Cuba, by Ford Fairford

Material Information

Cuba, by Ford Fairford
Series Title:
Peeps at many lands
Fairford, Ford
Pratt, Claude
Place of Publication:
A. & C. Black
Publication Date:
Second edition.
Physical Description:
vii, 87 p. : incl. map. 8 col. pl. (incl. front.) ; 20 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Description and travel -- Cuba ( lcsh )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


General Note:
Title within ornamental border.
Statement of Responsibility:
with eight full-page illustrations in colour by Claude Pratt.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
022615690 ( ALEPH )
24308887 ( OCLC )
AFE0498 ( NOTIS )


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Large Crown 8vo.. Cloth, containing Full-Page Illustrations in Colour and many
having attractive Picture Jackets.
,, ,, ANCIENT LANDS (5 volumes)
,, NATURE (13 volumes)
,, ,, HISTORY (11 volumes)
,, ,, RAILWAYS (5 volumes)
,, ,, INDUSTRIES (5 volumes)

Volsmos reads:
Writs for a detailed list of th cmplete series








4, 5 & 6 SOHO SQ., LONDON, W.

First Edition published in October, 1913

Printed in Great Britain



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S 27

. 65
. 69



A CUBAN RIVER Frontisfiw~

Sketch-Map of Cuba on page viii


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WITHOUT referring to a map of the world, I wonder
how many boys and girls could locate the beautiful
island of Cuba. I also wonder if it is generally known
that this enchanting country is associated with the
daring and romantic sea voyages of the great Christopher
Columbus. There, now I can hear my readers saying
that of course Cuba must be somewhere in the West
Indies, for that was where the celebrated navigator had
so many strange experiences many days after his
departure from Spain to discover new worlds across
the broad Atlantic.
It is of this beautiful island in the West Indies that
I wish to write. So full is it of historical interest,
romantic people, wonderful birds and animals, magni-
ficent trees and flowers, glorious sunsets, strange tales
of pirates and haunted caves, that I scarcely know where
to begin my story. Suppose I begin by introducing
you to its physical features, its discovery, and a little of
its history.
If you will take down from your bookself a good
map of the world and turn to those myriads of islands

comprising the West Indies, you will see that Cuba is
the largest of the group. You will notice, too, that it
is a long, narrow strip of land surrounded by water-
the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of
Mexico. Its length is 730 miles, and its breadth varies
from about 30 miles in the west to Ioo miles in the east.
The coasts are very rugged; hundreds of little
islands, rocks, and coral reefs make navigation extremely
hazardous. Along the south coast are many imposing
mountains, and numerous marshy islands inhabited by
reptiles, such as snakes, lizards, and crocodiles, meet the
eye of the traveller as he looks from the deck of the
steamer taking her circuitous course towards Santiago
de Cuba.
Many streams run down from the mountain tops to
the sea, dispensing their welcome waters to the tobacco
and sugar plantations in the smiling valleys ; but very
few rivers are bold enough to boast of their length and
breadth. The largest river is the Rio Cauto; its rival
in importance is the Sagua la Grande.
The island is divided into six provinces, each celebrated
for its production of a specific commodity. Pinar del
Rio is renowned for its tobacco; Havana for its sugar
and tobacco; Matanzas for its agricultural lands ; Santa
Clara for its cattle and sugar ; Puerto Principe for its
cattle raising; and Santiago for its sugar, coffee, and
If you were to visit Cuba and were unable to speak
any language but English, you would experience great
difficulty in touring the island, for Spanish is the
language of its people. The population is a little over
two millions, the greater proportion being Cubans. A

A Preliminary Peep at the Island
third of the population are negroes ; over 185,ooo are
Spaniards; the Chinese number about 45,000 ; there is
an extensive American colony, and there is a goodly
number of Germans, French, and English. More will
be said of these peoples and their characteristics in a
special chapter a little farther on.
The story of Cuba and its people is very romantic
and often tragic. To do justice to such a subject would
require many volumes. Therefore we can do no more
than just peep at several of the more important scenes
on the stage of its history.
When Christopher Columbus started on his memor-
able expedition from Spain in 1492 to discover the
western route to India, he discovered what is now
known as the island of Cuba, although the great
navigator himself was not aware that the newly-dis-
covered land was surrounded by water. He found the
country inhabited by races of Indians similar to those
inhabiting the whole of America at that time. These
people were called Caribs and Nahacs, and they lived
by fishing, hunting, and rude agricultural pursuits.
Probably you have read how these savages ran helter-
skelter through the woods when first they caught sight
of the big foreign ships on which Columbus and his
crew crossed from Spain. When they saw the white
faces of these strange visitors they fell at their feet in
supplication, supposing them to be gods from the unseen
Columbus landed at what is now termed the Bay of
Nuevitas, and took possession of the country in the
name of the King of Spain, calling it Juana in honour
of Prince John, the King's son. This name, however,

was soon afterwards changed into Fernandina, then
Santiago, the name of Spain's patron saint; subsequently
Ave Maria in honour of the Virgin Mary ; and finally
Cuba, the name by which it was known to the aborigines
when Columbus first set foot on its soil.
Columbus tells us that he found the people scantily
clad, but apparently living in comparative ease and
happiness. He found that, although they had no
gorgeous religious ceremonies, they believed in, and
worshipped, a great and loving God who protected
them from dangers on earth, and at death led their souls
into a land of eternal peace and bliss.
In 1511, Diego Columbus, son of the famous ex-
plorer, started from Spain with three or four hundred
people to colonize the island, the first settlement being
in Baracoa. Then followed the settlements at Santiago,
Trinidad, and San Cristobal de la Habana, from 1514 to
1516. This latter name was finally transferred to what
is now the city of Havana, the b in the centre of the
word being still retained by the Cubans.
From the foundation of these settlements began a
long series of wars and piracies, extending to the invasion
of Havana by the British Admiral, Lord Albemarle, in
the year 1762.
It was in 1538 that the first disaster overtook Cuba,
her capital, Havana, being reduced to ashes by a French
privateer. To prevent a recurrence of similar disasters,
the Spanish Governor, Fernando de Soto, ordered the
construction of the fortress Castillo de la Fuerza, the
ruins of which still look out across the entrance to the
harbour. To-day, however, no guns bristle from its
walls; instead, the Cubans nightly gather not far from

A Preliminary Peep at the Island
its walls to listen to the music of the Cuartel Guards'
Band playing at the foot of the picturesque Prado.
In 1554 the city was again attacked by the French,
and utterly destroyed. Once more the Spaniards rose to
the occasion, rebuilt the city, and constructed two strong
fortresses, El Morro (Castle of the Three Kings) and
La Punta, both of which you would see standing to-day
if you looked from the deck of a steamer as she entered
the beautiful land-locked harbour of Havana.
In 1665, harassed by so many marauders year in and
year out, the Spaniards began to build a great wall
around the city, hoping that it would protect them from
those persistent bands of pirates who infested the seas
in the palmy days of piracy and pillage.
For some years the Spaniards managed to keep their
enemies at bay; but in 1762 an English fleet of 200
vessels and x5,000 men startled the city by their
appearance one morning outside the harbour. For a
month the Spaniards fought valiantly to defend their
country from invasion ; but at last the British captured
the commanding fortress of Morro Castle, and turning
their guns upon the forts of La Punta and La Fuerza,
the entrance to the city was accomplished by the
capitulation of its defenders. When Albemarle turned
his back upon Havana, he carried with him spoils of the
value of nearly one million pounds.
One other war that determined the present status of
Cuba took place as recently as 1898 ; but as this will be
referred to in another chapter, we will pass on to a little
chat about the Cuban people, their characteristics, and
the conditions under which they are at present living.


THE city of Havana is so unlike any other city in the
Western World that we must take our time as we parade
its historic, romantic, and enchanting streets.
If you started on a steamship from New York to Cuba,
you would experience a growing sense of expectancy each
morning that you came on deck to stretch your legs.
It is a three days' journey from the bustling com-
mercial capital of the United States. The steamer clings
to the picturesque east coast of Florida, thus adding to
the pleasure of the all too brief sea voyage. As you
lean over the side of the ship to peer into the sea below,
you are at once impressed by the indescribable colours
of the water. To the right of the steamer, along the
Florida coast, the water is bluish-green; to the left
dark purple ; while the track of the steamer is a rich,
dark blue that fills the soul with a restless longing for
something unattainable. Overhead a glaring sun shines
in a brilliant pale blue sky, and across the calm sea
comes a gentle breeze to cool the heated brow, for we
are daily drawing nearer to the Equator.
Leaping out of the quiet water, their white bellies
shimmering in the sunlight, are shoals of porpoises.
They love to gambol in the haunts of their ancestors,
and at first sight you would fancy that they were the

An Enchanted City
happiest creatures alive in the ocean. However, life is
not all sunshine with these fascinating dwellers in the
sea. Sometimes you will observe great consternation
in the school; you may then conclude that some wily
enemy in search of food is chasing them wildly through
the water, and woe betide the poor little fellows that
happen to be in the rear of the company. Flying-fish
are abundant here also, and few sights are more interest-
ing than that of a company of these little creatures
skimming over the water for a distance of fifty yards,
and finally diving beneath the white crest of a gently
undulating wave.
At five o'clock on the fourth morning of your
voyage you are aroused from your slumber by the
shrill tones of a bugle which tell you that you have
passed Morro Castle, and that the peaceful harbour of
Havana has been reached in safety. Hurrying to the
deck you are astonished at the scene of activity. Scores
of vessels surround your steamer, small boats called
"lighters approach to receive the cargo, and gangs of
scantily-clad men jabbering in a strange tongue, or
whistling or singing, inform you that you are no
longer in the land of your mother-tongue.
After the doctor has been on board to see that all
passengers are free from disease, you descend to a little
ferry boat on which you are quickly carried to the
Customs House (called "Aduana" in the Spanish lan-
guage). Here your luggage is examined by a Customs
official, after which you are free to wander at will through
the great mercantile centre of the Cuban island.
When you have satisfied the inquisitive luggage
examiners by exposing to their scrutiny the contents of

your grips and trunks, it is probable that you will drive
through Obispo (Bishop Street) to one of the large
hotels in the neighbourhood of Central Park. As you
pass on your way the first impression will be tme
extreme narrowness of the streets, many of them being
too narrow to permit the passing of two vehicles. You
will also notice that in the principal commercial quarter
only one person at a time can occupy the footpath, it
being not more than eighteen inches in width. The
gorgeous colours of the shops will strike you as most
peculiar, some being blue, others green, some white, and
many yellow. At the corner of every street are to be
observed caf6s thrown wide open, with scores of small,
clean tables studding the floor, at which people at every
hour of the day sip the sweet juices of the delightfully
refreshing fruits of Cuba. It is probable that the sun
will be shining brilliantly, so that you will drive
beneath a canopy of awning stretching from one side of
the street to the other.
When you have registered at your hotel, you will
naturally wash, brush-up, and descend to the "comedor "
(dining-room), where a menu in Spanish will be placed
before you. Of course, unless you know the Spanish
language, you begin to wonder how it will be possible
to keep on friendly terms with your stomach. How-
ever, your mind is soon set at rest, for the "mozo"
(waiter), who has probably noticed your embarrassment,
begins to translate the items for you. Not that you
always take kindly to the dishes, because every nation
has its own dietetic peculiarities.
Now that luncheon is over we will take in some of
the interesting sights of the city. First we will visit

An Enchanted City
Central Park, with its goodly array of laurels, poincianas,
almonds, and palms, at the feet of which ornamental
shrubs and sweet-scented flowers blaze forth in a very
pageant of everchanging beauty. In the centre of this
alluring mass of flowers and greenery stands the com-
manding statue of Jos6 Marti, the "Apostol" of Cuban
independence. Close to the base there are sculptured
"nineteen figures, which show this nation moving for-
ward-men, young and old, armed and unarmed;
women and children, all eager, straining towards the
goal ahead, which is Independence; and overshadowing
them with her great white wings is Victory, bearing the
palm of peace." Thus does the sculptor, J. Vilalta de
Saavedra, describe the monument.
At every hour of the day the Central Park has a
different message to deliver: In the early morning,
when out of the heart of the country the mule-drawn
carts, laden with pineapples, go rumbling by to the
weird Cuban songs of their drivers; at noon, when
heat-worn workers loll on the seats beneath the shadows
of the trees; and in the evening, when the glory of a
golden sunset spreads its glamour over the nodding
roses. But it is never so fascinating as when hundreds
of citizens at nightfall stroll leisurely over its pave-
ments, or sit in groups to discuss the events of the day;
or when the hatless maidens, attended by their mothers,
sit in the yellow light of myriads of lamps, handling
their fans as artistically as though they held themonopoly
of the art of fan manipulation. At the foot of the
Marti monument La Banda Municipal strikes up the
familiar and soul-haunting strains of "Carmen," or
some other of the classic operas; and over all this semi-
CV. 9 2

fairyland of faces the brilliant moon sends her shafts of
silvery light from a dark blue sky riddled with myriads
of restless stars.
Leaving the Central Park behind us, we drive slowly
down the Prado, a picturesque street, down the centre
of which is a double concrete promenade, artistically
decorated with shrubs, flowers, and an army of fresh
green laurel trees. On either side of the Prado are
handsome residences of imposing architecture. The
doors and windows are exceedingly heavy, and are pro-
tected by massive iron bars and picturesque grilles.
Extending from the doors and windows to the edge of
the footpath are ornamental archways supported on
strong pillars. If you were to examine the ponderous
doors and windows, you would think that Cubans had
the fear of pirates haunting their minds perpetually.
The grilles protecting the windows range from one to
three inches in thickness, and the locks, knockers, bolts,
and bars near the doorway are thicker still. In the
lower part of the Prado alone there must be thousands
of tons of iron attached to the walls of residential
property. However, it is all very imposing. And in
the evening when the families gather in the doorways,
or sit on their upper verandas to catch the breeze from
the sea, there are few sights in Havana more suggestive
of peace and plenty. Moreover, the Cubans have
studied their climate, for, by erecting these iron grilles
outside their doors and windows, they are able to enjoy
the free circulation of fresh air through every apartment
of their houses, the effect of which is registered in the
robust chests of the men and women, and the healthy
light glowing in the eyes of all their children.

