12 APRIL 1935, Page 38

DEVIL-BROTHER By Walter Baron. Edited by H. Howard Taubman Devil - Brother

(Hurst and Blackett, 12s. 6d.) is a sixteen- year-old German boy's diary of eighteen months' exploring in the Ainaionian jungle. The editor, Mr. Howard Taubman (who is, presumably, the translator), testifies to the genuineness of this extraordinary book, and to the integrity of its young author, Walter Baron, now the sole survivor of the expedition. Dr. Bahrt, the German leader, recently " disappeared " some- where in Africa without leaving any records either of himself or his work, on this, or any other, expedition. On February 1st, 1927, their destination known only to Dr. Bahrt, the party of eighteen men, consisting of Germans, Brazilians and a French- man, sailed secretly, by night, from Manaos up the Rio Negro, a tributary of the Amazon. At a point not indicated they took to horses and penetrated into the little-known interior of the North-west Amazon basin—hunting, fighting hostile Indians, and suffering all the hardships that this deadly region can inflict on the traveller. The author was invariably the hero of many hairbreadth escapes from death at the hands of Indians (who made war on them as the result of an amorous indiscretion on the part of the Frenchman), or the jaws of wild animals ; his prowess as a rider, a shot, a swimmer of crocodile-infested streams, and a ,climber of trees being of a nature to make every schoolboy him green with envy, just as it earned him the name of Devil-Brother from the admiring savages. The party successfully washed for gold, but this was nothing compared to the vast treasure they discovered in the ruined rock-city of the Atlantis men—as Dr. Bahrt called its bearded inhabitants. Baron was captured and fettered with chains of solid gold, but managed to make his escape. Finally, the expedition, terribly reduced in numbers by the ravages of Indians, animals and disease, was compelled to return with the

merest fraction of the wealth they had encountered, and today the author of this book is employed as a ship's mess-boy, waiting to lead another expedition to Eldorado when those who believe in the genuineness of his narrative have raised sufficient funds. At least one reader of these diaries will require more tangible evidence before subscribing to the project.