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Books: Cradle of the Cheap

3 minute read

Cradle of the CheapGAL REPORTER—Joan Lowell—Farrar & Rinehart ($2.50). Joan Lowell, who signed her name to The Cradle of the Deep, one of the best-selling true-story hoaxes of recent years, has rested on her dubious laurels for four years. When her money dwindled, she had to hunt a job. She got one as reporter on a Boston tabloid, the Daily Record. Gal Reporter tells, in ochreous tabloid style, some of her assignments. For tabloid readers who think highly enough of their favorite reading matter to buy it in hook form, Gal Reporter should do nicely. More intelligent readers may enjoy it for other reasons. By special permission from Washington she was allowed to make a trip with the Coast Guard Cutter Mojave. She admits the crew were glad to see her go. As the Mojave steamed in to New London observers rioted Authoress Lowell’s pink bloomers fluttering from the flag lanyard. Says Authoress Lowell: “Honest, I don’t know who put them up there. . . .” The Record editor plastered Boston with pictures of his Gal Reporter, then sent her out in disguise on various rough assignments. She was seldom recognized. Twice she was in danger of having more than her disguise removed. Posing as a dancer looking for work, she allowed a white slaver to take her to his room where she was badly beaten, but refused to take her clothes off, and had the presence of mind, while he was “ripping and tearing” at her, to stick her monogram pin in the mattress for identification purposes. When she went to a nudist colony she found herself in an even more embarrassing situation, but says she kept the victory. Gal Reporter Lowell says she was ashamed at first of writing for a tabloid, but ended “by being proud that any words I could assemble in a newspaper story could be of benefit to others who have no medium of being heard.” Worn out by her civic labors, last April she and her “73-year-old sea captain father” set out in a 48-ft. schooner, the Black Hawk, to sail around the world. But two months later the Black Hawk fetched up on a sandbar off Cat Island, in the Bahamas, and Skipper Joan went back to Manhattan to raise $300. With $1,000 and Count Ilya Tolstoy as a deckhand, undaunted Adventuress Lowell set off again. Said she: “Hell, yes, we’re going on—rHit on around Cape Horn.”

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