Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Title Page
 List of Illustrations
 Half Title
 A child is born
 The boy who did not smile
 Strange yearnings
 The shadow of lilis
 Struggles of the in-and-outers
 Period of waiting
 Thoughtful phases
 Dark days
 Fate moves with a purpose
 Nature's own challenge
 The job that never ends
 Significant data

Group Title: Trujillo; : the man and his country.
Title: Trujillo
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00074115/00001
 Material Information
Title: Trujillo the man, and his country
Physical Description: 200 p. : illus. ; 21 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Ariza, Sander
Publisher: Orlin Tremaine Co.
Place of Publication: New York
Publication Date: 1939
Subject: History -- Dominican Republic   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00074115
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000121871
oclc - 24662870
notis - AAN7799

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Title Page
        Page 3
        Page 4
    List of Illustrations
        Page 9
        Page 10
    Half Title
        Page 11
        Page 12
    A child is born
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
    The boy who did not smile
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
    Strange yearnings
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
    The shadow of lilis
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
    Struggles of the in-and-outers
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
    Period of waiting
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
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        Page 82
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        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
    Thoughtful phases
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
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        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
    Dark days
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
    Fate moves with a purpose
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
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        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
    Nature's own challenge
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
    The job that never ends
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
    Significant data
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
Full Text




T HE Republics of the New World comprise
a great force in the life of the whole world, and the
individual viewpoint of every one of these nations is
worthy of our most careful attention.
Too long we have been satisfied with the opinions
of our own people writing of these sovereign peoples
as they have appeared from superficial examination.
It is time we listened to the heart beats and the
inner thoughts of these neighbors themselves.
This book presents a healthy viewpoint for us of
North America. In it we see, for almost the first time,
how our coming into Santo Domingo looked to the
people whose country we occupied.
We see their greatest president from boyhood to
retirement, feel his emotions, think his thoughts, and
we realize that this book is more significant than a
dozen chronicles by American observers.
We catch the spirit of a Latin people, because
the author herself is one of them. Her style of writ-
ing is refreshingly new to us-and if in gaining this
new spirit the story loses some of the concise chro-
nology of the typical biographer of our own nation-
ality, we have still gained much.


And it is simple for us to give the outlined his-
tory of the Republica Dominicana, in the Addenda,
in more readily accessible form than it would have
appeared if included in this delightful narrative of
the growth of a nation through its adolescence, to
Trujillo Molina emerges as a significant figure,
and a truly great man. It is time we saw him as his
people see him, and at last we do.
We have listened too long, and read too much
of the opinions of defeated political exiles reviling a
proud nation.
In this book we meet Trujillo, the man, and his
country, as his people see him and as they see their

The Generalisimo Trujillo Molina, Benefactor of the Domini-
can Schools, receives a bouquet of Native Flowers from
Schoolchildren and favors them with one of his rare smiles.


In a nation four centuries old-but
But who had eyes which saw, and ears
that heard.
Which began where Christopher Colum-
bus stopped!
How a dead dictator's hand still ruled
a people.
The unchangingly selfish objective in
Dominican politics.
Which concerns a telegraph operator and
what he learned.
During which period banditry gets out
of hand-and the U. S. Marines land
in Santo Domingo.


Trujillo watches, learns-and earns a
commission as Lieutenant.
The man proves himself a soldier.
"They must never happen again."
The provisional government takes over,
and a Republic comes of age.
Trujillo, commander of the Department
of the North.
The military occupation over, Trujillo is
made Commandant of the "Guardia".
The new president is faced by catastro-
phe as hurricane destroys the capital
Schools, Roads, Hospitals-more schools,
more roads-a nation works, and pros-
pers, and is happy.
ADDENDA: Bibliography 197
Significant Data on the Do-
minican Republic 198





19- z // 0 0





List of Illustrations
I. The Generalisimo Trujillo Molina, Benefactor
of the Dominican Schools, receives a bou-
quet of Native Flowers from Schoolchil-
dren and favors them with one of his rare
smiles Frontispiece
II. The Generalisimo Trujillo Molina reviewing
the National Troops 65
III. Summer residence of the Generalisimo Trujillo
Molina. 66
IV. Holstein cows on the Farm "Fundacion" of
Generalisimo Trujillo Molina 66
V. The Palace of the Columbus Family in Trujillo
City, D. R. 83
VI. The tomb of Christopher Columbus in the
Cathedral at Trujillo City 84
VII. "George Washington" Avenue, named in
P honor of the First American President, by
suggestion of the Generalisimo Trujillo
Molina 149
VIII. Bridge over the "Ocoa" River in the Domini-
can Republic 149
IX. The Road to Jarabacoa, a beautiful summer
place in the mountains I5o
X. Avenue in San Cristobal, birthplace of the
Generalisimo Trujillo Molina 5o


XI. Trujillo City after the cyclone, Sept. 3rd,
1930. Reconstructed by the Generalisimo
Trujillo Molina 167
XII. Aerial view of Trujillo City showing the new
harbor and the reconstructed city. 67

XIII. Children's "Ramfis" park .

. 68

XIV. "Colon" Park in Trujillo City, Dominican Re-
public, showing the Cathedral(left) which
holds the Tomb of Christopher Columbus.
City Hall in Background. Columbus Statue




A Child Is Born

S HORTLY before the end of the last century
a dreamy-eyed child was born in San Cristobal, west
of Santo Domingo City (now Trujillo City), in the
Dominican Republic. He was simply another child
to his parents, who had, or were due to have, a great
many. There was always room for one more in this
family, as there was always room for one more in any
Dominican family. Dominicans love their children.
This man-child was a child of fortune, though his
parents never dreamed such a thing. Why should
they? In Santo Domingo wealth did not matter, or
position, as long as there was plenty to eat and a place
to sleep.
The trees provided food, and if there were no
other place, no grander palace could be found than
under those same trees, with windows that opened on
the sky.
All boys were clannish. So, at first, was this one.

All boys have names, but few-except in Santo Do-
mingo-have as many as this one had. It is doubtful
if, when he was very young, he could remember all
of them himself. It was Rafael Leonidas Trujillo
Molina. Written out, the words would have covered
more space than did the boy himself!
From the very beginning, however, he was dif-
ferent. He could not, possibly, have known why he
always took the lead in childish games, which he in-
vented himself, nor why his comrades accepted his
leadership without question. They knew he was
different, but they could not have told how, either;
only that he was, and that he was more active than
the rest. There was a restlessness in him that was
manifested further back than he can remember even
now-and he has the longest memory, perhaps, of
any Dominicano. Long before children of his own
age were allowed out of their own back yards, he had
made excursions, alone, into the forests and moun-
tains which surrounded San Cristobal. He knew just
where the curves were, in the Rio Nigua, and where
the river turned sharply into the Cordillera Centrales.
He knew where the noisiest falls were, and just how
close he could come to them without being carried in
and drowned. He knew where to find the fish, and
how to catch them.
He knew the trails, too, that led away from San

Cristobal. Often, on those trails, he met the paisanos
of his country, with their heavily-laden burros, com-
ing to the market place in San Cristobal. He ac-
knowledged their greetings, but spent little time in
gossip with them. But he never forgot a face of one
of them. They had come from strange places, back
in the mountains, that he had not yet visited, but that
he one day would. He would often step off the
deeply rutted, sometimes muddy trails, and watch the
people go trooping past. He would listen to their
conversation, and gather knowledge that would have
surprised his parents had they known. From their
lips, unknown to them, he began to build a picture
of the country to the north, and west, that was sur-
prisingly accurate.
One day he would visit all of it, a little at a time.
He would make it his own. For as the country he
had traversed had discovered to him fresh and excit-
ing mysteries behind every newly found tree and rock
and hill, so would the country about which these
people chattered. Often, too, he would move about
the market place, where people came from all direc-
tions, and listen to the gossip they exchanged. So
he learned his country, and its people. He learned
much of trade, and money, and the value of posses-
sions. He never tired of the market place, or of lis-

tening to the people who gathered there every Sat-
In- between times, when he tired of playing
gasiwith his comrades, he would hunt out new
trails. He followed the steep trail that led to El Ta-
blazo, which few people of San Cristobal had ever
seen, though it was just out of sight over a shoulder
of the mountains. The hill was simply too stiff to
climb, for people who were lucky enough to live in
San Cristobal. The people who lived in El Tablazo
had to climb the hills, whether they wished to or not.
And then one day he discovered Cambita from a
height of land, and gasped with the beauty of it. It
was even more beautiful, if that were possible, than
San Cristobal.
He had heard people speak, enviously, of jewels,
and when he saw Cambita he thought of jewels, and
Cambita became the "Jewel of the Hills." He stood
on the hill for a long time, looking down. There was
a square like none he had ever seen, and white sheep
grazing on the beautiful green grass. Across the
square was a big white church of wood and stone,
with a cross on its top. There were vari-colored
houses, better than most Dominican houses, around
three sides of the square, and people who seemed to
be unusually happy-because they sang all the time-
went in and out of those houses, singing. It was a


strange world, set down in the midst of the world he
knew. It was a place of peace and quiet.
But when he went down to the village, and trav-
ersed its streets, strode barefoot across the square,
while the sheep scarcely raised their heads to look at
just another Dominican boy, he knew that the peace
of Cambita was not for him. A beautiful place for
the deeply religious, or the very old, who simply sat
down in comfort to await the end. But never a place
for a lad with restless feet, and the urge to travel past
far horizons in his heart. He couldn't have stood
Cambita two days in succession had his life depended
on it. And he knew he was strange because of that,
for every last one of his companions, set down in
Cambita-which none of them had ever seen-would
have dropped down on the green grass on his belly,
curled his bare toes into the damp cool grass, and
slept his life away.
For they, like most Dominicans, were like that.
Why should the world be filled with hurry and bus-
tle and worry and hunger, when there were places
like Cambita in which to rest?
"I shall come to this place," thought Rafael,
"when with all my people about me, I seek surcease
from turmoil. But now I have much time for plan-
ning and a vast world to consider."
The Capital City was as far away, to Rafael, as

the moon. It must have been all of seventeen miles.
A very frightening place, too, he'd been told. There
were so many people on the streets that they walked
all over you if you didn't hide in doorways until they
passed. And there were horse-drawn vehicles, too,
with jingling bells, driven by ogres in high hats who
carried whips which they laid across the shoulders of
children like Rafael who got in the way. They trav-
eled like the wind, those horses, and they were as
likely as not to run their wheels right over a fellow.
Oh, and the place where the president of the
country lived. It was a grand building, twice as high
as any building he had ever seen, and made of big
pieces of stone that must have taken many men
to lift. Moreover, there were broad steps leading up
to this building, which was on the far side of the
Plaza named after Cristobal Colon, who had discov-
ered Santo Domingo. He must have been a great
man, the Discoverer, for San Cristobal had been
named after him, too, and a lot of other places. Long
and long ago, even before the great grandparents of
Rafael had been born, the Discoverer had come out
of the east, in three small vessels that had wings like
birds. Nobody that Rafael knew, knew just where
Christopher Columbus had come from, except out of
the sea. There was probably no end to the sea at all,


