Friday, 29 November 2013

Verrill in Australia News

GRIPPED BY A BOA
From The News, Adelaide, SA; 14 October,1930 and http://trove.nla.gov.au
Digitized by Doug Frizzle, 26 November 2013.

A real live boa constrictor is not exactly the snake one would choose to play with. Yet little Dorothy Verrill, the daughter of Hyatt Verrill, explorer and adventurer, ran that risk one day in an endeavor to scare her native maid. She took the boa from its cage, and what happens reads more like the fictional story of a sensational novelist than an actual real. life adventure. Don't miss this particular incident so graphically described in. this week's "World's New," now on sale everywhere.

Teaches Young Lobsters To Dive
From The Daily News, Perth, WA; 14 September 1937.

THE sole duty of one employee at the government lobster hatchery at Noank, Connecticut, is to teach young lobsters to dive. It seems that vast numbers of baby lobsters are eaten by their enemies before they have learned to seek safety at the bottom. At the hatchery, the youngsters are put on specially designed chutes leading to the bottom of the tank, and are thus taught to dive and stay down.—A. Hyatt Verrill, in 'Along New England Shores.'

Modern Day Superstition
From Kalgoorlie Miner newspaper (Australia) dated 11 February 1948.
Website: trove.nla.gov.au

Very probably, in many cases the magic properties attributed to certain plants resulted from the ancient widespread belief that various trees and plants were the abodes of spirits or supernatural beings, some of whom were believed to be fearsome monsters or ogres who preyed, upon human beings. To appease these dangerous spirits sacrifices and blood offerings were made, especially when a tree was felled or cut. Among the Vikings and other races it was customary to lash a prisoner to the ways when a ship was to be launched, the people believing that when the vessel crushed the unfortunate victim as it slid into the sea, his blood would satisfy the demands of the spirits of the trees from wreaking vengeance upon the ship's crew. This may seem like a most heathenish and terrible custom, yet we still follow it in a less bloodthirsty manner by substituting a bottle of wine for human blood when a ship is launched.—A. Hyatt Verrill


WEEPING WILLOW'S FAMILY TREE.
From Cairns Post newspaper, Saturday 29 August 1942 and trove.nla.gov.au

All the weeping willows of Great Britain and America owe their existence to a fragment of a basket used as a container for figs sent from Smyrna to Lady Suffolk, in England, early in the 18th century. Alexander Pope, the satirical poet, who was present when the gift arrived, drew out one of the withes and remarked, "Perhaps this will produce something we have not in England." He had it planted on the bank of the Thames at his villa at Twickenham, where it sprouted and grew into a fine weeping willow tree.
Years later, a young British officer, leaving for the American colonies, plucked a twig from Pope's willow, and carried it, wrapped in oiled silk. throughout the Revolution. At the end of the war he presented the twig to John Parker Custis, son of Martha Washington. Planted on the. Custis estate of Abingdon, in Virginia, the withe took root and became the ancestor of all weeping willows in the United States.-A Hyatt Verrill, Wonder Plants and Plant Wonders


BIRDS AS SENTINELS
From Sunday Mail (Brisbane) newspaper Queensland Australia, 10 June 1928.

In many parts of Northern Brazil, Southern Venezuela, and elsewhere the Indians claim that the tapir is warned of man's presence by the trumpet bird or waracabra (writes Mr. Hyatt Verrill). Whether or not the creatures have learned to associate the bird's cries with danger I cannot say, but as the trumpet birds very frequently create a tremendous racket when they catch sight of a human being there is no reason why an animal so intelligent and wary as a tapir should not be warned by them, in parts of Central America the natives believe that it is the beautiful little sun bittern who warns the tapirs of peril. Personally, however, I have never heard a sun-bittern utter any note louder than a low hiss or rattle. These birds do, however, frequent the muddy wet jungles that the tapir loves, and as they have a peculiar habit of flitting off like gigantic butterflies when anyone approaches it. is neither impossible nor improbable that the tapir profits by the signal.


A TRAVELLER'S SNAKE TALES.
From The Port Macquarie News and Hastings River Advocate (NSW) Saturday 7 May 1938.

