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The herald. [microfilm reel] (Los Angeles [Calif.]) 1893-1900, March 13, 1898, Image 21

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85042461/1898-03-13/ed-1/seq-21/

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Infant Arms Wield the Machete With Great Dexterity and
Baby Fingers Load Rifles in the Cause of "Cuba Libre/'
There is no more pathetic feature in
the war between Cuba and Spain than
the actual presence of children upon
the battle field. The awful massacre
of tho Cubans by starvation as well as
by bullet and sword has numbered
among its victims many child martyrs
to the cause of liberty.
There are little onea in the Insur
gent camps to-day whose playthings
are cartridge shells; whose lullaby ls
the trumpet call and the noise of bat
tle. This revolution must always live
in history ns one which numbers In Its
list of martyrs laby patriots whose
blood has stained their country's soil
With that of their fathers and mothers.
These children die, most of them,
from fever and insufficient food. They
are gaunt little spectres of childhood.
With wan eyes that have looked upon
terrible scenes of carnage and death.
Some of them die on the field, where
they march beside their fathers with
tiny hands clasping some Implement of
war. Others are stricken down with
machetes, or trampled upon by horses'
hoofs In the wild charges of the Insur
gent army.
And these little martyr souls pass
away without a mother's prayer or a
mother's arms around them. Their re
Sensi&fe Short Skirts Coming Into Vogue for
Rainy Day Wear—New Bicycfe Cos
tumes Are l/ery (say.
New York, March 4.—The little dress
maker was bury with a "rainy-day"
costume this morning.
"Do you mean to tell me," I asked
her, "that women who have any decent
regard for appearances will be seen In
the streets in that sort of thing?"
The dress she was finishing was com
posed of a handsome dark blue storm
aerge. It was the length of the skirt,
or the lack of length, that provoked
my question.
The little dressmaker's eyes twinkled.
"You are too funny! Thlß dress is an
order from my richest and most fas
tidious customer.
"Look!" she chattered, pushing the
•"to- scissors out of Boy's way. "The
time it pours and the streets are
sy with mud and slime, look and
vhat women are wearing!"
c small person with snapping eyes
loose rings of dark hair about her
lies sat down at the sewing ma
c. There was silence while she
hed bones into a bodice,
hen the thread broke she resumed:
es a woman show much regard for
jarances when she's holding up a
ned and splashed skirt and an um
la and six and a quarter bundles
exhibiting soaked ankles and a
obled petticoat?
VII that is out of date and high
»,—I believe Boy has been fooling
h this machine.
Women are wearing rainy-day
sses even at church; you remember
: Sunday's snow flurry?"
he little dressmaker returned to her
le-stitchlng. At a second flying of
thread she remarked: "Muddy
p!" with emphasis. The culprit re
>d to a corner and pushed chairs
ilnst the door.
The proper rainy-day dress," she
rsued, abandoning the machine," is
ger than a bicycle dress, but it must
short enough to show that it Is not
•aid to be a short gown. The trouble
th most of the rigs that women have
lorted to in bad weather has been
it the skirts were close enough to the
igth of the conventional walking
irt to suggest that the slight abbre
itlon was due either to mistake or
ngtness of the cutter. That sort of
?ss is a delusion and a snare. You
Ink you don't need to hold it up and
v get worse fouled than if you wore
train. , ,
qulem ls tho cry of "Cuba Libre!" echo
ing from dying lips. Their little bodies
lie unburled beneath the Southern suns,
until Heaven in benediction marks
their resting places with Cuba's mont
fragrant bloom of lilies and roses,
springing from the very life blood of
these infant warriors.
The presence of women and children
on the field of battle has been used as
a reproach by the enemies of Cuba.
There have been stories of armies of
"Amazons"—described as rough mascu
line creatures leading the men on with
their fury.
A Cuban boy or a Cuban girl often
can handle a machete with ns much
skill as a man—much more dextrously
than the average American who takes
up the weapon wondering at Its weight
and apparent clumsiness. But the
A Cuban Boy Patriot.
machete Is really a household imple
ment in the homes of the Cubans. It is
used much as a hatchet Is used in an
American household, but with a far
greater diversity of uses. The Cuban
boy can peel a cocoanut with a ma
chete ns easily as an American boy
peels an apple with a jack-knife. The
machete is used to cut sugar cane, to
trim vines and to cut the great cacti
and palms that abound upon the island
—giants In their growth.
