National Geographic : 1940 Sep
The American Virgins Photograph by Edwin L. Wisherd A Fancy Stilt Walker Gets Rapt Attention from St. Thomians To the din of beating drums, a clanging iron triangle, and a shrilling fife, the performer does a difficult clown dance. Holidays are numerous in the Virgins. This was during the Easter celebrations. dollar a day in the camp, which they ad mitted was a profitable sum, their plots in the meantime would be uncared for and probably grown over with bush. Finally the camp had to be dissolved for lack of recruits. On the "Katy" to St. Croix By water the small self-contained world of the two larger Virgins is served by the staunch little steamer Catherine, which covers the cir cuit twice a week (Plate XIII). Starting at San Juan, Puerto Rico,* she proceeds over night to Charlotte Amalie. Thence she steams across forty miles of Caribbean water to Christiansted, the principal port of St. Croix, to return the following day via Charlotte Amalie to the Puerto Rican metropolis. But to the Virgin Islander the "Katy" is more than a mere convenience. She is a per- sonality and he is enormously proud of her. Her arrivals and departures are social occa sions of some magnitude, and the visitor is duly conducted aboard to be formally pre sented. For a number of years she was a drab Cinderella, performing her round of duties uncomplaining and unremarked. Then came an absence of some months, followed by a reappearance that caused a sensation. With her face lifted beyond recognition, fresh and glittering from the hand of decorators, loud with the sound of running waters in her many new baths and lavatories, she steamed ma jestically back into port and into the hearts of her people. * See "Puerto Rico: Watchdog of the Caribbean," by E. John Long, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, December, 1939.