"Snakes are among the rarest of all jungle animals, although the average person imagines that they swarm everywhere in the Tropics. At times one may come across a fair-sized boa or anaconda, and in some localities these big snakes are fairly common. But they never attain the gigantic proportions so often reported, and are perfectly harmless, never offering to attack a human being, and wishing only to be left alone to bask and doze in the bright sunshine on fallen trees or stones beside the rivers.
"As far as the venomous snakes are concerned, one may find more poisonous snakes within a few miles of New York City than in many square miles of untrodden jungle. Undoubtedly the serpents are there, but they keep well out of sight and harm's reach, and rarely indeed are they seen except when land is being cleared or burned and they are driven forth from their hiding places. Neither do they constitute any particular hazard in jungle exploration, the danger of being bitten by a poisonous snake in the Tropics being far less than the chances of being struck by a copperhead or a rattlesnake in South Carolina or Pennsylvania.
"Everywhere in the Tropics the natives go about barefooted, and the nearly naked Indians of the jungles never give a thought to the danger of snakes. Rarely are they bitten, and in all my forty years and more of jungle experience I have never been bitten by a poisonous snake and have never had but one of my men bitten."
— From 'My Jungle Trails,' by A. Hyatt Verrill


A PERSISTENT PLANT
The Vine's Search for Support
From The Port Macquarie News and Hastings River Advocate (NSW) Saturday 14 September 1940.

A British scientist once carried on some very interesting experiments In an endeavor to determine whether or not plants possess any intelligence or reason.
In one case he planted a vine in a spot where there .were no trees, shrubs, or other objects which would serve as supports. Then he placed a pole at some distance away.
Almost at once the vine headed. for it. Before it reached the pole he removed it and placed it the same distance from the vine on the opposite side. Without hesitation the vine doubled back and started in the new direction, heading for the pole as if it possessed eyes.
Again and again the location of the pole was changed, and again and again the vine turned towards it unerringly, says Mr. A. Hyatt Verrill In 'Wonder Plants and Plant Wonders.' But there was a limit to the plant's patience and perseverance.
After many futile attempts to reach the elusive pole, the vine finally gave up: and refused to be lured by the pole even, when placed within a few feet of it. . Not until the support was placed in the midst of the foliage did it show. any further interest in it.


NO MARRIAGE.
PRIMITIVE RACE IN BOLIVIA.
From The Brisbane Courier (Qld.) Tuesday 1 January 1929

Are the bearded Indians In the Interior of Bolivia descendants of South Sea Islanders, who, in the remote past, crossed the Pacific in large canoes? This fascinating question is raised by Mr. A. Hyatt Verrill in an article in a recent issue of the "Scientific American." (June 1928)
"I have long held to the opinion," he declares, "that the Indians of Western South America were of Oceanian and not Asiatic origin, and I am convinced that a further study of the bearded Indians will go far towards proving this."
He describes the Indians' beards as heavy, luxuriant, bushy, fine, soft, and slightly wavy, as is the hair of their heads. "In height," he adds, "they are well above the average forest Indians of South America, and in colour they are darker and more of a brown than an ochre or red. They are an exceedingly primitive race, wearing no garments whatever, having no knowledge of weaving or spinning, and not even using the bark cloth, which is almost universally used among other tribes.
"Their huts are scarcely- more than rude shelters of brash and thatch; they have no regular villages and no chief; each collection of houses housing the members of one family or of relatives, with the head of the family acting as a local chief. As far as I could ascertain, they have no marriage ceremonies and no true religion. They believe that practically every object, animate or inanimate, is inhabited by a spirit, certain objects and creatures possessing evil spirits, and others good spirits."
These Indians have the curious burial custom of disinterring the corpse after decomposition, cleaning the bones, and suspending the skeleton from a tree in a rude basket-work receptical.
Their dialect is low and guttural, spoken in a sing-song monotone. Their vocabulary shows many fine striking resemblances to dialects of the Pacific archipelagos, some of the words being almost identical and having precisely the same meanings.


YO! HO! HO! AND LOTS OF GOLD
Pirates' loot waiting under the oceans
From The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.) Saturday 5 August 1950 page 18(S)