There have been many child martyrs
to the Cuban war for liberty. There
"The new rainy-day skirt shows you
that It is Just what It is by conviction.
You respect purpose, you know, more
than accident. Since it's always out of
danger, it can be smart enough to com
pel respect for other reasons."
"Longer than a bicycle dress is not
definite," I suggested meekly, wonder
ing how long Boy could stand in a
rocking chair without breaking his
"We make them"—the little dress
maker is quite justified in alluding to
herself as "we," for she is nothing if
not royal in her decrees. "We make
them to cover nicely the tops of or
dinary walking boots.
"The best material is the best all
wool serge to be bought for love or
money. A real serge will stand any
sort of storm.
"You can have a smart tailor cut and,
for trimmings, either rows of Btitchlng
or bias bands of the serge. Like the
tailor dress the beauty of such a cos
tume is altogether in the cut and finish,
for it must be severely plain.
"Dark blue ls about the best color.
The waist can be of any fashion, but
it ought to be simple and to have a
touch of black or white or red or what
ever suits your taßte for a relieving
"Now, these are the advantages:
Tou re-become a two-handed creature;
most women out-of-doors are, effec
tively, one-armed. You walk among
bedraggled women smart, clean and
dry. By avoiding exposure of your
pleasant weather clothes you preserve
their freshness and lengthen their
lives. You obtain a new and distinc
tive costume and save money by It.
You show yourself 'in the swim', in two
senses; you are up with the times."
Boy lost his balance at this point. It
was some minutes before his bumps
were brown-papered and there was
calm for reflection.
Presently I inquired: "What sorts of
dresses are ordered first in the spring?"
The little dressmaker called Patty,
the maid, to carry off an armload that
squirmed and remonstrated. She said:
"We used to make cotton dresses first
always; they were finished months be
fore they were wanted, Just because
there was nothing else that could be
"This season my first orders are for
golf dresc»s; golf player* are almost
are only a few names written on the
death rolls, for the children have not
been counted in with the soldiers.
Somewhere in Heaven, maybe, the
names of those little ones are written
in gold.
One case comes to my memory, that
of Jose Priest, a fifteen-year-old boy
living with his mother and two sisters
In Havana. His father was upon the
field, and the boy helped to support his
mother by selling fruit and flowers
along the Prado. I had bought many
bunches of roses from him. and had
heard many bits of news from the field
which he would whisper to me as he
stopped each evening at the window of
the Hotel Ingleterra with his wares.
This boy died like a hero during my
stay In Cuba.
It was at the time when the lack of
ammunition was driving the Insurgents
to desperation. Several filibustering
expeditions, carrying arms and ammu
nition in plenty, had been prevented
from landing within the month, and
the condition of affairs was desperate.
And it ls this fact that makes the ma
chete charges of the Insurgents the
wildest and most terribly picturesque
forms of battle.
The men sometimes faced their foes
with only one bullet apiece to fight
with. When this had been sent into the
too enthusiastic to stop for winter at all.
"A new golf dress is made of smooth
brown cloth, finished with rows of
stitching. The Jacket is quite short
and is worn with a scarlet waistcoat,
which opens In a square at the neck
over a stiff shirt and a mannish tie. Of
course there is a brown cape with a
tartan lining."
face of the Spanish volunteers —un-
trained and weakened from marching
through swamps—the Insurgents would
raise their machetes in the air, and
with the cry of liberty upon their lips,
tears streaming from their eyes In
tho desperate realization of their posi
tion—they would charge, a-horse and
a-foot, up to the very muzzles of the
Spanish muskets, carrying all before
them In the fury of the charge, hewing
down the volunteers like sugar cane.
One night Jose told mo that his fath
er had sent a message so.ying that he
had been so near Havana the night be
fore that he had set his watch by the
evening bells. "And lam going to see
him to-morrow," he said, und showed
me the letter, written In Spanish, that
had come from the Held appealing for
aid from the city,—especially asking
for ammunition.
