The next city, eastward, is Camaguey, in many ways doubtless the best worth a visit, next to Havana, of any city on the island. It is a place of interesting history and, for me personally, a place of somewhat mixed recollections. The history may wait until I have told my story. I think it must have been on my third visit to the island, early in 1902. On my arrival in Havana, I met my friend Charles M. Pepper, a fellow laborer in the newspaper field. He at once informed me that he and I were to start the next morning for a three or four weeks' journey around the island. It was news to me, and the fact that my baggage, excepting the suitcase that I carried, had failed to come on the boat that brought me, led me to demur. My objections were overruled on the ground that we could carry little baggage anyway, and all that was needed could be bought before starting, or along the way. The next morning saw us on the early train for Matanzas. We spent a week or ten days in that city, in Cardenas, Sagua, Santa Clara, and Cienfuegos, renewing former acquaintance and noting the changes effected by the restoration from the war period. That was before the completion of the Cuba Railway. To get to Camaguey, then known as Puerto Principe, we took the steamer at Cienfuegos and journeyed along the coast to Jucaro. There, because of shallow water, we were dropped into a shore boat some four or five miles from the coast, and there our troubles began. Fortunately, it was early morning. We got something to eat and some coffee, which is almost invariably good in Cuba, but when we meet nowadays we have a laugh over that breakfast at Jucaro. I don't know, and really don't care, what the place is now. After some hours of waiting, we secured passage in an antiquated little car attached to a freight train carrying supplies and structural material to Ciego de Avila, for use by the railway then being built in both directions, eastward and westward from that point. The line that there crosses the island from north to south was built in the time of the Ten Years' War (1868-1878) as a barrier against the revolutionists operating in eastern Cuba. It was restored for use in the revolution of 1895, but its blockhouses at every kilometre, and its barbed wire tangles, were entirely ineffective against Gomez and Maceo and other leaders, all of whom crossed it at their own sweet will, although not without an occasional vicious little contest. We reached Ciego de Avila soon after noon, and had to wait there over night for a further advance. The place is now a thriving little city, but it was then a somewhat sprawling village with a building that was called a hotel. But we got food and drink and beds, all that is really necessary for experienced campaigners. For the next two days, Old Man Trouble made himself our personal companion and did not lose sight of us for a single minute.

Through personal acquaintance with the railway officials, we obtained permission to travel over the line, on any and all trains, as far as it was then built, some forty miles or so toward Camaguey. Through them, also, we arranged for saddle horses to meet us at railhead for the remainder of the journey. There were no trains except construction trains carrying rails, ties, lumber, and other materials. We boarded the first one out in the morning. We had our choice of riding on any of those commodities that we might select. There was not even a caboose. We chose a car of lumber as the most promising. For four or five hours we crawled through that country, roasting and broiling on that pile of planks, but the ties and the rails were even hotter. The only way we could keep a place cool enough to sit on was by sitting on it. I once occupied a stateroom next to the steamer's funnel. I have seen, day after day, the pitch bubble between the planks of a steamer's deck in the Indian Ocean. I have been in other places that I thought plenty hot enough, but never have I been so thoroughly cooked as were my companion and I perched on the lumber pile. On top of that, or rather on top of us, there poured a constant rain of cinders from the locomotive puffing away a few cars ahead of us. The road-bed was rough, and at times we had to hang on for our very lives. We can laugh about it now, but, at the time, it was no joke. At last we reached the end of the line, somewhere in a hot Cuban forest, but there were no horses. We watched the operation of railway building, and took turns in anathematizing, in every language of which we had any knowledge, the abandoned ruffian who failed to appear with those horses. Before night, we were almost ready to wish that he had died on the way. At last he came. Our baggage was loaded on a pack-horse; we mounted and rode gallantly on our way. We had about thirty miles to cover by that or some other means of locomotion. Before we had gone a mile, we developed a clear understanding of the reasons for the sale of those horses by the Government of the United States, but why the United States Army ever bought them for cavalry mounts we could not even imagine. There was no road. Most of the way we followed the partly constructed road-bed for the new railway, making frequent detours, through field or jungle, to get around gaps or places of impossible roughness. Before we had covered two miles, we began to wish that the man who sent those horses, a Spaniard, by the way, might be doomed to ride them through all eternity under the saddles with which they were equipped. We were sorry enough for the poor brutes, but sorrier still for ourselves. For several days, I limped in misery from a long row of savage blisters raised on my leg by rawhide knots with which my saddle had been repaired. An hour after starting, we were overtaken by a heavy thunder-shower. At nightfall, after having covered about fifteen wretched miles, we reached a construction camp where an American nobleman, disguised as a section-boss, gave us food and lodging in the little palm-leaf shack that served as his temporary home. It was barely big enough for one, but he made it do for three.

