
and white table-cloth. Though he scowled, his nostrils 
crinkled a little with amusement. Saying nothing he tapped 
the end of his cigarette, then looked at it for a while. 

Silence suddenly made an opening into which she 
plunged. "Allan, you must see. Can't you see? It's so 
terribly important, not to lose that burning inside hardness, 
not to let it get soft." 

She felt herself floundering helplessly. The words. 
the words evaded her. The snow outside — no. he would 
snort again, and again obstinately refuse to understand. 
The words choked and died in her throat, leaving her burn- 
ing with anxiety and an inner passion of shame. 

lie rose as the orchestra brayed out its first note. To- 
gether they slid out on the oily rhythm of the music, whose 
heat forced their bodies to sway in unity, and their feet to 
move together. 

"Happy ?" he asked. 

A es", she said, hut avoided looking at his eyes and 
through the sockets into his skull, "very happy." 



The Smith College Monthly 17 



ONE MO' ROCK 

Mary Chase 



l^ylEPHAS walked down the beach toward home, alone. 
|vJJ Usually he made the trip with three or four of his 
(K* r : | friends, all in that pleasantly boisterous state which 
followed their Saturday evenings of craps and bad shine. 
Tonight, however, he had come from a changed town. A 
revival was in full swing and he and his friends had indulged 
in an orgy of repentance. Cephas remembered vaguely go- 
ing up to the mourners' bench to sit there groaning, at in- 
tervals throwing his head back to howl, "Jesus, sa-ave a 



sinner." 



Now that had all passed, and, except for a somewhat 
exalted feeling, he was the same as ever. He walked along 
slowly, playing his game with the waves — when they came 
in, he skirted them; when they went out, he followed them 
down the beach. 

Then he noticed the moon. It was a thin one, leaning 
over on its back, just above the water. It made a pale, white 
path straight to him. 'T wonder if that light is cool or hot, 
like the sun," he thought, and undressing hastily, he went 
splashing through the waves, toward the end of the light. 
It always kept just out of reach, however, so he swam until 
he was tired and then went back near the shore, to rest. He 
looked down — his body had disappeared entirely in the 
water. "When I move," he thought, "the blue light says 
I'm still there, but when I'm still, shark-sucker couldn't find 
me, no matter how hard he tried. Good thing to be a 
nigger, sharks don't like black meat." 

He swam again, lazily. When he put his hands out 
in front of him the lights in the water made white cotton 
mittens for his hands. There was a blue path behind him, 
and all the fish left blue darting trails as they swam. It was 
all beautiful and cool. He began to sing a rough chant of 
the water and the blue trails, but the idea soon failed him 
and he fell back on "One mo' ro-ock, two mo' ro-ock," the 



18 The Smith College Monthly 

song he and his friends sang to the concrete-mixer when 
they \\ orked on the roads. 

"Time to go-o M ai las! wove itself into his song. II« 
left the water slowly and unwillingly, and after he had 
dressed, played his game with the waves down the beach 
toward home, singing as he went, "One mo* ro-ock — " 



MUSEUM PORTRAIT 

Barbara 1). Simison 



Above, they hung her portrait, newly oiled. 
And done with [ngres minuteness; every hair 

In place, with that sleek look for which she toilee 
Because it was the fashion then to wear 
It parted so; perhaps, it was because 
Her husband told her to. and she felt she 
Must purse her lips to wait lor his applause, 
On having her accord with his decree. 
Below, they placed the things that she liked best- 
A comb just worn at night when she sat all 
Alone a hit of laee upon her hreasl ; 
The jewelled fan beside her Spanish shawl. 
So here, she was as she would like to seem 
And there, as lime and he would rather dream! 



The Smith College Monthly 19 



DANCING SCHOOL 

Georgia Stam m 



a) 



AYBELLE, walking to dancing school with her older 
sister, felt excited and frightened both at once. Her 
heart was thumping violently, uncomfortably. She car- 
ried a brown velvet bag, holding her dancing slippers, by its 
drawstring, and it banged against her legs with each step 
she took. Thump ! Thump! went her heart. Bang! Bang! went 
the bag against her legs. She was thinking feverishly, "Sup- 
pose no one should dance with me! Suppose I should be the 
only one left out, and have to sit through a dance all alone! 
Or have to dance with Miss Evans! What on earth shall I 
say to a boy if one does dance with me? O heaven help me!" 
Turning to her sister, she said in a desperate, breathless tone, 
"What on earth do you say to a boy?" "Oh goodness, I don't 
know," said her sister impatiently, for she was annoyed at 
having to take Maybelle to dancing school, "Just anything 
that comes into your head." "But just what do you say?" 
persisted Maybelle, frantically pressing. Her sister was 
spared an answer by their arrival at the dancing school. May- 
belle was now struck dumb with terror. 

They climbed the steps to the doorway. A boy was 
climbing the steps too. He held the door open for them. May- 
belle looked at him. Why, she knew him! He was in her class 
at school, and his name was Charlie Wilson. Not that she 
had ever spoken to him or he to her. The boys never paid 
any attention to the girls and the girls ignored the boys. Still 
it was cheering to see a familiar face and he looked half smil- 
ing as he held the door open, as if he recognized her. She went 
in feeling more excited than ever. An awkward arrangement 
of the rooms made it necessary for her to pass through the 
boys' waiting room to get to the girls'. The room was lined with 
boys putting on white gloves and black patent leather shoes. 
She passed through the black and white ranks with eyes cast 
down, and thought in agony that she heard a titter go round 
the room. In the girls' dressing room, sashes and hair ribbons 
were being tied, button-hooks wielded, hair brushed by mat- 



•JO 



The Smith College Monthly 



ter of fat-! governesses and fluttering mothers. The girls 
were dressed like Maybeile, in white muslin and lace over 

pink or blue silk slips, with pink or blue sashes and hair-rib- 
bons. 

Maybeile ohanged hurriedly into her black pumps, gave 
her hat, coat, and brown-velvet bag to the cynical, bored- 
looking hat-check girl, and began pulling on her long, white, 
silk gloves. She saw a girl that she knew, whose mother was 
helping her get ready. Maybeile never liked Lucretia hut 
today she went over and spoke to her. I just love dancing- 
school, don't you?" said Lucretia in her silly voice while her 
anxious, attendant mother was brushing her long, brown 
curls. "Oh, yes," replied Maybeile, trying to make her voice 
sound natural, unscared. She turned to the mirror, and pulled 
up her blue hair-ribbon, perched on the side of her head, and 
w ished that her hair was not short and straight. 

Maybeile and Lucretia together went up the red-car- 
peted stairs to the ballroom to make their curtsey to Miss 
Evans. Miss Evans was very tall with black hair. She was 
wearing a beautiful sparkly green dress, and she was saying 
"Take hold of your skirts! Take one step to the right! Left 
leg behind! Bend and straighten!" Maybeile coming up from 
hi v rather wabbly curtsey, noted the great length of the big 
room. At the left was the piano. At the right, lining the wall 
were chairs; a long uninterrupted black line that was the 
hoys, abruptly changing into a longer pink and blue line that 
was the girls. Maybeile and Lucretia /joined the pinks and 
blues. 

.Miss Evans now stepped to the center of the ballroom, 
clicked her castanets, and said. "Take partners for the 
march!" The black line stood up. advanced waveringly, then 
broke up as each boy bowed before a *_». i i • 1 with right hand on 
hip. lefi hand on stomach. A very small hoy bowed in front 
of Maybeile. She noted with distaste that he was half a head 
shorter than she, and looked somewhat like a rabbit. The 
couples marched round the room, then formed in rows for 
the Delsarte exercises. "Point the righl foot! Point to the 
side! Extend the arms sideways! Right foot hack! The right 
fool. William! Hands above the head! Feet together! Arms 
down slowly, slowly!" said .Miss Kvans. 

Maybeile hied io imitate .Miss Kvans' graceful fingers 
ih.it rained down from her wrists when shr held them above 



The Smith College Monthly 21 

her head. Miss Evans' fingers seemed to float through the 

air as her arms came slowly down to her sides. How silly and 
awkward the hoys looked when they did these exercises. They 
didn't point their feet, they stuck them forward as if they 
were about to kick a soccer-hall. They held their hands in 
fists above their heads, and the bad ones refused to do the 
exercises at all. "What stupid things boys are," thought May- 
belle, "They don't even know their right from their left." 

"Click-click" went Miss Evans' castanets. "Take part- 
ners for the one-step !" Here was the little boy bowing to 
Maybelle again, hand on hip. other hand on stomach. Oh, how 
awfully he danced. He never looked where he was going, and 
bumped her into people. He made his left hand, holding her 
right, go up and down, up and down. When the music stop- 
ped, Maybelle was glad to sit down. Miss Evans was talking. 
"Gentlemen, sit to the left of your partners. Click-click! 
Don't leave your partners, boys. Go back there, Thomas and 
William. Xo. you don't need any water so soon! Sit to the 
left, remember! Young ladies and gentlemen, please do not 
cross your legs! Xothing looks worse! However, you may 
cross your feet at the ankles." With a subdued tittering, the 
pupils uncrossed their legs, and sat uncomfortably erect. 

Xext came a lesson in the waltz. Maybelle caught it very 
quickly. After each slide, you began with a different foot, 
and made a sort of square. The boys, Maybelle noticed with 
scorn, had great difficulty learning it. They would start all 
right, fumble with their feet and go all wrong. Miss Evans 
(who could not say her th's) counted, "One! Two! Shree! 
One! Two! Shree! 

"Click-click!" "Take partners for the waltz." Boys were 
bowing left and right. Maybelle, trying to seem unconscious 
and uncaring, talked to Lueretia whose eye was wandering. 
A boy bowed to Lueretia. Maybelle and two other girls were 
left out. "You two," said Miss Evans, "dance together. May- 
belle will dance with me." Maybelle, blushing hotly, tried 
furiously to follow Miss Evans who counted, "One! Two! 
Shree! One! Two! Shree! all through the dance without 
ceasing. 

Gladly Maybelle sat down after it was over next to a 
group of girls whose partners had deserted them, escaping 
Miss Evans' watchful eye. Lueretia, also deserted, came over 
and sat in the chair next to Maybelle. As she sat down, "Rip" 



22 The Smith College Monthly 

went her dress. The bad boys had stuck a pin on her chair and 
n<>\\ the) were sniggering at her plight. "How nasty boys 
are!" said Maybelle, "That's their idea of something funny!" 

"Click-click!" "Take partners for the polka!" Maybelle 
fell a dreadful, sinking feeling. Oh, if only one of those 
horrid, horrid boys would ask her to dance. A hoy stepped 
in front of her. Ill bowed. She saw the top of his blonde 
head, and then as he straightened she recognized the pink 
face of Charlie Wilson. She go! up and made her curtsey. 
Away they wen! to the polka step: slide slide, hop, hop. 
hop! ( )ne! Two! ( )ne. t wo. shree!" 

"I like the polka, don't you?" said Maybelle. "Yep, it's 
go! so much go to it !" agreed Charlie. "Say," he said. "Don't 
you think .Miss Groui is a funny old <^i rl ^" Miss Grout was 
their school teacher. "She's a nut!" said Maybelle, delighted 
that they should agree again. "Say," he went on "D'j'ever 
hear the joke: why is a Ford car like a schoolroom?" "No," 
said Maybelle, "Why?" "Cause there's an old crank in front 
and a lot hi little nuts behind!" Maybelle giggled furiously. 
She though! it the funniest joke she had ever heard. "How 
old are you?" she asked, thinking how- easy it was to talk to 
this boy. "Twelve. How old are you?" "Eleven," she said 
and thoughl how nice it was that he was a year older. "Let's 
gel some water." he said, after the strenuous polka was over. 
"Whew, it's Hot!" Gallantly he pushed the other boys right 
and left from tin ice-water pitcher, gol her water for her. in 
a paper cup. and presented it to her with a flourish. 

Take partners for the Paul Jones! Charlie gulped down 
his water, put a masterful arm round Maybelle and danced 
off with her. Maybelle giggled admiringly as she pointed out 

t<> him that he had omitted his how. "What would you've 

done if M iss K\ ans had caught you ?" she asked. lie shrugged 

his shoulders and said, "Well, she didn't catch inc. did she?" 
'Click-click!" The music stopped. "Face vonr partner! 

Girl's righl hand in hoy's left! Start forward!''' "Goodbye!" 
said Charlie, and did he? Yes, he did squeeze her hand before 

he hi it L!'» and passed on! Left hand, righl hand, tall hoy. 
short boy, boy with glasses, ugly how left hand, right hand. 
"Click-click!" The music stopped. Oh heavens! Maybelle had 

to dance with the oldest, tallest, handsomest hoy in the room. 

I l'iw he scar< d her, h< was so old and contemptuous looking! 
They began to dance and she stumbled a little. kk Oh. excuse 



The Smith College Monthly 23 

me!" she cried. "My fault," said he politely. "Oh, it isn't 
your fault and you know it!" thought Maybelle ungratefully. 
She was uncomfortable, nervous; she could think of nothing 
to say to him. They danced past Maybelle's sister who was 
sitting on the sidelines among the governesses and mothers. 
Her sister was trying to say something to her; her lips were 
forming the word, "Talk!" Talk! — Maybelle could not say 
a word. She felt as if she would never speak again. In silence 
they danced. In profound silence they sat down together, he 
on her left. 

With what enormous thankfulness did she see Charlie 
Wilson's pink face bob up and down in front of her in a bow 
as he asked her for the next dance. He did not chatter as 
gayly during this dance as in the one before, but the silence 
that fell between them was not in the least strained or 
agonized. Yet Charlie was not altogether his former cheerful, 
easy self, he seemed preoccupied, a little absent. Suddenly 
he said in a hurried, embarrassed tone, "May I take you home 
from dancing-school?" Maybelle's heart leaped at this thrill- 
ing, this glorious offer. A boy asking to take her home ! But her 
high heart sank as she dismally realized that she must refuse, 
that her sister was sitting there, waiting to take her home. She 
would have to confess to this boy that she was a child that 
had to be called for. She would have to tell, disclose to him 
what an infant she was, and he would no longer think of her. 
or want td take home a girl so babyish. Humiliated, an- 
guished, she made her reply, more abrupt than she realized. 
"No you can't! My sister's here for me." "Oh, I see," he said 
in what seemed to her a curt tone. She said to herself in des- 
pair, "I suppose he thinks I'm just a little kid." 

"Maybelle!" It was Miss Evans' sharp voice. "Maybelle, 
please turn your toes out!" What an awful thing! How cruel 
of her to say that just then! How humiliating! Oh, I've lost 
him forever ! thought Maybelle, acutely unhappy. 

"Young ladies and gentlemen," said Miss Evans when 
they Avere all seated. "I want you to change partners after 
every dance. I don't want you to go on dancing with the same 
partner all the time. Now then, take partners, please!" Char- 
lie left Maybelle. "Forever!" she thought drearily and the 
small rabbity-looking boy whom she first danced with bowed 
before her. 

How miserable she was ! Whv did she have to lose Char- 



2 I The Smith College Monthly 

Ik '. Perhaps li< might dance with her again! No, he never 
would! And here she was dancing with this nasty little fellow 
who kepi bumping her into people. What was he saying to 

her? That he had gotten A. A. A. on his report card that 
month. Charlie had told her with great glee that he had got- 
ten B, C, 1) for attendance, work and conduct in order. It 
was sissy for a hoy to be good at his lessons. All the real hoys 
w ere terrible in them. 

The little boy was saying to her now. "Don't let's pa\ 
any attention to Miss Evans but let's dance the next together 
too." "Oh horrors!" she thought, "1 don't want to dance with 
him!" Hut fear that she would again be left out caused her to 
accept. .Inst as she stood up to make her curtsey she noticed 
Charlie's blonde hair and pink lace coming in her direction. 
In despair she saw him suddenly turn and how to Lucretia. 

Miserable, with a big unswallowable lump in her throat. 
she went through the last dance with the brilliant student. 
She was to glad to hear the music of the Polonaise which 
apparently meant the (.rand March and the end. Hound the 
room marched the couples, hand in hand, girl's left hand hold- 
ing skirts, hoy's right hand on hip. "Take shree steps, then 
sweep the foot along the Moor and up! One! Two! Shree! 
Brush! One! Two! Shree! Brush!" Curtsey to -Miss Evans! 
Curtsey to your partner! Dismissed! 

Sick at heart, Maybelle stumbled down the red-carpeted 
stairs, bumped by the hurrying hordes of the released boys 
who hounded down three steps at a time. In the dressing- 
room, dejectedly, she changed her shoes, put on her hat and 
coat. "Are you all ready? Let's go!" said her sister. They 
passed through the hoys' now noisy room, dodging a flying 
patent leather shoe. To her sister's question, "Did you have 

a good time?" she could make no answer. 

A hoy was standing by the street door as if waiting for 
some one, with his hands in his poekets. It was Charlie Wil- 
son! Maybelle's heart stood still, then went on beating very 
Cast. As she passed him, he closed one merry blue eye in 
a broad wink. He'd winked at her! Then he wasn't mad! He 
still liked her! How happy she was! I low thrilling! That 
wink! She would never forgel it ! She was tired but she didn't 
care. She had 1>< en scared, unhappy, w retched, hut now every- 
thing was joyous. Joyfully her brown velvet bag banged 
against her legs to the tune of her happy thoughts, "'He 
winki (1 at me! 1 J< winh d at me!" 



The Smith College Monthly 

TEMPERATURE ALMOST NORMAL 

Rachel Grant 



aT was tedious to be lying in bed now that the fever no 
longer burned heavily through her body, gnawing at 
the edges of her eyes. It made one feel stupidly small 
and childish. The distance to where her feet sloped up in 
little pyramids was too short, unprepossessing, the shape 
of her body thickened and blurred by the bedclothes. Pet- 
tishly she pulled them taut to her chin and stretched full 
length; that was worse, she looked like a long block of 
stone. Tired, she let them go, and a magazine beside her, 
slipping like a lizard between the bed and the wall, dropped 
on the floor. It annoyed her to feel young, not in control. 
Even her hands betrayed her, lying there on the coverlid, a 
little on one side, curled, fingertips under. They looked 
young and uncertain. She lifted them and examined them 
carefully. She was proud of her hands, the long, chiselled 
fingers were beautiful and she had taught them to interpret 
her silences. They moved restlessly as she talked, touching 
her face, resting against her hair and always stretched a little 
separate, as if to emphasize her pleasure in them. But now 
the nails were lustreless and too long; she turned on one side 
and put both hands under the pillow. 

The room was so still, inert. The furniture was pas- 
sive as though no one had ever walked by it or moved it. 
When she was up and using things they never seemed so 
unalive. She thought the writing desk stood heavy against 
the wall, and yet she knew how it lightly shifted position 
when she pulled at the drawer. The portfolio on top lay 
close, close, as though no fingers could pry it loose. The 
perfume bottles were onyx and jade, and riveted as orna- 
ments to the top of her dressing-table; the rug was a sheet 
of dull red metal on the floor. Everything was unmoving 
and immovable. The spring flowers were rigid in their 
vase. She saw the thick, translucent stems of tulips, swol- 
len in the green water, and shuddered; she hated thick 
things. Sudenly she wondered if she. too. had lost all power 
to move. She sat up sharply, her heart shivering. Then 



26 The Smith College Monthly 

with an uneasy laugh, she slid back again, turned the pillow 

over and lay .still. 

She shul her eyes, tired as they were of moving up and 
down the edges of the furniture, through the small brass 
drawer handles, and along the sun lines on the floor. She 
tried to visualize herself serving tea in the library down- 
stairs, as she so liked to do. hands outstretched above the 
silver things on the tray, people coming up to her. talking, 
listening, liking her. Hut it was too difficult, she was in- 
< scapably here, in bed, and quite alone. She could not 
accustom herself to being ill. and she had no patience. 
Solitude was something one chose, not something to be 
forced upon one like this, and silence had more dignity than 
this soundless vacuum in which they had left her. People 
m ( med SO remote. They had sent Mowers, but it was such 

a usual gesture to send flowers, so mechanical. Perhaps 
this pot of fuchsia which had pleased her so had been ordered 

by his secretary, over the telephone, without any conscious 
thought of her. It seemed to her terribly sad that she should 
have been tricked into gratitude. Tears stood in her eyes, 
she opened them hurriedly, aghast at this childishness. 
She must stop thinking about herself. Without interest, 
she began to hunt words, describing things, her curtains, Mut- 
ed like bronze columns; the group of perfume boxes, uneven, 
cubistic, a diminutive New York sky-line. Words were too 
heavy, her mind sagged under them. 

All at once she became aware of the bed. It pressed 
into her back and the sheets strained across her chest. She 
broke free of them, and on one elbow, struggled to pull 

the bedclothes straight and to smooth the under sheet. She 

suffered as it knotted in folds that seemed to urge themselves 

into hei- back, and the sheets strained across her chest. She 

suffered as it knotted in folds that seemed to urge themselves 
into her body, granite, terribly hard. Exhausted and damp 

with sweat, she lay down and felt the cover bend like steel 
around her ankles. She writhed, the mattress was wooden, 

corrugated. She drew herself convulsively into a crouching 

position near the head of the bed. watching the blankets slid- 
ing iii a malignant slant towards the Moor, — 

"Two degrees more," said the nurse," that seems strange, 
after you have been lying here placidly all afternoon." 



The Smith College Monthly 27 



WINTER MOON 
Marion Bussang 



Oh cold young moon, 

The brittle lover 

Of sloped slate roofs, 

Of chiselled towers: 

We who have worshipped 

Summer and flowers 

Penitent kneel 

Under your scorn; 

Steel and silver 

Welded by heat, 

Hardened by fire, 

We, born 

Out of the warm 

Sweet womb of June 

Ask that no more 

May we know of desire; 

Only the clear 

Swift pain of the sword 

That is all beauty, 

Swift in its passing*. 



28 The Smith College Monthly 



TEN DOLLARS 

Elizabeth Wheeleb 



GTLINK! Nine dollars! The figures leapt at Peter, start- 
lingly black and large. He picked up the hank and 
I shook it; the coins shifted as if they had not much room 
to move. Only a dollar more. Then the hank would open, 
and then he could by all the soldiers he wanted. Germans, 
French, British and Americans; infantry, cavalry, artillery; 
machine-guns, tanks and airplanes. In another week perhaps, 
if he worked very hard. 

lh set the bank on the bookcase, and picked up the over- 
sowing wastebasket. His mother's was only half full, so into 
that he dumped the contents of his sisters and the one in the 
guestroom, and then went to the cellar to empty them. His 
father's wastebasket in the study had to be taken by itself, 
it was so big and so full, though less full now than in school 
time. However, it served the purpose of carrying up the 
fire-wood. Peter threw the logs into the woodbox, rattled 
the kindling on top, and swept the hearth in three quick 
strokes. Six more days and he would have another twenty- 
five cents. I If swept the front porch, already so hot that he 
could feel the warmth through his rubber soles. The trees 
along the drive scarcely stirred, and there was a haze over 
tli< sea, blotting out the horizon line. 

Willi this heat, the beans would be ready in his garden, 
and his mother had said she would buy them from him. 
Basket in hand, he walked quickly through the rose garden 

where a hummingbird was Hying, across the road, and into the 
field beyond. Two years ago it had been a hay-field; now it 

was planted to crops to i\rd the school in the coming winter. 

Across the upper part, near the road, marched rows of young 

(•(•in like soldiers in platoons. Below, among the white-dotted 

green ranks of flowering potatoes, khaki-clad figures with 

hoes moved up and down. Since they could not go to war. the 
school boys had come back in squads to work in the fields. 

Willi bis basket fixed mi his head like a helmet. Peter 

a< l\ anced up< >n them. 



The Smith College Monthly 29 

"Hello, Peter. Going to help us hoe potatoes?" 

"No. My beans ought be ripe by now. I'm gointa sell 
'em. Guess how much money I got?" 

"How much?" 

"Aw c'm on and guess." 

"Oh, 1 don't know. Two dollars and a quarter?" 

"Nope. Much more 'n that." 

"You tell us. We can't guess." 

Peter kicked at a dead weed with scornful impatience. 
Then he condescended. "Nine dollars. When I get ten, I 
can spend it, and I'm going to get lots of soldiers and have 
a battle." 

"That'll be fun, won't it?" 

Peter looked at the bent back of the speaker, and sighed, 
then moved on down the field to his own garden. The boys 
did not seem much interested in his soldiers. He thought of 
Mac, who had hoed potatoes last summer while he was pick- 
ing beans, and had talked to him across the field as they 
worked. In the fall, instead of coming back to school, Mac 
had joined the Marines and gone to France. School had not 
been the same without him. He had been football captain, 
and could pass a ball further than anyone else in school, 
and had taught Peter how to drop-kick, also how to tackle, 
and a great many more things too numerous to be recalled. 
Peter missed Mac. He wished that Mac were there to hear 
about his soldiers. 

But thinking of his soldiers made picking beans easy, 
even in this heat. Quickly he hitched along on his knees, 
feeling under the dusty leaves. The basket filled rapidly. 
Some of them were long and curved, like nothing else but 
beans; some were short and stumpy, like zeppelins, only 
thinner. Peter dug his hands into the basket and wiggled his 
fingers about. Nearly two quarts. He stood up and, thrust- 
ing his hands in his pockets, surveyed his garden. Two rows 
of beans, then a row of carrots, one of beets, two of lettuce, 
and the last row of radishes because Mummy liked them. The 
lettuce looked wilted ; he would have to water them when the 
sun went down. Otherwise, the garden looked fine. Sud- 
denly his eye caught sight of a bright orange something with 
black dots on one of the beet plants. He leapt over the car- 
rots in time to see a huge potato bug parade across a leaf and 
disappear underneath. Peter grabbed him and put him down 



30 The Smith College Monthly 

in tlu- path. Then he selected a blunt .stone and standing a lit- 
tle way off, dispatched the potato bug with the sure aim of a 
grenadier. In satisfaction, he began to whistle "Over 
There," and picking up his basket of beans, he strode up the 
Held to deliver them and claim his wages. 

The next day he sold some carrots, and the day after thai 
some beets. The bank now registered nine dollars and sev- 
enty-five cents. Saturday, when his father paid him, he 
would have ten. On Friday, however, a sudden fear assailed 

him that someone else might have bought his soldiers, so he 
begged permission to go to town and see if they were still 
there. I Le walked up to the window with his eyes averted, and 

he closed them before he dared to look. Yes. there they were. 
the whole window filled with them. On one side a whole army 
of Germans in steel-pointed helmets marched forward with 
bayonets set. led by a man that must be the Kaiser on a black 
war-horse. On the other side, rank upon rank, stood poilus, 
Tommies and doughboys; and in between were tanks and 
guns and a few dead soldiers. For one short hour. Peter ex- 
amined them separately and all together, and then, with a 
sigh that clouded the window, he tore himself away, his eyes 
blinking and the end of his nose white and Hat. To-morrow 
they would all be his. 

When lie go! home, as always he looked hopefully on the 
front hall table for mail, and could hardly believe his eyes 
when he saw a postcard addressed to him. It was from .Mac. 
The picture was a colored one of a French soldier and an 
American shaking hands. The American was labelled "Mac" 
but he did not look much like him. Peter turned the card 
over, and sat down on the stairs to read it. It took quite a 
while. "Deai- Peter: Wait till you sec the German helmet 
1 found for you yesterday. In a month now. you will be put- 
ting them over from the thirty-yard-line. Wish I could see you. 

Mac." Peter sat still for several minutes, looking first at the 
picture .-Hid then at the writing. Abruptly he jumped up. slip- 
ping the card into the pocket of his shirt. After fumbling 

about in the darkness of the hall closet, he emerged with a 

Foot ball. The screen door banged behind him as he landed with 

H flying leap on the lawn. Hack and forth, from the lilac 
hedge i<> the horsechestnui tree, he drop-kicked the football, 
running tirelessly after it. The shadows of the spruce trees 

Crept toward the house, and the sun slipped behind the hill; 



The Smith College Monthly 31 

but still Peter kicked, straining- to make each go further than 
the last. Once he put one from the hedge over the tree into the 
drive. Mac would have said, "Atta Boy! Come on now. Do it 
again." So Peter tried, until it was dusk and the robins 
chirped good-night through the gathering fog. 

That evening after supper as his father unfolded the 
Times, Peter said triumphantly, "Daddy, yon owe me a 
quarter to-morrow. Then I can open my bank!" He turned 
a somersault that knocked over the fire tongs. Peter hastened 
to pick them up, but the expected reprimand did not come. 
Instead, his father fished in his pocket. 

"If you'll keep quiet, I'll give it to you now," and he 
tossed the quarter to Peter. In half a minute, Peter was up- 
stairs and down again with his bank. He jammed the quarter 
in the slot, and as the nine-seventy-five changed to ten-aught- 
aught, there was a strange click. Peter pressed the spring in 
the bottom. It opened, and out poured nickles, dimes and 
quarters in a jingling heap. He shook the bank until there 
was nothing left in it, and then picked up the coins in both 
hands, letting them slip through his fingers like sand. Then he 
separated them into piles — nickles, dimes and quarters — 
stacked them neatly, and counted them, then multiplied and 
added to see if they made ten dollars. They did, so he set them 
out in platoons with the nickels and dimes for privates, be- 
cause there were more of them, and the quarters for officers. 
The platoons moved about and formed in diminutive com- 
panies. The nickles were the Allies and their officers were 
heads up; the dimes were the Germans, their officers tails up. 

The battle was so exciting that Peter hardly heard the 
telephone ring except to know that his father had gone to 
answer it. He did not hear what was being said, nor notice that 
his mother and his sister had put down their books. But when 
his father came back and stood still in the door, Peter looked 
up. 

"Mae's been killed." He spoke so quietly that Peter 
could not believe what he had said until he heard his mother 
say "Oh, John!" in the voice that always meant something 
terrible had happened. Peter looked down at the coins and 
stared hard at one of the quarters. 

The Morris chair creaked as his father sank heavily into 
it. "Poor old Mac. I've been waiting every day to hear this." 

The eagle on the quarter disappeared and the quarter 



32 The Smith College Monthly 

became a white blur on the rug, Peter got up, and dragged 
his feel slowly after him up the stairs. 1 1 is door closed softly. 

The next morning he came downstairs before anyone 
(1st. His money was in an old candy box on the table. He 
picked up some of the coins and lei them drop hack into tin 
box one by one, holding the last quarter, looking at tin- eagle, 
and finally letting it too fall. As he heard his mother's step 
on the stairs, he carefully put the cover on the box and turn- 
ing his hack upon it. walked into the dining-room with his 
eyes on the pattern in the ru<^'. 1 1 is mother had gone into the 
kitchen. I Ic looked out of the window at a robin strutting on 
the lawn, nor did he turn when the door swung behind him. 

"Mummy, the Rid Cross still wants money doesn't it?" 

"Yes, deal", they can always use it." 

"Well, then. I guess 1 want to give them my ten 
dollars." 

Although he could not die like .Mac. perhaps he could 
help the Allies too. Hut now he could not have his soldiers. 
And Mac was dead. Suddenly Peter dropped his head on his 
arm auainst the window-sash, and sobbed. 



The Smith College Monthly 33 



CONCERNING MEANS OF LOCOMOTION 
Elizabeth Perkins 



a COMMON generalization maintains that every novice 
who gains admission to the sacred precincts of Higher 
%r,8q Education believes that her purpose embodies the ac- 
quisition of one of three assets: Learning, friends, amuse- 
ment. The novice almost immediately discovers that while 
her purpose may remain fixed, she is being forced to direct 
her energies not immediately towards its attainment, but to- 
wards getting from one to another of the places where learn- 
ing, companionship or amusement is to be found. This fact is 
less commonly recognized than the first, but is no less widely 
applicable; and while the mind of Napoleon may have plan- 
ned his most successful strategies in total repudiation of 
whatever agonies the stomach of Xapoleon was suffering, 
smaller brains are easily distracted from important considera- 
tions by even so slight a matter as a pair of weary supports. 
Consequently an appreciable amount of concentrated 
thought is spent each year upon means of locomotion. 

The automobile, worthy vehicle never before fully ap- 
preciated, being forbidden to all save a select few, the field 
is narrowed to an examination of three contrivances: the foot, 
the roller-skate, and the bicycle. These are similar in that 
all three use overmuch foot- and leg-muscle and thereby 
revive the old grievance against parents who, fearing lest the 
purity and Scriptural accuracy of their pedigree be ques- 
tioned, refuse to instruct offspring in the impartial use of 
hands and feet. Aside from this feature, they differ widely 
and are deserving of separate consideration. 

The foot as a rule comes as part of one's standard equip- 
ment ; it is therefore convenient, its use is naturally and easily 
acquired, and it is always within call. Practically no know- 
ledge of its mechanism is necessary for the amateur, and there 
is no danger of forgetting the key. In a state of nature its 
upkeep also is negligible ; unfortunately the deteriorating in- 
fluence of civilization has been such that shoes are now con- 



3i The Smith College Monthly 

sidered advisable and even necessary by the decadent daugh- 
ters of Pithecanthropus Erectus. Quite aside from the ex- 
pense of constantly replacing a succession of broken-down 
shoes, this slate of affairs lias brought it about thai any un- 
usual exertion produces great wear and tear on the foot it- 
self. Blisters on one's feel are no less unattractive than worn 
leather or tire-punctures; and they are distinctly more pain- 
ful. It is this personal element in the relation between fool 
and o\\ ik t \\ liieh lias made walking less popular than its man- 
ifold advantages mighl lead one to expect. 

Upon the roller-skate I gaze with a frankly /jaundiced 
eye. There is to me an underlying faithlessness, a treachery, 
in roller-skates to which I shall never become reconciled. Per- 
haps oui- many unfortunate experiences have been due wholly 
to my own lack of understanding; hut 1 can swear to having 
S< ( n what on the lips of a person would be a malicious sneer 
gleam about the clamps of a rollerskate as it relinquished its 
grasp at the crucial moment and deposited me. at grazing in- 
cidence, Upon the pavement. On the few occasions when I 
have been allowed to retain the upright posture, 1 have found 
the quality of self-control to he quite lacking in the skate: 
however slight the incline on which I embark, an appeal to a 
courteous tree has always been necessary in order to prevent 
a continuance of the mad course and an inglorious end in the 
shrubbery at the bottom. Moreover, the roller-skate is con- 
st rid ing to the ankle: it produces a most harsh and uncsthetic 
effect upon any but the smoothest cement: and it transmits 
up the spine a series of uneven vibrations which cannot but 

he injurious to the delicate nerve-centers of the brain. 

