13 DECEMBER 1935, Page 30

To and Fro

Youth Uncharted. By Stephen Lawford. (Ivor Nicholson and Watson: 7s. Gd.),

HAPPILY-for England she has always produced the restless hearts who long to follow knowledge like a sinking star, and launch out to regions where gloom the dark broad seas. Cer- tainly Mr. Lawford has been one of them, and he has taken

his enviable opportunities gaily without hesitation. His first opportunity came at the outbreak of the War while he

was still an undergraduate 'in ,Oxford, and it is remarkable for how many years he longed to save up enough money to return to the University. As he wore Spectacles the recruiting doctor refused to pass him till young Lawford made the bold sug-

gestion that they should test the question by a set at tennis. Lawford just managed to' win, was recruited, served under blaspheming sergeants on the Plain, and was sent to the Indian frontier and the stewpot of Aden. Fighting in the desert there, he got a bullet through his hand, had to be sent home, and lost the use of two fingers.

In crossing the Mediterranean .the ship was threatened by a submarine, and he asked a naval man in the berth above him whether there was a good chance or being picked up if

the ship sank : " He replied, ' Not so bad. But I 'opera to Cod we aint picked up by them blanky Frogs.' I said I, did not mind who rescued me. To which my naval rating retnarked, ' You dOn't know nothing about the 'orrora of war'you don't. Early on in The war I was in destroyers in these parts and a French transport was Stink. We went in to pick up survivors. I picked up two, and, 'my Gawd, they kissed me something- 'orrid

Mr. Lawford, being a scholar in languages, never hesitates to quote exactly, or nearly exaCtly, the common words 'used by the majority of i!t. EnglIsh people when th.cy feelAtt home, and his laufipur ;does I tot desert-him even in the worst crisis. Crisis after'Crisig came when jiist after tlie peace he was sent out in some semi-official position to work with the White Armies of Dcnikin and Wrangel in Russia. He has not much to say for the Whites as soldiers, though, after all, they only

shared the usual Ru_ssian characteristics : .

The iVbite. generals were divided, many were bravo, gallant, and able, others were not ; but what Eitruck ins mast, at tho tithe was thelack of practicality,' the unwillingness to give up personal jealOugy-for the- eomthorr cause, tho °reluctance to come to a clear decision and, above all, the terrible amount of talk and discussion which ".ticiek: place 'on every. possible, and 'impossible,, occasion. Well might General Kaledin ronuirk before he shot himself, that Russia was lost by too much talk."

, The author:was present in Constantio4k during that eon-

' fused time when the Allies were in oceupat ion. After Kemal Pasha and General ilarington had pittehed tip some sort of terms he \Vent wandernig far -through Asiatic Turkey and the Cimeasos The next few year's were spent, in the B alkans or t Gel-let:a, where he met_ his hero Natiscy. and Sir Samuel


I Io:t re, or in Egypt under Anvil-by. For three, years he was stationed at Constantinople in charge of the refugees, and all who know refugees will. appreciate his 'unending difficulties.Crowds of helpless people driven frem their lioniesbj, Turks or Bolsheviks-Ida tube settled somewhere, even afVer Kemal had driven thousands of Greeks to drown off the quays of Smyrna. During and since the- War we came to know those n.i'ogees too well. , We knew the kind of luggage the prior cn-at tires tried to 'carry 'away with them " Pieces of furniture; .parrot cages, small dogs, big dogs, cats, a goat, cocks and hens, trunks, baskets, perambulators, blankets, petrol tins with ferns in them, 'carpets, the stock-in-trade of itinerant tobacconists; Wax figures arid'diessmaking-busts lying in abandened cooking• stoves and saekii, of oranges and onions." After a brief -stay-in London the wanderer was off again; this time to South Ameriea, With it.cominission to settle mole refugees .far up. the River Paraguay. Terrible adventures he I was r geing to say--enjoyed ; but 'shiPWreek;' droWnirg, famine,' desolation, and the ceaseless plague of mosquitoes pass the limit of a wanderer's enjoyment. It is hard to say which was his most terrible situation : perhaps when he lost in a Bolivian forest without food or drink, but contrived riX-gyro to'diSCOVer-a Iittle muddy stream to lap while a' jaguar glared

at him from the opposite bank. The Whole story is told without complaint or exaggeration, and one likes to think that now the restless hero is safely settled in some post under the League at ,Geneva-,settled, if the 'League itself can be