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Title: Our Little Cuban Cousin
Author: Wade, Mary Hazelton Blanchard, 1860-1936
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Our Little Cuban Cousin



The Little Cousin Series

BY MARY HAZELTON WADE

_Ten volumes, illustrated_

[Illustration]

_PREVIOUSLY ISSUED_

    =Our Little Japanese Cousin=
    =Our Little Brown Cousin=
    =Our Little Indian Cousin=
    =Our Little Russian Cousin=


_NOW READY_

    =Our Little Cuban Cousin=
    =Our Little Hawaiian Cousin=
    =Our Little Eskimo Cousin=
    =Our Little Philippine Cousin=
    =Our Little Porto Rican Cousin=
    =Our Little African Cousin=

    Each volume illustrated with six full-page plates in
    tints, from drawings by L. J. Bridgman

    Cloth, 12mo, with decorative cover, per volume, 50
    cents net. (Postage, 6 cents additional)

[Illustration]

    L. C. PAGE & COMPANY,
    New England Building, Boston

[Illustration: MARIA]



Our Little Cuban Cousin


By Mary Hazelton Wade


_Illustrated by_ L. J. Bridgman

[Illustration]

    Boston
    L. C. Page & Company
    _MDCCCCII_



    _Copyright, 1902_
    By L. C. PAGE & COMPANY
    (INCORPORATED)

    _All rights reserved_


    Published, June, 1902


    Colonial Press
    Electrotyped and Printed by C. H. Simonds & Co.
    Boston, Mass., U. S. A.



Preface


LARGEST of all the fair West Indian Islands which lie in our open
doorway is Cuba. The great south doorway to the United States and all
North America, you know, is the Gulf of Mexico.

But recently, as we all remember, we have had war and bloodshed at this
doorway. The Spanish government, in trying to subdue its rebellious
province of Cuba, brought great hardship and suffering upon the Cuban
people, our neighbours, and our government at last decided that such
things must not be at our very doorway. So to-day Cuba is free, and the
great trouble of war is over and past for her.

Yet, though war no longer troubles the Cuban people, they have many
new hardships and difficulties to contend with, and need the friendly
help of their more fortunate neighbours scarcely less than before.
Now, in order that we may be able to help our friends and neighbours,
the Cubans, we must know them better, and surely we shall all feel a
stronger interest than ever before in their welfare. So we shall be
glad to meet and know our little Cuban neighbour, Maria.

We shall ask to have what Maria says translated for us, for most of us
do not understand the Spanish language, which Maria speaks. We must
remember, too, to pronounce her name as if it were spelled Mahreeah,
for that is the way she and her family pronounce it. Our Cuban cousins,
you know, like our cousins in Porto Rico, are descended from the
dark-eyed, dark-haired Spanish people. Their forefathers came over seas
from Spain to Cuba, as the English colonists came across the ocean to
our country, which is now the United States.

Yet we must remember that the Spanish people and the English people
are near akin in the great human family. They both belong to the white
race; and so we shall call our black-eyed little neighbour our near
cousin. Welcome, then, to our little Cuban cousin!



Contents


    CHAPTER                            PAGE
       I. DANGER                          9
      II. THE PICNIC                     17
     III. LEGENDS                        29
      IV. NEXT-DOOR NEIGHBOURS           37
       V. SUGAR                          45
      VI. THE QUARTERS                   53
     VII. HOME AGAIN                     61
    VIII. STARTLING NEWS                 64
      IX. FIRST YEARS IN THE NEW WORLD   72
       X. THE MERRIMAC                   81
      XI. VICTORY                        90
     XII. HAVANA                         97



List of Illustrations


                                                               PAGE
    MARIA                                             _Frontispiece_
    "'I COUNTED THREE DIFFERENT FORTS OF THE ENEMY'"             21
    "THEY SAT BACK IN THE LOW, BROAD SEAT"                       39
    "THE MACHINES MADE A STEADY, GRINDING SOUND"                 50
    "'IT IS LIKE A BIG LIZARD'"                                  76
    "THE AMERICAN FLAG WAS WAVING AND PEACE RULED IN THE LAND"  100



Our Little Cuban Cousin



CHAPTER I.

DANGER.


"MARIA! Maria! Maria!" was the low call from some unknown direction. It
sounded like a whisper, yet it must have travelled from a distance. Low
as it was, the little girl dozing in the hammock in the lemon grove was
awake in an instant. She sprang out and stood with hands shading her
eyes, looking for the owner of the voice.

She well knew what it meant. Ramon was the only one who had agreed to
call in this way. It was a sign of danger! It meant, "The enemy are
coming. Look out and get ready." Shouldn't you think our little Cuban
cousin would have trembled and cried, or at least run for protection to
her mother?

Maria was only nine years old. She was a perfect fairy of a child,
with tiny hands and feet and soft black eyes. But she was used to war
by this time. She never knew when she went to sleep at night but that
her home would be burnt down by the cruel Spaniards before the end of
another day.

Ramon got up before sunrise this morning. He had been away from home
for several hours. He had gone out in the country "to look around," as
he said. From his own front door the burning roofs of the houses of old
friends not a mile distant could be seen the night before. The Spanish
troops must be near. Who could say but that the boy's own home would
suffer next?

He was tall and active, and he longed very much to help his people.
They had suffered much from their Spanish rulers and now they were
working hard for freedom. But Ramon's father had been ill for a long
time. He was growing weaker every day. The boy's mother looked very sad
at times. Her eyes filled with tears when she said:

"My dear boy, you must not leave us now. Your duty lies at home. You
must be your father's right hand and protect your little sisters and
myself."

The Diaz children lived in a cosy little home in the country. It
was only a few miles from Havana. Their father had a small sugar
plantation. He had been able to raise enough sugar to buy everything
the family needed until lately. But now times were very hard. It was
not easy to sell the sugar; besides this, the good man and his family
were in constant danger.

What had they done? you ask. Nothing. They did not love their Spanish
rulers, to be sure, and they believed their countrymen were fighting
justly to free their beautiful island home. They would help these
countrymen, or insurgents, as they were called, if they had a chance.

But Maria's father had never, himself, fought against the Spaniards. He
was a quiet, kindly gentleman, and he had no love for war. What did the
Spaniards care for that? They might say to themselves:

"This man has a pleasant home. He raises sugar. He may give food and
shelter to those daring Cuban soldiers. Then they can keep up their
strength and be able to keep up the fight against us all the longer."

So far Maria's home had been spared. Although many other houses near
her had been burned, hers stood safe and unharmed yet. But "To-morrow
is another day," the child often repeated to herself, after the manner
of her people. That meant, "Although I am safe now, no one knows what
will come next." Then Maria would sigh for a moment and look sad. But
she was naturally merry and gay, and the next moment would be dancing
about and humming a lively tune.

What news was her brave brother bringing this morning? As soon as he
came in sight, Maria ran to meet him. The sun was very hot and the
little girl's head was bare, but she did not think of these things. The
Spaniards! The Spaniards! made the only picture she could see.

As soon as she was within easy call, Ramon told her that a company of
the enemy was only two miles away. He had been very close to them. He
had even heard them talking together while he hid in the bushes.

"Just think, Maria," he exclaimed, "they were laughing at the easy time
they would have in breaking our spirit. They said that before long
they would starve us into giving up. I rather think they won't. Do you
know, Maria, I believe God will send us help if we are only patient.
The Americans live so near us, I don't see how they can help taking our
part, when they know the way we are treated. But come, we must hurry
and tell father the news. He will know what we ought to do to get ready
for a visit to-day."

The children hurried to the house, and soon every one was in a state
of the greatest excitement. When Señor Diaz was told of the approach
of the Spaniards, he said, in his gentle voice, "We would best have a
picnic."

The children looked greatly astonished at the idea of a picnic at such
a time, but their father went on to explain. He had often thought of
the coming of the Spanish troops. He had made a plan in case he should
hear of their approach. The house should be locked up; all the family
should go down to the shore of a small lake a quarter of a mile back
in the woods. The path that led to this lake was so hidden that a
stranger would not know it was there. Ramon could lead the oxen; the
father thought that he was strong enough to guide the horse to the
picnic-ground.

If the Spaniards found no one about the house, and no animals worth
capturing, they might possibly pass by without doing any harm.

Señora Diaz and old black Paulina got a hasty luncheon ready. Maria
said she must certainly take her sewing materials, for she was going to
embroider some insurgent emblems. Her little sister, Isabella, carried
her pet kitten in her arms, and cried because the parrot must be left
behind.

"He'll be so lonesome," she said; "and I just know he'll call
'Isabella' all day long."

The dear little girl cried hard, but everybody's hands were so full
that Mr. Poll was left in the house. A big linen cloth was stretched
over the cage. If kept in the dark, he would probably be still, and not
attract the attention of the soldiers, if they stopped and looked in.
The black man servant, Miguel, stayed behind to shut up the chickens in
barrels, but would follow the rest of the party in a few moments.

The path led in and out through the beautiful southern woods. There
were cocoanut-palms and ebony and mahogany trees, while underneath were
creeping vines and bushes, making a close thicket of underbrush. There
was no talking. The family crept along as quietly as possible, lest
they should be heard and followed. For by this time the enemy must be
very near.



CHAPTER II.

THE PICNIC.


IN a few minutes the lake was in sight. It was a very pretty sheet of
water. A tiny boat rocked to and fro close to the shore, for Ramon and
Maria often came here to row about the quiet lake.

Ramon soon had two hammocks swinging between the trees for his father
and mother. The lunch was spread out on the ground, as it was already
past the time for the noonday meal.

"What did they have to eat?" you ask. There were some delicate white
rolls, that Paulina knew how to make so nicely. There was guava jelly
to eat on the rolls; fresh lemons and newly made sugar from which to
make a refreshing drink. Besides these, there was plenty of cold fried
chicken. Could any children have a nicer picnic lunch than this, even
if a long time had been spent in getting ready for it?

The guava jelly looked just as clear and beautiful as that which is
brought to America, and sold here at such a high price. Did you ever
see it in the stores of Boston or New York, and think how nice it must
taste? Perhaps your mother has bought it for you when you were getting
well after a long illness, and wished to tempt your appetite by some
new dainty. Maria has several guava-trees near her home. Paulina makes
so much jelly from the ripe fruit that perhaps the little girl does not
realise how nice it is.

After the lunch, Señor Diaz stretched himself in one of the hammocks
for a quiet rest. He was very tired after his walk through the woods.
He was also troubled over the sad state of things in his country, and
was worried that he was not strong enough to take a more active part
against the enemy. His wife lay down in the other hammock for a noonday
nap, after which she promised to help Maria in her sewing.

Paulina gathered the remains of the lunch and put things in order,
while the three children rowed around the lake.

"Won't you hear me read out of my primer, Maria?" said Isabella.
"Ramon, dear, give your oars a rest, and float for a little while. You
can listen, too, and I know you'll like my lesson to-day."

The little girl was just learning to read, and she had a book printed
by the insurgents. No one had to urge her to study, for even her own
little primer was made up of stories about the war. She had tucked her
loved book in the loose waist of her dress when she left the house. No
one had noticed it before.

[Illustration: "'I COUNTED THREE DIFFERENT FORTS OF THE ENEMY'"]

"Why, yes, my darling sister, certainly I will listen, and help you
with the big words, too," answered Maria, while Ramon drew in his oars,
and lay back in the boat with a pleasant smile. Of course the words
were all Spanish, because that was the only language the children had
ever learned. Isabella read:

"My papa is in the army of the Cubans. He fights to make us free. Do
you hear the cannon roar? Our men will bring victory. Long live Cuba!"

