We passed sugar-plantations with their wide cane-fields, the sugar-houses with tall chimneys, and the balconied house of the administrador, keeping a sharp look out over the village of negro-cabins, arranged in double lines.
In the houses near the stations where we stopped, cigar-making seemed to be the universal occupation. Men, women, and children were sitting round tables hard at work. It made us laugh to see the black men rolling up cigars upon the hollow of their thighs, which nature has fashioned into a curve exactly suited to this process.
At Batabano the steamer was waiting at the pier, and our passports and ourselves were carefully examined by the captain, for Cuba is the paradise of passport offices, and one cannot stir without a visa. For once everybody was _en règle_, and we had no such scene as my companion had witnessed a few days before.
If you are a married man resident in Cuba, you cannot get a passport to go to the next town without your wife'