The bicycle, on the other hand, is a thoroughbred. Offer- 
ing a striking contrast to the blunted perceptions and pur- 
blind cruelty of the roller-skate, it is affectionate, sensitive and 
high-strung. Quick-tempered it may he, as is shown by its 
behavior when forced to move at a pace at variance with its 

own inclinations; and he who would master it must possess 

in addition to ,-i certain technical skill, hands of tempered 
steel, prehensile toes, and an intuitive quickness of discern- 
ment. Like ;ill line creations, it requires of its owner intellig- 
ence and constant care; hut these it repays a thousandfold. 
Mastership, one* attained, has no equal among all the sensa- 
tions to which man is susceptible. Hut all approaches to 
perfection are, by their very conspicuousness, doomed to 



The Smith College Monthly 35 

frustration. Something in nature is aroused to antagonism a- 
gainst this challenger of its powers; for at the approach of the 
humblest pedestrian, hills are at worst quiescent; before au- 
tomobiles they are seen to abase themselves ; while in the pres- 
ence of a bicycle they rise indignantly on end. Unless a sys- 
tem of elevators be installed in the country roads of the land. 
I seriously consider growing a good set of callouses and re- 
verting to feet. 



36 The Smith College Monthly 



A LEGEND OF OLD RUSSIA 

Pauline Si.o.m 



SI I E "Malach Ha Moveth" the Angel of Death was 
somewhat tired of his abode in heaven. For eons he had 
inhabited the same dwelling and had carried on the 
same work which made him so feared on earth. \ot withstand- 
ing the respectful awe his fellow-angels accorded him, his 
present life was somber and monotonous. Now the Malach 
had an idea that a wife might break this monotony. Where- 
fore he petitioned the Most High Tor a vacation and his 
pel it ion was granted. 

Thus it happened that the Angel of Death descended to 
the earth and assumed the guise of a mortal and the humble 
name of Yankel. Hut within a fortnight came YankePs down- 
fall, lie met a younff iadv in the village. As she stood there 
in her high laced pointed shoes, gathered skirt, tight-bodiced 
waist and multi-colored head shawl of the middle class girl 
of thai period, she seemed a vision of loveliness to the dazzled 
Yankel. It was not so much beauty of feature as an unusual 
flashing air of independence that captivated him. lie made 
inquiries and learned that she was by name Alte. daughter of 
one Ben-Yomin, a shoemaker. 

Time and courtship sped by quickly. Within four 
months there was a great commotion in the home of Hen- 
Ybmen. In one room a white-gowned .Alte sat on an inverted 
wash tul). All the married women in the village were combing 
and braiding her hair. Then Other people entered and each 
one undid a little of the "tzop" or braid. Alia! At last the 
secrel was out! This could mean nothing other than a wed- 
ding. 

And true enough, for there in the next room rose the 
"chupeh" or wedding canopy. At the other side of the room 
stood ;i dazed, beatific Yankel. In his blissful ecstacy, his one 
wonder was thai souk "bocher" had not snatched his treasure 
up long ago. Then, amid a maze of happiness, he was wed. 

Before many months had passed poor Yankel under- 
stood why this wife of his had not heen beSOUghl by the vil- 



The Smith College Monthly 37 

lage benedicts. For she was known as "Alte de Mook"- 
"Alte the Vixen." She was a shrew of first water. All day 
long she nagged and nagged. It was "Yankel, be careful, 
don't soil my clean sanded floor," "Yankel, go to the porotz 
for this," "Yankel, von made a mess of that last business 
deal," "Yankel" this/and "Yankel" that. 

Poor Yankel awoke from his rosy dream. Then he de- 
termined to declare himself master. After all, was he not 
the Angel of Death? Surely he could control a mere mortal 
shrew. At first her husband's unexpected stand silenced Alte, 
but not for long. It was impossible to quell her and she soon 
wore down his resistance. And so. year after year, her inces- 
sant nagging continued until he could endure no more. He 
decided to return to heaven. 

Now the reason he had not returned long before was his 
love — not for his wife, but for his son Mosche. He had hated 
to leave the youngster to fight his way in the world unaided. 
But now the boy was nineteen and, with his father's help, old 
enough to make his way in the world. Therefore the angel 
summoned his son to him, revealed his true self, and added, 
"I am not leaving you without the means of livelihood, so 
listen carefully to me. You must become a doctor. Yes, yes, 
I know you have never studied medicine", — as the astounded 
boy tried to interrupt — "but that will not matter. If, when 
you enter a sick room, you see me standing at the foot of the 
patient's bed, you will know that the patient will live. You 
may reassure his family and prescribe anything you wish— 
the patient will recover. But should I be standing at the 
patient's head, then it will be useless to try remedies. Say at 
once nothing can be done and predict death. And now, my 
son, one last farewell."— and with the joyful thought of his 
renewed bachelordom the Angel of Death soared to the king- 
ly realms above. 

The years passed, as years do pass. To the Angel of 
Death, his experience on the earth had become a vague, un- 
pleasant dream; the only reminder of it was his frequent 
meetings with his son. Alte in the meantime had become a 
scolding, chattering, sharp-faced old woman cared for by 
her son. 

As for Mosche — ah, his was now a name renowned 
throughout the Russian kingdom. His fame had grown from 
a mere whisper of a man who never failed in his diagnoses, to 



M The Smith College Monthly 

a thundering acclaim as one of the greatest doctors in Eu- 
rope. 1 f he said. "Madam, your son \\ ill recover," the mother 
would cease worrying, no matter what others might say. Hut 
if he said the patient was doomed . 

However, his profession did not occupy all his thoughts. 
Hopeless love also possessed him. For at a brilliant court 
function he had met and lost his heart to the youngest daugh- 
ter of the Czar! Moreover, he had reason to believe that he. 
too. had found favor in her eyes. Hut realizing the emptiness 
of his aspirations, he had never breathed a word of his affec- 
tions. 

One night as he was attending a medical case in Riga, 
he received an urgent summons to the imperial palace in 
.Moscow. The czar's youngest daughter was dying, all other 
physicians had given up hope, and the czar was frantic in his 
grief. With the utmost haste Mosche set forth. 1 1 is mind was 
consumed with terrible anxiety. Where would his father he 
Standing? I f at the foot, then all would he well and good. Hut 
what if he should he standing at the head! He turned cold 
with the horror of the thought. No! It could not be that she 
would die! Why, ten days ago she had been so blooming, so 
full of life. If at the foot, then all well and good. Hut what 
if he should he standing at the head. Again and again the hor- 
rible thought throbbed through his brain suppose his father 
were standing at her head, suppose his father were standing 
it her head, suppose his father thus passed the journey. 

In the lower hall of the palace he came face to face with 
(he czar himself, who with tears streaming down his usually 
dignified face. said. "My boy. if you will only save her I will 
grant vou anything you ask even my daughter herself!" 
With this astounding promise he rushed him to the princess 1 

room. As .Mosche crossed the threshold he closed his eyes. 
How could he look? Hut he must face the situation. With 
a start h< opened his eyes. 1 1 is worst fears were confirmed! 
There at the head of the richly canopied bed stood the Angel 

of Death, grim and Foreboding! 

For one endless moment Mosche remained motionless; 

then he shook oil' the paralysis which had seized him. There 

must still be a way to save her! Agitatedly he cleared the 

room of bystanders. He must work quickly it was evident 

she w.ms sinking fast. At last he turned and faced his father. 
"Father, won't you go away? For my sake, father. 1 beg of 



The Smith College Monthly 39 

you." For many precious minutes he pleaded in an agony of 
anxiety, but the angel only shook his head inexorably. "I'm 
sorry, but I must do my duty." 

Mosche fell back, hopelessly despondent. Then — no, he 
wouldn't let her die; he wouldn't. He rushed forward shout- 
ing, "Father, you must go away. I'll make you— " and then 
the inspiration came to him. 

"For the last time, will you leave?" he asked excitedly. 
The princess was almost dead. "You won't, eh? Well then, 
I'll bring my mother! Do you remember?" The Angel of 
Death seemed to shrivel — gone were his majesty, his proud 
and kingly bearing. He was about to collapse; he thought he 
heard a shrill voice cry, "Yankel!" 

Then he gathered his waning strength and with one 
mighty bound was gone, just before the last breath of life was 
about to leave the princess. 

As you may know, the princess recovered and married 
Mosche, who at once gave up the medical profession. As the 
princess was in no way like her mother-in-law, their wedded 
life was long and happy. 

As for Alte, it is known that she lived to an astounding 
old age — just as if, her neighbors used to say, even the Angel 
of Death didn't want her and deferred her coming as long as 
he possibly could. 



40 



The Smith College Monthly 



r 



BOOK REVIEWS 



1 



KEATS'S SHAKESPEARE 

Caroline F. K. Spurgeon Oxford University Press 1928 

Week-end visits in the country are in general somewhat 
similar. We ask of them entertainment merely. In the dis- 
cos ery of a startling, fine-cut lace, or an unexpected attitude 
of mind we are fortunate beyond calculation. Probably .Miss 
Spurgeon's hopes were not more extravagant on the day she 
lef1 New York City last ( October; certainly she had no presen- 
timent of that conversation with another guest which led to 
one of the most important discoveries in the literary field for 
many years. As .Miss Spurgeon describes it. this guest, 
"hearing thai I was interested in such things, asked me rather 
tentatively whether I would care to look at a copy of Shake- 
speare which had some marks in it by Keats, and which be- 
longed lo a friend of hers who lived at Princeton." And so it 
was by chance thai Miss Spurgeon heard of the existence in 
M r. ( Seorge Armour's library of those hooks of Keat s's which 
had urown into the fibre of his life, which in a sense were his 
.is were no others that he owned. Keats's own Shakespeare. 
s< \< ii rather shabby . . . stocky . . . and attractive little vol- 
umes," stood quietly on these shelves lor nearly fifty years, 
unknown even to so expert a critic as Buxton Forman, unex- 
.imii i' d i \ ( ii by Amy I *owell. The pen markings make lumin- 
ous th< mind of Keats, approaching, pondering, sometimes 
closing with that greater mind: they show his eyes turned 
"upon iin< phrases like a lover." It is the revelation of an 
intimate Keats, living in and by Shakespeare. Miss Spur- 
geon found him in these hooks, and through her essay makes 
it possible lor lis to find him. 

Irrespective "l the quantity of Keat's remarks on his 
reading which are printed and discussed in his biographies, 
something of ih< movement of his thought is lost among the 



The Smith College Monthly 41 

conventional letters of type. Caroline Spurgeon avoids this 
by including twenty plates, facsimiles of the pages which he 
marked with the sharpest interest. One can almost look over 
his shoulder and see the pen move. A deeper intimacy with 
him begins to grow. It is a closeness in mind like that sym- 
pathy of feeling which comes from reading his letters. We 
realize not only by the profuse underlining but by the ap- 
pearance and. Miss Spurgeon says, by the texture of the 
pages, which plays he most frequently read. Some of the 
plates have been handled with such care that the dark surface 
of the margin, worn by his thumb, is still visible. The Temp- 
est, ./ Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet follow- 
through 1817—1818, The Tempest especially influencing the 
writing of Endymion. The plays serve as a kind of barometer 
of mental temper throughout his life. He underscored heavily 
the passages which pleased him in their imaginative quality; 
usually he drew down the margin beside lines whose meaning 
seemed particularly cogent. The impression of a respectful 
familiarity with his mental reactions is so strong that one 
reads the plays Miss Spurgeon reproduces at the end of the 
volume, anticipating his pleasure, thinking that two pages 
ahead there is a phrase which Keats is going to like! 

Together with this fuller appreciation of his sensitive- 
ness to literary expression, admiration for Keats as a semi- 
professional critic increases through reading the markings 
in his own hand. His articles on Kean define Keats's ability 
regarding the drama in general, and Shakespeare especially. 
He reasserts the claim forcibly in the notes he writes in the 
'Princeton copy', as the books in Mr. Armour's library have 
been called. In The Tempest and A Midsummer Night's 
Dream he suggests two valuable emendations to the text. In 
this somewhat formal aspect his criticism is more than worthy. 
Even when he is laughing shamelessly at Doctor Johnson's 
stolid appraisals which are appended in his edition to each 
play, Keats strikes at the center of the question raised. Once 
again one is impressed by his perfect poise of mind, — and his 
sense of humor. Through Johnson's paragraph at the end of 
All's Well Keats draws whirling circles, and with apt malice 
quotes "Wilt thou ever be a foul-mouthed, calumnising (sic) 
knave?" 

When Cowden Clarke read aloud to him after school 
hours at Enfield, Keats began his discovery of Shakespeare. 



42 The Smith College Monthly 

As Keats grew the association grew in vital significance, 

spreading and deepening. In 1817 the first book he unboxed 
on the damp, solitary, and portentous journey to the Isle of 
Wighl was "a Shakespeare 'there's my comfort 1 ". In 1820. 

the last year of bis creative life, be wrote to Fanny Brawne, 

"My greatest torment since 1 have known you has been the 
tear of your being a little inclined to the Cresseid." 'This de- 
veloping relation of bis personality with Shakespeare's is the 
study of .Mr. J. Middleton Murry's recent book (Keats and 
Shakevpean Oxford 1924). It is bis belief, not only thai 
Keats was more like Shakespeare than any other English 
poet, but further that it was inevitable that Keats should 
accept finally no other guide, should stand close to no other 
poet. It is a brilliant piece of critical insight. The amazing 
part of it is that aside from the letters, be bad as basis only 
Keats's markings of the folio edition, in which he read very 
few plays. Quite aside from its intrinsic importance, Keats's 
Shakespeare is interesting in that it sustains and amplifies 
M p. M urry's book. 

It is necessary to insist upon this connection in justice to 
.Miss Spurgeon. With all the unpublished material before 
her eyes, with Keats's own Shakespeare in her hands, she was 
still closely limited. Interpretation had been put upon the 
material before the materia] itself was found. Earlier biogra- 
phers bad suggested the influence of Shakespeare on Keats. 
Mr. Murray had treated it definitively. Miss Spurgeon docs 
with scholarly care what remained for her to do. Essentially 
this consists in making the material of these books available to 
all students of Keats. Without a thesis to develop, she merely 
describes or reproduces their content in part, presenting "an 
authentic record of the study and the love of our greatest 
poel by one whom many today place nearest him." She re- 
cognizes Keats's attitude towards Shakespeare with fine un- 
derstanding, relating the plays to his life and poetry as did 
Keats himself. Because of Mr. Murry's book, proof and con- 
troversial discussion were unnecessary. She writes with ease, 
lucidly, sometimes with a simple eloquence. There is no em- 
broidery, very little decoration of the essential substance. 
The materia] of her tremendous discovery is presented with a 

\ U \\ to sijbst;iiit ia1 ing the work of other scholars, or to facili- 
tating that which will follow. She might say with Amy 
Lowell, 



The Smith College Monthly 48 

"You marked it with light pencil upon a printed 

page, 
Thus, with denoting finger, you make of yourself 

an escutcheon to guide me to that in you which 

is its essence. 
But for the rest, 

The part which most persists and is remembered, 
I only know I compass it in loving and neither have, 

nor need, a symbol." 

S. S. S. 



THE DESERT ROAD TO TURKESTAN 

Owen Lattimore Little, Brown and Company 1929 

An Atlantic Month! // Press Publication 

A simple experiment may be performed to illustrate one 
of the perils to which writers, especially those dealing with 
territory to the East of the Caspian Sea, are exposed. The 
subject, who should possess average sensibilities and no more 
than the conventional literary and historical equipment, is 
seated in a comfortable chair; the experimenter then declaims 
a series of words such as "sarong", "topaz", "Samarkand", 
"Taj Mahal", "sandalwood", "monsoon", "musk". The re- 
actions of the subject are plainly visible to the most unskilled 
observer; their intensity, considering the simple nature of 
the stimulus, is remarkable, and the lack of discrimination 
therein displayed is no less noteworthy. Possibly the patient 
is dimly aware that these words differ in the categories of 
human knowledge to which they refer, and even in geographi- 
cal distribution; but to most of them he responds with hearty 
impartiality. The danger here is obvious. Finding that a few 
unconnected words, together with the opalescent fog that 
seems to emanate from them, have such power, the writer is 
tempted to shift onto them the burden of his task of interest- 
ing and amusing the reader. 

Mr. Lattimore has not escaped the temptation. Proper 
names like Ku Ch'eng-tze are not as effective for purposes of 
reading aloud as are the place-names of Western Asia; but 
when craftily scattered over a page they lead the eye smooth- 
ly along, while what one likes to call one's critical faculties 
are lulled, by a wholly unfounded sense of unity with foreign 



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The Smith College Monthly 45 

lands and strange races, into a delicious somnolence. Mr. 
JLattimore has also, in the manner of a nervous orator who 
fears the roving eye and shuffling goloshes of a bored audi- 
ence, fallen back on a common fallacy about the invariable 
comicality of lice. Social Service workers and even tourists in 
Italy, — as well as the patrons of the motion picture — are by 
this time aware that, as far as a large proportion of the 
earth's population is concerned, lice are of fairly frequent 
occurrence; that they are undesirable as close acquaintances, 
multiply rapidly, and when crushed emit a slight pop and 
a faintly disagreeable odor. Also that man even in a state 
of comparative civilization is not fond of bathing. But in Mr. 
Lattimore's estimation these indisputable phenomena appar- 
ently retain all the charm of novelty; and they are trotted 
out faithfully at every opportunity. 

The most deplorable feature of these defects is that they 
arise, apparently, more from Mr. Lattimore's appraisal of 
his audience than from his own inclinations. The continuity, 
the complex unity of history is his basic theme — one which 
through all variations played on it has never become trite. 
His journey from Pekin to Urinehi and beyond was underta- 
ken, he says, "in a longing to travel the caravan ways in the 
old manner of caravans, because I had a glimpse of what 
they meant — a survival from the past but more than that: 
one of the sources or headwaters of our life as it is." Possessed 
of wide experience and study in inner China, knowledge of 
the discoveries of other travelers, and familiarity with the 
language, he went not as the officially- fostered Competent 
Traveler, with an eye to the Picturesque and the Quaint, 
but as a sharer of the trials and dangers of the camel- pullers 
themselves, accepted by them as "an understandable person 
of their own type." The combination of this attitude with an 
unfortunate fancy in regard to the reading public has led to 
a series of irrelevant interpolations in Avhat might have been 
a fine study of existing conditions. 

The result is a disconcertingly uneven book. After pages 
of fresh and vivid description come phrases like "the clangor 
of their bells pulsing through the pastel evening" which might 
have been created by any twelve year old in the throes of her 
first romance about the Arab chieftain and his maiden fail*. 
At intervals throughout a detailed and interesting chapter on 
camels and the traditions of the road, the author feels it neces- 



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The Smith College Monthly 47 

sary to refer to the tact thai "the stink is thrice wonderful and 
past all whooping." At the conclusion of a serious discussion 
of the economic disorder of China lie smirks self-consciously: 
"and as 1 thought all these high thoughts, I scratched my- 
self — ." In the midst of his most facetious curvetings he 
suddenly pauses to remark, with no transition whatsoever, 
"He fixes its position at 40° 43' 9" north and 106° 0' 0" 
east. . . he reached it on his thirteenth march from Wang-yeh 
Fu in roughly a straight line and describes it as 4352 feet 
above sea level. He then crossed the Hurku hills and the 
Kuei-hua-Uliassutai road on his way to Urga, which he 
reached on September 17. Thus Bain-tuhum would be 
roughly a third of the way between Waii-yeh Fu and Urga." 
And these digressions into the fine points of geography are in 
turn thickly interlarded with passages of sheer Halliburton. 

Mr. Lattimore had here, both in his general theme and in 
his specific knowledge and experience, a meaty subject. But 
in his consideration for the delicate digestion of his readers 
he has chopped the good red beef so fine as Aery nearly to 
disguise it, and mixed it with an assortment of cabbages and 
pungent but not very nourishing condiments. The resulting 
stew is tasty and high- flavored. But it seems nevertheless 
somewhat thin ; one's sensations on completing it are not those 
of entire satisfaction; and one suspects that it is the taste of 
the garlic that will linger most persistently. 

E. P. 



BOSTON 
A CONTEMPORARY HISTORICAL NOVEL 

Upton Sinclair Albert and Charles Boni, 1928. 

Upton Sinclair calls his recently published "Boston" — 
"a contemporary historical novel." Such a phrase is, from its 
very associations, unfortunate, for we are inevitably re- 
minded of all the great historical novels of the past — the 
brilliant canvases of Scott or Dickens. Perhaps, however, the 
use of "contemporary" saves it from too odious a comparison. 
As a tragedy, also, the novel suffers. Mr. Sinclair is not con- 
tent to follow in the steps of Sophocles — to choose one aspect 
from a well-known story. On the other hand, he must tell 
the story of Sacco and Vanzetti from beginning to end. The 



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The Smith College Monthly 49 

resulting novel, therefore, was too long- to be published in 
"The Bookman 9 ' in its entirety as first planned. The con- 
cluding chapters, we learn, were issued in a separate pam- 
phlet for the benefit of interested readers; and the book, 
when published, filled two volumes. 

In any novel, however, historical or otherwise, we de- 
mand that the characters live. Mr. Sinclair chooses Back Bay 
inhabitants as the objects of his satire. He sends little old 
Cornelia Thorn well, wife of a former governor of Massachu- 
setts, down to Plymouth to be fellow boarder of Bartolomeo 
Vanzetti. Consequently, she turns Radical, and arouses the 
antagonism of her Back Bay family when she sides with 
Sacco and Vanzetti throughout their trial. She, as well as 
the other characters, are mere puppets in the hands of Mr. 
Sinclair. When he jerks the string they move — with very 
wooden gestures. For this reason, they serve as foils to Mr. 
Sinclair's main thesis, which is to justify Sacco and Van- 
zetti and the eyes of the world. 

As propaganda Upton Sinclair's book is admirable. If 
we are not already converted to the cause, so to speak, 
we are soon won over by endless repetition — monotony. It 
is like the drone of the law court that he so despises, and we 
are tempted to suggest that a law report would have been 
more successful under Mr. Sinclair's handling than a novel. 

But then, the book is saved from utter mediocrity by a 
number of clever and epigramatic witticisms. Then, too, Up- 
ton Sinclair's daringly flippant treatment of men in high 
places, as well as his audacious satire of the country as a 
whole, make his book in that sense memorable. Yet, even 
details of this order do not save "Boston " because, in general, 
the style is too monotonous, the canvas too unlighted to hold 
our interest. Indeed, we may venture to say that — as a novel, 
Boston is nothing — as an historical novel, less than nothing, 
while as propaganda, it is excellent. 

Barbara Damon Simison. 



THE WELL OF LOXELIXESS 
Radclyffe Halj. Covici-Friede. New York 1928 

"What arc the roots that clutch, what brandies grow 
Out of this stony rubbish?" 



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The Smith College Monthly 51 

A problem that has long puzzled mankind is that of 

the standards by which a work of art should be judged, and 
particularly now when standards are confused or dispensed 
with altogether, the question becomes of overwhelming im- 
portance. 

"Art is unmoral," cry the supporters of one school, 'lis 
function is neither to instruct, uplift or chastise. Art is its 
own excuse for being." On the other hand there are those 
critics who say that art should be a moral and spiritual influ- 
ence towards divorcing man from his baser passions. It is 
not our purpose to argue the respective merits of these points 
of view but it is our desire to point out the unfortunate re- 
sults of mingling the two. 

A book, The Well of Loneliness, by Radclyffe Hall, 
banned in Xew York last week, was also suppressed in Eng- 
land. The book, as every newspaper-reading person in the 
world must by this time know, discusses a problem of sexual 
inversion in a manner which appeared to certain authorities 
unnecessary and unpleasant, leading them to take action 
against it. Following the news of its suppression in Eng- 
land the book received great notoriety, promptly succeeded 
by its appearance, disappearance and wide fame in this coun- 
try. We need not repeat the praise that has been lavished 
on it by its supporters, nor the blame cast by its detractors, 
we are concerned with the question of whether or not. artist- 
ically, it is a valid piece of writing. 

Considering Tlie Well of Loneliness, as a work of 
art, then, the book is unsuccessful. It is written in an incred- 
ible style that belongs with three-decker novels and the Vic- 
torians. The ponderous solemnity of the innumerable pages 
creates a breathlessness in the reader. There are a few 
touches of pathos, whimsy, or what you will, in the beautifully 
English, sentimental treatment of animals. The favorite 
horse shot on the spot where he was first mounted, the adop- 
tion of a stray dog in Paris, these conventional bits of comic 
relief lumber so obviously into the story that the pages of a 
childhood classic, where the villain is redeemed by <i'ivin<>' 
sugar to the garbage man's horse, Hash before the eyes. Ex- 
cept for these elephant-like touches of humor the book plods 
steadily and drearily along. As a book it has no excuse for 
being, as a sociological study of a case it need only have occu- 
pied a quarter as many pages. Written undoubtedly with a 



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The Smith College Monthly 53 

great deal of sincerity and feeling, it provides a perfect ex- 
ample of the statement that sincerity and a photographic at- 
tention to details are not enough, there must be something 
more to make ''roots clutch" and "branches grow out of this 
stony rubbish." 

Compton Mackenzie in a recently published book used 
a very different method of attack. His characters gamboled 
through three hundred pages of the most fantastic idiocy 
and fairly amusing silliness. No serious moral problem is 
discussed, there are no solemnities, and despite the rather 1 
repetitious quality of its levity the book is fairly successful, 
in a thoroughly slight and frivolous way. That a competent 
and able author should waste his time on such a futile book 
seems far more extraordinary than his women. 

Proust, on the other hand has pictured M. de Charlus 
and Albertine with a keen insight, and a complete lack of 
sentimentality, with an intellectual honesty and a detached 
impartiality, besides which the dreary Stephen, two-dimen- 
sional and unconvincing, can take no stand. Proust makes 
no attempt at justification, at preaching a theory. He states 
a fact, explains causes and consequences, analyzes the 
farthest depths of human consciousness with that delicate in- 
strument, his pen, and when by means of the casual phrase 
or gesture of a character he has through twenty pages laid 
bare that character's soul, Proust neither praises, blames 
nor accuses. 

Miss Hall's book, however, has a good deal of the tract 
in its substance. It attempts to prove the rightness of a 
stand against the world, and for that reason it cannot be 
completely honest and accurate, it must be prejudiced and 
over-emphasized. Lacking in all capacity for suggestion, 
the details are generally given a neat twist by the use of a 
generalization or cliche. 

If we have treated the book harshly it is because the 
confusion of two standards of criticism has been so very ap- 
parent. To ban "The Well of Loneliness" for its subject 
matter is an insult to intelligent minds, it should have been 
banned long ago for sheer bad style and stupidity. There 
is as much of a fallacy in calling it a bad book, from the point 
of view of morals, because of its subject, as there would be 
in calling it a good book, from the point of view of art. be- 
cause of its suppression. Lei its dismissal be that it is boring. 



5 I The Smith College Monthly 

( Granted thai it is boring, why make all this fuss about 
it then?" some reader may ask. and it is a fair question. Cen- 
sorship gi\ < s a look presl ige <»f a sort, and usually a wide, it' 
underground, circulation. In an institution of learning, of 
course, we do not expect intelligent and educated readers to 
be tempted by the juiciness of Forbidden fruit without noting 
the rottenness of its skin. We write this for that misguided 
minority, however, which, dazzled by the censor's magic, eag- 
< rl\ swallows down all tasteless pap that publishers dish up. 
salted wit 1 1 the appreciation of intelligent reviewers, pep- 
pered with the damnation of the Old Lady From Dubuque. 

P. S. F. 



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George Gershwin 



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BOARD 

OF 
EDITORS 




Vol. XXXVII APRIL. 1929 No. 7 

EDITORIAL BOARD 

Editor-in-chief, Elizabeth Shaw, 1930 

Managing Editor, Sallie S. Simons. 1930 

Booh Review Editor, Priscilla S. Fairchild, 1930 

Elizabeth Wheeler, 1929 Mary F. Chase, 1931 

Patty H. Wood. 1930 Elizabeth Perkins, 1931 

Art Editor, Nancy Wynne Parker, 1930 

BUSINESS STAFF 

Business Manager, Mary Sayre, 1930 

Advertising Manager, Esther Tow, 1931 

Circulation Manager, Sarah Pearson, 1931 

Nancy Dabney, 1930 Eleanor Mathesius, 1931 

Agnes Lyall, 1930 Eleanor Church, 1932 

Mary Folsom, 1931 Ariel Davis. 1932 



The Smith College Monthly is published at Northampton, Mass., each month 

from October to June, inclusive. Terms $2.00 a year. Single copies 25c. 

Subscriptions may be sent to Mary Sayre, Park B, Northampton. 

Contributions may be left in the Monthly Box in the Note Room. 

Entered at the Post Office at Northampton, Mass., as second class matter. 

Metcalf Printing & Publishing Company, Northampton, Mass. 

"Accepted for mailing at special rates of postage provided for in 

Section 1203, Act of October 3, 1917. Authorized October 31, 1913." 



All manuscript should be in the Monthly Box by the fifteenth of the 
month to be considered for the issue of the following moyith. All manuscript 
should be signed with the full name of the writer. 



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CONTENTS 




Pursuit 

Revenge Is Sweet 

No, I Can't Marry You 

Voices 

Phantom 

Loneliness 

Fear 

The Dead 

Mars 

Editorial 

Book Reviews 

The Bishop Murder Case 

The Amenities of Book Collecting 



Elizabeth Wheeler 
Elizabeth Boies 
Patty Wood 
Lucia Weimer 
Edith Stark* 
Edith St arks- 
Barbara Damon Simison 
Helen Paul Kirkpatrick 
Lucia Weimer 



11 
10 
17 
16 
21 



29 
31 

31 
32 




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Smith College 
Monthly 




PURSUIT 

Elizabeth Wheeler 



SHE old logging road, so long forgotten, was again 
remembered by one who had known it well. Across 
it the shadows of the trees were pushing eastward 
when a man came into view, running swiftly. He leapt over 
the sodden ties from log to log where the logs still were, and 
where they were not, he bounded hastily in the grass. On 
he came with unchanging pace, till suddenly his head jerked 
up and he ran faster. Where a dying silver birch leaned 
outward from the oaks on his right hand he turned aside and 
ran with unfaltering feet along an invisible trail. When the 
road behind him was quite lost to view, he stopped and 
leaned against a tree, listening. 

Amid the vast remoteness of the forest he was a sinister 
figure. His clothes alone made him that. They hung on 
his thin frame like the clothes on a scare-crow, and they 
were gray, with horizontal stripes. His hair was clipped 
short all over his head, giving him a shorn look which in- 
tensified the grayish pallor of his face, such a pallor as 
comes only from living long behind damp and dark stone 
walls. It was a gaunt face with a mouth and chin set in 
determination and a pair of hollow eyes that peered out with 
a vacant intensity, seeing nothing. His whole body was 
strung taut with listening. 

But the only sound that came to his ears was the call 
of a hermit thrush. He relaxed suddenly, and a light broke 
over his face. "God, it's good to hear you again," he said 



6 The Smith College Monthly 

softly. His eyes were seeing now with a restless hunger, 
hut also they were anxious. 

A few swift minutes passed while he stood there. Then 
he struck off into a forest apparently trackless and illimit- 
able. Hut he walked as one who knows his destination, and 
again la- picked out an invisible trail among the trees and 
crowding undergrowth. Dead leaves and twigs hardly 
crackled beneath his step; he knew the Indians' secret, and 
his stride was rhythmical and tireless, leaving behind him a 
hundred and a thousand trees. Before him they climbed the 
ever-steepening slope in whispering legions whose vanguard 
camped upon the shoulders of the mountains. Around him 
reared their trunks- the smooth gray of beeches, the deep- 
furrowed hark of oaks and maples, and the ghostly white of 
the lady of the woods— reaching up through the shadows to 
the green leaves gilded by the falling sun. And behind the 
tracery of the leaves he could see the sky. Above him and 
around him the horizon of his sight was hounded only by the 
limit of his vision; and beyond his vision he felt that the 
space of trees and sky was limitless. . 

The line of his mouth relaxed and the anxiety dwindled 
in his eyes. He looked about him lingeringly, as a man re- 
turned from exile looks on the remembered things of home. 
The sun, slanting through the trees, was warm on his hack, 
and the fragrance of balsam breathed securely. A chipmunk 
Hashed across his path, scurried up a tree and sat scolding at 
him from a high branch. "Don'1 you give me away, you lit- 
tle devil," he said, shaking his fist, and looked hack reluctant- 
ly as he passed in his swinging stride. 

The sun was climbing higher up the trees and the way 
was growing steeper. He slackened his pace to case the 
unaccustomed thumping of his heart. Where an ancient 
hemlock had fallen in the trail he stopped again to listen, 
and was answered only by the' myriad voices of the- woods 
the whistle of a thrush, the- busy tapping of a flicker, the' soft 

pat of dropping pine needles, and the sound of a hrook pour- 
ing over stones. Around a bend in the trail he- found it and 
knell lo drink, plunging his face in the icy water. When he 
rose again, it was to breathe deeply and fling wide- his arms. 
Then his eyes caughl a vista through the trees. He was 

high on the mountain now. Below him the forest fell away, 

so dense thai the foliage made a solid pattern, the black of 



The Smith College Monthly 7 

conifers interwoven with the light green of the hardwoods. 
Down in the valley where the forest stopped, the fields 
stretched away to the mountains beyond; but in the midst 
of the fields he found what his eyes sought — a grim cluster 
of red brick buildings with narrow windows, narrower still 
when you looked out of them from behind the gray walls of 
a cell. He threw back his head exultantly and then turned 
his back on the valley. A cold shadow crept up out of it as 
the sun's rim touched the mountain-top beyond. 

He sped on, his feet making no sound in the deepening 
silence, his eyes never missing the trail in the waning light. 
The world that he had left dropped away from him; only 
the vast forest-clad mountains lay before him, stretching 
northward unbroken to the frontier, eastward to the sea, 
wrapped in the stillness of descending night. 

Suddenly the silence was rent with the long-drawn wail 
of a siren. Midway in his stride he halted, and caught hold 
of a young sapling; it shook beneath his grip. He held his 
breath. The sound rose out of the valley, echoing among 
the mountains, filling the upper air till the whole universe 
was engulfed in it. Then it died only to wail again, and die, 
and again it wailed and died above him on the rocky summits. 
His face had gone gray, and his knees turned to water. He 
strained his eyes downward through the trees, but he could 
not see. In one swift instant night had come upon him, the 
black night of the forest, dropping from the mountains like 
a cloud, without warning and without light. 

Xow it is one thing to find an invisible trail by day with 
high hope in your heart, but quite another thing to find it 
by night in an unlit dark with pursuit at your heels. Immedi- 
ately he knew this, and shivered with something other than 
cold. But he set his teeth and stepped resolutely forward 
with his right hand outstretched, groping, to guide him in 
the path. His left arm he held crooked before his face as 
a shield against the leaves and branches that brushed him 
and snatched at him. The trees were no longer numberless 
hosts advancing before him, league upon league, and re- 
treating behind him as he passed; they were become a wall 
of darkness, moving nearer, barring his way with their trunks 
and boughs, compassing him about with the knowledge of 
their presence. At each step they tore at his clothes and 
slashed at his hands and face; at each step he shrank, expect- 



8 The Smith College Monthly 

ing them, but steadily plodded on. No longer his feet trod 
silently. They tripped over roots. Dead twigs snapped 
and stones rolled behind him. 