An Enchanted City
At the foot of the Prado, between the carcel" (city
jail) and the old fortress of La Punta, is a piece of land
that was once the place of public execution, upon which
now stands a most interesting memorial to certain boy-
students of Havana University who were put to death
to appease the anger of a bloodthirsty band of Spanish
volunteers. I will tell you the story.
In the year 1871, a class of medical students at the
University were charged with desecrating the grave of
a Spaniard who had been killed in a duel by a Cuban at
Key West during a political quarrel This incident gave
the Spanish volunteers garrisoned in Havana an oppor-
tunity to let loose the devilish spirits within them
against the Cuban population whom they hated. That
no desecration had been committed was fully demon-
strated publicly; but the Spanish soldiers threatened
mutiny unless the students were put to death. To
appease them, eight of these innocent youths were
ordered to line up; in a few moments their lifeless
bodies lay riddled with bullets where now stands the
tablet recording the shameful crime. The dead bodies
were thrown into a cart, buried in unconsecrated ground,
criss-cross, in a filthy ditch, as was the customary
method in those days of burying traitors. Some time
after the execution the bodies of these innocent youths
were exhumed and transferred to the Colon Cemetery,
where their bones now rest beneath a magnificently
sculptured monument erected to their memory by the
people of Cuba.


BEFORE leaving Havana we must certainly visit a few
of the historic buildings around which there cluster so
many tragedies, legends, and weird romances.
The Plaza de Armas (Place of Arms) is interesting
as the spot upon which the first Mass was held at the
foundation of the city in 1519. Looking sombre and
sad in its yellow drapery the President's Palace stands
immovable amid the fickle, varying years. Wearing
the architectural garb of an earlier period El Templete
(The Temple) awakens a world of sentiment in the soul
of him who loves the things of other days. El Templete
is erected on the spot where once stood a beautiful ceiba
tree. Under this venerable tree, in 1795, the bones of
Christopher Columbus, in an ebony sarcophagus, were
inspected, prior to their removal to a vault in the
Cathedral close by. A bust of the discoverer stands in
the court. Only once a year is the chapel open, and if
you visited it on the night of November I5 you would
see thousands of citizens walking dutifully towards its
doors in order to gaze at the only treasures it contains
-three pictures by the artist Escobar. The various
Government departments, the Hall of Representatives,
La Fuerza are all in proximity to the Plaza de Armas.
Not far from this interesting spot, if you were with
me, I should take you on a little boat across the bay to
see Castillo de San Carlos de la Cabania (the Castle of

History and Romance
St. Charles of the Cabin) standing high on a hill over-
looking the harbour. At one time this was the main
fortification of Havana. Down the slopes of the hill
much precious blood has flown into the deep blue water
below. It is not a pleasant place to visit, for if you
have any imagination, ghosts of valiant men still patrol
the trenches, and around the lips of the tired cannon
lingers the last breath of expiring shot.
After passing through the grim vaulted hall we come to
the memorable Laurel Ditch (Los Fosos de las Laureles)
where hundreds of revolutionaryinsurgentswere shot and
flung to the hungry sharks at the base of the ramparts.
A small tablet, representing an angel bearing aloft the
soul of the unfortunate patriot, marks the spot where
the victims fell beneath the shots of the Spanish soldiers.
What a maze of contorted paths there are within the
fortification I How cold the blood becomes when im-
agination gathers up the direful deeds perpetrated in the
lofty passages, vaulted halls, and icy prisons I The echo
of one's footsteps in the sombre halls adds to the
almost intolerable silence of the vast and dreary forts.
The only relief to the scene is an occasional flower
peeping through the scattered shrubs, half shy, half
timid, as if it were expecting the return of feet that
years ago trampled in the blood of Cuba's valiant sons.
What a relief to ascend to the ramparts where one
can see the quaint city of Havana pursuing her peaceful
course; or hear the twelve old Spanish guns on the
summit send out their salutation to approaching ships.
May their throats for ever thrill with salutations I
We must not jump into our little boat again until we
have walked as far as MorroCastle. The storiesassociated
with this Castle of the Three Kings would fill many

volumes, for it has played a noble and bloody part in the
history of Cuba. How many thrilling tales could its moat
and dungeons tell I shall have space to tell but one.
One glorious afternoon in June, 1762, the Captain-
General of Havana was notified from the watch-tower
of Morro that in the distance was visible a fleet of 200
sail. Could it be the dreaded British ships at last
arrived ? Alas I it was. The clatter of alarm-bells
filled the air ; consternation took possession of the
people. In a short time infantry, cavalry, and armed
inhabitants set out to repel the invader from the shore.
Monks, nuns, women and children marched out of the
city ; but male citizens were armed and ordered to take
part in the defence of Havana. Admiral Sir George
Pocock was in command of the British fleet ; the land
forces were in charge of the gallant Lord Albemarle.
For eight or ten days the British guns hammered at
Morro fort, but the Spaniards clung valiantly to their bat-
tered fortress. By June 27 the British had successfully
undermined the seaward bastion, and were ready to deal
the final blow at the besieged. Before charging the mine
Lord Albemarle sent a letter to the Spanish Commander,
Velasco, inviting him to surrender and thus prevent un-
necessarybloodshed; but the brave defender of the Morro
Castle declined to consider the overtures, preferring to
die at his post rather than capitulate. On the following
day the mine was fired, and through a breach in the wall
the British sea-dogs poured in overwhelming numbers.
Velasco fell mortally wounded, as did also his second
in command, Marques de Gonzalez, sword in hand.
With the guns of Morro pouring a deadly fire on
La Punta and the city batteries, the fall of Havana was

History and Romance
inevitable. On July 14 the British flag floated above the
city, while the Spanish troops marched out with colours
flying, drums beating, and all the honours of war.
The British spoil included "nine warships, several
merchant vessels and their cargoes, and large stores of
tobacco and other commodities awaiting export, other
articles and money-a total of 736,185 ($3,980,900)."
Only for one year, however, did the British flag wave
over Cuba. In 1763 the island was restored to Spain.
Well, suppose we recross the harbour, and visit one
or two more places of interest. You could not say that
you had seen every object of interest in Havana unless
you had visited the oldest and oddest fortification in Cuba
-La Fuerza. The erection of this "city defence" was
begun in x544, under the superintendence of a bold
Spanish sea-rover and explorer named Hernando de
Soto. From this fort Soto sailed in search of new
lands, new seas, and new treasures. One day he set
out on an expedition from which he was never to return.
In the turbulent waters of the newly-discovered Missis-
sippi he found a grave. On his departure he left his
bride, the Lady Isabel de Bodilla, in charge of La
Fuerza. From the tower in the top of the fort one
can see the distracted bride scanning with longing and
expectant eyes the vast expanse of sea around, if haply she
might catch a glimpse of a sail to herald her lover's return.
For four years she looked in vain. At fast the remnants of
Soto's fleet came sailing up the mouth of the harbour, only
to break to the lady the sad news of her husband's death.
History relates that the devoted Isabel never smiled again,
but died a short time afterwards with a broken heart.
In the tower the bell is silent; below the rhythmic

patter of the feet of the rural guards resound above the
silent dungeons at its base.
There are many, many more places of interest we
might visit, but I will take you to one more only,
because with it is associated a very romantic little story.
On the outskirts of the city stands an ancient church;
near the church stands a tree under which one must
always speak the truth, for, as Miss Wright says, In
the early years, when Indian chiefs were still powerful
enough to make it worth the Spaniards' while to placate
them, the daughter of a cacique of a Guanajay tribe was
robbed of a wonderful necklace of pearls. So great
was her father's wrath it became necessary to punish
someone for the theft, and as the culprit could not be
identified, they picked upon a young man who, by some
unhappy circumstances, might be safely charged with
the crime. He was condemned to die, although he
denied his guilt to the very moment of execution. A
priest, mounted on a mule, accompanied him to death,
which was to be inflicted at the spot where the church
stands now. The victim, still protesting that he had
stolen no pearls, asked for ten minutes' final grace, and
it was granted. The firing squad stood close at hand,
and especially near was the officer in charge. The
priest, still mounted upon his mule, kept by the prisoner,
and he, as the minutes speeded, called upon Santiago
and upon Mary to heed his plight. The padre's mule,
at that critical juncture, snatched at a single leaf drifting
down from the tree in shade of which he rested, and
missed it; but his teeth caught in the doublet of the
officer in charge of the firing squad, ripped it open-
and the missing pearls fell to the ground in sight of all!"


AT any hour of the day scenes are enacted in the streets
of Havana that are not to be observed in any other
portion of the Western World. If you rise in the
morning before five o'clock, your ears are filled with the
music of mellow bells ringing from the old cathedral
tower, their inspiriting tones carrying far out to sea,
filling the hearts of the port-bound mariners with
exultant joy. A walk through the narrow streets
would reveal to you scores of mules drawing heavy
garbage-laden carts, for at dawn the city's refuse is
collected from the bins that line the streets in thousands.
You would also meet the jovial night-watchman de-
lighted to greet the dawn. The duty of these men is
to watch over certain sections of the city allotted to
them, and to see that no thieves and no fires disturb
the slumbers of the residents. It may seem strange to
a visitor, but so great is the faith of the residents in the
integrity of the night-watchmen, that they are allowed
to carry a key of every door, by the use of which they
are able to enter and rouse the sleepers if fire breaks
out or thieves break in.
Gliding through the narrow entrance to the harbour
tired fishermen direct their smacks to the landing-stage,
and the night's catch is exposed for sale on Caballeria
Wharf. Facing the Morro rises the sun, and "the

morn in russet mantle clad" tips with gold the ola
Spanish guns on the ramparts of Cabafias. A shroud
of mist vanishes from the water like a dream ; snow-
white sails of schooners shiver in the breeze ; various
craft disturb the stillness of the water ; while from the
laurel-trees that fringe the bay the mellow tones of birds
ring sharp and clear upon the morning air.
Passing through the city streets are the produce-
bearing drays drawn by mules to the accompaniment of
jingling bells. Follow them to the market and listen
to the pandemonium of the salesmen. How they shout
-how they gesticulate-how they barter-and how
they cheat! Pity the buyer who does not know the
Spanish language, and who cannot barter too, for in
those Spanish skins there lurks a spirit of bargaining
that quite out-jews a Jew. If you are asked fifty cents
for any commodity, you must barter until you get it for
twenty-five, and then rest assured that it is worth no
more than ten.
It is now eight o'clock, the hour when the shop
assistants draw up the corrugated shutters, and pull
down the awning to protect the merchandise from the
glaring sun. Electric cars go racing through the streets
perpetually sounding their hideous gongs; enraged
drivers shout at their struggling mules; motor-cars go
panting and belching over the cobbled roadways ; news-
boys yell El Mundo," "Post," El Dia"; street
vendors thrust a ream of lottery tickets beneath your
nose ; organ grinders start their grinding ; and at every
corner of the streets, men already perspiring from the
heat, lounge at the dainty little tables sipping their
cooling drinks through long, thin straws.

