THE CUBAN FIREMEN.
A correspondent writes that during a recent fire at Santiago, Cuba, the “fire department was called out, but proved itself a merely ornamental body. Its members are simply impressive, but only by their self-importance; each one is the embodiment of officialism, which is the more offensive through its being so purely insular. As firemen they are failures in every way, and. when called on to put out a fire, look upon themselves as “put upon” and Assume an injured air, if they are expected either to he ready for work or to work when thev do arrive at the scene of a fire—and they do not hurry themselves. At one fire they had no fuel for their engines, and neither they nor the proper authorities had seen to the supply of water. When they had got their engine fires lit and were ordered to turn on the water, it was discovered that there was none in the mains! Consequently, the fire was left to hum itself out. But, if there had been any wind to speak of, the whole of the adjacent property, including the palace on which, for the first time in the history of Cuba, the Stars and Stripes were hoisted after the expulsion of the Spaniards.”