After working in British Intelligence during World War I, William Somerset Maugham set off to regain his health by traveling to Asia, Mexico, and the Pacific Islands. During this trip he gather materials and wrote the stories that appeared in 1921 in The Trembling of a Leaf. The six short stories and two "sketches" include the famous story "Rain" adapted for both theater and film as Sadie Thompson a story about the ironic consequences of obsession. Its less known companions, however, have their own merits. "Macintosh" is a taut psychological study of two officials on a remote tropic island. "The Fall of Edward Barnard" is a brief bildungsroman about what is important in life-a pre-cursor of Maugham's well known novel, The Razor's Edge. Of course love is always a subject of the tropics and Maugham's deft, ironic handling of the theme in "Red" and "Honolulu" is masterful. But it is "The Pool" that tells a poignant and tragic tale about the pitfalls for love across cultures.