Early in the morning, we resumed our journey, plodding along as best we could over a half-graded "right-of-way." A couple of hours brought us to a larger construction camp where we halted for such relief as we could secure. We then were some twelve or fourteen miles from our destination. We discussed the wisdom of making the rest of the way on foot, as preferable to that particular kind of saddle-work, leaving our baggage to come along with the horses when it might. But fortune smiled, or it may have been just a grimace. Word came that a team, two horses and a wagon, would go to the city that afternoon, and there would be room for us. We told our pilot, the man with the horses, just what we thought of him and all his miserable ancestors, gave him a couple of pesos, and rejoiced over our prospects of better fortune. But it proved to be only an escape from the fire into the frying-pan. I have driven over many miles of South African veldt, straight "across lots," in all comfort, but while the general topography of Camaguey puts it somewhat into the veldt class, its immediate surface did not in the least remind me of the South African plateau. The trip was little short of wonderful for its bumpiness. We got to Camaguey sore and bruised but, as far as we could discover, physically intact, and, having arrived, may now return to its history and description. May no "gentle reader" who scans these pages repeat our experience in getting there. It is supposed that here, or immediately here-about, was the place of "fifty houses and a thousand people" encountered by the messengers of Columbus, when he sent them inland to deliver official letters of introduction to the gorgeous ruler of the country in which he thought he was. Different writers tell different stories about the settlement of the place, but there is no doubt that it was among the earliest to be settled. Columbus gave to a harbor in that vicinity, in all probability the Bay of Nuevitas, the name Puerto del Principe, or Port of the Prince. He called the islands of the neighborhood the Gardens of the King. On that bay, about 1514, Diego Velasquez founded a city, probably the present Nuevitas, which he is said to have called Santa Maria. Somewhere from two to ten years later, an inland settlement was made. This developed into the city that was afterward given the name of Santa Maria del Puerto del Principe, now very properly changed to the old Indian name of Camaguey.

If the idea of an inland location was, as it is said to have been, protection against pirates and buccaneers, it was not altogether a success. The distinguished pirate, Mr. Henry Morgan, raided the place very effectively in 1668, securing much loot. In his book, published in 1871, Mr. Hazard says: "Puerto Principe (the present Camaguey) is, probably, the oldest, quaintest town on the island, - in fact, it may be said to be a finished town, as the world has gone on so fast that the place seems a million years old, and from its style of dress, a visitor might think he was put back almost to the days of Columbus." There have been changes since that time, but the old charm is still there, the narrow and crooked streets, forming almost a labyrinth, the old buildings, and much else that I earnestly hope may never be changed. There is now an up-to-date hotel, connected with the railway company, but if I were to go there again and the old hotel was habitable, I know I should go where I first stayed, and where we occupied a huge barrack-like room charged on our bill as "habitaciones preferentes," the state chamber. It had a dirty tiled floor, and was the home of many fleas, but there was something about it that I liked. I do not mean to say that all of Camaguey, "the city of the plain," is lovely, or picturesque or even interesting. No more is all of Paris, or Budapest, or Amsterdam, or Washington. They are only so in some of their component parts, but it is those parts that remain in the memory. The country around the city is a vast plain, for many years, and still, a grazing country, a land of horses and cattle. The charm is in the city itself. If I could see only one place outside of Havana, I would see Camaguey. A little less than fifty miles to the north is Nuevitas, reached by one of the first railways built in Cuba, now if ever little more than the port city for its larger neighbor. Columbus became somewhat ecstatic over the region. Perhaps it was then more charming, or the season more favorable, than when I saw it. I do not recall any feeling of special enthusiasm about its scenic charms. Perhaps I should have discovered them had I stayed longer. Perhaps I should have been more impressed had it not been for the impressions of Camaguey. I saw Nuevitas only briefly on my way eastward on that memorable excursion by construction train and saddle. The only route then available was by boat along the north shore, and it was there that we caught the steamer for Santiago.

