Our Little Cuban Cousin

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Our Little Cuban Cousin

The Little Cousin Series
By Mary Hazelton Wade

Ten volumes, illustrated

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


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Our Little
Cuban Cousin

By
Mary Hazelton Wade

Illustrated by
L. J. Bridgman

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Boston
L. C. Page & Company
MDCCCCII

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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

CHAPTERPAGE
I.Danger9
II.The Picnic17
III.Legends29
IV.Next-Door Neighbours37
V.Sugar45
VI.The Quarters53
VII.Home Again61
VIII.Startling News64
IX.First Years in the New World72
X.The Merrimac81
XI.Victory90
XII.Havana97

List of Illustrations

 PAGE
MariaFrontispiece
“‘I counted three different forts of the enemy‘”21
They sat back in the low, broad seat39
The machines made a steady, grinding sound50
“‘It is like a big lizard‘”76
The American flag was waving and peace ruled in the land100

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.

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