Quaint Sights in the Streets
In the midst of all this din let us sit down at one of
the little tables, take a "pifia colada" to drink, and watch
the passers-by. There goes a man chanting in low
tones as he slowly pushes his fruit-laden trolley, Man-
guito y Mangue, de la tierra las pifias." Here comes
the street pedlar pushing his handcart decorated with
every conceivable kind of tinware for kitchen use.
Yonder is the vendor of fine linen, delicate laces, pins,
needles, and thread, crying, Dedales y tijeras finas."
Why need the ladies travel through the sweltering heat
to the large stores ? Here is a veritable dry goods store
on a pair of wheels. The man approaching us with a
basket strapped to his neck is the confectioner, crying
in a musical voice, Dulces, dulces." What is that
strange whistle we can hear, the range of which is four
or five tones rising through a trill to a sharp, high
squeal ? It is the man who calls Scissors to grind,
knives to grind." Here comes the hawker of boots,
shoes, and slippers, scores of them hanging on a long
iron rod suspended from his shoulder. Hear him
chanting "Zapatos y zapatillas ; zapatillas y zapatos."
Turning the corner is a little mule, blinking his eyes in
an indifferent sort of way, his back laden with a multi-
tude of show cases through the glass of which are
visible a thousand and one indispensable household
necessities. Steadily jog-trotting home from market we
see a pair of oxen, yoked to an ugly cart, with its heavy
oscillating wheels stretching from one side of the narrow
street to the other. Here comes another curiosity in
the form of a potting-soil seller-"' tierra colorada de
If we turn to the names of the streets we shall also

find much of interest. All the names are based on
some historical incident, or have some local association.
Amargura (Bitterness) Street is so named because the
penitent Catholics were in the habit of conducting their
doleful processions through it. Damas (Ladies) Street
took its name from the many handsome ladies who at
one time lived there. Obispo (Bishop) Street derived
its name from a pious Bishop who took his daily walk
along it years ago.
In every street of Havana, if we take the trouble to
look over the windows of the large stores, we shall find
that they bear a title equally as strange and interesting
as the names of the streets. A store or shop is not
recognized by the name of the proprietor so much as
by its historic title. Among other titles we find La
Coronacion de Jesus (The Crown of Jesus), Las Ninfas
(The Nymphs), El Vestido Rosa (The Pink Gown), La
Marquesita (The Little Marquise), and over a con-
fectioner's store is to be seen the name of La Gracia de
Dios (The Grace of God).
Another very quaint sight is that of a funeral.
Turning the corner of a street we are suddenly con-
fronted by what appears to be a gorgeous State coach
such as the Kings of Europe ride in on the way to
Coronation. From four to eight horses draped in black
netting fringed with yellowish gold tassels draw the
hearse. The hearse is ornamented with gold, and the
drivers wear scarlet coats trimmed with gilt braid, and
resting upon their great white wigs are cocked hats
similar to those worn by English royalty in the far-off
days of George I. On the top of the hearse is the
figure of a kneeling angel covered with floral tributes

Quaint Sights in the Streets
from the relatives and friends of the deceased. As the
hearse wends its way to the cemetery even the poorest
person in the street removes his hat until the cortege
has passed.
If we were fortunate enough to be in Havana on
Festival Sunday we should see one of the prettiest (and
perhaps the noisiest) fetes of the Western World. Doors,
windows, and balconies are decorated with flowers, laurel
leaves, palm leaves, and bunting. Motor-cars and car-
riages throng the Central Park, Prado, and the Malecon.
Hundreds of pretty girls are attired in every conceivable
colour; tin horns become deafening; flowers are flung
at the girls on the balconies; and young men wearing
hideous masks keep the crowds in roars of laughter far
into the night.
Hour after hour this revelry is continued until, tired
of the fun, the merry-makers troop home in the early
hours of the following morning, singing their national
songs and pelting one another with massive balls of
paper that have accumulated in the doorways and gutters
of the gaily-lighted streets.


WE have already seen that when Columbus landed in
Cuba he found the island inhabited by tribes of Indians
called Caribs and Nahacs. Just when these aborigines
became extinct in the island history does not relate. It
is known that they were a shy people and very super-
stitious. At the sight of the strange white men in the
ships they took to the woods, but on being assured
that these "gods" meant to do them no harm, they
became quite friendly, even going so far as to visit the
big ships with costly presents for the crews. In return
for these gifts they received beads, clothing, and
"shining ornaments," which they considered to possess
the mystic power of healing. Their dwelling-places
were rude huts made from native woods and leaves, and
they were usually built on the hills or near the streams.
It is said that the modern Cuban houses in the country
still reflect the quaint designs of those Indian bohios."
Their huts were scantily furnished--crude wooden or
stone tables, carved chairs, and hammocks. Their chief
diet was fish, although they made a kind of bread from
the roots of the yucca plant. They worshipped idols of
wood and stone, burned tobacco as incense, and believed
in the immortality of souls. They were warlike, tribe
frequently attacking tribe, using as weapons of warfare

The People and their Characteristics
the time-honoured bows and arrows and hard stone
These tribes appear to have passed into oblivion in
the early part of the sixteenth century, for we find
African slaves being imported by the Spaniards at that
time because there were no natives to work in the mines
and on the soil.
Cubans are descended from the Spanish owners of
mines and sugar plantations and the imported African
negroes. There are, of course, many pure white Cubans,
and nothing pains them more than to refer to them as
having "black blood in their veins." Some writers,
however, insist that the Cubans proper are "negroids,"
and not white. This naturally causes a good deal of
feeling between the "blacks" and the "whites." It
may not be obvious to the casual visitor, but its existence
is proved by the sharp lines drawn between the two
peoples in social circles. On the whole, however, there
exists a commendable harmony among them, due
doubtlessly to the interdependence essential to the
island's commercial existence. Negroes are not in-
hibited from public offices, since several have held
important positions under the Government. Moreover,
negroes have always played a noble part in the defence
of their country, among whom may be mentioned the
indomitable General Maceo.
To-day the population of Cuba-2,o45,ooo--is com-
posed of Spaniards, Cubans, Americans, English,
Canadians, Germans, Chinese, and several other
If the Cubans can be admitted as church-goers, they
cannot be recognized as profoundly religious. Certainly

they have little respect for the Fourth Commandment.
Sunday in Havana differs very little from the other six
days of the week. Many of the stores and all the caf6s
are in full swing. Theatres are open, plays, comedies,
and vaudeville shows occupy the stages. Bands play
in the parks and on the Malecon; and the din of the
street organs is only exceeded by the clatter of electric
gongs attracting the people to places of amusement.
Cricket, tennis, golf, and baseball are played; pleasure
boats and yachts dot the harbour; and hundreds of
coaches carry the crowds of pleasure-seekers to all parts
of the city. To the Englishman accustomed to the
quieter and more religious atmosphere of the Old Land,
life in Havana is altogether beyond comprehension.
Until the American intervention of I898, Roman
Catholicism was the only recognized and permitted
form of worship. A Protestant dying in Cuba was
denied the burial service of his faith. Indeed, no
Protestant Bible was allowed to escape the vigilance of
the Custom House. The Catholic churches were
commercial rather than spiritual; their property in-
cluded vast sugar plantations and immense coffee
estates. They are not so rich to-day, however, as
much of their property has been from time to time
confiscated by the State, and their monasteries converted
into store-houses. Saints' days were religiously kept,
and at one period of Havana's history no less than five
hundred festivals were celebrated in the churches during
the year. Great pomp and splendour accompanied the
church services. It is recorded by one historian that
the churches of no city in Europe consumed so many
candles as did those of Havana.

The People and their Characteristics
Holy Week ceremonies were gorgeous in their
splendour. Effigies of Christ, the Mother of God, and
images of the saints were borne through the streets,
the people bowing in adoration as they passed. An
American thus describes one of these processions:
"The next day,which was Good Friday, about twilight, a
long procession came trailing slowly through the streets
under my window, bearing an image of the dead Christ
lying upon a cloth of gold. It was accompanied by a
body of soldiers holding their muskets reversed, and
a band playing plaintive tunes; the crowds uncovered
their heads as it passed."
All this pomp has now passed away, and more tolera-
tion is shown to Anglican and Nonconformist bodies.
The Anglicans have a fine cathedral in Havana, and
the Methodists, Baptists, and Presbyterians have their
places of worship presided over by fully ordained
Until the Americans spent $1 0ooo,ooo (,2,ooo,ooo)
on schools in Cuba, education was not as prominent
in the island as it should have been. To-day primary
education is compulsory, and many fine old buildings
have been converted into schools for the children. An
Academy of Sciences was erected by the Americans, and
also a School of Arts and Trades, at a combined cost
of $300,000 (60,ooo). Cuban teachers were dis-
patched in batches to Harvard University and schools
in New York that they might become better acquainted
with up-to-date educational methods. English is taught
in some schools, but in x19 the Government declined
to include that language in the curriculum of the
public schools.

The old University of Havana still looks from its
secluded hillock across the Gulf of Mexico. It was
founded in 1728, and from its historic classrooms many
of Cuba's brilliant sons have gone forth to give the
country the benefit of the knowledge gathered there.
If the Cubans are somewhat self-contained in their
social life, they are nevertheless affable and hospitable.
They do not take readily to "foreigners," but if once
you have been "received," they look upon you as
practically a member of the family. Theyare excep-
tionally musical, artistic, and literary. In the free
open air they love to stroll at leisure through the
streets and parks, and one always gets the impression
that it is more to be seen than to see. As there
is plenty of money in the country the people are
naturally extravagant and diligent seekers of pleasure.
But who shall blame them ? Here where the country
is one vast garden, the air balmy all the year round,
the sun perpetually shining in a sky of brilliant blue, no
wonder that their hearts are light, and that they extract
from life all the honey it has to give.


IT has been truly said that the home life of a people
reveals their national characteristics. In countries where
home life is non-existent, or is degraded, the national
life is impoverished. In countries where home life is a
people's ideal the national life becomes thereby enriched.
It is well, therefore, to know something of life in Cuban
family circles if we would form an estimate of their
national worth.
In an earlier chapter we noted the external design of
Cuban residences. We will now examine the interior.
Of course, there is naturally a vast difference between
the beautifully designed and commodious houses of the
upper and middle classes and the squalid apartment
tenements occupied by the poor. As we approach the
door of a house in the residential sections, if we do not
find the family fanning themselves on the veranda we
shall be invited to enter through an intricately forged
iron doorway. The first thing that impresses us is the
spacious "patio" or hall, usually decorated with palms,
shrubs, and flowers. Sometimes the family sit here
perpetually see-sawing on rocking-chairs and turning
over the common gossip of the day. Cubans are ex-
tremely fond of birds, so that in the "patio may
frequently be seen a parrot, a canary, and several other
beautifully-feathered songsters of the tropics. The

dining-room and drawing-room are not crowded with
furniture, ornaments, and pictures ; but what furniture
exists is massive and strongly made. The floors are
not carpeted ; they are laid with marble blocks delicately
and artistically figured. The walls are very high, for
the Cuban must have a lofty ceiling to prevent the
accumulation of heat. Sometimes the walls are papered,
sometimes painted.
The stairs are of marble and uncarpeted. In each
bedroom we see a massive wardrobe, a dressing-table
io feet high, and a washstand of similar dimensions.
Each room, up and down, adjoins the outer walls of the
house, and the windows are slatted to permit a free
circulation of air night and day. At the back of the
house, detached, or in the basement, is the kitchen,
where the black or Chinese cooks are busy preparing
meals. It would take English-speaking boys a long
time to accustom themselves to Cuban meals. At seven
or eight o'clock in the morning, fruit, coffee, and a
small roll are taken ; breakfast is taken at twelve o'clock
and consists of fish, meat, vegetables, and fruit ; and at
seven dinner is served, comprising soup, fish, meat,
vegetables, and dessert. The Cuban really takes only
two meals a day. The food is usually very greasy, but
digestible withal.
In the city of Havana the poorer classes live in
tenements or apartments, and but for the fact that doors
and windows are always open, disease would spread
greater havoc among them than it does. In many of
these hovels children run about naked; the rooms are
scantily furnished ; and the poverty of these poor
people's food is registered in their emaciated bodies and

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Ir- c

1' :




Home Life
diminutive statues. The majority of these children
are either black or negroids," partly black and partly
white. One could not exaggerate the odour of these
tenements, for until quite recently the city of Havana
had no sewerage system. One can easily understand
why, prior to the American intervention, diseases were
so rampant in the city. However, better things are in
store for even the poor. So diligently have the medical
and sanitary authorities prosecuted their labours during
the last few years, that the death-rate of Havana is now
lower than in any other city of Latin America.
One striking and commendable feature of home life
in Cuba is the devotion of parents to their children,
although there are many who affirm that this devotion
is confined solely to Spanish families and their descend-
ants. Indoors, in the streets and parks, at carnivals and
theatres, mothers and daughters are inseparable com-
panions. Fathers love the companionship of their
children, and enter fully into all their joys and sorrows.
The home life of the real Spanish is a thing of joy.
These families are usually very musical, the guitar
being the favourite instrument. There is a romantic,
peaceful, and comforting air pervading some of the
circles, particularly where at sunset the children gather
in the patio and strike their fingers across the guitar
and mandoline to the evident delight of the parents,
fanning themselves in their rocking-chairs.
There is a proverbial saying in England that "the
Battle of Waterloo was won upon the playing-fields of
Eton." The remark contains a world of sane philosophy.
The nation that dispensed with its sports and pastimes
would soon find itself in a state of decadence. Games

are the purifiers of blood, the builders of muscle, and
Nature's creators of social intercourse between child and
child, man and man-conditionally, of course, that such
games do not appeal to the baser passions, but to the
noblest and best that is in us. The effect of some sports
is degrading, as bull-fighting, cock-fighting, and prize-
fighting; but happily for mankind these are almost
suppressed in every part of the civilized world. On
the other hand, cricket, tennis, baseball, hockey, and
kindred sports tend to develop the latent powers of
body, heart, and mind.
As Cubans are mostly descendants of old Spanish
families, it is natural that the love of bull-fighting and
cock-fighting should be in their blood. For many
generations these degrading spectacles were tolerated in
the island ; but they have been suppressed by legislation,
and only occasionally, in some spot temporarily free
from the vigilance of the rural guards, do these cruel
sports now take place.
Although the inhabitants live in the open air all the
time (for even when indoors they are in the open air,
as you will have learned from the description of their
houses), the heat is so intense that only during a month
or two in winter is it possible to indulge in sports
calling into strenuous exercise the various muscles of
the body. Some games, of course, are played, even in
the summer, such as baseball, tennis, and golf; but the
strongest physique is soon defeated by the glaring rays
of the sun, which strike almost vertically from the sky.
Baseball is played in Havana on Sunday afternoons,
when thousands of spectators congregate to cheer on
their respective favourites.

Home Life
Boys and girls are passionately fond of swimming.
This is probably due to its refreshing influence in such
a warm climate. As there are many sharks in the
waters around Cuba, it is natural that stories should be
prevalent of children being devoured by them while
bathing. I expect, however, that these tales are told by
parents as a warning to the children not to swim too far
out to sea.


