National Geographic : 1927 Jul
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Photograph by Geo. Finlay Simmons LONG JOHN GLOATING IN THE FACE OF A HOODOO For many centuries mariners have frowned at the catching of the beautiful, changing-hued dolphins, alleged to bring luck and fair winds to the sailing ship (see text below). and sea serpents, and many other animals of fable and antiquity. The violent death of some of these is considered by mariners to be a sure way of bringing trouble on one's head. And when one starts out avowedly to hunt for trouble he usually finds it. Thus did our men explain why ill luck dogged our schooner's wake. We met storms, head winds, and disheartening calms; men were sick from fevers and exposure, usually when they were most needed; our small boats were battered on hidden reefs and iron-bound shores, and one whaleboat was wrecked in making a difficult landing. In distant ports, of Africa and South America, there were wearisome delays while the schooner un derwent the repairs always needed after many months at sea. Fortunately, the tragic drama at times became melodrama and even light opera a background of native huts with too much covering and native maidens with too little; guitars softly strumming the plaintive minors of a primitive people; the hypnotic beat of a Senegambian tom tom, summoning ebony damsels to quiver in the throes of a voodoo dance; shabby beach-combers and thirsty mariners; sol diers-of-fortune and the multihued war riors of colorful nations; and girls to lure the sailors from their duty-girls ranging in complexion from the sun at high noon, through the cafe-au -lait of Brazil and the Cape Verdes, to the blackest blue-black of Africa. VICARIOUS ADVENTURERS The Cleveland Museum of Natural His tory is a comparative infant in the circle of scientific institutions, for it was not organized until 1920, by Harold T. Clark, Lewis B. Williams, Alwin C. Ernst, and Dr. George W. Crile. Infused with the enthusiasm of a loyal group of sponsors and patrons, at the tender age of two and a half years it looked about for fields of endeavor beyond those of Ohio. At the suggestion of a friendly "elder brother"