The next day Jose took a load of
fruit out toward Mantartzas. The mule
moved slower than ever under his pan
niers, for they were filled with car
tridges. It was long afterwards that I
heard tho boy's story. Towards night
fall, when he had nearly reached the
Insurgents' camp, the tired little beast
refused to proceed further under Its
heavy pack in spite of persuasion and
even blows. Jose loosened the bags
from tho mules back and slung them
over his own shoulder. Where before
he had been only a peasant peddler, he
was now a suspicious looking person,
and was sure to be detected if he was
seen by any one. He stumbled on in
the darkness, realizing his danger, but
determined to reach his father. He fell
many times in that journey; his cloth
ing was torn from his tired legs, but
he plodded on until a sentry's challenge
rang out somewhere In the night. Then
he started to run, still carrying that
heavy load; but two shots whizzed af
ter him, one striking his shoulder. He
hid behind rocks by tho roadside until
the lazy, half drunken Spanish sentrlqs
had ridden away; then ho started on
He reached the campflre of the In
surgent detachment, where his father
waited his coming, and fell forward at
the feet of the surprised men, whisper
ing that he had brought the bullets—
and the loaves of white bread that his
mother had sent, and a flask of red
wine. The boy died two days later, his
wound inflaming and fever setting in as
a result of that terrible journey
through the marshes.
Hueda Hernandez was one of the girl
victims of the war. She was only eleven
years old, and lived at Cardenas. She
was playing one day with some other
children, when a stranger approached
and asked her to carry a package to
some one In tho town. The little one
Innocently consented, and was on her
way to the house indicated when she
was arrested and the package seized.
It happened to contain letters from an
Insurrecto to a woman relative. Hueda
was charged with conspiracy against
the Government, and was cast into a
foul prison. I do not know her ulti
mate fate.
The children of Cuba have suffered
by this awful war as never children
have before. War devastates homes
and leaves hearthstones desolate in all
cases, but this has been a war of ex
termination. In the children of Cuba
Spain sees another generation of
Cubans, even stronger In their patriot-
Ism than their fathers who have
gladly given their lives in the cause of
And so it is that the children of Cuba
have gone upon the battle field to fight
with their fathers. In the wonderful
war that the Cubans have waged, hold
ing their island in tho face of an army
three times their size, the child war
riors have played an Important part.
Their innocent lives have been added
to that vast altar upon which so many
lives have been offered as a sacrifice.
Copyright, IS9B, by Baoheller Syndicate.
"Are you French, little Dressmaker?
Sometimes you speak so quickly you
make me think so."
"French? No. If I were, what should
I know about golf dresses? But I
worked with a woman a year or two
ago who made her best customer—a
girl worth a fortune to her—believe she
came from Paris Just by addressing her
A New Bicycle Costume.
Twefve-Year-Ofd American Boy Whose Artistic
Tafents Are Attracting Attention on
Two Continents.
"Look, look! here comes Paderewski,"
cried a closely cropped youngster to the
others of a group of boyß that were
gathered around George Francis Train
as he sat bare headed on one of his
favorite seats In Madison Square, New
Everybody looked up and, sure
enough, there was a miniature copy of
the great musician's head surmount
ing the slight figure of a small boy less
than twelve years old.
"Why do you call him Paderewskl?"
asked one of the new boys.
"What do you suppose, silly,—look at
his hair! But that ain't all. You
ought to hear him play! Makes up his
own tunes, too!"
That was the boy's version of It, but
! investigation brought out a number of
other facts quite as interesting. In
the first place, he is as handsome as a
picture, and here is his own photograph
to prove that this is the true story of a
real boy. He is such a perfect type of
all that is artistic that New York
sculptors have begged the privilege of
always as 'Mile. Mees. Blonde.' The
girl was fair-haired, and the dress
maker made believe she couldn't speak
her name and that she didn't know
'Mile.' and 'Miss' meant the same thing.
The girl was delighted.
"But I was going to tell you about
the new bicycle dresses. They are made
in brighter colors than last year's. Just
modeling his head, and de Verrlere,
who has attained a great deal of fame
in this country and In France, has suc
ceeded in producing a very good like
ness of him In clay, which he calls
"The Major," a name which has clung
to this child from babyhood. His real
name is Alexander St. John Bridge and
thereby hangs a tale of heredity which
few of even the oldest American fam
Alexander St. John Bridge.
