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"John, I want you to co me two favors."

should meet him at the big corral. I wanted a rest anyway, and it was perfectly plain that Billy was beyond his depth in love with the girl at first sight; so we were not hard to persuade when she added her voice to her father's.

Early in September Billy and I dropped off No. 1 with our guns and "plunder," as baggage is called there, and a couple of the old Don's men met us with saddle and pack animals. I never spent a pleasanter two weeks in my life. The quiet, almost gloomy, old Don and I became fast friends, and the hunting was good. The Don was a Spaniard, but Josephine's mother had been a Mexican woman, and one noted for her beauty. She had been dead some years at the time of our visit. Billy devoted most of his time to the girl. They were a fine looking young couple,

he being strong and broad-shouldered, with laughing blue eyes and light curly hair, she slender and perfect in outline, with a typical Southern complexion, black eyes-and such eyes they were and hair and eyebrows like the raven's wing.

A few days before Billy and I were booked to resume our duties on the deck of the " Mary Ann," Miss Josephine took my arm and walked me down the yard and pumped me quietly about "Mr. Howell," as she called Billy. She went into details a little, and I answered all questions as best I could. All I said was in the young man's favor it could not, in truth, be otherwise. Josephine seemed satisfied and pleased.

When we got back to headquarters, I was given the care of a cold-water Hinkley, with a row of varnished cars behind her, and Billy fell heir to the rudder of the "Mary Ann." We still roomed together. Billy put in most of his lay-over time writing long letters to somebody, and every Thursday, as regular as a clock, one came for him, with a censor's mark on it. Often after reading the letter, Billy would say: "That girl has more horse sense than the rest of the whole female race she don't slop over worth a cent." He invariably spoke of her as "my Mexican girl," and often asked my opinion about white men intermarrying with that mongrel race. Sometimes he said that his mother would go crazy if he married a Mexican, his

father would disown him, and his brother Henry-well, Billy did not like to think just what revenge Henry would take. Billy's father was manager of an Eastern road, and his brother was assistant to the first vice-president, and Billy looked up to the latter as a great man and a sage. He himself was in the West for practical experience in the machinery department, and to get rid of a slight tendency to asthma. He could have gone East any time and been "somebody" on the road under his father.

Finally, Billy missed a week in writing. At once there was a cog gone from the answering wheel to match. Billy shortened his letters; the answers were shortened. Then he quit writing, and his Thursday letter ceased to come. He had thought the matter all over, and decided, no doubt, that he was doing what was best-both

for himself and the girl; that his family's and his own letter to Josephine dropped into high ideas should not be outraged by a his hand. Billy looked at the ground steadily Mexican marriage. He had put a piece of for five minutes, and I pretended not to have flesh-colored court-plaster over his wound, seen. Finally he said, half to himself: "You not healed it. were right, I ought to have gone myself— but I'll go now, go to-morrow." Then he opened the other letter.

Early in the winter the old Don wrote, urging us to come down and hunt antelope, but Billy declined to go said that the road needed him, and that Josephine might come home from school and this would make them both uncomfortable. But Henry, his older brother, was visiting him, and he suggested that I take Henry; he would enjoy the hunt, and it would help him drown his sorrow over the loss of his aristocratic young wife, who had died a year or two before. So Henry went with me, and we hunted antelope until we tired of the slaughter. Then the old Don planned a deer-hunting trip in the mountains, but I had to go back to work, and left Henry and the old Don to take the trip without me. While they were in the mountains, Josephine came home, and Henry Howell's stay lengthened out to a month. But I did. not know until long afterward that the two had met.

Billy was pretty quiet all winter, worked hard and went out but little he was thinking about something. One day I came home and found him writing a letter. "What now, Billy?" I asked.

"Writing to my Mexican girl," said he. "I thought you had got over that a long time ago?"

"So did I, but I hadn't. I've been trying to please somebody else besides myself in this matter, and I'm done. I'm going to work for Bill now."

"Take an old man's advice, Billy, and don't write that girl a line go and see


"Oh, I can fix it all right by letter, and

then run down there and see her."

"Don't do it."

"I'll risk it."

He read its single page with manifest interest, and when his eyes reached the last line they went straight on, and looked at the ground, and continued to do so for fully five minutes. Without looking up, he said: "John, I want you to do me two favors." "All right," said I.

Still keeping his eyes on the ground, he said, slowly, as if measuring everything well: "I'm going up and draw my time, and will leave for Old Mexico on No. 4 to-night. I want you to write to both these parties and tell them that I have gone there and that you have forwarded both these letters. Don't tell 'em that I went after reading 'em."

"And the other favor, Billy?"

"Read this letter, and see me off tonight."