That sail along the coast would have afforded greater pleasure had it lacked the noisy presence of an itinerant opera company whose members persisted, day and night, in exercising their lungs to the accompaniment of an alleged piano in the cabin. I have a far more pleasant recollection, or rather a memory because it stays with me, of music in those waters. The transport on which I went to Porto Rico, in the summer of 1898, carried, among other troops, a battery of light artillery. It had an unusually good bugler, and his sounding of "taps" on those soft, starlit nights remains with me as one of the sweetest sounds I have ever heard. The shrieks, squalls, and roars of those opera people were in a wholly different class. About seventy-five miles east of Nuevitas is Gibara, merely a shipping port for the inland city of Holguin. The former is only one of a number of such places found along the coast. Most of them are attractive in point of surrounding scenery, but little or not at all attractive in themselves, being mere groups of uninteresting structures of the conventional type. Holguin is perhaps two hundred years old, quite pleasantly situated, but affording no special points of interest for the tourist. The city is now easily reached by a branch of the Cuba Railway. It is worth the visit of those who "want to see it all." Beyond Gibara is Nipe Bay, not improbably the first Cuban harbor entered by Columbus. Nipe Bay and its near neighbor, Banes Bay, are the centres of what is now the greatest industrial activity of any part of the island. Here, recent American investment is measured in scores of millions of dollars. Here, in the immediate neighborhood, are some of the largest sugar plantations and mills on the island, the Boston and the Preston. A little to the west of Gibara are two others, Chaparra and Delicias. Hitherto, the western half of the island has been, the great producing district, but present indications point to a not distant time when the eastern district will rival and, it may be, outstrip the section of older development. The foundation is already laid for an extensive enterprise. Nature has afforded one of the finest land-locked harbors in the world at Nipe, and another, though smaller, a few miles away, at Banes. The region now has railroad connection with practically all parts of the island. Around those bays are sugar lands, tobacco lands, fruit lands, and a few miles inland are the vast iron ore beds that, as they are developed, will afford employment for an army of workmen. Nipe Bay is the natural commercial outlet for a vast area of richly productive soil. At present, the region affords nothing of special interest except its industrial activities, its miles and miles of sugar cane, its huge mills, and the villages built to house its thousands of workmen.