Hies can tell. For the St. John part of
It, which he inherits from his mother,
goes away back to Henry Saint John,
who afterwards became the great Lord
Bollngbroke of Queen Anne's time and
who fled to France upon her death and
upon the accession of King George.
The famous peer was a great favorite
both In his own court and in that of
Besides all this mantel of ancestry,
for which the boy can hardly claim any
credit, he is really something of a
genius in several different lines. All
that his youthful admirer of Madison
Square said about him was true. He
not only plays on piano and organ, but
an the new wheels are painted and dec
orated so much more gaily than the
plain black frames everybody preferred
a year or two ago.
"I sent one home this morning. It was
of brilliant red-brown cloth, with a
black cloth band on the short skirt and
double revers of black cloth on the
jacket; this opened over a shirt waist
of pale blue cotton."
"Suppose a woman can't wear such a
costume," I ventured. "What is' safest
for people with muddy skins?"
"To get rid of them. I don't know a
woman who has ridden a bicycle con
scientiously for two seasons, especially
if she has had a little massage with her
exercise, who can't wear about any
color she wants to.
"But while the treatment is working
the woman might stick to black and
white, unless she is afraid of looking
like a widow Just coming out of mourn
"Vidow," echoed Boy, reappearing,
I turned to inspect a couple of street
dresses Just ready for their boxes and
tissue paper, understanding that it was
useless to expect any further flow of
The first one, fit for the South in
March, for New York in May, was of
abbess blue cloth, with a slightly
flounced skirt trimmed at the bottom
with three rows of turquoise blue vel
vet ribbon. The bodice pouched a lit
tle and was made with a square yoke
of transparent lace edged with velvet.
A low-cut over-dress was simulated by
bands of velvet ribbon, which started
on each side under the arms, turned
square corners, ran to the waist and
then sloped away on the skirt, with
the effect of three-quarter draperies
The other dress was of fine fawn
cloth with three flounces applied in a
novel fashion. The princess draperies
—princess styles are almost the leading
ones at present—opened over an under
skirt of rose-colored chiffon. The bodice
had revers falling over the shoulders
In three little capes and embroidered
in silk and chenille. There was a pret
,ty vest of pink chiffon. The little dress
maker had chosen a hat to go with this
costume; it had a crown of roses, while
the brim was of green leaves.
Boy leaned lovingly against my knee
when I asked, preparatory to going:
"Got any new tailor gowns?"
"The new tailor skirts are very tight
at the hips. They'll be horrible on the
people who exaggerated the Brobding
nagian sleeves, and who showed us how
hideous were the monster hats set at
right angles and how graceless the ab
normally stiffened skirts. Tasteless
women are always sacrificing them
selves on the altar of fashion for the
good of the wiser Individual.
"Tailor gowns have a long pointed
apron In front. The length of the skirt
ls completed by a pleated flounce cut
on the cross and decorative or not, ac
cording to how It ls handled."
"Bing Boy pettermintß," was what
I heard for good-bye.
Copyright, 1898, by Bacheller Syndicate.
does "make his own tunes," and in his
mother's apartments at "The Oram*
mercy" he has a piano and a large pipe)
organ at his disposal.
"Which do you like best?" I asked
"Oh, the organ," he said, "because
there Is so much more power In It. It
ls more like the orchestra, and I love
the orchestra, especially when they;
play Wagner's operas."
"So you go to the opera, do youl
Which is your favorite singer?"
"Calve, I believe, though Melba is
very fine, too, but I like Calve the
His fondness for Calve ls partly due
to the fact that he was presented to her
by Plzzl who wrote Gabrlclla for Ma
dame Patti. Calve had been very
much interested In him before she
knew who he was, as she had fre
quently noticed him in one of the boxes
at the opera when she sang.
His compositions or improvisations
ane of the sad and sympathetic order,
and many of them are very sweet. As
yet he has never received any instruc
tion, but has been allowed to develop
his talent naturally. At present, he
shows great musical ability for a boy
ot his age. If he continues to develop,
he may be heard from some day. For
the rest, he shows quite decided talents
In other directions beside the musical
genius which ought to be enough for
one boy. He models in clay with a good
deal of skill, writes poetry, and
has a strong taste for literature.
