THE FICKLENESS of young maidenhood is proverbial. Since the dawn of human history it has caused untold anguish to swains and steeped poets in gloom. But seldom has it agitated the people of a continent. Yet, a few weeks ago, the capriciousness of five little seven-year-old girls caused a considerable to-do among a not inconsiderable proportion of the population of North America. We refer, of course, to the Dionne Quintuplets and their sudden refusal to speak English for a radio broadcast.
Such was the welter of indignation, puzzlement and curiosity; such were the reports of adult intrigue, even of racial animosities, that we forthwith dispatched Frederick Edwards to Callander to enquire into the goings on. On page eight of this issue he records his own observations and the viewpoints of various persons immediately associated with the affairs of the Quints, including Father Dionne himself. The Five Sisters themselves threw practically no light on the mystery—and there is a mystery. All in all, Mr. Edwards gives what seems to be a very fair appraisal of a difficult domestic problem created by a caprice of nature and made a matter of international moment by public interest.
• In the matter of the—er, dare we say the midway aspects of Callander, there is in some respects a connection on page fourteen. For it was Patty Conklin who thought up the great scheme of having the Quints as an attraction at the Canadian National Exhibition. The dream did not materialize, but, nevertheless, it was a bold conception. As it is, Mr. Conklin and his carnival play no small part at Toronto’s world famous “Ex.” The path to it, so far as Conklin was concerned, was full of bumps. But showmen thrive on bumps. In addition to the Big F dr, the Conklin carnival is known to many thousands of Canadians throughout the West, for it constitutes Canada’s largest road show. Its story, and that of the man who built it up, is told by Jack Mosher. Incidentally, the Conklin show provides quite a chunk of income for Brantford, Ontario, where the winter quarters are, and where it uses 1,000 gallons of orange paint each year.
• When, in spite of most ingenious camouflaging, German bombers were having no difficulty in locating a key air station in England, the authorities consulted Dr. Vane, an amateur criminologist of quiet renown. It didn’t take the doctor long to confound the enemy’s knavish tricks, as you will see by reading W. E. John’s tale, “The Affair of the Scarlet Band,” on page five. An English author, Mr. Johns has a big following in Britain, where the popularity of spy and detective yams is undiminished despite the grimness of realities
• A jxrsonable fellow, Jeff Dennison no doubt could have prospered in his
father’s business. But he just wasn’t cut out that way. Young Mr. Dennison’s idea of peace and contentment was to operate tourist cabins. The fact that motorists whizzed by his cabins depressed him slightly, but not as much as did the-apathy toward the tourist business of a certain miss, Marian by name. But when circumstances practically threw the said Marian (bound to meet a new fiance) into the establishment of Mr. Dennison, things began to happen. With that we turn you over to W. H. Temple, who, on page twelve, applies “Emergency Break.”
• In October, 1940, Dr. Joseph P. Junosza escaped from Poland. For thirteen months he had lived in a land under Nazi occupation. Since then, in England and on this side of the Atlantic, Dr. Junosza has been telling to small groups the story of what life is like under a conquering Hitler. Recently he agreed that Madearis should print part of that story. It appears on page eleven. Read it. And as you read it, imagine what could happen here were the Nazis to prevail.
•We are not quite so sure as we used to be that horoscopes are the bunk. Some time ago, in an idle moment, we picked up a pamphlet which informed us that the summer months of this year were going to be pretty tough for people born at the time of our entrance into this world. We are beginning to believe this. Take our June 15 cover, for instance—a perfectly lovely view of the Bow River at Banff, with Mount Edith in the background, all taken in natural color by Photographer Lloyd Harmon, of Banff. Of course there had to be two mistakes in the caption. Mount Edith was made to read Edison, and Harmon became Harman. And nobody is to blame but ourselves because, confronted with the evidence, we are compelled to admit that our handwriting, usually pretty clear, was very bad and almost anybody might be pardoned for taking it as Edison instead of Edith and Harman instead of Harmon. So to Mr. Harmon, and everybody in Banff, and to the C.P.R. and to Edith we tender our abject apologies.
•On the other hand, though, said he, brightening visibly, think of Miss Claire Wallace’s Tea Time Topics broadcast the other afternoon. She had put the question: “What do you consider the best buy for a nickel?” And W. J. Dunlop, Director of the Department of University Extension, University of Toronto, replied that his choice for five cents would be Maclean s Magazine, because of the war articles and especially Beverley Baxter’s London Letter. A grand chap, Mr. Dunlop !
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