When Isabella came to the word "victory," Maria had to help her. It was
such a big word for the six-year-old child to pronounce. She looked at
it again and again, repeating it slowly to herself. Then she said:

"I'll never fail on that word again, Maria, no matter where it is. How
I would like to see it in great big letters on a silk banner! I'd wave
it all day long."

This was a good deal for such a little girl to say, but then, you
know, she was living in the midst of war.

"Good for you," said her brother; "we'll all live yet to see the words
of your primer come true. Long live free Cuba! I say. But come, let's
go on shore, and play war. You and Maria can be the Spaniards, and
I'll be the insurgent army. You just see how I will make short work of
taking you prisoners."

The children landed under a big cotton-tree. They made a fort out of
dead branches which they gathered. This fort was to belong to the
Spanish troops. The two girls placed themselves behind it, and stood
ready to defend themselves. It was not many minutes before Ramon took
them by surprise, and dragged them to the boat, which stood for the
Cuban headquarters.

"Do you know," said the boy, when they stopped to rest a few minutes
from their sport, "I counted three different forts of the enemy during
my tramp this morning. The cowardly Spaniards don't dare to march very
far away from those forts. They really don't give our men a chance to
have a good fair battle. They think by having plenty of forts they can
keep our soldiers from getting into the cities. Then they will scare
the rest of us who live in the country from feeding them. In that way
we will be starved into giving in. We'll see, that's all."

By this time Maria could see that her mother had waked up and left the
hammock.

"She will be ready to help me with my work now," said Maria. "Don't you
want to come and watch me embroider, Isabella?"

The two girls were soon sitting beside their mother, while Ramon went
with Miguel on a hunt for birds. The insurgent emblems which Maria was
so eager to make were to be given to the Cuban soldiers. They were to
wear beneath their coats. Suppose that an insurgent should stop at any
place, and ask for food and rest; how would the people know that he
was true to his country, and not a friend of the Spaniards? He could
show his little piece of flannel with the watchword of the Cubans
embroidered upon it. That was the only thing needed. The people would
be safe now in giving him help.

Maria did her work very nicely. She made a scalloped edge with red silk
all around the white cloth. A crimson heart on a green cross must then
be made, with underneath these words:

"Be of good cheer. The heart of Jesus is with me."

Two hours went by before Ramon came back. Miguel and he were bringing
a large net full of birds. Of course, they had done no shooting. That
would not have been wise when Spanish soldiers might be near to hear
the noise. No, they had searched through the woods till they found
some sour orange trees. The fruit was ripe now and there were sure to
be numbers of parrots around. They could be caught in the net that
Miguel had brought from the house that morning. They had to creep along
very quietly so as to take the birds by surprise.

They had great success, it seemed; but what would the family do with
a dozen dead parrots? Eat them, to be sure. Paulina would make a fine
stew for dinner that very night. That is, of course, if they were
fortunate enough to find the house still standing when they reached
home. The flesh of this bird is tough, and one wonders that Ramon and
Maria are so fond of parrot stew. In Cuba there are many nicer birds
for eating. But each one has his own tastes. No two people are alike,
we have found out long ago.

"I discovered something in the woods that I want to show you girls,"
said Ramon. "It's only a little ways off. Won't you come, too, mamma?
It's the dearest little nest I ever saw in my life. It must belong to a
humming-bird."

Ramon's mother and the children followed him till the boy stopped in
front of a low bush. Hidden away under the leaves was the tiny nest.
It was no bigger than a large thimble. It was made of cotton, bound
together with two or three horse-hairs.

"I'm sure I couldn't have sewed it as well as that," said Maria. "See
how the threads are woven in and out. It's wonderful what birds can
do. But look at the eggs, mamma dear. See! there are two of them. They
aren't any bigger than peas."

Just then the children heard a fluttering of tiny wings. It was Mrs.
Humming-Bird who had come home. She was troubled at the sight of the
strangers.

"Did you ever before see such a small bird?" whispered Isabella.
"She looks like a butterfly, and a small one, too. Aren't her colours
beautiful?"

"We would best let her go back to her nest, now, my dears," said Señora
Diaz. "You can watch, Ramon, and find out when the baby birds hatch. We
shall all like to see them, I'm sure."

They left the bush and turned back toward the lake. Ramon stopped
again, however, when they came to a small lace-wood tree.

"You know you asked me to get you some of the wood to trim your doll's
dress, Isabella. Here is a good chance to get it. I'll follow you in a
few minutes."

Ramon took out his knife, and soon the young tree was cut away from the
roots. It would take some time to strip off the bark. It must be done
carefully and peeled off in one piece, so as to leave the pith of the
tree quite smooth and whole. Several strips of delicate lace could be
obtained from this pith. Now Isabella would be able to dress her doll
in great elegance. She could ruffle the lace on the waist and flounces
of the doll's skirt and make it look as beautiful as though it cost a
good deal of money. Isabella herself has a dress trimmed with the lace,
but Paulina needs to be very careful when she irons it. It was growing
dark when Ramon arrived at the shore with his tree.

"We will go back now," said Señor Diaz, "and see if the soldiers have
left us our home."

All were soon making their way back to the house, which they found
unharmed. Nothing had been touched by the enemy. Perhaps they had not
thought it worth while to stop. At any rate, there was great joy in the
Diaz family that evening as they sat on the balcony, sipping cups of
hot sweetened water. The times were so hard they could not buy coffee,
and _guaraba_, as they called it, was the next best thing. Maria is
very fond of it.

The children were so tired from the day's excitement that by eight
o'clock they were quite ready to go to dreamland. Isabella started
first. She went up to her father and, placing her tiny hands across her
breast, looked up into his eyes with a sweet, solemn look. He knew at
once what it meant. She was asking an evening blessing before leaving
him for the night. Every one in the room stopped talking; all bowed
their heads while the kind father said:

"May God bless my darling child, and all others of this household."

Maria and Ramon followed Isabella's example, and soon the children were
sound asleep. Isabella dreamed that she taught her loved parrot to say
"Liberty," and was delighted at her success.



CHAPTER III.

LEGENDS.


THE next morning it rained quite hard, so the children had to stay in
the house.

"What shall we do with ourselves?" said Maria. "Oh, I know. We'll ask
father to tell us stories."

"What shall it be to-day?" he asked. "Do you want a tale of old Spain,
or shall it be the life of Columbus; or maybe you would like a fairy
story?"

"A fairy story! A fairy story!" all cried together.

"Very well, then, this shall be a tale that our people heard in Europe
a thousand years ago.

"It was long before Columbus dreamed of his wonderful voyages across
the Atlantic. It was before people had even thought of the idea of the
roundness of the earth. They had such queer fancies in those days. Few
men dared to sail far into the West. They believed that if they did so
they would come into a place of perfect darkness.

"Still they had one legend of a land across the Atlantic that was very
beautiful. Many of our greatest men believed in it. It was called the
Island of Youth, and people who reached it could live for ever, and
never grow old."

"What made them think there was such a place?" asked Maria, with
wide-open eyes.

"They had heard that long ago there was a very brave young man. He
had a wonderful horse as white as the foam of the ocean. Strange to
say, this horse could carry him through the water more safely than the
stoutest boat. As he was looking for adventure, he started off on the
back of his fairy steed to cross the ocean.

"After he had travelled for some distance, he stopped to kill a
giant who had enchanted a princess. When the giant was dead, and the
beautiful maiden was free once more, he travelled on till he came to a
land where the trees were loaded with birds. The air was filled with
their sweet music.

"He stayed in this land for a hundred years. He was merry and gay all
the time. He was never ill, and never tired."

"But wasn't he lonesome?" asked Ramon. "I should think he would wish
for other company besides the birds."

"Oh, there were many other people there, of course, and as our
traveller was fond of shooting, he had great sport hunting the deer.

"But at last something happened to make him think of his old home and
friends. It was a rusty spear that came floating to the shore one day.
It must have travelled across the ocean. The young man grew sad with
longing for the scenes of his early days. He mounted his white steed
once more, plunged into the ocean, and at last reached his own home.

"But think, children. It was a hundred years since he had seen it. His
old friends were all dead. The people seemed like dwarfs. I suppose he
must have grown in size and strength while away on the Island of Youth.
At any rate, his own home was not what he expected to find it. He had
no wish to live longer. He lay down and died. The Island of Youth had
not been such a great blessing to him, after all.

"Another story used to be told in Spain of the Island of Seven Cities.
It was a legend of our own Cuba, for all we know. People said that a
thousand years before Columbus crossed the Atlantic, an archbishop was
driven away from Spain. Why was it? He was untrue to his king. He
sailed far from his country with a goodly company of men and women.

"After a long voyage they reached a land which they called Antilla.
There were people already living here. They were kind and gentle.

"The archbishop divided the land into seven parts. He built churches
and other fine buildings. He got the natives to help him. All lived
together in peace and happiness.

"But look, children, the rain has stopped falling, and the sun is
shining. You can go outdoors now, and amuse yourselves. Before you
leave, however, let me ask you a question in geography.

"Cuba is shaped like what animal? Think how long and narrow it is, and
of the ridge of mountains running through the centre of the island. I
will give you until to-morrow to guess the answer.

"And, by the way, did you ever think that our home is really the top of
a row of mountains reaching up from the floor of the ocean? Ah, what
wonders would be seen in the valleys below us, if we could journey
under the water, and explore it for ourselves!"

Just as the good man stopped speaking, Miguel knocked at the door. Two
ragged little girls were standing at his side. They were strangers.
Where had they come from during the hard rain of the morning?

It seemed that Miguel had been tramping through the woods after game.
He did not care for the rain. He was a good-natured servant, and was
always ready to make pleasant surprises for the family. When he was
about four miles from home, he came upon an unexpected camp. There were
about thirty people in it. There, on the mountainside, they had made
rough huts to live in. There were not only men and women, but little
children, also. They had been here for two or three weeks.

What a sad story they had to tell! It was the old story. They wished
to be peaceful; they did not join the army of the Cubans. Still, they
might possibly help them in some little way. But they did not go to
the great city. They fled to the woods on the mountainside. They kept
themselves from starving by gathering berries and wild fruit. Their
children were sent out every morning to the country homes which were
not too far off to beg for food and help.

"Poor little children!" exclaimed Maria, when Miguel had finished his
story. "We will help you all we can, won't we, papa?" And the child's
eyes were full of tears, as she said:

"We may be homeless like them, yet."

Isabella ran to call her mother and ask her help. Clothing was
collected, and all the food the family could spare was put into
baskets. It was far too large a load for the little girls to carry, so
Ramon and Miguel went with them.

"What a good servant Miguel is!" said Señor Diaz to his wife, after
they were gone. "So many of the blacks are lazy, and only think of
their own comfort. But Miguel is always good-natured and ready to
help."



CHAPTER IV.

NEXT-DOOR NEIGHBOURS.


IT was a beautiful Sunday morning. The birds were singing gaily
outside. Maria opened her eyes. Perhaps she would have slept longer if
she had not been wakened by a sound in the next room. It was Ramon who
was calling.

"Say, Maria, what shall we do to-day while father and mother are gone
to church? Let's go over to the plantation. You know we've been invited
ever so many times, and it is such fun watching the men at work."

"All right," said Maria, "but there's no hurry. We will wait till after
the folks have gone before we start."

Just beyond the home of the Diaz children was an immense sugar
plantation. It covered at least a square mile of land. The rich planter
who owned it employed more than a hundred black men. It was cutting
season now, and the work was carried on day and night, both Sundays
and week-days. Sunday afternoon, however, was a half-holiday, even
in the busiest time, and the black people then gave themselves up to
merrymaking, no matter how tired they were.