THE latest treasure-seeking venture is the Duke of Argyle's attempt off the Isle of Mull.
Who hasn't dreamt of sailing to a South Seas Island to dig up. brass-bound treasure chests full of gold doubloons, pieces of eight, and sparkling gems? Stories of priceless loot buried by pirates or lying in the holds of sunken treasure ships have been told for hundreds of years and every so often someone has a shot at trying to trace one hoard or another.
Most tales of buried treasure are just tales. Naturally who ever buried their "savings" didn't want them to be found by anyone else, and all sorts of legends and "true" accounts sprang up about the exact location of these hoards.
But in case you ever get the chance to have a shot at finding real treasure, here's a quick guide to hidden fortunes which . are most likely still to exist. Many of these facts are guaranteed by the famous treasure-hunter, A. Hyatt Verrill, his book, "Lost Treasure" (published in 1930). ^uuianea
Treasure buried by: Billy Bowlegs (pirate).
Where: Near Santa Rosa Sound, Gulf of Mexico.
When: 1838.
Remarks: Comprises gold and silver ore and coins. Estimated to be one of the biggest hoards.
.
Treasure buried by: Captain John Quelch (pirate)
Where: Isles of Shoals, New Hampshire, U.S.A.
When: 1704.
Remarks: Guarded by a ghost! Far smaller than Billy Bowlegs. Consists of jewels, coins, and gold dust stolen from Portuguese trading ships.
.
Treasure buried by: The Incas of South America.
Where: Near Piscobamba and Sorata, South America.
When: 1533.
Remarks: This treasure was to be the ransom paid for the release of Atahualpa, Inca King held captive by the Spaniards. When the Spaniards murdered him, the treasure—on its way to the Spaniards—was buried.
Amount: 500 tons of gold, diamonds, rubies, emeralds and other kinds of gems.


TOO MUCH ROAST PORK!
From Gippsland Times (Vic.) Thursday 18 July 1929

Mr. A. Hyatt Verrill describes some very amusing experiences that befell him while collecting natural history specimens in the interior of Costa Rica. On one occasion he showed a little .22 rifle to a rancher, who scoffed at the miniature weapon, describing it as a new toy.
"You don't say?" I replied sarcastically. You think it is only a toy? Look, then." With that I pointed to a number of hogs in the portrero (pasture) about two hundred yards from the house.
"May I shoot at those pigs?"
He laughed. "Of a truth, and welcome," he assented.
Taking careful aim at the largest of the hogs, I fired. My host burst into a merry laugh. "Did I not say so?" he cried. "Look you; they are not even frightened!"
"Not so fast," I cautioned him. "See you not that one of the pigs is lying down? Send a mozo to look, and you will find the rifle is no toy."
Clapping his hands, he summoned a peon and sent him to have a look at the swine. I shall never forget his face when the peon shouted back that the creature was dead.
But I paid dearly for convincing my host that the rifle was more than a plaything. Pigs were valuable, and the Senor was a thrifty soul. That night we dined on roast pork; the next morning we had pork for breakfast; at lunch and dinner there was pork; and dried, smoked, pickled, and corned pork formed the basis of every meal day after day! At last we could stand it no longer. There appeared to be no limit to the amount of meat on that confounded hog, and making some flimsy excuse for leaving, we bade farewell to our host and his endless pork and returned to Jimenez. In all my experience I think that was the most unfortunate shot I ever made!


Speak Elizabethan.
Indians in Central America.
From The World's News (Sydney, NSW) Saturday 16 January 1926

"When Indians of a tribe in Panama, addressing him in pidgin English of the Elizabethan period, invited him to "bestir thyself betimes," and used such ejaculations as "gadzooks," "marry would I," "oddsbodkins," and "marry come up," Mr. A, Hyatt Verrill could hardly believe his ears, says the New York correspondent of the "Daily Chronicle."
But he heard other words, "forsooth." "yea," and "nay," and found that, while they conversed in this fashion, the Indians among themselves also spoke a native dialect which he had far more difficulty in understanding.
FOUNDED A TOWN.
That was a few months ago, on the coast of Panama, near Bocas del Toro, but inland.
Mr. Verrill, who is a collector for .the museum of the American Indian Heye Foundation, in New York, and therefore should not be suspected of telling travellers' tales, learned that the Indians were descendants Bartholomew Sharp and his 350 buccaneers, who, sailing to Panama in 1680 in The Most Blessed Trinity, marooned the Spanish settlers in the region, and founded the town of Olbank, which exists to this day.
Such names as Coxon, Sawkins and Ringrose, who were lieutenants of Sharp, as well as the patronymic of the pirate chief himself, are borne by many families in the town, testifying eloquently to their origin, although they know nothing whatever about it, Mr. Verrill says.
(The names of Bartholomew Sharp. Coxon, and Sawkins are well-known in the history of the Buccaneers, whose period of greatest prosperity was between 1671 and 1685. In their earlier exploits against the Spanish rulers they had the cordial help of the native Indians, who may readily have picked up some of their phraseology—and especially their oaths.
"Marry" is a corruption for "by the Virgin Mary," and "oddsbodkins" represents "by God's body."
These expressions had fallen out of general use in England by the end of the 17th century, and are rather. Elizabethan than Restoration speech. But the Buccaneers had little sympathy with Puritanical refinement of language; and the name of Bartholomew Sharp's vessel harks back to pre-Reformation days, almost forgotten at the time in England).


