Gambar halaman

we immediately and necessarily visualize a void. Thus the negative assumes the aspect of a positive.

It is quite as reasonable, therefore, to hold that there is a universal mind as to hold the opposite. That it is easier, indeed, is proved by the fact that everywhere and in all stages of human existence there has been a dumb recognition of a mind higher than man's and dominating the forces of


If our assumption of the existence of a supreme mind is tenable, we may assume that all the faculties by which human instinct works were imparted in order that the design of the supreme mind might be perfectly effectuated. In dismissing this aspect, it may be asked if it cannot reasonably be held that man's instinct is given him as much for the purpose of acquainting man directly with his maker as with acquainting him indirectly by means of mere instinctive contact with the forces of nature and of human relationships. This, however, is parenthetical.

What we should like to stress is this. Whether creation is by design or is fortuitous, we know for a fact that it has been characterized by a number of powerful fling-backs. There have been several ice ages, and not a few submergences of brilliant civilizations.

It is dangerous to tamper with the forces of nature, and human instinct is unmistakably of this class. By instinct, instinct has in the past kept itself under some sort of lifegiving regulation. Tradition embodies the rules by which it has done this. When instinct lets down the bars and refuses longer to submit to select minds, the race may "Cry Havoc, and let slip the dogs of war".


BY E. G. Allen

HAD always wanted to spend a vacation visiting the interesting parts of New England and enjoying the varied pleasures of mountain, lake, forest and sea. A tramping trip had been often thought of, but its limited range, the discomforts of hot weather tramping, the uncertainties of finding comfortable lodgings, and the difficulties of keeping at hand necessary baggage, kept me from trying the experiment. The automobile and the construction of good motor roads seemed to offer a better solution, but still the problem of lodging seemed difficult. Depending on hotels and inns did not appeal to me in the least, as it meant either a fixed itinerary planned long in advance and strictly adhered to, or else the uncertainties and discomforts of whatever rooms might be available to the unheralded transient in vacation season. Small boarding houses and private homes seemed still more uncertain. What I wanted was freedom to go where I wanted when I wished, to change plans freely at any time untrammeled, and to stop off one night or a week in any spot that struck my fancy.

A camping trip seemed to be the only solution, but is camping without discomfort possible? I had camped in the West with no equipment but what I could carry on my back, but this was not what I wanted in New England. I had seen and pondered over most elaborate outfits of tents with every convenience, cooking outfits with which all sorts of fancy cooking could be done, folding beds, chairs, tables and other paraphernalia. All these seemed to me to mean work - hard labor each evening erecting tents, beds and the like - hard labor again in the morning packing them up. All very well if you were to spend a couple of weeks in one place, but too much work for one-night camps. Moreover, my mind dwelt on such annoyances as mosquitoes, damp ground, rainy weather. Could one keep comfortable under such conditions?

With these questions in my mind I found myself often looking at my sedan car. Here was a roof proof against any rainy spell, windows giving sleeping-porch ventilation or any desired degree of protection, electric lights, a good floor and plenty of height above ground for protection against insects. The one and apparently insuperable objection seemed to be

[graphic][subsumed][merged small][graphic][merged small]

the back of the front seat sticking up in the middle of the car dividing one ample sized room into two impossibly small ones. I once heard of a car built with a hinged seat-back which would let down so a Pullman bed could be made on it, but mine was not that kind and I hesitated to spoil a good car in such a doubtful experiment.

The distance between the top of the seat-back and the roof looked small; still, I revolved the matter in my mind, made sketches of collapsible shelves, thought of pneumatic mattresses and the like. Then on inquiry I found that the thing I desired was made and could be obtained at reasonable price and without delay. A folding bed-frame with comfortable spring bed constructed to stand in the car just above the seat-back. A little experimenting convinced me the thing could be done and that there would be room enough for anyone who didn't expect too much. It was worth a trial at least. The trial was made on the occasion of a visit to the Boys' Camp. Conditions were ideal — a beautiful night with a full moon - a dry field surrounded on three sides by a fringe of woods and thicket completely secluded. The bed proved to be most comfortable. One could get in and out easily and there was plenty of room when lying down. Who wants to sit up in bed, anyway? The affair was easily set up and easily taken down in a few minutes.

[ocr errors]

One requirement was shown by this experiment, however. The bed completely filled the car and couldn't be set up or taken down by anyone without one's standing outside the car. It was all right in a secluded field in clear, dry weather, but how could one arise, dress in decency and comfort if there were near neighbors or passers-by, or in rainy weather? Obviously a dressing room was necessary, so the tent was a requisite after all.

But this tent might be a simple and small affair, and one perfect for this purpose was found ready made. A square affair with a one slope roof and a water-proof floor sewed in

four walls and an extra porch-like roof to pass over the car. Set about three feet from the car with the porch roof forming a covered passage, one could step in any weather or with any surroundings from the bed to the dry, cosy dressing room. Having a floor, it could be set up in any weather without getting the interior wet in the slightest degree. And it was so simple it could be set up or taken down in ten minutes and

[graphic][merged small][graphic][merged small]
« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »