Like the tortuous ironies in an Orozco painting comes this graphic tale of peon life in a mahogany camp during the Mexican Revolution. B. Traven, the mysterious author of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre who lives in Mexico and about whom relatively little is known, is far from obscure in his writing. Reading at times like a calmly factual news story with undercurrents of steam that ices on the surface, the story begins with the plight of Candido, a Tsotsil Indian who is unable to pay for an appendectomy on his wife. Too late, he gets himself in debt to a forester and is forced with his two children into slave labor in a mahogany camp. To pressure the individual haul into four tons a day the owners hang the Indians head down from the trees- at the mercy of insects and their superstitious fears. With candour and unemotional clarity, Traven patiently and skillfully describes the daily lives, hopes, fears and wants of peons and owners to the beginning and through the full flowering of rebellion, up to the doubts and conflicts on the part of the Indians, the intellectual leaders, the reactionaries, as to the real purposes and the real futilities of an honest revolution- the hard thing that it is to achieve a truly resolved goal. An important, searching book, with the silent violence of the slug of a black jack.