He stopped to listen. A stone brought up against a 

tree far below with a thud that was magnified in the- silence. 
Hut after that, there was no more silenee. A thousand small 
noises travelled over the ground and through the trees, rust- 
ling, sliding, whispering, crackling. The forest was moving 
nearer. The dark was alive with sound, so that he could 
not hear. He strained his ears to listen; and his eyes ached 
with the intense effort to probe the blackness. Bui there 
were no lights anywhere in the forest. Far above in a 
murky sky wandered a few burnt-out stars. 

lie started on his way again. The woods were blacker 
than before. The noises followed him. were all about him, 
creeping closer. A clammy chill ran up his spine, making 
him jump sideways and face about, holding up his arm to 
ward oft' a blow. None fell, hut the chill remained, so that 
now he shrank also from what might he behind him. 

The way grew steeper and his progress slower. lie had 
been groping step by step, but now he was crawling on his 
hands and knees over rock ledges. He did not know where 
the trail was. nor if he had lost it. hut only that he must he 
nearing timber line. The leaves that brushed his face had 
given way to the needled prongs of spruces that jabbed at 
him. And the trees must he getting shorter for an icy wind 
chilled him as it passed. lie heard it whir in the spruees: 
then it roared in the pines below, and rustled the leaves as 
it swept down into the valley. Faintly and far-oil' a hound 
bayed, and his blood ran cold. Hut as the baying grew 
louder, his reason told him it was only an owl. So he strug- 
gled on again. 

He moved like a snail now, for his legs were leaden 
weights to he dragged after a body chilled with cold, faint 
with hunger and weariness, driven only by the fear that 
followed him. I lis knees smarted from the cuts of the rocks. 
1 1 is arms ached from the strain of lifting himself over the 
ledges; and he had to clench his teeth to keep them from 
chattering. He Stopped often now. utterly spent, and lax- 
huddled among the rocks. Hut he could not rest, for always 
his nerves were tense with listening. I lis eyes throbbed and 

jerked like the eyes of one in a high lexer. And he was cold. 



The Smith College Monthly 9 

colder than he had ever been even in the damp of a prison 
cell. But this was the price of his liberty, not yet won, so he 

dragged himself on onee more. The trees shrank; he could 
feel their tops now. But the rocks were steeper. lie was 
sure that an hour had gone before he let himself rest again. 

The night was passing. The blackness faded to gray 
and the stars were snuffed out. It grew lighter, but still he 
could see nothing. It was as if the black bandage over his 
eyes had been exchanged for a gray veil. The dawn had 
come, wrapped in an impenetrable shroud of fog. Out of it 
loomed the jagged ramparts of the rocks, towering above 
him, their battlements lost in the cloud. They were cold and 
wet and he was colder than ever, but the summit was nearing. 

At last he reached it and fell panting in the stiff grass 
between two boulders. His lungs felt near to bursting and 
a wave of faintness darkened his sight. For a moment, all 
too short, he kneAV nothing. Then he remembered, and sat 
up. At a distance of ten feet on all sides a gray wall of 
cloud shut him in like the walls of a prison, and the gray 
roof of the cloud pressed above his head. He could hear the 
thumping of his heart and his labored breathing, but outside 
there was silence, the dead silence of oblivion. The world 
that he had known was lost to him, its myriad noises muffled, 
forest and valley blotted out, and he was lost to the world. 
iHe was safe amid the fog as he had not been safe in the 
dark of the forest. But he was also a captive. Beyond 
those intangible gray walls the mountains and the secret- 
sharing forest rolled away to the frontier and to the sea. 
But where? Which was north and which east? And which 
the fateful way that led back, crossing straight the serpen- 
tine trail of his flight, to the valley and the prison? 

He dared not leave the summit till he knew. Mean- 
while he shook with cold and his head swam with hunger. 
Furthermore, he reflected, in the shelter of the forest climb- 
ing would be easy now. It was this that goaded him to ex- 
olore the summit for a sign, however dim, to point his way. 
But in his gropinars he stumbled upon a patch of mountain 
cranberries, a dull red carpet in the mist. He picked with 
both hands. They were hard and sour but he ate greedily 
all he could find. Yet still unrelaxing he kept his guard, 
listening for a sound in the silence, watching for a rift in the 
cloud. 



10 The Smith College Monthly 

At length the sign was given. For a brief instant the 
cloud rolled hack, unveiling the shadowy cone of a nearby 
peak. Hut it was enough. As the fog pressed in upon him, 
he started once more upon his way. a lonely hut a resolute 
figure. The gray striped clothes hung on his shivering 
frame, wet, soiled and torn. His hands were scratched and 
blue with the cold, his face haggard and weary. Hut the 
set mouth and the steady eyes bespoke an unshaken purpose. 
Unfaltering he limped away over the rocks. The mist en- 
gulfed him. and presently he was received into the forest 
whose seen t trails were the warders of his fate. 



NO, 1 CAN'T MARRY YOU 

Patty Wood 



Bright in the morning, 

Quaint at afternoon — 
() I am certain-sure 

Of what will he your tune. 

Charming in the evening, 
Sweet (ah sweet!) at night, 
'Tis pleasing music, yes. 
For something rather light. 

Hut mornings full of brightness, 
A fternoons nil quaint 

i You said yourself mine wasn't 
The patience of a saint) 

Every evening charming, 
Night upon sweet night 

1 )arling, all my life I couldn't 
Smile and he polite. 



The Smith College Monthly 11 



REVENGE IS SWEET 
Elizabeth Boies 



St*]E had just missed "Ignorance is Bliss." Every noon 
vly as we hurried home from school just on the corner 

jggggj we used to meet a tall lanky girl coming from school 
:35 on the hill. She had braids which were tied up with 
purple ribbons, never any other color, and she held her head 
which, I always said, was all nose, high, high in the air as 
she walked disdainfully by us. She never turned it when 
we called her hook nose or beak face or even when we at- 
tempted to pull off her purple ribbons. All she ever did 
was to say with a half smile which annoyed us beyond any- 
thing, "Ignorance is bliss." So that became her name, a 
name which she seemed to enjoy, for the more we shrieked 
it the louder her irritating "Ignorance is bliss" rose accom- 
panied with that half smile. But this day we missed Ignor- 
ance. Certainly we had hurried just as fast as ever before 
and arrived at the same time as usual. — but no Ignorance. 
Scarcely concealing our disappointment we walked deject- 
edly toward home, all zest for food gone. 

"Darn it", said Pancake-batter named thus because 
of his flattened face which he said he got from running full 
force and unexpectedly into a wall in the dark. "Darn it," 
he exclaimed again. "Elmer is the only one who ever got 
a purple ribbon off her ding braids and I bet him five allies 
that I'd get one today, but how ya going to do it when the 
old Ignorance don't show up?" 

"First time she's missed too." replied Gut sadly. 

"Well, it doesn't matter much to you." said Pancake 
viciously. "What if you'd bet five allies. Brand new allies 
at that," he added in an undertone. 

"Ah, don't be such a milk weed, Pancake," cried 
Gronie, a fat jolly boy who concocted all the plans for our 
gang. "You aren't the only one who's mad. Heck, I've 
been kept after school for a whole week now and missed her 
every da v." 



12 The Smith College Monthly 

Bui jusi at this moment Kendall Jones appeared 
around the corner and immediately our attention was di- 
verted. Kendall was his mother's darling. He played the 
ukelele beautifully at all her bridge parties and before we 
had me! Ignorance he had been our chief amusement; and 
so his appearance at this crucial time hanished Ignorance 
and aroused ns to great things. 

"Sissy, sissy. Kendall," screamed Mayor, my sister, and 
much the most cruel of all of us when it came to teasing. 
"ill's mother has to wash his ears. His mother has to — ." 

"Children, children !" 

We looked up. Mrs. Pierce was leaning from the sec- 
ond story window of her house. "How- can yon be so vul- 
gar? I wan! this nonsense to stop at once. Do yon hear?" 

"Yes, .Mrs. Sourface," muttered Pancake under his 
breath. 

'And besides," Mrs. Pierce went on, "Mrs. Sharpe is 
asleep." Mrs. Sharpe was her twin sister who lived across 
the street and who was almost as disliked as Mrs. Pierce. 
Elmer claimed that she was worse because she had once 
thrown a glass of water down on him when he was taking 
her gate of]' the hinges on Hallowe'en. "Just like her to 
have been looking out," he had said. "At least old Piercie 
went to visit her aunt in Moosie 1'or that night. Can't see 
why she couldn't have taken her dear Sharpie with her." 
However, I disagreed with his opinion of Sharpie because 
she usually had to call on Mrs. Pierce for help. "And," 1 
said, "she hardly ever had an inspiration like that glass of 
water one unless her sister was with her." 

"Never mind." Elmer had said, "that glass of water 
was cold!" 

Bui now .Mrs. Pierce had slammed her window loud 
enough to awaken Mrs. Sharpe, even if she had lived at 
the other end of the block. 

"Well, I guess I'll go get some lunch," said Gut, But 
she did no! go before we had vowed eternal hatred for the 
twin sisters and had decided to meet soon again in order to 
formulate a plan to "get even" with the hated "old crabs." 
"So they'll never forget US," ended Pancake with his fists 
clenched. 

The next day at school we let Rubber Neck into our 

club for the destruction of Mrs. Sharpe and Mrs. Pierce. 



The Smith College Monthly 13 

We let her in because she was always necessary on adven- 
tures like this. She had the unique quality of being able 
to stretch her neck so that she could see far above any one 
else and could look into almost any window not too far 
from the ground. As yet we had no concrete idea for their 
embarrassment or destruction but we felt that sooner or 
later Rubber Neck would come in handy. She always did. 

That afternoon as we were roller skating furiously up 
the Pierce's avenue, as we called it, on our way to Elmer's 
house where our meeting was to be held, Mrs. Sharpe leaned 
from her window: 

"Not so much noise. Mrs. Pierce is asleep." 

"Yes, — I was, — before all this clatter came," Mrs. 
Pierce called from her window where she had been sitting 
sewing all of the time and she had been, too, because Rub- 
ber Neck saw her and Rubber Neck can see things like that. 

"We have got to act at once," said Gronie with a force- 
ful air. "This thing has gone entirely too far." 

"You said it, Gronie," Mayor replied as both win- 
dows slammed simultaneously, after a few more scathing 
remarks which we pretended not to hear. 

"I think it would be fine to set both their houses on 
fire!" said Gut as we were settled on the floor in Elmer's 
cellar. 

"Nix, Gut," said Gronie. "They could put it out 
before they burnt up." 

"Well, we might tie them up," I ventured. 

"Tie them up, hump, pretty funny. Who's going to 
do it I'd like to know?" cried Pancake. 

"I'd like to put some dead gold-fish down Piercie's 
back," said Mayor. "I heard her tell Mrs. Jones once that 
dead fish gave her goose flesh. Now I ask you, — what is 
goose flesh?" 

"I know what it is," said Rubber Neck. "Once when 
my canary died I was going to bury it in a shoe box and 
mother saw it and got measles all over her for a minute. 
They didn't stay on longer than that but she wouldn't let 
me touch the canary and I — ." 

"Oh, never mind, Rubber Neck," interrupted Elmer, 
"we aren't interested in your old canary and goose measles 
or whatever it is. This meeting was called," he went on 



14 The Smith College Monthly 

slamming his list on an upright box, '"this meeting was 

called to decide upon. — to decide- upon — ." 

1 1<>\\ we'd gel even with the old crooks/* finished 
Pancake quickly. "Let's gel down to business or we'll 
nt \ er decide." 

"\\\11. 1 have a wonderful idea," Gronie said. "1 have 
a nice dead rat. all smelly 'nd everything, \W might put 
it on the- doorstep." 

'When eliel you get it. Gronie?" I asked, filled with awe. 

"Oh. 1 took it from the- rat trap in the- pantry and kept 
it for awhile." 

"Gee, Gronie, that's wonderful." 

"You bet. We- e-oulel elo something with that. .Make 
them mad as hops when they trie-el to nmu- out the- front 
oor. 

'Can't you sec the olel crabs when they see- it ? Gee 
whiz!" Pancake whistled through his teeth. 

"Whose- doorstep shall we put it on?" inquired Elmer 
looking at the- practical side-. Therein ensued a bitter ar- 
gument as to who deserved it the more and ended only when 
Gronie agreed to take- another from the' trap so they would 
both be treated alike-. 

"We may have to wait a few days," Gronie said, "be- 
cause we may not catch one- for awhile' and even when we 
do we've got to wait until it smells like- the- first one." 

At last the' day arrived when both rats were- ready. 
We carried them in boxes to school and hid them behind 
an ash barrel until after the- afternoon session, which was the 
appointed time- for our de-e*el. 

"Who's going to put them on the- doorstep?" I whis- 
pered to Pancake as he- stood ne-xt to me- at the- blackboard. 

"Don't know," muttered Pancake, "but say. how many 
times does twenty seven go into this damn number?" 

Finally the- last e*lass was over. Gronie and Elmer 
were given the honor of placing the- rats on either doorstep 
while we stood hidden around the- corner of .Mrs. Pierce's 
house. 

Elmer quickly performed his duty, having deposited 

his r.'it in front of Mrs. Sha rp< \ door, hut something seemed 

to be wrong with Gronie. lie did not return at once. We 

red around the corner. Gronie pointed at the Pierce 

baby who was sleeping on the porch. 



The Smith College Monthly 15 

"Fraid I'll wake it," he murmured. 

"Ah, go on, Gronie," said Pancake. 

"Shut up, Pancake. Do it yourself if you are so 
anxious." replied Gronie a little too loudly because the baby 
after a few spluttering noises began to cry. 

It was at this point that Gut conceived her great and 
miraeulous idea. 

"Here," she said handing Rubber Neck a handful of 
little stones and pebbles from a nearby flower bed, "drop 
these in the baby's mouth. Quickly. That'll shut it up." 

"Yes, go on, Rubber Neck," we all cried, marveling at 
the brilliance of the suggestion. 

So Rubber Neck with careful manoeuverings reached 
the railing of the porch near which the baby's carriage was 
placed. She climbed up on to the ledge on the outside of 
the railing; then stretching her long neck, she located the 
baby's open mouth, and deliberately dropped the pebbles 
one by one down into it. With a gurgling strangle the cry- 
ing stopped and Gronie placed the rat quickly in its strate- 
gic position in front of door. But Mrs. Pierce, aroused 
by the baby's crying, had come to the window almost at the 
same moment that Rubber Neck began dropping the pebbles, 
and for once we saw more than Rubber Neck who was too 
interested in her own job. Mrs. Pierce and Mrs. Sharpe 
were coming out of Mrs. Pierce's door toward Rubber Neck 
— but no — . They screamed at the sight of the rat ; screamed 
again at the sight of Rubber Neck and the pebbles ; and then 
before poor Rubber Neck could get away both Mrs. Pierce 
and Mrs. Sharpe, being scared to go near the mat, had 
jumped from the window onto the porch, one saving the 
baby from strangling and the other practically strangling 
Rubber Neck. We left at this point, quickly hurrying down 
the back alley where we could not be seen and to our ap- 
pointed meeting place for discussing the effects of our plans. 

"Whee, — " groaned Gronie, "that was narrow. Poor 
Rubber Neck, what do you suppose they are doing to her? 
We ought to go back and help her." 

"Yes," said Elmer sarcastically. "I'd like to know 
who's going? Not me, I can tell you that." 

"Well anyway," said Pancake, "it was worth it. Did 
you ever see such expressions in all your life as the old 



j 6 The Smith College Monthly 

crooks had when they saw the rat? (ice-. 1 wouldn't have 
missed it even if I had had to be Rubber Neck." 

14 Rubber Neck didn't see their faces/ 1 1 said. 

"Oli. 1 know,'' replied Pancake, "hut I mean — even il 
1 had to be strangled.' 1 

"Well, 1 hope they haven't really killed her," said 
.Mayor sadly. 

'Pooh/' replied Gronie, "they couldn't do that. They'd 
be murderers if they did and the policemen could shoot holes 
through them." 

"It was great though,' 1 Elmer muttered happily, recall- 
ing the shrieks of the twin sisters. "The only thing which 
could have been better would have been to have old Sharpie 
at home instead of over at Piercie's" Although 1 don't 
know-. They did look pretty funny jumping out of the 
window on top of Rubber Neck." 

At this moment Rubber Neck, a disheveled and tattered 
Rubber Neck, appeared at the far end of the alley. We all 
rushed to meet her. 

"Say, vou were wonderful." 

"Hot stuff, Rubber Neck, old pal." 

"You sure were the cat's whiskers. Rubber, old girl!" 

"Yes, a regular heroine," 1 added. 

"Well," said Rubber Neck, wiping her bloody nose. "If 
I am a heroine I resign the position —forever." 



PHANTOM 
Edith Starks 



One strange night 

( )ne dark nighl 
In the half-light 

1 saw the ghost of an old sail. 
Close by the rock 
Where fog lay 
.Misty and grey 

And lulled in the spray 
That washed on the dock 
I saw the ghosl of an old white sail . . . 
She was all lighted up from helow 
And the waves took her hv . . very steady . . . very slow 



The Smith College Monthly 17 



VOICES 

Lucia Wiemer 



o 



HE group in front had been so interested in the cave 
that until the crash came they had not noticed each 
other. Then it was too late. When the land slid it 
severed the wires and at the same time shut out any vestige 
of daylight that might have crept so far. It also shut out 
the rest of the party. 

A man's voice — pleasantly young and a little breathless 
said, "Boy! was that a narrow escape?!" 

There Avas a silence pricked by the sighs of people 
catching their breath. Then, a little in front of them, another 
man spoke, "We seem to be rather trapped." he said, "There 
was a slide in front of us too." His voice was very English 
and a little slow. 

A woman's hysterical tremulo wanted to know, "Hasn't 
someone a match? It's so dark." 

While the pleasant boy-voice stated proudly that it was 
in training, and a new man piped something about nervous 
breakdowns and not smoking, the Englishman's lighter 
flared — throwing golden lights on his face, caressing his 
cheek-bones, recoiling from the black sockets of his eyes. 
Over in the corner a figure stood tight against the wall. 
"Who is that?" he asked sharply. A woman's low voice 
picked its way carefully through the statement, "It is I. My 
name is Lola Bentham." 

Half embarrassed by the evident cultivation of her 
voice the Englishman bowed slightly, "How do you do", he 
said, and it was indicative of the state of their minds that lfo 
one laughed. There was a quick snap and the flame went 
out. 

"Don't put it out." The sweetly hysterical voice rose in 
sudden terror. 

The Englishman explained gently, "It is our only light. 
I haven't filled it for several days and we may be in here 
for some time. Besides", he added, "There is no use in 
burning up oxygen." 



18 The Smith College Monthly 

"Oh." 

Darkness closed in. Nobody had thought about ox- 
ygen. Now their minds began to grasp the significance of 

the situation. The boy-voice said." "My God this is ter- 
rible' 1 several t imes and shook. 

After a time the man with the nervous breakdown be- 
gan to cry. "1 can't stand this/' lie said. 'I tell you 1 can't 
stand it. All alone in the dark. I can't see you it's like 
voices in my mind as if I were going mad. I've got to 
touch someone." His body scuffed against the wall as he 
pulled himself to his feet. 

"Don't! Don't conic near me!" The hysterical voice 
ripped the darkness. 

"Perhaps none of us had heller move. The electric 
wires may be lying about." The tightly level voice of Lola 
Bentham came forth in little .jets of energy as though she 
paused to catch her breath before each phrase. 

When she had finished there sounded the slither of the 
man's body as it sank to the ground. 

"Jolly little place this. Talk about your Black Hole of 
Calcutta." the boy-voice no longer shook. Its owner had 
made his adjustments. In the darkness the Englishman 
smiled, hut no one talked. Each person sat in complete 
insularity. Voices, in the blackness, sounded sudden and 
strange; seemed to wander about the narrow prison seeking 
an outlet and to return to their owners as though they had 
never gone out. One question was in every mind "Will 
they get to us in time?"; hut no one dared to ask it. So 
lhcv sat while the man with the nervous breakdown moaned 
and someone hit his nails. 

After time had made itself unbearable, the hysterical 
voice shattered itself in a question, "Couldn't we have light 
for just a minute?" 

The little scratch of the wheel announced the flaring of 

llghl below the. what now seemed beautiful, face of the 
Englishman. lie took out his watch and held it close to the 

flame. "Eleven o'clock." he told them. They had been there 
eight hours. lie snapped the lighter shut and put it in his 
pocket again. 

I am like God, he thought, holding light and dark- 
ness in niv hands. lie could not know how near to a God 



The Smith College Monthly 10 

he was to those others out there in blackness. He was to 
them the only tangible person in a sea of unknown voices 
and blank sound. They trusted him because they had seen 
him. The others might be anything — in their fevered imagi- 
nations became everything. 

It was beginning to get stuffy now and his head ached 
a little. Too bad there had to be so many of them. Now 
two could have lived maybe a day and a half. Twenty hours 
would do tor five of them, A horrible thought seized his 
mind — 

It occurred to him that the same thought might have 
struck someone else. He would be the one they would get 
too. His position had been clearly defined by the light. The 
heavy breathing of someone seemed to come nearer, but he 
did not move. 

He wished absurdly that he could see them. In the 
darkness they all became potential murderers. His fancy 
inflamed, he now felt their faces surrounding him — grotes- 
que and distorted. If only he could see them! Probably they 
had kind stupid faces — ordinary candid eyes; but, after all, 
he could not, even in a situation like this one, go around with 
his lighter saying, "Let me see your face."; and so they re- 
mained for him almost disembodied demons — voices in the 
dark. 

Thus, some time later, when the voice of Lola Bentham 
wrenched out a request for light, he braced himself as the 
flame sprang into existence; but nothing happened. — only 
the silly quaver of the boy-voice, "What an ad for a lighter 
this would make." 

Surprised to find himself still alive the Englishman 
snapped the device shut and replaced it. 

Darkness stood like a wall in front of him; pressed in 
on him. To die like a rat in a hole — strangling within your- 
self and only voices to hold to ! The hysterical voice had not 
spoken for hours now. Perhaps she had fainted. Perhaps — 
Well — they could all live half an hour longer if she had. 

It was the man with the nervous breakdown who heard 
the first faint sounds of digging. "They're coming" he 
whimpered, "For God's sake, hurry!" 

It had gotten to the point where they were pushing with 
their chests in order to breathe, but four of them scuffled to 



20 The Smith College Monthly 

their feet and the Same of the* Englishman's lighter shone 
like a star. 

Quite still they sat and waited the Englishman cross- 
legged with the lighter in front of him, like an ancient fire- 
god. Lola Betham's voice had passed into silence. A 
litth- later the lighter sputtered and went out. 

The Englishman spoke, "And J suppose when they gel 
to us there- is a e'hanev of this part's falling in on lis." 

The boy-voice was only a whisper now. "] wouldn't 
mind dying," he- said, "if 1 could only have a little- light to 
see- what 1 was doing." 

The- noises of digging e-ame- nearer: echoed through the* 
hot stillness. The man with the* nervous breakdown scratched 
feebly at the- imprisoning stones — tossed them frantically 
aside. One fell at the Englishman's feet. The knocking be- 
came a roar. There was a crash of rock, and a stream of 
cool air rippled through the cave. It was swe-e-t like- jasmine 
and clover. Through the hole a grimy hand appeared, hold 
ing a lantern which the man with the nervous breakdown 
took and held, like a child with a toy. 

There was calling and heaving and grunting and the 
sound of people running about, and then they were all out in 
the air. and there- was light and the Englishman could see- 
the- people- who stood over him. They had noses and mouths 
and eyes and they smiled at him. There was color too greys 
and blues and wistaria in the' sky— -white and black and dull 
and green in the* rocks. It was all keen and very, very 
beautiful after the 1 sick smudge of yellow which had hern his 
light Tor sixteen hours and which had seemed so precious 
not lone ago. Suddenly lie remembered his lighter and 
struggled to his feet. "] le-ft something must ( i>e i t it." he' 
explained and started towards the- cave. Somebody caught 

him hv the- shoulder and as he- stood he- saw the- crawline slide 

of land that buried his lighter forever. 

A little sick, he turned around in lime- to see' two cars 
drive away. "The two gentlemen", somebody told him, 

"The ladies have been taken to the- hospital." 

The Englishman smiled. So he would never see them 
voices thev would alwavs remain. But it didn't matter now. 



The Smith College Monthly 21 



LONELINESS 

Edith Starks 



This new loneliness is stern 

Yet ground as fine 

As ivory sand 

That sweeps the long sea line 

Where green salt-waters burn ; 

Stern — as the great hand 

Of the wind who rides 

Along the beach's curving way 

All day 

Unmindful of the tides. 



22 The Smith College Monthly 



FEAR 

Barbara Damon Simison 



Q"ETEB could not remember a time when he had not 
been afraid. Fear came as naturally to him, was as 
Hg much a part of him, as snow comes to winter, as the 
roof is a pari of the house that the snow covers. It had al- 
ways been thus, he reflected, as he walked along only, as 
tlu- years slipped by, there had been more and more fears in 
his life. Perhaps he grew more sensitive to them as he grew 
older, or else things happened so as to accentuate them. 
■ lust when his mother and father were helping him to over- 
come a particular fear something occurred that tended to 
deepen it. It had been so all his life, he recollected, and 
those things he had not feared from the first were, by the 
lime he reached young manhood, installed in his mind as 
fears, events, people, things. lie was afraid of airplanes, 
yet he knew* that in a few years airplanes would become so 
common that he would he compelled to ride in them. lie was 
afraid of people, yet he must meet them every day talk 
with them the people he was afraid of along with people 
who bothered him less, lie had been afraid of death, and 
death had come into his family, taking away John, only to 
make him more afraid, after lie had apparently weathered 
tin storm of its passing. In crises, it is true, lie seemed to 
possess no terror, but the terror always existed, even though 
it was buried too deeply to appear on the surface. When 
he was apparently the bravest, indeed, he was most afraid. 
Such had heen his fear for the old man with the white horse. 
Souk of the fears he had had as a child had long since 
passed away, and he could now- laugh at them. There had 

in i n a little girl in the past who had given him many of these 
fears ;t little girl with a wide mouth, and long, fair braids 
tied al the ends w ith pink ribbons. Her legs had heen longer 
than Peter's, and she used to climb trees faster, like a 
monkey . There was nothing she did not know, at least thai 

is how she appeared to Peter when he was young and knew 
no better himself. It was Dorothy who had taucrhl him to 



The Smith College Monthly 23 

be afraid of bhe fat women with brown skin who came down 
liis street tugging big bundles that looked like clothes; the 
dark men who carried suit-cases and spread out beautiful 
laees for his mother to see. "They are gypsies," Dorothy 
would say, "Peter, hide under the hammock quick. They 
are gypsies. They steal children, too." And Peter hid, 
crouching under the hammock on his stomach until Dorothy 
said they were out of sight. 

Peter had never been afraid of thunder-storms. His 
father had taken him by the hand to show him how beautiful 
they were from the window. He had even taught Peter a 
game to play: told him to count two, three, four between the 
thunder and lightning. If one counted three the storm was 
three miles away. And his mother used to tell him that the 
rolling of the thunder was Zeus scolding the gods upon 
Olympus, or Rip Van Winkle's dwarves playing at nine pins 
in the mountains. Peter had never been afraid of it. He 
loved the twisting snake of the lightning, th£ fiery slit it tore 
in the sky. He loved it all until Dorothy taught him to be 
afraid. "Peter! Peter!" she would scream, "The lightning 
will kill you, Peter, if you don't come in." Peter had 
trembled, had become afraid. He had remained so until just 
lately when he cast aside this fear. 

Peter always loved the sea — the salty smell of it, the 
scallop of the waves curling around his pink toes. The Nova 
Scotia sea captain's blood in his veins made him love all that 
until a man carried him out, out to sea on his shoulders 
against Peter's will. Then Peter had looked down, down 
into the water that was no longer blue, and he was afraid. 
Even after he learned to swim, to love the churn of the water 
around his shoulders he never swam beyond his depth like 
the other boys because of the fear in his mind which was as 
all the other fears that seized him in their network when he 
was off his guard for a moment. A moment ago, for in- 
stance, his fear of the old man with the white horse had come 
to the surface again, as he had never thought it could, after 
so many, many years. Just the mere sight of a sleigh with an 
erect old man sitting in it, and driving a white horse, made 
him turn a corner he had not meant to turn. It was as if he 
were running away from the past, a fear of that past, which 
was a fear no longer. Then, suddenly, Peter had stopped 



2 I The Smith College Monthly 

and remembered thai he was twenty, not five, and with thai 
consideration the whole story Hooded his memory. 

I [e had been five, almost six when the nice old man with 
the white beard had frightened him. Before thai Peter had 
always given the white horse sugar, and i\d him apples. 

Once, there had heen a box of blue dishes for his mother: 
once a bright red sled lor Peter and .John. Peter used to 
run to the door when he heard the old man's voice, "Slow- 
up. Jerry!" Then the old man would clank an anchor-thing 
down hard on the road to make the horse stop in front of the 
house. The old man with the white horse reminded Peter of 
Santa Clans, and he would run to the door when he heard 
the sound of the heavy anchor falling. lie had even gone 
up to the horse, and had not been afraid to touch its warm 
nose with his hand. The horse had liked him. and made a 
long snorting noise deep down in his throat. Sometimes the 
old man put a cloth bag over Jerry's mouth so he couldn't 
speak, or make smoke come out of his nose. 'There was 
food in that bag, the old man with the white heard told 
Peter; he said the horse was too busy eating to make smoke. 

The old man had been nice like that to Peter until one 
day he turned ogre in a fairy talc. When Peter trotted to 
the door, his brown curls nodding no and down on his fore- 
head, Peter's little brother John had tagged at his heels. The 
old man looked behind Peter and saw John. "Peter," said 
he. "Who's that?" 

"My brother John, sir," Peter spoke reluctantly. 

'Tin going to take your little brother away to he tny 
little boy next time I come." Peter noticed that tin old man 
looked hard at John as John began to whimper. John was 
such a very little boy. He was only four, and still wore 
rompers. Peter's mother told him to watch out for John 
because he was so little. So Peter stared hack at the old 
man, who was eyeing John closely. Peter put out his hand 
for the parcel. "Come on. John." He took John by the hand. 

The old man began to laugh aloud. "Nexl time. Mister 

Peter, John will he my little boy." Peter saw John screw up 
his mouth as if he were going to cry. Peter did not tell his 
mother what the old man had said. Indeed, the next time. 
!i< did not pro to the door at all. He look John upstairs in- 
stead, to hide him under the bed so the gypsy with the horse 
COuldn'i steal him. Dorothy said uypsies stole children. 'This 



The Smith College Monthly 

man took children to be fiis own. He must be a gypsy, Peter 
reasoned. 

And when he met the old man on his way to Sunday 
School — with John trotting behind him on fat, little legs, 
Peter stood still in front of John until the man was far up 
the street, turning the corner even with his white horse. This 
day the old man had not seen Peter, and his heart stopped 
going up and down inside by the time his mother looked 
down at him. "Peter, what is the matter?" 

Peter pointed his finger up the street. "That man is a 
gypsy. He is going to steal John the next time he conies 
with a bundle." Peter saw his mother button her lips together 
tight. 

"Did he tell you that?" Peter nodded. His mouth felt 
dry inside, and he gulped. "Peter, don't you ever let me 
hear you say that again. Of course he couldn't steal John, 
nor would he if he could." Peter looked up the street, then at 
his mother. Perhaps his mother did not know. He remem- 
bered the old man shaking his white beard at him, looking 
like an ogre at John. His mother said the man couldn't, but 
Peter knew he had a fast horse, if he cracked his whip hard 
enough. Peter didn't like that old man. His mother glanced 
at him again, "Will you, Peter?" Peter gulped. "No, 
Mother." But inside he was afraid. The old man had said 
he was going to take John, and it never occurred to Peter 
then that a man would tell a lie to a child for a joke. And 
long after Peter stopped seeing the old man with the white 
horse he was afraid. 

The old man he had seen today was a gentlemanly old 
fellow — driving a sleigh. He wore a fur coat and leather 
gloves. But he had a long, white beard and a white horse. 
So Peter had turned the corner suddenly when he forgot 
that he was twenty. Fear was like that. It came upon one 
suddenly when one saw things, met people. In fact, when 
he least expected it Peter had fear in his heart — not an ab- 
stract, faraway fear, but a close, concrete fear that stole 
upon him like a ghost — only in the passing became sharply 
distinct and utterly real. But Peter started back past the 
corner he had turned — walking fast. 



20 The Smith College Monthly 



THE DEAD 
IIki.kx Paul Kirkpatrick 



They say that he is dead. They do not know; 
They do not understand what death can be. 

They are so blind, his friends, they cannot see 
That thev died long before they found him so. 



' i ' 



I walked the cliffs, and met him there tonight, 
I T \) in the tall sand grass above the sea. 
Where he had pointed out the waves to me. 
And showed the island carved of salt gray light. 

I have his eyes, hut their eyes still are blind: 
They would see water from the cliff, and sand; 
They could not know, and so they could not mind 
That he would eall it more than sea and land. 
And I am sure, though he has died, they say, 
Thai \\a\cs break with his laughter in the bav. 



' i < 



' i ' 



Ihe Smith College Monthly 27 



MARS 
Lucia Weimeb 



Yj*\ HAT do you know about Mars?" Strident of voice 
vi/ and flushed of cheek, Gaynor greeted her father at 
HH supper time. She had been waiting all afternoon to 
ask that question; ever since Mr. Bolton had finished telling 
the class about stars. They were all as big as the earth, he 
had said, and Mars, some people thought, might be inhabited. 
It had come as a blow to Gaynor, who had gotten as 
far as Junior High School without thinking of the stars as 
anything more tangible than flowers on the robe of night or 
diamonds in the hair of the wind. Her mother encouraged 
her in these conceptions and they made Gaynor feel that the 
world was a very lovely place. But with a few words this 
lovely place had become non-existent. In a minute her 
whole foundation had been swept from her. When she had 
run out from the dingy school-building into the clear blue 
autumn afternoon, she had felt like one who, coming back 
to consciousness, asks "Where am I?" The sky was no 
longer a pretty blue canopy but a roaring void. There were 
other worlds as big a's this one out in that void. The houses 
and people around her had looked small — infinitesimal un- 
derneath the great million-mile space. She had shuddered 
and tried to talk about it to the rest but they had only said 
coolly, "Sure — I guess it's true." and organized a game of 
"Cops and Robbers." 

She had left them and gone inside to look up "Mars" in 
the Book of Knowledge. Yet when the book was in front 
of her, she so dreaded the disclosure of some new overwhelm- 
ing truth that it took all her courage to open it at first. 
Pictures of trains shooting off into ether in the direction of 
the various planets gave a reassuring touch of reality to the 
whole idea. But when she read the labels and discovered that 
even though they went at the dizzy speed of eighty miles an 
hour, they could not reach the nearest planet in less than 
ninety years, she felt herself once more engulfed in uneasi- 
ness. The remoteness stood like a wall around her. There 



H The Smith College Monthly 

were places that she would never see, could never see. No 

one could ever know what was happening on those worlds 
out there in the horrid nothingness. Her hands were cold 
at the thought. Hut Mars was nearer. She had waited al- 
most hysterically for her Father he would know- about Mars. 