IT is impossible to understand a country thoroughly
unless we know something of its mode of government.
The aspirations, ideals, and characteristics of a people
are reflected, however imperfectly, in the form of
government they have decided to adopt. Sometimes a
people's government is born, sometimes it is achieved,
and sometimes it is thrust upon them. That of Cuba
has been achieved.
The system of government prevailing in Cuba to-day
is yet in its infancy. Until quite recently her people
were under the despotic (as they termed it) rule of
Spain. We have already seen that for one year,
1762-63, the island passed into the hands of England;
but the latter restored it to Spain again in accordance
with an agreement between the three great nations then
at war-England, France, and Spain. During the
nineteenth century many of the Spanish Colonies of
Central and South America threw off the yoke of Spain,
and, inspired by their example, Cuba continued her
struggle for independence almost to the dawn of the
Three great fighting men-Jos6 Marti, Bartolom6
Maso, and Maxima Gomez, prosecuted the battle for
freedom until the year 1898, when the United States,

How Cuba is Governed
being roused by the Spanish atrocities, a war between
the latter two countries resulted in Spain's abandon-
ment of her treasured Pearl of the Antilles." During
four years the United States acted as policeman" in
Cuba, establishing law and order, and initiating the
newly liberated people into the coveted art of self-
government. The yellow fever that had for so many
years devastated the population, due to unsanitary con-
ditions (conditions loved by the mosquitoes, whose
business it was to deposit the yellow fever bearing
germs in human bodies), was valiantly fought and
stamped out. The city of Havana was thoroughly
cleaned, and studded with parks and prados," where the
people might gather together, forget their long struggle
for independence, and bask in the sunshine of the new
and better day.
In 1902 the Republic of Cuba was proclaimed, and
Estrada Palma, one of the noblest of Cuba's sons, was
made President, amid general rejoicing throughout the
island. However, the new machinery of self-govern-
ment did not work very smoothly. President Palma
resigned in I906, and once again a Provisional Governor
of the United States of America stepped in until new
elections could be held. On January 23, 1909, General
Josh Miguel Gomez was formally inaugurated President,
and under his guidance the people of Cuba continued to
be directed for the four years following.
The present constitution is the Republican repre-
sentative form of Government, composed of legislative,
executive, and judicial sections. The Senate and the
House of Representatives constitute the Legislative
section, the former comprising twenty-four members

and the latter sixty-four. Each of the six provinces
elects four Senators, whose term extends to eight years.
Representatives are elected by the people for a term of
four years.
The President and a Cabinet of eight Ministers exer-
cise executive power. The President's term of office is
four years; he may continue in office for eight years,
but not longer.
The judicial power is composed of a National
Supreme Court, one Superior Court for each province,
thirty-six courts of the First Instance, and several
smaller courts.
Apart from the Republican Government, each province
has its Governor and Council elected by the people;
and the municipal districts each have their Mayor and
Council also elected periodically by the people.
The military organization, under the direction of
United States officers, has reached a state of efficiency
far beyond that of any other country of Latin America.
It comprises infantry, cavalry, heavy and light artillery,
field-gun corps, and mountain-gun detachment. The
principal camp and school of instruction are at Columbia,
and were established by the United States at the first
intervention; but since the evacuation by the Americans
they have been maintained by the Cubans. The
uniforms and equipment conform to the standard of the
Unites States Army.
The navy consists of only three vessels in active
commission; but several war-ships are now under
To maintain peace and order throughout the island,
there exists a constabulary called "Guardia Rural" (Rural

How Cuba is Governed
Guards), whose duties consist of visits to the tobacco
and sugar plantations to preserve order, and to patrol
scattered villages for the same purpose. Each guard
carries a Remington carbine. Their uniforms are of
brown khaki, their shoes and leggings of russet
leather; and each one owns his own horse, which is
always a very docile, well-groomed, and well-fed animal.
If you travelled by rail you would notice that two
guards patrolled the train periodically; so that a traveller
is always well protected during his trip from one end of
the island to the other.
In addition to the Rural Guards there is also a
municipal police force, whose duties, in the larger towns
at any rate, usually consist of regulating the traffic and
giving information to the thousands of tourists annually
visiting the country.


AN account of the trade and commerce of a country
is not always interesting; but as Cuban industrial
methods are so fascinating, a peep at them for a few
moments cannot fail to entertain you. Special chapters
have been devoted to tobacco, fruit, and sugar growing,
the leading commercial commodities exported; so that
only a few remain to be dealt with now. The chief
objects of this chapter, however, are to show how the
Cuban conducts his business, what he sells and buys,
and the extent of his commercial operations.
I suppose it is generally known that Cuba's fertility
has earned for it the name of The Pearl of the
Antilles." So rich is its soil, and so favourable is its
climate to agriculture, that it would be difficult to name
another country of the same area so full of promise and
profit for tillers of the soil. Without doubt the finest
tobacco and sugar in the world, and certain fruits, are
drawn from the responsive earth of Cuba. The annual
tobacco crop is worth $50,000,000 (0o,oo00,ooo), and
each successful year the sugar crop reaches approximately
1,250,000 tons. The fruit crop is generally worth
$3,000,000 (600,000) annually. The total import
and export trade is about $250,000,000 (Co,ooo,ooo)
annually. Figures are not interesting, I know, but the


Trade and Commerce
above are quoted to give you some idea of the wealth
of this comparatively small island.
Half a million crates of oranges are exported yearly,
and one million crates of pine-apples find their way to
the tables of Europe, and particularly the United States.
Cacao, grape fruit, vegetables, lumber, cattle, minerals,
and sponges are also large items of export.
Cuba has to purchase from foreign countries all her
cloth and its manufactures, meats, flour, fish, and
numerous manufactured articles.
The Cuban is considered a shrewd bargainer, but no
one doubts his integrity. If he enters into a com-
mercial agreement, he may be relied upon to carry it out
to the letter. A worthy feature of the business life in
Cuba is the unity of interest pervading its commercial
houses. If from any cause a business house is financially
embarrassed, it can generally rely upon the monetary aid
of the stronger houses to tide it over its difficulties.
This seems hard to understand when it is borne in mind
that the merchants insist on credit extending from
six to twelve months. However, this system is time-
honoured, and the Cubans are too conservative to
change their methods.
Another interesting feature of commerce in Cuba is
the apprentice system. If you passed down the leading
commercial thoroughfares at meal-times you would
notice the principals of the firms taking their meals in
the stores with their apprentices and clerks. These
assistants put in very long hours, often from seven in
the morning until nine at night: but they are loyal to
their employers. And although their salaries are not
large they usually save enough money to take a share

in the business ultimately, or set up on their own
account in Havana or some of the smaller provincial
Here I should like to tell you about one of the
most wonderful clerks' clubs in the world, called the
"Asociacion de Dependientes del Commercio de la
Habana." This club was founded in the year 1880 by
a number of business men who were anxious to establish
a closer relationship between employers and employees.
The club is situated on the Prado, and is one of the
most imposing buildings in Havana. Its membership
numbers over 22,000. There is a commercial de-
partment where hundreds of young clerks are taught
shorthand, typewriting, and kindred commercial sub-
jects. There are also departments devoted to mathe-
matics, natural science, belles-lettres, and languages.
Physical culture is one of its features, and a fine gym-
nasium, fully equipped, is attached to the club. Games,
concerts, and carnivals are held periodically.
Its leading feature, however, is its magnificent sana-
torium, surrounded by beautiful gardens in a suburb of
the city. Here sick members of the club are under the
care of twenty of Havana's leading physicians, and
under such ideal conditions they are given an oppor-
tunity to recuperate fully before returning to their
customary labours.
In one part of the club the visitor may see dental
parlours at the disposal of the members, and shower,
douche, and plunge baths ready for use after the exercises
in the gymnasium are over.
A caf6 is attached to the building where meals can be
taken at specially reduced charges. A splendid library

Trade and Commerce

is in existence containing thousands of books, as well as
newspapers, magazines, and writing-tables.
Above these rooms, at the top of a magnificent
marble staircase, are the grand salon, the banquet-hall,
and ballroom. These rooms contain about one hundred
strong columns. They are artistically decorated, and
under the influence of crystal candelabras 1y night their
grandeur is exceedingly picturesque.
All the benefits of this wonderful institution can be
obtained by payment of the small sum of $1.50 Spanish
silver (5s. od.) per month. It is not surprising that
this club is the envy of all the American continent.
The leading banks of Cuba are the National Bank of
Cuba, the Royal Bank of Canada, and the Bank of
Nova Scotia, the latter two, as their names imply, being
Canadian institutions. These Canadian banks have
branches all over the island, and their advent a few years
ago marked an era in the stability of Cuban finance.
A visitor to Cuba is always puzzled by the multitude
of coins and their values, and it is a mystery to him
how in the midst of such varied coinage confusion is
avoided. Here are a few items of currency all differ-
ing from one another in value. American currency:
gold-$20.oo, $0o.oo, $5.oo, $2.50; silver-$i.oo,
50 cents, 25 cents, o1 cents, 5 cents; copper-I cent;
bills-$1.oo, $2.oo, $5.00, and upwards. Spanish
currency : gold-i onza, i centen, i dublon, I escudo;
silver-i peso, 2 pesetas, i peseta, i real; copper-
2 cents, I cent. There is in existence also a French
gold louis of the value of 20 francs. So you see that if
ever you pay a visit to Cuba, a special course in com-
mercial arithmetic will do you no harm.

The postal and telegraph systems of Cuba are well
equipped and creditably manipulated. There are about
450 post-offices, and 50o telegraph offices in operation
throughout the island, with 5,000 miles of wires at the
disposition of the public. The parcel post service
between foreign countries and Cuba is antiquated. For
example, parcels posted in England, the United States,
and Canada are sent via Germany, which seems too
ridiculous to be true. Nevertheless, such is the case.
Wireless telegraph stations are in operation in many
parts of the island.
Railways extend from Havana to Santiago de Cuba,
with ramifications to the various commercial centres
covering a distance of 2,500 miles.
There are scarcely any navigable inland waterways ;
but steamship communication exists between Cuba's
leading ports and the chief commercial ports of America
and Europe.



WHEN you have been purchasing fruits in the markets,
stores, and shops, I dare say you have often wondered
where they all came from. You have seen thousands
of beautiful red-brown pineapples being unloaded from
railway carts, hundreds of bunches of bananas, crates of
oranges, grape fruit, mangoes, and cocoanuts; and you
knew that they had come by rail from a great shipping
port; but perhaps you were not quite sure in which
part of the world they had been grown. Well, although
all the fruits imported by England and the United
States do not come from a specific country, many
thousands of tons are purchased annually from the sub-
tropical island of Cuba. I am sure that it will interest
you very much to come with me for a ramble through
the Cuban orchards to see how these luscious fruits are
grown, harvested, and packed, and shipped to the break-
fast and dinner tables of English-speaking people.
If you were to tour Cuba by motor-car in the months
of July and August, you would notice extensive sections
of sandy soil being prepared by plough and harrow for
the reception of the pineapple plants. If you passed
through those sections again a little later you would be
astonished at the sudden transformation that had taken
place in so short a time, the growth of vegetation is so
rapid. However, it usually takes twenty months to
bring the pine to maturity, and four or five crops can
CU, 41 4

be taken from the same orchard of plants. Thousands
of little prickly-headed plants are marshalled in rows
like an army of soldiers at drill. These rows are
generally about three feet apart, the distance between each
plant being from twelve to eighteen inches. The sun,
air, and rain have thus every facility for performing their
natural functions, which are nourishing the plants and
bringing out from their hearts the luscious red-brown
fruit. Few sights are more beautiful than an orchard
of pines in bloom ; and few sights are more interesting
than the gathering of the pines some months later.
Thousands of farm hands can be seen in the month of
June, scantily cad, and wearing large, broad-brimmed
hats to protect them from the burning rays of the sun,
cutting off the pineapples and stacking them ready for
crating. The shipping ports of Cuba, particularly
Havana, are crammed with crates waiting for the big
ships to transfer them to foreign markets. Last year
no less than 1,300,000 crates of pines were harvested in
the island and sent abroad. During the season Havana
stores seem to be choked with the fruit. All day long
street-vendors patrol the city crying "Pifias, pifias,
pifias !"-in fact, there seems to be nothing else in the
streets but hawkers of the russet-eyed pines.
Bananas are becoming more popular every year as a
table fruit. The consumption in the United States is
greater than even that of the United Kingdom. Try
to imagine the earth at the Equator encircled with
bananas thirteen times, and that will give you the
number consumed by the United States in 19io;
40,000,000 bunches, or 3,000,000,000 bananas. This
almost incalculable mass of fruit cost the consumers of
the United States over $35,000,000 (7,000,000).