Girl bullfighter
From The Australian Women's Weekly, Saturday 10 June 1939
CONCHITA CINTRON, of Peru, is sixteen years old, pretty, fair-haired, blue-eyed and—a bullfighter.
Conchita Cintron
The protegee of a famous ex-bullfighter, she proved an apt pupil and has given exhibitions of bloodless bullfighting in Portugal. She is a granddaughter of the American author and explorer, A. Hyatt Verrill.


INSTINCTIVE CAMOUFLAGE.
From Cairns Post (Qld.) Tuesday 29 September 1942

Many species of these awkward long legged spider-crabs are very retiring creatures and seek protection from fishes and other enemies by burying themselves in mud or sand or hiding in cracks and crevices in rocks or coral. Others make their lairs within sponges and only venture forth on foraging excursions when the coast seems clear. But many others live in the open or among seaweeds, and these resort to most remarkable, means to remain as inconspicuous as possible.
They are, in fact, true agriculturists, real crabbed gardeners, who plant and cultivate various sea plants, as well as plantlike marine animals, with as much care and often with even more skill than human gardeners. Moreover, these ten-legged agriculturists carry their farms about with them; for they use their own backs for their garden plots. Very possibly you have have seen spider-crabs whose shellas were covered with seaweeds, hydroids, bryozoans, and other growths. . . .
These growths had been planted by the crab itself. It is a most amusing and interesting experience to watch any of these crustaceans setting out his garden.
Covered with the weeds and other marine growths the crab is perfectly camouflaged when crawling slowly about among seaweeds, and, while remaining motionless, he appears merely a bit of stone overgrown with, seaweeds, hydroids, and corallines. . .
But even more remarkable is the fact that these crustaceans realise that if their back-borne gardens are to be of protective value they must not differ from the natural growths about them ....
If a crab decked with green seaweeds and olive-colored hydroids is placed in an aquarium where red or yellow growths predominate, he will at once begin to uproot his back garden, tearing the plants off recklessly and will replace them with new cuttings selected from the growths about him. If the captive has been dwelling where soft broadleafed weeds such as the sea-lettuce abounds, or where there are fine feathery weeds and ribbon-like growths, his back will undoubtedly be planted with these. But if he is placed among corallines or bryozoans, off will come the weeds and in a very short time the crab gardener will bear a thriving growth of the plantlike animals upon his back and legs.
—A. Hyatt Verrill, in "Wonder Creatures of the Sea."


Plant-Like Animals Found In Sea
From Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld.) Thursday 22 October 1942

Most of the plant-like animals we find in the sea or clinging to the rocks along the shores belong to two groups known as the Bryozoans and the Hydroids. Of the two, the bryozoans are most frequently noticed, for while they are no more abundant than the hydroids they are usually larger and more conspicuous, while many forms are not at all like seaweeds, and usually prove a puzzle to those who notice them, says an exchange.
Many are very beautiful things, spreading over the rock or other object in sheets of dainty white, or pink, lace; others appear like frost crystals. Some resemble fern leaves or delicate moss painted in white, gray or lavender upon a pebble or seashell, while still others are soft and gelatinous, reminding us of the slimemolds of our woodlands. . . . All of these are moss-like or lichen-like species which adhere closely to the objects to which they are attached. But there are many other species which form clusters of slender branches borne on upright stalks.
As they closely resemble small corals, they are commonly known as Coral-lines. On our own coasts they are seldom large or conspicuous, but in tropical and semi-tropical seas they grow to fairly large size, and are very abundant.
But it is among the harder encrusting or branched species that we find the most beautiful and interesting revelations. Some are composed of innumerable graceful cups that appear made of opalescent glass; others are vase-shaped and seem formed of finest porcelain. Some species are built up of countless tubes that have the iridescent sheen of mother-of-pearl, and as we focus the lens on a fern-like branch of another specimen we fairly gasp in amazement. No wonder we are surprised at what we see, for the plantlike growth is a bryozoan belonging to the genus known as Bugula, and each of the cells covering the multitude of branches bears the exact replica of a bird's head with the bill constantly opening and closing.
Hours, even days, might be spent examining the moss animals in a single tide-pool or adhering to a single rock, for no two species are alike and all are equally beautiful and surprising.
—From "Wonder Creatures of the Sea," by A. Hyatt Verrill.


