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CIENCE has not been able to duplicate marble either in beauty or quality. The failure of imitations readily evidences this condition.

Real marble has a vitality, a depth of surface, that is unmistakable... a liveliness of color and veining that no man-made medium can even approach.

Real marble, because of

its distinctive appearance,

durability and ultimate economy, has always been... and will continue increasingly
to be... the preferred material for the interior finish of buildings of a better character.

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Editorial and General Offices,

THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY. Publication Office, 10 FERRY STREET, CONCORD, N. H. 8 Arlington Street, Boston, Mass. 40c a copy, $4.00 a year; foreign postage $1.00. Entered at Post Offices at Concord, N. H. and Ottawa, Canada, as second-class matter. Copyright 1928, by The Atlantic Monthly Company, Boston, Mass.

JULY, 1928




I AM a South Sea trader on the atoll of Puka-Puka, or Danger Island, to give it its English name. If you search carefully on a chart of the Pacific along a line drawn from Lima, Peru, to Cape York, the most northerly point on the Australian mainland, you should find the island, a dot smaller than a flyspeck. Perhaps the dot does n't appear to the naked eye; in that case, if you still wonder where the island may be, intersect the first line with a second running from San Francisco to the northwest cape of New Zealand, and a third traversing that mighty waste of waters from Wenchow, on the coast of China, to Cape Horn. Very near to the spot where the three lines cross, either you will find Danger Island or you will not, depending on whether the hydrographer thought it worth while marking on his chart such an insignificant crumb of land. In any case you will agree, I think, that the place where the island should be is a sufficiently lonely one.


Danger Island comprises three small islets threaded on a reef six or seven miles in circumference, which encloses a VOL. 142-NO. 1


lagoon so beautifully clear that one can see the strange forests of coral to a depth of ten fathoms. The islets are little more than banks of sand and bleached coral where coconut palms and pandanus and puka trees break momentarily the steady sweep of the trade wind. On the outer beaches a few grotesque gale-twisted trees survive both the poverty of the soil and the depredations of the Puka-Pukans, who lop off their branches to make drums, popguns, coffins for dead babies, and poles on which to hang spirit charms.

But when a hurricane comes hundreds of trees are destroyed, and the little Puka-Pukan houses are blown away like so many card castles. Everything goes then - drums, popguns, coffins, spirit charms, and sometimes a man or two, whirled high in air with his household gods to be carried to Maroroyi, the legendary land of the departed. At such times the natives scramble up the stoutest palms, hack off the fronds not already blown away, and roost among the frond butts until the storm shrieks itself out and the seas subside.

But for years on end Puka-Puka is untroubled with great storms. Then

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