Through the Orchards
Great Britain, Germany, and France consumed approxi-
mately $10,000,000 worth (L2,ooo,ooo). This vast
commerce is practically a modern one. Fifty years ago
very few bunches of bananas could be seen in the
markets of Europe and the United States.
The most common variety is the yellow skin known
as the Guineo; but their flavour is not to be compared
with the red banana of Cuba.
When an area of land is marked out for a banana
plantation, the first process is to send an army of men
with axe and machete to cut down the mass of shrubs,
vines, andiwild vegetation. The land being cleared and
tilled, shoots are taken from matured trees and planted
in rows about ten or twelve feet apart. Here, again, we
have evidence of the marvellously rapid growth of
plant life in Cuba. In less than two months the infant
shoots grow to a height of about six feet. If you
watched them you could almost perceive the growth.
Very soon a point in the middle of the crown appears,
which unfolds into a beautiful large red blossom. It is
instructive to watch the intricate processes of Nature
connected with the banana-plant. The stalk is con-
tinually shooting forth pretty blossoms that in due
course fall off, leaving behind them a little family of
infant bananas not at all unlike the fingers of a half-
closed human hand. The development of these fingers
is very rapid, although the fruit is not ready for harvest-
ing until nine or twelve months after the blossoming.
The fingers take a downward course at first, but in a little
while they commence to turn slowly upward, so that the
ripened bunches are pointing towards the sky instead of
towards the earth, as one would naturally expect.
When the fruit is ready for harvesting, the labourers

go into the plantation armed with sharp instruments
attached to long palm poles (for some of the plants
reach a height of thirty feet), and sever the plant from
seven to nine feet from the earth. The top of the tree
falls forward, thus enabling the labourers to cut the
bunches from the stem by a stroke of the keen-edged
machete. On the heels of the cutters follow an army
of men whose duties are the collecting of the fruit and
the carrying of it to the warehouses or packing-stations
along the railways, rivers, and coasts. Great care has to
be exercised in harvesting, for the bananas must be cut
green and at a certain stage of their maturity ; otherwise
they would rot before reaching the markets of the world.
As this fruit is of a quickly perishable nature, it must
be rushed to the markets immediately. Great activity
marks the life of railway, river, and port in harvest-
time, and every labourer is forced to keep his muscles
taut no matter how terrific the heat may be.
These peeps at the pineapple orchards and the
banana plantations are sufficient to give you an idea
of the vastness of Cuba's fruit-lands. They by no
means embrace all, however. Orange groves are
abundant, but by no means as abundant as they should
be. The flavour of the Cuban oranges is delicious, and
they grow to a very fine size, too. Grape fruit is grown
in various parts of the island, and the industry is likely
to be a profitable one in the future when transportation
rates are reduced and foreign markets exploited.
Citrus culture is considered worthy of continued
effort, although many growers have failed through
Inexperience. Mangoes, alligator pears, and melons are
grown, but more for the home market than for export.


I SUPPOSE all boys and girls have heard of the celebrated
Havana cigars, but very few are familiar with the
processes of growing, cutting, and curing the tobacco,
and finally rolling it into the fat cigars that are shipped
to every quarter of the civilized world. The processes
are most interesting.
In the first place, we must visit the world-famed
district of Vuelta Abajo where the finest tobacco plant
in the world is grown. If we visit the district at the
latter end of August we shall see the "vegueros"
(tobacco farmers) preparing small patches of land on
the slopes of the hills for the reception of the seed.
After the soil has been thoroughly prepared, little seeds
are scattered over it and kept well watered for a few
days. In less than a month, thousands of little green
heads are seen smiling in the sunlight. These are
thinned out and passed on to the planters, who plant
them in rows much after the manner of cabbage planting.
The growth of the plants, under the influence of the
powerful sun, is very rapid, so that in about ten weeks
they have attained a height of over four feet, each plant
bearing twelve or fourteen leaves. This period of
growth is always an anxious one for the planter. So
dependent is the maturity of the plants upon specific

climatic conditions that the least deviation from them
may mean the failure of the season's crop. Moreover,
the planter must keep his eyes open continually for a
little worm that looks upon the tobacco leaf as a delicacy.
You can readily understand that if a tobacco leaf is
riddled, it is no longer fit to enter into the composition
of a select Havana cigar.
Now we must take a peep at the reapers a few months
later. In the tobacco districts are erected barns made
from massive palm-leaves ingeniously laid in folds.
Here the reapers bring the leaves to pass through
intricate processes of drying and curing. Every care
has to be exercised in the curing, for negligence to turn
the leaves to meet the vagaries of the climate would
result in depreciation of the quality.
When the required colour and texture have been
developed, the leaves are bundled and left to ferment
under the influence of a scorching sun. Over and over
the stacks are turned so that every leaf gets its due
proportion of climatic treatment.
The next process is that of selection. The leaves are
moistened in order to facilitate handling by the selectors.
These selectors are men who have been taught the art
of selecting by their ancestors. A stranger, or one who
had lived on the farm for years, could never hope to
compete with these Cubans. It is a gift born of long
experience, or of heredity. There they sit on their
little stools in the midst of a multitude of stacks, and
you may be sure that no leaf is consigned to the wrong
stack. To avoid a possible error, each stack is examined
several times, not even one suspicious leaf being allowed
to enter its wrong classification.

How Cigars are Made
The final process through which the leaves pass before
their despatch to the cigar-making factories is called
"baling." Every bale bears a distinctive mark to
notify its quality. Sometimes the finer classes of
tobacco are allowed to ferment" for a lengthy period,
such period being decided by the quality of the harvest
and the judgment of the manufacturer.
Let us now return by train to a large tobacco factory
in Havana, to see how the leaves are manufactured into
cigars, and packed ready for market.
Unless we were told that the stately building we are
about to enter was a cigar factory, we should conclude
that we were visiting a large public institution, or a
palatial private residence. After ascending a broad
marble staircase we pass into a magnificently furnished
suite of offices where the lightning "click, click of
typewriters inform us that we are in a veritable hive of
industry. A request to see the factory is conceded, and
an attendant at once conducts us into a long room lined
with wooden benches at which hundreds of white and
black men sit quietly rolling leaves into cigars of all
qualities and sizes. Every cigar is made by hand, for
this is an industry that laughs at the efforts of machinery
to supersede the cunning of human fingers. To each
man, or set of men, is allotted the making of a specific
brand. Some men are more expert than others. If we
entered one of the large rooms at a certain hour of the
day we should see a man sitting on a table in the centre
of the workers reading a book or a newspaper. This is
the factory "reader" who is paid to read aloud in
stentorian tones to the men as they dexterously fold
leaf upon leaf into the finished cigar,

The second room we enter is devoted to "stemming"
the leaves-that is, cutting out the long, hard stem in
the centre of the leaf, and preparing it for the makers
in the adjoining room. Here, too, we find a number
of experienced sorters whose duty it is to examine every
leaf carefully and assign it to its proper place among the
numerous heaps of varying qualities.
In the third room we find a number of girls encircling
each cigar with a small paper band on which is printed
in golden letters the name of the particular brand, such
as "Romeo y Julieta," "King George V.," "The
President," "Flor de Cuba," etc.
In another room are the box-makers and the girls
who put on the many-coloured labels. Now we see
hundreds of boxes of different sizes being packed with
cigars and pressed down by machinery ready for market.
Finally, we are led into a long narrow room lined
with thousands of boxes ready to go down to the wharf
for shipment to all parts of the world.
If we asked the prices of these cigars we should be
told that they ranged from 2 cents (id.) to 3 dollars
(I 2s.), according to the quality. The latter, of course, are
consumed only by kings, dukes, lords, and millionaires.
Yes, the cigar industry of Cuba is truly great and
interesting. The annual crop of tobacco is about half
a million bales of a value approximating $30,000,000


WHEN the tropical sun sends its shafts of heat vertically
from a lurid sky, it is strenuous work to visit a sugar
plantation and to watch the various processes through
which the cane passes from the soil to the mills. Blink-
ing their soft and beautiful eyes, and swishing their
long hairy tails, the strong oxen move slowly and
patiently with the sugar-laden waggons towards the
factory. Leading them are woolly-headed negroes,
Cubans or Spaniards, singing an old-time song or
whistling one of their weird, sad dance tunes set in a
minor key.
Passing through a lodge-gate, there stretches before
you a vast expanse of open country. Groves of
mahogany-trees form an enchanting background to the
landscape. On either side are rows of coolie huts and
stables for the mules and oxen. Yonder stands the
well-built residence of the plantation owner, and a little
farther on is the lofty factory lifting its tall chimneys
towards the sky. What an intoxicating odour rises
from the vast heaps of sugar-cane 1
Before passing into the factory you reflect upon the
wonderful romance of sugar. As you take a lump
from the bowl with a pair of tongs and drop it into
your cup of tea, do you ever think of its manifold

experiences from the plantation to the tea-table ? Just
where it had its origin no one knows, but it is generally
believed that the Chinese were the first to cultivate it.
In the days when Spain ruled the sea and Columbus
discovered America, the Spaniards introduced it into
San Domingo, one of the numerous islands comprising
what is known as the West Indies. So fertile was the
soil that by 1520 the dues imposed upon sugar imported
by Spain from these plantations enabled Charles V. to
build his gorgeous palaces. Before the middle of the
sixteenth century the growing of cane spread over all
the inhabited sections of the West Indies and South
The historian, Oviedo, in 1532, wrote a very interest-
ing account of the commencement of the sugar industry
in the West Indies.
"Now, this business of raising sugar is one of the
most lucrative occupations in all the world the
eyes of everyone else were shut to the possibilities, until
the bachiller Gonzalo de Veloza, at his own very great
expense, and by his own hard labour, brought sugar
masters to this island and erected a mill to run by
horse-power. He was the first to manufacture sugar in
this whole island, and to him alone are due the thanks
it is right to bestow upon the chief promoter of this
great industry.
"Not that he was the first to plant cane in these
Indies, because, even before his time, many men had
planted and cultivated cane and made syrup from it;
but because he was, as I have said, the first man to
make sugar. For he, after he had grown a quantity of
cane, built a horse-power mill on the bank of the River

Sugar Plantations and Mills
Nigua, and from the Canary Islands brought labourers
skilled in the manufacture, then ground his cane, and
was the very first to make sugar from it."
If you were to examine a sugar cane, you would see
that it is a species of grass rising from six to fifteen feet
high, and having a diameter of about two inches. The
stalk contains a series of joints from which spring long
leaves ornamented with beautiful feather-like flowers.
The joints contain spongy matter saturated with juice,
which becomes sweeter and sweeter as the stalk matures.
With the ripening of the joints the leaves wither and
fall off, leaving the stem to harden until ready for
From the plantation we will pass into the factory,
where the cane is crushed between great heavy rollers
in order to extract the juice from it. This sugar juice
is run into a large trough, from whence it is conducted
through a series of sieves and pipes to the various
clarifiers up above. The clarifiers are iron vessels
capable of holding about 6o0 gallons of juice. In the
vessels the juice is heated to 130" F., and when it
begins to simmer, the clear liquid below the surface
scum is drawn off to a battery of pans, where it is heated
by fire and boiled down to the crystallizing-point. It is
then conducted to coolers in which the crystals form.
For a few days it is allowed to stand prior to transfer-
ence to hogsheads. In this condition it is quite ready
for the process of refining, or for shipment to the
refineries of the United States and Great Britain.
The method of refining is extremely interesting. At
the refinery the sugar crystals are melted in cast-iron
tanks, filled with mechanical stirrers, and steam-pipes

for heating the water. The hot liquid is then passed
through twilled cotton bags encased in a meshing of
hemp, through which the solution is mechanically
strained. From fifty to two hundred of these filters are
suspended in close chambers in which they are kept hot.
The liquid is now passed for decolorization through beds
of animal charcoal enclosed in cisterns to a depth of
thirty feet, the sugar being received in vacuum pans.
In these pans it is boiled to grain, the treatment being
varied according to the nature of the finished sugar to
be made. To make loaves, small crystals only are
formed in the pans, the grains being liquified and then
cast into moulds. To whiten the loaves they are
treated with successive doses of saturated syrup, ending
with a syrup of colourless sugar, the liquid then being
taken out by suction."
It is through all these interesting phases of manu-
facture that your sugar passes before it comes to your
table in the form of beautiful, crystal-like squares or

WHEN Christopher Columbus returned to Europe after
his discovery of the Isle of Pines in June, 1492, it was
no wonder that aged ears played truant at his tales,"
and that "younger hearings were quite raptured," for
it was impossible for him to exaggerate the beauties of
this little island off the western coast of Cuba. How
his eyes must have filled with wonder and admiration
at the ever-changing colours of the Caribbean Sea! I
wonder what he and his crew thought of the beauteous
bed of the sea plainly visible from the deck of his
vessel? What messages of the benevolent Creator
those sheltering palms must have conveyed to their
ears! And surely even that arch-pirate, Captain
Morgan, must have felt shame at his own direful deeds
in the presence of this sublime handiwork of a loving
God. The beauty of this island has inspired many a
writer of romance. In fact, it is generally believed that
"Treasure Island" was the result of Robert Louis
Stevenson's temporary sojourn there. The beauty of
the sandy beaches is surpassed only by the magnificent
layers of coral that lift their perforated heads towards
the azure of the sky.
Not all the stories connected with the Isle of Pines
are panegyrics, however, for along its southern coast

are treacherous waters and vast jungles with which are
associated fearful tales of shipwrecks and terrible battles
with crocodiles. Sometimes appalling cyclones sweep
across these waters, scattering vessels like chaff before
the wind. Only a few years ago the ill-fated Nicolas
Castano was caught in a cyclone, dashed to pieces, and
the bodies of her crew were flung by the mountainous
waves over the rugged rocks that fringe the lonely
There can be no doubt that the Isle of Pines was the
base of buccaneer operations in the far-off days of sea
piracy. Caves are abundant, and many of them are
just such hiding-places as we read of in the romantic
histories of Captain Kidd and sea-rovers of his type.
By the exercise of a little imagination one can people
these caverns with the spirits of those dare-devil
buccaneers. The tinkling of glasses, the singing of
ribald songs, the coarse jokes and the fiendish peals of
laughter still echo through the caves and woods. Many
adventurers have explored this district in the hope of
finding hidden treasure left there by pirates years ago;
but if such treasure is still in existence it continues to
elude the vigilance of the treasure hunters.
Beautiful streams flow peacefully between wild
bamboos; native fruit trees stand unmolested in their
isolation ; mangoes hang in clusters ; and wild orange-
trees fill the air with an odour that intoxicates the
senses. Coloured tropical birds pour forth their songs
and innocent chatter from the branches of the variegated
trees-thrushes, humming birds, cuckoos, parrots, owls,
and other little birds too numerous to mention. Here
the charming red and green parrots make their homes,