[Illustration: "THEY SAT BACK IN THE LOW, BROAD SEAT"]

By nine o'clock Señor Diaz and his wife had left home in the
oddest-looking carriage you ever heard of. It was a _volante_. There
is nothing like it anywhere else in the world. It looked somewhat like
an old-fashioned chaise. It had immense wheels, and the shafts were at
least sixteen feet long.

We think at once, how clumsily one must move along in such a carriage.
But it is not so. It is the best thing possible for travelling over the
rough roads of Cuba. It swings along from side to side so easily
that a person is not bumped or jostled as he would be in any other kind
of carriage. But one does not see many new volantes in Cuba now. They
are going out of fashion.

Señor Diaz was very proud of this carriage when it was new. It was
trimmed with bands of silver. It had beautiful silk cushions. Even now,
the good man and his wife looked quite elegant as they sat back in the
low, broad seat. Isabella sat between them.

Miguel rode on the horse's back as driver. He wore a scarlet jacket
trimmed with gold braid. He had on high boots with spurs at his heels.
He felt very proud. It made very little difference to him that his coat
was badly torn and the braid was tarnished. These were war-times and
one could not expect new clothes.

"If the people at the great house invite you to stay till evening, you
may do so," said Señor Diaz to his two older children just as he was
driving away. "I know you will be gentlemanly, Ramon; and Maria dear,
my little daughter will certainly be quiet and ladylike."

Away swung the volante down the road, while Ramon and Maria put on
their wide straw hats and started across the fields for the rich sugar
planter's home. They looked very pretty as they moved along under the
shade-trees. Both were barefooted; Maria wore a simple white dress, and
Ramon a linen shirt and trousers.

They reached their neighbour's grounds in a few minutes. They soon
found themselves in front of a large, low house with beautiful gardens
and shade-trees around it. But of what was the house made? It was of
the same material as Maria's home, yet we see nothing like it in our
own country. It was neither brick, nor wood, nor stone. Maria would say
to us:

"Why, this is 'adobe,' and it keeps out the sun's hot rays nicely.
Don't you know what adobe is? It is a mixture of clay and sand dried by
the sun. Some people call it unburnt brick. It was nearly white when
the house was new, but now you see it is quite yellow."

There was no glass in the window-cases. In such a warm land as Cuba
glass would keep out the air too much, and the people inside would
suffer from the heat. But there were iron bars across the casements;
there were also shutters to protect the house from the sun and rain.

The children went in at the door, opened by a black servant. She looked
kind and pleasant, and showed two rows of white teeth as she smiled at
the young visitors. A gorgeous yellow bandanna was wound around her
head.

"Come right in, little dears. Massa and missus will be glad to see
you; little Miss Lucia has been wishing for company to-day."

She led Ramon and Maria into a large sitting-room with two rows of
rocking-chairs opposite each other. They stretched nearly from one end
of the room to the other. There was scarcely any other furniture.

A minute afterward, Lucia opened the door. She was about Maria's age
and very pretty. But she was dressed like a grown-up young lady. She
carried in her hand a dainty little fan, which she moved gracefully as
she talked.

"Oh, I am so glad to see you," she cried. "But let us go out into the
garden; it is much pleasanter there; don't you think so? I want to show
you my sensitive plant. Did you ever have one?"

Maria and Ramon had heard their father speak of this plant, but they
had never happened to see one themselves. They followed Lucia out on
the balcony. A morning-glory vine was trailing up the trelliswork. It
was bright with its delicate blossoms, pink and blue and purple. Close
beside it was the sensitive plant.

"It came up of itself," said Lucia. "That is, you know, it was not
planted by any one. You see its leaves are wide open now. It is keeping
the morning-glory blossoms company. Perhaps they are talking together.
Who knows? But when night comes it will close up in the same way as the
petals of its next-door neighbour."

"Now, Ramon, just touch the leaves gently."

"Why, it acts as if afraid of me, doesn't it?" said the boy. "See how
it shrinks away, even before I take hold of it. I declare, it knows
more than some animals."

"Would you like to ride around the plantation? We have three ponies; so
each one of us can have one," said their little hostess.

Her visitors were delighted at the idea. While a servant was sent for
the ponies the children sat down under a royal palm-tree. It stood at
least sixty feet high. Its trunk was perfectly straight. Far up at the
top was the wide-spreading plume of leaves. There were no branches at
the sides.

"I just love this tree," said Lucia. "It seems so strong as well as
beautiful. Isn't it queer that the trunk of such a big tree should be
hollow?"

"I think it queerer still that the roots should be so small and fine,"
answered Ramon. "Did you ever eat what is found at the top of the royal
palm? Everybody says it is delicious."

"Yes, we had it boiled once for a dinner-party," said Lucia. "It was
delicious, but you know it kills the tree to take it off; so father
says it is almost wicked to get it. I think he is right."



CHAPTER V.

SUGAR.


BY this time the ponies had been brought up, and the young riders
started off.

How high the sugar-canes stood! The children could not see over the
tops, even from their ponies' backs. The long, narrow leaves hung down
much like our own Indian corn. Far up on each plant was a feathery
white plume. The stalks were now a golden yellow colour. This was
Mother Nature's sign that the cane was full of sap.

At Maria's home the cane had been already cut and made into sugar. But
there were only two or three fields. Here, on Lucia's plantation, there
were hundreds of acres. The men had been working for weeks already,
and it was not yet half cut.

"Oh, look, Ramon!" said Maria, "see that dear little black baby asleep
between the canes. She can't be more than two years old. The other
children must have gone away and forgotten her."

Ramon jumped down, and, picking up the little tot, lifted her up in
front of him on the pony's back. She had been waked up so suddenly that
she began to cry. But when the others smiled at her she rolled her big
eyes around, and soon began to laugh. She was going to have a ride with
white children, and that was a grand event in her life.

A turn in the rough road showed an ox-cart ahead. How small the Cuban
oxen are! But they are such gentle, patient creatures, a child could
drive them. How they pushed ahead with their heavy load!

When they were young a hole had been bored through the centre of their
nostrils, and an iron ring was passed through. When the oxen were
harnessed a rope was fastened on each side of this ring. The black
driver held the ends of the rope, and guided the oxen. He had no whip,
for it was not needed.

"Let's follow him up to the top of the hill," said Lucia. "He must
carry his load to the boiler-house that way, and I do like to watch the
oxen go down a steep place. There, see! The man will not even get off;
he's perfectly safe."

As the heavily loaded wagon passed over the brow of the hill, the oxen
squatted down like dogs, and seemed to slide rather than walk, till
they reached the foot.

"Bravo!" shouted Ramon. "I'd trust such creatures anywhere. They ought
to be rewarded with a good supper to-night. And now that they have
reached level ground see how well they trot along. These dear little
ponies cannot do much better."

The children still followed the ox-cart, and soon reached the
sugar-mill. Immense machines were crushing the canes, and the sap was
flowing into great tanks from which it was afterward taken to be boiled.

"What does the molasses come from?" you may ask. All Cuban children
would tell you at once that it is the drippings from the newly made
sugar.

Lucia's father does not sell his molasses, as do many other planters.
He thinks it is not worth while. You cannot guess what use he makes of
it. His work-people spread it on the ground to make it richer for the
next year's crop.

His wife does not think of having it used in cooking, either, as
American women do, and so Lucia has never tasted gingerbread in her
life. Perhaps you feel sorry for her. Never mind. She enjoys sucking
the juice from the fresh sugar-cane as well as the black children on
her father's plantation; she has as much of this as she wishes, so she
never misses the molasses cookies and cakes you like so much.

"Lucia, how is it your father keeps on having the cane cut?" asked
Ramon, as the children stood watching the sap boiling down to sugar.
"You know, don't you, a new law has been passed ordering the work
stopped? It is all because the Spaniards are afraid that the poor
insurgents will get food and help from the sugar planters."

"Yes, I know," answered Lucia. "I heard father talking about it. He
said he had paid the government a large sum of money to let him keep
on. So he's all right. But perhaps I ought not to have said this, for
it is his own business, and I should not repeat what I hear."

The children entered the sugar-mill, and stood watching the workers.
Every one was so busy that no notice was taken of the young visitors.
Here were great troughs full of the canes which were being crushed by
heavy rollers; the juice was flowing fast into the tanks below. And
there were the caldrons full of the boiling syrup; by their sides stood
men with long, heavy skimmers stirring the juice, and taking off the
scum which rose to the surface.

[Illustration: "THE MACHINES MADE A STEADY, GRINDING SOUND"]

There were large, shallow pans close by, where the sugar was placed to
cool. The air was full of the sweet smell of the sugar; the engines
were clanking noisily; the machines made a steady, grinding sound, and,
above all, the cries of the negroes could be heard, as they called to
each other at their work.

A few minutes was long enough for the children to stay in this busy,
steaming place. Then they went out again into the bright, clear air.
After giving the black baby into the charge of one of the negro girls
who was standing near by, our little cousins mounted their ponies,
and rode slowly back to the house.

They passed field after field where men were cutting down the tall
sugar-canes. How rapidly they moved along, leaving the ground quite
clear, as they passed over it! Was it such hard work? They certainly
bent over very much as they lifted the heavy, clumsy tools in their
hands. These tools looked somewhat like long cheese-knives, only they
were much thicker and heavier.

Ramon would say, "Why, those are machetes. I wish I could use one now
in defending my country. Many a brave insurgent has nothing else to
fight with excepting the machete he brought from his little farm. No
guns can be obtained, for the Spaniards hold the cities, and will not
allow any weapons to get to the Cubans. But those machetes will do
great good yet."

As the boy watched the men working, he was thinking how differently
he would like to use the machete, but he did not say anything of this
kind to Lucia. He was just a little afraid that her father was not as
anxious for Cuba to be free as he and his own parents were.

When the children reached the house, Lucia's parents insisted that
Ramon and Maria should spend the day, and a delicious luncheon was now
waiting for them.

"This afternoon," said the planter, "you may go over to the quarters
and see the fun. You know it is a half-holiday, and there will be great
good times among the blacks."



CHAPTER VI.

THE QUARTERS.


AFTER a little rest in the garden, the children started out once more.
This time they chose to walk, taking Lucia's big dog with them for
company.

Even before they started, they could hear the sound of drums and
shouting and laughter coming from the quarters. They did not have far
to go before they came upon a crowd of black children. The boys were
having a game of ball. It was so confused it would be hard to describe
it. It certainly could not be called baseball, nor anything like it.

And here were the cabins, built close together. Cocoanut and mango
trees shaded the little huts. Near each one was a small garden where
the people raised the vegetables they liked best. Okra was sure to be
seen here, for what old mammy could be satisfied with her Sunday dinner
unless she had some of this delicious plant in at least one of the
dishes? Here also was the chicota, much like our summer squash, and
corn, on which the pigs must be fattened.

As for fruits, there were custard-apple and sour-sop trees, the
maumee, looking much like a melon; besides many other things which
grow so easily in the warm lands. Chickens were running about in every
direction, while there seemed as many pens with pigs grunting inside as
there were cabins.

How happy the people all seemed! That is, all but a baby here and there
who had been forgotten by his mother and was crying to keep himself
company as he sprawled about on the ground. And how grand the women
thought themselves in the bright red and yellow bandannas wound around
their heads!