PERU.
From The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW) Saturday 9 May 1931

"Under Peruvian Skies," by Mr. A. Hyatt Verrill, is an account of a country of which most Australians know little. Few realise the extent of Peru, the area of which is almost as large as that of Europe, with Russia excluded. The terrain is most diversified. The littoral is arid and inhospitable, its monotonous sterility broken only by an occasional river valley. Then comes the stupendous barrier of the Andes where are the highest standard gauge railway in the world. Beyond tropical Jungle, much of it unexplored, stretches to Iquitos, the head of navigation on the Amazon.
The natural resources of Peru are extra-ordinarily rich. It contains practically every known metal. Its oil deposits are among the largest, and its coal reserves the largest in the world. In its exports of sugar and cotton it ranks among the first six nations. It is the original home of the potato, of maize, of the lima bean, and of the shrubs from which quinine and cocaine are respectively derived. It has more miles of established air lines and spends more money on air transportation than any other country in proportion to its population. Yet, despite these many advantages, Peru is not very progressive. The exploitation of this wealth is left to the foreigner. Mr. Verrill likes the Peruvians, but he says that they are wanting in energy and adaptability, and have no aptitude for business. The most successful industries are in the hands of "gringoes." usually British, or Americans, and the retail trade is becoming a monopoly of the Chinese.
Peru has a historical interest as the seat of the great Empire of the Incas, who developed a civilisation as advanced as, if not more advanced than, that of the Aztecs in Mexico. They cultivated many of the fine arts, notably metal work and ceramics. They had a knowledge of astronomy. They excelled in architecture. They were subjugated by Pizarro, and were almost exterminated under Spanish rule. The descendants of the survivors are a degenerate race, but the monuments of their forbears remain, massive structures built with huge blocks of stone cunningly mortised into each other. Mr. Verrill takes us into the highways and byways of Peru, and proves a most agreeable cicerone. (Hurst and Blackett; price 21/.)


OCTOPUS HUNTING—DARING DEEDS.
From Examiner (Launceston, Tas.) Tuesday 20 August 1907

Professor A. Hyatt Verrill, representing the New York University and the New York Aquarium, ,as made it his special work to hunt, study, and catch the terrible octopus. His method of procedure is not likely to become popular here. He dives down into the water without any protection, and, having spotted an octopus not too large for him to master, he seizes it with his bare hands in a peculiar manner and drags it to the surface. The octopus is chiefly found in the West Indies, as far as America is concerned, and it is particularly abundant in the waters about Bermuda. It is there that Professor Verrill hunted the creature. The octopus is a very retiring animal. It lurks in submarine caves and in crevices in the rocks. Rarely does it face the daylight or venture into the open sea. There are good reasons for these habit. When the octopus is in proximity to a rock, it holds on to this base of support with three or four of its hundred-suckered arms, and then it can use its remaining arms with irresistible power to seize any object swimming in the water, and drag it into its maw. The octopus, when lying in a crevice of the rocks, is almost indistinguishable from the surrounding sea weeds, even by a creature of the deep. It has a voracious appetite, and devours vast quantities of lobsters, clams, oysters, and all kinds of fish.
Professor Verrill decided that the only hope of catching a devil fish was to dive down into the lair among the rocks and seize it. He is a splendid swimmer. The water about Bermuda is marvellously clear, which greatly facilitates the work of looking for submarine monsters. The professor made many dives in vain. Then he found an octopus, but it was too large, and he barely escaped with his life after one of the horrible arms had touched him. If two of them had reached him he would have been lost. He continued to dive in the near vicinity of this adventure, and the same day he had the good fortune to happen in upon a moderate-sized octopus, who was calmly sleeping in a submarine cave. The professor seized the creature from be hind, pressing both of his hands round its body behind the mouth. Then, having only his feet free, he started for the surface with his burden. The octopus, according to its custom when alarmed, discharged the contents of its ink-bag, and blackened all the water. Although taken at a disadvantage, the octopus was beginning to get a grip on the professor's body, when he reached the surface, and was hauled into his boat by his men. The octopus was disentangled with difficulty from the professor, care being taken not to sever any of its tentacles, and it was then placed in a tank for transportation to New York.
Another scientist, Professor Durand, of the University of Montpelier, in France, has been hunting octopuses, which abound among the rocks of the Mediterranean coast of France, and especially about the island of Corsica. He goes down after the dreadful molluscs in a diving suit. He is not willing to face the peril of grappling with one of these creatures ,with his bare hands. Moreover. he holds that in a diving suit he is better able to watch their habits.
Hunting the octopus even in a diving suit has proved to be attended by very grave dangers. Professor Durand cornered a large specimen in a cave, and the octopus flung its arms about him. It was unable to suffocate him by constricting his neck owing to the diving helmet, but two of the arms were thrown about the air pipe, and cut off his supply of fresh air. The professor was too much entangled by the creature's tentacles to be able to pull the communication cord, and he was reduced to unconsciousness and the point of death. Finally the men at the surface, knowing that the had been down too long. hauled him up, with the octopus attached.


