Nov. 15 - 18, 1873. - Call from old-time Freshman friend; nearly bursting with news; however, does not burst. Wants us to go to Cuba with him in Uncle's blockade runner; interpreter needed; six weeks of Spanish verbs ought to be good enough for Cuba; we assent. Question arises about softening Faculty; Freshman has got off on account of religious scruples concerning required rhetoric. Some new dodge eminently necessary. At Freshman's suggestion sit up forty-eight hours reading diamond Tupper, take a good look at the sun, and go to see the Dean. Dean says "No," and a public for insolence; learning we want to go to Cuba, mutters "Virginius," and says "Granted." Buy four horse-pistols and some brandy. Freshman procures scissors in view of prospective locks of hair.
Nov. 19. - Meet Freshman at station. Observe foreign-looking man in sombrero. Freshman suggests spy. We suggest brakeman. Take compartment car. Freshman, ourself, and mysterious stranger, locked in together, go madly rushing through the night. Have observed stranger handing papers, doubtless important, to villanous-looking man in station. Certainly not brakeman, possibly spy. Do not have a good night's rest. Stranger refuses a pull at our flask. Suspicious.
Nov. 20. - The Metropolis. Closeted with the Junta. Grand High Junta bids us God speed, and borrows $2.25. On coming out meet mysterious stranger. Can it be coincidence? New York by gas-light. It is very cold. Have to take a little brandy. The cause demands our health. Urbane bar-tender. Freshman starts and drops his glass; we look up and observe mysterious stranger handing a paper - apparently sealed - to bar-tender. Bar-tender smiles and burns it. Evident necessity for concealment. Back to hotel by a circuitous route; pile all available furniture against the door, and load pistols to the muzzle. A little afraid they may go off in the night, but sleep in conscious innocence.
Nov. 21. - Ho for Cuba! We write a letter home, enclosing will. Freshman gets his head shaved, and despatches by express eleven locks of hair (his hair). Embark on blockade-runner. Presented with cutlasses and sworn in. Bearded patriot shows us over our seaworthy craft for two reis. A stanch Clyde-built steamer, English bottom, long, low, rakish hull, B. No. 3. Interrupted by pistol-boom from quarter-deck, we weigh anchor (4000 lbs., more or less). We lend a hand, which is blistered. Observe mysterious stranger sorting papers in the shadow of a warehouse. Freshman fires, does not drop his man, - no cap, and proper position of cartridge reversed. Our native land, good night! (Byron.)
Nov. 22. - Wind (blowing a gale), N. S. by W. E. Off Blackwell's Island. Cheered by resident Cubans. Run fifteen bells in four hours, and at five knots pipe to dinner. Speak a ferryboat from Holmes Hole, short of provisions; give them a barrel of salt for ballast, and two able-bodied seamen (already blind-drunk and mutinous). Toward dusk a shot across our bows from villanous-looking pilot-boat. Press on under full head of canvas and steam, - she is overhauling us, - O for night! (Sable Goddess, - Young.) At ii P. M. near enough for conversation, too near for comfort. The interests of Cuban independence demand the preservation of our lives. We provision the Captain's gig, and pass off under cover of darkness.
Morning dawns; take an observation, but no land in sight. Night on night succeeds to day on day. Provisions begin to run low in the locker. Freshman suggests eating one another; being small, we object, on the ground that cannibalism is inconsistent with the true spirit of Christianity. At length, land, ho! Breakers; have to wade ashore. Kiss the soil of Cuba. Hunt for tortoise; find hen's-nest in bushes, - eat it (the contents). Tool-chest washed ashore; throw up intrenchments and feel better. Burrow in sand, for fear of wild beasts; do not altogether escape.
Last Morning. - Band of Imperialists in the distance. Man with sombrero advances, apparently waving flag of truce. On his approach - can it be? - we recognize our ancient enemy of New York. He carries papers in his hand. We are scared, but unintimidated. Get him inside the intrenchment; stamp on him. Examine his papers, - O shame! they are tracts. Swear thus to treat all invaders of the free soil of Cuba. Mysterious stranger says it is n't Cuba, it's Patchoughe, Long Island, and he 's a colporteur, and we are children of wrath. Band (three men and a reporter) advance and corroborate; also arrest us for vagrancy. Loathsome Bastiles. Bailed out by colporteur, who proves to be connected by marriage with Freshman's god-father. Afterwards learn that the blockade-runner only escaped by going to pieces. Crew saved by a large Newfoundland dog. Hate grinding up back work.
ANDROCLES AND THE SICK LION.