You may be sure that all of the jewelry the people owned was worn that
day. Maria could not help smiling at one young girl who had immense
rings in her ears, three chains of glass beads around her neck, heavy
brass rings on her fingers, and broad bracelets that clinked together
on her arms. She strutted around as proudly as the peacocks near by.

They are handsome birds, but very vain and silly, like this poor black
girl who seemed to admire herself so greatly. She tossed her head from
side to side as she got ready to lead the dance.

The drummer bent to his work with all his heart; one pair of dancers
after another took their places, and moved in perfect time with faster
and faster steps. The crowd of bystanders watched them in admiration.

Under the shade of a mango-tree two black children were playing a game
of dominoes.

"What a nice set it is," said Ramon to his sister. "I am going to ask
them if they bought it. It must have cost quite a big sum for them to
spend."

The older of the two players heard Ramon's words. He looked up with a
proud smile that made his mouth stretch from ear to ear as he said:

"I made them all myself, little master. I got the wood from an
ebony-tree."

"But of what did you make the white points set into the dominoes?"
asked Ramon. "They look like ivory."

"I cut them out of alligator's teeth, little master. Now didn't I do
well?"

This was said with another broad grin and a big roll of his eyes that
made Lucia and Maria laugh in spite of themselves.

"Well, I should say so," answered Ramon.

"You deserve a medal. But can you read and write? A boy as smart as you
ought to go to school."

"No, little master. But that doesn't trouble me any. I don't need any
learning," was the answer. And no doubt the little fellow had no idea
but that he was as well off as any one need be. He could play in the
sunshine all day long and he had plenty of good food. Wasn't his mother
a fine cook, though! He was right in thinking so, too, for she could
make the nicest "messes" out of the herbs and vegetables growing in the
little garden behind the cabin.

There were melons and plantains in abundance; salt fish or jerked beef
to eat every day, and a long sleep at night on a straw bed in the
cabin. Oh, life was a lovely thing! And what should the little black
boy know of the cruel war and the Cuban children who had been driven
away from their homes? To be sure, he had heard sad stories in his
life, but they were about the old times when his people were brought
to Cuba as slaves. He had listened to his father's tales of slavery,
although he himself had been free ever since he was a little child.

The boy's grandfather was born far away in Africa where the sun was
always hot. He had lived a wild, happy life in his little village under
the palm-trees by the side of a broad river. As he grew up he hunted
the panther and the elephant, and made scarecrows to frighten away the
monkeys from the corn-fields. He was very happy.

But one day a band of white men took the village by surprise. They
took many other prisoners besides himself. The poor blacks were put in
chains and driven on board boats in which the white men had come to the
place.

Down the river they sailed, never more to see their little thatched
homes and have gay feasts under the palms. At last they came to the
great ocean, where a large vessel was waiting for them. As they were
packed away in the hold of the vessel, no notice was taken of their
cries except a lash of the whip, now and then, across their bare backs.

Then came the long voyage, and the dreadful seasickness in the crowded
hold of the vessel. Many died before the shores of Cuba came in sight.
But when those who still lived were able once more to stand on dry land
they were too weak and sick to care where they should go next.

In a few days, however, they found themselves working under masters on
the sugar plantations, and making new homes and friends among those who
were slaves like themselves.

The little domino player told Manuel that his grandfather worked so
faithfully that after awhile he was given a part of each day for his
own use. In this way he earned money enough to buy his own freedom
as well as his wife's. But he had children growing up who were still
slaves. He wished them to be free also.

Then came an order from the Spanish rulers that all the slaves should
be gradually given their liberty. But this was not till many years
after their black brothers in America had been set free by that great
man, President Lincoln.



CHAPTER VII.

HOME AGAIN.


AFTER Ramon and Maria got home that night they told Paulina about their
visit to the quarters, and their talk with the little domino player.
Paulina knew him well, and said he was a very bright and good boy.

"Some of those little negroes are too lazy," she declared, "but Pedro
is always busy. I wish he could go to school, for he will make a smart
man."

She went on to tell more of the old days. There was one story of which
she was very fond. It was of a cargo of slaves who were being brought
to Cuba. They outwitted their masters. This was the way they did it.

After the ship had been sailing for many days, it began to leak badly.
The water poured in so fast that all hands were kept busy pumping it
out. It seemed, after a while, to rush in faster than the men could
get it out. The ship's carpenter went around the vessel, and hunted in
every part, but could not find a single leak.

"It is the work of the evil one," cried the captain.

The slaves wrung their hands, and wailed, while the crew worked at the
pumps till they were quite worn out. When it seemed as though the ship
must soon sink, an island came in sight. The Spaniards quickly lowered
provisions and water into the small boats, and rowed away, leaving the
slaves to die, as they supposed.

But they had no sooner got well out of reach than the ship began to
rise out of the water. The black people could be seen dancing about on
the deck in delight. The sails were set to the wind, and away sped the
vessel.

How was it possible? This was the whole story. The prisoners had gotten
hold of some knives, with which they cut through the outer planking of
the vessel. Of course, it began to leak sadly. But when the carpenter
searched for these leaks the slaves had cleverly filled the holes with
plugs packed with oakum, and he could not find them.

In this way the whole cargo of negroes succeeded in getting out of the
clutches of the Spaniards. Old Paulina chuckled as she told the story
and thought of the cleverness of her people.



CHAPTER VIII.

STARTLING NEWS.


IT was a pleasant evening in February. The children felt gay and happy,
for their father was getting so much stronger. Why, this very day he
had walked with them a mile in an excursion to a cave. Miguel had told
them such wonderful things about it, they begged their father to take
them there. Although they lived so near, they had never happened to
visit it before.

When they reached the spot, they were obliged to crouch down in order
to enter the cave. The opening was merely a small hole between the
rocks. But, as they crept down under the ground, the passage grew
wider, and led into a large room.

"Do you suppose Robinson Crusoe's cave was anything like this?" Maria
asked her brother.

But the answer was, "I don't think so; you know it was not beautiful.
And see here, Maria, look at those shining pendants hanging from the
roof. They are as clear as diamonds. Oh, look down beside your feet;
there are more of those lovely things; they are reaching up to meet
those coming from above."

"What makes them, papa?"

Señor Diaz then explained to the children that there must be a great
deal of lime in the rocks overhead, and that, when the water slowly
filtered through the roof of the cave, it brought with it the lime
which formed in these wonderful crystals.

"People pay great sums of money for precious stones," said their
father, "but what could be more beautiful than these shining pyramids!
The pendants hanging from the roof are called stalactites. Those
reaching up from the floor of the cave are stalagmites. Do you suppose
you can remember such hard words, my dear little Isabella? But come,
children, I have something else to show you here."

He led the children to a little pond, in which they could dimly see, by
the light of the torch, fish sporting about in the water.

"Those fishes are happy as can be, yet they are perfectly blind. I made
some experiments years ago that led me to discover it. You see how dark
it is. The creatures living here would have no use for eyesight, so
they gradually became blind. We can only keep the organs of our body in
good condition by using them."

It was no wonder the children enjoyed the day with their father, as
he always had so much of interest to tell them. This evening, as they
sat on the balcony, Maria was talking about the fish that lived in
darkness, when Ramon suddenly exclaimed:

"Look! look! the garden is fairly alive with lights. The cucujos are
giving us a display of fireworks. Let's catch them, and have some fun.
Except in the rainy season, it is not often that we see so many." He
ran into the house for a candle, and the three children were soon
chasing the cucujos along the walks.

The light of the candle attracted the insects, then it was an easy
matter to catch hundreds of them in a fine thread net. We should call
them fireflies, but they are much larger and more brilliant than any
insect we have ever seen.

As they floated along above the flowers, Maria said they always made
her think of fairies with their torch-bearers. The light was soft
and cloud-like, yet it was bright enough to show the colours of the
flowers, although the night was quite dark.

"Why not make a belt of them for your waists, as well as necklaces
and bracelets?" Ramon asked his sisters. "Then you can go in and show
yourselves to mother. You can tell her you are all ready for a party."

"All right," answered the girls. "But you must help us, Ramon."

How could the children do such things without hurting the beautiful
little creatures, we wonder. But they knew a way, as they had done them
before.

Each cucujo has a tiny hook near its head, which can be fastened in a
person's clothing without harming it in the least. Grown-up ladies in
Havana often adorn themselves in this way when going to a party. They
look very brilliant, I assure you.

It was not many minutes before Maria and Isabella were fairly ablaze
with lights. Then they danced into the house to be admired by their
parents.

"Now let's take them off and put them in those wicker cages you made
last summer, Ramon," said Isabella. "I'm sure the poor little things
are tired of hanging from our clothes. They must wish to fly around
once more. They will not mind being shut up in the cages for a day or
two, if we give them plenty of sugar to eat."

"All right, but I wouldn't keep them shut up long enough to make pets
of them," said her brother. "I cannot help believing they would rather
be free."

As he said these words, there was a step on the garden walk, and a
moment later a strange man stood in front of the children.

"Is your father at home?" he asked. "I have a message for him."

Ramon hurried into the house. Señor Diaz came out and spoke with the
stranger in low tones. When he went back into the sitting-room he
carried in his hand a piece of paper that looked perfectly blank. The
stranger had disappeared again into the darkness.

"What did the children's good father do with that paper?" you ask.

He went quickly to his desk and put it under lock and key. Nothing
could be done with it till the morning sun should light up the eastern
sky.

"Then what?" you curiously ask again.

If we could have watched Señor Diaz, we should have seen him go to his
desk once more, take out the precious paper, and go over it with a hair
pencil dipped in a bottle of colorless liquid.

After that, we should have seen Maria running with the paper to the
window, where the sun's rays would dry it quickly. Lo and behold!
writing began to appear which threw the whole family into a great state
of excitement. These were the words:

"The U. S. warship _Maine_ has been blown up. The Americans are
roused. They believe without doubt that the Spaniards are the doers of
the terrible deed. Victory shall be ours at last, for the United States
will now surely take our part against Spain."

There was no signature to the letter.

That very night Maria's household were wakened by a brilliant light
pouring into their windows. It came from the burning plantation where
Lucia had her home. When morning dawned there was no trace of a
building left on the whole place. No person was injured, however, but
Lucia and her parents went to friends in Havana. The rich planter had
become a poor man in a single night.

Who had set the fire? It was probably the insurgents, who had
discovered that the planter was a friend of the Spaniards and was
secretly working against the freedom of Cuba.



CHAPTER IX.

FIRST YEARS IN THE NEW WORLD.


"PAPA dear," said Maria, one evening not long after this, "why did our
people ever leave Spain and come here to make a home for themselves? Of
course, they had heard what a beautiful island it is, but was that the
only reason?"

"They had indeed heard this, my child, but they also believed they
could become rich by raising sugar-cane or tobacco. Great fortunes were
made in the old days on the plantations here. My own grandfather was a
very wealthy man.

"But you know the story of Cuba since then. The heavy taxes and the
cruel laws of Spain caused my relatives, as well as thousands of other
families, to lose their fortunes. We have tried to free ourselves many
times but have not succeeded yet."

"Well, don't be sad, papa dear; the good time is coming quickly now,
you know. We have not had as hard a time as the poor savages Columbus
found here, anyway. How I do pity them!" said Maria, with her eyes full
of tears.

"Yes, they had a sad time of it indeed," her father went on. "They
thought at first the white men were angels and the boats they sailed
in were beautiful birds that had brought the visitors straight from
heaven. But they soon changed their minds.

"Columbus was greatly excited when he looked upon the plants and trees
so different from any he had ever seen. He said: 'I will call this
place the "Pearl of the Antilles,"' and so it has been called to this
day. He also wrote of it, 'It is as much more grand and beautiful than
any other land as the day is brighter than the night.'