BOOKS of the WEEK
From Chronicle (Adelaide, SA) Thursday 3 September 1936

Treasure Hunting
EVER since Robert Louis Stevenson wrote his famous novel, 'Treasure Island,' the mind is inclined to leap at the idea that hidden treasure must be the deposit of pirates. But Mr. A. Hyatt Verrill, in "They Found Gold;'' disproves this common belief. Mr. Verrill is himself a treasure hunter, and has specialised in the law of treasure hunting. He tells how treasure can be sought and found by land, by sea, and even by air.
He has to relate more or less authentic stories of many kinds of treasure sought abortively, of treasure discovered accidentally, of treasure found and lost again beyond rediscovery. The book is a sort of treasure hunter's vade mecum, for not only does Mr. Verrill narrate numerous tales of how he and others have sought and found wealth in many forms, but also he gives a number of practical hints to would-be treasure hunters. He gives advice about outfit and difficulties likely to be encountered. He even offers suggestions about places where treasure may be sought with some likelihood of success. Altogether, it is a dangerous book to put into the hands of an energetic schoolboy. One might fear that he would be suddenly missing from home, lured away by the hope of emulating Mr. Verrill or a more modern Jim Hawkins. 'They Found Gold,' by A. Hyatt Verrill. (Putnam, 9/6).

Giant Ant Bear of Central and South America
From The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld.) Thursday 9 August 1928

"Of all the denizens of the tropical forests of Central and South America the giant ant-bear is probably the most dangerous." says Mr. Hyatt Verrill in the "Wide World Magazine." "The creature is too stupid to know fear. Its thick skin and dense stiff hair render it almost impervious to ordinary shot; it is remarkably tenacious of life, and its six-inch curved claws at the tips of sinewy limbs, which can swing in any direction and are literally universal-jointed, are terrible weapons capable of ripping a man to bits. No other animal willingly at tacks the ant-bear, and while the creature cannot move rapidly for any distance, and is usually content to mind its own affairs and devote its life to lapping up ants, it becomes positively insane with rage when disturbed or wounded."


THE REAL STORY OF THE PIRATE.
From The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW.) Saturday 29 September 1923

In "The Real Story of the Pirate" Mr. A Hyatt Verrill sets himself to clear up certain popular misconceptions, about the gentlemen who used to sail under the Jolly Roger Thus, to the average person, the word buccaneer connotes a desperado of the most callous, cruel, and truculent description. Actually the original buccaneers were no more pirates than were Hawkins or Drake, the latter of whom was a naval chaplain, and at one time the vicar of a parish. They were colonists who had settled In the West Indies, and, finding agriculture impracticable, had taken to hunting the wild cattle and curing the flesh. The product, "bucan," was an important article of commerce. The buccaneers were a rough crew, expert marksmen and woodsmen, but they had for long no interest in seamanship or piracy.
A change came during the wars between Britain, France, and Spain during the 17th century. The buccaneers had already begun to raid in small boats Spanish ships which had attempted to interfere with them. Gradually those operations were organised. A regular town grow up on the Island of Tortuga, inhabited exclusively by pirates. When an expedition was on foot, arrangements were made in a most business-like way. A joint stock company was formed on mythical assets, which would not materialize until the loot was secured, as no capital was contributed. The leaders supplied the ship and armament, and all concerned gave their services and brought goods to the common stock. The principle of cooperative profit-sharing has never been better exemplified. An elaborate system tor the division of the spoil was devised, which necessitated the employment of skilled clerks to keep the accounts. Navigators and surgeons were engaged, and there was nothing discreditable in accepting such posts. In those days the experience of the hero of the Gilbert and Sullivan opera who was to have been apprenticed to a pilot, but through a misunderstanding was apprenticed to a pirate, would not have sounded fantastic. The captains did not as a rule sport the skull and crossbones, but flew their own flag, like respectable yachtsmen. Their respective governments recognised the buccaneers, who only plundered enemy shipping. Hence there was nothing strange in the appointment of ex-pirates to offices under the Crown, as happened when Henry Morgan, the greatest and blood-thirstiest of them all, was made Governor of Jamaica on his retirement from business. Later the buccaneers degenerated into frank outlaws—who preyed upon all and sundry. But there was a time when their calling was quasi-legal. They were regarded almost as auxiliaries of their country's navy.