And so. strident-voiced and flushed, she greeted him 
with the question, "What do you know about Mars?" 

"Nothing much. It's so far away that even through tele- 
scopes they can make out nothing hut little lines which are 
probably mountains and rivers. Some people claim it's in- 
habited although there has never been any evidence to jus- 
tify it, 1 think.' 1 lie stopped and looked suspiciously at her 
wide eyes and nervous hands. "But why so excited? Come 
on and eat your dinner and forget it." 

Playing tag on the lawn afterwards, she could not shake 
oil' the oppression of space that had fallen on her. Every- 
thing seemed miniature; the voices of the children sounded 
thin and tinkling as though dissipated in eternal atmos- 
phere; and when the light of the stars began to pierce the 
gray haze of the late summer evening, she shivered and went 
inside. 

Even in bed she could not sleep hut lay feverishly try- 
ing to conceive of space — space with worlds, billions of 
worlds separated from each other by billions of miles bil- 
lions of years. There was no end to it all. When she though! 
she had eome to the end she realized in terror that there must 
be something beyond that. An awful vastness surrounded 
her. It was like the silence following the blast of a trumpet. 
She had a sudden fear of falling into this vastness falling 
falling for ever. And she clutched her bed. Hut she 
would not fall. There was gravity,- gravity which held her 
tight. She was clinging like an insect to a revolving mass. 
Out in that awful space other worlds were revolving too. 
A crazy endless whirling of thousands — millions— billions of 
worlds. All turning turning white shining spirals. And 
she was alone in the middle. All alone in this mad frenzied 
twirling. Softly. "Mother" she said. Then, "Mother" she 
shrieked. And sobbing in her mother's arms. "Hold me () 
hold me!" 



The Smith College Monthly 29 




EDITORIAL 




BT was said to us that in the spring people may he di- 
vided into three elasses: those who have new clothes, 
those that wish they had, and those who are just going 
to get some. Yes, that is quite true and we know perfectly 
Avell which class we should like to belong to ; but is there not, 
perhaps, a more important distinction to be made among 
those who wander or ride about in the spring? We should 
divide them into those who make worn-out remarks and those 
who listen to them. The ratio is easily twenty of the first 
to one of the second. It has come to such a point already 
that when someone starts to mutter convulsively, "In the 
spring a young m — " we take pity on Tennyson and our- 
selves to interrupt hastily, "Oh, yes, lovely day, isn't it? 
Where did you say he went?" Sadder than she with no new 
clothes is she that lacks a confidante in the spring. And 
there are perforce many of them. 

One of the saddest cases was that of a Dong — do you 
remember Edward Lear and your Nonsense Book? He had 
an unhappy affair with a Jumbly Girl and instead of flock- 
ing to hear his sad tale, whenever he went by all the neigh- 
bours merely stuck their heads out of their windows and said 
coolly, dispassionately, (and very likely disagreeably) : 

"He goes, 

"He goes, 

"The Dong with the luminous nose." 

That is no way to treat anyone, least of all a Dong who 
was disappointed in love but who still went (somewhere), 
and who still kept his nose luminous and with it doubtless 
hope. Of course, if they had stopped him and asked him 
sympathetic questions he would probably have begun in a 
mournful tone, "In the spring a young Dong's fancy — " And 
they would have gone off and left him but he would have 
been much happier. 



30 The Smith College Monthly 

Monthly has had no sad love affair, perhaps she thought 
once bui no, it was not to be. She is an unromantic maiden. 
Nevertheless she often feels thai she has much in common 
with the Dong. She tries very hard with her luminous nose. 
Fu< I may run short hut she endeavours to keep a bright light 
though it may be small. 

"All swathed about with a bandage stout. 

"To keep the wind from blowing it out." 
And Northampton is a very windy place. 

.Monthly may <_* ft some new- clothes in the spring, but 
new clothes arc far from being an unmixed blessing: new 
shoes are less confident, they often slip and may not fit. Hut 
like the Dong she likes attention. "In the spring the Month- 
ly's fancy "? Perhaps. Hut then, the l)on^>' may have had 
something very interesting to sa>\ and we are sure lie hated 
having people merely remark: 

"He goes, 

"lie goes, 

"The Dong with the luminous nose." 
I I( wanted attention and interest. 



The Smith College Monthly 31 




BOOK REVIEWS 




THE BISHOP MURDER CASE 
By S. S. Van Dine 



Since detective stories have reached their present pin- 
nacle of perfection, they have been stamped with the approv- 
al of all those whose brains, weary of abstruse problems, turn 
in relief to the lesser complicated questions of "who stsole 
the revolver?", "where is the missing necklace?" and most 
important of all, "who did it?" 

Scientists and bankers devour mystery stories, and col- 
lege professors, we have lately been informed, are kept in 
touch with sanity by the nightly solution of criminal cases. 
For the mind burdened down with too much work, and the 
spirit crushed under the usual number of Spring papers we 
know no better release than the latest triumph of that eru- 
dite amateur detective Philo Vance. His triumph is spec- 
tacular, his progress towards the denouement not a steady 
plodding advance, but made up of checks and successes in a 
most realistic manner. Xot only does S. S. Van Dine baffle 
the reader completely until the very end of the book is 
reached, but to the mystification of the reader by legitimate 
mystery story methods he adds a kind of cultural element, to 
soothe the more intelligent of his readers, and no doubt to 
complete the bewilderment of the average peruser of detec- 
tive stories. 

For those who are tired of the crime passionel, or the 
murders of the white-haired savant in the oak-panelled lib- 
rary, or the cold-blooded slaughter of three maiden ladies in 
a rickety house on Lonely Point, we advise this crime that 
takes place in the higher realm of pure mathematics. It is 
true that there are a few of the well-known figures of the de- 
tective story, but there are also a great many new ones. You 



32 The Smith College Monthly 

ma\ find tin familiar butler with yellow face and twitchim 



r-» 



fingers, but you will also discover references to Eddincrton, 
Einstein and tensorial calculus. You may greet the literal 
minded detective from headquarters as an old friend, hut 

you will surely be startled by seeing nanus such as Georgia 
O'Keefe and "Die Meistersinger" in such a context. 

For the person bored with the crimes committeed in ut- 
ter contradiction of all Psychology "The Bishop Murder 
Cast" will prove an excellent excursion into abnormal psy- 
chology. Let whoever scorns the detective story as too easy 
and simple for his consumption, attack a chapter called 
"Mathematics and Murder", where he will find material to 
occupy his mind for some time. 

The fault of the hook rests more or less in spoiling the 
taste for simpler, less theoretical, and more easily worked out 
detective stories. If Philo Vance, and one is tempted to sus- 
pect Philo Vance of being the incarnation of S. S. Van Dine 
as he would like to he. keeps on with his series of remarkable 
discoveries, the tone of this type of writing will change, will 
become more philosophic, subjective and involved. The 
form of fiction which has become an escape, a release for 
over-worked brains, will alter until only the most highly- 
trained and indefatigable minds will dare to open the covers 
of a "murder case" and plunge bravely in at the first page, 
to struggle out at the last, exhausted not only from contend- 
ing with an assassin, hut also with "space-time", the quan- 
tum theory, and modern art. 

P. S. 1\ 



THE AMENITIES OF HOOK COLLECTING 
By A. Edward N ewton 

The most satisfactory thing in the world is to discover 
something with which nobody else is acquainted and then 
to have the fun of introducing this something, whether it he 
a person, a hook, or a vegetable to one s friends. Hut this is 
a rare pleasure and most of us must he content with the ne\t 
Ixsl thing, an introduction to that same person, hook, or 

table through the medium of some friend whose judge- 
ment we trust. Accordingly I would like to thank a certain 
Mr. Washburn from Boston manv times for his enthusiasm 



The Smith College Monthly 33 

over The Amenities of Book Collecting. About four years 
ago, one evening, we were talking about books and people 
and Mr. Washburn was speaking of Ellery Sedgwick with 
whom he roomed in college and through whom he bad met 
Mr. A. Edward Newton. At once he asked me if 1 had read 
The Amenities; 1 replied that I had not, so he promised to 
send me a copy. Within a few days the book arrived, and 
since my first hurried perusal, at which my interest was im- 
mediately aroused, as the book is beautifully illustrated with 
prints and facsimiles, I have read and reread it many times. 

I have often heard popular science condemned on the 
grounds that it attempts to educate people to an understand- 
ing of Einstein, to take an extreme example, who have not 
learnt the principles of Newton. This argument might be 
applied to the writing of popular books on book collecting 
for people who have never read a catalogue and who are only 
vaguely suspicious of what a binding "in boards" might be. 
But the analogy is slight and falls to pieees when the sub- 
ject is eonsidered. It would be almost impossible to write 
an informal essay on Motion, for instance,; the essay might 
be popular in the sense that scientific terms were carefully 
explained and that the most easily recognizable illustrations 
were used, but in nature it would be technical. An essay on 
book collecting, on the other hand, makes a most delightful 
excuse for an informal essay and one which affords a wide 
field for digression. It may be technical in so far as it dis- 
cusses the fine points of binding, printing, etc., but its nature 
is informal. 

In The Amenities of Booh Collecting, Mr. Newton has 
included not only a discussion of certain of his favorite 
books and authors, but has also brought in all his best friends 
and casual acquaintances with a hundred ramifications there- 
of. He writes a chapter on Association Books, and this word 
"association" gives the keynote to his whole book, for The 
Amenities is, properly speaking, a description of the sympa- 
thetic bond existing between Mr. Newton and his tastes. 
Nothing irrelevant is introduced; by irrelevant I mean un- 
related to Mr. Newton. Dr. Johnson, one feels, must have 
been in a direct line of spiritual descent with Newton, while 
Trollope was more recently adopted by him. 

Literary criticism does not intrude itself; "the hard 
facts of the emotions" seem to be the only criteria bv which 



34 The Smith College Monthly 

M i'. Newton praises or condemns. And yet his likes and dis- 
likes are fairly contagious and it is almost impossible to close 
the book without being convinced that there must be some- 
thing Fundamentally noble in the man who enjoys .Johnson. 

.Mr. Newton gathers to himself a motley collection of 
authors: William Godwin, Blake, Oscar Wilde. Boswell, 
I. ami) and others, in all of whom he finds something congen- 
ial. What does it matter if Mr. Newton makes himself the 
center of this little grouping and if their genius appears to 
shine only in the reflected light of his own personal appre- 
ciation ! lie describes his characters so charmingly and seems 
to take such a huge pleasure in the telling of little incidents 
in connection with them, that we enjoy the situation all the 
more. As a matter of fact, this is very flattering for .Mr. 
Newton with great scorn excludes from the inner circle all 
those who cannot share his tastes, thereby striking the uncon- 
scious reader in a most vital spot, for it is somehow gratifying 
to know that you and .Mr. Newton agree regardless of the 
opinion of the whole rest of the world. 

This leads ns to a consideration of the conceit in A. Ed- 
ward Newton. It must he admitted that in his writings he 
is frankly conceited and it follows that he is even patronizing, 
lie invariably speaks of such and such an eminent person as 
"my very good friend, Mr. So-and so" in a manner which 
leaves no doubt in one's mind as to the value of Mr. New- 
ton's friendship. He has rather an offensive way of speak- 
ing of the superiority of everything English to everything 
American". And yet this conceit, it seems to me, is perfectly 
natural and altogether likeable. It is difficult not to become 
pedantic in writing or talking about any one thing in which 
one is tremendously interested. There is a bit of the pedant 
in all of us which, unless it become unduly exaggerated, is 
no more than a natural pride. In talking about one's books. 
Ibis tendency simply cannot be suppressed, nor would it be 
admirable to do so. In The Amenities, Mr. Newton is ad- 
dressing those who love books and who have supposedly this 
same pedantic quality in more or less degree. His conceit 
adds ;i flavor to the account of his failures and successes in 
th< I )<>ok collecting game and its ret ract ion would be a decid- 
ed loss to the personality of the book. 

Eleanor S. Atterbun . 



Spaulding & Sinclair 
FLOWERS 

192 Main St. Northampton 

Tel. 1290 



FURNITURE 

UPHOLSTERING 

SLIP COVERS and CUSHIONS 

Visit our Sample Room 

CHILSON'S 
UPHOLSTERY SHOP 

34 Center St. Tel. 1822 



LOVELY SHOES 

To add charm to dainty 
frocks. 

Chiffon hosiery — plain or clox 
to harmonize. 

Fleming's 

BOOT SHOP 

189 MAIN STREET 




ERIC STAHLBERG 



Book Collecting is now 

College Sport 

Old Books and Prints 
from England 



The Hampshire Bookshop 





aiSffi!^ 



ELECTRIC SHOP 



FLOWERS 



191 MAIN ST-ftCer PHONE /J07 

Northampton, Mass. 

College Lamp Repairing 

SMALL RADIOS FOR 
COLLEGE USE 



A GIFT STORE 

Every Week in the Year 
Offering: 

Choice and Unusual Things from 

.ill tiwr the World and 
Featuring: 

interesting Novelties in Bridge 
Prises (In fancy wrappings), 
I i ither Goods, Jewelry. 

CHARLES HALL Inc. 

The Hall Building 
Springfield, Massachusetts 



Allison Spence 

Photographer 



100 Main St., 



Northampton ■ 



PHOTOGRAPHS LIVE FOREVEB 





STUDIO I 



SO, WHY NOT HAVE THE BEST 
52 CENTER ST. 



LA SALLE 



& 



TAFT 



COMPLIMENTS 
OF 

B. & R. DRESS CO, Inc. 

18 CENTER ST. 
NORTHAMPTON, MASS 

Masonic Street Market 

The Quality Meat Store 

TEL. 173 
18 MASONIC ST. 



Oil Permanent Wave 

Leaves the hair soft and fluffy 
and does not make it brittle. 

Do you want a permanent wave th it 
looks like a marcel? 

Or a soft round curl? 
You can have either, and as large a 

wave as vou desire at 



BELANGER'S 



277 Main St. 



Tel 688-W 



Higgins 



! 

I HILL BROTHERS 

Dry Goods 

Rugs 

and 

Draperies 

The Mary Marguerite 
Fudge Cake 

Send us your order and any date 
We'll send you a loaf of our famous 

fudge cake. 
To be had only, now make no mistake, 
At the Mary Marguerite Tea Room. 

21 State Street 



FRANK BROTHERS 

Bflfc AveaMie Boot Shop 

Between 47 <h and 48!h Streets, New York 




Footwear of Quality 
Moderately Priced 



The Green Dragon 

229 Main Street 

Gifts of Distinction 

ROOM FURNISHINGS 



Order Early 

Engraved Visiting Cards 

Wedding Invitations 

and 

Announcements 

BRIDGMAN & LYMAN 

108 Main St. 



cGJalluttt'B 
Hepartment 
&tore 



PLYMOUTH INN 
TEAROOM 

LOCATED IN" 
PLYMOUTH INN 

"AT THE GATES OF 
SMITH COLLEGE" 

DINNER MUSIC 
EVERY WEEKEND 

MRS. M A. T. SCHOENECK, Mgr. 


Boston Fruit Store 1 

The Pioneer Fruit House of \ 
Northampton 


Patronize 

our 
Advertisers 


When you come to New York 
Stay at the 

SMITH COLLEGE CLUB 

283 East L7 Street 1 
Telephone Algonquin 790U j 

Transient rooms at $2.10 and $2.70 

)>er night 

Dormitory cubicles $1.80 

(20$ less for club members) 

The latchstring is out for all Smith | 
women and their guests 


WALSH'S 

Cleaning, Dyeing 
Pressing 

! 23 Green Ave. Next to Scott Gym. 
Tel. 409-R 


THE 
NEW HOTEL GARAGE j 

Storage, Washing, Supplies j 

Stephen S. Sullivan Phone 8050 j 

OPP. HOTEL NORTHAMPTON j 


W. O. KIRTLAND 
Good Shoes 

[65 Main St., Northampton, Mass. 
SMART FOOTWEAR 
| for 

SPORT AND DRESS 


THOMAS F. FLEMING j 

THE SHOE SHOP 

Exceedingly Smart Models 
— and moderate prices — 

Painstaking, Courteous Service 
12 CRAFTS AVENUE 



JULIA B. CAHILL 

1 GREEN ST. 
Reminding you of the 

Girdles 

that mould the figure to the 

fashionable silhouette 

of today 

THE TARDIFF SHOP 

Antiques and 
Reproductions 

40 CENTER ST. 

Careful attention given to packing and 

shipping Students' Furniture. 

Tel. 2867-M 

The Frank E. Davis Store 

Watches, diamonds, high class gold 
jewelry, silverware, clocks, fountain 
pens, novelties, leather goods and an 
especially good variety of costume 
jewelry. Some of the most attractive 
being very moderately priced. Watch 
and jewelry repairing solicited. 

FRANK E. DAVIS 

164 Main St. 



THE MANSE 



RANGLEY MOCCASINS 

Made by Bass 

Hand sewed vamps 

Choice Matched Leathers 

$5.90 to $7.45 

Other beautiful sport oxfords in wide \ 

range of leathers 

$5.00, $5.90 to $7.90 

LaMontagne Boot Shop 

Near Post Office I 



ARTHUR P. WOOD 



! THE JEWEL STORE 



197 MAIN TEL. 2898 



Patronize 



our 



Advertiser 



SUNSHINE LUNCH 

i 

PLEASANT ST. 



Opp. Post Office Northampton 




Speaking of silver linings 

When the hair-dresser lets 
you down on the eve of a 
party . . . and your new 
shoes don't come . . . and 
the youth is Unavoidably 
Detained . . . and it's rain- 
ing . . . then, oh then, what 
sweet consolation there is in 
a Camel ... a cigarette just 
so downright good that no 
grief can prevail against it! 



*a 




Q1929, R. J. Rrynol.U Toharro Co., Winrton-Salrm. V C. 



Smith College 




May 
1929 




BOARD 

OF 
EDITORS 




Vol. XXXVII MAY, 1929 No. 8 

EDITORIAL BOARD 

Editor-in-chief , Elizabeth Shaw, 1930 

Managing Editor, Sallie S. Simons, 1930 

Booh Review Editor, Priscilla S. Fairchild, 1930 

Elizabeth Wheeler, 1929 Mary F. Chase, 1931 

Patty H. Wood, 1930 Elizabeth Perkins, 1931 

Art Editor, Nancy Wynne Parker, 1930 

BUSINESS STAFF 

Business Manager, Peggy Sayre, 1930 

Advertising Manager, Esther T. Tow, 1931 

Circulation Manager, Sarah Pearson, 1931 

Nancy Dabney, 1930 Eleanor Mathesius, 1931 

Agnes Lyall, 1930 Eleanor Church, 1932 

Mary Folsom, 1931 Ariel Davis, 1932 



The Smith College Monthly is published at Northampton, Mass., each month 

from October to June, inclusive. Terms $2.00 a year. Single copies 25c. 

Subscriptions may be sent to Mary Sayre, Park B, Northampton. 

Contributions may be left in the Monthly Box in the Note Room. 

Entered at the Post Office at Northampton, Mass., as second class matter. 

Metcalf Printing & Publishing Company, Northampton, Mass. 

"Accepted for mailing at special rates of postage provided for in 

Section 1203, Act of October 3, 1917. Authorized October 31, 1913." 



All manuscript should be in the Monthly Box by the fifteenth of the 
month to be considered for the issue of the following month. All manuscript 
should be signed with the full name of the writer. 




An odds-on favorite 

Good things have a way of 
making themselves known 
in this world, whether at 
Longchamps, or Saratoga, or 
Epsom Downs. . . . And in 
these places, where people 
gather who are accustomed 
to rely upon their own taste 
and judgment, you will find 
Camels the odds-on favorite. 
. . . They have a winning way. 

n 







© l'>20, R. J. Reynold* TobMOO Co., Winston-Salem, N. C. 




CONTENTS 




Extremities 



Myrtle Brady, 1930 5 



Missionary 



Aline Wechsler, 1932 



Entertainment 



Ellen Robinson, 1929 9 



Southward 



Frances Robinson, 1930 16 



The Princess Who Wanted the Moon Aline Wechsler, 1982 17 



Rain Must Drop Gently Mary Paxton Macatee, 1930 19 



White Instant 



Lucia Weimer, 1930 20 



Claim 



Sallie S. Simons, 1930 23 



Sofa Corner 



27 



Book Reviews 



31 




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Smith College 
Monthly 




EXTREMITIES 

Myrtle Brady 



SO judge people by their legs is doubtless immediately 
to be damned as being dogmatic or whimsical and 
these attributes are, possibly, two of the least sought 
after in the world today. Yet something may be said for 
them: nay more, something should be said and I have half 
a mind to take up their defense instead of pursuing the sub- 
ject which has been suggested by the grand opening infin- 
itive phrase. (See above.) But, childishly, I am forever 
defending that which is popularly scorned (I enjoy seeing 
the wondering, incredulous stare in my opponents' eyes 
and their faces growing a dull belligerent red), so that if 
I continue so, I fear people will no longer take me seri- 
ously — an attitude which I have long apprehended. There- 
fore it would on the whole be a better thing if I were to 
adhere to my original plan, laying aside all extraneous con- 
siderations of dogmatism and whimsicality. We are now 
back to judging people by their legs and I can tell by your 
expressions that any further digressions will not be welcome. 
But there; no sooner do yon decide to write an informal 
essay than some one instantly loses the spirit of the thing 
and insists on a formal interpretation and the title which 
proclaims your work as being "On" such and such a thing. 
If I were to give my efforts such a name it would be sheer 
deception of the public and as such to be assiduouslv avoid- 
ed. 

However, it happened that yesterday when I had part- 
ed from a casual friend whom I had considered making 
something more than casual, I paused a moment and idly 



6 The Smith College Monthly 

watched her figure go down the hill. A good head, a nici 
back, broad hips of the extremely potential mother, quarters 

sloping si >thlv enough. 1 smiled, unconsciously pleased, 

and then something told me to look a little lower. My eyes 
dropped too quickly to her calves and the swiftness of their 
descenl made me realize more than the sight itself that my 
friend lacked the goodly sweep of thigh which other friends 
of mine have always had. In the twinkling of an eye, her 
thigh had become a calf and I did not like it in the least. 
It worried me and I thought twice before I permitted myself 
to measure the distance from the calf to the ground. It 
was as 1 feared. My eye. jaundiced perhaps by this sud- 
den disillusionment, saw that if it had not been for that hi<>' 
heavy treading foot, nothing would have stopped that calf 
from being at one with Mother Earth. The notion did not 
please me, hut as yet I could not turn away. I became fas- 
cinated by the indomitable motion of her legs as thev pro- 
pelled her body surely towards her next class. She would 
get there all right, all right. Nothing would stop her. No. 
I forced myself to turn away for I began to feel a little sick. 

Later in the agreeable legless desert of my room I 
though! it all out. I knew then that my friend's thoughts, 
which I had hitherto considered as particularly appealing, 
were nothing but a defense mechanism provided for her by 
nature suddenly embarrassed at turning out another baldly 
businesslike personality. And then. I proceeded to defend 
myself: no. certainly, 1 had not been gullible throughout 
the apprenticeship of our acquaintance,-— credulous, yes, 
hut not gullible. Surely I always realized that when she 
tried to place herself at an angle other than right to the 
earth, it was almost impossible for her and if by (hut of 
sheer will-power she succeeded for an imperceptible space' 
of time, she always e\*nne' back to normal like one of those 
small toy dolls which Cannot he upset because of their rounel 

weighted bottoms. I never really saw her drift gracefully 

< \ en at an angle of seventy-five degrees. Always she- would 
topple hack, yet talking frantically to maintain the* illusion 

that she was still a little- foreign to this planet. And what 

was it that kepi her from escaping? Of course, her round- 
ed weighty legs. They forced her hack inevitably; her trunk 
mighl bend and pull and her head toss wildly hut she 1 would 
I" rendered only the more ridiculous by her struggles. She- 



The Smith College Monthly 7 

was indigenous to the soil and I must always have known 
it. Except that now I knew why. 

In spite of all this, I have never considered myself a 
stickler for beautiful legs. (If I were, I would be miserable 
all day long). A "well-turned" ankle does not move me to 
rapture, in fact I have always thought them rather lewd 
looking, but that may immediately be laid up to jealousy 
and middle-class morality. But I know that no one, whose 
leg is as well-grounded as that of my former friend can ever 
claim a corner in this heart. Bow-legged people, thick- 
ankled people, even people over at the knees, yes I have 
rarely found fault with any of these. It is true that I have 
never had the pleasure of seeing some of them soar above 
me in the surrounding ether, but if that be the case, it is 
because they have not tried. They have not pretended and 
thus they have not been betrayed by their legs as my friend 
had been by hers. 

Have I been dogmatic or whimsical? God grant that 
I have. For without dogmatism there is much which is soul- 
destroying and without whimsicality there is the "true sense 
of humor" which leads to practical joking with intense 
physical discomfort in its wake. These are not for me. Rath- 
er let me force upon my audience ultra obscurantist teach- 
ings with some show of fire in my eyes than lie scarcely 
breathing somewhere in the underbrush of lethargy; rather 
suffer me to commit a gently whimsical act, or to tell a faint- 
ly whimsical story than pour a pail of water onto the head 
of the person on the street below. But refrain from direct- 
in i>- toward me the finder of Freud. 



The Smith College Monthly 



MISSIONARY 
Aline Wechsleb 



Vou grovel low to Ikabod, 

That puny, sightless, wooden god. 

And as an antidote for vice, 

You cast a cautious sacrifice 

Unheeded, at his rotting feet 

Your prayers are honeyed and discreet. 

But Ikabod-of-wooden-ear, 

Ikabod will never hear. 

Come and worship Hetsakai 
Keen of ear and cold of eye. 
Lofty in a temple where 
Sinners supplicate in prayer, 
Pompons in his robes of state. 
Richly broidered and sedate. 
Hetsakai wil grant you aid, — 
He is carven out of jade. 



The Smith College Monthly 



ENTERTAINMENT 

Ellen E. Robinson 



f^TlHE moon had just risen and stared down with un- 
|vl/| ashamed curiosity at the group of buildings in the 
E&jSfl center of the woods — at the three-story hotel with its 
porches one above the other in front and in back, the com- 
missary with its high steps, and the few small unpainted 
houses. Barely fifty people and yet the surveyors' map 
called the clearing "London". 

"And we'll be having a chamber of commerce yet," 
said Jim Woods, the proprietor of the hotel and the owner 
of the commissary. He shifted his weight on the steps of 
the commissaiy. "Some day we will be the queen city of 
Alabama. And I'll live to see it, too." 

There were ten young engineers on the top floor of 
the hotel — thin, laughing men from Eastern colleges. They 
slept in two large rooms and, if they had not been exhausted 
every night at nine-thirty, the}^ would have been a noisy lot. 
Noisy enough on Sunday mornings as it was! Then there 
were three married engineers and the superintendent and 
his wife, who all lived in the poor little houses built on 
stilts. They pretended to a certain home life, but they re- 
turned to the hotel for Sunday dinner. 

Donald Mclnness and his wife, Caroline, still lived at 
the hotel, but their house had been going up for four months. 

"Anybody would think," Donald said, "that it was a 
house we were asking for. How those niggers can waste 
all this time with a few boards and a little plaster . . . ' : 

"I don't mind so much, Don dear. You know I told 
you I can't cook much." 

"Cook! Didn't I tell you that you could have just as 
many niggers as you want. Five of them. Ten of them. . ,! 

"I know, dear — but there aren't any cooks. And the 
other women say it's best — " 

"But, darling, I don't want you — " 

"Oh, I'll like it." Her mind flashed back over these 
six months. She saw their arrival at the hotel; everybody 
had dressed up for them. The women were open-mouthed 



10 The Smith College Monthly 

at the magnificence of her going-away suit. Their room — 
\( i\ small, but full of finery lent for the occasion. 

'"The bridal suite," Jim Woods railed it as he opened 
tin door for them. A blast of pink from the bed — that was 
Mrs. Howell's best spread: a flaming dragon writhing over 

a bit of painted glass that was the shade on Mrs. Edwards' 

lamp; a small wicker chair donated by .Jim Woods himself. 

I ain't been able to get into it since 1909. You might 
as well keep it. "i It was the only chair in the room and a 
great satin cushion — piercingly yellow — filled it completely. 
She had come down to breakfast the next morning in 
light blue silk with a wide pleated ruffle about the neck. 
Josy the waitress stared at her. rolling her eyes, and dropped 
a plate of biscuits. 

Hut Caroline learned. She bought some gingham at 
the commissary and sewed up on the second floor porch 

w ith Anetta Woods, Jim's daughter and the only unmarried 
white woman in a radius of twenty-live miles. They sewed 
all day long; there was nothing else to do; even walking was 
forbidden them. ("Had niggers hiding in these woods, dear. 
1 think I'll get a shot-gun soon.") They made gingham 
dresses for themselves, and for all the servants, gingham 
curtains, gingham bed-spreads, and gingham shirts for tin 
men. It was a single-thread machine and Caroline was slow 
in learning. Donald was eloquent over the first shirt she 
made him, but he came home with the collar oil', and the 
next day with a sleeve out. "I just pulled a little thread. 
dear. I'm awfully sorry." 

She thought of the wedding notices in the papers back 
home. "Mr. and .Mrs. Mclnness will be at home on October 
1Mb in London. Alabama." And she thought of all those 
(ailing cards buried in one of the trunks — down underneath 
the chiffon negligee, the rose taffeta evening-dress, and Don- 
ald's dress-suit. 

It was Saturday night- and late. The hotel dance was 
over. Caroline sat (nit on the steps of the porch, waiting for 
Donald, who had been called over to the negro settlement 
near the mine to set a broken leg. Another light. More 
whiskey. More razors. She was used to Donalds being 
called away on Saturday nights: and he rather liked it. be- 
ing one of those men whose great regret is that they (\u\ 
not si ndv medicine. 



The Smith College Monthly 1 1 

She thought she could still hear the victrola in the din- 
ing room, though the windows were black. Leaning her 
head against an unpainted post, she thought lazily of the 
dance. Dance! Ten couples — no, five couples and ten ex- 
tra men. Quite an ideal arrangement in a way. They had 
made Donald and her do their stunt again. That silly 
vaudeville thing — she yodelling and he clogging. Not very 
good — but it was fun doing it for these people. And just 
as much appreciation as on the night of their first nervous 
performance. 

The moon hung just over the edge of the woods — 
smug, safe, with a sudden fearful prominence when the 
clouds left it entirely free. The edge of the woods was a 
sharp semi-circle before her and the lower parts of the trees 
were visible, unobscured by any underbrush except the fit- 
ful clumps of berry bushes. She followed a path with her 
eyes ; it was the same dull red as the mud at the foot of the 
hotel steps. The lights of the houses went out one by one. 
Underneath the hotel she could hear the grunting of pigs, 
still content with the garbage thrown over the back-porch 
after supper. Far off, directly under the moon, it seemed, 
a whippoorwill cried — and suddenly it was as though he cried 
within her. 

The moon poked maliciously between the trees and a 
breath of mist rose reluctantly, standing ghost-like in the 
clearings between the berry bushes, or clinging low and close 
to the tree trunks, with a tortured immobility. Then a slight 
breeze, and the earthly mist mocked the heavy clouds now 
tumbling about the moon. 

Caroline looked up. A tall, thin negro stood at the 
bottom of the steps. His lips bulged out from his face 
and seemed to be swelling rapidly. He wore brown and 
white checked trousers — high on his ankles and tight — and 
an old red-velvet smoking jacket, almost maroon in the 
moonlight. He leaned toward her and she saw a long pink- 
ish scar on the top of his head- — ridiculously like the path 
in the woods. Half the back of the smoking jacket hung 
in a three-cornered tear. 

"Mis Minnus, I'm Jeff'son Shakespeare. Yo' husband 
he say he want yo' should come help him. They's bavin a 
baby an' Mr. Minnus he say come quick." 

She was down the steps in a moment. How exciting! 



12 The Smith College Monthly 

Donald and she helping these people. Donald calling on 
her. Something to do at last. She didn't know much, but 
at Kast she could boil water or pour out medicine or some- 
thing. She hurried to the path in the woods. Jefferson a 
little ahead of her. 

It wasn't a path after all, bui a road. Jefferson Pell to 
the rear and they walked in silence. Sometimes a damp 
hit of mud made her slip. Always before her in the distance 
was a wall of mist just on the next curve of the road. Hut 
when they reached the- curve the wall was further e>n and 
only a Jew still pull's were left on the ground. She thought 
it was the same road she- and Donald had walked one Sunday 
morning, when he had taken her to see' the shafts. Hut 
Jefferson saiel Donald had left the settlement and gone fur- 
ther on. the other side of the mine. 

She walked on. watching her feet and thinking that 
she- would have to net Donald to take her into Birmingham 
soon. New shoe's, for one thing. Perhaps they could go 
to a movie. Her first movie in six months! — "Mr. and 
Mrs. Mclnness will he at home in London. Alabama/' She' 
laughed a little'. Jefferson thought she' had spoken and 
came abreast of her for a moment. 

"No, nothing .... hut is it much further?" 

■ In some' ways it ain't. .Mis' Minims, an' in some ways 
t*is." 

The' fog reached above her head now. Only the road 
was clear of it. hut at the sides the- grey masses menaced 
her. She could see- no moon and yet a light came from some- 
where and struggled with the motionless grey walls. 

It had been foggy like this the third time' she' met Don- 
ald no. the' fourth time'. At a suhway entrance. lie had 
a paper under his arm and an overcoat too large for him. A 
hojse had pushed his head suddenly at them through the fog. 

And they had laughed at his mournful eyes. 

Jefferson was a little' nearer. lie evidently IV!! the 

in i d of e-on\ ersal ion and began to te-ll her of a ham \\ eel mine 
near them over to the hit. A cow had fallen into the old 
shaft and died. Three' nights later Jeff< rson and his friends 
'.ini' by and the ghost of the' cow white' and terrible— pur- 
sued Hi* in. Half-way through his story she remetobered 
thai two of the engineers had run oil' with one' of the hotel 



The Smith College Monthly 13 

sheets and had come back covered with mud and mooing 
ecstatically at each other. 

Jefferson now walked parallel to her but a few feel 
away. She asked again if they were almost there and he 
made no answer. The fog now surrounded them but al- 
ways at a distance of five or six feet. Jefferson seemed to 
know the road well and took the turnings instinctively. The 
light had grown dimmer and she could see only his great 
lips and the whites of his eyes as he glanced sideways into 
the woods — or, rather, where the woods must be, swallowed 
up in the fog. 

She was tired but she hurried more and more. It 
seemed as though she had been walking all her life along 
this road, slipping a little, her shoes gradually heavy with 
mud, her voile skirt limp and clinging. The fog was close 
about her; she wanted to push through it with her hands. 
It pressed against her — against the front of her and all 
about her ears. She almost heard the noise of its advance — 
a rumbling. Or was it just the silence that rumbled ? What 
was noise? What was silence? What was tangible and 
what was intangible? 