"I suppose you know, Maria, that Columbus visited Cuba four times, and
yet he never discovered that it was an island."

"I wish you would tell me more about the savages he found here," Maria
said. "Of course, I know there is not a trace of them left in the land.
Their hard work in the mines and the cruel treatment of the Spaniards
soon killed them off. Oh, it is a wicked, wicked shame!"

"Their skins were bronze in colour, like the Indians of North America;
but they did not know where their own people came from. Once they were
asked this question by one of the white strangers. They only answered
by pointing their hands upward. It was as much as to say, 'From heaven!'

"The women had long and beautiful hair, but the men had no beards
whatever. They painted their bodies with the red earth so common on
the island, and adorned their heads with the feathers of brilliant
birds.

"They lived mostly in the open air, and slept in hammocks under the
trees. They made their hammocks out of the wild cotton you have seen
growing in the fields. The women spun and wove this into the only cloth
they ever used.

"They had no gardens. They had no need to plough and plant, for nature
gave them all they needed. There were many fruits growing wild then,
as now. They picked the delicious mangoes, bananas, and custard-apples
which were so plentiful. They gathered the yams and maize which also
grew wild all over the island. What more could they wish?"

"I should think they would have liked a little meat once in awhile,"
said Maria, who had been very much interested in everything her father
said.

[Illustration: "'IT IS LIKE A BIG LIZARD'"]

"Certainly," he replied, "these savages liked hunting, and often
brought home game to be roasted. They were very fond of the meat of the
iguana. You have often seen this reptile, Maria."

"Oh, I know," she replied; "Ramon shot one only the other day. It is
like a big lizard."

"Yes, that is true. The Indians also hunted the voiceless dog, as we
sometimes call the creature even now. I hardly know why the Spaniards
gave it such a name. It is more like a rabbit than any other animal.
There were great numbers on the island in the old times."

"You said the Indians slept mostly in hammocks," said Maria. "Didn't
they have any houses?"

"Oh, yes, but they stayed in them very little, except during the
rains. They built them of wood and palm leaves. They were clustered
together in villages. Sometimes there were two or three hundred houses
in one settlement, while several families used one house in common."

"How did they defend themselves?" Maria asked, as her father stopped
speaking.

"They had lances pointed with sea shells, and wooden swords," he
replied. "These were more for show than for use, for you know they
were a sober, peaceful people. Such weapons would have been of little
use if they had tried to fight with the Spaniards. The easiest thing
would have been for them to leave the island and seek a new home. But
they were not wise enough for that, although they had large canoes in
which they might have travelled to some distance. They dug them out of
the trunks of trees. Some of them were large enough to hold fifty men.
Their oars were well shaped, but they used them only as paddles. They
had no row-locks.

"They were a happy people, although quiet and serious in most of their
ways. They used to dance and sing at their merry-makings, and their
music was quite sweet."

"Papa dear, if you are not too tired, won't you tell me again about the
great Spaniard who was entertained by the Indians? It was before they
learned to fear the white strangers, and they still believed they were
friends."

"Let me see, little daughter. Oh, yes, now I know whom you mean. I told
you that story long ago. I am surprised you should remember it.

"It was Bartholomew Columbus, who was sent to act as governor during
the admiral's absence. He passed from one place to another on the
island to collect tribute from the chiefs. These chiefs had already
learned how eager the Spaniards were for gold; so they gave it to the
governor freely and cheerfully. That is, of course, those who had it.
But if they could not give this they presented the white man with
quantities of the wild cotton.

"There was one chief who prepared a grand entertainment in honour of
his visitors. A procession of women came out to meet them, each one
bearing a branch of the palm-tree. This was a sign of submission. After
the women, came a train of young girls with their long hair hanging
over their graceful shoulders.

"A great feast was spread in the chief's palace and the visitors were
entertained with music and dancing. When night came, a cotton hammock
was given to each to sleep in.

"For four days the feasting and games and dancing were kept up. Then
the visitors were loaded with presents and their dark-coloured hosts
kept them company for quite a distance as they journeyed onward to the
next stopping-place.

"Could any people do more to show themselves friendly than these poor,
gentle savages? Ah! how sadly they were repaid for their trust in the
white men!

"But come, we have thought enough about the past. Let us return to the
present and the great things that are daily happening around us."



CHAPTER X.

THE MERRIMAC.


EVERY day now was full of excitement for the Diaz family. Letters were
often brought to the house by some secret messenger. Each time they
told of some new and surprising event.

The insurgents were braver than ever before. They dared more because
they knew of the good friends coming to help them. Yes, the United
States was getting troops ready to meet the Spaniards on Cuban soil.
And our great war-ships were gathering also. They, too, were coming to
help Cuba.

The great battle-ship _Oregon_ was speeding through two oceans that
she, also, might take part. The eyes of the whole world were watching
her voyage, and millions of people were praying for her safety. How we
love the _Oregon_ to-day and the brave captain and sailors who brought
her safely through her long journey!

One little American boy, only nine years old, felt so sorry for the
suffering children of Cuba that he wrote these words:

    "War, war, war on Spain,
     Who blew up our beautiful, beautiful _Maine_.
     Think of the poor little Cuban dears,
     Think of their hardships, their sorrows, their tears,
     Who die every day for the want of some food;
     Wouldn't you be in a fighting mood?
     Then hurrah! for the soldiers who nobly do fight
     In the cause of the weak and for Nature's great right."

This is not very good poetry, but it shows the deep feeling of our
children for their little Cuban cousins.

Maria, in her pretty little home under the palm-trees, was spared, yet,
as she and we knew, there were thousands of children no older than
herself who suffered and died before Cuba was free. Our little cousin
was delighted when she knew that the American fleet was actually close
to the shores of her land.

But the Spanish war-vessels were here too. They were lying in the
harbour of Santiago. It was at the other end of the island, but news
passed from one to another very quickly among the insurgents. Ramon
drew pictures of the two fleets as he imagined they looked. He made
new pictures every day. How he longed to see them with his own eyes! I
really fear that he would have run away from home and joined the army
at this exciting time, if he had not loved his parents so dearly.

Why did the Spanish fleet stay in the harbour of Santiago? Why did
they not go out and meet the American war-ships? Were they afraid? It
certainly seemed so. They believed they were in a very safe place.
There was only a narrow entrance to the harbour. It was defended at
each side of this opening, for on the left were new batteries which had
lately been set up, and on the right was the grand old Morro Castle
which had stood there for hundreds of years. In the olden times it had
defended Cuba against her enemies more than once.

"Morro" means hill, and the fortress at Santiago was well named, for
it is built on a rocky promontory several hundred feet high, at the
junction of the open sea and the San Juan River.

Mines were sunk in the narrow entrance to the harbour so that, if the
American ships should dare to enter, they would explode these mines and
be destroyed like the _Maine_. It was no wonder the Spanish admiral
thought they were safe in staying where they were.

Then it happened that a young American thought of a plan by which the
Spaniards might be caught in a trap. His name was Lieutenant Hobson.
It was a very daring plan, but he was a wonderfully brave man.

He said to Admiral Sampson, who commanded the American fleet:

"Let me take the _Merrimac_. It is a coaling vessel and very heavy.
It has six hundred tons of coal on board. We can place torpedoes in
different parts of the ship. A few men can help me sail her into the
channel. When the narrowest part is reached we will fire off the
torpedoes and escape from her before she sinks. That is, we will do so
if we can. But the _Merrimac_ will be across the narrow channel and the
Spanish ships cannot get out. Our own ships will then be free to attack
another part of the island. The Spanish seamen will have to remain
where they are till they are glad to surrender."

Admiral Sampson had thought of many plans, but he liked this one of
Lieutenant Hobson's best of all.

But who should be chosen to go with the brave man on this dangerous
errand? Chosen! Why, there were hundreds who asked to share his danger,
and only six could go with him. You would have thought it was some
great festival they longed to take part in, if you could have seen how
disappointed the men were, who had begged to go and were refused.

But no, it was a fight with death. To begin with, the _Merrimac_ must
pass the batteries and Morro Castle. She and those on board might
easily be destroyed before she reached the place where the work was
to be done. And then, when her own torpedoes should be fired off, how
could Hobson and his men expect to escape from the sinking ship?

But they were risking their lives in the cause of those who needed
their help. You and I know now that they were brought safely through
all the dangers which surrounded them.

The _Merrimac_ passed the guns of the Morro unharmed, for the Spaniards
were poor marksmen. She reached the narrow channel where Hobson meant
to do his great work. But a shot from the batteries knocked away her
rudder, so they could not steer her across the narrow channel. Then
a great mine exploded under her and tore a big hole in her side. She
began to sink.

Hobson and his men lay flat upon the deck. Shells and bullets came
whizzing about them. They dared not rise, even though the ship was
breaking apart as the shells crashed through her sides.

At length the _Merrimac_ had sunk so low that the water was up to her
deck. A raft floated close to the men. It was one they had brought with
them to help in escaping. They caught hold of the edges and kept their
heads above water.

Just then a Spanish launch drew near. The men on board were about to
fire when Hobson cried out and asked if an officer were in the boat, as
he wished to surrender. Admiral Cervera, the commander of the Spanish
fleet, had himself sent the boat. He ordered the firing to cease and
accepted Hobson and his men as prisoners of war.

When the news of Hobson's brave deed reached Maria, she could think of
nothing else for days afterward. She would picture him in his cell at
Morro Castle, looking out to sea where the American fleet were still
cruising.

"How proud of him they must all be!" she cried to Ramon.

"They can't be any prouder of him than we are to have such friends as
he," the boy replied. "Why, he will be looked upon now as one of the
greatest heroes the world ever knew. I shall always be proud of Morro
Castle because of his having been confined there.

"You know, we went all over the place when we were little, Maria. I
believe he is kept prisoner in that part of the castle which is built
over the water cave. You know we heard that he can look far out on the
sea from his windows.

"Think of the dungeons underneath, where people were locked up years
ago. We peeked into one of them that day we visited the fortress and I
remember how dark and damp they were. I do hope Hobson is treated well
and won't have to stay at Morro very long."



CHAPTER XI.

VICTORY.


IT was only a few mornings after the news of Hobson's brave venture.
The children were out in the garden, where Ramon had discovered a
chameleon on a grass plot. It was a sunny day, so perhaps that was the
reason the chameleon's skin was such a bright green.

"You know how gray they look on dull days," said Ramon. "Perhaps if
I should put him on the branch of that tree, now, he would change to
a brownish tint, to look as much as possible like it. He's a stupid
little thing, though. If he does change colour, I don't believe he
knows it himself. Mother Nature takes care of him, you know, and
makes him change as a kind of protection. He has no way of defending
himself, but if he is of the same colour as the substance around him,
it is hard for his enemies to find him.

"Oh, dear! it makes me laugh when I think of a battle I once saw
between two chameleons. They stood facing each other. Their small
eyes glared as they slowly opened and shut their jaws like pairs of
scissors. They moved about once a minute. I did not have time to see
which won the battle; it took too long a time for them to do anything."

As the children stood watching the lizard they heard the sound of hoofs
down the road. Then there was a cloud of dust as a horseman came riding
rapidly along. He turned in at the driveway.

"What news? What news?" cried Ramon, who rushed to meet him.

It was an old friend of the family who had given secret help to the
Cuban soldiers throughout their struggle for freedom.

"Of course, you knew the American troops had landed, didn't you? Well,
run in and ask your father to come out. I can only stop a moment and I
have much to tell him."

