B. Traven is the mysterious (American?) author who has been hiding in Mexico for thirty years and is the author of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. His recent The Night Visitors & Other Stories was extremely well received in the States. The present novel, a reissue from 1938, stands up remarkably well and is about a to-hell-and-gone jungle village in a nameless Central American country. The simple plot concerns a drowned child and his mother's grief. Over a narrow but deep river by the village, some oil prospectors have built a wooden bridge without railings. Upstream are thousands of alligators which a penniless American has come to stay for their hides. On the night of a fiesta in the impoverished village, a child wanders onto the bridge and falls off. The substance of the story concerns the search for the child, the body's recovery and the subsequent funeral customs. The mother is naturally wild with grief, which egoistically vacillates between love for herself and love for the child. With wonderful irony, Traven describes the funeral band playing over the grave ""Taintgearainnomo"" and ""Yeswehavenobananastoday""--the latest and most fashionable music from the North... His implicit criticism of the States is still apt and the story has lost nothing through the years.