Jefferson was a little ahead. She kept close to him, 
her eyes on the tear in his coat, through which his black 
skin ^listened a little. Once she stepped on his heel. He 
said, "'Seuse me. Mis' Minnus." And his voice was thun- 
der, resounding back behind the grey walls and rolling along 
the ground beneath. 

Her throat was thick and rough. She wanted to speak 
but she was afraid somehow to make herself known to this 
creeping greyness. Her hair twisted beseechingly across her 
face and when she pushed it aside it was heavy and wet. 

Jefferson was hardly visible. She listened for the faint 
squush of his feet down somewhere in the fog. How far 
down? Miles perhaps. 

She had ceased to think. Her mind was grey and dam]) 
and thick. In all the world there was nothing but the squush 
squush of Jefferson's feet. And her listening became so in- 
tent that she lost her sense of herself — and of everything. 
It was as though she were prone on the ground — listening. 

A blurred light struggled off to the right. She felt 
that it must have been there all the time, but that she had 
somehow just seen it. 



14 The Smith College Monthly 

"Hen w< are, Mis' Minnus," said Jefferson. Some 
when there was a sound of clapping hands and stamping 
feel and the music of a bad violin. 

Tin wall of a house stepped up to them quietly. A 
door opened and they were inside a lighted room. 

The clapping and stamping stopped and the violin gai < 
• in last tortured note. A crowd of negroes parted and 
Jefferson walked through them to the center of the room. 
Caroline followed him. her eyes still on the three-cornered 
tear. 

Jefferson turned and pointed toward her with his open 
hand. Sin stared at the huge pink palm. 

"Here she is." he boomed. They all looked at her. 
The attention of a mass of dark shining faces hundreds 
of them, she- thought. 

A short fat woman in blue calico lumbered up to her. 
"Mis 1 .Minims, we's been havin' a pahty an 1 we thought as 
how you-all might come an' make yo' noise for us. Jeff'son 
done said yo' do it mighty wunnerful." Caroline looked 
at her; the black folds under her chin Happed a little. 

Jefferson came up, "Y'know, .Mis' Minnus, like yo' 
done it at the hotel eb-ry Sa'day night. That pretty noise- 
sort of way up high like." 

A heavy grey em-tain went up slowly in the back of 
her head. Where was she? Out alone in the Black Belt- 
not another white person the great black muscles of these 
men what did they want? Where was Donald? 

"Aw, Mis' .Minnus. like yo 9 done at the dance tonight." 
Dance! Was thai tonight, only a few hours ago? She 
and Donald in a stunt. Something silly. Her yodelling 

Oh. that was what they wanted. Yodelling, She would 

have to do it. Poor things! Only children really. Hut 
such a long walk. Where was Donald? 

She turned to Jefferson and nodded her head. Tie 

nodded to all the others and they seemed to sigh a little— 

and waited. She cleared her throat and lifted up her head 
tn sing. 

She finished, liny were motionless. She took their 
silence for appreciation and sang again. And a third time. 

Then she was tired and looked at Jefferson. 

Il< turned abruptly and went to the door. She fol- 
lowed him. The crowd moved slowly together again, smil- 



The Smith College Monthly 15 

ing at her. An old man tuned a violin thoughtfully. The 
door shut and she could hear the slow stamping and a dull 
measured clapping. Great pink palms. . . 

The fog squeezed about the house. Jefferson found the 
road and taking hold of his coat she followed him. Once 
she shut her eyes and the greyness pushed at her lids until 
she opened them in defence. 

There was no sound. There was nothing. Only this 
greyness and a hit of red velvet in her hand. 



SOUTHWARD 

Frances Robinson 



Morning 

Snowflakes 

Powdering down the air 

With soft insistence 

Blot out the smoke-covered walls, 

Narrowing the world to us, 

While the engine stands, 

Black and impatient ; 

And your last kiss 

Touches my lips as lightly as the snow. 

Evening 

Cherry blossoms 

Loosened by the nimble fingered breeze, 

Fall, as the evening falls, 

Slowly and restfully, 

Sounding full tones on the southern night air. 

The harmony will remain unbroken; 

I will return — 

The petals will be fashioned back to snowflakes 

Falling on you 

From the magic that is over us, 

For there's a charm that's flung about the day 

Feathering it in. 



16 



The Smith College Monthly 



rilK PRINCESS WHO WANTED THE MOON 

A MM. Wl.CHSI.KK 



ly^iHE little princess lived in a marble palace built high 

\vU upon a clipped green lawn on which cedar trees were 
§5 planted in well-spaced rows. It was entirely surround- 
ed by a lake whereon swans floated lazily and miniature 
boats spread their silken sails in the breezes. 'This was the 
princess' kingdom, and as far as she was concerned, the 
boundaries of the lake were the farthest corners of the world. 
Here she lived, surrounded by her prime minister, seven 
ladies-in-waiting, and a little page who stood respectfully 
beside her throne, when the princess was pleased to sit there, 
and ran errands i'or the ladies-in-waiting. Every week the 
court magician was summoned before the princess to de- 
\ ise new games and toys for the amusement of her highness, 
and she played with these for a few hours and then threw 
them listlessly aside. The truth of the matter is that she 
\\ as bored. 

One night as she was standing on the terrace, leaning 
over the balustrade and looking out into the night, she no- 
ticed a crescent-shaped piece of silver suspended from a 
wisp of nothing in the dark heavens. She clapped her hands 
and the little page appeared, with a waxen taper in his hand. 
The princess pointed upward to the roof of the sky. 

"What is that ?" she asked. "Thai shining thing up 
there? Do you think it is made of crystal, white gold or 
diamonds ?" 

"Why. your highness," said the little page, "that is the 
moon, and none can say of what it is made, for none 1 has 
ever reached it. for all that men have tried." 

"II is eery pretty," observed the princess. "Il looks 
like a tiara, or a strange, shining comb. 1 think I would like 
to have it to wear in my hair. Do you think it would look 
nice V* 

"Beautiful, your highness!" said the page. "Your hair 
would he the brilliance of the sun. enhanced by the chill 
splendor of the moon. II would he lovely! Hut I am 



The Smith College Monthly 17 

afraid that the sun will have to shine alone, for the moon is 
inaccessible and none may ever reach it." 

"I am not like other people," said the princess, "Some 
day 1 will he a queen, and kings and queens may do as they 
please." 

"Even kings and queens have aspired to the moon," 
said the page. "And none has ever reached it." 

"How dare you!" said the princess. "Send for the 
magician and the prime minister at once." 

The magician and the prime minister were wakened 
and brought before the little princess. 

"I would like to have the moon," she said. "There is 
nothing else in the whole world that can satisfy me. 1 must 
have the moon. Bring it to me tomorrow at midnight." 

"But, your highness, — " said the magician and the 
prime minister with one voice. The princess, however, had 
already swept past them into the palace, her royal nose tilted 
high ; and they were left alone. 

"If we do not procure her the moon," said the prime 
minister somberly "we will be decapitated in the morning." 

"Horrors!" said the magician. "There is only the 
faintest glimmer of a hope, — but I will see what can be 
done." 

He brewed a potion in a silver kettle, muttering gloom- 
ily, and walking around in circles as he did so. The kettle 
began to sing and moan, and at last a voice was heard, escap- 
ing in the thin clouds of steam that exuded from the caul- 
dron. 

"I am the spirit of night," said the voice. "What is 
it you wish of me? Speak!" 

"Our princess desires the moon for a prize," faltered 
the magician. "She is not to be dissuaded!" 

All was silent for a long time. 

The voice said, "The moon is avid of human soul ;. She 
crushes them until they are limp and useless and then tosses 
them back to their owners. Perhaps, with the offer of a 
soul or two, she could be persuaded . . . just for one night. 
I know of no other way ..." 

The voice faded and receded until it was one with the 
heavy silence of the black skv, — and the magician and the 
prime minister looked at each other. The prime minister 
blew a silver whistle and in a moment, the whole court was 



18 The Smith College Monthly 

assembled, the seven ladies-in-waiting with their heads bob- 
bing in neat curl papers, and the little page still holding his 

\\ axui taper. 

The prime minister cleared his throat. "Ahem," he 
began impressively. "Hit highness, the most illustrious 
princess Bramble, has commanded that the moon be brought 
to her tomorrow at midnight." 

A little flutter from the direction of the ladies-in-wait- 
ing. 

And." continued the prime minister. "'Hie only way 
in which the moon may he procured is witli the offering of 
.1 human soul. Which of you will ( L>ive his soul, that the 
princess may play with the moon?" 

"Not l," said the first lady-in-waiting. "Nor I," echoed 
the second and third and fourth. 

"1 would gladly offer my own," said the prime minister, 
"but unfortunately, we men of affairs must retain our souls. 
They are invaluable in matters of state. And the magician 
here sold his to a black witch, many years ago. . . Will hoik 
of you give his soul ? No one \ . . ." 

''I will," said the little page, and he handed it to the 
magician. 

The magician took the soul of the little page in his 
hand and whispered softly to it. Then he flung his hand 
upward and the soul departed on its journey to the moon. 
The court retired for the second time that night, all hut 
the little page who sat down with his hack to the door of 
the room where the princess slept and kept solitary watch 
throughout the night. 

The next evening there was great commotion in the 
court. It had become known that the princess was to be 
presented with the moon, sharp at the hour of midnight. 

The little princess was clothed in a dress tinted the warm 
golden shades of the sun; her eyes were bright and her hail- 
tin color of honey. She sat upon her throne, the little page 
standing by her side as usual, and waited for the long min- 
utes to pass . . . At last the clock struck, slowly, one. . . . 
I w <• ... . three .... four .... and so on, until finally, 

twelve! A dread hush, then a little whirring sound, and a 
silver package dropped into the lap of the princess She 
unfastened it eagerlv, with trembling fingers, the ladies-in- 



The Smith College Monthly 19 

waiting crowding around her. At last it was opened and the 
princess held it up for all to see. 

"It is very pretty," said the ladies-in-waiting politely. 

The princess hugged it to her, and then she looked at it 
for the first time. Suddenly she stood up, her eyes blazing, 
her little fists clenched with rage. 

"How dare you, how (hire you!" she cried to the whole 
court. k I will have all your heads cut off' in the morning! 
How dare you humiliate me in sueh a manner!" And she 
threw the package on the ground before her. 

The moon was nothing but a piece of green cheese. 

The package rolled down the carpeted steps of the 
throne, and a white substance, limp and inert, dropped at 
the feet of the little page. Nobody noticed it, lying there, 
crumpled and forlorn. Not even the little page could recog- 
nize it. It was nothing but his soul, lifeless and still, re- 
turned bv the moon when she had crushed it to death. 



RAIN MUST DROP GENTLY 
Mary Paxton Macatee 



The rain must drop quite gently on the pond, 
Or else it will crack open with its blows 
The brittle net of sunlight Hung across 
This sullen water where a greyness flows. 

Rain must not pierce too deeply to its heart. 
This little shower will not break the seal 
That holds the water calm, and gives it still 
A loveliness, because it seems unreal. 

The sun is drowned within a lake of clouds, 
But all day long it had a chance to make 
The gossamer of sheen upon the pond. 
To spread the fragile light no rain must break. 



20 



The Smith College Monthly 



WHITE INSTANT 
Lucia Weimeb 



a didn't answer Daphne's first letter. It was scrawled 
in her large, rather hold handwriting on fragile crest- 
ed notepaper and said something like— "So Philip. 
it seems, has discovered this castle on whose grounds, they 
say. a unicorn disports itself. Of course there was nothing 
for it hut that he rent it for the Spring months and we are 
to have unicorn hunts and things. Do drop in some week- 
end and help." 

1 remember throwing the letter in the waste basket. 
Although 1 had known her and played big brother to her ever 
since we were children. 1 had little sympathy with her chic 
whimsies and less inclination to set forth for the wilds of 
Northern England. 1 felt that unicorn hunts could hold 
for me only the intense boredom which characterized her 
too well-remembered week-end parties. So I threw the let- 
ter away. 

She followed it up. however, a month later with an- 
other note 1 very short this time. "Please come up. It is 
lonely and 1 want to talk to you." she said. The tone of 
the note, so dill'erent from her usual hard flippancies, wor- 
ried me. After all I felt a certain responsibility for her — if 
she really was depressed up there — . I packed my bag and 
in sentimental willingness even to hunt unicorns if it 
would please her — my guns and left. 

She met me at the station in the car. "Philip is at 
home. I told him not to bother." she explained. A yellow 
felt hat drooped around her face so that I could not see 
much ol* it. hut I felt somehow that she was not looking well. 
Her hands on the wheel were thin and milky. 

"I say. Daphne," 1 began, "if this place is getting on 
your nerves why stay? Don't tell me Philip is still crazy 

on this unicorn idea ?" 

"Oh it's not Philip," she told me impatiently, "he 
wanted to leave long ago. It is I who insist upon staying. 
There's something Bui I want you to see it for yourself. 

Jim." 



The Smith College Monthly 2] 

A little later we turned in a stone gateway. At out 
right was a stretch of green-gold woodland and in front 
of us the castle rose against the sea. It was beautiful and 
removed — "Like fairyland", I whispered. 

The normal sound of Daphne's voiee came sudden and 
strident like the shriek of a locomotive on a summer night. 
"A terraee runs down to the sea," she said. Then dreamily, 
"So very lovely it is." 

I looked at her sharply. It was not like Daphne — this 
gentleness. Another pose perhaps? But she was not given 
to posing for my benefit. Always we had retained that 
casual frankness of our childhood days. 

Philip was waiting for us on the terrace. I liked to 
look at Philip, for he was tall and fit — the kind of man whose 
picture the papers published bob-sledding at St. Moritz. 

"Good to see your face again, Jim." he said. And then, 
with the pleasant laugh lines crinkling about his eyes, "Sor- 
ry I can't say as much to my wife." 

Daphne laughed and swept off the hat. I had not 
noticed until then how badly she looked — or maybe it 
was just different. At any rate her mouth, usually red and 
satiric, was now a sweet streak of pale rose and her flat 
vivid blue eyes had faded to a translucent aquamarine. Her 
voice cut through my dismay. "Dinner is at seven-thirty. 
See you then. You two have a talk." 

She was gone and I turned to Philip. "Daphne's look- 
ing awfully shot." 

His good-looking face clouded. "I know it, Jim. It's 
this place. But I can't seem to do anything about it. Can't 
get her to leave. God knows I wish we had never come. It's 
all that damned unicorn too. She thinks she hears it. And," 
he laughed a little embarrassedly, "there is something. Hear 
it myself. Probably a stag. But this loneliness is getting 
on my nerves." 

I was surprised that a man as healthy and phlegmatic 
as Philip had always seemed to be should allow himself to 
be worked up to the state where he was half ready to credit 
a unicorn, but something happened as we were sitting over 
our coffee after dinner that made me understand. A silence 
had fallen — one of those lulls in the conversation — when 
through the stillness there sounded a crashing and then a 
kind of musical snort — like nothing so much as a sweet 



22 The Smith College Monthly 

klaxon. Daphne sprang to her feet and stood there tremb- 
ling, her face dead white against her ash-blonde hair. 1 
stood too. The sound had given me the curious feeling that 
1 must go and gel something that 1 had forgotten. And 
then i looked at Daphne wit ii her hands trembling faintly 
attains! the white mist of her dress and suddenly 1 knew she 
- connected with it all. It was something that Daphne 
and i could find together. 1 felt that it' only 1 could hear 
the sound again 1 could remember remember — . It was 
like waking up in the night and knowing nothing trying to 
force facts from blackness. 

And then it had passed and Philip was talking to us 
irritably. "What has gotten into you two? A deer crackles 
a little underbrush and you go into trances about it." He 
reached out calmly enough for his coffee hut 1 noticed his 
hand trembled. 

I talked to Daphne about it the next day — a strangely 
different Daphne with a small white i'ace and nervous hands. 

"Tin glad you l'eel the same way. Jim." she told me, "1 
keep thinking that it is something very important and that 
if we could see the unicorn —I'm sure that's what it is. 
aren't you? — it would all he so clear — so clear." 

One night not long after this it happened. Philip had 
gone to his room early and Daphne and 1 sat talking on the 
terrace. 'There was a moon lighting the sky to ultramarine 
and sifting silver on the trees. The lawn spread out be- 
fore us. a lush midnight blue. Daphne lay Hung on her 
chair, the silver on her white dress sparkling faintly. Sha- 
dows rippled across the pallid surface of her face. She was 
as I had never known her to he before lovely — quiet- -gla- 
mourous — . "Daphne — Daphne— ' I said. 

A shrill melodious neigh startled the night. Daphne 
slipped to her feet. Her pale hair was a silver casque on her 
head. "Come," she said. "Oh come before it is too late." 

Like two children we ran hand in hand acros the lawn 
into the woods. I low long or how' far we ran. 1 don't 
know. There were crashes and we followed them. And 
then before us in a pale blue clearing stood the unicorn. Me 
was white as milk and his horn gleamed silver under the 
moon. In tin soft stillness I knew everything. 1 turned 
! " Daphne and found her looking at me all white as any 
Uossoni on a tree. She knew too. And then a shot tore 



The Smith College Monthly 23 

through the blue and .silver haze and the unicorn fell. 
Daphne's voice shrieked thinly across miles to me — "All my 
loue I doe thee giue. Yea and your leman for to be," and 
then everything went back. The next thing I remember is 
Philip crawling through the bushes disheveled and apolo- 
getic. 

"Jove — it was a unicorn. But it was upsetting you so 
Daphne, dear," — this last to a strange and silent Daphne 
who sat wanly near the spill of white. 

When he picked her up in his arms she did not speak 
and he carried her into the house. 

The next morning the unicorn was gone. I like to 
think that it melted into moonlight. At any rate it was 
gone and so was the precious knowledge it had brought me. 
All that remained was that strange sentence of Daphne's — 
the sentence which made me think that perhaps she might 
remember, that it at least might serve as a key to make 
her remember. 

I had to leave the next day and she was ill for a long 
time after so that it was a year before I saw her again. It 
was at the Lido — and although I had rather dwelt on the 
idea of talking it over with her — when I saw her I changed 
my mind. She had red and blue beach pyjamas on and she 
was running, her golden head like a fiery comet against the 
blue sky. Philip and some men ran after her and when 
they came within a few feet of her she stopped and turned. 
Her eyes blazed blue and her mouth curved stringent and 
scarlet. I left before she saw me because I didn't want to 
have to talk to her. 



2 I The Smith College Monthly 



CLAIM 

Sai in: S. Simons 



Y~T|()\VKK seven in car eight,' 1 I told the porter, and fol- 
IX lowed him down the platform. 1 did not want to 
§ leave. I wondered that 1 could walk on evenly, take 
the train, and go away. Angry, I beat against my own will. 
"Shall I i > i j i tlu- bags lure, ma'am?" said the porter. 
Abruptly the windows and the seats and the people of the 
Pullman became real to me. Looking down I saw a woman 
with white hair occupying my seat in section seven. She 
did not appear to he transient; her Luggage, respectable, 
hut going grey at the edges, lilled most of the opposite seat. 
The porter put mine where he could, standing one suitcase 
on end. 1 felt dubious about it. and hoped she would. I 
was aware of being imposed upon. As she continued ob- 
livious, anger at myself gratefully changed to irritation 
against her. Evidently she either did not know or refused 
to recognize the conventions of train travel. 1 was on the 
point of suggesting them to her when 1 remembered that 
one is courteous to old ladies. Increasingly ill-tempered, 1 
sat silent, staring out the window at the marsh grass. Ab- 
sorbed in my irritation. 1 had almost forgotten her. the cause 
of it. when she remarked conversationally, "Do you mind 
riding backwards?" The voice was slack, toneless, and rather 
pitiful. I looked at her again. She wore a black dress. 
plain, unobstrusive, and her face had a faint, fresh color, 
she was younger than I had imagined, probably not over 
fifty. .My thoughl swung in again upon myself. I did not 
like riding backwards. It made me nakedly conscious that 1 
I had no control over the speed or even my own eyesight. 
Things shrank thin in the distance before I could frame an 
image that was immediate or true. It made me dizzy; I 
fell helpless. I [ere the car lurched suddenly, driving two 
of her bags against my arm where the typhoid needle had 
gone in. I sprang lip, the other hand at my shoulder. The 

w om.'in had been watching me patiently and now, taking this 
for an answer, she turned away. I Rung myself down in the 
seal across the aisle, (daring. She was not visiblv disturbed. 



The Smith College Monthly 

After dinner the ear filled rapidly, and I returned to 
number seven, intending to finish my hook. Presently the 
woman began to breath loudly, almost snorting. I was 
frightened, but her eyes were placid, apologetic. Below her 
skirt her knees showed, covered by tan cotton bloomers. 
Seeing them. I felt indecent. Leaning forward with a gasp- 
ing breath she said hurriedly. "I am Mrs. Murphree." 

"How do you do," 1 managed to answer and went back 
to my book. 

After a few minutes she approached me again, elbows 
on knees, awkward and ugly. "You know. I had a son about 
twenty-one." A smile, unsure and trembling, parted her 
lips. The toneless voice continued, "He went out hunting 
with his best friend a year ago — and his friend shot and 
killed him. On purpose, but I don't know why." She 
paused, and smiled again, "That's why I'm wearing mourn- 
ing." 

She seemed to expect no answer and I sat appalled, 
listening, scarcely able to understand. "It don't seem right. 
He was such a bright boy. In Clinton, where I live, the 
town took up a collection and paid his first semester bills at 
the Boston Tech. He worked his way and won two schol- 
arships in gold. He was so popular." She began to cry. her 
face grew red. and sweat shone on her forehead. She could 
talk about the actual shooting: it was unreal. Now she 
turned to me. wanting some word, painfully wanting some- 
thing that neither I nor anyone could say. I went back to 
the book, almost shaking, seeing her black dress wrinkled, 
her red face, her lips shaping words she hardly heard. I 
did not know what I felt ; it was much too big for pity. 

She was still talking in a flat, tragic, monotone. "And 
so I'm coming down to see my girl. She's going to have a 
baby, but I guess she's happy. After I go back to Clinton 
I'll never see her again. Clinton's so far away. We don't 
get on like the boy and I did. but just the same I wish she 
was nearer." 

I began to hear the clicking of the rails, the rain on the 
windows, and slowly I realized that the voice was still. The 
tightness inside of me inside of me melted, melted to a hot 
rage. What right had she to make me feel this? What right 
had she to tell me? I ought not to have heard it. It was hers; 
it had nothing to do with me. I turned on her, furious. 



26 The Smith College Monthly 

"Do you like to read, young lady?" she asked before 
1 could speak. 1 sank hack, mechanically answering and she 
continued, "I didn't get much out of this, but you'll like it," 
handing me True Romance Magazine, 1 laughed, aching 

with relict'. 

She had rearranged herself,- her dress was neat and 
her skin only lightly flushed. She seemed to have forgot- 
ten, We chatted about train riding, and 1 began to like 
h r for having delivered me back to the commonplace, how- 
ever unconsciously. She undertook a confidential whisper. 
"I'm getting off at midnight. You know, I really haven't 
gol tin's seal at all; I ought to be in the coaches but I know 
the conductor." 

"Indeed?" I said. 

"But," she went on, "if you do want to go to bed he- 
fore I get off. you can have the upper berth made down." 

"Oh yes, thanks." I had passed beyond surprise, or 
Peeling of any kind. No formulas applied to her; she fitted 
no conceivable pattern. I did not know in what relation- 
ship I stood to her or she to inc. Probably, after all. I hated 
her. Urgent, exigent, and yet impersonal, she had made 
claims upon me which I could not deny. For one inescap- 
able moment she had involved me in her life. 

"It's Mrs. Murphree, — don't forget," she called, step- 
ping down into the night. 

"No," I said, "goodbve." 



lhe Smith College Monthly 



27 




THOUGHTS OX THE MAGPIE 

(To T. S. Eliot and a Dark Lady) 
H. M. S. P. 



spirit blithe! When first I heard thy song, 
A sunny shaft did I behold; 

For though much travelled in the realms of gold, 
And, be it right or wrong, other birds among, 

1 wandered lonely as a cloud, 
Until thy music, sweet and loud, 
My ear saluted. 

Ye little birds that sit and sing, 
(Call for the robin and the wren, 
And the late lark twittering in the skies!) 
Go pretty birds, to prune the wing; 
For the bonnie Magpie goes up the glen. 
Give gladness, souls, for its bold cries! 
And hear, ye ladies that despise: 
All my past life is mine no more. 
Had we but world enough, and time .... 
(O. happy those early days when I — ) 



The Smith College Monthly 

What shall 1 say. in earth-bound rhyme 
Of her, the bird of fortune and man's ever 
Magpie! that thou shouldsi be living at this hour! 

Wilt thou forgive that sin where 1 begun, 

When you and I have played this little hour? 

I "in glad to know thee, thing uncommon, 

And 'tis not. Magpie, in our power 

To lei thy teaching go for naught, 

Or new acquaintance be forgot. 

() world, he nobler for her sake; 

Awake. Aeolian lyre, awake' 

Farewell, thou art too dear for my possessing, 

Thou youngest virgin daughter of the skies: 

The charter of thy worth uives thee releasing. 

Pardon, Magpie, my bold cries; 

And go on your untrodden way; 

And rather ve rosebuds while ve maw 



KKFKHFAC KS TO ENGLISH LITERATURE 



Anonymous: The \uf Brown Maid. 

Binyon, Laurence: () World, be Nobler. 

Burns, Robert: Auld Lang Syne. 

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor: Glycine's Song. 

Constable, Henry: On the Death of Sir Philip Sydney. 

Donne. John: A Hymn to (rod the Father. 

Dryden, John: Ode. 

Rtherege, Sir ( reorge: 

To a Lady Asking Him How Long He Would Love Her 
Fletcher, John: Hear, ye Ladies. 
Gray, Thomas: The Progress of Poesy. 
Henley, William Ernest: Margaritas Sorori. 
Herrick, Robert: To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time. 
Heywood, Thomas: The Message; Matin Song. 
I [ogg, James: Kilmenp. 

Keats, John: On First Looking into Chapman's Homer. 
Marvel, Andrew: To his Cov Mistress. 



The Smith College Monthly 29 

Parker, Gilbert: Reunited. 
Pope, Alexander: On a Certain Lady at Court, 
Rochester, Earlot: Love and Life. 
Shakespeare, William: Sonnets ii, ix. 
Shelley, Percy Bysshe: To a Ski/lark. 
Vaughari, Henry: The Retreat. 
Webster, John: A Dirge. 
Wordsworth, William : 

Daffodils-. England, 1802, i; Lucy, ii. 
Wvatt. Sir Thomas: Revocation. 



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The Smith College Monthly 31 




BOOK REVIEWS 




THE CHOSEN PEOPLE: 
A SHORT HISTORY OF THE JEWS IN EUROPE 

By Jerome and Jean Tharaud 

Longmans, Green & Co. 1929 

In the trend of popularisation to which almost every 
field has been recently subjected, History has been one of 
the most pitiful victims. Of peoples treated thus, the Jews 
have suffered most, for in Jewish History there is much to 
attract an historical writer whose main desire is a point of 
view supported by chosen details. It is easy to say of them 
"how romantic" and to write a book so rilled with such 
phrases as "dramatic aspects", "the love of the marvellous 
characteristic of the Jewish soul" that the facts which should 
bear this out are forgotten. In "The Chosen People" the 
Tharauds have been so skilful in the employing of these 
comfortably established terms that one is likely never to 
realize that the "dramatic aspects" are not definitely de- 
scribed or even named; they are hinted at obscurely. One 
feels continually that the next chapter will bring forth the 
promised definite explanation — and the next chapter speaks 
vaguely of "the all-powerful authority of the church." 

To make Jewish History even more entrancing to writ- 
ers of this kind, the point of view they wish to take is already 
so firmly established in the minds of their probable readers, 
particularly the Gentiles, that it will require little support 
and almost no proof. Mr. Zangwill and Mr. Browne have 
prepared the way, and the Tharauds, following it blindly. 
can talk blithely of the narrowness of the ghetto, of the 
revolt against the old ritual, of the persecutions. Their read- 
ers, having seen it all before, will never question it, so where 



32 The Smith College Monthly 

is t Ik ii< ( tl of proof, of anything more than vague discussion 
and theory \ 

Tins discussion and theory may be very excellent of its 

kind, but its kind is obviously not historical, and the 
Tharauds themselves insist that they have written a "short 
history of the Jews in Europe". Under the mistaken im- 
pression thai dates and definite information discourage the 
popular reader they have, when faeed with a quite unavoid- 
able fact, blushed, and skirted it by saying, as they did of 
Maimonides, that he was "born in the Middle Ages". They 
have not even given a satisfactory descrption of the life of 
the- .Jew: they merely mention frequently the word 'ghetto 1 
under the apparent impression that it alone draws a com- 
plete picture. 

This is a book of sentimental phrases about a people of 
whom the popular tradition is that they have been deeply 
and continually wronged, both by themselves and by other 
peoples. The Tharauds take advantage of this tradition, as 
of others and speak pityingly of the wronged .Jewish race, 
not. of course, illustrating or explaining to any sufficienl 
extent. While they are doing this, it apparently never 
occurs to them that, by giving the Jews such light and flip- 
pant historical treatment they are adding another insult to 
a list which they insist is already quite long enough. 

M.C. 



CAVENDER'S HOUSE 

Edwin Arlington Robinson Macmillan. 1929 

It has been said that Edwin Arlington Robinson's 
themes illustrate "the success of failure, or the failure of 
success." While this statement is perhaps not entirely true. 
it is obvious that he is greatly attracted by worldly failures. 
II< salutes the gallanl ones, but has no weak sympathy for 
those w ho fail from vaingloriousness and cowardice. The 
distinction may be made clear by comparing Flammonde 
and Miniver Cheevy, whose very names reveal their char- 
act< rs. Bui Robinson is neither blinded, by the inner victory 
thai may l>< achieved, to the warping elf eel of lack of worldly 

success, nor hasty, in spite of his lack of sympathy, to judge 



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The Smith College Monthly 35 

contemptuously the complete failures. He records what In 
finds in his characters with scrupulous fidelity and tolerance, 
and his dealing with persons who are in some way unsuccess- 
ful is really the manifestation of an intense interest in the 
"mapping of the human heart," an interest which is some- 
what one-sided because of his own temperament. His latest 
poem, Cavender's House, illustrates this interest. Cavender, 
who is himself both characters in an imaginary dialogue with 
his wife twelve years after he has killed her, suspecting that 
she is unfaithful to him, is certainly a failure, in a spiritual 
rather than a material way; but the emphasis is not so much 
on this fact as on the meticulous analysis of the tortured 
mind of Cavender. 

There is an obvious resemblance to Browning in Rob- 
inson's interest in creating character instead of stressing his 
own emotion, and in the use of the dramatic narrative for 
this purpose; although in Cavender's House the form is not 
monologue, but a mixture of narrative and dialogue. Rob- 
inson's philosophy, however, is in strong contrast to Brown- 
ing's buoyant optimism and faith in the essential soundness 
of the universe. He perceives fully the cruelty of life and 
makes no attempt to disguise it, but he finds a certain amount 
of satisfaction in facing it without cowardice. He sees hu- 
man beings always in the grasp of unknown powers, but he 
know r s also "the faith within the fear," and the possibility 
that there is some reason for existence. Both the doubt and 
the fear are fully set forth in Cavender's House: 

"There are still doors in your house that are locked; 
And there is only you to open them, 
For what they may reveal. There may be still 
Some riches hidden there, and even for you, 
Who spurned your treasure as an angry king 
Might throw his crown away, and in his madness 
Not know what he had done till all was done. 
But who are we to say when all is done? 
Was ever an insect flying between two flowers 
Told less than we are told of what we are? 
Cavender, there may still be hidden for you 
A meaning in your house why you are here." 

Another resemblance to Browning is found in the intel- 
lectual demands made on the reader, though not by elusive- 



3f> The Smith College Monthly 

tiess of expression ; Robinson's obscurity is instead dependent 
on a deceptive quietness and lack of ostentation. The most 
notable quality of his style is economy of the point of frugal- 
ity. Ill docs not lack genuinely passionate feeling, hut while 
such feeling is strikingly obvious in Browning, Robinson's 
restraint leads often to a prosaic understatement which pre- 
vents the average reader from realizing the remarkable depth 
and power of his feeling. If evidence is needed, it may be 
found in lines like the following: 

"The man who makes a chaos of himself 
Should have the benefit of his independence 
In his defection. lie should wreck himself 
Alone in his own ship, and not he drowned. 
Or cast ashore to die. for scuttling others. 
I have been asking, Cavender, since that night, 
Where so malicious and inconsiderate 
A devil could hide in you Tor so long time. 
There may he places in us all where things 
I jvc that would make us nm if we should see them 
It' only we could run away from them! 
Hut, Cavender, we can't: and that's a pity." 

Cavender'g House strengthens the impression made by 
Tristram, that Robinson's best work is found in his long 
poems rather than the short ones, since they furnish a better 
vehicle for continuous thought and for the observation of 
human character and its operations which is the material of 
his art. The succession of his most prominent themes lias 
been described by .Mi*. Herbert Gorman as: first the creation 
<>f single imaginary characters, then the revitalizing of his- 
torical personages from the data and atmosphere left behind 
them, then the original representation of legendary figures 
who stand for certain spiritual manifestations, their re-appli- 
cation, as it were, to our modern times, and. finally, the crea- 
tion of groups of imaginary figures in juxtaposition, acting 
nut liiv. In Cavender's House the juxtaposition is not 
strictly of figures, since one of the two persons is expressed 

through the other's ((construction of her, hut it <_* i \ cs the 

contacl of individualities, whose clashes reveal the perplexed 
mind and heart of Cavender. At the same time Robinson's 
skill in the subtle analysis of a single character is highly dc- 

\< loped. As an analysis it is more convincing than the leg- 



||==JLJI 11-11 11-11 11-11 IL 

| PLYMOUTH INN 
TEAROOM 

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"AT THE GATES OF 
SMITH COLLEGE" 

DINNER MUSIC 
EVERY WEEKEND 

J MRS. M. A. T. SCHOENECK, Mgr. 


i ii.ii ii.ii ii.ii ii.ii . 

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Stay at the 

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The latchstring is out for all Smith 

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!L=imi ii.ii ii. ii ii.ii 


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ii.ii ii.ii ii.ii iiai ■ inr=LH 



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The Smith College Monthly 39 

endary material he has dealt with in earlier poems, because 
in spite of the universal traits presented in these poems 
some sense of anachronism is almost inescapable. 

In Calender's House as in his other work Robinson has 
made no experiments with new or unusual poetie forms. His 
blank verse is extremely careful, and its most notable qual- 
ities are simplicity and dignity. There is no rich imagery, no 
senuous music, no exquisite moment. But readers who 
reject the obvious and prefer a sharp, fine flavor, a special 
rather than a general audience, will always appreciate the 
distinction of Robinson's work; and Calender's House will 
be found as excellent technically as the work which has pre- 
ceded it, and an advance over this work as regards penetrat- 
ing analvsis of character. 

Ruth D. Pillsburv. 