The gentleman had hardly stopped speaking before Señor Diaz appeared on
the veranda. He was told about the position of the Americans not far
from Santiago. They had met General Garcia, the brave leader of the
insurgents. The Cuban and American armies were now working together.
Battles had already been fought with the common enemy.

But that which interested the children most was the story of the Rough
Riders and their daring charges at El Caney and San Juan Hill. Many
of these Rough Riders were men who had led a wild life on the plains
in America. Some of them had no book-learning; they were not what one
usually calls "gentlemen;" but they were great horsemen and brave
soldiers. They feared nothing in the world.

They were commanded by Colonel Wood, and had been recruited by
Lieutenant-Colonel Roosevelt, who had been out on the plains among them
when a young man. He admired their spirit and was glad to be their
commander now. He knew their ways. He led them up the San Juan heights
when the enemy was protected by forts and shooting right and left at
the Americans. But the Rough Riders charged onward with great courage
and gained the summit. They took possession of the blockhouse at the
top, and killed most of the Spaniards and drove the rest away. It was a
glorious fight and a glorious victory.

"A few more deeds like that, and war and trouble will be ended for us,"
said the gentleman as he rode away to carry the good news to others.

"Hurrah for Lawton and Roosevelt!" shouted Ramon as he danced about
the garden. "Santiago will soon be out of the hands of the Spaniards,
and they will be clearing out of Cuba altogether. It seems as though I
could not rest without shaking hands with our American friends."

The dear boy did not have long to wait, for the very next day came the
news that the Spanish fleet had been destroyed. It had tried to escape
out of the harbour, but had been discovered by the watchful Yankees. In
a few hours all of Spain's war-ships had been sunk or driven ashore.

What was now left for Cuba's tyrants? The battle-ships of the Great
Republic were ranged along her shores unharmed and strong as ever.
The Spanish troops were shut up in the city without hope of escape.
Surrender was the only thing possible to ward off great loss of life on
both sides.

The Spanish commander made a formal surrender to General Shafter, and
Spain's empire in the West Indies came to an end almost on the very
spot where it had begun four hundred years before.

And now the mines were taken out of the harbour and our battle-ships
could enter in safety. As our vessels glided inside one after another
they made a wonderful picture. The harbour seemed alive with boats, and
it looked like a floating city.

Still grander was the sight on land when thousands gathered around the
governor's beautiful palace at Havana to see the stars and stripes of
America unfurled. As the flag spread its folds to the breeze, the band
struck up the air we love so well. It was the "Star Spangled Banner."
Boom! boom! went the cannon, and thousands of American and Cuban hearts
were filled with joy.

"Victory! Victory!" shouted Ramon, when the good news reached him that
night. And "Victory!" cried little Isabella, who added with all her
childish might, "Long live Cuba." Even the parrot echoed the words of
the children. He seemed to feel that something very great must have
happened, for his voice was shriller than usual.

In fact, the family could have no peace in the house, even if there
were peace all over Cuba, till Master Poll's cage had been covered with
a thick, dark cloth, and he was made to believe that night had suddenly
fallen upon his home.



CHAPTER XII.

HAVANA.


"CHILDREN, would you like to go to Havana and visit our good friend
Señor Alvarez for a week? He has invited us all to come and talk over
the good fortune that has come to our land. You can have a good time
seeing the sights."

Of course the children were delighted at their father's words; so it
came to pass that Maria found herself, a day or two afterward, in a
beautiful home in the very heart of the great city.

It was a grand house to her childish eyes. It was all of stone, covered
with a yellowish stucco. It was at least a hundred years old, she was
told. It was built around the four sides of an open square, and had
no piazzas on the outside like her own home. But the court inside was
very beautiful. A fountain played here all day long, and there were
blossoming plants standing in pots on the marble floor.

The family spent much of their time on the verandas in this court. It
was far pleasanter than inside the house, where the windows were so
heavily barred that they made one not used to the custom feel almost
as if he were in a prison. The doors of the house were bullet-proof to
make it safe against attack. There was but one entrance to the house,
and that led directly into the court. Here the family carriage always
stood unless it was in use.

The gentleman who lived here had one son, a little older than Ramon.
He showed the children all around the city. As they went from place
to place, he told them how hard his father had worked to raise money
for the Cuban soldiers. His mother sold all her jewels, that she
might help, too. But they had to do this secretly, of course. If the
Spaniards had discovered it, they might have lost their lives. This
boy's name was Blanco. He was a fine, manly fellow, and was looking
forward now to coming to America.

"I shall go to Harvard College," he told Maria. "I wish to be a
minister, but I'm afraid if I do become one, I shall not feel like
praying for the Spaniards."

The boy's heart was still bitter, but perhaps he will feel more kindly
when he grows older.

One day he took his young friends out to Morro Castle. Havana has a
hill fortress of that name, as well as Santiago. Although Hobson and
his men had never been imprisoned in this one, yet the Diaz children
were glad to see it.

It stood on a rocky point reaching into the sea. The great guns were
still pointing out between the masses of yellow stone. But they were
silent. The American flag was waving and peace ruled in the land,
although soldiers were on guard here and all through the city.

[Illustration: "THE AMERICAN FLAG WAS WAVING AND PEACE RULED IN THE
LAND"]

At the far end of the fortress was a tall lighthouse. It stood like a
sentinel to stand watch against possible danger. Once upon a time a
wall reached from the great fort in both directions around the city of
Havana. But now there was scarcely a trace of it left.

"How narrow and dirty the streets are," said Maria as they left the
Morro. "I must say I would rather live in the country, if I could
choose for myself."

"It doesn't matter so much about the width of the streets," said
Blanco, "or the poor sidewalks, either. Because, you know, we almost
always ride. The working people are the ones who walk. But I do not
like the dirt. That is all the fault of the Spaniards. They taxed us
enough, but they kept the money for themselves.

"Last summer I was very sick with yellow fever. Mother thought I would
not get well. She said she believed we had so much of this dreadful
disease because the city is allowed to be so unclean.

"But look quickly at that Punch and Judy show! Let's stop and watch it.
There is a man playing the harp to make it more entertaining."

The children leaned out of the carriage to see the show. Isabella had
never seen Punch and Judy before, and she was greatly delighted. In a
few minutes they moved on, but soon stopped again, for here stood a
man turning a hand-organ with a monkey beside him dressed in a most
ridiculous little suit of clothes. The monkey was dancing to the music.
Suddenly he gave a spring and landed in the carriage right in Maria's
lap.

Off came the monkey's cap into his little hands, and with the most
solemn look it was held up to each of the children in turn.

"Take that, you poor little beggar," said Ramon as he put a silver coin
into the cap. Down jumped the monkey and off he scampered to his master.

There were many odd sights for the little country cousins. Among them
were Chinese peddlers showing the pretty ornaments which had been
brought across the ocean. Once the children passed a cow that was being
led home after her morning's work. She had gone with her master from
house to house, stopping long enough at each place for her to give as
much milk as the people wished.

The cow was followed by a man leading a long train of mules. They were
laden with empty baskets. They, too, were going home, as they had left
their loads at the markets in the city.

The sun was quite hot and the party hurried home to rest during the
noon hours, for, of course, every one took a nap at this time of the
day. They might not all lie down; perhaps some of those who had stores
in the busy part of the city would not leave their places of business;
they might only lean back and doze in their chairs; but they would
certainly keep quiet and close their eyes, if nothing more. It made one
think of the story of the "Sleeping Beauty" to see Havana at twelve
o'clock, noon, in the summer season.

As for Maria, the dainty maiden quite enjoyed her rest at the great
city house. She could lie very comfortably in a hammock while a little
negro girl kept off the flies and mosquitoes with a big fan. She needed
the nap in the city more than at home because she was awakened so early
by the bells.

Perhaps the children enjoyed Sunday more than any other day during
their stay in the city, for it was then that they visited the
cathedral containing the tomb of Columbus. There were many churches and
grand buildings in Havana, but none could interest the children like
this.

It was not very far from the house, but they all went in the carriage,
carrying with them the mats to kneel on during the service. It was a
grand old stone building, overgrown with moss. There were many bells in
the two high towers. They were pealing loudly as the party drove up.

"Just think how old it is," whispered Maria to her brother as they
entered the building. "Blanco says that some of the bells were brought
from Spain more than two hundred years ago. Do look at the beautiful
marble pillars, Isabella. Isn't it a grand place?"

It was not yet time for the service to begin, so Blanco led the
children to the tomb of Columbus, where his ashes had rested for so
many years. It was at the right of the high altar. All that could be
seen was a marble tablet about seven feet square. Above it stood a bust
of the great discoverer.

"They say that Spain has asked the right to have the ashes, and America
is going to let her take them. But we shall still have the tomb and the
grand old cathedral where they have rested so long," said Blanco.

"Now come and admire the altar."

It stood on pillars of porphyry and was fairly covered with
candlesticks, images, and gaudy decorations. Somehow they did not go
well with the simple beauty of the rest of the church. But the children
admired it, for they were ready to admire everything.

When the service was over, they drove out by the governor-general's
palace. It was his no longer, however. The American general who had
charge of the city lived here now. No doubt he enjoyed the beautiful
gardens and ponds. He was very active in improving the city. Yes, the
work had already begun, and in a few months Maria would no longer be
able to complain of the dirt in Havana.

She could say again, but with a different thought in her busy little
mind, "To-morrow is another day."

Yes, although it is but a short time since Maria's visit to Havana,
even now everything is changed in the Diaz family. The good father no
longer worries; he is fast getting to be a strong, healthy man. He has
a fine position under the new government, and Maria lives in a new
home just outside the city of Havana. She is rapidly learning to speak
English, while one of her dearest friends is a little American girl who
has lately made her home in Cuba.


THE END.



THE LITTLE COUSIN SERIES

By MARY HAZELTON WADE


FIRST SERIES

These are the most interesting and delightful accounts possible of
child-life in other lands, filled with quaint sayings, doings, and
adventures. The "Little Japanese Cousin," with her toys in her wide
sleeve and her tiny bag of paper handkerchiefs; the "Little Brown
Cousin," in whose home the leaves of the breadfruit-tree serve for
plates and the halves of the cocoanut shells for cups; the "Little
Indian Cousin," who lives the free life of the forest, and the "Little
Russian Cousin," who dwells by the wintry Neva, are truly fascinating
characters to the little cousins who will read about them.

Four volumes, as follows:

    =Our Little Japanese Cousin=
    =Our Little Brown Cousin=
    =Our Little Indian Cousin=
    =Our Little Russian Cousin=

Each 1 vol., 12mo, cloth decorative, with 6 full-page illustrations in
tints, by L. J. Bridgman.

    Price, per volume                    $0.50 _net_ (postage extra)
    Price, per set, 4 vols., _boxed_      2.00 _net_ (postage extra)

    "Juveniles will get a whole world of pleasure and
    instruction out of Mary Hazelton Wade's Little Cousin
    Series.... Pleasing narratives give pictures of the
    little folk in the far-away lands in their duties and
    pleasures, showing their odd ways of playing, studying,
    their queer homes, clothes, and playthings.... The
    style of the stories is all that can be desired for
    entertainment, the author describing things in a very
    real and delightful fashion."--_Detroit News-Tribune._



THE LITTLE COUSIN SERIES

By MARY HAZELTON WADE


SECOND SERIES

The great success and prompt appreciation which this charming little
series met last season has led to its continuation this year with a
new set of child characters from other lands, each as original and
delightful as the little foreign cousins with whom the little cousins
at home became acquainted in last season's series.


