1 SEPTEMBER 1939, Page 29

By E. Erskine Loch As the title indicates, Fever, Famine

and Gold (Heinemann, Us. 6d.) belongs to that class of travel books in which the most is made of the more sensational aspects of the expedition. Actually neither fever nor famine played a very important part in Captain Loch's journeys in the interior of Ecuador, and the expedition was not after gold. But they happened to be traversing a country famous for its legends and traditions about the lost mines of the Incas, so, of course, the author couldn't resist bringing it all in. Which is unfortunate because much more has been written about these lost mines than about the actual country and natives of this remote corner of the Andes. And the expedition's actual achievements in them- selves would have filled a book. The river. Curaray was proved to be navigable right to the frontier, a pass through the Llanganatis Mountains was discovered which would shorten the route between the central tableland and the Oriente, and a suitable landing-place for aeroplanes located. It is a pity that travellers like Captain Loch, who no doubt make light of hardships at the time, should make so much of them when they start writing.