from all Rafael had heard. At least nobody could
see the end of it.
And that Rafael thought was very strange
There couldn't be anything you couldn't see the end
of, or find the end of. He knew, if he traveled far
enough, he would come to the end of the longest
trail, or the place where even the biggest river
started. And if one took one's time, and didn't get
so tired one couldn't move upward any more, one
could reach the top of the highest mountain. There-
fore it stood to reason that even the ocean had an end
to it, if one only traveled far enough.
Personally, Rafael had his doubts about the
ocean. He'd heard its voice, so it couldn't be very
far away. But he had never seen it. Just the same,
he knew it had an end, for wasn't there a limit to
this end of it? Of course. Therefore it must have
some limit at the other end.
"How foolish you talk, Rafael," his comrades
would say, when he got to dreaming about the ocean's
end, or the country's end, or what one might hope to
find beyond the most distant place one could see.
"Anybody can see, just by standing on the beach and
looking, that afar out, the blue water and the blue
sky meet, and we are simply inside a great bowl. If
it were not for the bowl the sky would fall upon
us." Their teacher in the little village rural school

taught them different, but boylike they could not be
He couldn't make them see what he could see.
But he made promises to himself. One day he would
go to the Capital City. He would go into the place
where the president lived. He would see the soldiers
in uniform, in the Forteleza. Maybe he would even
be a soldier himself. And he'd travel the streets and
not be walked on, for by that time he would be big
enough that he would walk on other people, if they
tried to walk on him. And he would go into stores
that were far bigger than any stores he had ever seen.
He would see the Ozama River, and the walls of the
ancient city, that the governors of Cristobal Colon
had built, and that time had not destroyed. He would
see the ruins of San Geronimo, and listen to the cries
of the ghosts of Caribs that still haunted the place.
And then, maybe, he would walk across Plaza
Colon, after entering the city from Calle El Conde
or Avenida Independencia, and take his hat off, and
bend the knee, and go into the Cathedral, and ask
the archbishop if he might see the bronze casket in
which the bones of the Discoverer were kept. Only
then would he be sure that the stories he had heard
were true. He would know, the minute he saw them,
whether they were the bones of the Discoverer or not,
and when he was sure, he would accept the stories as


true. The bones would be proof enough. He was a
great one for proof, was Rafael. If someone told
him something he didn't believe, he would never rest
until he found out whether it was true or not. In
this way he found out a great many things, storing
them away in his head as pearls might be stored in a
box, that one never learned in schools. And he re-
membered every bit of it.
So, when he was very young, he thought long
thoughts. Or maybe you could not really call them
thoughts. They were day-dreams, in which he saw
the poor people he knew, living in better, cleaner
houses, wearing cleaner and brighter and gayer
clothes, and having more to eat. Of course a great
many of them were lazy, and didn't deserve to have
any more to eat than they had. Those people should
be made to work, if not for their own good, for the
good of their families.
He saw, in his day-dreams-day-dreams were
better than night-dreams, because you could see
things with your eyes wide open, merely by looking
at a wall, or a drifting cloud-better trails, that
weren't so filled with ruts. He saw bigger trees,
filled with bigger fruits, because people would know
better how to make the trees grow bigger, and the
fruit bigger and sweeter.
He saw, in short, that a great many things, even

in San Cristobal, which was obviously the finest vil-
lage in the world-the world being Santo Domingo
-because it was plain to Rafael that no other place,
if there were any other places, could be better than
that, else why had Cristobal Colon left his place, to
travel to Santo Domingo? He didn't know why,
nor how, but he knew he would, long before he be-
came an aged man of thirty or so.
Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina, in fact, was a
village character, even when he was little. People
were always advising him that he shouldn't think so
hard, because it would be sure to make his head ache.
And sometimes, if the truth were told, it did.
But it was fun to think, and dream, even to
dream wildly-as he sometimes did when the malaria
made his whole body so hot he could scarcely stand
it, and his brain was not a brain at all, but a tightly
closed box filled with a vast buzzing, like more mos-
quitoes than one ever saw altogether in one place.


The Boy Who Did Not Smile

L ONG before Rafael was fifteen years of age,
everybody in San Cristobal knew him; and in Cam-
bita, El Tablazo, El Jamey, Cambita Cumba, and
the high ravines where the paisanos lived in hovels,
and followed the cackling of their chickens through
the woods to gather eggs that were often spoiled
before they could find them-always provided they
were not too lazy even to bother. Rafael knew every
foot of the country surrounding San Cristobal. He
found that it was good for his body to travel the
trails for hours without stopping to rest. He often
walked clear to the highest point of the trail, where
it broke down over the shoulder of the mountains
toward Sabana de los Muertos, without stopping to
rest. He did not even need to rest, for he scarcely
breathed hard after such an hours-long hike.
It was good for him, he found out, to travel so.
He tried to tell the other boys how it made him feel,

but they only laughed at him. Why go to the high
mountains, they asked him, or along trails that didn't
lead to any place in particular, when you found
nothing there that you didn't have right where you
were, and could have without the trouble of walking
at all.
"Perhaps," he said, "you do not find much, ex-
cept strength for your body, but when you stand
upon a pinnacle, and look into the east-(the moun-
tains are too high to the west to see over them, but
one day I shall climb them, too, and look into new
lands)-you can see the real beauty of this land we
live on. It is like a carpet of green, compadres. It
stretches away and away. And now, though I have
not been close, I have seen the sea. I have also seen
other towns, even the Capital City. The houses in
it are beautifully colored, and glisten in the sun. The
whole city looks like a cake I once saw in Cambita.
And from the Capital City to the mountains that
hide the Cibao from view, stretches a forest even more
beautiful than the forest we know. And there are
people living in the forest, for if you look close you
can see the white doors of their huts. They are people
like us, compadres, with fincas, bohios-and almost
no trails at all leading to anywhere in particular. I
have the feeling that I would like to go to see them,
and that they would like to come and see us, if there


were any easy way to reach us. And one day it shall
be so, I promise you-that every Dominican in the
land, if he likes, can visit any other Dominican, with-
out dying of hunger or thirst or hardship on the
There was one thing he did not tell them about
his trips into the high Cordillera Central. It was
something he kept to himself, because he knew they
would laugh at him-and after all he could not put
into words just how he felt when he saw what he had
seen, not once, but several times. For after he had
seen it once he had gone back again and again. He
managed to reach the high point on the trail when
the sun had gone down, and a cool breeze came in
across the top of the forest from the Caribbean and
the South Atlantic. Then, when all the world was
dark around him, before the moon or the stars had
come out, he would look down the vast curving
shoulder of the mountains, and watch the lights blink
on, one by one, and two by two, in the huts of people
he had never seen, who had never heard of him, but
whom he would one day know, and who would one
day know him.
When he had first seen the lights he had thought
they were fireflies, until, shadowing the nearest ones,
at the foot of the mountain, he had seen the moving
legs of people who carried the lamps or lanterns or

fagots, or had seen others sitting about open fires
in their little clearings. Beyond all that, it was a
grand thing to see the Capital City at night, when
all the lights came on.
What gaiety there must be in the Capital City!
He was entirely too serious to be concerned with
young ladies, and dancing, and singing, though he
liked to see young ladies dressed in their best and
gayest, watch people dancing, and hear them singing
as though all the world were the happy place he had
already learned that it was not. In the Capital City
were those who ruled the country, the great people,
from great families-but from no family greater, he
told himself, fiercely, than his own. When those
people issued orders, people had to obey. The presi-
dent had an army which fought battles at his word.
He had officers in uniform who administered his
justice, and Rafael knew that it wasn't always the
kind of justice that was best for people-except that
it might be best for the people who issued the orders.
That did not seem to be entirely fair, and something
should be done about it. Everybody agreed that
something should be done, when they dared talk
about it at all-when they were sure there was none
among them to carry tales-but there was never any-
one to tell them what to do, or lead them in the doing
of it, because they were all afraid. It was not good,


he thought, in a land so beautiful, for anybody to
be afraid of anybody else.
He told himself that he was not afraid. He
examined his own heart, and was sure that this was
true. When his time came, and it would not be long,
he would go to the Capital City, and observe, and
then begin planning-for the good of his own people.
In one way and another he found out about soil.
His family owned a great finca, or farm, and he knew
the way that everything grew on it. He knew how
to raise plantains, and cacao, and patatas. He knew
all the work that went into the growing of these
things for food-into the raising of coffee, too-and
how little people got paid for what they did not keep
for food for themselves. Money, he had found,
bought things that could be obtained in no other
way. For ordinary necessities, people could meet in
the market place and barter-but when everybody
who owned fincas brought the same things, what
was the use? How could ordinary people have shoes,
and clothing, and better houses, without money?
There must be an answer to such questions, and
sooner or later he would find it. That he promised
But seldom indeed did he talk about his tall
thoughts, for nobody his own age was interested in
his dreams. They were too busy having a good time,

and dancing with young ladies, and staying away
from school, to bother with Rafael. And the older
people, satisfied with their own ways-which they
said were good enough for them because they had
been good enough for their parents and their parents
-regarded him as a boy who was trying to grow up
too fast.
They also thought he was too curious about what
went on in the fincas of his neighbors, for out of
books, and through hearsay, he had discovered that
certain materials, placed at the roots of trees, made
them grow more luxuriantly, and bring forth better
fruit-and he went out of his way to tell his neigh-
bors where to get those materials, and how to get the
money with which to buy them, and how to use them.
They laughed at him, in irritation, and asked what
use they had for bigger, greener trees, when what
they had produced more than they needed? More-
over, why should they work any harder than they
did? This last was a moot question, for the big
trouble with his neighbors was that they scarcely
worked at all!
However, he persevered, and kept telling people,
until they formed the habit of going away when they
saw him coming. This amused him a little, for at
least they moved. Maybe, if one had the authority,


and kept after them, they would get the habit of
One day he would have the authority, if he lived.
And he never doubted that authority would come,
and that he would live to exercise it.
There must be some way to make use of the
water that went brawling down the Jaina. There
were holes in the streambed wherein the young people
bathed and laughed, and splashed one another, but
this did not seem enough. There was strength, power
in that water, and nobody used it. He knew from
what he had read and heard, that other peoples, in
other lands, made use of water power, and he could
see no reason why his own people should allow it to
go to waste.
He recalled old tales of the long ago, and the
Caribs, the first dwellers in this island paradise. They,
he remembered, had used the power of water to wash
the yellow metal, gold, from the streams. Some
people, he knew, turned the water into rigolas, to
give new strength to the roots of their trees, their
gardens. His own people did not, for why should
they, they asked, when the natural wetness of the
ground did well enough?
And yet, even when he was fifteen, they treated
him with respect. If any other boy of his age had
been so meddlesome, the older folks would have