Six volumes, as follows:

    =Our Little Cuban Cousin=
    =Our Little Hawaiian Cousin=
    =Our Little Eskimo Cousin=
    =Our Little Philippine Cousin=
    =Our Little Porto Rican Cousin=
    =Our Little African Cousin=

Each 1 vol., 12mo, cloth decorative, with 6 full-page illustrations in
tints by L. J. Bridgman.

    Price, per volume                  $0.50 _net_ (postage extra)
    Price, per set, 6 vols., boxed      3.00 _net_ (postage extra)

    "Boys and girls, reading the tales of these little
    cousins in different parts of the world, will
    gain considerable knowledge of geography and the
    queer customs that are followed among strange
    people."--_Chicago Evening Post._

    "Not only are the books interesting, but they
    are entertainingly instructive as well, and when
    entertainment can sugar-coat instruction, the book is
    one usually well worth placing in the hands of those to
    whom the knowledge will be useful."--_Utica Observer._

    "To many youthful minds this little series of books may
    open up the possibilities of a foreign world to which
    they had been total strangers. And interest in this
    wider sphere, the beyond and awayness, may bear rich
    fruit in the future."--_N. Y. Commercial Advertiser._



COSY CORNER SERIES


    It is the intention of the publishers that this
    series shall contain only the very highest and purest
    literature,--stories that shall not only appeal to the
    children themselves, but be appreciated by all those
    who feel with them in their joys and sorrows,--stories
    that shall be most particularly adapted for reading
    aloud in the family circle.

    The numerous illustrations in each book are by
    well-known artists, and each volume has a separate
    attractive cover design.

    Each, 1 vol., 16mo, cloth      $0.50


_By ANNIE FELLOWS JOHNSTON_


=The Little Colonel.=

The scene of this story is laid in Kentucky. Its heroine is a small
girl, who is known as the Little Colonel, on account of her fancied
resemblance to an old-school Southern gentleman, whose fine estate and
old family are famous in the region. This old Colonel proves to be the
grandfather of the child.


=The Giant Scissors.=

This is the story of Joyce and of her adventures in France,--the
wonderful house with the gate of The Giant Scissors, Jules, her little
playmate, Sister Denisa, the cruel Brossard, and her dear Aunt Kate.
Joyce is a great friend of the Little Colonel, and in later volumes
shares with her the delightful experiences of the "House Party" and the
"Holidays."


=Two Little Knights of Kentucky=,

WHO WERE THE LITTLE COLONEL'S NEIGHBORS.

In this volume the Little Colonel returns to us like an old friend, but
with added grace and charm. She is not, however, the central figure of
the story, that place being taken by the "two little knights," Malcolm
and Keith, little Southern aristocrats, whose chivalrous natures lead
them through a series of interesting adventures.


=Cicely and Other Stories for Girls.=

The readers of Mrs. Johnston's charming juveniles will be glad to learn
of the issue of this volume for young people, written in the author's
sympathetic and entertaining manner.


=Big Brother.=

A story of two boys. The devotion and care of Steven, himself a small
boy, for his baby brother, is the theme of the simple tale, the pathos
and beauty of which has appealed to so many thousands.


=Ole Mammy's Torment.=

"Ole Mammy's Torment" has been fitly called "a classic of Southern
life." It relates the haps and mishaps of a small negro lad, and tells
how he was led by love and kindness to a knowledge of the right.


=The Story of Dago.=

In this story Mrs. Johnston relates the story of Dago, a pet monkey,
owned jointly by two brothers. Dago tells his own story, and the
account of his haps and mishaps is both interesting and amusing.


_By EDITH ROBINSON_


=A Little Puritan's First Christmas:=

A STORY OF COLONIAL TIMES IN BOSTON.

A story of Colonial times in Boston, telling how Christmas was invented
by Betty Sewall, a typical child of the Puritans, aided by her
"unregenerate" brother, Sam.


=A Little Daughter of Liberty.=

The author's motive for this story is well indicated by a quotation
from her introduction, as follows:

"One ride is memorable in the early history of the American Revolution,
the well-known ride of Paul Revere. Equally deserving of commendation
is another ride,--untold in verse or story, its records preserved only
in family papers or shadowy legend, the ride of Anthony Severn was no
less historic in its action or memorable in its consequences."


=A Loyal Little Maid.=

A delightful and interesting story of Revolutionary days, in which the
child heroine, Betsey Schuyler, renders important services to George
Washington and Alexander Hamilton, and in the end becomes the wife of
the latter.


=A Little Puritan Rebel.=

Like Miss Robinson's successful story of "A Loyal Little Maid," this
is another historical tale of a real girl, during the time when the
gallant Sir Harry Vane was governor of Massachusetts.


=A Little Puritan Pioneer.=

The scene of this story is laid in the Puritan settlement at
Charlestown. The little girl heroine adds another to the list of
favorites so well known to the young people in "A Little Puritan
Rebel," etc.


_By OUIDA (Louise de la Ramée)_


=A Dog of Flanders:= A CHRISTMAS STORY.

Too well and favorably known to require description.


=The Nürnberg Stove.=

This beautiful story has never before been published at a popular price.


=A Provence Rose.=

A story perfect in sweetness and in grace.


=Findelkind.=

A charming story about a little Swiss herdsman.


_By MISS MULOCK_


=The Little Lame Prince.=

A delightful story of a little boy who has many adventures by means of
the magic gifts of his fairy godmother.


=Adventures of a Brownie.=

The story of a household elf who torments the cook and gardener, but is
a constant joy and delight to the children who love and trust him.


=His Little Mother.=

Miss Mulock's short stories for children are a constant source of
delight to them, and "His Little Mother," in this new and attractive
dress, will be welcomed by hosts of youthful readers.


=Little Sunshine's Holiday.=

An attractive story of a summer outing. "Little Sunshine" is another
of those beautiful child-characters for which Miss Mulock is so justly
famous.


_By JULIANA HORATIA EWING_


=Jackanapes.=

A new edition, with new illustrations, of this exquisite and touching
story, dear alike to young and old.


=Story of a Short Life.=

This beautiful and pathetic story will never grow old. It is a part of
the world's literature, and will never die.


=A Great Emergency.=

How a family of children prepared for a great emergency, and how they
acted when the emergency came.


=The Trinity Flower.=

In this little volume are collected three of Mrs. Ewing's best short
stories for the young people.


=Madam Liberality.=

From her cradle up Madam Liberality found her chief delight in giving.


_By FRANCES MARGARET FOX_


=The Little Giant's Neighbors.=

A charming nature story of a "little giant" whose neighbors were the
creatures of the field and garden.


=Farmer Brown and the Birds.=

A little story which teaches children that the birds are man's best
friends. Miss Fox has an intimate knowledge of bird life and has
written a little book which should take rank with "Black Beauty" and
"Beautiful Joe."


=Betty of Old Mackinaw.=

A charming story of child-life, appealing especially to the little
readers who like stories of "real people."


_By WILL ALLEN DROMGOOLE_


=The Farrier's Dog and His Fellow.=

This story, written by the gifted young Southern woman, will appeal to
all that is best in the natures of the many admirers of her graceful
and piquant style.


=The Fortunes of the Fellow.=

Those who read and enjoyed the pathos and charm of "The Farrier's Dog
and His Fellow" will welcome the further account of the "Adventures of
Baydaw and the Fellow" at the home of the kindly smith among the Green
Hills of Tennessee.


_By FRANCES HODGES WHITE_


=Helena's Wonderworld.=

A delightful tale of the adventures of a little girl in the mysterious
regions beneath the sea.


=Aunt Nabby's Children.=

This pretty little story, touched with the simple humor of country
life, tells of two children, who, adopted by Aunt Nabby, have also won
their way into the affections of the village squire.


_By CHARLES LEE SLEIGHT_


=The Prince of the Pin Elves.=

A fascinating story of the underground adventures of a sturdy, reliant
American boy among the elves and gnomes.


=The Water People.=

A companion volume and in a way a sequel to "The Prince of the Pin
Elves," relating the adventures of "Harry" among the "water people."
While it has the same characters as the previous book, the story is
complete in itself.


_By OTHER AUTHORS_


=The Story of Rosy Dawn.= By PAULINE BRADFORD MACKIE.

The Christmas of little Wong Jan, or "Rosy Dawn," a young Celestial of
San Francisco, is the theme of this pleasant little story.


=Susanne.= By FRANCES J. DELANO.

This little story will recall in sweetness and appealing charm the work
of Kate Douglas Wiggin and Laura E. Richards.


=Millicent in Dreamland.= By EDNA S. BRAINERD.

The quaintness and fantastic character of Millicent's adventures in
Dreamland have much of the fascination of "Alice in Wonderland," and
all small readers of "Alice" will enjoy making Millicent's acquaintance.


=Jerry's Adventures.= By EVELYN SNEAD BARNETT.

This is an interesting and wholesome little story of the change that
came over the thoughtless imps on Jefferson Square when they learned to
know the stout-hearted Jerry and his faithful Peggy.


=A Bad Penny.= By JOHN T. WHEELWRIGHT.

No boy should omit reading this vivid story of the New England of 1812.


=Gatty and I.= By FRANCES E. CROMPTON.

The small hero and heroine of this little story are twins, "strictly
brought up." It is a sweet and wholesome little story.


=The Fairy of the Rhône.= By A. COMYNS CARR.

Here is a fairy story indeed, one of old-fashioned pure delight. It is
most gracefully told, and accompanied by charming illustrations.


=A Small Small Child.= By E. LIVINGSTON PRESCOTT.

"A Small Small Child" is a moving little tale of sweet influence, more
powerful than threats or punishments, upon a rowdy of the barracks.


=Peggy's Trial.= By MARY KNIGHT POTTER.

Peggy is an impulsive little woman of ten, whose rebellion from a
mistaken notion of loyalty, and her subsequent reconciliation to the
dreaded "new mother," are most interestingly told.


=For His Country.= By MARSHALL SAUNDERS, author of "Beautiful Joe," etc.

A sweet and graceful story of a little boy who loved his country;
written with that charm which has endeared Miss Saunders to hosts of
readers.


=La Belle Nivernaise.= THE STORY OF AN OLD BOAT AND HER CREW. By
ALPHONSE DAUDET.

All who have read it will be glad to welcome an old favorite, and new
readers will be happy to have it brought to their friendly attention.


=Wee Dorothy.= By LAURA UPDEGRAFF.

A story of two orphan children, the tender devotion of the eldest,
a boy, for his sister being its theme and setting. With a bit of
sadness at the beginning, the story is otherwise bright and sunny, and
altogether wholesome in every way.


=Rab and His Friends.= By Dr. JOHN BROWN.

Doctor Brown's little masterpiece is too well known to need
description. The dog Rab is loved by all.


=The Adventures of Beatrice and Jessie.= By RICHARD MANSFIELD.

The story of two little girls who were suddenly transplanted into the
"realms of unreality," where they met with many curious and amusing
adventures.


=A Child's Garden of Verses.= By R. L. STEVENSON.

Mr. Stevenson's little volume is too well known to need description. It
will be heartily welcomed in this new and attractive edition.


=Little King Davie.= By NELLIE HELLIS.

The story of a little crossing-sweeper, that will make many boys
thankful they are not in the same position. Davie's accident, hospital
experiences, conversion, and subsequent life, are of thrilling interest.


=The Sleeping Beauty.= A MODERN VERSION. By MARTHA B. DUNN.

This charming story of a little fishermaid of Maine, intellectually
"asleep" until she meets the "Fairy Prince," reminds us of "Ouida" at
her best.


=The Young Archer.= By CHARLES E. BRIMBLECOM.

