In the Editor's Confidence

January 1 1934

In the Editor's Confidence

January 1 1934

In the Editor's Confidence

THERE WAS a time when in each January I issue we wished everybody A HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR. Last year and the year before we wished everybody just A HAPPY NEW YEAR, feeling that it might be wise to leave no room for a comeback should PROSPERITY get stuck round the wrong corner.

From this you may infer that we believe one can be happy without being prosperous. So we do. But you mustn’t mind us. If anybody doubled our salary we’d try to be philosophic about it.

However, signs and portents being what they are, we propose to launch 1934 boldly. We wish everybody A HAPPY AND MORE PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR, with some expectation that our abandon will be justified.

Gambling, Cars and Prisons

(f ACCORDING to James Young, there are 428 ^ race-track betting houses in Montreal, catering to 40,000 patrons a day. No doubt the bookies are doing a proportionate business in other Canadian cities. In “They Laugh at the Law,” on page twelve of this issue, Mr. Young describes operations in detail. We suggested to him that it would be a good idea to get some photographs of typical establishments. He did his best, but after being thrown out of two places decided that he was the cause of some annoyance and that perhaps we might be able to struggle along without pictures.

There is in Toronto what is known as The Institute of Aero-Dynamic Research. It’s a somewhat terrifying title, but any body that sends out literature visualizing trains travelling from Vancouver to Halifax in fifty hours gets our interest. So, when in reading what the Institute had to say about trains of aero-dynamic design, we came to the question: “What of the motor car?” we didn’t dodge it. We called up Warren B. Hastings, secretary of the Canadian section of the Society of Automobile Engineers, and we said: “Warren, what of the motor car of the future? Just what IS all this streamlining about? What will it achieve, and how? Especially how?” The upshot of the whole thing is that on page nine Mr. Hastings explains it so fully that when you take people out in your new car you will have them hanging breathlessly on your every word.

At the time of the rumpus over conditions at Kingston Penitentiary, we suggested to Alice Harriet Parsons, who was in England, that she might find out how the British Government trains its prison staffs. On page thirteen, in “School for Jailers,” Miss Parsons sets down the result of her enquiries. It is an enlightening, constructive article, and we commend it to your attention without fear of being accused of a longing to mollycoddle gunmen. In this matter of penitentiaries, Maclean s does believe that there is room for improvement in the way of separation and treatment of various types of wrongdoers and in the training of personnel. But it is not our idea that reform should in any way lessen the protection of the public against crime.

Romance, Thrills, Smiles

(jf THERE CAN be no doubt that the atmosphere of ^ the deserted ballroom in the castle of the exiled royal family of Luzenheim “got” Sue. There she stood, the musing laggard of a tourist party, whispering to herself, “id settle down cheerfully to the most cabbage-like domesticity in the world if I could tell my children that I’d waltzed in this room with a prince.” And no sooner had she said it than what do you suppose happened? Perhaps you’re right. But the way Elizabeth D. Hart tells the story of “Ex-Prince,” appearing on page

five, gives you the feeling that it’s all quite possible and deliciously romantic.

Monsieur Alphonse Didier, of course, would have revelled in Luzenheim. But there he was, a man of art, the master gunsmith, settled in the rural quiet of Morceauville, Quebec. No adventure there. No alluring maidens to rescue from the vile clutches of bad men. How was Alphonse to know that in the local café that very night he would be plunged into a maelstrom of deviltry, the suction of which enfolded bandits and a gorgeous gir^with a strange, haunted look in her heavilylashed eyes? The rest we leave to A. Beverley-Giddings. You will find “The Strange Adventure of Alphonse Didier” on page ten.

Of course there are those who never find adventure and consequently feel compelled to invent it. As witness the imaginative gent in “Sea Fever.” And, dear, dear! What happened to him! Full details are supplied by Louis Arthur Cunningham on page fifteen.

Mud

(F A FEW issues ago we published an article by ” Mary Weekes describing the joy of life in Regina. Then we published a long letter from W. H. Allan, who chided Mrs. Weekes for omitting mention of the summer’s wind and dust, and, in season, of Saskatchewan mud. Now comes J. Patterson, a third Regina citizen, who not only amplifies Mr. Allan’s mention of mud with as potent a piece of prose as we ever did read, but who sends us a cardboard box filled with a sample of the real gumbo. (As if we’d never been stuck in it!) The point we wish to make is that this sample business is something we can’t encourage, because while we might some day run an article on prize turkeys, there is always the possibility that we may also get into an argument about Algoma wolves, or even those cute wee beasties with white stripes down their backs.

;(

Next Issue

THE FIRST installment of a new and engrossing detective novel will be presented in our next issue. Its title is “Murder in the Police Station” (of all places to commit a murder!) and its author is B. S. Keirstead, of Fredericton, N.B., whose first book, “The Brownsville Murders,” sent New York’s most hard-boiled critics into dithers of delight.

Very few people indeed have ever been invited to a social evening inside a bank, even a branch bank in a small prairie town. But in “Three in Sequence” J. Rae Tooke has built a most entertaining story around that most umisual happening. Apart from hinting that a woman was at the bottom of it all, we shall leave you to puzzle over it for two weeks.

“Matrimonial Hazard” is another of Will R. Bird's amusing Newfoundland yarns. Can you imagine a fellow insuring a plump maiden against marriage and then finding that he himself pines to wed her?

Among the articles will be a meaty discussion as to whether or not Canada should charge canal tolls for the use of her canals, with Kenneth R. Wilson taking the affirmative and T. R. Enderby, General Manager of Canada Steamship Lines, on the negative side.

P. S. Even if you can’t see how you can possibly have a prosperous New Year, read Macleans and have a Happy One.