Seventy-five miles or so eastward of Nipe, lies one of the most charming and interesting spots on the island. This is old Baracoa, the oldest settlement on the island, now to be reached only by water or by the roughest of journeys over mountain trails. The town itself does not amount to much, but the bay is a gem, a little, circular basin, forest-shaded to its border, its waters clear as crystal. Behind it rise the forest-clad hills, step on step, culminating in el Yunque, "the anvil," with an elevation of about eighteen hundred feet. Baracoa is supposed to be the place about which Columbus wrote one of his most glowing and extravagant eulogies. Whether it is really worth the time and the discomfort of a special trip to see it, is perhaps somewhat doubtful. It is a place of scenery and sentiment, and little else. There is an old fort on a hilltop, not particularly picturesque, and an old church in which is a cross quite doubtfully reported as having been furnished by Columbus. Sometime, years hence, there will be easier communication, and the fertile hillsides and still more fertile valleys will supply various produces for consumption in the United States. About twenty-five miles east of Baracoa is the end of the island, Cape Maisi. Swinging around that, the coasting steamers turn due west along the shore to Santiago, passing the harbor of Guantanamo, with its United States naval station. That place is reached by rail from Santiago, a highly picturesque route through the Guantanamo valley. Besides the naval station, the place is a shipping port, affording nothing of special interest to the traveller who has seen other and more easily accessible cities of its type. It always seems to me that Santiago, or more properly Santiago de Cuba, would be more engaging if we could forget the more recent history of this city, known to most Cubans as Cuba (pronounced Cooba). No doubt, it is a much better place in which to live than it was twenty years ago, and much of its old charm remains. Its setting cannot be changed. It is itself a hillside town, surrounded by hills, with real mountains on its horizon. The old cathedral, a dominant structure, has been quite a little patched up in recent years, and shows the patches. The houses, big and little, are still painted in nearly all the shades of the spectrum. But there is a seeming change, doubtless psychological rather than physical. One sees, in imagination, Cervera's squadron "bottled up" in the beautiful harbor, while Sampson's ships lie outside waiting for it to come out. It is difficult to forget San Juan Hill and El Caney, a few miles behind the city, and remember only its older stories. A good deal of history has been made here in the last four hundred years. Its pages show such names as Velasquez, Grijalva, Hernan Cortes, and Narvaez, and centuries later, Cespedes, Marti, and Palma. Here was enacted the grim tragedy of the Virginius, and here was the conflict that terminated Spain's once vast dominion in the western world. My own impression is that most of its history has already been written, that it will have no important future. As a port of shipment, I think it must yield to the new port, Nipe Bay, on the north coast. It is merely a bit of commercial logic, the question of a sixty-mile rail-haul as compared with a voyage around the end of the island. Santiago will not be wiped from the map, but I doubt its long continuance as the leading commercial centre of eastern Cuba. It is also a fairly safe prediction that the same laws of commercial logic will some day operate to drain northward the products of the fertile valley of the Cauto, and the region behind old Manzanillo and around the still older Bayamo.

Except the places earlier mentioned, Jucaro, Trinidad and Cienfuegos, there are no southern ports to the west until Batabano is reached, immediately south of, and only a few miles from, the city of Havana. It is a shallow harbor, of no commercial importance. It serves mainly as the centre of a sponge-fishing industry, and as a point of departure for the Isle of Pines, and for ports on the south coast. The Isle of Pines is of interest for a number of reasons, among which are its history, its mineral springs, its delightful climate, and an American colony that has made much trouble in Washington. Columbus landed there in 1494, and gave it the name La Evangelista. It lies about sixty miles off the coast, almost due south from Havana. Between the island and the mainland lies a labyrinth of islets and keys, many of them verdure-clad. Its area is officially given as 1,180 square miles. There seems no doubt that, at some earlier time, it formed a part of the main island, with which it compares in geologic structure and configuration. It is now, in effect, two islands connected by a marsh; the northern part being broken and hilly, and the southern part low, flat, and sandy, probably a comparatively recently reclaimed coralline plain. The island has been, at various times, the headquarters of bands of pirates, a military hospital, a penal institution, and a source of political trouble. It is now a Cuban island the larger part of which is owned by Americans. It is a part of the province of Havana, and will probably so remain as long as Cuba is Cuba. My personal investigations of the disputed question of the political ownership of the island began early in 1899. I then reached a conclusion from which I have not since seen any reason to depart. The island was then, had always been, and is now, as much a part of Cuba as Long Island and Key West have been and are parts of the United States.

