The Green Bag
step in advance as compared with the unrestrained action of single powers and is temporarily serviceable. There is pressing need for some form of legislative and executive organ as well as an arbitral tribunal for the world. The tendency of the times is toward the treatment of international problems by a large number of governments, and such treatment should not be prevented
by the fiction of the equality of nations and the sanctity of national sovereignty so as to interfere with an insistence on humanitarian practices and some ap proximation to justice on the whole surface of the globe. The final temple of peace, however, cannot be founded on an oligarchy of the nations, but upon a real democracy of all men, free from national or race prejudice.
Reviews of Books A LAWYER'S NOVEL The Upas Tree. By Robert McMurdy. F. J. Schulte & Co., Chicago. Pp. 324. ($1.35 net.) ALAWYER'S novel is a rare thing. Novelists are wont to make con siderable use of legal incidents, as law, particularly when it immediately con cerns the individual, is a vital and dramatic element of life, but a layman's ignorance of its mysteries usually serves their purpose and does not prevent them from gliding swiftly over unsafe topics and hiding the imperfections of their realism. Mr. McMurdy, on the con trary, can write of the drama of a crimi nal prosecution with the ripe knowledge gleaned by a long experience as a practitioner at the Illinois bar. When a lawyer turns his hand to writing a story with a legal plot, the legal side of the story ought at least to be good reading, whatever the story may be in other respects. So whether Mr. Mc Murdy is describing the way in which the grip of the law tightened round the neck of the unfortunate Beckwith Miller, in a prosecution for murder brought on slender but incriminating circumstantial evidence, or the virtues and frailties of the various lawyers who play prom inent parts in the drama, including the
client himself, he sketches vividly and realistically, and gives the reader the impression that here is a record which, like a revelation of professional secrets, is charged There are with official factualreports and vital of import. murder trials which make good reading, and Mr. McMurdy has built up his story upon a similar foundation, minutely dissecting every fact and circumstance which might be reviewed by a jury, and ignoring no significant detail in the working out of the plot, which turns on an administration of digitalin causing death. This manner of treatment is stimulating. It has yielded a remark able description of the actual proceed ings in the trial court, and a narrative which from first to last is as dramatic as an eloquent advocate's summing up of the evidence in a sensational homicide case. To round out the story there is a superadded element that comes from the viewing of the case against the prisoner from other vantage-points, such as those of the prisoner's home and the office of his lawyer. There is good por traiture in the character of this veteran of the bar, who takes up the defense of his client from the most disinterested motive of unselfish loyalty to the pro