The letter read:

PHILADELPHIA, May 1, 1879. Dear Brother Will: I want you and Mr. A. to go down to Don Juan Arboles's by the first of June. I will be there then. You must be my best man, as I stand up to marry the sweetest, dearest wild-flower of a woman that ever bloomed in a land of beauty. Don't fail me. Josephine will like you for my sake, and you will love her for your brother. HENRY.

full of accident and incident, and having my Most engineers' lives are busy ones and full share of both, I had almost forgotten all these points about Billy Howell and his Mexican girl, when they were all recalled by was a photograph of a family group-a bea letter from Billy himself. With his letter whiskered man of thirty-five, a good-looking woman of twenty, but undoubtedly a Mexi

A week later Billy and I sat on the ve- can, and a curly-headed baby, perhaps a randa of the company's hash-foundry, figur-year old. The letter ran: ing up our time and smoking our cob meerschaums, when one of the boys, who had been to the office, placed two letters in Billy's hands. One of them was directed in the handwriting that used to be on the old Thursday letters. Billy tore it open eagerly

CITY OF MEXICO, July 21, 1890. Dear Old John: I had lost you, and thought that perhaps you had gone over to the majority, until I saw your name and recognized your quill in a story. Write there are of the Howell outfit. No half-breeds for your to me; am doing well. I send you a photograph of all uncle this time.


EDITOR'S NOTE. This story was published some years ago in "Locomotive Engineering "; but as it has the quality and character that adapt it to a more general circle of readers than it had there, we feel warranted in republishing it.

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Spanish Posts indicated by small black triangles. Cuban Posts indicated by small black squares. 1, Lighthouse at Cabo Cruz. 2. Media Luna sugar plantation, near Bicana. 3, Manzanillo, where a concentration was being made. 4, Embracadero, whence a line of blockhouses extended to the mouth of the Cauto River. 5. Puerto Padre. 6, Bayamo, headquarters of General García. 7, Headquarters of General Ríos. 8, Piedras, headquarters of one division of the Cubans. The Cubans also occupy the Sierra Maestra Range.










EDITOR'S NOTE: When war was declared against Spain in April last, the War Department decided to send an agent to General García, to ascertain what coöperation might be expected from the insurgents, in case we should invade Cuba. The man chosen for this mission was Lieutenant Andrew S. Rowan, a Virginian, a graduate of West Point in the class of 1881, at this time employed in the Military Information Bureau of the War Department. In the following article he himself tells the story of his journey. The narrative is the simple, straightforward one of a man who is unconscious that he has done anything remarkable, and one to whom daring and hardship are matters of course when they are necessary to the discharge of a duty. The reader, however, cannot forget that from the moment he left Jamaica on April 23d until he arrived in Key West on May 11th, he was exposed all the dangers which a state of war brings the despatch-bearer who ventures into the enemy's territory. Sleeping on stone ballast in the bottom of an open boat, climbing on foot through thickets, riding fifty miles and more a day over abandoned roads or through unbroken forests, stopping only when preparation for continuing the trip required it, exposed to wind and sun and waves for two days in a boat so small that the occupants were forced to sit upright in it, forced on land and sea to keep continually on the alert for a watchful enemy-these are the experiences which Lieutenant Rowan dismisses as mere incidents. After receiving Lieutenant Rowan's report, Major-General Miles wrote to the Secretary of War: “I also recommend that First Lieutenant Andrew S. Rowan, 19th U.S. Infantry, be made a lieutenant-colonel of one of the regiments of immunes. Lieutenant Rowan made a journey across Cuba, was with the insurgent army under LieutenantGeneral García, and brought most important and valuable information to the government. This was a most perilous undertaking, and in my judgment Lieutenant Rowan performed an act of heroism and cooi daring that has rarely been excelled in the annals of warfare."


PON the outbreak of hostilities with Spain, I was the instrument chosen by the War Department for learning more of the military possibilities of eastern Cuba. At

noon on Saturday, April 23, 1898, I reached No. East Queen Street, Kingston, Jamaica, where I placed myself in the hands of unknown friends. Three hours later a four


Again on the road, the horses raced along at a steady pace until sometime after midnight, when we were halted by whistle signals in a field of sugar cane. Here we left

seated carriage, drawn by two small Jamaica than almost any other Cuban I had seenhorses, was driven rapidly up to the door. tall, wiry, determined man, with a fierce, The moment I entered, the negro driver drooping mustache, that gave him the aspect leaned forward, plying his whip, and we of a Caribbean pirate. whirled furiously through the narrow streets and out the Spanish Town road. Four miles from the city we stopped with a jolt in the midst of a dense tropical forest. A second carriage, containing four men, came up in a cloud of dust, wheeled out, and passed us. My driver whipped his reeking horses and followed