laughed at him, and chased him away, but whatever
they might really think of him, they did not laugh
at Rafael. Perhaps they saw a hint of that something
in him which he knew was in himself. Perhaps they
noticed that he never smiled, and was calmly sure of
himself, and doubted the wisdom of jeering at him.
He dressed well. He took pride in his appear-
ance, and though he did not realize it, there were
dandies of the neighborhood who copied his dress,
and tried to be like him in other ways. There were
even some young ones who married early and tried to
run their fincas as his was run. They knew that
there was something in what he said, though they
didn't know for sure what it was. Perhaps it was
because there was the ring of sincerity in his voice.
He settled disputes, too. His wisdom might not
have been the wisdom of Solomon-it couldn't very
well have been, for he had no precedent by which to
guide himself-but his decisions were good, and rea-
sonably just, and people, in the main, abided by them.
Rafael, people learned to know, had a head on his
shoulders. If he said a thing were right and proper,
and people did what he said, they came out all right,
almost invariably. And that was good for every-
He didn't preach, he simply talked quietly,
knowing that if he talked enough, and were right


often enough, people who listened and acted on what
he said would develop for him a certain loyalty.
Loyalty, he knew, kept high officers in seats of power
in the government; and when loyalty of their under-
lings disintegrated, they were driven out, sometimes
in the dead of night. The main thing was to make
a great many friends, insure their loyalty to himself
in some manner or other-and then, take care never
to lose them, or to betray that loyalty. He found,
too, that there were uses even for evil people, if one
knew how to handle them. If you knew a man was
a crook, you were protected from him by your
knowledge, and could make use of him. You might
also prove to him that being crooked did not pay as
well as he might have thought.
But Rafael was wise for his years. He could
have formed a small army of his own, if there had
been any reason. But the people in power, in the
Capital City, he knew-all he had to do to know was
listen to the whispered conversations of his elders-
had a way of discouraging men, young or old, who
had too many friends to gather around them. They
were likely to disperse them rather violently, and take
the stand that they gathered together for reasons
inimical to the government.
So he early learned to be careful. It wasn't wise
to attack a giant, when the giant could obviously

destroy you with one blow of his fist. First, one
must figure out a way to defeat the giant-if the
giant should be defeated.
"Rafael," people began to say, "is heading for
great things, if he is careful, and does not talk too
much, or do too much too fast. One day he will be
a figure of importance in the Capital City, and every-
body in the Republic will know him."
Others shook their heads dubiously, for they
were people of experience, and had seen other young
men-and older ones, too-who had come to bad
ends because they had been dissatisfied with things
as they had found them.
Take it easy, keep your best thoughts locked in-
side you, be sure to trust the right people, never let
the wrong ones know you do not trust them, and you
may amount to something; that may well have been
the code of Rafael, though in all probability he never
put it into words, or even thought of it exactly like
that. One must judge him by results, instead. For
in few persons has the old adage, that the child is
father of the man, been better proved than in the
case of San Cristobal's unsmiling young Rafael.
Was he a little selfish, perhaps, that he also ex-
pected to gain fame, maybe even fortune, for him-
self? Of course! The man who is not selfish is not
a man but a robot, and the most selfish men in history


have survived in history--ofttimes as the benefactors
of their people-because of their selfishness. For in
serving themselves, they served their people, too.
Only the dead man is unselfish, and the altruist, who
is not a leper of course, is most usually avoided as
though he were.
People did not avoid Rafael now. They gravi-
tated to him instead, and there wasn't one in a dozen
of them who could have told you why. Rafael him-
self could not have told why. But he liked it, prov-
ing that he was as human as the next one.
And, until he was ready-was sure he was ready
-he went at regular intervals to a high place on the
mountain, looked at the night lights of Santo Do-
mingo City, and brooded over what he would do
with himself in the world, what his position would
be, never once doubting that there would be one,
and that he would fill it adequately.
"Some day everybody yonder," he often told
himself, "will know Trujillo!"



JUST what guided Trujillo in the beginning,
nobody perhaps can say. Who can guess
what inner voice calls to certain people in a given
generation, and sets their feet upon strange roads? I
doubt if Trujillo now can explain the Trujillo of his
youth. Yet, looking back, it becomes apparent that
something set his feet on a road he would never be
able to leave even if he had wished to--and never
once has he wished to leave it. He believed in him-
self, and if he believed in a guiding star, he followed
it. No advice could deter him from following his
impulses. He had no definite idea yet just where
they would lead him, but he knew that they would
lead him somewhere.
And though he was eager to go out into the
world, which then meant the Capital City and the
other cities of his own country, he did not make
the usual mistake of the countrybred young man. So

many young men, eager to get away from home,
where there are always restricting influences, and the
common belief "that what is good enough for us is
good enough for you," are prone to forget that home
has a great deal to teach them. Trujillo, as a lad,
sensed this if he did not exactly reason it out. He
must, therefore, when he went forth into the world,
go out armed with all the information San Cristobal
could afford him. There wasn't much. San Cris-
tobal, like most Dominican country villages, was more
or less somnolent. He might have gone to sleep there,
with his youthful associates, and never amounted to
anything. Where, now, are those associates of his?
He did not go to sleep. Had he been born in
a more wide-awake community, or in the midst of
the bustle and strife of the Capital City, he might
have been satisfied to be a part of that, and amounted
to nothing. But in San Cristobal he missed the bustle
and strife that he yearned for, and his discontent was
the making of him. Yet he did not hurry.
He read everything he could find in the local
library about his country and its people. For the first
time, save in the talks of his elders, he found out why
so many ebon faces could be seen on the roads and
trails of his native land. He read about, for the first
time, the Haitian Occupation, and what he read be-
came as much a part of him as the land of his birth

itself. Had he been brought up to know the lash
of a drunk-sodden master with a strong right arm,
he could not have remembered better.
"Where do these people come from?" he asked
himself. "They are not my people. They are not like
nmy family. There is something about them .. ."
He was not intolerant. He believed in living
and letting live. He did not hold the color of a man's
skin against him, but he did, and early, begin to hold
against that man certain characteristics which made
for the detriment of his country.
Decades before, under the great black Haitian
leaders who had overthrown the French in Haiti,
causing the gutters of Port-au-Prince and Cap Haitien
to run red with blood; ebon, hungry, murderous
hordes had crossed the border into Santo Domingo.
It was not likely that the victorious ex-slaves could
leave their island and conquer lands to the west and
north. Even they did not have such ambitions. But
why, they must have asked themselves, should not all
Hispaniola be Haitian?
The ebon hordes marched in. The Dominicans
fought them to a standstill. They contested every
inch of ground with them. But the Haitians were
too many, and they had beaten even the soldiers of
the invincible Napoleon. They could not be stopped.
They took possession-of the land, its wealth.

Women, to the black conquerors, were spoils of war.
And there was nothing anybody could do about it,
though many brothers and husbands died, trying to
do something. The black man was in command, and
intended to stay in command. There was just one
thing for the Dominican to do-accept the situation
with as good grace as possible, and bide his time.
Some Dominicans accepted the situation apatheti-
cally. There were some families, however, including
the Molinas, who would rather cease to be than mingle
with the black folk from across the border. I do
not know, nor does any one, all the details of those
dark days of the Occupation. But this I do know:
those families which vowed to die rather than mingle
with the Haitians, did everything in their power to
keep their racial strains clean, even to hiding away
their girl children as though they had been lepers,
and sneaking food to them in secret, at risk of their
And if there were times when they failed, who
can really blame them if they made sure that no ebon
offspring appear in their family tree? Even if they
had to destroy that branch of the family tree in which
such offspring was due to appear? Even if some
weeping Dominicana took her life in her own hands,
preferring to die rather than bear children to the

Yet, when the twenty-one years of the Occupa-
tion had passed, the ebon hordes had so impressed
themselves upon the life of the land that there seemed
no way of eradicating them. So many families were
negroid that the very people themselves who should
most have wished to send the invaders-in toto-
flying home, were at war within themselves.
So the black man, from being a Haitian, had
insidiously become a Dominican. And to attempt to
cast him forth was to attempt to destroy the people
themselves. Yet, given time, the blight could be
bred out of the national life. Yes, it was a blight,
not so much because of the pigmentation of the
Haitians, but because the Haitians, and their Do-
minican descendants, had traits of character that
were totally against progress. They were lazy, cared
nothing for progress. They worked only in order
to be fed-and from the very beginning of the
shifting about of the population, to assimilate what
could not be wiped out, the negroid "Dominican" was
the beast of burden. He would work for almost
nothing. The Dominican, whatever his color, ac-
cepted the Haitiano in the role of a servant. And
people could easily have too many servants. It was
written long ago that man should earn his bread by
the sweat of his brow. The Dominican did not
mind receiving his bread by the sweat of the brow


of the black man. Thus the black man took over
most of the labor that the Dominican, for the good
of his immortal soul, should have done himself! If
the Dominican could wear good clothes, and a white
collar, he was satisfied-and it required so little for
him to do that. When he attained man's estate, and
could dress like a dandy, even though there was little
or no money in his pocket, his ambition went no
And Trujillo, when he reached this conclusion,
knew that this was not right. He had never been
afraid of labor, of effort, though he had been born
to an estate in which he could have made use of all the
ebon help he wished. He had found manual labor,
or hiking, or riding, better for a young man than
standing on a street corner, ogling the girls, or using
family influence to obtain government positions that
carried a reasonable wage and no work. A man
should work for what he received.
Had the French themselves, over across the
border, realized this, they might have continued to
this day in possession of Haiti. And they would
have been masters of a rich, beautiful land-only less
rich and less beautiful than Santo Domingo.
With all of his growing irritation with the black
folk of the trails, roads, fincas and bohios, Trujillo
could sympathize with them as human beings. They

were not in the Western Hemisphere of their own
free will. They had been brought as slaves. Then,
they had freed themselves, become lost, and were in
process of finding themselves-though they were
never able to forget, even down the generations, that
they or their forebears had been slaves. Sometimes
this knowledge made them too humble, sometimes
too arrogant. In their own Congo they might have
been good people to know; in the lands to which
they had been taken they were out of place, always
would be. It was not their land, yet they had tried
to possess it, and in Santo Domingo, for more than
two decades, they had succeeded. Whipped, brow-
beaten, they had jerked the whip from the hands of
their masters and turned it, not only against those
masters, but against any part of the world that ques-
tioned their right to wield it. People who had been
possessed could scarcely be blamed for their lust to
possess in return. Nature's way of striking a balance.
What to do about it? What to do? Could any-
thing be done? In the wholesale amalgamation of
the races, punctuated by wholesale rape on the part
of the conquerors-no new thing in the battles of
civilizations-who could say just who was Haitian,
who was Dominican? Trujillo promised himself that
he would one day know. To that end he read; he
read everything he could lay his hands on that might