A strong and wholesome story of a boy who accompanied Columbus on his
voyage to the New World. His loyalty and services through vicissitudes
and dangers endeared him to the great discoverer, and the account of
his exploits will be interesting to all boys.


=The Making of Zimri Bunker:= A TALE OF NANTUCKET. By W. J. LONG, Ph. D.

This is a charming story of Nantucket folk by a young clergyman who
is already well known through his contributions to the _Youth's
Companion_, _St. Nicholas_, and other well-known magazines. The story
deals with a sturdy American fisher lad, during the war of 1812.


=The King of the Golden River:= A LEGEND OF STIRIA. By JOHN RUSKIN.

Written fifty years or more ago, and not originally intended for
publication, this little fairy tale soon became known and made a place
for itself.


=Little Peterkin Vandike.= By CHARLES STUART PRATT.

The author's dedication furnishes a key to this charming story:

"I dedicate this book, made for the amusement (and perchance
instruction) of the boys who may read it, to the memory of one boy, who
would have enjoyed as much as Peterkin the plays of the Poetry Party,
but who has now marched, as they will march one day, out of the ranks
of boyhood into the ranks of young manhood."


=Will o' the Mill.= By ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.

An allegorical story by this inimitable and versatile writer. Its rare
poetic quality, its graceful and delicate fancy, its strange power and
fascination, justify its separate publication.



BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE


=The Little Colonel's House Party.= By ANNIE FELLOWS JOHNSTON.
Illustrated by Louis Meynell.

    One vol., library 12mo, cloth, decorative cover      $1.00


=The Little Colonel's Holidays.= By ANNIE FELLOWS JOHNSTON. Illustrated
by L. J. Bridgman.

    One vol., large 12mo, cloth, decorative cover      $1.50


=The Little Colonel's Hero.= By ANNIE FELLOWS JOHNSTON.

    One vol., large 12mo, cloth decorative, fully illustrated
        $1.20  _net_ (postage extra)

In these three stories Mrs. Johnston once more introduces us to the
"Little Colonel," the dainty maiden who has already figured as the
heroine of two previous stories, "The Little Colonel" and "Two Little
Knights of Kentucky," and who has won her way into the hearts of old
and young alike. She is more winsome and lovable than ever.

Since the time of "Little Women," no juvenile heroine has been better
beloved of her child readers than Mrs. Johnston's "Little Colonel."


=A Puritan Knight Errant.= By EDITH ROBINSON, author of "A Little
Puritan Pioneer," "A Little Puritan's First Christmas," "A Little
Puritan Rebel," etc.

    Library 12mo, cloth decorative, illustrated
                                         $1.20 _net_ (postage extra).

The charm of style and historical value of Miss Robinson's previous
stories of child life in Puritan days have brought them wide
popularity. Her latest and most important book appeals to a large
juvenile public. The "knight errant" of this story is a little Don
Quixote, whose trials and their ultimate outcome will prove deeply
interesting to their reader.


=Ye Lyttle Salem Maide:= A STORY OF WITCHCRAFT. By PAULINE BRADFORD
MACKIE.

_New illustrated edition._

    One volume, large 12mo, cloth, gilt top      $1.50

A tale of the days of the reign of superstition in New England, and
of a brave "lyttle maide," of Salem Town, whose faith and hope and
unyielding adherence to her word of honor form the basis of a most
attractive story. A very convincing picture is drawn of Puritan life
during the latter part of the seventeenth century.


=In Kings' Houses:= A TALE OF THE DAYS OF QUEEN ANNE. By JULIA C. R.
DORR, author of "A Cathedral Pilgrimage," etc.

_New illustrated edition._

    One volume, large 12mo, cloth, gilt top      $1.50

The story deals with one of the most romantic episodes in English
history. Queen Anne, the last of the reigning Stuarts, is described
with a strong yet sympathetic touch, and the young Duke of Gloster, the
"little lady," and the hero of the tale, Robin Sandys, are delightful
characterizations.


=Gulliver's Bird Book.= BEING THE NEWLY DISCOVERED STRANGE ADVENTURES
OF LEMUEL GULLIVER, NOW FOR THE FIRST TIME DESCRIBED AND ILLUSTRATED.
By L. J. BRIDGMAN, author of "Mother Goose and Her Wild Beast Show,"
etc.

    With upwards of 100 illustrations in color, large quarto,
          cloth                                                $1.50

This is a most amusing and original book, illustrated with startlingly
odd and clever drawings. If we may accept the account given in the
preface, that renowned explorer, Lemuel Gulliver, left behind him
certain memoirs which have remained unknown to the public up to the
present day. Having now been brought to light and given to the world,
these records establish beyond a doubt their author's claim to be
regarded as the discoverer of the Bouncing Ballazoon and a host of
other creatures unknown to Darwin and Huxley.


='Tilda Jane=. By MARSHALL SAUNDERS, author of "Beautiful Joe," etc.

    One vol., 12mo, fully illustrated, cloth, decorative cover   $1.50

    "No more amusing and attractive child's story has
    appeared for a long time than this quaint and curious
    recital of the adventures of that pitiful and charming
    little runaway.

    "It is one of those exquisitely simple and truthful
    books that win and charm the reader, and I did not put
    it down until I had finished it--honest! And I am sure
    that every one, young or old, who reads will be proud
    and happy to make the acquaintance of the delicious
    waif.

    "I cannot think of any better book for children than
    this. I commend it unreservedly."--_Cyrus Townsend
    Brady._


=Miss Gray's Girls;= OR, SUMMER DAYS IN THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS. By
JEANNETTE A. GRANT. With about sixty illustrations in half-tone and pen
and ink sketches of Scottish scenery.

    One vol., large 12mo, cloth, decorative cover      $1.00

A delightfully told story of a summer trip through Scotland, somewhat
out of the beaten track. A teacher, starting at Glasgow, takes a lively
party of girls, her pupils, through the Trossachs to Oban, through
the Caledonian Canal to Inverness, and as far north as Brora, missing
no part of the matchless scenery and no place of historic interest.
Returning through Perth, Stirling, Edinburgh, Melrose, and Abbotsford,
the enjoyment of the party and the interest of the reader never lag.


=Chums.= By MARIA LOUISE POOL. Illustrated by L. J. Bridgman.

    One vol., large 12mo, cloth, decorative cover      $1.00

"Chums" is a girls' book, about girls and for girls. It relates the
adventures, in school and during vacation, of two friends. It is full
of mingled fun and pathos, and carries the reader along swiftly to the
climax, which is reached all too soon.


=Little Bermuda.= By MARIA LOUISE POOL. Illustrated by Louis Meynell.

    One vol., large 12mo, cloth, decorative cover      $1.00

Young people will follow eagerly the adventures of "Little Bermuda"
from her home in the tropics to a fashionable American boarding-school.
The resulting conflict between the two elements in her nature, the one
inherited from her New England ancestry, and the other developed by
her West Indian surroundings, gave Miss Pool unusual opportunity for
creating an original and fascinating heroine.


=Black Beauty:= THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A HORSE. By ANNA SEWELL. _New
Illustrated Edition._ With twenty-five full-page drawings by Winifred
Austin.

    One vol., large 12mo, cloth decorative, gilt top      $1.25

There have been many editions of this classic, but we confidently
offer this one as the most appropriate and handsome yet produced. The
illustrations are of special value and beauty. Mr. Austin is a lover of
horses, and has delighted in tracing with his pen the beauty and grace
of the noble animal.


=Feats on the Fiord:= A TALE OF NORWEGIAN LIFE. By HARRIET MARTINEAU.
With about sixty original illustrations and a colored frontispiece.

    One vol., large 12mo, cloth decorative      $1.00

This admirable book deserves to be brought to the attention of
parents in search of wholesome reading for their children to-day. It
is something more than a juvenile book, being really one of the most
instructive books about Norway and Norwegian life and manners ever
written.


=Timothy Dole.= By JUNIATA SALSBURY. With twenty-five illustrations.

    One vol., large 12mo, cloth decorative      $1.00

The youthful hero starts from home, loses his way, meets with startling
adventures, finds friends, kind and many, grows to be a manly man, and
is able to devote himself to bettering the condition of the poor in the
mining region of Pennsylvania.


=Three Children of Galilee:= A LIFE OF CHRIST FOR THE YOUNG. By JOHN
GORDON.

Beautifully illustrated with more than one hundred illustrations.

    One vol., library 12mo, cloth, decorative cover      $1.00

There has long been a need for a life of Christ for the young, for
parents have recognized that their boys and girls want something more
than a Bible story, a dry statement of facts, and that, in order to
hold the attention of the youthful readers, a book on this subject
should have life and movement as well as scrupulous accuracy and
religious sentiment.


=Three Little Crackers.= FROM DOWN IN DIXIE.

By WILL ALLEN DROMGOOLE, author of "The Farrier's Dog," etc., with
fifty text and full-page illustrations, by E. B. Barry.

    One vol., library 12mo, cloth, decorative cover      $1.00

A fascinating story for boys and girls, of a family of Alabama children
who move to Florida and grow up in the South.


=Prince Harold, a Fairy Story.= By L. F. BROWN. With 60 full-page
illustrations by Vitry.

    One vol., large 12mo, cloth, decorative cover      $1.50

A delightful fairy tale for children, dealing with the life of a
young Prince, who, aided by the Moon Spirit, discovers, after many
adventures, a beautiful girl whom he makes his Princess.


=The Fairy Folk of Blue Hill:= A STORY OF FOLK-LORE. By LILY F.
WESSELHOEFT, author of "Sparrow the Tramp," etc., with fifty-five
illustrations from original drawings by Alfred C. Eastman.

    One vol., library 12mo, cloth, decorative cover      $1.00

A new volume by Mrs. Wesselhoeft, well known as one of our best writers
for the young, and who has made a host of friends among the young
people.


=Larry Hudson's Ambition.= By JAMES OTIS, author of "Toby Tyler," etc.
Illustrated by Eliot Keen.

    One vol., library 12mo, cloth, decorative cover      $1.25

James Otis, who has delighted the juvenile public with so many popular
stories, has written the story of the rise of the bootblack Larry.
Larry is not only capable of holding his own and coming out with flying
colors in the amusing adventures wherein he befriends the family of
good Deacon Doak; he also has the signal ability to know what he wants
and to understand that hard work is necessary to win.


=The Adventures of a Boy Reporter= IN THE PHILIPPINES. By HARRY STEELE
MORRISON, author of "A Yankee Boy's Success."

    One vol., large 12mo, cloth, illustrated      $1.25

A true story of the courage and enterprise of an American lad. It is
filled with healthy interest, and will tend to stimulate and encourage
the proper ambition of the young reader.


=The Young Pearl Divers:= A STORY OF AUSTRALIAN ADVENTURE BY LAND AND
BY SEA. By LIEUT. H. PHELPS WHITMARSH, author of "The Mysterious Voyage
of the _Daphne_," etc. Illustrated with twelve full-page half-tones by
H. Burgess.

    One vol., large 12mo, cloth decorative      $1.00

This is a splendid story for boys, by an author who writes in vigorous
and interesting language of scenes and adventures with which he is
personally acquainted.


=The Voyage of the Avenger:= IN THE DAYS OF THE DASHING DRAKE. By HENRY
ST. JOHN. With twenty-five full-page illustrations by Paul Hardy.

    One vol., tall 12mo, cloth decorative, gilt top      $1.50

A book of adventure, the scene of which is laid in that stirring period
of colonial extension when England's famous naval heroes encountered
the ships of Spain, both at home and in the West Indies.





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