The Beautiful Isle of Pines
sometimes for a few months only, for they are a source
of revenue to the natives who capture them when young
and export them to the sterner climates of the north.
Crocodiles abound in the rivers, and scorpions are
quite common. Delicately tinted dragon-flies are to be
seen in abundance; and the collector of butterflies is
able to obtain some magnificent specimens.
This little island is now practically an American
Colony, and many of the inhabitants believe that it will
not be many years before the Stars and Stripes float
over them. One cannot help noting the great change
that has taken place in the life and nature of the people
since the Indians claimed it solely for themselves, and
no white face had looked upon its enchanting beauty.
American commerce has stepped in, and romanticism
has stepped out.
A most interesting legend is associated with the early
Indian life of this historic island; so interesting that it
must be told here.
Many ages agone, before the white men came in
their great ships from the other world, the isle was
peopled by a powerful race of Indians. One tribe only
dwelt among its hills and valleys, and therein lay the
strength of the people ; for, though the great island to
the northward (Cuba) boasted by far more inhabitants,
they were divided into many tribes, no one of which
was as strong as the race which dwelt on the smaller
isle. Now, the tribes in those days were very fierce
and constantly at war with one another, but though they
that inhabited the larger island envied the great people
to the southward, they could not prevail over them
because they were divided.

"The ruler of the warriors on the smaller isle was a
mighty chief, whose word was their law; and this chief
had a son whom he cherished above all else. For,'
he said, 'in time he shall rule in my stead.' But it
was the custom among the warriors of the isle that no
Prince should be suffered to rule over them until his
courage had been tested in war. And so strong was
this tribe and so great the fear with which it inspired its
enemies, that throughout the youth of the Prince there
had been no war and he had grown up in the midst of
peace. Moreover, he took no pleasure in the tribal
dances and mock battles of his people, but delighted in
the silence of the woods, for he was a pensive youth.
And while wandering thus among the solitudes he had
acquired much wisdom, but it was the wisdom of peace.
He drew his lessons from Nature. On the sterile hill-
tops, where the trees were at constant war with the
elements, they brought forth no fruit, but grew up
gnarled and stunted, while in the rich soils of the
valleys, where all was peaceful and still, they thrived
and bore bountifully. Thus he reasoned that all tribes
of the surrounding isle might prosper if they would
abandon their strife and be at peace with one another.
But when he spoke of these things to the young men
of his tribe they turned away and smiled, for he was
not of their nature.
And so it came about that when age had whitened
the hair of their chief, the old men of the council came
to him and said: 'Lo, the days that remain to thee
seem not many, and whom shall we have to rule over
us when thou art gone, for thy son, the Prince, has
not yet been proven ?' And the chief fixed his eyes

The Beautiful Isle of Pines
upon the ground, for brave though he was, he feared
for his son's sake. At length he roused himself, and,
meeting the gaze of the council, replied : It is well
My son has not been tried. But lo, our enemies on
yonder island are many. He shall go forth to battle
with them.' So the chief called his warriors together,
and leading forth his son, placed his own spear in his
hand and his own shield over his heart. Then he bade
him enter his war canoe that he might go against his
enemies, and counselled him to return no more until he
had proven himself. And the Prince sailed away at the
head of his father's warriors to conquer the tribes on
the great island to the north.
"The days passed, and at length one evening the
heralds came running down from the hill-tops with the
news that the war canoes of the tribe were returning.
So the chief came and stood on the island strand, with
the old men of his council about him, to await the
coming of his warriors. And as the canoes drew near
he saw that all of them save his son's were decked with
branches of the palm-tree. At this the chief marvelled
greatly, and turning to his council besought the reason
thereof. But the old men looked bravely across the
waters, for never before in all their years had they
witnessed such a home-coming of their warriors.
"At last the canoes grated upon the shore, and as
the warriors stepped forth the chief grew pale, for lo!
his son was bound. For a moment the old chief stood
speechless. Then lifting up his voice he addressed the
subchief of the war-party: 'And you call this a
victory, to thus return my son to me in bonds I Haste
thee and explain or die!' To which awful command
CU. 57 5

the subchief made reply: May our great chief live
long, until the sorrow of this day be forgotten Lo,
thy son is thus returned to thee for that he left our
camp on the first day of our landing and went among
our enemies to talk of peace. And lo! he had suc-
ceeded but for our warriors who fell upon them while
in council and put them to the spear, all save this, thy
son, whom we could not slay because he is thine.'
"When the speaker had finished, the chief fixed his
eyes upon his son, and in a terrible voice commanded:
' Speak, dog i What hast thou to say ere thou perishest ?'
And the Prince, smiling, thus made answer: 'Patience,
my sire. Lead me, I pray thee, into the forest depths,
and there I will tell you all.' And the chief commanded
and they led him far into the woods to the banks of a
beautiful rivulet. And here the chief bade them sever
his bonds, whereat the Prince stood up before them and
told again the story of the wind-tossed tree on the
mountain and the fruitful one in the vale. But when
he told them how he had sought to impart a lesson
therefrom to their enemies, they mocked him, and the
chief, in his anger, caught up a spear and thrust it into
the heart of his son. And the Prince sank lifeless upon
the greensward, while his blood flowed in a tiny crimson
rill down the bank until it mingled with the waters of
the rivulet.
"And straightway the people knew that the Great
Spirit was wroth with them for the evil they had done,
for a hot wind swept down upon the isle and smote
them with a deadly plague. Then, while the dire
affliction was upon them, their enemies from the great
island in the north suddenly appeared and would have

The Beautiful Isle of Pines
fallen upon them had they not chanced to see the Prince
lying dead on the greensward.
When the chief of the avenging tribe learned the
cause of the young man's death, he paused, ere begin-
ning his work of destruction, and commanded his
warriors to fashion a grave beside the rivulet, and
stooped down and lifted the body in his own arms. As
he did this the assembled warriors marvelled, for out of
the ground in the very spot where the Prince had lain
gushed forth a beautiful spring as clear as crystal and
as warm as blood. And the invading tribe knew this
to be a token of good-will. And, instead of avenging
themselves on their stricken enemies, they brought
them to the wonderful spring and laved them in its
waters, whereupon they immediately became well.
"This is the reason, declare old-time natives about
Santa FR, why those waters for many years afterwards
bore the name of The Spring of Peace,' and why, unto
this day, they are so revered throughout the Indies."


ALL boys and girls have learned from their natural
history books, I suppose, that sponges are products
of the sea; but I wonder how many there are who
know just where and how they are fished up. The
process is so interesting that a few paragraphs cannot
fail to captivate your fancy.
Next to the valuable sponge fisheries of the Mediter-
ranean, those of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of
Mexico are the most important. Very early in the
nineteenth century excellent sponges were discovered
off the southern coast of Florida, and the first cargo
was shipped to New York in 1849. These specimens
were found to be of first-rate quality, so an industry
of extensive dimensions soon sprang up in the locality
of the discovery. Other discoveries followed one by
one, until to-day the waters of the various countries
of America yield two-thirds of the world's supply in
weight. In 1924 their crop of sponges weighed
approximately 5,000,000 pounds, of the value of
$2,ooo00ooo (400o,000).
At Tarpon Springs, Florida, over nine hundred
vessels comprise the sponge-fishing fleet. Fishing is
prohibited between May and October on account of the
hitherto reckless manner in which the grounds were

CAR'I ING SUG(A1R C ANL. Pages 49, 66, 701.

'' ~r
lh 1~ 1
~a, U

~4: u

Fishing for Sponges
being depleted. Although the sponge beds of Florida
are not far from the Batabano beds of Cuba, the fishing
methods adopted differ very materially. In the early
days of the industry the fishermen used to wade through
the water and tear up the sponges by hand. A little
later a two-tined hook attached to a long pole came
into use. The fishermen stood in the boats, and as
the water is exceptionally clear in that vicinity, it was
not difficult to scan the bottom of the sea, and pull up
the sponges with the hooks. Sometimes, however,
when many boats operated over one area, they caused
an army of ripples to play upon the surface of the sea,
thus making the bed almost invisible. To overcome
this difficulty a wooden bowl, with a glass bottom, was
invented, called a sponge-glass," or "water-telescope."
By means of this device the bottom of the sea became
plainly visible.
The method of fishing is ably described by Mr.
F. A. Pierce, an authority on the subject, thus :
"When a vessel reaches a sponging ground, if the
weather is favourable and the water sufficiently cear,
a bar is located by means of sighting' with a water-
glass. The crew is sent out in small boats, two men
in each, called the sculler' and the hooker,' the
duty of the former being to propel the boat in obedi-
ence to the signals of the latter, and assist in handling
the hooks when necessary. A proficient sculler has
perfect command of the boat, stopping it almost on the
instant. Upon the hooker devolves the work of catch-
ing and hooking the sponges. He leans over the side,
watching the bottom through his water-glass, the hook
with its pole resting conveniently across the boat, where

it may be seized upon the instant The position is
a trying one physically, especially when the sea is
choppy, and when the waves grow rough the work
is impossible. The sponge-glass or bucket, with its
glass bottom below the surface of the water, operates
by dispelling reflection, and to heighten its efficiency
the hooker usually wears a straw hat, which cuts off
a large part of the direct light when his head is thrust
into the mouth of the bucket. By this means the
bottom may sometimes be seen in cear water to depths
of fifty feet. When a sponge is sighted, the sculler
manoeuvres the boat into position at a word or signal
from the hooker ; the latter seizes his hook, resting
the pole on his shoulder, and with his right hand
lowers it. It is then injected into the sponge, more
or less distinctly visible through the water-glass, which
is held in position by the left hand. In pulling or
tearing the sponge a certain degree of skill is required
to prevent mutilation, which, of course, impairs its
value in the markets. Sometimes the formations
adhere so tightly that it requires the united efforts
of both men to loosen them, and in most cases parts of
the base of the sponge are left behind.
"In deep water-that is, in depths over 38 or
40 feet-probably not more than one-third of the
hookers have sufficient strength, keenness of sight, and
skill with the pole, to work successfully. In conse-
quence of this, and the fact that only when the water
is exceptionally clear can the sponges be seen at all
in the greater depths, most of the hooking is carried on
in less than six fathoms of water."
About fifteen years ago the diving apparatus was

Fishing for Sponges
introduced into the sponge fisheries of the Gulf of
Mexico. This method is much more interesting and
certainly more dangerous than fishing with the pole
and hook. The crew consists of eight men-two
divers, three oarsmen, two men in charge of the air
apparatus, and a life-line man, whose duty it is to
attend to the diver's signals.
The work of the diver is arduous, and frequently
attended by grave dangers. When he puts on his
heavy armour or diving suit, he takes with him a fine
large net, into which he packs the sponges to be drawn
up to the surface by the men in the boat. The boat
follows his movements closely, and the life-line man is
continually on the alert for danger signals from below.
The greatest danger attending the diver is the prob-
ability of sudden attacks by sharks. Man-eating sharks
infest these sponge fisheries, and many are the thrilling
stories the divers have to tell at the close of the day.
It would be quite possible for a diver to deal a death-
blow at one of these terrifying man-eaters; but if
blood were drawn, in less than two minutes an army
of sharks would be drawn to the assistance of their
wounded companion. Therefore, the diver never
strikes at his enemy ; he merely stands still in the
bed of sponges, and the shark thinking it a dead object,
turns tail, and scurries elsewhere in search of victims.
The most important Cuban sponge beds lie between
the main island and the Isle of Pines. About two
thousand people are engaged in the industry. The
hooking system is in vogue, as it has been found more
suitable and profitable than the employment of divers.
When the sponges are taken out of the water they

are generally black and slimy. To clean them thoroughly
they are placed in pens in shallow water, where the ebb
and flow of the tides can wash them about for seven or
eight days. After the process of cleansing, the sponges
are thrashed with sticks to kill any lingering life, and
then they are strung up in bunches to dry. A few
days later they are placed in heaps for the inspection of
buyers, who bid for them according to size and quality.
The last stage of the process is to pack in bales,
forward to the warehouses, and finally ship them to
the United States, Europe, and, in fact, every part of
the globe.

