Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub
[graphic][subsumed]

SWARMING MASTS AND FUNNELS-BEYOND THE PINK-AND-WHITE CITY

stipulated. Now look to what artists mantillas and vigilant duennas, but are reduced!

of the breeks, and kilts, and kirks It was not the only theatrical com of gray Scotland—the pathetic romance pany that the ship carried. There was of Effie and Jeanie Dean. By deft artianother on the deck above. But there fice the necessary changes were to be the voice of Thespis was subdued. wrought. The cunning of the camera Knights and Ladies of the Film, their was to transform the low hills in the thoughts were not of rhetoric, but regis- direction of Regla into a likeness to ter. To them Havana did not mean a Arthur's Seat. Some narrow, out-ofpleasure-jaunt, or a dream of the world the-way street of Havana or Marianao that was, but a background of glaring was to be dressed up, and audiences sunlight. “What is the play?" was were to see the Cannongate. And asked of an actor of mammoth frame when our property-man is through with and bulging biceps. “The Heart of that part of the Morro that we are Midlothian, was the somewhat aston going to use," broke in the company's ishing reply. “The Heart of Mid manager, “Lord Byron, who wrote the lothian!"" No romance of old Spain, book, you know"-his face “registered” of Aragon or Andalusia, of Auttering pride as he imparted the literary in

formation-"himself could not tell it From all the ports of the Seven Seas from Edinburgh Castle."

those vessels had come. There were It is said that, to discover Havana in barkentines of Brazil, Uruguay, and the right way, one must see it first in Chile, bearing the names of saints and the light of early dawn. But in our maidens; schooners of Denmark, Japan, case the sun was already high in the Spain, and Italy; busy steamers of heavens when, across the blue water, France and England. A beautiful powerwe first detected

boat was Aying the low blur on

the ensign of the the horizon. Min

New York Yacht ute by minute the

Club. There were blur assumed a

American mermore distinct

chantmen with form. Then, all at

names varying once, it seemed,

from Calemeres the outlines

and Zares to the of Morro Castle

General Whitman, broke splendidly

the Governor Cobb, into the sunshine.

and the Hiram E. Beyond was the

Bounce. But nevpink - and - white

er mind what they city. Between the

call our boats so two a strait of

long as they are deep - blue water

not named as the scarce two hun

Pullman coaches dred yards wide

are named. There leads to the har

were other ships, bor. In ninety

ships for which alí eight cases out of

eyes searched. one hundred,

They were the when an Amer

vessels that had ican perceives

entered the harthat harbor for

bor but could not the first time he

go out — vessels asks what may be

commanded by termed the Inev

skippers of gutitable Question.

tural names, and It was being asked

sullenly flying the all over our ship

flag of the black, and the Cubans

white, and red were anticipating

bars, or the flag of it and pointing to

red, white, and That

green, emblazmatter settled,

oned with the two there were eyes

crowns. for the swarming

SHADOW AND SUNSHINE CATHEDRAL SQUARE looked back we masts and fun

saw, just beyond nels. In the foreground were gun the three-mile limit, a low-lying streak boats of the navy which carries the painted a dull leaden color. Black flag of Cuba Libre; a navy which, to smoke was pouring from the funnels, and intolerant eyes, is as about as useful as the decks were stripped for action. One the navy of Morocco. But if it be a day it would be the British cruiser Berluxury, the Cubans are willing to pay wick; the next, the Frenchman Condé; for it. From the broad Malecón they but ever the watching eyes and the can survey with pride their little war- grimly menacing guns. So the coal-laden dogs snuggling up to the great ships vessels of the two Kaisers elected to

remain behind the shelter of the Morro.

[graphic]

the spot.

As we

of peace.

Havana, lying pink and white in the corsair Desores, the Englishman, Francis sunshine, charms first of all by reason Drake, on land and sea, in the Old of the variety of pictures that it sug World and the New, known as the gests. The scene may stir to dreams of “Scourge of Spain.”. There was hardly a the Old World that is gone, or to thoughts decade that did not bring a fresh attack. of the ephemeral materialities of to-day. Finally, the bombardment of the city That is something which depends entire on a vast scale by the British fleet and ly upon the individual point of view. the reduction of the Morro. For a year Napoleon Bonaparte, at the head of his the English flag waved over the castle, legions in Egypt, and “Billy” Evans, and then, to the infinite joy of the Hathe umpire taken along to arbitrate the vanese, the fortress was restored to games between the New York Giants Spain. and the Chicago White Sox when they But the visions are not all of Old made their world tour, were confronted World plunderings and depredations. by the same spectacle. The Corsican The city, smiling in the sunshine, recalls was moved to the utterance, “The the long years of struggle for national pyramids of forty centuries are looking independence, the battle against indown upon me." Billy Evans adjusted equalities and inhumanities of the Spanhis mask and pad and said, “Batter ish domination. Riding through the

So, at the threshold of Havana, country beyond the city, at every turn if you have eyes for it, is all the romance the visitor is reminded of the dreadful of the Spanish Main. Columbus sighted concentration camps that were there Cuba and landed on its northern shore only yesterday. To find the soul of in October, 1492. He wrote of it that