give him a key to the problem. He studied the migra-
tions of races throughout the world. And there in
San Cristobal he brought the world, almost actually,
to his own doorstep. Certainly he saw it plainly
enough, behind his own skull, seething in his brain.
And while he quietly made himself ready he dis-
covered something new, something that would bring
the world closer to him, put him in closer touch with
the world-which was still Santo Domingo: teleg-
He listened to the chattering of the key. In
code, he knew, the operator behind the counter talked
with people far and near, got the news of the day,
sent out whatever in San Cristobal might interest the
outside world. A series of dots and dashes, caused by
a finger tapping on a key. Here was a miracle. He
must learn how to perform it. He became, so swiftly
it must have surprised his contemporaries, an expert
operator. What a grand experience it was-as new
after the passage of years as it had been in the be-
ginning-to be able to open a key, and listen to ves-
sels at sea, exchanging gossip, and dropping world
news that instantly became the possession of the youth
in San Cristobal! A thousand miles away a man he
would never see, was moving his hand on a key,
transcribing his thoughts, or something set down on a
paper in front of him-a declaration of war, news of

some natural catastrophe, an international scandal,
anything under the sun or the stars-and as the dots
and dashes interpreted themselves instantly they were
heard by young Trujillo, he could almost see that
man, could almost fancy he actually talked with him.
Those messages, mysterious, from far places,
came in many languages. In this fashion he could if
he wished-and he did wish-begin to master the
languages of the world, at least the most important,
more generally used ones. In this manner a man,
without leaving the little country town of his birth,
could become-and did become as far as a man could
who had not actually visited a big city-a cosmop-
olite. Yes, Trujillo was very wise, though he did
not give himself credit for being wise. Only sensible.
Never tackle a problem, even one of travel, without
complete preparation. Early in life that became a
habit of his.
His character, and with it his future, was being
molded. And the dots and dashes that filled his ears
with world events, with the doings of the great and
near-great of the world, were part of young Trujillo
"If I know all I possibly can about a place, be-
fore I go there," he told himself, "I will not have to
ask someone to tell me, and then have someone else
point a finger at me and call me a country lout!


When the time comes for me to go I shall pass in the
crowd as one of the crowd, unnoticed, no different
from others in the crowd. If I do this, I shall know
I am right, that I have succeeded thus far in what
I have set myself to do."
He need not have worried, of course, for all
kinds and classes of people went to the Capital City.
But within him, from the beginning, was the urge
to make sure before starting-no matter what he
Whence came this determination to know what
he was doing before he started to do it? The blood
of his forebears, without a doubt. They had been
soldiers, statesmen, accustomed to weighing their
words and their actions-and succeeding where others
failed. In all probability Trujillo could not have
done, or been, other than he did and was.
When the time came for him to go, he was


The Shadow of Lilis

TIRUJILLO was only eight years old when
"Lilis" passed from the Dominican scene, but from
his first memory of anything he knew something of
Lilis, as did everybody else in Santo Domingo. Lilis
-as he was popularly known, so that few people,
even to this day, know his right name-was a dictator
long before the term became as well known as it is
today. Lilis was a black man who, for a decade and
a half, ruled Santo Domingo with an iron hand. He
tricked his people. He tricked foreign countries and
made them like it-or do the next best thing; which
was to leave him alone lest he trick them again.
From his childhood, Trujillo considered Lilis a
bad example for anyone to follow. Whatever Lilis
had done in his lifetime, was the thing that must not
be done, ever again. Until Trujillo was eight years
of age, and for years before that, no Dominican could
really call his soul his own. One might not so much


as mention Ulises Herraux without the possibility of
dire consequences. A black man had become a na-
tion's master.
He came to power by a devious road, along
which were scattered the corpses of men-and women
-who had opposed or refused him. That he was
ruled by terror he sought to hide from everyone
seems to be a foregone conclusion. The man who
slew so many was himself afraid of the assassin. Yet
for many years, though he apparently went forth
into the highways and byways alone, no killing hand
could reach him. And those who tried and failed
had already signed their death sentences. Let a man,
woman or child say anything, even in the darkness of
the family bedchamber, detrimental to Lilis, and that
person simply disappeared. Lilis had the best spy
system the world had ever known. For every spy
he sent forth, and their name was legion, there was a
spy to check upon the spy, a spy to check upon him.
Yet no spy knew the spy that followed, however far
back they went in sequence, to secure the safety of
the dictator. Everybody knew that whispers were
heard across Plaza Colon, though they started in
Dajabon or Comendador, or even in Port-au-Prince,
and people were naturally afraid to whisper. They
were afraid of everything, of soldiers, police, of one

another-and what nation could survive, and move
ahead, under such a shadow of fear?
For fully a decade after his death, people refused
even to whisper the name of Lilis. They remem-
bered, or were told by those who did, that to whisper
his name meant to die. His hand was heavy on in-
dustry, for what a man earned did not belong to him,
but to the "state," which was another name for the
master of that state. Lilis well, countless stories
have been told of him, so many that it is almost im-
possible to know which are true, which false, which
even partially true, was even said to go forth at night,
alone, garbed as a woman, and knock on doors picked
at random, until those who lived within asked him
who knocked. Then, in a woman's voice, he asked
for bread, and said he would tell Lilis if the bread
were not forthcoming. If the bread was not, the
one who refused to give must make satisfactory ex-
planations next morning, or else .
No man went abroad without many glances be-
hind him. No man asked his next door neighbor
how his business went, for he knew he would not
get the truth. His next door neighbor might think
him a spy, as he was sure his next door neighbor was
a spy. What business there was was carried on be-
hind locked doors, or in basements, or under the stars
at night, in the woods-for people had to live, though

most of them could not help wondering what there
was to live for.
In his early youth Trujillo took it for granted
that his people were destined to walk in fear of losing
their possessions, even their lives. How could he do
otherwise than take it for granted, when all his neigh-
bors took it for granted? People who lived on the
flanks of a volcano took the volcano for granted,
though they knew it might erupt and destroy them
any hour, any minute, any second.
Trujillo thought: "This is no way for my people
to live. But if for decades they have known nothing
else, how will they respond to the right sort of man-
agement, the right sort of rule?"
And he knew, studying the official documents
of other countries, that the hand that ruled the best,
ruled the least. At the same time, with a national
habit of being ruled by an iron hand, would not his
people regard with contempt anyone who tried to
rule kindly? He did not know, not then, but he
put the idea away in the back of his mind, knowing
it to be a problem he must one day solve.
The dim trails from San Cristobal to El Jamey,
Cambita Cumba, Cuchillo, Nigua, everywhere, were
seldom followed at night by Trujillo's people-for
everybody knew that the spirit of Lilis walked all
trails, every night, and that that spirit was one bitter

with suspicion. That spirit, meeting an humble Do-
minican upon the trail, would ask him why he walked
at night, what secret mission he was on, that it would
not bear the light of day. The mission might be
innocent enough, but no mission ever undertaken at
night by a Dominican, even years after Lilis shuffled
off this mortal coil, was ever innocent. The patriotic
Dominican went into his sleeping quarters when the
sun went down, if he knew what was good for him-
and he usually did. And he stayed there until morn-
ing. The biggest and strongest piece of metal he
ever owned was the mighty hook which fastened his
door against intrusion. And no man opened his door
after nightfall, save to the command that the whole
republic feared:
"Open in the name of the President!"
Then, in fear and trembling, they opened. Nor,
be it said, were there brazen spirits lacking who used
the name without authority-though how was any-
one to know?-and then did dreadful things to those
who opened. The humble paisano, the great one in
the Capital City itself, were as one in the general
paralysis of fear that hung over the land; that was
still a shadow of terror for years after the death of
Lilis. Going and coming, the public got the worst
of it, yet the public was the nation-and the nation
was only as strong as its people.

Why, then, did not a leader appear, band the
people together, and wipe out the master, root and
branch? How often did Trujillo, even as a small boy,
ask himself the question? He asked it only once-
and was hushed in such a way he never forgot it; for
even to ask such a question was treason, and for the
traitor there was just one punishment. Just what
that punishment was, beyond mysterious disappear-
ance forever, no one could say. And the fact that
one never knew how a vanisher died, whether by
poison, noose, rifle, pistol or dagger, only added to
the terror.
Thus the man to lead his country out of bond-
age, had a problem greater even than the problem
of this dictator whose ambition was to continue in
power until he died, and leave his fearful shadow over
the land after he had gone. Not only must the new
leader-and none was in sight on the horizon-build
a new country, but lead it out of bondage to itself,
its fears.
It is little wonder that Trujillo hates the word
"dictator" as the devil is reputed to hate holy water.
He knows, as no other man living knows, what that
word meant to his people, and therefore what it can
mean to the world of today, throughout the world.
And how did Lilis come to power? By what
strange stairways was he lifted to the heights of

power? How, in a land so rich and beautiful, could
such a man come into power? By the will of the
people themselves? Never! By the lack of will of
a people. By the feeling in the national consciousness
that things were all right as they were, and that "why
should I bother with the doings of the politicians?
I am not interested in what party comes to power, or
who sits in the presidency, for whoever becomes
president, my lot will be the same. It never changes.
What can I do about it?"
Trujillo knew what they could do, just as he
knew very well they would never do it. They could
have, given a strong leader whom they trusted, risen
and swept the country like a plague of locusts, killing
or driving into the sea anybody they wished. But
no such leader ever appeared, and the people never
moved of themselves. Trujillo knew that, behind
competent leaders, Dominicans could match courage
with courage, with any nationality in the world. He
had listened to tales of revolutions of the past, in
which men had fought to the death, their bodies
covered with wounds, with never a thought of sur-
render, or flight, or even of retreating. There was
courage latent in them. There had to be, for them
to bear as much as they had, and keep on smiling, and
bringing their children into such a world. For bad
as it was, they were happy in it.


