Adventures and Letters HTML version

Although Richard was now comfortably settled, he had of late years acquired a great
dread of cold weather. As soon as winter set in his mind turned to the tropics, and
whenever it was possible he went to Cuba or some other land where he was sure of plenty
of heat and sunshine. The early part of 1906 found him at Havana, this time on a visit to
the Hon. E. V. Morgan, who was then our minister to Cuba. From Havana he went to the
Isle of Pines.
ISLE OF PINES, March 26th, 1906.
We are just returning from the Isle of Pines. We reached there after a day on the water at
about six on Wednesday, 22nd. They dropped us at a woodshed in a mangrove swamp,
where a Mr. Mason met us with two mules. I must have said I was going to the island
because every one was expecting me. Until the night before we had really no idea when
we would go, so, to be welcomed wherever we went, was confusing. For four days we
were cut off from the world, and in that time, five days in all, we covered the entire island
pretty thoroughly-- It was one of the most interesting trips I ever took and Cecil enjoyed
it as much as I did. The island is a curious mixture of palm and pines, one minute it looks
like Venezuela and the next like Florida and Lakewood. It is divided into two parties of
Americans, the "moderates" and the "revolutionists." The Cubans are very few and are all
employed by the Americans, who own nine-tenths of the Island. Of course, they all want
the U. S. to take it, they differ only as to how to persuade the senators to do it. I had to
change all my opinions about the situation. I thought it was owned by land speculators
who did not live there, nor wish to live there, but instead I found every one I met had
built a home and was cultivating the land. We gave each land company a turn at me, and
we had to admire orange groves and pineapples, grapefruit and coffee until we cried for
help. With all this was the most romantic history of the island before the "gringos" came.
It was a famous place for pirates and buried treasures and slave pens. It was a sort of
clearing house for slaves where they were fattened. I do not believe people take much
interest in or know anything about it, but I am going to try and make an interesting story
of it for Collier. It was queer to be so completely cut off from the world. There was a
wireless but they would not let me use it. It is not yet opened to the public. I talked to
every one I met and saw much that was pathetic and human. It was the first pioneer
settlement Cecil had ever seen and the American making the ways straight is very
curious. He certainly does not adorn whatever he touches. But never have I met so many
enthusiastics and such pride in locality. To-night we reach the Hotel Louvre, thank
heaven! where I can get Spanish food again, and not American ginger bread, and, "the pie
like mother used to make." We now are on a wretched Spanish tug boat with every one,
myself included, very seasick and babies howling and roosters crowing. But soon that
will be over, and, after a short ride of thirty miles through a beautiful part of the island,
we will be in Havana in time for a fine dinner, with ice. What next we will do I am not
sure. After living in that beautiful palace of Morgan's, it just needed five days of the
"Pinero's" to make us enjoy life at a hotel-- If we can make connections, I think I will go
over to Santo Domingo, and study up that subject, too. But, even if we go no where else
the trip to the I. of P. was alone well worth our long journey. I don't know when I have