Ir ever you are fortunate enough to visit the enchanted
island of Cuba, you must certainly see the historic caves
of Matanzas. Your feelings will be those of wonder,
fear, and delight as you tread the well-worn, winding
pathway beneath those glittering arches. Ghosts of
buccaneers will gaze at you from secluded inlets, and
the murmuring of the spirits of the Indians will fill the
chambers of your mind with fearful and fascinating
images. They are fifty-four miles from Havana, and
can be approached either by the sea or by rail. The
charge for admission is one dollar (about four shillings),
and, of course, a tip for the guide.
The mouth of the caves is reached by a long flight of
steps. It was customary to lead visitors through by the
light of a torch; but as the smoke marred the beauty
of the roof, electric bulbs now light you on your way.
The caves are about three miles long, and contain over
thirty brilliant chambers, the main one, called the
Gothic Temple, being 250 feet long and 8o feet wide,
and supported by stately columns. The projections of
stalactite and stalagmite look extremely fantastic and
awe-inspiring, and give one the impression that the
chambers were once the festive halls of a fairy king or
the palace of a forgotten people who revelled in the
loneliness and beauty of their subterranean dwelling.

Although these caves must have been known to the
pirates who had a genius for discovering subterranean
passages, they were not known generally until the year
1861. It is said that a Chinese labourer, while extract-
ing limestone in the district, lost his crowbar, which,
the moment it vanished through the earth, so startled
him that he fled in terror from the spot. Investigation
was begun, with the result that the magnificent caverns
were soon made known throughout the whole of
America and Europe.
The process of crystallization is caused by the per-
petual dripping of water carrying with it small particles
of limestone, which harden until the stalactites looklike
bunches of glistening icicles. Sometimes these stalac-
tites meet the stalagmites rising from the base, thus
forming magnificent crystal columns. Boys and girls
are somewhat afraid to visit these caves alone, for in one
part of them weird noises can be heard distinctly, and
legend reports that these are the spirits of the aboriginal
Indians who were cruelly slaughtered there by the early
invaders of Cuba. It is probable, however, that the
noises are caused by a subterranean stream flowing over
the top of the caves or beneath their base. By the
way, the name Matanzas means in the Spanish language
The train-ride from Havana to Matanzas is one of
the most beautiful in the island. From the carriage
window can be seen innumerable avenues of palms
leading to the doors of the rich planters' homes. Acres
of rich red soil on hill-side and in vale are covered with
millions of sugar-canes; and, slowly drawn by drowsy
oxen, the heavy carts laden with the sweet sticks wend

The Caves of Matanzas
their way to the long ranges ot smoking chimneys that
mark out the mills. Massive ceiba-trees with tortuous
trunks stand like sentinels among the evergreen foliage
and grassy fields. Doubtless you have seen pictures of
Indian children, and you have decided to send out
money wherewith to purchase clothing for them. Well,
the Cuban children can be seen to-day exercising the
same indifference to fashionable suits and dainty dresses.
The air is always so balmy that if decency does not
prescribe clothing, certainly climatic conditions will
Overlooking the town of Matanzas from Cumbre Hill
is the Hermitage of Montserrate, built in 1870. Its
most interesting feature is a shrine made out of Spanish
cork representing that in the Monastery of Montserrate.
This monastery was built in the ninth century to
enshrine La Santa Imagen, a figure of the Holy Virgin
which, according to tradition, was made by St. Luke
and taken to Spain by St. Peter. Before this image the
founder of the Jesuitical Order bowed, and consecrated
his life to Christ and the Mother of God. Miracles are
said to have been performed at the shrine in Matanzas,
and many thankofferings adorn the altar. Among them
are diamond ear-rings and necklace and crucifix worn
by the image of the Virgin. Crutches and sticks are
numerous, having been left there by cripples upon
whom Our Lady had bestowed her beneficent healings.
One of the most exquisite landscapes in Cuba is
visible from the Hermitage-the Yumuri Valley, with
the river San Juan augmenting its beauty. The
greenery crowning the gorge is appalling in its loveli-
ness ; it is inspiring at sunrise, and melancholic at

sunset. When the Divine Artist is at work with his
colours in the western sky, shafts of many-coloured
lights streak the placid valley and spread a halo of gold
over the quaint houses with their strangely tinted roofs
and walls, and the quiet green gardens studded with
laurel-trees, palms, and multitudes of flowers. How
gracefully the hills go down to the sea, as though
longing to receive the kiss of the white sea-foam fringing
the tortuous coast of the sapphire bay I Truly this is a
scene to stir the emotions and breathe new life into the
imagination of the beholder. On either side of the
river palms and bamboos extend their long green arms;
and on the bosom of the water whistling "lighterers"
steer their sugar-laden boats to the vessels anchored in
the busy harbour.

IF one can endure the heat of a railway car, a trip across
Cuba by rail in summer is a feast of beauty for the eyes
that can appreciate the glamour of subtropical scenery.
The Cuba railroad runs through the heart of the
country from Havana to Santiago, with branches to the
chief towns on the north and south coasts. Its length
is about 440 miles, and 163 miles of rail are now under
construction. The track is standard gauge, and its
equipment is equal to those of the United Kingdom
and the United States. First-class sleeping and observa-
tion cars are attached to the trains. The road passes
through enchanting scenery-forests of mahogany,
cedar, and ebony, clusters of vines, fields of orchids,
cane and tobacco plantations, cattle ranches, and quaint
little towns with even quainter inhabitants.
If we board the train at Havana, it will take us
twenty-four hours to reach Santiago de Cuba at the
other extremity of the island. However, so many
places of interest intervene that we shall not feel
disposed to pass them by contented with a glimpse
from the observation car. At the same time, we cannot
stop to take in the beauty and characteristics of the
many towns, villages, and quiet picturesque nooks that
woo us as we race over the railway track.

As we have already visited the caves of Matanzas,
our first stopping-place shall be Santa Clara, the capital
of the province bearing the same name. This town is
also the centre of Cuba's greatest cattle and sugar
province. On every hand you may see thousands of
prime cattle feeding on the succulent grasses, or chew-
ing their cud knee-deep in a stream flowing between an
avenue of graceful palm-trees. If you took a drive
through the country, you would be charmed to see six
or eight oxen yoked to a cart laden with sugar-cane on
the way to the railway cars standing at a convenient
spot on the sugar plantation ready to convey it to the
waiting mills. When the train arrives at the mill, the
cars are drawn one by one under a travelling crane
spanning the railway. The stems of cane are then
transferred to the upper stories ready to pass through
the various processes of rendition to sugar.
Apart from its cattle and sugar industries, its quaint
streets and houses, its variegated trees and flowers, and
its scenery, Santa Clara is interesting from an historical
standpoint. It was founded in 1689 on the site of an
old Indian village known to Christopher Columbus by
the name of Cubanacan, meaning "in the centre of
Cuba." The centre of the island was chosen after
much deliberation as being farthest removed from the
pirate-invested coasts. Those celebrated pirates and
devastators-Captain Morgan, Gilbert Giron, Fran-
quesnay, L'Ollonois, and Grammont, about whose
deeds volumes could be written-harassed the people
year after year, plundered their stores, burned their
houses, and starved the women and children. Many of
the original founders of Santa Clara came from a town

Across Cuba by Rail
called San Juan de los Remedios, which was probably
the most unfortunate settlement in Cuba. Writing of
this pirate-ridden town one historian says: "The town
itself presented a sad and disconsolate appearance. Its
streets were deserted, its houses abandoned, and not a
person appeared in all that vicinity. Pirates invaded
now easily, because of the fact that the place was empty.
They sacked the houses, burned many of them, and the
archives. They profaned the sanctuary of religion
there, so great was their audacity, stole jewels and other
objects used in religious service, and destroyed amid
vituperation those sacred images the piety and devotion
of the faithful had placed in the temple they outraged.
News of these happenings augmented the uncertainty
and terror in which the people lived. No sooner did a
family find refuge under the roof of a hut where its
members thought to be safe, than there arrived some
rumour to alarm all, so that they fled, hopeless, into the
wilderness again. Nobody had a fixed place of abode.
The people were ruined. They lost their crops, and
plantings were not cared for, which was detrimental to
owners and to the community at large as well. So
deplorable was the situation that for six months, and
even a year, the town of San Juan de los Remedios was
totally abandoned, and not a soul went back to walk in
the streets."
No wonder these unfortunate people sought refuge
in the only place that would be likely to escape the
cruel depredations of the merciless pirates. Under the
guidance of a native of Santa Clara you would be shown
many spots of historic interest, as well as old buildings
whose walls could tell many a harrowing tale. You

would be shown, also, the highways leading to the
ports of Sagua la Grande and Sagua la Chica, cut
through a section of the country that was once covered
with trees, vines, weeds, and thick tropical vegetation.
What a haul the pirates would capture to-day were
they to return to life and raid the numerous wealthy
commercial establishments now located there 1
Our next stopping-place shall be at the lovely city of
Camaguey, with its population of 30,000. This is a
favourite resort of American tourists. Although the
leading factors of modern commerce have invaded
the city, such as electric street cars, banks, postal and
telegraph offices, electric light, and commercial houses,
it has lost none of the picturesqueness associated with
Cuban towns of ancient memory. Churches bearing
the luring impress of time adorn its winding streets.
Fine old houses, more or less crumbling, with their
quaint wooden window grilles, fluted roofs, heavy
masonry, and stout doors, create in the visitor a longing
to hear the patios relate the stories told within by
people who now sleep in the quiet churchyard hard by.
Here is another town that has often been sacked by
pirates, and in imagination one can see the terrified
women and children fleeing through those tortuous
streets at the sounds of alarm shouted by the watchman
at the approach of danger.
Among the venerable churches there stands La
Merced, built in the early part of the seventeenth
century by missionaries of Our Lady of Mercy. This
order, however, gradually sank into oblivion, and so
the church was adopted by a body called the Barefoot
Carmelites," the descendants of which still occupy the

Across Cuba by Rail
old-fashioned monastery. Inside the church is a
brilliant silver altar said to have cost over forty thousand
dollars Spanish. It also contains a sepulchre of
hammered silver, weighing about five hundred pounds
and adorned with an imposing effigy of the Saviour of
Another old church, once a hermitage, is La Soledad,
built in the year 1758. The interior, though some-
what frigid, is ornamented with artistic frescoes of com-
paratively recent date.
Cattle-raising and sugar-planting are becoming ex-
tensive and profitable industries in this section of the
island. Canadians and Americans anticipate further
commercial development, for they appear to be settling
there in ever-increasing numbers.
The third and last large city we shall be able to visit
is Santiago de Cuba, where Madame Patti and Calve
once sang to very "thin" houses. It is supposed to
be the most picturesque city in Cuba, due to its being
built on a legion of wooded hills. The streets are
steep and tortuous, and the houses are quaintly built and
painted in a greater variety of colours than even those
in the capital, Havana. Stately churches, picturesque
parks, avenues of palms, patches of tropical flowers,
pretty feathered song-birds, and historic houses keep
the visitor interested for many days. The city is
lighted by electricity, electric cars are on the streets,
and from morning till night the thoroughfares are
alive with the bustle of traffic and the whirr of wheels.
The first settlement of this historic city took place
under Velasquez in I514, and no history of Cuba could
be written unless Santiago figured largely in its pages.
cv. 73 6

Not only is it saturated with deeds of daring in olden
days; it was the storm-centre of the Spanish-American
War, by which the Cuban people were liberated from
the bondage of Spain in 1898 and given their coveted
independence. As you gaze at Morro Castle you can
picture to yourself the advent of the Spanish fleets
under Cervera sailing into the jaws of death. No
sooner had they approached the coast than volley after
volley was fired into their iron ribs, until they lay
scattered along the seashore never again to muster
sufficient courage for another attack.
The Americans have done almost as much for San-
tiago de Cuba as for Havana. The city was once a
hotbed of yellow fever; but a modern sanitary system
has so renovated conditions there that it is now one
of the most desirable residential places in Cuba. Its
population of 45,000 is characterized by great com-
mercial activity. Sugar, cocoa, coffee, tobacco and
cigars, honey and wax, native timber, copper and iron
ores figure among the exports that keep the port a hive
of industry year in and year out.