He had no desire to bring his people to some
fantastic Utopia. He knew such a place would not
be good for them. Barring rapacious rulers, they al-
ready had Utopia. They had been born into it. It
had made them lazy, tolerant.
Some day, God willing, he would bring the living
conditions of the least of his people to the level of
the best in the world. They came from the best,
and had gone down. He would lift them up-or
somebody would. He didn't, that long ago, think of
himself as a leader. It did not occur to him. But
some day such a leader would come, and Trujillo
would be at his side, or wherever he could best serve
him, to offer himself for whatever he might be worth.
And he intended to be worth all he possibly could.
Therefore the knowledge of agriculture. There-
fore the knowledge of history and current events in
the outside world-for he knew that civilizations
paralleled each other in an interdependent world.
Therefore the books, therefore the dots and dashes of
the Morse code. Therefore the yearning toward a
"A country," he had read somewhere, "gets the
sort of government it deserves."
If that were true-and he never questioned it-
his people must deserve whatever government they
got. Yes, they deserved it now, but if they were

educated to deserve more, and realized it, what then?
The answer lay in the one word, because by that
word had Trujillo himself increased his intellectual
stature: education. How many of his people could
read and write? When he began a personal and secret
survey, the answer appalled him. No wonder they
believed anything the firebrands told them. They
knew no better. Well, one day they would.
Even before the turn of the century Dominican
politics were highly personal. A man managed, by
hook or crook-quite often by the latter method-to
make people believe in him. Usually he was a man
with a glib tongue and no conscience whatever, a
man who could stand up in front of a crowd of people
and carry them along on the wave of his oratory, lift
them up as great orchestral music would never lift
them, until they rose above themselves, and believed
him something just a little short of angelic.
The glib orator, so utterly sincere in appearance
that more often than not he convinced himself that
what he said was true, could drown the listeners in
such an ocean of words that he never came to the
surface until he had done, in concert with his fellows,
something which might blight his countryside for
decades to come.
Thus some politicos came to power. Thus
others rose after them, and cast them forth-and the

strong hands of the soldiers who had marched at their
backs had struck lusty blows for "liberty," only to
find that they had driven forth one master to set
another just like him, or worse, in his place.
Certain orators were in power, certain others
were out. Those who were in did everything they
could-no matter how devious, mysterious, or even
murderous-to stay in; those who were out did the
same things, trying to get in. And seldom indeed
did any man, elevated to power, conduct himself as
though he were the chosen of his people, placed there
to guard their interests. No, they, as persons, had
been lifted to power; therefore the power belonged
to them, personally, as surely as their horses or burros
belonged to them. Public office was not a public
trust, but a gift to an individual, his friends and
relatives. Once in office, few of them even bothered
to remember the names of those who had placed them
there, nor recognized their faces in a crowd.
Trujillo knew that this state of affairs was not
common to Santo Domingo. His country had a lot
in common with the United States when it came to
hands-in-the-pork-barrel. But because the way of
politicos in his country compared favorably with the
behavior of politicos the world over, was no reason
to accept that behavior as right and just.
Men spoke, before elections-or a successful

revolution-of public office as a public trust. Why,
after election, did they regard office as a gift of the
people, for which no accounting was necessary?
Perhaps, he thought, if he should live to see a
change for the better in his own country, should live
to see at least one official who administered public
office as all theory of civic government said it should
be administered, he would also live to see his country
an example for the rest of the world! What a na-
tional triumph, if this could be brought about, if
Santo Domingo, ever so little, could take the lead in
international affairs? It did not need to be much.
The men who invented the safety pin, and the
mouse trap, and the sewing machine, did vast good
for the world. Let, then, just one good man come
to power-and stay there in spite of his goodness-
and the world would notice, and Santo Domingo
would have its place, large or small, in the sun.
Perhaps, though, it was too much even to dream
No, it was not. Somehow, sometime, it must
come to pass. He, Trujillo, would see it, perhaps
even have a hand in it.
That much, at least, he could promise himself.
But he must not sigh then, as though the task were
already done, and sit back to wait for someone else
to do it. Somewhere a rock must start rolling that


would be the beginning of the avalanche. But where?
And by whom should it be started?
Trujillo? Heavens no! He was just a telegraph
operator-albeit a good one-with a headful of
dreams. Just the same, he thought, it would be
pretty grand if they could be made to come true!
Dictator! One instinctively spat the word, as
one spat something hateful out of the mouth. Did
Santo Domingo need a dictator? If she really did,
and could not be educated until she no longer needed
one, then was she worth trying to save from herself?
There was just one answer to that. One's native
land was worth whatever one had to give for it-
even to one's life.


Struggles of the In-and-Outers

N ATURALLY a young fellow with open ears,
and a vast interest in the past and present of his
country, heard stories of the almost endless revolu-
tions in that country. There were sporadic revolts
by the "outs" even when the hand of a dictator was
heavy on the country, almost invariably led by men
with selfish interests rather than patriotic ones; men
who, educated beyond their normal stations, could
not think of entering trade or farming, but had their
eyes on the government, where clerks did the menial
work and men with influence and votes-or power of
whatever kind-took the best salaries.
Yes, Trujillo knew what revolutions were like.
They always followed the same pattern, wherever
they began, for in those days there were almost no
roads at all, a few dim trails traveled by people not
interested in the slightest in political matters, and

practically no communication between the prin-
cipal cities.
The Cordillera Central, extending in an almost
unbroken line from the Haitian Border to Cabo En-
gafio, was a natural barrier to understanding. Let a
man become powerful enough north of the moun-
tains, in the Cibao, in Santiago de los Caballeros, and
it was easy for him to find some grievance against the
president in the Capital City. There was usually
enough reason for the whole country to be dissatisfied
with the current president, so it was never difficult
for a malcontent to fan the flames of discontent.
All he had to do was make a few lightning-swift ap-
pearances on a speaker's platform in Monte Cristi,
Dajabon, Moca, La Vega, Puerta Plata, perhaps San-
chez and Samana, and paint in bombastic words the
color of his grievances, which invariably coincided
with those of his listeners. If he did not have lieu-
tenants already selected, he instantly had more than
he had any need of, for men with ambition always
knew, or thought they knew, what star to hitch their
wagon to. They crowded around the speaker-let
him lead them to the Capital and he could always
be shunted aside if he showed himself ungrateful!-
and shouted "Vivas!" to the skies. He looked the
new lieutenants over, gave them swift instructions,
usually to foregather within a matter of hours, with

all the paisanos they could muster, with whatever
arms were available, on the southern edge of the
Vega Real, for a swift march on the Capital City.
Where did they get their arms in the first place?
That small but important matter had of course been
taken care of beforehand. There was always a place
where new arms were stored, or where old ones were
buried. Filibusters of many nationalities, including
American, ran the arms in and sold them for high
prices. Often and often a paisano was in the thick of
a murderous battle before he realized that the am-
munition for which his commander had paid a high
price, would not fit the rifle or pistol or revolver
that had been given him. No matter; he had joined
the revolt-or been pressed into service, which was
more the usual practice-and the least he could do,
if he had nothing with which to defend himself, was
"die gloriously for liberty." Always, from the first
fight for liberty, the Dominican paisano has fought
for "liberty." One might be pardoned for wonder-
ing just what he would do if he had it, and how long
he would fight for it without getting it, without
beginning to ask questions.
But such a small item never bothered the leaders
of revolutions. The last time the country people
had fought for liberty, they had been cheated out of
even the little they had. This time would be differ-


ent! Always this time was different, until the vic-
tory was won-then it was found to be no different
than the last battle for liberty, except perhaps that
with more modern equipment, more men were killed,
more women widowed, more children made father-
A ragged, nondescript army-except that the
leader and his staff invariably had horses to ride, and
were decked in resplendent uniforms-marched
through the pass out of the Cibao, at terrific speed.
The laggards who could not keep up but they
had to keep up, for much of the time they were roped
together, neck to neck!
They kept up, panting, or they fell and were
dragged in the precious name of liberty! Then, the
Capital City. Enroute, all people overtaken on the
trail were made prisoners, in order that they be not
able to reach the Capital ahead of the army with a
warning. It was extremely important that there be
no warning, for if there were, it was common prac-
tice for the leaders to break and run, and never stop
until they had got out of the country. That was
one reason they had horses, in order to reach the sea-
port at which they had reserved passage on some
outgoing boat, just in case.
When a revolution failed, who paid for the fail-
ure? Not the leaders, ever. They overlooked no

possibilities that made their venture safe. Only the
humble paisanos bore the brunt of defeat. They
were captured by scores and hundreds. The captives
were to meet the firing squad very often as object
lessons to any other paisanos who dared to rise against
the powers that be.
And if the revolt won, what then? It was very
simple. The forces of the government held back the
attackers long enough to allow the government, en
masse, to get aboard some waiting vessel, and be well
out to sea, by the time the victorious army entered
the Capital City.
The new "government" was thereupon organ-
ized. Sometimes there was a farcical "election,"
wherein people who knew better than to do other-
wise, voted for the victorious leader of the revolt,
thus legalizing his coup. And the new government
began at once to outdo the government it had driven
out, because it knew that very shortly somebody else
would become dissatisfied, and there would be a new
revolt, and a new invading army from the north or
the west. The new government had to get theirs
while the getting was good. The retiring govern-
ment, perhaps in anticipation of this revolt or another
one, had just finished collecting every possible cent of
taxes it could. Now the new one, since the old one
left the treasury exhausted, had to get fresh money


into the coffers-naturally! So, fresh taxes were
wrung from a people already bled white. The people
paid for the loss and the winning of the revolution.
They had also fought on both sides.
Just where the people could possibly win, no-
body has ever been able to explain. Yet there has
never been a spellbinder in Santo Domingo that he
has not been able to rally some eager ones about his
banner-eager ones who, whether they expect to die
in his cause or not, quite usually do.
I am referring, of course, to the old days. They
are ended, I hope, forever in Santo Domingo. I am
referring specifically to the days just preceding the
American Occupation, during which Trujillo grew
to manhood.
Seldom was the soldier, federal or rebel, trained.
He was taken where the fighting was and turned loose,
and it was up to him to kill or be killed. And against
his own kind-often brother fought to the death
against brother-the Dominican was a hellcat for
courage. The more he bled the louder and more
fiercely he yelled, the crazier and wilder he fought.
There was plenty of noise, true, but plenty of blood-
shed, also. And what were the battle cries?
"Viva Don Juan!" if Juan happened to be the
given name of the leader of the revolt. It would be
answered by "Viva Don Horacio!" if the given name

of the president happened to be Horacio. The Do-
minican was fanatic in his loyalty to his Juan or his
Horacio, though he should have realized-Heaven
knows he had gone through it enough!-that they
were very likely twins under the skin. To the rebel
Juan was a god; to his followers Horacio was a god,
too, or perhaps just a little higher, because he was in,
and Juan was out.
It is sickening to think of the bloodshed, down
the generations, in such battles. The rich soil of
Santo Domingo, from one end of the republic to the
other, has been made even richer by the blood of men
who died like heroes for "liberty." Yet even their
names have been lost in revolutions that came after-
ward, also fought in the name of "liberty." Those
who died, died "unwept," save by their wives and
children-who often never knew where to find their
graves that they might go to them and weep-"un-
honored" and "unsung." Unhonored, because only
leaders, generals, presidents, ever were honored, be-
cause they were the people who decided who should
be honored, and they never overlooked themselves.
Unsung? Yes, for nowhere in the national songs of
my country is anyone, save someone of high degree,
mentioned at all.
Trujillo knew all this. It stirred his heart to
compassion-mingled with disgust, perhaps-for the


man who always lost in a revolution, whether it failed
or succeeded: the paisano del campo. It filled him
with bitterness against men who would so heartlessly,
selfishly, exploit his own people, his own family.
"Maybe my people," he thought, "will never
know any better. But the time will come when they
will have a chance to know better, at least. There will
be schools, wherein they will learn to respect them-
selves, because they will have knowledge. There will
be roads, by which they shall know one another.
There will be communications, by which one section
shall be in constant contact with another, to the end
that revolutions shall become a thing of the past.
There shall be hospitals, that yaws, lupus, malaria-all
the ills which now seem natural to us-will be eradi-
cated or, at the very least, checked or segregated. I
don't know how or when, but I know, in my heart,
that the day will come, and I will live to see it."
Did he believe then that he had been chosen by
the invisible powers to bring about the fulfillment of
his dreams? No. He was a modest young chap.
How could he possibly aspire to such a task? Who
was he to think for a moment that he might be
capable of carrying out so much as a tenth of what
he knew must be done?
I don't know all that went on in the mind of
young Trujillo. At that period of his career-if it

could be dignified by the name at the time-he must
have made some preparation for what was to come,
else when his hour struck he would not have been
ready. And his worst enemy would never say that
he was not ready, and fully equipped for the work
that fate dropped into his hands.
Keeping his mouth shut, and his ears open, he
discovered many things. He heard of strange places
where arms were hidden, against the day when the
same hands, or others like them, would reach out for
them, when the leader of the "outs" decided that the
"ins" had been in long enough. He heard of places
he had never seen before, like Rio Cafia Cimarrones,
where arms were buried in the depths of thorn tree
thickets, and closely guarded. He knew how arms
reached those places, by balandro and goleta landing
them on Playa de Caracoles, after having picked
them up from foreign boats at sea. Or, again, they
would be mixed up with burro-loads of foodstuffs
going over the mountains into the Cibao, from Las
Charcas, Estabania, San Jose de Ocoa, to Piedra Blanca
and Vega Real.
There they would scatter, perhaps, if the leader
thought it too dangerous to keep them together.
They would reach all the towns of the north, in small
quantities that men risked their lives to carry. They
went into the caves on the south coast of the Bay of

The Generalisimo Trujillo Molina reviewing the National

Summer residence of the Generalisimo Trujillo Molina.