^KXi^leiXX^l£iXX^^iXXi3^eiX^^l£iX^^ 



Smith College 

Monthly 



RJiifs 



June 1929 



» 




BOARD of EDITORS 




Vol. XXXVII 



JUNE, 1929 



No. 9 



EDITORIAL BOARD 

Editor-in-chief, Elizabeth Shaw '30 

Managing Editor, Sallie S. Simons '30 

Book Review Editor, Priscilla S. Fairchild '30 

Elizabeth Wheeler '29 Mary F. Chase 

Patty H. Wood '30 Elizabeth Perkins 

Art Editor, Nancy Wynne Parker '30 



'3i 
'3i 



BUSINESS STAFF 

Business Manager, Mary Sayre '30 

Advertising Manager, Esther Tow '31 

Circulation Manager, Sarah Pearson '31 

Nancy Dabney '30 Eleanor Mathesius '31 

Agnes Lyall '30 Eleanor Church '32 

Mary Folsom '31 Ariel Davis '32 



The Smith College Monthly is published at Northampton, Mass., each month from October 
to June, inclusive. Terms $2.00 a year. Single copies 25c. Subscriptions may be sent 
to Mary Sayre, Park B, Northampton. Contributions may be left in the Monthly Box in 
the Note Room. Entered at the Post Office at Northampton, Mass., as second class matter. 
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rates of postage provided for in Section 1203, Act of October 3, 1917. Authorized October 
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for the issue of the following month. All manuscript should be signed with the full name 
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$ 



t&tS^SlKSfel^l 



Qompliments of 



Glass of 



1926 



Kr*4*|g 



feW" 



CONTENTS 

i 




PAGE 

Comfield Valley Anne Lloyd Basinger 5 

Mary Augusta Jordan Prize Honourable Mention 

Snapshot Barbara Damon Simison 20 

Discovery Barbara Damon Simison 20 

Mary Augusta Jordan Prize Honourable Mention 

Return Frances Adams 21 

Black Poppies Edith Starks 27 

Is It Death ? Edith Starks 27 

Pilgrimage Downstream Elizabeth Botsford 28 

Purchase Ernestine Gilbreth 32 

Before Catching the 12:15 Train Constance Pardee 40 

Flying Boats Ellen Robinson 41 

Through A Glass, Darkly Ruth Rodney King 44 

"Old Men Sitting in the Sun" Frances Ranney 48 

Editorial 52 

Book Reviews 55 




An Inn of Colonial Charm 

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Preserving Colonial Beauty with Modern Comfort 

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The Opni Door'* „ . -*.,„. „ . 

A Wiggin. Hold Private Dining Rooms Free Parking Space 

LEWIS N. WIGGINS, Mgr. Phone 3100 GARAGE FACILITIES 



Tatronize 



Our 

^Advertisers 



Qompliments of 



Class of 



1909 






* 



SMITH COLLEGE 
MONTHLY 




COMFIELD VALLEY 

Anne Lloyd Basinger 




I 
OME giant going for a walk down North America, 
eons ago, made a gouge with his stick where the 
Berkshires today fall away southward into small 
perverse bumps. The gash healed; the pile of 
dirt thrown up from the furrow weathered into soft green 
mountains; rocks uncovered at that time continued to 
nuzzle out through oaks, soft wood trees and evergreens; 
and hollows in the mountains filled with water, to spill 
over into the crannies below. Very early — fifty years be- 
fore Independence — colonists had already established them- 
selves here, cut clearings, built houses, and begun the 
process of civilization. Possibly these colonists were 
Puritans; though I doubt if they ever exalted the interests 
of religion above good, worldly pursuits. Yet they have 
never looked like Puritan stock, to me. Perhaps they sus- 
pected that Lucifer, and not God, scooped out Cornfield 
Valley for them; for they took care to render unto Caesar 
the things that were Caesar's; and repaid the giant arch- 
angel penny for penny in the hard coin of pride. 

The motorist from New York remembered his drive 
through the Valley. He remembered it not only because 
the large estates or cheap modern cottages of New York 
and southern Connecticut threw it into relief. It was an 
individuality; its features etched themselves upon the mind. 
Winding among hills and second-growth woods, the road 
straightened across two hay-fields; and suddenly passed 
between white houses set well back from the street. Elm 



6 SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 

shade and maple shade fell upon the road; the houses were 
sunny. Their simplicity was unaffectedly colonial; their 
owners unsentimentally painted them when they greyed 
with exposure; they bespoke insolent conservatism. Corn- 
field Valley had not seen fit to idealize herself; she harbored 
a very ugly group of little stores in her midst; she had no 
back-streets; she was a sepulcher unwhited. Slightly be- 
yond the stores, the high-road split; and in the triangle 
ancient elms and a monument marked her center. If you 
took the left road, you were soon out of town again, rising 
a little above the Valley floor, yet lying in the protection 
of an intimate hill-ridge; and soon, through tangled hedge- 
rows, over stone walls propped by wooden posts and 
tangled with wire and vines, you saw the patch-work 
theme of fields connected by other hedge-row T s, picked out 
in darker green by inconsistent woodland patches. The 
right road, holding to the town a little longer, dipped 
across a sunny field and a meandering brook in its second 
childhood; then climbed stubbornly out of the Valley, and 
twisted about the face of a dwarf mountain. This rocky 
knob jutting from smaller hills went half-naked like a 
beggar, in tattered bushes and vines; it sat like an East 
Indian philosopher surveying the long ridge opposite, 
across a brilliant swamp below. A little higher the road 
passed a handful of ghost-grey shacks, still climbed, 
attained the top of the little range, and loitered along it, 
to let you see blue hills rolling over one another on three 
sides, like the sea; yellow or light-green fields again; knobs 
and knolls again, breaking the Valley with their knuckles; 
and two lakes cupped like flat pieces of lapis lazuli in the 
hollow of the Valley's hand. A moment on that hill; you 
would remember it after passing; then down on the other 
side, the treacherous, rolling side, where careless motorists 
lost their lives every season. Cornfield Valley only said, 
"I told you so," when cars left the road there and smashed 
into the trees or the rocks; it gained stories to tell; it was 
indifferent to the vicissitudes of tourists. Besides, Allyn 
Hill was outside; the dropping-off place; the farewell of 
the town to a stranger. People who invade such a private 
hollow must expect a rude awakening on the other side. 

II. 

Little babies in Cornfield Valley were wise; they ignored 
the wild mountains, and gave their full attention to their 



SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 7 

feeding. In this they imitated intelligent town-people, who 
disliked fishing, or tracing up their brooks to their sources, 
or berrying on steep hills. These Valley-dwellers preferred 
contemplation of each other on flat porches, while the 
season allowed; for winter brought wildness soon enough. 
No amount of sticky pink laurel or purple-bloomed berries 
attracted them. 

But little boy babies grew out of their wisdom with 
their Christening dress; and soon took to spending all their 
days in summer along the brooks with their lines, or in the 
field with their pails, coming down at night-fall as full of 
nettles as pin-cushions with pins, to sell from door to door. 
And large boys who wouldn't grow into men ran away from 
their work to loaf on high land. They lay on their backs 
in fields that curved out like fat pillows; their hats over 
their eyes, and slept. Their wives shook their heads; but 
the neighbors never troubled to think of them at all. For 
in Cornfield Valley many things are taken for granted. No, 
they wouldn't think of them at all — except sometimes, in 
passing Willie Jones on the street. The sight of Willie 
Jones, the gray, tough, brown man with pale eyes, made 
anybody think. And that, notwithstanding that it had 
happened to him fifty years before. He made them re- 
member — and shiver. 

They remembered that Bill Jones took Willie out fishing 
when the boy was only six years old ; and in the heat of the 
day fell asleep beside the stream. When he woke up, Willie 
was gone. So he called him by name: u Willie — Willie 
Jones!" But nothing answered him save the rocks on the 
hill opposite. He tried to hunt, but couldn't find anything, 
not so much as a foot-print, so thick were the low-growing 
laurel-bushes. He must have waked about four of that 
summer day; and he hunted until dark. Then he ran down 
to the Valley and asked for help. Other men went out; then 
still others; then the whole town heard, and everybody 
went to Town Hall to wait for news. The mother was there 
too, crying. They sat waiting all night, while their men 
hunted; but in the morning Willie wasn't found; so they 
went away about their work; only, the mother sat and held 
her hands in her lap. Hunting parties kept combing the 
mountains. None of the men worked at anything else; 
they would sleep a little, and then go hunt. You wouldn't 
think a little boy could wander so far! At last there came 



B SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 

a rumour from the mountains. Ryan, the old bell-ringer, 
leaped at the ropes in Town Hall tower, and again the 
town-people came running. They waited three hours. 
Then, about two o'clock of the third night Willie rode back, 
carried high on the shoulders of tall mountaineers, who had 
sed up the father too as they swung down the road. 
With torches and shouts, they marched into Town Hall, 
sw< pi up the mother, and set her on the platform to receive 
her son. The people of Cornfield Valley shouted wildly. 
But Mrs. Jones only looked at her boy, and then she wrung 
her hands. They fell silent and looked too; and it came to 
them all at once — something was wrong with the child. 
Willie Jones was crazy — as mad as a dog; and he never 
recovered. He knew nobody; he continually saw something 
else behind them. After that the Valley people hated the 
mountains with renewed force; and they feared them, too. 

III. 
I have been careful to say that town-people feared the 
mountains. You are not to think that all the inhabitants 
of Cornfield Valley were town-people. Since the beginning 
there had been a queer division in the region: two parties, 
utterly distinct; and nobody knew w T hich was the older. 
There was the Valley stock, and the mountain stock. They 
seldom intermarried. They hated each other always, and 
even along the back edges of town, w T here the factions 
mingled, living side by side, they were as oil and water. 
The mountain people loved the lonely streams and woods, 
where the sweet-fern scented the air. They were too proud 
to rub sleeves with anybody, even though their own might 
be patched and sweat-stained, while the other man's was 
made of clean new cloth. The mountain people had their 
own names for places; it must have been one of them who 
named the little, tattered mountain north of town Barak 
Mai iff, a Welsh name, and the only one of the tow r nship. 
lor years they had used the warped huts beyond Barak 
Mai iff for their center; and the town-people used to refer 
to that place as Disturbance Corner. Here dwelt four main 
families, named, by coincidence, after animals: the Foxes, 
the W'olfes, the Coons and the Lyons. They used to fight 
with one another, when they were drunk; and twice some- 
one had been killed. Valley people let them alone; for 
they preferred to manage their own affairs, even in law. 



SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 9 

They seldom attacked people outside of their own kind; 
remained fiercely aloof; and bred among themselves, until 
the blood ran thin with disease. They were not immoral, 
they simply had no morals. It was a public scandal that 
one of them had sold his daughter on the trains; and the 
affair of the two brothers was public property. These two, 
living together in adjacent houses, found that they pre- 
ferred each other's wives. So they traded; but since one 
woman was superior to the other in strength and fruitful- 
ness, a cow was thrown into the bargain to even the value. 
This happy arrangement was discussed in the Valley; but 
town-people w r ere mainly indulgent. The mountaineers 
had always conducted their affairs so. 

Valley people preferred to live under the nation's and 
the state's law. They w r ere of that middle class now r here 
so special in position as in New England; yet they had 
sent out governors and judges to the outside world. Here 
too, certain names recurred frequently: Allyn, Todd, Corn- 
field. There were millionaire Allyns and Todds, and 
Cornfields, and there were poor Allyns and Todds and 
Cornfields. In the Allyn family the relationship was as 
close as second cousin; but neither branch spoke to the 
other. They were of ancient English stock, and could, if 
they chose, use their coat of arms. None of the Todds or 
Cornfields were related; the only explanation I know for 
them is that certain retainers of the earliest Todd and 
Cornfield had taken the family name. In the case of the 
Cornfields, at least, proof was to be had; all old members 
of town knew the Cornfield family tree well, since they 
had ruled the Valley for so long that their history was 
also town history. This was not like Puritan New England ; 
but Cornfield Valley was individual, not typical. 

As I say, most of the Cornfield Valley people were 
middling in family and fortune. But they had their 
paupers. The two poorest families in the whole township 
lived on the community by petty thievery and by begging; 
and they were tolerated because one could not see them 
starve. In both cases children w T ere born every year, 
despite ill health, poor feeding and poverty. The Dick 
Todds were stringy and dark; silent and self-sufficient. A 
strain of the rare mountain blood came in somew r here. 
They scrabbled a living by animal cleverness; a sick breed, 
who ate cheap candy in preference to plain food, and looked 
at your chin, slant-eyed, in passing on the street. The 



io SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 

Pillings, on the other hand, made a disturbing appeal, by 
the innocent delight with which they received each baby. 
Their hovel stood in the very ditch, like a beggar indeed; 
and the grass of its meagre yard was worn from the face 
of the soured ground by the poisons of human beings and 
chickens. The mother could be seen almost any day on 
her bleak little porch, holding up her baby and kissing it, 
her eyes turned side-ways shining to be admired. She had 
been very beautiful, with blue-black hair and deep blue 
3. Now her teeth were broken and gone; her skin 
coarsened. But she kept the slim lines of beauty, like a 
ship which ages; and her tall husband, who had been blond 
and handsome as Apollo, would still be a man if he could 
stop drinking. 

Town-people were not so very much better than moun- 
tain-people for morals. They were too old as a community 
to fear consequences. They were set, dangerously; and 
after convention, expediency was their only brake. I do 
not mean that they sinned enthusiastically. They merely 
remained passive. They tolerated much that might have 
been prevented; because it was not their business to act. 
They loathed no crime so heartily as inquisitiveness; and 
rather than look, they would bandage their eyes. The 
work of the ministers in Cornfield Valley was desperately 
trying; because they expected the Lord to mind his own 
business as they did theirs. Sermons must be agreeable; 
religion, sluggish. So two things happened in the town- 
ship; in one church, ministers changed every two or three 
years, as new men tried and failed to stir the old mixture; 
in the other, a very frail old gentleman recommended him- 
self to everyone's heart for a reason which he alone knew. 
He bowed to that reason every Sunday as he took the desk 
to preach. "There they sit. Sinners — why, I dare say not 
one of them deserves Purgatory, even. Well, I must teach 
them their own nobility. . ." For this was his belief: that 
you could coax the human animal farther by praise then 
by abuse; because, in cultivating his self-respect, you may 
make him be what he thinks he is. This elderly clergyman 
saved more souls in his year than many men do in a life- 
time. As I say, the proof of his success was that nobody 
knew his secret. 

Noah Cornfield of Cornfield Valley differed from every- 
one, lie was, of course, their ruler. I believe that his 



SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY u 

manipulation of local politics through relatives and de- 
pendents proceeded along Medicean lines; he made every- 
body his dependent. He owned or controlled nearly a third 
of town property; and could look for miles across land un- 
trespassed by any save those whom he invited. Of the 
Valley people by birth and education, he allied himself 
with mountaineers in his love of woods and their lore; he 
camped with them, knew them familiarly, and commanded 
their respect by blood, wisdom and attainments. They 
either hated or loved the courtly gentleman; there was 
cause for both; but such love or hate was intimate. Corn- 
field touched his neighbors more intimately than any other 
among them; yet was more alien. He was an institution, 
like the old minister and the chimes and Town Meeting. 

IV. 

In summer, wimpling shadows dappled the lawns of 
Cornfield Valley; the air was champagne; robins, song- 
sparrows and thrushes, particularly bold in that country, 
made a shimmer of sound to accompany the leaf-dance; 
and the fire-flies were drunken stars fallen to the fields at 
night. You might live there for months, thinking this 
heaven; unless rainy weeks like those of last summer dis- 
couraged you into pessimism. 

A summer visitor would never know much about Corn- 
field Valley. He would remain ignorant simply because 
town-people would not bother to undeceive him. The 
Valley's reserve with strangers did not admit of compromise. 
Even the hotel received strangers reluctantly, as if grudging 
space to aliens. Sometimes a traveller "of the wrong type" 
would find everything full; so full that no extra meal 
could be served; and it did not matter if the chairs were 
empty, the rooms vacant, he must look farther. Others, 
more fortunately received, might sit upon the porch for 
weeks, rocking — the only sport to be found in the Valley — 
and never meet a town-person. He would see one or two 
laborers go by in sweaty blue shirts, carrying spades or 
pitchforks; he would see straggling children, or Mrs. Todd 
pushing her latest baby down town in a dilapidated carriage ; 
he would see decently dressed men about the post-office 
steps Saturday night, and the ball-team on Sunday; and 
automobiles and sagging buggies; but he would not see 
Cornfield Valley. He would know nothing. 



i2 SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 

The fall might bring more or less understanding to him. 
The foliage turned pastel, then flame, picked out in dark 
evergreens, like a tapestry; tall vaporous clippers sailed the 
deep blue sky; the crystal air left a stinging remembrance. 
The wind would tease the leaves, and twist them down; 
the country would bleed with Virginia Creeper; the sun 
through oak-leaves would glow as it does in the thin ear of 
a gnarled old man in cold weather. Town-people put on 
sweaters over their cotton shirts or dresses; sent their 
children to school; and urged their last duties to farm and 
wood-pile intensely. They wore an expression of finality. 
The keen observer could recognize a change in them. 
Finally came the stealthy dropping of leaves every day; 
and then a great storm and wind, lashing with flails; then 
lemon-colored sunlight on a cold Valley; and the trees' bare 
branches smoke-purple along the hills; and the house- 
holders built fires; and the gardens laid down, sickly brown; 
and the streets would be desolate. That was fall. 

Winter no outsider saw. Secrecy fell with the whiteness 
of snow; and hid Cornfield Valley. The town was a woman 
with a secret malady which she dragged herself away to 
protect from inquisitive eyes; it was an epileptic w r hose 
crises were not to be investigated. From the long oblivion, 
pierced by stabbing pain, she woke exhausted in the spring. 
Towards February news would sometimes come through to 
the papers of other cities, of a murder, or of fire, or illness. 
Pneumonia and influenza took their toll. A boy lost his 
road on a snowy night, and fell through the ice of a lake 
to drown in his car. The others burned a succession of 
barns, because they found it "too damn' dull." An old 
mountaineer vented a long-harbored grudge by setting fire 
to his enemy's house. A few more men would begin to 
drink heavily. One sought recreation in physical danger; 
abused his family; brooded upon his own degeneracy, and 
finally killed himself. Horror entered every imagination, 
as grey-whiteness impressed the retina. Cornfield Valley 
rested three months petrified with cold and shadow, eye- 
brows raised, eyeballs rolled till the whites gleamed; lips 
peeled back in a grin from the teeth, nostrils distended. 
And foam flecked its lips. Then in the spring it gradually 
relaxed, stirred, shivered uncontrollably; took stock of its 
losses; and little by little picked up its old life. Nerves 
would twitch; tales w r ould be told that made the tellers and 



SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 13 

the listeners sick; new criminals would be tolerated for old 
sentiments; and nobody stoned his neighbor, because he 
knew that the winter had not left him guiltless. Children 
quite innocent in the fall would have learned suffering and 
passion; men at their prime in the fall would be old when 
the thaw came; women would be more silent, or talk with 
a fiercer defiance. 

Gradually they calmed themselves. But not before 
clashes had occurred that ran the gamut from tragedy to 
farce. Spring quarrels were bitter, but soon passed over. 

There was Tom Allyn the grave-digger, who met Bet on 
the street. He had been to school with her; they were old 
friends. Bet was a fragile little lady, her white hair very 
pretty; her pointed features puckered impulsively. Her 
hands shook in the spring. 

"Tom Allyn, when are you going to fix my lot?" 

"I have fixed your lot seven times." 

"Tom, you are an old cheat. I paid you to fix that lot 
three years ago; and it still looks a sight. My father must 
turn in his grave to lie under that wilderness." 

"I planted young arbor vitae seven times. They die. I 
told you they wouldn't grow without you manured the 
ground. It ain't nothing but weeds and gravel." 

And so on, until Allyn, who had quarreled with her 
happily those sixty years, broke suddenly into anger and 
ground out, "Well, I guess you're the meanest woman God 
ever made. And I warn you to be looking for a new grave- 
digger, Bet; for before I'd dig your grave after this I'd see 
you lie on top the ground and rot!" 

Then Bet fled for her home moaning, and sobbed pri- 
vately into her pillow for fear of being left to rot above 
ground. 

At the same time a girl left the Valley for the city to 
hide; the children in the schools wrenched themselves out 
of all control by the teacher; and the ministers walked the 
streets meekly with an anxious frown, deliberately cut by 
those who feared to be made sources of prayer. One lad 
who had always been wild, coming from a shaggy mountain 
family, shot up, developed slender, faun-like grace, and 
coolly plotted a succession of cruelties, defiantly, osten- 
tatiously, thus beginning a criminal career in disdain of all 
law. 



1 4 SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 

Such was the secret of Cornfield Valley. The secret of 
her indulgences, her grimness; her decadence. 

V. 

Those tardy, haunted spring months of that country are 
always associated in my mind with the sound of wood- 
chopping; and the dingy, grass-smothered place which 
bordered the property we bought on the north. Our own 
house was old enough, and sadly in need of paint; but the 
house next door seemed sealed with cob-webs, caterpillar- 
tents and dirt. In the very center of the Valley, flanked by 
neat lawns and decent houses, it looked slovenly and forlorn. 

In the dawn, as early as five o'clock, when the sky was 
scarcely lighter than at night, and the earth still deep blue, 
1 would wake to hear an irregular chop-chopping from the 
yard on the north. The dawn was a time of cold and 
siknee in Cornfield Valley — a misty, lifeless hour when the 
earth held its breath to listen. In such perfect stillness, 
the sound of the wood-chopping echoed from one side of 
the Valley to the other with as sharp a concussion as if the 
abrupt mountain walls to east and west were being struck 
with something flat like a plank. It sounded terribly 
lonely. I think it even had an element of mysticism for 
me then; for the chopping stopped with the coming of day 
and the stirring of people in other houses. 

Like all singular things, this sound held a fascination. 
It would have drawn me to the window to see — I don't 
know what w r eird chopper; but it made me so conscious of 
the warm shelter of bed that movement was impossible. 
Then at last my curiosity broke the trance, carrying me to 
the north side of the house on a morning clammy with 
(loud-blankets. Why the sight that I found should have 
oppressed me as it did I cannot tell. It was merely the 
gnarled figure of a woman, with stringy grey hair and 
faded blue dress, taking large heavy pieces of wood from 
a pile on her left, and cutting them into stove-lengths 
which she threw into a basket on her right. When the 
basket was filled, she picked it up, slanting her narrow 
shoulders to accommodate herself to the weight, and 
walked unevenly into the house. 

We asked the workmen on our place who lived next 
door; and they told us, "The Hodders. Old Hodder, he's 
a busy-body; and say — you want to nail things dow r n 



SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 15 

around here. Mis' Hodder is so close, she'd squeeze blood 
out er turnip." 

We saw that round jelly of a man, John Hodder, next 
day. He came to tell us what to do with our house. But 
the close woman kept indoors while we were awake, and 
we knew she resented us. Then one day she saw us scrap- 
ing and preparing to oil some old furniture; and came to 
watch us curiously, over the fence. She didn't seem for- 
midable. Her eyes were hollow, with a washed-out look. 
She told us that she had some old "stuff" she was cutting 
up for fire-wood; and that "The wooden bed's real pretty, 
all made of cherry; only Mr. Hodder likes everything to 
be nice and modern, so he's got him some good brass ones." 
Finally she asked us to see her trash : eight Hitchcock chairs, 
the bed and a table! So far we had made no offers of friend- 
ship or curiosity; but now we asked her the price of the 
pieces. Ten cents apiece! Today people are wiser. We 
gave her a much fairer part of their real worth, and carried 
them home triumphant. I remember her face then; the 
expression of her body. The money she handled reverently, 
touching it with her rough finger-tips. Her eyes clouded 
with a vague regret at losing her "truck" that she had 
been fond of. But her attitude towards us had changed. 
She said, "Just think. When you folks come here, I used 
to get up to do my chores at four in the morning, so's not 
to have to be looked at by you. Why, even I wouldn't do 
that scraping work!" And from that time she performed 
any dreary piece of work under our eyes, her air almost 
insolent with contempt for us. 

She did not annoy us, however. She was too drab and 
tired to be anything but pitiful. Even when she fulfilled 
the prophecy of our workmen, and came to "beat us down" 
on some petty bargain, we could not blame her. In our 
short stay at Cornfield Valley, we had already seen the 
parsimony of her husband, whose good blood and gentle- 
man's education had become a pretext for idleness. In that 
house over the north line, there was no order, no division 
of labour, no leisurely family life. One child had grown up 
and married; another had died. The Hodder place was 
kept from disintegration by one person, Mrs. Hodder. One 
could hardly estimate the nature and extent of her deso- 
lation. She cut herself off from sympathy, because this 
entailed criticism of Hodder, whom she admired as a 



1 6 SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 

master. 1 [elp or gifts of any kind were considered shameful 
in the Valley; a present was charity there; and she con- 
sidered anything for which she did not pay an insult and 
a punishment. She had always been held by the bright 
Bowers we set out; yet even after she had become our 
friend, she would not take a root from us. Something held 
her hands. "When 1 get around to it," she said, "I don't 
know but I might." But she never got around to planting 
flowers. She feared to let herself go. She had lost all 
patience with life; and found it easier not to struggle. And 
she feared interests which would make her do so. At times 
a cruel fault in her character rode her, filling her with a 
mania to hurt those about her, as if in revenge for her own 
suffering; and then she preferred to hurt those whom she 
loved. Again, she was an automaton. Down-town the 
shop-keeper set his jaw when Mrs. Hodder came in to 
market. She was uncommonly shrewd at driving a bar- 
gain — a shrill-voiced, brittle, dry creature w T hose horny 
hand opened very reluctantly on the little money held 
within. She had a shameless mode of attack bred of des- 
peration, having long ago lost all dignity, and being broken 
to humiliation as a horse is to a bridle. 

I saw her first in the spring; and it was springtime when 
she paid us the call. She had never come into our yard, or 
entered our front door. Never, until that May day, when 
the apple trees burst with pink blossoms, the grass suddenly 
made a sally into unstable sunlight, and pink knobs on 
the rugged oaks pushed off last year's leaves. Then we saw 
her walk up to our door and knock, for a formal call. But 
even then we did not guess the importance of this visit, 
until she told us her news, in a matter-of-fact voice. "I 
saw Doctor yesterday. I ain't felt just right this winter; 
so I saw him. He said he guessed I'm going to die in a 
month or so." She turned her faded eyes upon us, simply 
looking to see how it would make us feel. There was not 
a vestige of emotion in those eyes. "Well," she said, "I 
guess I ain't sorry. Don't know but it'll be a good thing. 
Family don't need me. Mr. Hodder won't have to pay for 
my food. 1 It'll be better at the girl's house." 

There was little to say. She only wanted us to listen. 

"You know, I'm real glad they found out. It'll be a nice 
month. John I [odder can spare it for me to use on myself! 
Been years since I've got around to doing what I like. 



SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 17 

There is a piece of embroidery I started when I was a bride. 
I used to do real nice embroidery, when there was time. 
I'll finish it before I die." 

She stayed for an hour or more. She wished to explain 
her visit. 

"I guess you are the only people I have to talk to. I 
have come to feel real friendly, living next door and all." 

Then she nodded with a smile and went away. 

When she told her family, they were paralyzed with the 
news. So she took control of preparations. From the bed 
to which she was soon confined, she directed the house- 
cleaning and the work on the lawn. It was her thought to 
make her funeral a credit to the Hodder family; and like 
a general she laid her plans. I hear that the burial robes 
were beautiful — trimmed with a piece of exquisite embroid- 
ery that had taken forty years in the completing. Thus 
Mrs. Hodder spent her last weeks, working needle and 
brain ; and never, after that hour's visit at our house, open- 
ing her lips to speak to any soul save to command when 
that was necessary. John Hodder and the girl had become 
meek; and too fearful to regret her. She rode to the ceme- 
tery almost unattended, save for the family and the minister. 
She was buried beneath the embroidery. 

But Mrs. Hodder had liked stark solitude. 

VI. 

It is easy to think that Mrs. Hodder symbolized the 
Valley, in her life and in her death. Easy to think of that 
as a dying town, whose mortality indeed exceeded the 
births, dragging through its last years in ugly indignity, 
dying forlorn and defiant. Yet this conception is only the 
faulty judgment of a weakling who cannot look further 
than the winter toll of tragedy. Another death symbolized 
Cornfield Valley. 

Old Mrs. Winship lived in a little house close in the 
corner of the road. She had grown out of the soil from a 
stubborn, upstanding family; had inherited the stubborn- 
ness, and from sheer exuberance of life transformed herself 
into a little tyrant. Her mind cut like a razor, in a twinkle; 
her tongue did foolish things. She flirted with men of 
many stations in her girlhood; and finally, after much 
managing, married a man older by years, and socially her 
superior. It was useless to play the lady there where she 



iS SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 

had grown up; but her wit carried her far; she made her 
husband pay for his comforts by spoiling her; and she 
busied herself with intrigue and quixotic kindnesses. Now 
at the close of her life she had taken to going to church 
i very Sunday, in a stiff black silk dress and bonnet; and 
sat under the young minister, whoever he might be at the 
time, fixing him pertly with her blue eyes. Her mouth 
folded neatly into nothing, like a picnic-cup; for she was 
toothless. She prayed with her eyes open. Her daughter, 
who was nearly seventy, went to early church so as to be 
free for household duties later; but Mrs. Winship played 
Mary, and sat through the long service. Afterwards she 
stood and conversed outside the church doors. Her talk 
ran somewhat like this. 

"Good day, good day; it's a lovely summer. And I'm 
ve-ry glad it is, for it's likely to be my last on earth." 

"Why, what do you mean, Mrs. Winship?" 

"This time next year I'll be in Realms Above." 

"Get out, Mrs. Winship — an old sinner like you? You 
aren't even good enough for dying, yet." 

"Har-har! Well, maybe I ain't. You know, I'm a-goin' 
to steal this minister-man here." 

"You can't. He's mine." (From the minister's wife.) 

"Oh yes I kin. I've a turrible way with the men when 
1 want. I'm a wild woman." 

"I won't let him out." 

"Well, you wait. Say, I wouldn't go listen to that old 
goat thar," (as the old minister from the other church 
approached.) "He ain't handsome. Got one foot in the 
grave." She would raise her voice for him to hear. 

"Go 'long, Minnie Winship. I just remind you that 
you're no chicken yourself; that's why you don't like me." 

"Yes. That's so. I like 'em young; and I'm an old fool; 
for eighty-seven years have passed over my haid, and the 
angels will come for me soon." 

She lived on and on, aging imperceptibly, until she was 
unable to leave her house. But still when people came to 
her she began by saying, "Soon I'll be in Realms 
Above;" and ended by cackling at her own jokes. 

She had added a prophecy, however. "I'm an old fool 
now; but 111 be a bigger before the end. An ugly woman 
that's funny is fit to live; but an ugly simpleton should be 
put out." True enough, her mind was failing her; she 



SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 19 

became increasingly forgetful; and her efforts to recollect 
herself were so painful that her friends ceased to go to 
the house. Then one of the severe winters wrought a tre- 
mendous change. Mrs. Winship had become quite mad. 
She recovered much of her strength; used to run out into 
the street in her night-dress, and only with the greatest 
difficulty could be persuaded to return to the warm kitchen. 
The Winships had become very poor. Her daughter had 
always been tyrannized by Mrs. Winship's stronger will; 
and now scarcely knew how to cope with a situation which 
left her mistress for the first time. The fear she had always 
felt of her mother prevented her from controlling the mad 
woman; so passers-by in the street often saw a gaunt figure 
in the window or doorway, with yellow skin of parchment, 
fingers like clawed hooks, skull almost naked of flesh; 
smeared with snuff, her short white hair wild about her 
face in a cloud. Thus old Mrs. Winship wandered pite- 
ously as she had foreseen she would, seeking the Realms 
Above. One day a change came. She slept heavily, and 
never awoke. The angel had come for her after all. 

They all went to see her before the funeral, and followed 
her to the grave. She lay in a mass of flowers, in black silk, 
a deep lace about her throat. Her snowy hair was smoothed 
back from her high forehead. Her eyelids were thin and 
white, as emotional as a Spanish woman's; so light on her 
cheek, they seemed to flutter with life. The wrinkles had 
been smoothed away; the lips had fallen naturally into a 
long level smile of serenity. About the oval face there was 
an almost royal fineness; a pride which explained all, ex- 
cused all. It was a pride in her own sufficiency within 
herself, as of one who had elected to conduct her own soul 
to its destiny independent of God; and who preferred to 
destroy herself rather than win luke-warm salvation from 
religion. Yet the dead woman's face was not the face of 
one damned. It seemed to tell that God had admired her 
spirit, and accepted her. 



-o SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 

SNAPSHOT 

Barbara Damon Simison 

a : 

I ride past hills torn jagged by the pines, 
But I dismiss them when I wave my hand, 
And look instead at birches' flowing lines, 
Or rivers cutting mazes in the land. 
I say a "Charming!" in response to falls, 
That tumble on down into larger streams, 
And stony pastures running far from w r alls; 
Past woods all dappled by the slanting beams 
Of sun that gilds the fields; and then I find 
Myself with lack of words to even speak 
Of look of tired roads that dip and wind, 
Or cowslips that go wading in the creek. 
They give me prose and verse and life to live; 
I only give to them what others give! 



DISCOVERY 

Barbara Damon Simison 



I saw pathos 
In a crocus 
Coming back in 
Spring, to find that 
Young De Quincey 
Saw it too, but 
Long ago. 

I liked pale smoke 
Trailing up from 
Blown-out tapers 
Only to read that 
Keats put it in a 
Line or so. 

But, the other 
Day I found my 
Love for you all 
Hidden away; nor 
Poet, nor you could 
Find it first — and 
That — I know! 



SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 21 

RETURN 

F. Adams 




ES, it was odd, she thought, walking slowly home 
across the yellow windswept golf course in the 
smoky aftermath of an early sunset — it was odd 
that in the last long years away from home, this 
noxious sweetness of her brief returns had never drugged 
her quite as now. At first, it was just an overpowering 
inertia — a slow adjustment of all processes, but in the end, 
she succumbed with the abandon of a lover to the steady 
throb of that life which let her go for a time, then sucked 
her back as resistlessly as flotsam in a tide. She had al- 
ways been glad to go again, to shake off the atmosphere 
which settled so familiarly around her, to expand and feel 
herself a full-grown personality in an environment which 
did not know her, in situations which she could consciously 
create. She liked to feel the old existence sliding from her, 
knowing it to be an everpresent undercurrent to which she 
inevitably returned, exposing herself indifferently to a life 
which meant nothing either way — nothing but a remote 
consuming paralysis useless to fight, puzzling to feel. Life 
here was a still pool, and yet, like some great fish swerving 
suddenly near the surface, through the tangled weeds of 
her consciousness, she felt a vague presentiment, a thought 
trembling near firmer realization, that flashed back into 
the depths, a will o' the wisp, and left her dreaming by the 
pool. 