He wrote of it that Havana one must cross the harbor to the it was the most beautiful land that eyes heights of Cabañas and the Morro ramhave ever seen.” Another century or so and from the Miradores of Vedado eyes were strained seeking the bellying sails of the awaited gold-laden galleons

from Malaga or Cadiz. There was hope in those eyes and fear, too. The galleons might never come; but in their stead, the low-lying crafts of French or English pirates. For in the history of the island, the terror of the buccaneers antedated the exploits of Sharkey and Henry Morgan. The building of La Fuerza itself, the ancient Spanish fortress, begun in 1538, fifty years before the erection of Morro Castle, was prompted by a pillaging of the town by French adventurers. Twice those pirates came to hold the city to ransom. It was ever the same story of storm and

THE PRADO, WHERE STAND STATELY RESstress. After the French

IDENCES OF SUGAR AND TOBACCO KINGS

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

parts. There, for the first time, are There is, if you choose it, another realized the city's tragedy, anguish, and Havana in which the past never obglory. Turn back the clock of history' trudes. There is one hotel in which you twenty years. Pink in the dawn, shim can feel as much in America as in any mering in the afternoon sunshine, Ha- mushroom town of the Middle West. vana lies below, a captive at her jailer's In the lobby chairs clean-shaven men feet. As the Dungeon of Bonnivard in loll and the voices are of Texas or Maine,

of Illinois or Georgia. From the talk you may learn that the Almandares, with Muñoz pitching, defeated the Havanas at Vedado by a

score of four to one; or that the man who ten days previously won the Florida East Coast championship. at Nassau has just turned in a score of seventy-one for the Havana golf-course; or that Fantasy, one-hundred-to-one shot, romped home in the fourth race at the Marianao race-track; or that your pet stock has fallen off two points in the day's market; or that there will be foxtrotting at the Miramar in the evening.

Thus far only the Illustrator and the Scribe. Now enters the one who shall be called the Diplomat. He met us as we disembarked at the San Francisco wharves. . The Diplomat is a man of many amiable qualities, who, before being assigned to Cuba as secretary of the legation, had represented our service in Berlin, Paris, and Madrid. Outside, his motor-car was waiting. In it he was to drive us to the Havana Country Club at Marianao, twelve miles away.

Before the second corner had HAVANA...af

been turned, the passengers,

both time-hardened drivers, WHITE HOUSE'

were trying to climb out of the

car. It was their first introducthe Castle of Chillon is the symbol of the tion to Havanese driving, which utterly Swiss struggle for liberty, in the inky- disregards traffic rules, if such rules exblack caverns of Cabañasis read the story ist, and which swings at will to the right of the pitiless years of Cuban oppres or to the left. The Diplomat did not sion. In the grass-grown square and the seem to mind. With one hand on the wall, scarred by bullet-marks, the tale steering-wheel, he was talking. Tomay be read—the platoons of boyish night there is to be a ball at the Amerprisoners led out in the early morning, ican Legation. You are to come. How the kneeling figures and the bandaged properly to address the American mineyes, the defiant cry of Viva Cuba ister? Your Excellency? Nonsense. Libre!" and the volley and the hush. Mr. Minister. Only servants say, 'Your

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

A CORNER OF THE CUBAN

Excellency. To-morrow morning, at many trappings, top-heavy with brownhalf past eleven, I have arranged that skinned officers of exalted rank. To have you are to have an interview with Presi known Silva meant to take another dent Menocal at the Palace. What to view. It meant respect for the Cuban discuss? You might talk about the Cor- fighting force, and an admiration for our nell football team if you have anything own army, of which he was a direct to say on the subject, for you know that product. The first impression was efhe is a graduate of Cornell.” These

These fective the lithe, athletic figure in sweeping arrangements provoked pro- close-fitting khaki, the clear-cut feattest. The Illustrator, being afflicted ures, and the fine blue-gray eyes. He with the artistic temperament, had dis told tales of service in a dozen army posed of his trunk in such a manner that posts in various parts of the United it was not discovered until several days States. He could not say enough of the later. That was his excuse in trying to American officers. They were the finest avoid the Legation ball. The Scribe in the world. In all his experience he had yielded in the matter of the ball, but known only one who was not straight. pointed out that he had not with him The memory of Major Silva is the memthe proper attire in which to appear ory of a first-class man. before a President. The Diplomat waved aside all protests. “He won't Frankly, the Scribe, a golfer of mind the Norfolk jacket. He wants to many years' standing and a singular talk to you. He likes Americans. He knows them. A topic of conversation? As I said before, Cornell football, or Edison, or the movies, or the breaking up of Connie

SUF Mack's hundred-thousand-dollar infield.”

We did not meet President Menocal the next morning, but we spent part of the day in the company of his adjutant, Major Silva. The American residing in Havana is inclined to speak slightingly of the Cuban army, although he will concede the efficiency of the Rural Guard, which corresponds to the Canadian Northwest Mounted Police, or the State Police of Pennsylvania, and which is made up of men who served in the Cuban wars.

The American at home, if he thinks of it at all, regards the Cuban army as a thing of

THE OUTSKIRTS OF THE CITY—THE MOTOR ROAD TO PINAR DEL RIO

[graphic]
« VorigeDoorgaan »