I ... '. ;,1~bit

Holstein cows on the Farm "Fundacion" of Generalisimo
Trujillo Molina.


Samana, hidden under guano in Las Hatillas. They
went into the mountains behind Sanchez and Samana,
to the Cueva de Jibe, perhaps.
But they traveled fast, and far, and the secret
of them was kept, or lives were lost because it was
not. Caves in Hondo Valle knew of such arms. A
leader might stand in the circle of stones where
Anacaona once stood to talk with her Caribs, near
San Juan, and harangue a hundred paisanos to a
frenzy. And when they asked him where to find
arms, that they might give their lives for him, he
could produce arms within the hour, from some-
where. How sure he was of them! But they never
seemed to notice it. If they had they would have
been proud that he was so sure of them. It proved
how he believed in their loyalty. He knew that these
poor deluded fools would again go out to battle, kill
one another off, and he would lose a revolution or
win one, and send them back to their homes in time
to make ready for the first tax levy.
Out of Azua, and Bani, out of the Cibao, out of
the almost impenetrable badlands south of Las Hatil-
las, came "armies" led by firebrands-who seldom
were quite so firebrandish under fire, though they
talked great battles!-to destroy or to be destroyed.
How many such an army fought on and on, for days,
before they finally knew that their leader, knowing

his cause lost, had already been two days at sea,
without bothering to notify his "army" that he was
It makes me sick of heart to remember that
such things used to be possible in my country, just
as it must have made sick the heart of Trujillo when
he was very young. For relatives of his were killed
in such revolutions-bullets and machetes were never
respecters of persons-as he himself might be killed
in one that would start tomorrow. By what right
did a man with a silver tongue come into a village,
or a small town, and tell the people that he was their
chosen one, to lead them out of bondage, and make
them believe it, when all he really wished was to have
them lead him-and his relatives and friends-to a
place in the government where he need not worry
about money, clothing, food or housing-until the
next revolution broke and he had to flee with what-
ever he could gather together?
Trujillo did not believe that any man had such
a right. If enough people selected a man to lead
them, that was one thing. But someone had to plant
the idea in the heads of the people first-because
they were invariably content to maintain the status
quo-and the someone who did that successfully in-
variably regarded himself as fully qualified to lead
them, and occupy the highest position available. That


it was never high enough-could never be more than
just the presidency!-was too bad, but would have to
What irritates me, as I know it irritated Trujillo
in his formative days, was the fact that when all the
smoke of battle cleared away, the leaders of both sides
were invariably safe. Of course, the losers went into
exile, their pockets well lined. But often it was just
a gesture. What had the winner really to fear from
someone he had already vanquished? Nothing, of
course. So he usually granted him leave to come
home, and keep what he had taken with him, and
live in a good house-close to the Capital City, of
course. After all, in his own land, and under the
eyes of the man who had driven him into exile, he
could be watched far better than if he were in Cuba,
Porto Rico or Venezuela-for more than one revolu-
tion had started in just such places, with the Capital
City of Santo Domingo the usual objective.
Yes, a loser where one could watch him, was
safer than an exile where one could not. Anyway,
by that time, the dead in the revolution had been
buried and forgotten. They were easy to forget.
They, individually, had never distinguished them-
selves. Oh, some had, of course, but only their im-
mediate commanders had noticed, and they took all
credit, for credit was a fine thing to have when it

came to dealing out political jobs. The man of the
country knew he was being cheated, but he knew
better than to make any complaint. It was just a
mistake that would surely be rectified, and no past .
experience could ever convince him that it never
would be. He was, like most members of any public,
a gullible fellow.
Besides, it never paid to complain too much.
There was room under the Torre de Homenaje for
more bullet-holes.
Trujillo may have thought that only revolution
could bring about the amelioration of his people of
which he dreamed; maybe he thought no such thing.
But if he did, and came to the conclusion that the
end justified the means-if the end were actually at-
tained-his conclusion was right. One last revolution
to end all revolutions well, there were plenty of
paisanos by now who would have cheered him had
he put his thoughts into words, as they were one day
to cheer him when he began to make his own dreams
come true. Or perhaps they would not have, then,
for it is possible that he had, as yet, no great gift of
words-and words, outlining empty, vainglorious
promises, were what they most believed in.
It was better, of course, to instruct a people by
example; but what chance had he? Good examples,
in those days, stood an excellent chance of standing

with their backs to a wall, their faces to a none too
expert firing squad, whose bullets might hit a victim
anywhere but in a vital spot, necessitating a second
and even a third volley.
Yet, the chance to teach by example was to be
given him, though if he had been able to foresee in
what manner, it is almost certain that he would have
refused it.
That was, of course, years in the future.
After all, he was just a good telegraph operator,
with a headful of what his own friends would have
called nonsense, had he discussed it with them.
When the time came for him to go to the Capital
City, it was really a simple matter. He was trans-
ferred from the telegraph office at San Cristobal to
the telegraph office in the Capital City. The opera-
tion was practically painless, and nobody--perhaps
even Trujillo-knew just how big a step had been


Period of Waiting

TRUJILLO sat behind his key in the tele-
graph office on Calle Separacion, just west of Plaza
Colon, and watched the colorful parade of his people.
Or when it was not his trick at the key, he traveled
throughout the city-alone as he had always been-
to make the city his own.
What a grand and glorious city it was, even
then! The jingling of coche bells, echoing back and
forth between the vari-colored houses that lined the
ancient street, were music in the ears of even one
who knew nothing of music. To hear that sound but
once was to be forever homesick for the Capital City,
and Calle Separacion. One listened to the cries of
hucksters, the shouting of small children, the voices
of the people, in which there was always a vague
nostalgia for something none believed he or she would
ever have. How many and various were the garments
of those people, though all too often the garments


had patches as big as the smiles of those who wore
them. The women, especially on one of the many
holidays, wore garments of gaudy colors-colors that
matched with, or clashed with, the colors of the
buildings themselves. Thick walled buildings they
were for the most part, built in the days of Colum-
bus' Governors, either against anticipated attacks that
never came, or because the early Spaniards were
afraid of the heat.
How cool those houses were inside! How many
generations of beautiful women sat behind the gray-
blue bars and watched Dominican life flow past the
window-life in which they could have no part until
they were married! Every cobblestone along that
street could tell a story dating back four hundred
years. Every cobblestone had been painted with blood
a dozen times since it had been laid. The narrow
sidewalks had served as pillows for the dead.
But when the cobblestones were clean, and re-
volts were only being plotted, and not being executed,
the Capital City was-as it is today-one of the most
beautiful cities God ever made. Not that any of its
buildings were great works of art, for none was.
Yet there was an artistry about them that no artist
could deliberately have attained. They were the out-
ward manifestation of the growing pains and joys
of a new race, in a new world. It was a race in whom

love of color was rampant, color that rivaled the
colors of the rainbow, color that was like the sun
that bathed the bodies of the people, and gave them
a certain glory of their own. Their houses were their
stores, and their homes; and, whatever might stalk
abroad, love dwelt behind the bars. Often the hands
of hate reached through those bars, and dragged forth
loved ones, who were never seen again-and not so
much as a single note was lost from the endless sym-
phony of Calle Separacion. The street never changed.
Even at night, when all the doors were closed, and
all the people slept, the coche bells were simply sleepy,
nothing more nor different. Occasionally a bibulous
man went staggering home, or away from home, with
"La Paloma" on his lips, and the world his oyster.
Under some window a caballero serenaded his
lady of the moment.
Oh, it was a grand place, all right, with Plaza
Colon at one end of it, and Conde-and the ruins
of ancient walls-at the other, giving onto Plaza
Independencia, and angling away to the left toward
East of the telegraph office, just down to the
corner and across Arzobispo Merifio, was the Plaza,
where people, on bright and happy afternoons, were
wont to turn out in their very best for the prome-
nade, at which time young men could stroll and smile,


and tip their hats to young ladies, who might smile
back-if their chaperones did not catch them at it,
and chaperones often did not wish to catch them at
it-as evidence of favor for the moment, or simply
for the grand fun of flirting. In the middle of the
place the statue of Cristobal Colon, receiving the
homage of the aborigines his people found on the
island. Straight east of that, the principal govern-
ment building, which could tell so much of Domini-
can history, if it could only talk. And then, to the
south, the Cathedral, certainly and surely a holy place,
beyond whose threshold, in the cool shadows, even
the most turbulent spirit might find peace for the
period of a brief visit-and surprise himself to dis-
cover that the peace, once found for a moment,
would never entirely leave him. Within that Cathe-
dral, as all the world knows-are the ashes and bones
of Cristobal Colon.
Circle the statue of Colon, to the right, and
enter a narrow street which leads to the sallyport of
the Fortaleza with its old, thick walls. Pass through
them into one of the first fortresses ever built in the
New World, and lift eyes to the Torre de Homenaje,
which has figured from the very beginning in po-
litical history of Santo Domingo. Deposed presidents
had spent years in some of those cells. Political pris-
oners of one kind or another have even thought of

the Tower as home. To the initiate, there are rooms
associated with the names of illustrious Dominicans,
because they, or members of their family, have spent
so much of their lives within them.
What tales all of it could tell! On the southern
slope of the roof of the Cathedral, for instance, there
is an ancient cannon ball which somehow failed to
penetrate the holy place. Who knows, or remembers,
or has ever truly heard, how it came there, by whom
it was fired?
Then, the Atarazana, just up the hill from the
Gate of Diego Colon. A curving, cobbled way leads
down to the gate, and out onto the banks of the
Ozama, where the tree stump still remains-the
stump to which Colon is said to have moored his
launch when he came ashore. The wall was almost
a ruins in the days when Trujillo was just a telegraph
operator, beyond the Plaza. The buildings just within
the walls were in ruins, too, and often those ruins
held secrets that would have surprised and startled the
great ones who sat behind desks in the palace of presi-
dents-for often and often there were malcontents
who strove to be different, and not begin revolutions
in the Cibao, but in the very shadow of the govern-
ment itself. Brave men, these, or very foolish, to
hide arms in the ruins, and then dare to gather men
about them who dared in turn to take up those arms