THx history of Cuba is saturated with luring legends,
deeds of daring, and tales of piracy; and among them
all, none is more fascinating than the beautiful story
associated with the church of Nuestra Sefiora de la
Caridad del Cobre (Our Lady of Charity of Cobre).
In the province of Santiago stands the historic mining
village of Cobre, where copper has been unearthed from
the days when the Spanish colonists set out towards the
West Indies immediately after Columbus had heralded
his discovery throughout Spain. On the top of a hill,
whose copper-coloured soil under the influence of the
rising sun looks like a bulk of gold, stands the ruins of
the shrine of Our Lady of Cobre, an image that has
been graphically described by a celebrated writer:
"Her beauty is admirable. She consoles all who
look upon her. Her glance is pleasant, yet so serious
that, without causing fear, it evokes reverence in all
beholders. Her colour is cear brunette ; her eyes are
so lively they seem to be looking in every direction at
once, yet their regard is composed and frank. Her
whole aspect is one of celestial authority. On her left
arm she carries her son. In her right hand is a cross
set with an emerald. The features of the child are
perfect, in colour very like the mother's. He bears in

His left hand a round ball, signifying the world, and
His right is lifted as though He were about to bestow
a blessing."
For the origin of this famous image which has
become the patron saint of Cuba, we must go back to
the year 15 o, when a daring sea-rover named Alonso
de Hojeda endeavoured to found a small colony at
San Sebastian. Many pages would be required to
narrate the awful sufferings of this pioneer colonizer
and his band of followers. Harassed by pirates,
warlike tribes, hunger and thirst, their numbers dwindled
day by day. It seemed that nothing could relieve their
sufferings but death.
Prior to leaving Spain, Alonso de Hojeda had been
presented by Bishop Juan de Fonseca with a beautiful
image of the Mother of God which he carried in his
knapsack wherever he went. During the fearful priva-
tions he and his colony suffered in the swampy man-
groves of Cuba, he would produce the image and exhort
his followers to implore her pity. Hojeda vowed that
if their prayers were answered he would leave the image
in the first village at which they arrived in safety.
Many of the noble little band died on the march ; but
the strongest reached Cueyba in safety. In accordance
with his vow Hojeda gave the image of Our Lady to
the Indian chief there. An oratory was built and the
image was placed upon the altar. We are told that the
Indians took kindly to it; and in time of battle they
called upon her to scatter their enemies.
Once, we are told, the power of the image was put to
the test. A certain tribe of Indians had said that their
gods were more powerful than Our Lady of Cueyba's

A Fascinating Story
tribe. To decide it two men, one from each tribe, were
bound; the god of the one first liberated was to be
considered the more powerful. As the two men stood
bound in the middle of a field, the one of Cueyba's
tribe was granted a vision of the Virgin Mother who
came towards him, touched his bonds with a sceptre and
liberated him, after which he approached his opponent
and bound him tighter and tighter in the presence of
his tribe and their heathen gods.
Shortly after this incident the owner of Our Lady
appears to have been seized with a fear that the image
might ultimately get into the hands of his enemies ; so
he flung it into one of the rivers that flows slowly and
rhythmically into Nipe Bay.
The next time we hear of the image is in 1628.
Two Indians had gone down to Nipe Bay to gather
salt. On the way they were detained by bad weather
for a few days. One morning after the storm had
subsided, they put off from the shore. They had rowed
only a short distance when they were surprised by a
strange object coming towards them above the crest of
a wave. Judge of their astonishment when they
discovered that it was the image of the Virgin Mother.
In her right hand she bore a cross, upon which were
inscribed in letters of gold: "I am the Virgin of
Charity." Her child was on her left arm, and she
appeared to be riding unsupported above the sea. The
men lifted her into their little boat and bore her to one
Miguel Galan, who in turn bore her to the principal of
the copper mines, D. Francisco Sanchez de Moya. A
little temple was built for her, and a copper lamp was
kept burning perpetually at the altar.

In this temple a very strange thing occurred. Every
night when the sacristan went to trim the lamp he
found that the image disappeared, but it always re-
turned regularly at daybreak. The superstitious wor-
shippers interpreted this conduct as a desire on the
part of Our Lady to be transferred to a more worthy
temple; therefore, amidst great pomp and triumph,
she was conveyed to the peaceful little church in the
village of Cobre.
In answer to the prayers of the people as to why she
vanished so often from the altar, strange lights flickered
on the summit of a hill of copper, and interpreting this
as an intimation that on this spot her shrine must he
erected, the people at once built a fitting shrine for her
permanent abode.
Until quite recently, sticks and crutches could be
seen lying round her altar, as a testimony to the many
miracles performed by Our Lady of Charity of Cobre.
Costly jewels decorated the altar, and the chair in
which the image rested was made out of beautiful
tortoise-shell inlaid with ivory and gold.
Everybody in Cuba adores the Virgin, particularly
sailors. On September 8, at the Festival of the Virgin
of Cobre, thousands of pilgrims visited the shrine to
pay their homage. So great is the influence of Our
Lady that fishermen of Cuba will take up any fish
caught in Cuban waters, and show you upon its scales
the image of this mysterious and miraculous Patron
Saint of the island.


WE are all familiar with the myriads of advertisements
that greet us in every street, at every railway-station,
and in every magazine and newspaper, announcing that
So-and-so's cocoa is the best; we also sip it at break-
fast and supper-time, and feel revived by its healthful
qualities; but how few of us understand the processes
associated with its growth and manufacture.
If you were to take a ride on a mule through certain
districts of Cuba at certain periods of the year, you
would have an opportunity of seeing just how cocoa
appears in its infant state. Under the shade of large
forest trees the cacao orchards bring forth their delicate
fruit. The trees are not at all unlike some of the fruit
trees seen in an Englisn or American orchard. In
infancy they are rather small, but in about four years
they reach a height of twenty feet, and begin to bear fruit
in pods, which hang from branches and stems. These
pods are from six to ten inches long, and their multi-
tudinous colours-grey, orange, pink, green, yellow,
and crimson-are very fair to look upon under the
strange light of a brilliant tropical sunset. A distant
prospect of the leaves is exquisite, for their colour
varies from dark green to rich copper.
The orchards are usually arranged in long rows, the

trees being about sixteen feet apart, and when they
have reached their sixth or seventh birthday their
boughs begin to intertwine, thus forming a series of
enchanting glades that furnish a welcome shelter from
the glaring sun.
Like other products of the orchard, the cacao-tree
has an army of enemies, against whom the planter
wages continual warfare. The delicate pods bearing
the cocoa nibs are frequently attacked by rats,
jutias, and birds, and if once the sensitive skin
is pierced, the pods soon begin to decay. However
strange it may seem, the planter's best friend is the
snake ; for he is much feared by the animal kingdom,
and is the more effective in the destruction of foes than
even the shot of the planter.
After its tenth birthday a tree will increase in fecun-
dity every year, until it brings forth sixty to one hundred
and forty pods, each pod yielding from thirty-five to
forty beans. Although the trees are fruitful nearly all
the year, harvesting are generally confined to winter
and summer pickings.
In harvest-time the orcharci is alive with negroes and
Cubans who go forth armed with goulets," the sharp
edges of which clip the cocoa pods from the branches.
The pods are then collected from beneath the trees,
and women extract the beans by the aid of wooden
spoons. After passing through a process of fermenta-
tion the beans are spread out on trays to dry in the
sun. In a few days they are ready to be packed in
bags prior to their transportation to the various cocoa
manufacturing countries in the world.
Exceedingly interesting are the operations connected

A Peep at a Popular Beverage
with the conversion of the beans into cocoa after they
have crossed the Atlantic to the factory where a body
of skilled workers anxiously await their arrival. The
first operation is performed by a winnowing machine,
whose duty it is to separate the sheep from the goats-
that is, remove all dust and unsound beans from the
good ones.
When the good beans are separated from the chaff,
they are conveyed to a battery of roasters and heated
by experienced workmen until the desired aroma is
obtained. Then follows the process of cooling prior
to the splitting of the beans in order to release the
imprisoned souls-the kernels or nibs."
The process of grinding between horizontal mill-
stones is the next operation, which is for the purpose
of extracting the butter." From the mill-stones, the
substance, by the use of what is known as a press-
pot," is converted into a dry cake which, in its turn, is
ground into a flour and transferred to the tins and
packets so familiar to lovers of this tropical beverage.
This method of manufacturing cocoa differs very
much from the primitive methods adopted by the
early Spanish settlers in America, of whom it is written :
For this purpose they have a broad, smooth stone,
well polished or glazed very hard, and being made fit
in all respects for their use, they grind the cacaos thereon
very small, and when they have so done, they have
another broad stone ready, under which they keep a
gentle fire.
A more speedy way for the making up of the cacao
into chocolate is this: They have a mill made in the
form of some malt-mills, whose stones are firm and

hard, which work by turning, and upon this mill are
ground the cacaos grossly, and then between the other
stones they work that which is ground yet smaller, or
else by beating it up in a mortar bring it into the usual
Associated with the early history of cocoa we find
some curious and humorous allusions to its influence
upon the temper and health of the people. One of
the most quaint references is to be found in an old
volume published in the days of the Commonwealth.
The women of that city" (Chiapa), it seems, pre-
tend much weakness and squeamishness of stomacke,
which they say is so great that they are not able to con-
tinue in church while the mass is briefly hurried over,
much lesse while a solemn high mass is sung and a sermon
preached, unles they drink a cup of hot chocolate and
eat a bit of sweetmeats to strengthen their stomackes.
For this purpose it was much used by them to make
their maids bring them to church, in the middle of
mass or sermon, a cup of chocolate, which could not
be done to all without a great confusion and interrupt-
ing both mass and sermon. The Bishop, perceiving
this abuse, and having given fire warning for the
omitting of it, but all without amendment, thought fit
to fix in writing upon the church does an excommuni-
cation against all such as should presume at the time
of service to eate or drinke within the church. This
excommunication was taken by all, but especially by
the gentlewomen, much to heart, who protested, if
they might not eate or drinke in the church, they could
not continue in it to hear what otherwise they were
bound unto. But none of these reasons would move

A Peep at a Popular Beverage
the Bishop. The women, seeing him hard to be en-
treated, began to slight him with scornefull and re-
proachfull words: others slighted his excommunication,
drinking in iniquity in the church, as the fish does
water, which caused one day such an uproar in the
Cathedrall that many swordes were drawn against the
Priests, who attempted to take away from the maids
the cups of chocolate which they brought unto their
mistresses, who at last, seeing that neither fire nor
foule means would prevail upon the Bishop, resolved
to forsake the Cathedrall: and so from that time most
of the city betooke themselves to the Cloister Churches,
where by the Nuns and Fryers they were not troubled.
The Bishop fell dangerously sick. Physicians were-
sent for far and neere, who all with one joynt opinion
agreed that the Bishop was poisoned. A gentlewoman,
with whom I was well acquainted, was commonly cen-
sured to have prescribed such a cup of chocolate to be
ministered by the Page, which poisoned him who so
rigorously had forbidden chocolate to be drunk in the
church. Myself heard this gentlewoman say that the
women had no reason to grieve for him, and that she
judged, he being such an enemy to chocolate in the
church, that which he had drunk in his house had not
agreed with his body. And it became afterwards a
proverbe in that country : 'Beware of the chocolate of
Chiapa!' that poisoning and wicked city, which
truly deserves no better relation than what I have given
of the simple Dons and the chocolatte-confectioning


MANY and fascinating are the stories of piratical adven-
ture associated with the group of islands known as the
West Indies. From the year Columbus returned to
Europe and spread the news of the golden lands he
had discovered, down to the latter part of the last
century, pirates have scoured the waters of the Caribbean
Sea in search of plunder. Bloody battles have been
fought on the high seas between those dare-devil
adventurers and Spanish sailors; and many a gallant
out-numbered crew has succumbed to the onslaughts
of the buccaneers, who esteemed the cargo of a merchant-
ship of far more value than many sailors.
Only one story can be told here. It is an incident
in the piratical expeditions of that celebrated buccaneer,
Captain Morgan.
Captain Morgan had been scouring the seas of the
West Indies for many years, and had struck terror into
the hearts not only of the navigators bringing their
vessels laden with merchandise to Europe, but also the
inhabitants of Cuba, Jamaica, and other islands. In the
early part of the seventeenth century he had landed on
the south coast of Cuba, where he succeeded in terrorizing
the Spaniards with his formidable fleet of twelve sail
and 700 fighting men, partly English and partly French.

A Tale of the Buccaneers
The pirate called together a council of his men, some
of whom advised a night attack on the city of Havana,
which, if a certain number of priests could be captured,
would easily surrender. This project, however, was not
put into operation because there were several on board
who had once been prisoners in Havana, and they told
their leader that it would be impossible to capture the
fortified Castle of the Three Kings without an army of
at least I,5oo men. Some suggested that they go to
the Isle of Pines, land fourteen leagues from the said
city," and take it by a rear attack.
After further deliberation, they decided to assault El
Puerto del Principe, where dwelt a rich Spanish colony,
arguing that as it was some miles from the sea, and
consequently never previously sacked by pirates, they
would be able to subdue the people easily and carry
off a magnificent booty. Captain Morgan consented,
ordered the anchors to be weighed, and in a very short
time they were off on their expedition of plunder.
Having arrived at a bay called El Puerto de Santa
Maria, they anchored for the night, proposing to attack
at daybreak. Now, it happened that they had on board
a Spanish prisoner who, having heard the plans discussed
by the council of Englishmen (they did not know that
the prisoner understood English), swam ashore during
the night and informed the inhabitants of El Puerto del
Principe of the designs of the pirates. The Spaniards
immediately began to hide their riches, and to carry
away all movable property. The Governor raised all
the people of the town, freeman and slaves, and with
a part of them occupied a post that the pirates were
obliged to pass on their way to the town. He also

commanded trees to be cut down and laid across the
road to obstruct the passage of the pirates. Ambuscades
were built and pieces of cannon placed in position to
fire upon their enemies when they approached. The
Governor got together some 800 men, part of whom
were located at the ambuscades; but the greater part
were marshalled in a field near the town ready to meet
the attack.
The dauntless pirate landed his men and began his
march towards the town. Seeing that all avenues were
impassable, he led his men with great difficulty through
the woods, by which route they escaped the ambuscades.
The Governor had seen their approach, and so imme-
diately despatched a troop of horse to effect a frontal
attack which, if successful, would enable him to pursue
them with his main force. With drums beating and
colours flying the pirates advanced and formed a semi-
circle. For some time a fierce battle raged. The
dexterity of the pirates was too much for the Spaniards.
The Governor with many of his men lay dead upon the
field; the rest of the army scampered off to the woods
with the pirates pursuing them in the rear and inflicting
terrible slaughter. The pirates were victorious, only
a comparatively few men being lost in battle.
The skirmish lasted four hours. They entered the
town not without great resistance of such as were within,
who defended themselves as long as possible, and many
seeing the enemy within the town shut themselves up
in their own homes, and thence made several shots upon
the pirates, who thereupon threatened them saying, 'If
you surrender not voluntarily, you shall soon see the
town in a flame, and your wives and children torn in