Just who it was that first raised the question of ownership, none of us who investigated the matter at the time of its particular acuteness, was able to determine satisfactorily, although some of us had a well-defined suspicion. The man is now dead, and I shall not give his name. Article I, of the Treaty of Paris, of December 10, 1898, presumably disposes of the Cuban area; Article II refers to Porto Rico; and Article III refers to the Philippines. The issue regarding the Isle of Pines was raised under Article II, presumably referring only to Porto Rico. A slight but possibly important difference appears in the Spanish and the English versions. The English text reads that "Spain cedes ... the island of Porto Rico and other islands now under Spanish sovereignty" etc. The Spanish text, literally translated runs: "Spain cedes ... the island of Porto Rico and the others that are now under its sovereignty." The obvious reference of the article is to Mona, Viequez, and Culebra, all small islands in Porto Rican waters. But the question was raised and was vigorously discussed. An official map was issued showing the island as American territory. Americans jumped in, bought up large tracts, and started a lively real estate boom. They advertised it widely as American territory, and many put their little collections of dollars into it. The claim of Spanish cession was afterward denied in the very document that served to keep the issue alive for a number of years. Article VI of the Platt Amendment, which the Cubans accepted with marked reluctance, declared that the island was omitted from the boundaries of Cuba, and that the title and ownership should be left to future adjustment by treaty. But no alternative appears between cession and no cession. Had the island become definitely American territory by cession, its alienation, by such a step, would not have been possible. When we left Cuba, in 1902, the official instructions from Washington were that the Isle of Pines would remain under a de facto American government. President Palma, accepting the transfer, expressed his understanding that it would "continue de facto under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Cuba." In some way, the departing American authority failed to leave any agent or representative of the de facto government of the United States, and the Cubans included the island in their new administration, very properly. When the treaty proposed by the Platt Amendment came before the United States Senate, it hung fire, and finally found lodgment in one of the many pigeon-holes generously provided for the use of that august body. There it may probably be found today, a record and nothing more. Why? For the very simple reason that some of the resident claimants for American ownership sent up a consignment of cigars made on the island from tobacco grown on the island, and refused to pay duty on them. The ground of refusal was that they were a domestic product, sent from one port in the United States to another port in the same country, and therefore not dutiable. The case of Pearcy vs Stranahan, the former representing the shippers, and the latter being the Collector of the Port of New York, came before the Supreme Court of the United States, and that final authority decided and declared that the Isle of Pines was Cuban territory and a part of Cuba. The question is settled, and the Isle of Pines can become territory of the United States only by purchase, conquest, or some other form of territorial transfer.

While the American settlers in the Isle of Pines, and the several real-estate companies who seek purchasers for their holdings, own a large part of the territory, they still constitute a minority of the population. Many of the settlers, probably most of them, are industrious and persistent in their various productive activities. Their specialty is citrus fruits, but their products are not limited to that line. More than a few have tried their little experiment in pioneering, and have returned to their home land more or less disgusted with their experience. Those who have remained, and have worked faithfully and intelligently, have probably done a little better than they would have done at home. The great wealth for which all, doubtless, earnestly hoped, and in which many, doubtless, really believed, has not come. This settlement is only one of many speculative exploitations in Cuba. Some of these have been fairly honest, but many of them have been little better than rank swindles. Many have been entirely abandoned, the buyers losing the hard-earned dollars they had invested. Others, better located, have been developed, by patience, persistence, and thrift, into fairly prosperous colonies. I do not know how many victims have been caught by unscrupulous and ignorant promoters in the last fifteen years, principally in the United States and in Canada, but they are certainly many, so many that the speculative industry has declined in recent years. Many of the settlers who have remained have learned the game, have discovered that prosperity in Cuba is purchased by hard work just as it is elsewhere. In different parts of the island, east, west, and centre, there are now thrifty and contented colonists who have fought their battle, and have learned the rules that nature has formulated as the condition of success in such countries. Whether these people have really done any better than they would have done had they stayed at home and followed the rules there laid down, is perhaps another question. At all events, there are hundreds of very comfortable and happy American homes in Cuba, even in the Isle of Pines, where they persist in growling because it is Cuba and not the United States.

In a review of a country including forty-four thousand square miles of territory, condensed into two chapters, it is quite impossible to include all that is worth telling. Moreover, there is much in the island of which no adequate description can be given. There is much that must be seen if it if to be fairly understood and appreciated.