-when federal soldiers were always on parade be-
tween the presidencia and Plaza Colon.
And always then, and now, the whispering and
the moaning of the Caribbean, as it kissed the sweet
mouth of the Ozama, and was hurled back, or as it
battered in senseless fury at the porous rocks just
outside and below the famed Malecon. The rocks
were a New World Memnon, singing, whistling and
moaning the sorrows, heartaches and joys of the sea.
Day or night the sound of the sea was always in the
ears of people of the Capital City, so that they be-
came accustomed to it, and never really heard it-
unless they went away to other cities, or even to other
countries, and carried the sound with them in their
To the north were Villa Francisca and San
Carlos, places of evil repute. The day would come
when they would be purged of evil. From those
two places came sounds of merriment, and who cared
what went on, when a people, or a segment of people,
was merry and laughing? Just beyond those two
suburbs, however, was the jungle proper, stretching
north to the Isabella River, which emptied into the
Ozama above Agua Dulce. It was a solemn, and a
little fearful place to strolling lovers, who might
occasionally find a way to meet in the shadows of the

giant ceibas, the bark of which was almost white,
like the garments of a happy bride.
Westward, beyond Guibia, the ruins of San
Geronimo, where ancient ghosts were wont to weep
and wail and moan at night .
Eastward, across the Ozama, Villa Duarte, truly
the oldest city in the New World, because it was
here that Colon claimed the island for the crown of
Spain. And beyond Duarte, a dim trail through the
forest led to Los Ojos de Agua, where secrets more
ancient still were written in the rocks, where lights
and shadows played tricks upon the eyes that might
never be forgotten. Oh, there were beauties in and
around the Capital City, as there are beauties still,
for those who have a sense of beauty, and count no
cost too great to seek it out and make it their own.
That Trujillo made every street, every alley,
every cobblestone his own, goes without saying-for
he had gone to the city in the beginning, for just
that purpose. Not to possess it as a man possesses
property, but to write it, in all its detail upon his
heart, that he might never forget it.
Cities within cities, glories built upon glories
that had vanished-glories that would vanish in their
But glory still would come to the city, and when


it came it would stay. He vowed that this should
be so.
If only a man with vision enough to see the
realness of his dreams could be found! Well, a coun-
try like this, with a city like this, should be fertile
ground in which to find anything, even a dreamer
with the ability to make his dreams come true.
Not yet did it occur to Trujillo that he might
find that man merely by looking into his mirror! He
himself would have laughed the loudest and longest
had anyone offered such a suggestion.



T HERE was always discontent in Santo
Domingo. If there were none there were always
plenty of spellbinders to create some. But there
entered now, as Trujillo moved into man's estate, a
sort of special period of discontent, destined to termi-
nate with the death of a president. Names do not
matter here, and to enter into the history of that man
would be to draw us aside from the task in hand-
that of delineating the life of Rafael Leonidas Tru-
jillo Molina, and his effect on his times and his coun-
try. Trujillo and his country were one and the same
thing, though this was not obvious back in his tele-
graph operator days.
He kept his ear to the ground as well as to the
key, and thought his thoughts, and had his dreams.
And things were not going even as well as they had
been in Santo Domingo. A little education was far
worse than none at all, it appeared, for when a man


learned to read, or made friends with, and could use,
someone who did, he immediately became ambitious.
He gathered friends about him. His objective was
invariably the presidency, but there was only one
presidency. There were, of course, the governorships
of twelve different provinces, and these were, or
should have been, of considerable importance. Yet
none who held one of those provincial offices but
considered it merely a stepping-stone in the race to
the palace of presidents. As aforesaid, there was only
one presidency, and scores of men who thought they
were, in all Santo Domingo, the only individuals
capable of filling the job with honor, and profit.
So, there were numerous political parties, each
using the given names of some spellbinder as a rallying
cry. The parties were, most of them, not even parties
in name. They were led by men who would have
been insulted at the offer of a job, and the leaders
were followed by men who would literally have died
rather than work. But even these had to eat, and
they followed an ancient Dominican habit popular
with "generals." They took to the woods, well
enough armed, and began to live off the country.
In short, they became bandit groups. If enough
famous names led enough of such groups, they ele-
vated banditry to a place of honor in the country.
When most of the population led honest lives by day,

and traveled with bandit groups at night, it became
a difficult problem to discover exactly how, and by
whom, the groups were to be fed. They robbed one
another. They met in unnamed battles all over the
island. One bandit leader would force the surrender
of another with all his men. He could kill the van-
quished, or make him a lieutenant, and force his fol-
lowers to swell his own forces. Thus, gradually, he
built up his "army" as well as his personal fame.
Banditry was a national disgrace. National
finances were in an unholy mess. Trujillo knew all
of this, because he sat behind that key over which
all the news came-news of roving bands that looted
from Las Hatillas to Bayaguana, from Cotui to La
Caleta and Boca Chica, from Comendador to Bani,
from Azua to Dajabon and all way points. Nobody
knew better than he did that matters were reaching
a crisis in Santo Domingo, nor that he was not him-
self ready to do anything more about it than watch
and listen. No one man, at that time, could have
halted the avalanche. Santo Domingo had been
slowly boiling for generations. An explosion was
due. There had been explosions of course-they had
to be expected when a nation was composed of the
"ins" and the "outs," just as today's great nations are
composed of the "haves" and the "have-nots"-but
they had been local and personal. Now they were

- hA

The Palacie of the ColuImbuII IFamil in Trujillo City, 1). R.






4 : r

r ff* ^i~

The tomb of Christopher Columbus in the Cathedral at
Trujillo City.

'I sf


different. Every man, every half-grown boy, had a
machete or a revolver or a pistol or a pata de mula
hidden away somewhere, awaiting the call from some-
one. And it didn't matter much from whom, but
only that it came in time to give him a chance to
move, to have his own part in the explosion that was
The yeast of Dominican life was fermenting, and
what happened when it began to run over nobody
knew, and not many cared. Nothing could have
been worse than it was. That seemed to be the gen-
eral idea. Trujillo did not hold with all that, but
one man could do nothing now. It had all gone too
far for any one man to have done anything to avert
catastrophe. He did not know whence the catas-
trophe would come, but only that it would. Discon-
tent was huge and menacing behind every Dominican
smile. Even when Dominicans laughed their gayest,
on promenade, the powder magazine was nearer to
each and every one of them than the Polvorin in the
Fortaleza, by far. They all know, but did not know
That a warship would appear in the harbor some
morning to collect some national debt or other was a
4 foregone conclusion. Some Dominicans would resist,
and die. Some would sigh with relief that matters
had been taken out of their hands. Some but

there was no use guessing. There was only one thing
to do, wait and see what would happen. It was the
only thing Trujillo or anybody else could do. He
had no illusions about the ability of a youth to cope
with national problems. Alexander the Great had
been a youth, true, but he never flattered himself that
he was an Alexander. Experience was needed. More-
over, people were inclined to follow gray hair and
distinguished beards, regardless of the brains, or lack
of them, below the gray hair. The people might
know their president to be less than a figurehead, but
if he looked distinguished it was often enough. And
why not? What Dominican man but wished in his
heart of hearts to look distinguished, to wear a white
collar and have a collection of good ties, all the clothes
one wanted, and shoes that did not cramp feet unac-
customed to shoes of any kind.
Any man past middle age could have become
president, provided he had the wit to secure the
proper lieutenants to place him there. Once there he
had but to enjoy it. Problems of administration
scarcely mattered. No administration had ever mat-
tered much. If some foreign government would
make a loan to a new Dominican government, that
was fine. Bookkeeping was a simple matter: when
the money was gone negotiations for another loan
were in order. Then there were always past loans


which had to be refinanced. That made it possible
for you to borrow from more people to pay back
more people, and a goodly percentage could always
stick to your own fingers, and you didn't have to be
very smart to cover up the fact you had it. In fact,
you didn't even have to mention it, because nobody
ever called you to account.
It had a bad effect on the national debt, of
course. It kept getting bigger and bigger, and credi-
tors kept getting more and more insistent, and there
were no taxes with which even to make token pay-
Something, of course, had to break. It broke
with startling suddenness, and was an accomplished
fact before the first dead Dominicans hit the ground.
The Colossus of the North, Uncle Sam, the United
States, simply struck without warning-and almost
before young Trujillo got the first news of one of the
first fights, which occurred when a column under
Colonel Joseph Pendleton of the United States Ma-
rine Corps marched on Santiago from Monte Cristi,
the U. S. Navy had occupied Santo Domingo. The
Navy, of course, used its famous landing force, the
United States Marine Corps.
What a shock the sudden occupation was to
Santo Domingo one may well guess. It may have
been that most honest people breathed a sigh of re-

lief. Plenty were frightened. Bandits went a bit
deeper into the jungles.
Santo Domingo was no longer a republic, except
in name! No Dominican president occupied the
famous palace of presidents. No official had a right
to do anything without the approval of some Admiral
or General or Colonel, who probably delegated his
authority, step down by step down, to a private with
a bayoneted rifle or a smooth, hard club.
What did Trujillo do when this fact became ap-
parent? How did he feel when the feet of American
soldiers rang on the cobblestones of his beloved Capi-
tal City, when brazen American sailors and marines
ogled the lovely girls on the streets and behind the
bars of high-class Dominican homes? When men
on leave got drunk and took possession of restaurants,
behaving like lords of creation? When blustering
men in uniform walked along the street, and the
ordinary Dominican got out of the way or got
stepped on?
I don't have to ask how he felt. I know. He
would then, and instantly, have been happy if all
Santo Domingo had been in revolt against itself, if
every member of every family had turned on every
other member of the same family, and they had
battled to the death with whatever weapons they
had. If, one by one, family by family, Dominicans


had gone mad with the urge to destroy one another,
he would not have objected strenuously.
For no matter how bad things had been, no
matter that brother's hand was turned against brother
-the quarrel had been by, for and among Domini-
cans. It was nobody else's business, the Monroe
Doctrine to the contrary notwithstanding.
But Goliath Uncle Sam, who could almost have
covered Santo Domingo with the palm of his left
hand, had come in without so much as by-your-leave.
He had stepped into a rousing Dominican fight-
which was after all the growing pains of a nation
with intermittent indigestion that, however often it
came, always went away again-like an Irish police-
man into a gang of schoolboys fighting for possession
of the class flag. Nobody had asked him. He didn't
care that they had not. He even took it as sadly amiss
if anyone objected.
He simply took over. He walked over whoever
opposed him. If opposition continued, he had
bayonets, grenades, rifles, pistols, even field pieces.
And always, at least within call, warships that could
lie comfortably off any shore-not that they would
ever have been menaced by any Dominican ordinance
-and drop shells lazily wherever desired. For Santo
Domingo to escape would have been as nearly im-
possible as for a fluttering, broken canary to have