What was it now that swelled up within her, crying to 
be released, aching through every limb until she could 
hardly breathe for the queer tumescent throbbing? Some 
Celtic chant the winds had played, sweeping through her 
body to answer a half-forgotten tune that long had sung 
itself into her being, some dim subliminal fragment 
struggling towards light. 

It must be spring, she thought, gazing at the pale new 
grass on the greens, the lace of the buds against the sky, 
the dogs rolling ecstatically on the fairways. But all 
springs were the same, — there had always been this un- 
acknowledged pain, a pain that surged through all living 
things, that found its consummation in universal creating, 
eternal life. And there had always been a happiness greater 



22 SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 

than the longing, a mad enthusiasm for all places, all things, 
all experience, a recurrent seasonal excitement correlated 
with a frenzy to experiment. It was natural that the 
approaching resurrection of the naked trees, the stiffened 
earth, should communicate a similar sensation of rebirth 
to her. It was natural that the long train of the feathery 
hills and the curve of the golf course, steeped as they were 
in familiarity, and linked with the earliest memories of her 
life should touch off a peculiar emotional set, but why, 
now, did it transform itself into a fierce desire, beating 
wildly through her pulses, pulling her out of her soft shell 
of contentment, to fray each open nerve? She had never 
remained home for longer than a sweeping glance at the 
house, the people, the country, then the longing to escape 
returned, and there was always a means at hand, an excuse, 
and once more independent, a free-lance to comb the 
minute centers of the world at hand. Time that seemed so 
measured here, split up when she left into a thousand 
varied particles. This moment of acute consciousness had 
severed her mind, then suddenly resynthesized the ele- 
ments into an unexpected unity. She had lost all personal 
feeling in that momentary cataclysm. She was no longer 
an individual but a human expression of the surrounding 
earth. All vestige of her own character had disappeared, 
she was mystically identified with the primordial oneness 
of this place, which the diverse encounters with a wider 
world had displaced for a time, until she thought she had 
forgotten. Subconsciously those first reactions must have 
persisted, moulding her, however unwillingly, in their 
fashion, until at last a crisis brought the two parts into 
conflict, and the shock momentarily obliterated all more 
recent experience. 

The country club loomed distantly across a wraith-filled 
void — a low colonial building, full of nationally historic 
ghosts, headquarters of Lafayette in the Revolution; an 
old house, nursing its stately memories to the soft cascade 
of a waterfall in the wet, earth-scented ravine. A servant 
held the door, taking her golf-bag quietly. She wandered 
through the rooms, holding back the flood of memories 
clinging to the scent of leather, cigarettes, and flowers, the 
drowsy warmth of hot chocolate after skating, New Year's 
Eve and egg nog; the soft arms of the sofa after tennis; 
the tremulous desperation of first dances when older girls 



SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 23 

seemed sure and effortless. She was older now, she re- 
flected. Funny how the effort seemed to fade — success or 
not, it didn't much matter. She watched the gardener 
arrange a bowl of flowers. 

"Same old snap dragons, John," she sighed. It seemed 
painful somehow that things didn't change, but there was 
a queer aesthetic satisfaction in the uniformity, as if it 
squared with her persisting recollections that were not 
buried after all. 

She heard the door slam shut behind her as she sauntered 
homeward across the deserted clock-golf green, wondering 
if they would fill in the holes for the garden party in May, 
in the immemorial manner. The deep park around the 
house was haunted with the shadows of vast trees thrown 
out across the mist. She paused a moment by the brook, 
kicking loose the dried leaves of last autumn, watching 
them eddy noiselessly toward the bridge. 

"How sombre it is," she thought, "the silence and the 
fog." Further on there was a pool where two white swans 
floated through the gloom. She had swum there surrep- 
titiously on hot summer nights, and lain naked in the 
moonlight on the thick turf, trembling to a thin wild song 
like the "Lohengrin" prelude. She often felt that curious 
singing in her ears, particularly on sultry nights, and the 
sweet high sound made her think of milk and ice, and 
moonlight. . . 

The swans circled near her, and she was suddenly re- 
minded of two white peacocks on an island in Maggiore; 
on a terrace of heavy flaming flowers and marble benches 
blindingly white in the Italian heat. Queer — that contrast 
in this blurred Corot dusk of greys and browns. Some part 
of her color vision had died, become absorbed in shadow. 
An unscrupulous mixing of the strongest paints will pro- 
duce a pigeon grey or muddy brown. There had been too 
many colors, she thought, the canvas hurt the eyes, and 
suddenly they had all run together — cancelling each other, 
leaving nothing but the residue of their component chemi- 
cals. Well — she was glad ; she was sick of purple patches — 
pure line was more beautiful. 

But this emotion robbed her of free-will; she could not 
calculate its strength. It had been a force hid deeply under 
her consciousness, emerging unexpectedly to dominate it. 
How could she know which line to follow — the instinctive 



2 4 SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 

impulse, irrational in its demands, or the reasonable obli- 
gations her superficial life directed? If one could resist this 
torn-, which she doubted now in the face of her desire to 
yield, should one? Was not the old sensation more legiti- 
mate because more fundamental? Or was it just a palpable 
example of "evil genius" attempting to undermine her sane 
behavior? If it was Mephistophelean, she was still free 
ause her soul was uncommitted, but a decision must be 
reached. She would not yield yet by a strong effort of will. 
She would banish the shaggy-coated Satyr twisted by her 
tortured eyes from the soft-forming mist beneath a sumach 
bush. It all seemed pantheistic, absurd. She was acting 
like a landlocked character in one of Hardy's novels. 

The house was drowned in fog as she came up to it, 
submerged below the mastlike tulip trees. Only the yellow 
lights from the wandows riddled the shroud like mouse 
holes in a cheese. In the firelit room she found the vener- 
able dachshund on the hearth, reflecting a running pattern 
of flame against his sleek dark coat, his rabbit-hunting nose 
pillowed on his paws, the silky ears framing his dazed, 
somnolent eyes. Across the room sat the other, chiselled 
into a repose so deep that she hesitated before entering. 

"If time could be disintegrated now," she thought, "I 
could hold this moment static for eternity. . ." 

The figure moved, and all the threads of the Chinese 
coat she w r ore turned gold in the firelight. Her deep-sunk 
eyes fastened on the girl as she sank into the chintz-covered 
chair beside the hearth, exhausted. The well-known sur- 
roundings surged in upon her nostalgically, the temptation 
to unmask her struggle seized her, while unconsciously she 
fought against the asthmatic progress of the grandfather's 
clock, velvet lv insinuating the quarter hours on its golden 
dial. 

"Shall I speak?" she thought, "try to tell her? Somc- 
times I can't stand this reserve this secrecy of feeling. 
Hut now it's too late— we've been growing individual hedges 
around ourselves for too many years to tear them down in 
this short hour." She gave tip the attempt and ran her 
toe absently across the dachshund's back. A thousand 
sparks shattered the air between them as the lire suddenly 
leaped into the circlet of diamonds on the thin fingers 
holding the outstretched cup of tea. The girl took it 
Bilently, watching the- brooding way in which the hands 



SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 25 

dropped back, cupped within each other to her lap, curved 
hands that were ever crooked together in some task, whether 
it was infinitesimal embroidery on her childhood dresses, 
straightening a twisted flower stalk or falling reminiscently 
among the keys of the old piano. She followed the upward 
lift of her cloudy hair against the patterned sofa, the 
column of her neck fluted into thin chords, the deep lines 
in her face, the eyes, unfocussed once more when she sank 
back, losing the twin spots of light they held when she 
spoke. They were black shadows now, below the curving 
brows, but still they seemed to see beyond her. 

"But what?" thought the girl half-frightened, wondering 
what they visioned through her, through the chair, beyond 
the walls of the house. She shivered a little. Often it used 
to be that way; she would look up, about to speak, and see 
that lost, deep look, so that she forgot, and the words died 
on her lips, or the thought became a triviality. She was 
not unsympathetic — it was rather that she saw a greater 
distance, and the altered perspective robbed other prob- 
lems of much significance. It was with her that one cursed 
one's limited horizon, and longed to lift the veil. Curiously 
blended with this strange passivity was a current of vitality 
which ran through everything she touched, a magnetizing 
power that seemed to spring from the brown curves of her 
hand, furrowed by the garden, quickening into life even 
the trampled flowers that the dogs prostrated in their 
careless rambles, an electricity that one felt might almost 
insulate death itself. 

"What is it?" she wondered, "constituting this curious 
personal equation, a separation I cannot cross. Why 
should this atmosphere creep over me like slow frost at 
night, until I am solidified before I can discover it? What 
keeps her aloof, unbound, consonant with this harmony, 
but at the same time free? She is so remote." 

The flowery tea stabbed through her with the scent of 
hyacinths and the golden freesias at the window. She must 
speak, tell her before she went away that nothing else 
mattered — it was here, here by the fire where the dachshund 
pursued a dreamy senility, where she filled the tea cups 
silently as the shadows gathered, crowding in close around 
them, here where life moved soundlessly, and days were 
full of exercise and sunlight, or rain and worn out books; 
where to live was effortless and not to live a torture, that 



26 SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 

she found the realest happiness, a contentment worn as 
smoothly as a sea-surrounded stone; to tell her that she 
could not stay because it was too perfect, too serene, a 
level still beyond her grasp. She wanted to make her 
understand that the long months away at college, the long 
summers, studying or travelling were not to get away from 
home because it bored her, but to temper a metal merely 
forged in that earlier dream-life; to try the steel where it 
found most resistance, and to gain the prerogative of 
strength to one day make this a reality, not a mere sunken 
city, like Lyonesse in the ancient fairy tale, where it lay 
far below the life she must lead, tolling its bells dimly at 
such times as this. 

The older woman raised her eyes, inscrutably levelled 
against the girl's hesitant glance. She faltered a minute — 
no, she could not speak. And so it would always be this 
way — both dumb when it came to emotion, armoured in 
reticence — a spell as it were that must not be broken lest 
the whole fall in ruins around their ears. 

She went out again into the mist and the darkness. The 
fog heavy with scent, rolled all the faint aromas of the 
night into one multiple fragrance, quivering in her nostrils, 
to catch in her throat. From the pond, the mysterious song 
of the frogs reached her softly like a dirge. Now that the 
passion rested there was surcease of pain — only a thin 
black rim of melancholy seemed to edge her thoughts. 



SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 27 

IS IT DEATH? 

Edith Starks 

The world grows dim 
And in the starlight 
Charon comes for me, 
His long back bent across the oar; 
But I shall welcome him 
For through the river's swollen night 
None guide so well as he. 
We shall scrape safely on that further shore 
Where the old ghosts drift down to greet the new, 
And after this long waiting I shall again find you 
And clasp your hand, who have known death and all of this 
before. 



BLACK POPPIES 

Edith Starks 

My love for you 

Is like black poppies blooming. 

Cool in the moonlight 

And as darkly mysterious against your cheek, 

As softly caressing 

As the night air itself. 

Langorous in the sunlight, and sombre, 

Half -closed, swaying in the breeze, 

Dreaming always of the night 

When you will press these trembling petals 

To your mouth again. 

My love for you 

Is like black poppies blooming. 



28 SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 

PILGRIMAGE DOWNSTREAM 

Elizabeth Botsford 




|N a full blown August day, old Tom Cook became 
haunted by a curious restlessness. When the 
third faded maple leaf drifted past his skiff in the 
shadowed water, he moved uneasily and shoved 
out from under the willow bank into the sunlight. Out 
over the meadow a flock of blackbirds circled raucously in 
the top of an elm tree. He watched them a moment, 
squinting into the sun, and a look of surprise deepened in 
his moist eyes as though he had become conscious of some 
tremendous fact. Then, abruptly, he drew in his wire line 
that sang on the sandy bottom, put the oars in the locks 
and with a few hurried strokes was out in the channel. 

In the gray of the following dawn, the rivermen of 
Minnieska found Tom Cook down at the docks packing 
his sparse belongings into the stern of his skiff. He stood 
up at their questions. Beside their sturdiness he looked 
small and frail. Although he grinned with his wide tooth- 
less mouth, his pale eyes held still the tearful puzzlement 
that had come into them the day before. "I reckon it's 
about time I was getting home," he said in his thin voice. 
One of the men held the boat for him while he stepped in, 
for his hands were trembling. No one spoke and yet the 
silence was full of knowledge. The prow swung outward 
into the current. He leaned over his poised oars, his 
crumpled face sunk behind his knuckles. "Well, boys, 
goodbye." The rivermen answered in a deep embarrassed 
chorus which fell flatly on the water. "Goodbye." It did 
not occur to them to say any more. They stood in a stiff 
line along the dock and watched him row downstream until 
a tatter of mist trailed between them. The fog swelled up 
from the bottom lands, obscuring the sunrise. 

Out on the blank river with the fog creeping about him 
and filling his ancient brain, Tom Cook did not stop to 
wonder why he was there. He was answering an instinct 
that had stirred within him. It is probable that he did 
not even realize what he was doing, for, as he passed camps 
and fishing holes familiar to him for more than half a 
century, the years crowded around him with insistent 



SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 29 

memories. He had long since lost track of time, living so 
much in the past as he grew older that it became more 
real to him than the present. Now, out of the shifting 
mist figures took shape which were dust, and in the half 
revelation of shore line and jutting dam he saw himself 
and his friends in a dim reincarnation. His boat moved 
more with the impetus of the great swinging river than of 
his feeble oars, and the downstream motion carried him 
back through the long quiet years. His mind washed back 
and forth on the current, like a piece of driftwood. 

Under the enormous elm which stood up over Point No 
Point, Bill Houston and he had slept beneath an over- 
turned skiff in a cloudburst. There, where Indian Slough 
cut sharply back toward the hills, was his famous hole for 
bass. On Box Dam, he had sat for hours with old Craig 
when the crappee were biting. He remembered the sleepi- 
ness of the sun on his shoulders. Fifty Four, Bass Island, 
Belvidere, Crooked Slough, the names made a slow and 
reminiscent melody in his ears, falling in the rhythm of his 
oars. Chimney Rock stood clear of the fog with the August 
noon pouring upon its serried crest. There the ladyslippers 
grew so thickly that a patch of ground was solid yellow 
with them. He knew one high slope where you could 
always find the rare and delicate pink ones — it was a 
secret of his. He said the flowers over to the empty boat, 
tasting their fragrance — bellwort, may-apple, hypaticas, 
honey-suckle, shooting stars. A bunch of full alert shoot- 
ing stars clenched in the hand of a child who had torn her 
bare knees on wild rose bushes. Steaks sputtering over a 
charcoal fire. A launch filled with deep picnic baskets and 
ferns. Women in stiff white waists, whose skirts swayed 
graciously as they walked. All this was Chimney Rock. 

At Fountain City Tom Cook tied up at a water-logged 
boat-house. He felt exhausted until he heard John Smoker's 
voice. A glass of beer cooled his hot throat. He peered 
blindly about the empty beer-garden, looking for Pete. 
The brilliance of the river was still in his eyes and head. 
John Smoker told him Pete was gone. "Down the river?" 
said Tom dully. His life fell into the bewildering patterns 
of a kaleidoscope, changing at every touch. 

"Maybe," said John Smoker. 

"I'll see him," said Tom, "I want to tell him his beer 
has gone stale again." 



3 o SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 

"You'll see him," John Smoker told him gently. 

He could not understand why the Lady Grace was not 
running between Fountain City and Winona that after- 
noon, (that decrepit passenger launch which had been 
abandoned for years). "I thought mebbe they'd tow me 
down," he complained. "I'm in kind of a hurry." His 
tired eyes looked frightened again, and his face curled as 
though he were going to cry. John Smoker saw him off, 
a little bent man huddled in the middle of his skiff. "Good- 
bye, Harry," said Tom thoughtfully. The boat slid rapidly 
downstream. Tom hardly heard the answer. One long 
and freighted word. "Goodbye." Nothing else. 

He passed the head of the Old River and peered down 
along its still course where the trees hung down, covered 
with trailing grape vines, from the crumbling banks. The 
turtles were out on the dry logs, the pickerel working in 
the weeds, and the redstarts dancing among the dark 
warm leaves. Once the river packets had steamed over 
that placid water, and its silent reflections had been shaken 
by the slow cadenza of the leadman as he flung back the 
soundings to the pilot. The channel ran in close past 
Burlinhame's Cottage with its fallen roof. Half a mile 
farther down he passed a houseboat tied close in to the 
shore. Weighing on his oars, he stared at it. Funny there 
was no one home, no girls running bare-legged on the sand, 
no launch creaking against the dock. It was queer. He 
had wanted to step there a moment. He could not remem- 
ber ever having found this camp deserted. He wagged his 
head sadly. "Goodbye," he said, and shivered in the heat. 

Well, he must hurry home. The shadows under the trees 
looked cool after the glare of the wide river, but the levee 
was waiting for him, the warm benches, the straying dogs, 
the swallows ducking out of the high wagon bridge. He 
could sit still to watch the steam boats dock and barge 
away, and the fishermens' skiffs slide past with their long 
poles dangling over the stern. He could sleep in the sun, 
and his memories would gather close about him protecting 
him from the heavy years. 

Betsy Slough. Now he had only to round Black Bird 
Inland to see the Old Stone House w r hich had been built 
into the bluff which rose sturdily out of the water. Then 
he could look down the river to the city in the distance, 



SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 31 

behind the tracery of the high bridges, its towers and smoke- 
stacks softened by the haze of the blue August afternoon. 
He paused, with a sense of expectancy rising in his throat, 
looking at the hills. Suddenly the shadows rose up out of 
their secretive valleys. The deep breathing of the river 
faded in his ears. 

When the skiff turned the corner, it had whirled around 
so that Tom was facing downstream. But he did not see 
the end of his pilgrimage. 



33 SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 

PURCHASE 

Ernestine Gilbreth 




'MORROW Martha would return to college. 
Today she had come to the city to finish her 
shopping, to drink in the atmosphere of New 
York and steep it in her memory. Today she 
had hurried up and down Fifth Avenue, purchasing, but 
more often standing before the shop windows, or relaxing, 
giving herself to the crowd. The incessant motion, the 
busy click of heels on the pavement always excited her. 

She was tired as she turned down Thirty-Fourth Street 
toward the Tube; that w r arm kind of fatigue that is never- 
theless pleasing. It had been a successful day, gloves, 
pocket-book, those brown suede slippers with just the right 
heel, the new hat concealed now in an aristocratic but 
exceedingly difficult box. Martha looked down at the 
bundles approvingly. There were certainly a lot of them, 
every size and description — impossible to hold gracefully. 
Her arms stretched about them tingled, ached. She was 
tired, awfully tired. She'd been a fool to wear such high 
heels shopping; might have known they'd be killing her by 
the end of the day. Her head throbbed. That blue hat 
must have shrunk through the summer, or her head — . 
Certainly her forehead had seemed strangled all day. Per- 
haps she might be getting cerebral hemorrhage or some- 
thing. "School-girl swoons in Herald Square. Lovely 
Miss Martha — " Some dresses in a shop window caught 
her attention. She stared with distaste at their embroidery 
and fringe. "Everything but modern plumbing." Some- 
one bumped into her, sent her spinning forward. She 
gasped and smiled pleasantly. New York. It always gave 
her that sense of the unexpected, the thrilling realization 
that she was young, powerful. 

She had reached the crossing now. The huge clock in 
front of Gregg's Inc. indicated five o'clock. Half an hour 
before her train! That meant that she would have time to 
slip into the store just for a minute, to recall the summer 
she had been a salesgirl. It was always such fun to in- 
tensify memories before returning to college, to contrast 
this sort of life humming with physical action and sen- 



SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 33 

sation with school, mental indulgence, "opportunity knock- 
ing at the door but once." 

She would leave tomorrow, returning to her last year. 
It had been three long years since she had been behind the 
counter, a contingent flung from department to depart- 
ment, meek, black-dressed and sixteen. She had done it 
purely for excitement, exulting in her role, admitting only 
that she came from "Jersey." The answer for some reason 
had discouraged further questioning, had admitted her to 
the selling "elite." She had been privileged a totally new 
side of life, had used it later for her freshman themes, 
"The Psychology of Selling," a searching essay on floor- 
walkers, original and rather delightful, she thought. Won- 
derful field for writing — Gregg's, such a huge place, so 
rushed, alive with strenuous salesgirls. A good store, 
catering obviously to the house-aproned type of customer, 
ponderous and squeaky shoed, grim-faced and violent over 
the special sales. 

Martha hurried into the store, past two guards standing 
at the entrance. They wouldn't remember her of course. 
She thought with approval of the felt hat sweeping down 
over one eye, of her sheer stockings and high heeled shoes. 
"808 Contingent," but she was Martha now, an individual, 
all-powerful. She was walking through the main floor, 
looking critically at "Today's Specials," at the tables piled 
high with bargains, rayon shirts brilliantly hued, $.69, 
hand embroidered nightgowns that seemed made of sheet- 
ing, long woolen underwear stretched and begrimed. A 
busy day, good values! The customers were pushing, 
elbowing. She watched them distantly. Great, hulking 
animals — she had never recovered from her disgust at 
them. The girls looked tired; they always did at five 
o'clock. Standing all day, or ducking down behind the 
counter for fresh goods, poor devils! She recalled how their 
legs must ache behind the knees, how their backs must 
feel strained, wrenched out of position. Thank heavens 
she wasn't going back to that — tomorrow. 

Her enthusiasm rose as she mounted to the second floor. 
She stared about her a minute and then jumped on the 
escalator to the third. She even dared to run up the last 
few steps, pushing past two customers who swayed and 
searched frantically for their high black shoes. Young, 
she was young! Let the sour old things grumble about her; 



34 SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 

let them pant and heave to their hearts' content. She 
hurried to the floor and glanced about her. Sure enough — 
she had sold in that very place, women's house dresses, 
wasn't it — striped broadcloth in tremendous sizes? There 
had been one dreadful customer, most grotesque bulk of a 
woman, and going to get married that afternoon. Martha 
remembered trying to stretch her arms about the heaving 
waist, grunting as she had attempted to tie the belt in the 
rear somewhere — she would never forget the sensation. 
That was a good day, all the girls had made their quotas. 
She went on swiftly from aisle to aisle, surveying the 
counters quickly. Women's clothes. As usual they were 
in frightful taste, poor lines and trimming. The store 
needed a new buyer. Old "Dora" (they always called her 
that) was getting too ancient; she was so difficult. 

Martha found herself looking for anyone who had been 
there before. There was a red-headed girl like one she had 
known, but she looked too old, lines about her eyes and 
mouth. Still — three years, you couldn't tell. Perhaps Mr. 
Crosby — . She glanced about briskly. He had certainly 
been insolent, perfectly impossible. But he wouldn't act 
that way now — indeed no, why he'd just cringe. It was 
only with the girls that he . 

She found herself in the sweater department. Instinc- 
tively she began to finger critically. Much better lot this 
year — less stripes and a more secure weave. There were 
still better ones on the counter, arranged in neat piles of 
every color. She hurried over to make sure. "These are 
nice — awfully good-looking," she smiled at the girl behind 
the counter. "I might take one back to school." She had 
dumped her bundles with a sigh of relief. "There — I'd like 
a size 32, I think. Isn't that a nice shade of blue!" 

The salesgirl blossomed immediately. "You know Miss, 
I like that the best myself. It would look pretty on you!" 
There was something young and confidential about her, a 
radiating friendliness. "Still the green's nice, too. A lot of 
the young ladies have been buyin' green — " She drew a 
"green" from its immaculate tissue covering. Martha 
watched approvingly. Nice girl, she liked her. They began 
to talk, of the store, the customers. Martha confessed that 
she had worked in Gregg's once — a contingent — by the end 
of the summer she had been exhausted — no, she was going 
back to school, but she might work in the store some day — 



SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 35 

a lot of the girls did that when they "got-out." She was 
relieved to learn that Mr. Crosby had recently been fired, 
that one of the girls had finally complained. The girl 
smoothed the sweaters gently. "Sure was time, Miss, he 
was pretty terrible at times, cutting up something awful, 
though he never tried nothin' definite on me — " 

They talked until Martha suddenly remembered. She 
had to catch the train home. There was a clock near the 
escalator — quarter after five. Less than twenty minutes 
for the Tube and those dreadful stairs on the other end. 
She would have to tear. "I'll take the green, yes, size 32," 
the words hurried out, "C.O.D. — I won't have to wait!" 
She gave her name and address in a frenzy of haste, and 
swept up the bundles from the counter. The girl was 
writing busily, mouthing each letter. Martha glanced at 
her for a minute. She felt something ceremonious, almost 
sacred in that look. It was as though her two personalities, 
the salesgirl and the schoolgirl were meeting on common 
ground, gripping hands mutely, beautifully. Martha real- 
ized it suddenly, so sharply that she could have cried. But 
instead she pressed the bundles to her chest and started 
to run toward the elevator. No, they would be slow, 
crowded. She decided on the stairs and wheeled about. 
Her heels were making a resounding clatter over the floor. 
"Lightfoot the Deer" — it was her habit to whisper friendly 
names at herself. She gathered speed, momentum and 
plunged toward the front of the store. 

She was suddenly aware of the guards that seemed to 
fill the store. But then Gregg's had always view T ed every 
customer as a prospective thief — nothing particularly new 
about that. You couldn't blame them either; something 
was missed every day. All the departments boasted of 
harrowing experiences. Of course they had to look out for 
things, catering to a class of customer always in search of 
bargains. Still, there were so many guards, hundreds of 
them! Martha hurried past, half aware of their grim faces 
and forbidding stature, of the pearl grey of their uniforms. 
How suspicious and distrustful they seemed, nerve-rack- 
ingly so. Already she had begun to feel guilty, like a 
criminal on his getaway. 

She found the stairs at last. Only one chance in a million 
that her train would wait, a wreck or something. Still, 
she'd try — . The bundles were slipping down almost to 



36 SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 

her waist. She clutched them, plunging down one step 
after another. "Stay up ankles!" (they had always been 
weak, but never like this) "Keep to the steps there, feet, 
or there'll be hell to pay!" Talking to herself as usual. 
Perhaps she would outgrow the habit some day, but you 
couldn't be sure about infantilisms. Grey uniforms melted 
in and out of the haze. Lord, dear Lord, what a store; 
Sing Sing must give something of the same impression. 
But it made you almost want to steal something, that was 
the awful effect, to steal something just to see whether or 
not you could — but how foolish! Too great a risk, and 
besides those grey uniforms weren't meant to conceal a 
sense of humor. Asinine thing even to imagine! 

The door at last! She hurtled through it and out to the 
street. She found herself emerging from the vest of a fat 
man. "Pardon me" — but the bundles at least, were still 
intact. Poor thing! Landing full force like that, must 
have knocked the wind out of him! She collected her 
dignity. "Entitled: Hurrying for a train!" Her blasted 
monologue again; but it cheered her as she started across 
the street against the traffic, warmed her as she dodged a 
taxi. The crowd on the side-w r alk swept her back as she 
mounted the curb. "Heave ho, my laddie!" She had 
never felt more completely happy, exuding a sort of in- 
dividual sunshine. Her shoulders swayed with self-satis- 
faction. Noise, ceaseless rush, the elevateds roaring by, a 
policeman whistling and swearing at a smug-faced and 
apparently deaf taxi-driver. Good old New York! Martha 
loved it; she felt as though she must tell it so, hug it. 
"Wonderful, wonderful city!" No other city ever had such 
a sky sharp and blue above those buildings. No other 
city — She had bumped headlong into the man selling rubber 
dolls on the corner. "Pardon me! Always a lady!" She 
breathed deeply. She must remember every bit of it, even 
that disgusting little man — store it up for the winter days 
musty and intellectual. That green sweater would be all 
right for school, she'd have to pack it in her suitcase — the 
trunk might burst during the night, as it was — thirty-two 
was the right size — it wouldn't bag on the shoulders — the 
girl had said so — nice girl! 



SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 37 

Her arms ached — so many bundles — she'd never seen so 
many! Martha squeezed them approvingly — that nice little 

pocketbook, the heels on the shoes were just per " but 

her thoughts refused to come; they seemed sickeningly to 
be stiffening, freezing somewhere. "Why, you poor ass, 
don't tell me you did that!" She had stopped stock still 
before the subway entrance — of all things, talking out loud 
to herself there! People pushed back and forth, staring at 
her. What must they think — in the middle of the rush 
hour, standing bolt still like a blooming dummy! But she 
hadn't bought it; she didn't want it — my God and there 
it sat as big as life, all unwrapped and indecent. She stared 
again. Sure enough, a green sweater, size thirty-two, 
identical to the one she had sent home. She swayed back 
and forth. It was too awful — so she had picked it up and 
run clickety-click out of the store, stolen it! She stood 
horror-stricken, oblivious of the bumping of the crowd. 
She would have to be calm, to think. She led herself 
gently toward a shop window and leaned on it heavily. 
Picking up the bundles of course — but how dreadful — and 
what must the nice girl have thought, how could she have 
any faith in human nature left? All those grey uniforms — 
and they hadn't even noticed — kleptomaniac, shoplifter, 
halfwit 

Well, that wasn't constructive thinking. Action, positive 
action was what she needed. Martha thought of dropping 
the sweater, of watching it trampled and mashed under 
incessant feet. She would wave farewell and disappear 
forever into the subway entrance. Mystery woman! But 
people didn't throw sweaters around New York streets and 
disappear. She must go back, return it personally to that 
nice girl. "I'm awfully sorry. I seem to have gone off 
with this!" Could she explain? It was the only decent 
remedy certainly. Besides it would be rather a noble 
gesture, — honestly personified. But her face felt hot and 
dry. How funny! Still, there was nothing humorous — 
nothing at all funny. Fool! Great blurbing fool! She was 
kicking the pavement now, crushing her bundles together. 

She turned and started back across the street. A trolley 
swung past in front of her. Close shave! She wished she 
had hit it, had knocked it for a row. The crowd was in- 
furiating, too. She fairly hurled people out of the way. 
Plunging ahead she felt relieved for a minute. 



38 SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 

But suppose she should be caught on the way to the 
third Boor, returning the nasty thing? Nothing very noble 
about that — distinct anti-climax instead. And all those 
awful grey uniforms again. She would never get by them, 
never in the world! By now a general alarm must have been 
sent through the store anyway. Twenty years old — looks 
like nice young lady (she did, didn't she?) but — Martha 
didn't care to fill in the "but" — "wearing blue felt hat and 
dirty gloves!" She rebuked herself silently. That wasn't 
nice; no time for joking. The floorwalker might be waiting 
for her upstairs, in ambush somewhere behind a tree of 
dresses. He would appear briskly, slightly pink about the 
eyes. "This young lady took a sweater, did she — just a 
minute, just a minute!" Important, pencil behind one ear 
— Martha knew the type. 

"Bringing back the sweater." She captioned it neatly, 
as she started through the revolving door. She was half 
amused by the sound of it. "My dear, I was never so 
embarrassed in my life; you didn't say a word all evening!" 
My goodness, she just insisted on keeping cheery, smile, 
smile, smile! But she was taking it back — up to the third 
floor. Tense minute, frightful situation — if it were only a 
dream from which one could wake — Martha walked for- 
ward with an air of determination. If she used the esca- 
lator perhaps — What? They weren't even going to let her 
in? They were going to push her out? Complications! So 
they were crying for her to keep it; but she didn't need two 
sweaters — couldn't possibly — . A grey uniform was sud- 
denly before her, eyes cold and stern. She was afraid, 
desperately afraid. A hand was grasping her arm. "You 
are under arrest!" She waited breathlessly. No, he wanted 
her to "get out lady; the store was closing." 

"But you don't understand. I want to return something." 

She could return it tomorrow. The store opened at nine 
o'clock every morning. Now it was five-thirty and no 
customers could enter. 

The strain had begun to tell on Martha. She was going 
to cry. How awful — it would be indecent to cry before a 
Gregg's guard! Her lips too — that sickening twitch at one 
corner. 

But resolutions shot through her mind suddenly. She 
would simply have to give it to him. Perhaps it wouldn't 
be so awful just take it calmly so — from the pile of bundles 



SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 39 

and hand it to him! There was something suddenly glorious 
in the whole situation. Courage — it would take courage! 

Martha realized it at the very moment she found herself 
placed firmly on the sidewalk. "At nine o'clock tomorrow, 
lady!" The voice trailed away through the revolving door. 

Her heart was pounding with rage. Stupid — why he 
didn't even deserve to keep his job — blind as an owl — and 
when she was trying to return it! She could feel anger 
stiffening her face, a hot, steaming rag of fury. "Listen 
here," her voice at least was steady. "You'll have to help 
me then. You see — I took this by mistake." She held out 
something green, something half-concealed in tissue paper. 
"It's a sweater. I must have picked it up — by mistake." 

The guard shot to attention. Business-like! His eyes 
gleamed hard, penetrating. Martha was being drawn 
firmly toward the inner door. 

"And now girlie — ". Of course he thought she had 
stolen it. He could keep right on thinking so, too! But 
that would mean jail. 

Martha would have liked to strike out his eyes, to pound 
his chest with her fist. "I was hurrying — I bet I've missed 
my train now too — returning the old thing — " 

She understood that he was not interested. 

"It isn't every customer that would return — I'm so 
sorry. I came running right back." 

An inner struggle seemed to be taking place. She watched 
him note the price of her shoes, the cut of her suit, finally 
her face hot and miserable. 

Did she look honest? Had she remnants of gentility? 
For the first time Martha questioned herself impersonally. 
She pitched her voice lower, a little tearfully. "I'm most 
embarrassed. I hope you'll pardon me, I really do!" 
Before she had finished, she realized its perfection; the 
charm was about to work. 

The guard unbent suddenly. My Lord! So he could 
smile — and such teeth! No wonder he didn't do it more 
often. He was speaking now, a rollicking lilt to his voice. 
"We don't have this happen much, Miss. It's all right 
though!" 

Then unbelievedly, she was out on the street again. But 
now there was no feeling of relief, no appreciation of the 



4 o smith COLLEGE MONTHLY 

humorous. Instead she was muttering to herself — "Fool — 
blasted idiot!" Martha pushed her way toward the tube, 
using her dhows mercilessly. There, so there! She set her 
teeth resolutely but it didn't help. Fool, fool, senseless, 
blundering fool! Her heels caught the rhythm in a strange 
unhappy clatter. 

But looking around at the mass of faces, impersonal, 
disinterested, she began to be comforted. They didn't 
know; they couldn't guess! What a joke! 



>€&&&• 



BEFORE CATCHING THE 12.15 TRAIN 

Constance Pardee 



I wish I knew why clocks are slow 
And when this class will let me go. 
Will there be time to catch my train ; 
And is it really going to rain? 
Or is it cold enough to snow? 

Why communistic movements grow 
And w r hat they mean I do not know. 
What is the matter with my brain? 
I wish I knew. 

will the sweet cool night wind blow 
Among the pines, and stars hang low? 
And will you take me down the lane 
Where small spring voices sing, again? 
W T hy do I have to love you so? 

1 wish I knew. 



SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 41 

FLYING BOATS 

Ellen Robinson 




OR an hour David had been waiting for a bite. 
He drew in his home-made tackle and laid it 
carefully beside him. Then he stood up and 
stretched himself, his arms high above his head. 
He scowled down at the still, black water. 

He was standing on a bridge, and a very unusual bridge, 
too, for it stopped in the middle of the river. Twenty years 
earlier the failure of a short-lived and over-ambitious rail- 
road company had resulted in this incomplete structure — 
two cement arches and then a blunt end, with four rusty 
rails still extending to within a foot of the edge. It was on 
this last foot of cement that David now stood, teetering 
back and forth a little, as if taunting the water with his 
security. 

He reached behind his worm-can and brought out a 
handful of those bright-colored squares which kindger- 
garten teachers turn to so many absorbing uses. He began 
folding one of them slowly, his dirty thumb-nail pressing 
the creases and his tongue passing hesitatingly over his 
lower lip. Finally he held out a little orange boat and sur- 
veyed it with one eye shut. He took a leafy twig from a 
pile he had evidently brought with him and stuck it up in 
the center as a mast. Then with a long, arc-like swing of 
his arm he sent the boat over the edge to the water below, 
and immediately knelt to watch it. It had landed on its 
side and was sinking fast. Stubbornly he set to work on a 
blue square. Again his tongue moved slowly between his 
lips. 

A shadow passed over his work; he looked up so quickly 
that he bit his tongue and grimaced. A girl in a pink cotton 
dress stood near him, staring down into the water. After 
a few minutes she turned toward him. 

"What you doing, sonny?" 

"Making boats." 

A long silence. She watched his fingers. At last he threw 
the blue boat over and it sank as the other had. 

"Too light, sonny. Try putting dirt in 'em." 



42 SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 

He appeared to consider the suggestion and finally drew 
out of his back pocket an egg-shaped pebble, quite smooth 
and white. He placed it beside him while he made another 
boat ; then he arranged the pebble as ballast and tossed the 
boat out; but the stone fell out before the tiny craft hit the 
water. 

"Lemme show you." She snatched a shiny black sheet 
of paper and began to fold quickly, her long orange-red 
nails trembling a little. Silently she held out her hand and 
he gave her a pebble. She continued to fold, somehow 
enclosing the weight underneath the center of the boat. 
He took it in his hand, examined it carefully, and threw it 
out. It landed gracefully, floating on down the river and 
around the bend. 

"It it's heavier, it falls closer?" he said. 

"Yes." She was gazing directly down over the end of 
the bridge. 

"If I jumped from here, would I make much of a splash?" 

She jerked around toward him. "What made you think 
of that?" 

"Well, I know about Horatius. . ." 

"Who? . . . Oh, never mind." She sighed. 

"Would I?" 

"Would you what?" 

"Splash." 

"Not much. Too little, I guess." 

A long pause. She wiped the palms of her hands on a 
bright handkerchief. 

"Would you?" 

"Would I what?" 

"Splash." 

"No — yes — I don't know." She seemed to forget him 
and began to talk to herself in a low voice. He tried to 
make a boat like hers, but he spoiled several and crumpled 
them up and threw them away. He struggled with a yellow 
one. She clutched his arm. 

"Say, got a pencil, sonny?" 

Leaning forward he felt in his back pocket again and 
brought out a stub of red crayon. She grabbed the last 
square of paper, another black one, and began to write on 
the white back of it. 

He had just thrown the yellow boat over, and with fair 
success. She folded the paper once. 



SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 43 

"Listen, sonny." 

He looked at her; her large mouth jerked. 

"You know the gas station on the state road? Right 
across from the post-office?" 

He nodded. "It's red." 

"Yes, and you know Bill there?" 

He thought a minute. "He took Annie Wilcox to the 
Chatauqua every night last week." 

"Oh, I know, I know ... all right. Get this straight 
now, sonny. You gotta go right now and give this to Bill. 
Hear?" 

He felt the slippery surface of the paper. She took out a 
string of large green beads and held them out to him. 
They looked like marbles; he put them in his pocket. 

He started back to the village by a short cut known only 
to himself, first heading toward an old deserted barn. He 
had just rounded one of its grey, rotten corners, when the 
black paper slipped from his hand. He bent to pick it up — 
and stopped suddenly in a half-crouched position, listening. 
Then he straightened up and turned back. "I guess she 
did do it. Sounded like a good one, too," he said aloud. 

He reached the end of the bridge and looked down. 
Everything was the same, except for a few widening circles 
on the dark water and four or five bubbles. "Didn't even 
get to the bend either. Must be pretty deep." 

He sat down and twisted about uncomfortably until he 
had removed another pebble from his back pocket. He 
played with it a bit and then began to crease the black 
paper, but with the written side out. 

"Can't ever see the black ones from 'way up here." 

It landed nicely. "Never had one with figures. It's 
pretty." 

He wound his line about his pole and, slinging his worm- 
can over one shoulder, went off toward the old grey barn. 



44 sMITII COLLEGE MONTHLY 

THROUGH A GLASS, DARKLY 

Ruth Rodney King 




HE countryside slipped swiftly past the window 
as the train pushed into the coming twilight. 
Quickly a town would pass, with tall factories 
and houses that soon grew fewer, and became 
countryside once more. The girl looking out the window 
noticed this absently as she thought "It is over. I've seen 
him and said good-bye. It is over." It had been so swift, 
like a cloud passing over the sun. 

Going down through this landscape the day before, she 
had felt a little sick with excitement. She had thought of 
the week-end with the tremulous delight that anticipation 
arouses. She was going to see him, for the first time since 
he had been in Africa. That was seven months. She was 
going to see him, be w T ith him, the w r hole week-end. Her 
heart surged suddenly in realization, and a tremulous 
joyousness filled her so that she sang beneath her breath, 
looking out the window. "See him, see him. I'm going to 
see him." 

Then she had told herself. "Now, this is your chance. 
Show him — Oh, make him feel it again. Be clever, gracious, 
friendly. Ah, that's it, friendly, but not eager. No, no, 
not too eager. That time last spring — No, no more of that. 
Be master all the time. Make him feel it again." She had 
planned very clearly what she would do, when the train 
pulled into the station, incredibly sooner than she expected, 
and she was on the platform before she was prepared to 
meet him, unable to see clearly in the broad sunlight after 
the dark train. 

He had come tow T ard her, taken her suitcase, shaken 
hands with her, and she was in the roadster, while he 
Started the car, with familiar brown hands on the wheel, 
his familiar bare head twisted over his shoulder to watch 
tlu traffic as he swung around the street out of the station. 
Everything about him and about being with him seemed 
so familiar that her tense excitement diminished to ner- 
vousness that forced her to talk rapidly about the train 
trip, the nice day, and the cold spring, pulling on one glove 
a- -In- talked, meticulously fitting each linger with the 



SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 45 

fingers of her other hand. She was aware that she was not 
fulfilling her new-made plans, but the strain of the present 
kept her chattering on, scarcely daring to relax enough to 
look at him. 

At last she had turned her head, and seeing him so 
clearly, she caught her breath. Oh, she was there, beside 
him, with him. But she had said, ''Well, how are you, 
since your long trip?" 

He had turned his blue eyes on her, faintly smiling. 
"Just the same," he had answered. 

And so he was in every respect the same, "but," she told 
herself with quick defiance, "I'll do it. I'll be master. 
But there's plenty of time. All afternoon, and tonight, and 
tomorrow. All that time — " as she realized this her breath 
quickened. Anything could happen in all that time. She 
made conversation: "Was Africa nice?" 

"Hardly nice, very interesting. Dirty place though — Fez. 
Thousands of little shops, arches, walls, mosques, you know 
the type. The Arabs I liked. They all over study the 
Koran and sit cross-legged for hours in meditative silence. 
'If Allah wills it' is their philosophy. I like that, too. But 
I grew tired of it." 

"Is there anything you don't grow tired of?" 

"No." 

A flat answer, and she had resented it, and resented the 
conversation. "Why does he always go off that way? He 
never thinks of me even when I'm here, beside him. He 
liked the Arabs. But I'll make him, I'll make him. Soon, 
now, soon." They were at his house then. She ran up the 
steps to greet his mother and left him to change for luncheon. 
Her excitement rose again while she was alone. Now, she 
thought, now it will all start. 

But through luncheon he had argued about a book review 
with his father, and she had made talk with his mother. 
After lunch he said, "Let's play tennis. We can get a 
lovely tan, today." 

The tennis had been nice. They talked little and played 
hard. It seemed to bridge the strangeness better than con- 
versation. They played till supper time and walked home 
in silence. She felt relaxed, and drawn closer to him by the 
peace of the spring evening. As they entered the cool dark 
house and flung themselves into low chairs to smoke and 
rest, fear laid a finger on her heart; the time was slipping — 



4 f> SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 

but there's tonight, tonight, she cried to herself. The 
mystery of a spring night. 

Her spirits rose swiftly, and impelled by them she crossed 
to where he lay sprawled, a cigarette in one lean hand, a 
magazine in the other. 

"It's so nice to be seeing you again," she said smiling 
down at him. He looked up at her and smiled absently in 
return. 

"I think the tripe in this sheet is incredible. Listen to 
this — " and he read her an article which she did not hear, 
looking at his curly head and brown cheek. 

Supper passed as luncheon had. The evening was soft 
and dark, with faint stars. They had gone for a long ride 
into the country. Being with him, she felt suspended in 
time, unable to think, or carry out what she wished to 
think, and the evening slipped by in careless easy chatter, 
and comfortable silences. When they had returned, and 
were walking up the lawn, he had pulled her to him gently, 
and kissed her. It had seemed a part of the soft night, and 
she had felt no other emotion at it. It was only later, when 
she was in bed that she knew most of the time was gone. 
"He kissed you, you fool! Why didn't you do something 
then? Oh, tomorrow I will! Tomorrow!" 

She awoke late in the morning, and had a lonely break- 
fast. He was still asleep, his mother said. She had felt a 
hurt resentment that he had not w r anted to wake early, 
and she wished for him while she w r atched his mother 
straighten a pile of books, stopping to blow ashes off the 
table top. 

"He smokes too much," she said to the girl, who agreed. 
Talking like that, as if he were a naughty little boy, and 
so intimately, with his own mother. When he came down, 
very late, she had been brisk in her greeting. She sat at the 
table while he ate, and they had talked desultorily. She 
fell wildly impatient to be off, to do something, to start, 
but the weight of the present moment crushed her thoughts 
into impotent anxiety. 

Hut they had played tennis again, and were in the middle 
of a game when his father came out on the verandah and 
called to them. He had been confused by the daylight 
saving system, and her train left sooner than they had 
expected. In excited haste she had packed and said good- 
bye to his parents, and was in the roadster, while his 



SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 47 

brown hands busied with the car, his head over his should( r 
he backed out of the drive. 

"It's been grand, seeing you again." Oh, quick! there's 
no time left, no time. "I've enjoyed it. You change so 
little. It's nice to find something that changes little." 

He smiled at her. His blue eyes — oh hurry, hurry. But 
what can I say? What can I do? 

The dream-like quality of the moment persisted and she 
was unable to focus her thoughts. They were at the station, 
shaking hands. A despairing mist swirled around her 
thoughts. It's over, it's over. She said "Good-bye, and 
thank you so much. Good-bye." 

A smile, bare head in the sun, and the train pulling away 
as he walked back to the car. She had found a seat beside 
a window, and looked out at the twilight country absently 
as she thought, "It's over. I've seen him, and said good- 
bye. It's all over." 



4 S SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 

44 OLD MEN SITTING IN THE SUN" 

Frances Ranney 




LD Mr. Muse sal in the warm afternoon sunlight, 
watching the people 4 on the verandah of the hotel. 
Girls with bare arms and tanned legs, men in 
flannels or golf knickers, older women sipping 
their tea— he liked to watch them all, sitting there in the 
sun and dreaming dreams about them. 

Young people he liked best of all, their senseless chatter 
and their noisy laughter. He wished that one of them, that 
tall girl with the laughing eyes, perhaps, might come over 
and talk to him for a few minutes some day. But of course 
they had no time to waste on an old man, a twisted, crippled 
old man at that. They were always so busy, those young 
ones — swimming, golf, and tennis all day and dancing until 
three in the morning. Nothing seemed to tire them, to 
bore them; but then, they were young. 

He, too, had been like that. He liked to congratulate 
himself that he had done everything, everything. And there 
was nothing he regretted. After the first stroke, his doctor 
had said, "You'll have to take it easy, man — you've been 
going it too hard." He had only laughed and bought a 
new polo pony. Why live at all if you have to mark time, 
he had reasoned? The second stroke had paralyzed his 
left side and made him almost helpless, but still he re- 
gretted nothing he had done. He had paid for what he 
had received at the hands of Fate, and what he had re- 
ceived he deemed worth the price. 

Now, an old man, bent and shrivelled, he sat waiting in 
the Bermuda sun, waiting for the stroke that would put 
an end to everything. Occasionally, he would hear women 
gossiping over their teacups — "Pathetic, isn't he? I do 
pity him. So handsome, too, and, my dear, they say — " 
Or he would see them watch with sympathetic eyes his 
painful progress down the verandah steps. Pity him? Bah! 
H< pitied them, their clumsy bodies and their faded eyes. 
What he loved was youth! 

The sun was casting oblique shadows on the verandah 
(loor. Soon it would be time for the tea-dancing to begin. 
He would go inside where he could watch the whirling 



SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 49 

couples. He reached for his cane and tried to pull himself 
to his feet. 

"Mr. Mase!" A solicitous, anxious voice hurtled itself 
through the afternoon warmth. 

The old man looked up and saw a strong, capable-looking 
woman leave the shade of one of the huge parasols on the 
lawn and come hastily toward him. Her eyes squinted 
against the glare of sunlight on the white hotel, and her 
mouth was puckered with anxiety. 

Mr. Mase sat back in his chair and watched her approach, 
peevishly. He had forgotten Miss Whitby for the moment; 
but she was one he could not forget for long. For the past 
three years she had been as a part of his physical being, 
doing for him the things he could no longer do, running 
errands for him, writing letters, combining the offices of 
nurse, secretary, and companion, until now, with her pro- 
fessional, yet flurried solicitude, she seemed to him almost 
parasitic. At first he had admired her strength and energy, 
had realized his helplessness without her, but of late she 
had become almost intolerable to him. Her vitality of 
movement when he walked only with difficulty, her cease- 
less care for his well-being and comfort, her worried brows 
and anxious mouth — why couldn't she leave him alone for 
a time? 

Miss Whitby hurried on to the verandah, breathless and 
a little damp. "Do be careful, Mr. Mase! Why didn't 
you call me if you wanted to get up?" 

She put a strong arm about his shoulders and half lifted 
him to his feet. The old man shook the arm aside im- 
patiently and pounded his cane on the floor. 

"Get away! Get away! I can walk all right, I guess." 

Slowly, painfully, he moved across the porch, dragging 
his paralyzed leg and leaning heavily on his cane. "Poor 
old man, I pity him," he heard someone say. "But good- 
ness knows, I pity his nurse the more. What she must put 
up with!" 

He smiled to himself — "What she must put up with!" 
Of course Miss Whitby put up with a lot. That was what 
he paid her for. If only she wouldn't keep reminding him 
that he was old, that he was helpless! 

Inside the orchestra was tuning up and the tables around 
the edge of the floor were rapidly filling. Miss Whitby 
pulled his chair out for him, and he sank into it with a 



5o >MITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 

sigh of relief. Every clay it was getting harder for him to 
move. Soon he would have nothing to look forward to 
except sitting in the sun, sitting, and watching — and 
waiting. 

"Tea, with cream," Miss Whitby was telling the waiter. 
"And plain bread and butter — cakes don't seem to agree 
with him." 

"Bread and butter!" he exploded. "Can't I even order 
what I want? Get away! Get away! Leave me alone!" 

The floor was as quiet and glassy as a Wisconsin lake on 
a summer evening, he thought. Pretty girls in cool, float- 
ing dresses fluttered from table to table like great pastel- 
colored butterflies. He wished that one would float his 
way. But no, they had no time! Sitting in the sun — that 
was all old men were good for. 

The orchestra started up with a crash, then swung into 
a slippery, lilting melody. "It's a Precious Little Thing 
(ailed Love," he heard a girl at the table next to his sing 
to her companion. Honeymooners, he catalogued them 
briefly. He was sorry. They were too young, too happy 
to be married. Marriage was for the middle-aged. He was 
glad he had never succumbed. 

Couple after couple whirled into the middle of the floor, 
dipping, swirling, side-stepping, until the whole room 
became an ever-changing kaleidoscope of tanned, laughing 
faces, pastel colors, and white flannel trouser legs. He was 
happy through the process of identification. He himself 
was floating along the mirrored floor, that tall girl in 
yellow in his arms. 

"I've brought you a magazine, Mr. Mase." The harried, 
anxious voice grated against his ear drums and scarred the 
surface of his dream. 

Magazine be damned! He didn't want to read. "Take 
it away. Don't want it. Leave me alone!" he shouted 
test ily. 

"But I should think you'd want to do something," per- 
sisted the solicitous voice. "You can't just sit all day." 

Mr. Mase did not answer her; he was already lost in the 
mazes of his dream. "Lover, come back to me," the violin- 
ist was wailing through a megaphone. He had never gone 
back, never — 

The girl in the yellow dress swung by him, her eyes 
laughing into his. Suddenly he had an idea. He would 



SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 51 

dance! What had been holding him back all these years? 
The mere words of an over-cautious doctor? He'd show 
him; he'd show Miss Whitby; he'd show those lumpy old 
women on the verandah; he'd show everyone! Why, the 
music alone would carry him along, once he got to his feet. 

He reached for his cane and tried to pull himself up. His 
hands shook with the effort, and his breath came in hard, 
fast gusts. Would he have to call for Miss Whitby to help 
him? No, by God, he would not! He'd get up by himself. 
The music beat against his head, pounding, pounding. He 
sank back into the chair again. A drink, that was what he 
needed, a good strong Scotch and soda. Tea — bah! Miss 
Whitby be damned! 

He summoned a waiter. 

The Scotch seemed to fill his veins with a cool, energizing 
fire. How many? Why it was four years since he had 
tasted anything stronger than tea. What a fool he'd been! 
He felt better already. 

Once more he reached for his cane. The music was 
pulsing more rapidly now. Faster and faster the couples 
whirled, until the whole room was a hazy blur of color 
and sound. 

A high, thin voice, higher, even, than the shrieking saxo- 
phones, came floating through the blur to him. It held a 
familiarly anxious note. "Mr. Mase!" it called from a great 
distance. "Do be careful!" 

The old man glared about the room, but he could see 
nothing, nothing save the blurring, changing colors, dipping, 
whirling about. That had been Miss Whitby's voice. Where 
was the fool? Thought she could boss him, did she? Well, 
he'd show her. He was going to dance! 

His muscles strained until they stood out in great knots 
on his neck as he tried to pull himself to his feet. He could 
feel the warm blood rushing toward his head. He must get 
up before Miss Whitby came. He must dance! 

The music, pounding rhythmically, frantically on, crashed 
against his body in heavy waves of sound. His knees 
crumpled under him and something inside his head snapped. 
He was falling, falling. It was true what Miss Whitby had 
said. The only thing old men were good for was sitting in 
the sun. 



EDITORIAL B 




In a recent review of Monthly the advertisers were 
praised for, at least, our worthy reviewer found, they 
aspired, and advertised those aspirations, to something 
"new and different." Behold a more than worthy prompt- 
ness in taking a hint. The advertisers' word was taken for 
the originality of their products. Certainly. One should 
always take an advertiser's word. Monthly has bought 
herself a new dress and like the professional mannequin 
her dress is to advertise the products of her house. She 
is too vain in her new clothes? Well, perhaps; but she has 
found a new idea with which to back them up. 

Did we say a new idea? — because we were mistaken. It 
is not a new idea at all. In adopting it Monthly is only 
following the example of her elders and betters. It is only 
a new idea to her, it is a very old and wellworn idea to 
many other magazines. It has often seemed a pity that, 
in a magazine that comes as often as every month, the 
literary form should be so strictly and entirely limited to 
the regular monthly progression of the writing courses in 
College. One can trace the assignments of plot and charac- 
ter-drawing, the accumulation of hours, in the contents 
of Monthly and this leads often to a certain monotony 
of form. It is obvious that in a college of this size there 
are other subjects worth writing and reading about than 
those one chooses for a theme course. 

And so with her new dress (thank you, she is glad you like 
it) Monthly announces the opening of a Forum. Yes, we 
called it a Forum but we would be glad of any more original 
su ggestions. ' 'A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. 
There has always been more than enough material in College 
that should be written up, but that finds no place either 
in Weekly, Monthly or the late Cat. Monthly institutes 
a home for these very important waifs and strays. For 



SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 53 

example everyone is interested in the new dormitories 
which will soon be started, the consequent abolishment of 
old houses and the effect which this change of location will 
have upon the college as a whole. The Forum is a place 
for your opinion on any such interesting subject that 
deserves to be well written up. There are plenty of them 
both in College and outside, those subjects which form the 
basis for so many interesting discussions. Do you remem- 
ber the table conversations through the weeks Mr. Fay 
was lecturing on reparations or, to hark back, during the 
presidential elections in the fall? It has always seemed a 
pity that the College literary magazine should represent 
so little the current trend of thought and opinion among 
the students; and we are all of us almost as interested in 
learning what others are thinking as we are in telling 
others what we think. It is moreover hoped that the 
faculty opinions may from time to time reveal themselves 
in Monthly's forum. 

Monthly is optimistic about her new venture. Her 
new cover has helped to give her the courage of her con- 
victions and she is further encouraged by the generosity 
of the Alumnae in this Senior issue. She hopes to start 
her Forum in the fall and that it will find her with a wider 
representation of contributors. 



♦^r 



Compliments of 



Class of 



IOIO 



Qotnpliments of 



Class of 



1928 



BOOK REVIEWS 



THE BURNING FOUNTAIN 

Eleanor Carrol Chilton The John Day Co. 1929 

A critic on the New York Times recently reviewed The 
Burning Fountain as "a -poet's novel," tentatively implying 
some disparagement of it on this account. It is not clear 
whether he means that the book is too poetic to exist as 
prose, or whether it is a book which appeals particularly 
and exclusively to poets — one of which, I gather, he is not. 
As is the way with labels, this disposes too simply of a 
rather difficult novel. Whichever interpretation is attributed 
to the reviewer's phrase, either one is equally undiscerning; 
they overlook the serious intent with which it was written, 
and fasten or try to fasten on what is purposely elusive. 
It does not, of course, need to be defended against such 
criticism, but its special qualities are brought out by the 
juxtaposition. The term "poetic" as applied to prose has 
many vague implications, but, broadly, it suggests a funda- 
mental unimportance, an indefiniteness of plan, a certain 
tendency to pause and ramify with delightful inconsequence, 
and style a little too lyrical to be good. Since the critic 
obviously is not using the word in Virginia Woolf's sense, 
it must be these faults that he condemns in The Burning 
Fountain, on what evidence I cannot see. One of the 
questions, if not the special question, of the book has to do 
with the nature of reality. It is not often that metaphysical 
theory is embodied in the characters of a novel: when it is, 
such a novel is apt to be more than ordinary, and unlikely 
to be described appropriately as "poetic." 

The answer Miss Chilton offers to the question is a 
double one. Like Miriam Henderson in Dorothy Richard- 
son's series, the characters of The Burning Fountain, 
Lynneth, of course, excepted, are projections of an im- 



56 SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 

agination which is Idealistic in the strict philosophic sense. 
They act on the principle that the essence of the universe 

is mental; they arc free subjects of their own wills. When 
Janet and Douglas were married they considered soberly 
whether they wanted children and how many. Alan and 
Joan were the results, in a sense, of rational prcarrangement, 
and. as Janet hoped, they grew up to be interesting and 
pleasant people, depending on their own ability to reason 
and to will. All of them, Alan, Joan, Claire and Douglas, 
have the consciousness of self, the analytical, introspective 
attitude of mind which is evident in so many of the young 
characters in modern novels. But there is Lynneth, the 
child of impulse and storm-madness, grown into a girl of 
nineteen, polite but abstracted, asking nothing of anyone 
except freedom to go out under the rain and lightning. She 
is an Eternal Principle in the shape of a human being, 
never a human being acting according to principle. And 
whatever the principle is that she embodies, — innocence, 
impersonality, "elemental tenderness," blind instinct, — it 
is definitely non-rational: the spiritual substance which she 
is cannot be understood on Idealistic premises. All of the 
other Kenwyns, and Clair and Douglas, are wholly human 
beings, and they are guided by rational law, but Lynneth's 
life suggests that beyond the phenomenal world there is a 
reality other than that of mind. If, in all strength, it is 
manifested in this world it conflicts with the manifestation 
of Mind, and cannot continue to exist. It kills itself, being 
too powerful, except as it is expressed frugally, sown 
shallow in every man. Without effort, Lynneth had over 
all those in the Kenwyn house an influence so strong as 
to be nearly tangible, and yet so subtle as to defy analysis. 
Each of these very sane people had a strange, sometimes 
perverse, sympathy for her. She seemed in some way to 
be inside of them. Perhaps this other reality she repre- 
sents is not only non-rational, but suprarational. Irre- 
spective of whether or not this speculation of Miss Chilton's 
i^ true, and, after all who shall say? — it is worth writing 
a book about, and probably worth the thought of that 
anti-poet, the reviewer on the New York Times, who, 
seated at a desk that seemed fairly solid and "looking out 
at a couple of hotels made of brick by men with trowels, 
found it difficult to succumb to Miss Chilton's fantasy." 
Fantasy is another odd label for The Burning Fountain. 



SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 57 

The execution of the idea is at once very able and a little 
out of balance. The novel is planned with extreme care, 
swinging in a circle beginning at The Tree with the passion 
of Donald and Janet which produced Lynneth, and ending 
at The Tree with her death by lightning. There is practi- 
cally no plot, and what narrative there is develops casually, 
without special regard for sequence. The interest centers 
in the people surrounding Lynneth and in the effect she 
produces on them. We are told that Lynneth behaves 
badly in thunderstorms, we begin to feel the dread of them 
that stirs the Kenwyns, and then, in the eventual April 
storm, we realize something of the madness which made 
her try to kill Donald and all the pity that gave Joan the 
desire and the strength to set her free. With a minimum 
of incident, Miss Chilton produces very dramatic suspense. 

The same care for pattern shows in the thoughts of the 
characters, which may revolve and intertwine among 
seemingly alien elements but which are brought into re- 
lation, sometimes tenuously, with the movement of the 
novel. It is in characterization, however, that Miss Chilton's 
balance is not perfect. Lynneth is indefinite, neither real 
or unreal; she is comprehensible only in her influence on 
others, she never exists in her own right. The rest of the 
characters are interesting and well differentiated, especially 
Douglas. It is to the method that the author uses to define 
them that objection may be made. Their conversations 
are brief, relatively unimportant, but authentic. If Miss 
Chilton had trusted more to the dialogue she handles so 
sensitively and accurately, she would have avoided the 
extended tedious pages in which each character describes 
himself by his thoughts. They would produce a more 
direct, convincing impression if they acted what they were, 
and their thoughts, clarified, more distinct, and less ex- 
pository, would profit by the reduction. 

In a recent book on prose writing Miss Edith Rickert 
quotes passages from Conrad, Meredith, Hudson, and 
others which, in sustained intensity, tone, and rhythm are 
prose poems. There are many passages in The Burning 
Fountain of which the same may be said, particularly in 
Part One and Part Three. "Then, far off, thunder rolled 
over the sky. The spell of the long stillness was broken 
and a gust of wind came across the hills. They could see 
it coming, as the forest bent before it, laying a red-gold 



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SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 59 

carpet of triumph. It came closer and closer. Now it was 
a silver track in the meadow, and, a breath later, the 
flowers about them stirred, Janet's wide skirts and a lock 
of her hair blew sideways, the trees rocked and swayed 
over their restless patches of shadow, and the first golden 
leaf fell and caught in Janet's dark hair. It was only for a 
moment. The wind trailed off, pushing the opposite hill- 
side before it, but the hypnotic quiet was gone with the 
fallen leaf, and over their heads the leaves were still stirring 
on motionless branches." In this sense, it is true that Miss 
Chilton's prose proves that she can write poetry when she 
cares to. The images she uses have the heightened im- 
agination and a freshness of perception which mark many 
of her poems in Fire and Sleet and Candlelight. The level 
of writing, — and it is a high one, — is maintained with un- 
usual ease, even when the thought substance of her charac- 
ters grows redundant. 

s. s. s. 



FURTHER POEMS OF EMILY DICKINSON 

Ed. Martha Dickinson Bianchi 

Little, Brown & Co. 1929 

"Not any more to be lacked, 
Not any more to be known — 
Denizens of 
Significance 
For a span so worn — 
Even Nature, Herself, 
Has forgot it is there — 
Too elate of her multitudes 
To retain despair. 

Of the ones that pursued it 
Suing it not to go — 
Some have solaced the longing 
To accompany; 

Some rescinded the wrench — 

Others — shall I say? 

Plated the residue of 

Woe 

With monotony." 



A GIFT STORE 

Every IVeek in the Year 


PATRONIZE 


Offering: 


OUR 


Choice and Unusual Things 




from all over the world and 


ADVERTISERS 


Featuring: 

Interesting Novelties in Bridge 




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SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 61 

The last part of this poem seems to express the feeling 
of most of the Further Poems of Emily Dickinson, which 
have just been discovered and published after having been 
withheld by her sister. The volume is rather disappointing 
beside The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, and the 
poem quoted indicates a reason. Lascelles Abercrombie 
says that withdrawing from the external world is not al- 
ways a merely negative gesture; it often represents a very 
positive faith in the greater value of inner experience — in 
the superiority of things conceived over things perceived. 
This was true of Emily Dickinson — when her world was 
shattered, she built herself another which was entirely one 
of vision and soundless contemplation, of "quietness dis- 
tilled," interrupted only by small low sounds like the hum 
of the bee. Her images were mostly of things vividly seen, 
and others were apt to be achieved by visual figures — 
"caravans of sound," and "the blue, uncertain, stumbling 
buzz" of the fly. Some of these visual figures are present 
in the new volume though they are less frequent than in 
the first, but the book on the whole seems to point to the 
fact that the world of escape she built for herself has 
become a prison, and that she wearied of too much inward- 
ness and of too much contemplation substituted for human 
contacts. She seems to long for freedom from herself and 
not to know quite how to attain it: 

"Me from Myself to banish 
Had I art, 

Impregnable my fortress 
Unto foreign heart. 

But since Myself assault Me 
How have I peace, 
Except by subjugating 

Consciousness? 
And since We're mutual 
Monarch, 
How this be 
Except by abdication 

Me— or Me?" 

Aside from this weariness, the qualities of the new book 
are not very different from those of the earlier poems. She 
displays the same rapt intimacy with nature, though as has 



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SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 6j 

been justly pointed out, the word "mystic" is inappropriate 
for her in that it denies her unequalled general sensibility; 
for mysticism implies indiscriminate ecstasy. The follow- 
ing poem reveals a deep delight in nature, but the very 
manner of expression is an argument against the idea of 
the poet's identifying herself with it or of her taking it 
only as the outward manifestation of a supreme and ulti- 
mate reality: 

"Heaven has different signs to me; 
Sometimes I think that noon 
Is but a symbol of the place, 
And when again at dawn 
A mighty look runs round the world 
And settles in the hills, 
An awe if it should be like that 
Upon the ignorance steals. 



The rapture of concluded day 
Returning to the West, — 
All these remind us of the place 
That men call 'Paradise'." 

Her mysticism, if she has any trace of this quality, cer- 
tainly is not for external nature; rather it is shown in her 
"identification of love and death in eternity," and this 
feeling is very fully revealed in the new book. Its most 
passionate expression is perhaps the following poem: 

"A wife at daybreak I shall be, 
Sunrise, hast thou a flag for me? 
At midnight I am yet a maid — 
How short it takes to make it bride! 
Then, Midnight, I have passed from thee 
Unto the East and Victory. 

Midnight, "Good night" 
' I hear them call. 
The angels bustle in the hall, 
Softly my Future climbs the stair, 
I fumble at my childhood's prayer — 
So soon to be a child no more! 
Eternity, I'm coming, Sir, — 
Master, I've seen that face before." 



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SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 65 

This feeling and the reverence for nature Emily Dickinson 
exhibits should be adequate refutal of the charge of irrever- 
ence which is often made against her. The irreverence is 
for the Puritan conception of God, and it is probably a 
misinterpretation of this fact combined with her whimsical 
charm which refers to God as "Papa above,' ' that has led 
critics to find a feeling which does not exist. An excellent 
example of her attitude toward the Puritan God is found 
in this book: 

"God is a distant, stately Lover, 
Woos, so He tells us, by His Son. 
Surely a vicarious courtship! 
Miles' and Priscilla's such a one. 
But lest the soul like fair Priscilla, 
Choose the envoy and spurn the Groom, 
Vouches, with hyperbolic archness, 
Miles and John Alden 
Are synonym." 

But she makes fun only of an attitude which she finds 
untrue and despicable. The following poem is as devout 
as any hymn: 

"Life is what we make it, 
Death we do not know; 
Christ's acquaintance with him 
Justifies him, though, 

He would trust no stranger, 
Other could betray, 
Just his own endorsement 
That sufhceth me." 

Emily Dickinson's whole feeling toward death, which is 
one of her most remarkable qualities, is closely bound up 
with her brilliant understanding, gained through great 
anguish, of the human heart and its sufferings. "The 
tragedy of Emily Dickinson's life, a great love tasted in 
ecstasy and put by in honor, is given to the world, like 
Shakespeare's sonnets, in quintessence, not in circum- 
stance." This quintessence is first a longing for death as 
the ultimate satisfaction of her love, which develops into 
a more general, though not a less passionate, feeling that 
death is pleasure rather than pain — 



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SMITH COLLEGE MONTHLY 67 

"You'll find it when you come to die 
The easier to let go, 
For recollecting such as went 
You could not spare, you know. 
* * * 

And thought of them so fair invites, 
It looks too tawdry grace 
To stay behind with just the toys 
We bought to ease their place." 

It is in such poems as this that the new book of Emily 
Dickinson's does not suffer by comparison with the old. 
Perhaps they were withheld because they seemed not 
reticent enough to be given to the world, while the best of 
the less personal poems had already been published and 
those left for this volume must of necessity seem a little 
disappointing. 

The technical quality of the work in the book, as one 
might expect, does not differ greatly from that in the 
earlier one. There is the same passionate brevity and 
incisiveness, the same absence of artistic finish and care- 
lessness of everything but the absolutely definitive word 
and phrase. The poet is less concerned with art than with 
expressing the profound feelings of the human heart, and 
her keen sense of words makes this expression perfect, 
though she gives a distinct impression of first thought 
rather than afterthought. This characteristic makes her 
poetry sometimes as difficult of immediate comprehension 
as Blake's, but on this point the final comment has been 
made by T. W. Higginson in his edition of selections from 
her poems, " After all, when a thought takes one's breath 
away, a lesson on grammar seems an impertinence." 

R. D. Pillsbury 




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