National Geographic : 1941 Jan
The National Geographic Magazine A Fuming Vent on St. Lucia Gives Constant Warning of Subterranean Fires Although no major eruption has occurred since the destruction of St. Pierre, Martinique, in 1902, folk on this island, Saba, Dominica, Montserrat, and some others of the West Indies can never forget that their homes are built over an inferno. Boiling pots and caldrons breathing sulphurous smoke indicate volcanic activity near Soufriere (page 24). rectly from the glands of the peel. The fruit is rolled firmly over blunt pins arranged about a funnel-like copper vessel which serves to drain off the expressed oil. This oil, the most valuable of the lime prod ucts, is used in the manufacture of soft drinks, particularly high-quality ginger ale. Distilled oil of limes is a by-product of the manufacture of lime juice. When the seeds have been removed from the limes and the pulp is separated, the juice is sent through large pipes to storage vats where it is left to settle. Then the oil floats to the top, and the lime juice is drawn from the bottom into small vats for shipping to the United States. This oil, which is used for making perfume, is distilled in a copper kettle, then run into a cooler where the water is drawn out. Down the Roseau Layou road past women who carried double-decker burdens of kindling and vegetables upon their heads, we saw fields of vettivert. This sweet grass, roots of which are tied in bunches and sold by native women, lends a faint fragrance to linens and helps keep moths and crickets away. The peasants call it khus-khus and sew it into pastel-colored sachets which they sell for sixpence. The sound of an alien song in French patois welcomed us as we rounded the bend by an old water mill. The Making of Copra Squatting on the ground were dozens of gaily turbaned women, with cutlasses between their knees, breaking out coconut for copra. Punctuating each phrase by a flash of broad steel blade, they sang a song of their own mak ing about "tire de coco." The coconuts are first cleaned, then put in a steam drier for 36 hours until they contain only five per cent moisture. The copra is shipped to London (formerly also to Rotter dam) to be used for margarine and soap.