escaped from the hand of a giant bent on retaining
possession. Trujillo may have had the urge-and I
know he did have, as had every Dominican with any
pride of nationality whatever-to run amok, to kill
and kill until he himself was killed. But he knew, as
all the others knew, that the result would be nothing
worth mentioning. Uncle Sam could not be driven
Therefore, what was to do? Dominicans who did
not like it, and who had money, could depart for for-
eign shores-and many of them did, though just
what good this did their country is a question. Tru-
jillo, I am sure, never thought of this sort of betrayal.
The American Occupation was simply another phase
of Dominican life, and something could be learned
from it.
He could hang onto the telegraph office if he
liked, of course; but everything that went over the
wires was censored, diligently scanned for seditious
matter, for any hint of uprisings in the mountains.
In the early days of 1916 the men of the Occupation
-except of course older officers with experience in
island wars all over the world behind them-ex-
pected machetes to strike at them from behind every
tree. And there were just enough such machetes
to furnish a foundation for the belief. Just the same,
a lot of Dominicans died before they could have used

their machetes-if marines hadn't fired before mak-
ing sure that they even had machetes.
Tio Sam began the job of organizing everything,
and "pacifying" the country. It was quite a job.
If just one good president had done it, any time dur-
ing the past twenty years, the Occupation would
never have happened. But none had. They had
organized the treasury, yes; the country never. So
long as it paid a reasonable percentage of its taxes,
what did it matter?
Santo Domingo was divided into "Districts" for
military administration-Northern, Eastern and
Southern Districts-with blustering colonels in com-
mand of each district, and a Rear Admiral in the
Capital City to run the whole show with the title of
Military Governor, and a Brigadier General of
Marines to co-ordinate the work of the three
Colonels. Santo Domingo was under martial law.
Every city of importance was garrisoned by marines,
the medical branch of the navy providing the proper
contrast of uniforms. Provost guards patrolled the
streets day and night.
The so-called "Eastern District," comprising,
roughly, San Pedro de Macoris, Hato Mayor, Seibo,
and all territory east of the Higuamo and north to
Samana Bay, began what it considered its toughest
job-putting down banditry. Nobody knew just

who the bandits were, or where. All were invited
to come in and lay down their arms. Those who did
not well, whoso encountered them might kill
One such was Vincentico. The marines hon-
ored him at once; they named a mule after him!
Trujillo, watching, greatly mortified, wonder-
ing what all this would do to his country; afraid
even to guess how long the occupation would last,
tried to make up his mind just what to do.
Hitherto it hadn't been hard for him to make
up his mind what to do about anything. He studied
a problem, made a decision, and did not depart from
it. Now, however, Tio Sam had left no room for
anybody to make a decision. He had made up the
Dominican mind by force of arms, actually.
Just where would it lead? How much would
the Dominican, as an individual, have to take from
the armed gob, the parading leatherneck? Trades-
men, of course, were pleased-or saw reason to pre-
tend that they were pleased. Sailors and marines
got paid every month. No one of them got a great
deal, but when there were so many of them, and no
place to spend the money save in the land they occu-
pied well, there were compensations for trades-
men, anyhow. Trujillo noted this, of course, and
spat upon the ground with disgust. He'd rather go


to the hills himself, with a band of brave gavillas,
than be under obligation to Tio Sam simply because
sailors and marines spent their money for Domini-
can liquor and food.
One thing he did notice, however, that kept him
from doing anything foolish, if his comparative
youth had counseled him wrongly; that there was a
good percentage of pretty decent men of all ranks
among the invaders-and a man with good horse-
sense could learn from men of experience; yes, even
from enemies.
Trujillo was twenty-five. Had he been twenty-
two or three when the Americans stepped into Santo
Domingo, the whole course of Dominican history
might have been changed.
But he was twenty-five. He had not lost his
dreams. He had learned to plan even more carefully
than he had before he left San Cristobal. Right at
the moment, and for the first year, the Occupation
in Trujillo's eyes, was a national calamity meriting
the tears of future generations. But he had early
discovered that when a thing can't be helped, it
must be borne with good grace, and even made
use of.
Therefore in all probability the Americans-
who prided themselves on their "intelligence" service
in Santo Domingo-never had the name of Trujillo

on their lists of the proscribed. Yet it is certain
that of all Dominicans, Trujillo the most blackly
resented the Occupation. Officers and men he might
have liked in the United States, he avoided because
they had no right in his country-not having been
asked to come, certainly not with arms in their hands
-and he knew that one word from any of them
would force him to say as much; and not even Tru-
jillo could accomplish anything for his country from
a prison cell, or the bottom of a grave.


Thoughtful Phases

T HERE were certain things about the in-
vaders that made Trujillo's eyes pop open. And he
knew that however much he might dislike the idea
of American Occupation, it had something to give
him-or rather, something he could take without
bothering to tell anyone that he was going to, and
for what purpose.
For generations there had been few Dominican
"soldiers" who really merited the name. They were
hellcats with machetes, and perhaps with pata de
mulas at close quarters. But as marksmen they were
more noisy than accurate. Give the average Domini-
can a rifle and he yanked the trigger, yelled "Ca-
ramba" and considered that he was doing all the
damage necessary. Not so the marines. Rosy-
cheeked boys from American villages, cities and
farms, practically lived with their Springfield rifles.
And what they could do with them was rather amaz-

ing. For a young chap to lie down on his stomach
behind a sandbag, six hundred yards from a target,
and a bull's-eye he could not see, and drop eight out
of ten bullets right in that bull's-eye, was something
to accomplish. And he didn't do it by chance. He
did it by design, and in almost any kind of weather,
wind or no wind. He was a scientific marksman, a
scientific soldier. There were plenty of oldtimers
among the marines who could put a bullet through
a man's heart, time after time, at a thousand yards.
Moreover, the second they had squeezed the trigger
they didn't have to be told that the bullet had gone
through the target's heart-they knew. If they
didn't know, couldn't tell their instructors just where
the bullets had gone, even before the target were
examined, they were roundly disciplined. On the
blouse of almost every marine there was a medal for
marksmanship. Not one was earned by toadyism
or through influence. A man who wore a medal for
marksmanship had proved his right to it in a score
of different places, in all kinds of weather.
That some marines practised on Dominicans
was proved to the satisfaction of many investigators
-and not all of the targets were bandits. Yet the
marines could not have been blamed entirely. How
were they to know which men were bandits, which
not, when many Dominicans themselves were not

sure? It was safer to shoot first and ask questions
afterwards, especially when patrols were on the
march through the jungles where bandits were known
to be lurking.
Trujillo watched the marines establish them-
selves. He watched rifle ranges being constructed,
and early learned just why they were necessary.
From this source and that he learned what marines
had done at Chateau Thierry and Belleau Woods.
They had shown the Germans what aimed firing
could mean. They had, with rifle bullets, cut down
more of the enemy than machine guns would have
One determined rebel, with a half dozen marines
to leaven his "army" of paisanos could make himself
boss of Santo Domingo at any time. Six marines,
firing on the enemy, could drive off hordes of them,
unless they too had marksmen with them. The Do-
minican forces, rebel and federal, down the decades,
had not been soldiers at all, really. Trujillo gasped
at the possibilities. A small army of determined,
loyal men, with even half the marksmanship ability
of the marines, could guarantee forever the peace
of the country. He didn't have to spend much
thought figuring that out. The Occupation itself
proved it. And defense offered by Dominicans
against the Americans had been hopeless from the

start. What good could Dominicans do, with their
antiquated weapons, against soldiers who could shoot
them down in perfect safety, long before they came
within the range of their own weapons? And what
group of suicide-bent Dominicans, armed with mur-
derous machetes, had a chance of closing in on the
Springfield-armed marines?
A few marines, here and there, were surprised
by bandits and cut down from ambush. But for
every marine that died in that fashion, the bandits
paid dearly. They were harried from pillar to post.
They were shot on sight, and died before the sound
of the shot could possibly have reached their ears.
Discipline! Not bullying, but discipline. That
had made of the marines one of the most efficient
fighting forces in the world. Not for nothing were
the marines the landing force of the navy, and in-
variably the first to fight on any foreign shore. They
had what it took when it came to military efficiency.
Given even a small percentage of that efficiency, and
the loyalty of the average Dominican, and banditry
and revolution would disappear forever from Santo
Trujillo, while the idea germinated in his mind,
studied such of the leatherneck officers as he could.
He ignored men like a certain lieutenant who mur-
dered the innocent with the guilty, and then com-


mitted suicide in his tent when a court-martial would
have certainly condemned him to death, and still
another officer who was known throughout the coun-
try as the "Green Eyed Monster." He overlooked
the officers who, through fear, sought to eradicate
danger to themselves by killing everybody they sus-
pected-and suspected everybody. In any large
fighting force there were bound to be such men.
But there were others. There were officers who
had marched from Taku to Tientsin in the Boxer
Uprising, and from Tientsin to Peking to the relief
of the beleaguered foreign legations. The marks of
those campaigns were indicated on their harsh, un-
smiling faces, and proved to the world by the rows
of campaign ribbons over the left pockets of their
blouses. There were officers who had served in
Panama, Mexico, the Philippine Islands. There were
Samar heroes among those officers. To them the oc-
cupation of Santo Domingo was just another job,
which they did with calm assurance, not caring a
tinker's dam what anybody thought about it. And
when one of them made a mistake there was always
an officer over him who would take him to task for
the mistake. Mistakes were not tolerated. The
offending officer expected to be punished, and took
what was coming to him with little comment.
The marines themselves were not to blame for

the Occupation, though some of them were to blame
for what they did with the Occupation, and martial
law, as their excuses. The marines were doing a job,
and reasonably well, for there were administrators
among them, men who had been compelled to learn
something of the inhabitants of a dozen different
countries, and to shape their lives among them ac-
Trujillo might not like any of those officers, but
he admitted to himself that they were soldiers. And
he had some idea of what constituted good soldiers,
and why not? His ancestors had distinguished them-
selves as soldiers.
"I shall," might have been Trujillo's thought,
undoubtedly was his thought, "learn all I can from
these old campaigners. I don't have to crawl and
grovel to them, for they would hate that, and I
couldn't do it to save me, anyhow. They are fair,
according to their lights. In all probability most of
them are just as anxious to finish their work here
and get out of Santo Domingo, as I am anxious for
them to get out, whether they finish their work or
not. But to them, at least now, I am just another
Dominican. For all I know they may even think me
a bandit."
That was one bad feature of Dominican ban-
ditry. Every time a band of roving gavillas attacked

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