In this way raced up the beautiful tropical valley of the Cobra River and came at dusk to Bog Walk, near which we halted for a few moments for food and change of horses, and then drove onward again at the same killing pace. During all of this time no one had spoken a word to me and I had presumed to ask no


It must have been nearly ten o'clock that night when both carriages drew suddenly to a standstill. It was dark and hot and breathlessly silent. From the jungle came presently a shrill whistle. Men appeared in the mid

From a photograph taken especially for MCCLURE'S MAGAZINE by
Frances B. Johnston.

dle of the road. There was a short whispered parley, and then we entered our carriages again and the journey was continued, now not quite so furiously. An hour later we halted at a little shack-like farmhouse, where supper awaited us. After a glass of rum all around, I was introduced to one Gervacio Sabio, a commandante of the Cuban navy, who was charged with my safe delivery into the hands of General Calixto García. Gervacio was much lighter in complexion.

our carriages. A walk of a mile brought us to a grove of coca


palms, bordering a

pretty little bay. Fifty yards out on the water a small fishing - smack lay dim and silent. Although we made no sound, a light flashed out for a single instant on the boat. Gervacio, the pirate, grunted his satisfaction and answered the signal.

In a hoarse whisper Gervacio impressed upon me the great necessity of caution. When we had escaped the Jamaican authorities the Cuban coast lay a hundred miles to the north. It was patrolled night and day by the Spanish lanchas or coast-guard boats. If we were signaled by one of these sentinel ships we were to hoist French flag and lie flat in the bottom of our boat.


If the Spaniards were still suspicious and insisted on running alongside, we were to rise at a signal and give them a volley. Perhaps we might drive them off; if not, we knew our fate. My companions were filibusters and I was a spy. And thus, with Gervacio swearing solemnly that he and his men would stand by the "Americano," I climbed on the moist shoulders of a Cuban sailor and was borne out through the surf.

A gentle breeze caught our sails, and the

little craft cut her way smoothly outward through the phosphorescent sea with the stars of an unfamiliar sky shining above us. About three o'clock in the morning, I crawled under the seat among the ballast bowlders and went to sleep. When I awakened, the sun was shining hotly over the gunwale. The Cubans showed their white teeth with a "Buenos dias, Meester Rowan," and we began another day of converting time into distance.

About four o'clock in the afternoon the clouds which had walled in the north broke away, and the towering peaks of eastern Cuba stood forth in the sunshine. Fearing that we were nearing the coast too rapidly, Gervacio ordered the mainsail furled, and we began to teeter along under a patch of a jib. It seemed hardly a dozen miles across the glaring water to the shore, but it was not until nearly midnight that the sailors began to take soundings. Gervacio had figured out the time-table of the lanchas very closely, and yet we crept in as stealthily as a red Indian, Gervacio's gaunt form looming high at the stern and his keen eye sweeping the

opinion; and I slept as soundly as any of the others.

With the coming of daylight I found that we were in a moon-shaped inlet between two small headlands in the district of Portillo. Above, the sun was rising gloriously behind El Turquino-the highest peak in all Cubaand below, near the shore, rose a riotous wall of tangled grape, mangrove, and cactus,

defended from the

sea by a sandy rampart against which the water broke in long, lapping swells. In all probability I never shall look on a scene of more entrancing beauty.


A ragged Cuban appeared presently on shore, and faces could be seen peering from the jungle. Signals passed back and forth. We pressed forward until the keel of our boat snubbed in the sand, and then I rode ashore on my sailor's shoulders. A half naked Cuban lad, with two terrible scars in his breast, the marks of Spanish Mauser bullets, led the way into the thicket. Here I saw some interesting salinas, crude arrangements for obtaining salt by the evaporation of sea water. Cut off from supplies from the outside world, the Cuban army has been provided with salt in this poor way for years.


From a photograph taken especially for MCCLURE'S MAGAZINE
by Frances B. Johnston.

horizon for the sight of a sail. A coral reef here parallels the shore, but with the pirate at the helm and full sail set we swept in upon a long roller from the open sea, leaped it gracefully, and dropped into the quiet water beyond.

Within our reef-protected bay we felt quite secure from any Spanish lancha. Indeed, so confident was our commander that he drew up within fifty yards of the shore and dropped anchor for the night. This arrangement was scarcely to my liking. I deemed it dangerous, but I risked no expression of

Such a spot as this offered no pleasant landing nor camping ground for an invading army. The coast is fringed with a marshlike coral reef of variable width, averaging probably three miles. This is pitted with small holes and marked with sharp hummocks, making traveling slow and difficult. Upon the porous coral grows an almost impenetrable tangle of small hard-wood trees, infinite in variety and rooted in an inch or two of vegetable mold. Through this jungle

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