He Is a great favorite with Col
onel Richard Henry Savage, who
calls him the "poet's dream and the ar
tist's Inspiration." Henry de Mllle, the
deceased playwright, who wrote "The
Wife," "Lost Paradise," "Charity Ball,"
and other well-known plays, used a
number of this bright youngster's say
ings in his dialogue.
"Major's" mother is a daughter of
the late Chauncey St. John, of New
Copyright, 1898, by Bacheller Syndicate.
Methods at Brace Farm Where
Bay City Children Are
Made Good.
The old, old problem of how to maks
a really bad boy genuinely good, has
been solved. A very cheerful method
of solution it is. and It has all been
brought about by that most delightful
of combinations, charity, kindness, and
pure air.
It is only a little Joureny from New
York to this place of good deeds, up in
Westchester County. After you have
driven four or Aye miles from White
Plains, through a wilderness of rustio
beauty, you see, away up on the top of
one of those famous hills which have
made Westchester famous, a big grey
house that looks comfortable as far as
you can see it.
Everybody that lives anywhere
around there knows what it is. There
(b a genuine ring of pride in the vole*
of whomever you may ask about the
Brace Memorial Farm, —or, as they call
it there, the place where they make
children's minds over.
On the way up to the house boys are
to be seen on every Bide, and all are
at work. There are big boys and lit
tle boys, but there Isn't one of them
who doesn't look as If he were having
a good time right ailong. It is hard to
believe that these lads are waifs from
New York streets, culled from that
weltering mass of human flotsam and
Jetsam which contributes so largely to
keep uip the supply of criminals. That
is exactly what they are, though. The
Children's Aid Society takes them for
the purpose of reclaiming them from
evil ways and making good citizens out
of them. They have not necessarily led
criminal lives, though many of them
have; none, however, are old enough to
have become hopelessly wedded to a
life ot vfce and criime. There is noth
ing compulsory about their residence
at the farm, to which they are taken
with their own consent. If a boy in
sists that he does not want to stay, he
Is taken back to New York, and re
turned to exactly the situation he was
In when the Society began to try to
help him.
The (process of the evolution of the)
street iboy into a good citizen Is an in
teresting one. The first thing that hap
pens to a boy when he reaches Brace
Farm is an Introduction to the bath
room. Mrs. Goff, the matron, says that
it Is frequently necessary for the com
fort of the inmates of the house that
the new arrival shall be divested of all
relics of the city as soon as possible.
After the boy has had his bath and has
been provided wilth arrothet suit of
clothes, fresh 'and clean as clothes
could be, he Is allowed to go out and
look around the farm and see what he
thinks of It. That day he rests; on the
next he begins to study and to work.
It Is the belief of the officials of the
Children's Aid Society, the organiza
tion which watches over Brace Farm,
that the best thing for the little vaga
bonds wham it seeks to reclaim la to
instil! in them the belief that there Is
no work for them like the work of a
farmer. So the boys are taught farm
ing; then, if some sturdy farmer out
west wants to take a 'boy and make a
man of him, Brace Farm cam easily
supply that want.
The boys enter into the spirit of the
work with much enthusiasm, and shoMT
a disposition to be industrious that
would amaze their former companions
in New York. Suipt. Goff says that the
youngsters seem to be stirred to real
aimlbltion for the first time in their lives.
There are 52 boys ait the Farm at pres
ent. Each one has his duties, and each
has the alternative of performing them
faithfully or returning to New York.
Few wish to return, however; it is
such a delightful change for a half
starved youngster to be sure of having
all he can eat three times a day, in
stead of not being sure of anything at
all. City boys have appetites, strong
and hearty, and when they get into the
country, Matron Goff says, it some
times seems as if they never could get
■While the boys are taught the varl
oub things the farmer boy has to know,
their minds are not neglected for a mo
ment. On a hillside back of the old
farmhouse is (perched the school. All
sorts of eyes look at you when you
walk into the big room, from the won
dering look of the six-year-old to the
keen glance that is shot from the
shrewd orbs of the boy of eighteen, who
know s chief! y w hat he has lea rned In New
York streets. The faces are rarely in
dicative of serious evil—not nearly as
much so as one would expect when tha
origin of the boys is taken into consid
eration. There are few dullards
amongst them, and If appearances
count for anything, some day they will
be notable additions to the ranks of
American citizenship.
Copyright, 1898, by BadbeUer Syndte&tfc

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