Small boys are fond of playing at being pirates and bushrangers, but there was as little romance about the one as about the other vocation. Mr. Verrill refuses to invest the pirate with any glamour. He was a brutal cut-throat whose only virtue was his courage and of whom the world was well rid. Even after piracy on any considerable scale had vanished from the seas it still lingered on in a smaller way here and there. The nests of the Algerian Corsairs gave trouble before they were smoked out. The last pirates in the Caribbean were dealt with in 1825. The Arab dhows that trafficked in the Persian Gulf and frequently raided the coast of Africa were slavers, but they did not hesitate to indulge in piracy when opportunity offered. The Malays were enterprising and expert pirates as many a sailing vessel becalmed in eastern waters learned to its cost. And only last year came the news of the capture of a lady pirate in China who, alter the death of her husband, carried on the business with great success. Mrs. Lo Hon-cho  held cities up to ransom and terrorised the coastal shipping in the neighbourhood of Canton, but in the end was betrayed by a follower who received a free pardon in return for his treachery. Mr. Verrill has written an engrossing book which is profusely illustrated with original drawings and reproductions of quaint old prints. (Appleton.)


The Aztecs, The Incas, And The Mayas
From News (Adelaide, SA) Friday 7 November 1947

BUILDING and engineering achievements of the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans were little more than child's play beside the works of ancient American civilisations, according to A. Hyatt Verrill. The story of the Aztecs of Mexico, the Mayas of Central America, and the Incas of Peru, as told in Verrill's book, has endless fascination. . It is fascination based in part on mystery, because nothing is known for certain of the origins of these races, or of the peoples of remote antiquity who preceded them. No other races of the time, Verrill says, erected such walls and buildings, wove such textiles, carried out such feats of stone cutting, built such high ways. Not even the Romans, he says, equalled the 3,000-mile road the Incas drove through the Andes from Ecuador to Chile. No traces of iron or steel tools have been found. But it is difficult to believe these ancient races could have done such work in metals and the hardest stones with only stone or bronze instruments. Among other. accomplishments, Verrill says, they fashioned chased gold beads no bigger than a pinhead, cut, polished, and carved topaz, amethyst, agate, and other precious stones; executed complex and beautiful sculptures in the most refractory of rocks; wove textiles finer than is possible on any modern loom; and moved blocks of stone weighing upward of 200 tons across country for use in buildings and fortifications. How such things were done, Verrill, says, is perhaps the greatest of all the mysteries attaching to these vanished peoples.


Ants Got Into Bad Books
From The Charleville Times (Brisbane, Qld.) Thursday 20 March 1952

New York's Board of Education has dropped eight text books from its approved list on the ground they contain slurring references to some of America's' numerous racial groups. The banned books in clude:
Hyatt Verrill's treatise, "Insects and Their Stories." The Board found this had invidious references to the superiority of white ants over black ants and was insulting to Negroes.
Paul Gallico's "Farewell to Sport."  Said a Board member: "This book is viciously anti-semitic. The author says Jews excel in basketball, because they are shrewd and know how to cut corners."


NEW USE FOR ONIONS
From Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld.) Friday 24 January 1941

There is «a interesting reference to onions, which hare lately been much In the news, in A. Hyatt Verrill's "Wonder Plants and Plant Wonders," published in America last year :
"Sam, my camp boy, preparing dinner surrounded by the women of a primitive Indian tribe in South America, tossed aside some onion peel. The women scrambled for bits  of it and smeared it over their faces and naked bodies. I was short of trade goods, and this gave me an idea. I began exchanging bits of onion for weapons, musical instruments, feather-work and jaguar-teeth necklaces. We found garlic even more popular. Those Indians would have given anything they owned for a mere fragment. Had I possessed few pounds I could have purchased the entire village—including the feminine population." Who says onions were dear at 10d. a pound?-" Manchester Guardian Weekly."




TIME TICKS US OFF.
By H. C. McKAY.
From Queensland Times (Ipswich) (Qld.) Tuesday 16 October 1934 and

TICK, tick . . . the nearest clock or watch is ticking up on its taximeter the sum you are paying for your ride through Life.
That ride, with Old Time as taxi driver, is taken by everyone of us till the road comes to a dead end and we pay the bill.
The driver never stops on the road, but how desperately some of us long to pull up, step out, and get forward to the Future or back to the Past!
In plain words, everyone daydreams occasionally of slipping away from the present—either to a romantic period of past history, or on to the future when a new civilisation sways the world.
H. G. Wells started off a series of such fantasies with his "Time Machine."
Father Time
His Time Machine Traveller built a machine which surged through time to the future. He landed in A.D. 802,701.
The climate was warm, the earth a garden. But it was inhabited by the degenerate infantile-minded descendants of the upper classes; while below ground lived the equally degenerate descendants of the workers.
The latter emerged on dark nights seized the puny surface-dwellers, and (being cannibals) carried them below and hacked them up for food.
Another author, Francis Flagg, featured a Time machine which carried two travellers to A.D. 2026. They found that the world was run by Master Ants.
Mankind had degenerated to naked savagery, and the giant Ants rounded them up, broke them in, and used them as we use horses for riding, and for drawing vehicles.
Other authors have landed their time travellers in more optimistic Futures.
In "Men Like Gods," Wells visioned a Utopia inhabited by immaculate Socialists of great physical beauty.
Edward Rementer's traveller found a new race, which had evolved to intelligence, not through apes, but through cats. They were self-centred, spotlessly clean, intensely polite, noiseless, and patient: but cruel, stealthy, and revengeful as well.
 Phillip Nowlan's Time-traveller got to A.D. 2419 and found Armageddon in progress.
The world was ruled by the Hans (Mongoloids or yellow races), and he was just in time to see the revolt of the last Whites, the battle being fought with rockets, disintegrating rays, and anti-gravity devices.
There are scores of others.
In practically every one the Time traveller cheats Time by getting into its stream (otherwise, the Fourth Dimension), and then speeding along it.
But, after all, there is a fallacy here.
If a Time-traveller, who is actually due to die in 1944, travelled in a time-machine in 1954, he could dig up his own grave and view his 10-year-old skeleton—which is absurd.
Some ingenious thinkers have, therefore, reasoned that the only way to travel in Time is to detach the mind from the body, and let the former do the travelling.
J. W. Dunne sports this theory in his new book, "The Serial Universe."
His idea is that by recording our dreams and eliminating all echoes of past events in them, we get in the residue the actual future to which our minds travel in sleep.
It is thus possible to dream the winner of the Cup or forecast a coming prize in the lottery.
But really there are two kinds of time—clock time and the time in our brains. One cannot cheat the clock time.
Everyone remembers Kipling's traveller who, discovering that a person who travels round the world from west to east gains a day, kept feverishly making the circuit to add extra days to his life.
Or Hyatt Verrill's "Doctor Mentiroso," who, circling the earth in a 24,000 mile-per-hour craft, left Lima (Peru) at noon, and arrived back five and a half hours earlier, and eventually went right back into the past!
More fallacies, due to the fact that local time is adjusted to the position of the sun in the sky at that point.
But what of mental time—can this be cheated? It seems so.
When anyone falls into a dream less sleep his mental time stops.
We can sleep several hours and, waking, feel that only a few minutes have passed.
Even when awake we can go to a gay party and realise (at its close), with a shock, that four hours have passed like 20 minutes; or we may estimate a dull five minutes' political talk as a good half-hour.
And what of people and animals who "live faster" than the average human being?
Dogs and cats breathe faster, their hearts beat quicker, their tissues burn up more swiftly than ours.
They live only one-fifth of our span; but how if our seconds and minutes are five times longer to them? For animals' sense of Time is not perpetually overruled by looking at clocks; most of them judge Time by their stomachs, the clocks of hunger.
And the slow animals, sloths, and tortoises, must have a different unit of mental Time also.
So, as we can only escape from Time's inexorable ticking by means of our minds, the time may come when, by an operation on the brain, anyone can gain a mentality to which a second becomes a minute, prolonging his life-experience to the equivalent of 7200 years.
If the operation were performed on all children at birth, a new race would arise, to whom a day would seem 1440 hours long.
New clocks would of necessity be constructed to fit this prolonged mental Time, and man would be rid of the present inexorable tyrant at last.
(image)
Age thinks over the days that have gone. The largest clock in the world is claimed to be in Tokio. Two kiddies argue seriously—maybe about what sort of jobs will be offering when they grow up.

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As an armed forces brat, we lived in Rockcliff (Ottawa), Namao (Edmonton), Southport (Portage La Prairie), Manitoba, and Dad retired to St. Margaret's Bay, NS.
Working with the Federal Govenment for 25 years, Canadian Hydrographic Service, mostly. Now married to Gail Kelly, with two grown children, Luke and Denyse. Retired to my woodlot at Stillwater Lake, NS, on the rainy days I study the life and work of A. Hyatt Verrill 1871-1954.