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A Woman's Impression of the Philippines by Mary Helen Fee

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the Philippine treasury at a ratio of two pesos Conant to one dollar
U.S. The importation of "Mex" is no longer permitted, and we rejoice
in a stable currency once more.

We provincials followed the newspaper talk about the new system
with no small interest. When our treasurer informed us that he had
received a consignment of the new currency, and that our next salary
cheques would be paid in "Conant," we were delighted. My cheque,
by some accident, got in ahead of those of the other employees,
and was the first presented for payment.

The beautifully made, bright new silver coins had an engaging
appearance after the tarnished mongrel coins to which we were
accustomed. When the Treasurer had counted out all my hard-earned
money except ten pesos, he produced two bags of pennies, and announced
that I should have to take that sum in small coin in order to get
the pennies into circulation. They were of beautiful workmanship,
yellow as gold and heavy as lead. I called in the aid of a small boy
to help me lug home my three bags of coin.

I had been at home only a few minutes when in came the regular vender
of eggs and chickens, who called at my house three times a week. He
squatted on the floor and I sat in front of him in a rocking-chair,
watching my little maid drop the eggs into water to test their
freshness. After we had chaffered the usual time and had come to an
agreement, I went into my room and brought out the bags of new coin. I
had bought about seventy-five cents worth from him, and I first gave
him three of the new silver pesetas, which he admired greatly. There
were still fifteen cents due him; and when I reached my hand into the
penny bag and hauled out a handful of gleaming copper, the maid said,
"Jesus!" under her breath, and the man, "Dios mio!" He received his
fifteen centavos with an attempt to conceal his satisfaction. The maid
requested permission to look inside the bag, and when she had done
so merely grinned up at me with a look that said, "My! You're rich,
aren't you?"

It was Saturday morning, and I went on busying myself about things at
home. Pretty soon there came a deprecatory cough from the stairway--the
local method of announcing a visitor. Outside of Manila knocking or
ringing does not seem to appeal to the Filipinos. In the provinces
the educated classes come to the foot of the stairway and call
"Permiso!" and the lower-class people come to the head of the stairway
and cough to attact attention. My chicken man had returned. Was it
possible that he had heard aright when he had understood the Senora to
say that twenty of the new gold pieces went to one peseta? The Senora
explained that he had made no mistake. Then, said the old rascal,
with bows and smirks, since the lady had so many of them--bags full of
them--had he not seen with his own eyes?--would she have the kindness
to take back those gleaming new pesetas, which were indeed beautiful,
and give him gold in their stead? The lady assured him that the new
money was the same metal used in the old "dacold" and that in time
it would become as dark and ugly, but his Filipino habit of relying
on his own eyes was in full command of him. The man thought that I
had got hold of gold without knowing it, and supposed that he was
getting the best of me. I changed one peseta into coppers for him,
and had difficulty in getting him to leave the house. Ten minutes
after he had left, a woman came in to sell me some more chickens. I
told her that I had just bought, but she put such a price on chickens
as had never before come under my ken. Ten cents was acceptable for a
full-grown laying hen, the ordinary value of which was forty or fifty
cents. I suspected her of having had some information from the old man,
and, in order to find out, I gave her the price of the five chickens,
which I agreed to take, in the old "Mex" media-pesetas. Then there
was an explosion. She reached for her precious chickens and broke that
bargain then and there. Her chickens would sell for ten cents gold, but
for no media-peseta. I asked her how she knew I had gold, and she said
that did not matter--I had some "diutang-a-dacolds" (little dacolds),
and she was willing to sell hens for ten "diutang-a-dacolds" _gold_,
but not for media-pesetas. So I counted her out fifty new coppers
and we both rejoiced in our bargain. I told her that the media-peseta
was worth ten dacolds, but she wanted the bright new money.

For the next two hours I was persecuted with truck-sellers. Ordinarily
the fishermen were unwilling to stop and sell in the streets or in
private houses, preferring to do all their business in the market,
but that morning, I could have had the pick of half the catch. Finally
came a woman who had had a straight tale from the first woman. Woman
number two had nothing to sell, but, after a minute, she pulled out a
jagged old media-peseta and said that she had heard that I said that a
media-peseta was worth ten of the new gold pieces. If I was as good as
my word, why not change her media-peseta for gold? I said that I would
do it if she would give me the new media-peseta, but that I could not
do it for the old. When she wanted to know where she could get a new
media-peseta, and I told her the Treasurer would redeem old silver at
the government ratio, she went off to get a new media-peseta, but it
was plain that she distrusted me. The people flocked to my house all
day trying to get me to buy something and to pay them in the new coins.

It was remarkable how easily and quickly one circulating medium
disappeared and another took its place. At first there was some trouble
about getting the poor people to recognize the copper on a basis of a
hundred to a peso. They were willing enough to receive change on that
basis, but, in giving it, tried to treat the new centavo as a dacold,
eighty to the peso. I had to have one Chinese baker arrested for
persistently giving short change to my _muchacha_, and the Treasurer
had a long line of delinquents before him each morning admonishing
them that they could not play tricks with Uncle Sam's legal tender. But
on the whole the change went off quickly and without much friction.

This morning I asked my maid, an elderly woman, if she remembered the
old money we had four years ago. She struck her forehead with her hand,
and thought a long time. Finally her face lit up. She remembered those
Iggorote dacolds and a silver five-cent piece--"muy, muy chiquitin"
(very, very small). She said that the Tagalogs called the dacolds
"Christinas" after the mother of the Queen-mother. But the difference
between a stable and a fluctuating medium meant nothing to her, and
probably many of her countrymen have almost forgotten that there was
ever any other than Conant in the land.

CHAPTER XIII

Typhoons and Earthquakes

How Typhoons Assert Themselves--Our First Typhoon--Six Weeks' Mail
Brought by the _General Blanco_--Her Narrow Escape From Wreck:--A
Weird Journey on a Still Smaller Steamer--Another Typhoon--Rescue of
Captain B---- --Havoc Wrought by the Typhoon.

In the month of November two more American women teachers arrived at
Capiz, one of whom joined me, and our society was still more increased
by two army officers' wives, and the wives of the provincial Treasurer
and the Supervisor. This made nine women in all, and we began to give
dinners and card parties, and assume quite metropolitan airs.

Miss C---- and I, from our central positions on the plaza, saw and
heard most of what was going on, and we heartily concurred in the
gossip of the day that there was always something doing in Capiz. About
the middle of the month there was a lively earthquake that shook up
our old house most viciously; and just before Thanksgiving we met
our first typhoon.

Typhoons have various ways of asserting themselves, but there is one
predominating form of which this particular typhoon happens to be
an example. The beginning of all things is usually a casual remark
dropped by a caller that the first typhoon signal is up. Then the
weather thickens, and a fine drizzling rain sets in. It stops by and
by, and you have no sort of opinion of typhoons. Then the rain begins
again with a steady downpour, which makes you wonder if there will be
any left for next year. Again it stops, almost leads you to think it
intends to clear. Then a little vagrant sigh of wind wafts back the
deluge. A few minutes later nature sighs again with more tears. Each
gust is stronger than the one before it, and at the end of eight or
ten hours the blasts are terrific, and the rain is driven like spikes
before them. It may keep this up twelve hours or fifty-six. It may
increase to an absolute hurricane, levelling all before it with great
loss of life, or it may content itself with an exhibition of what it
could do if it really desired.

At the end of the first day of our typhoon I went to bed wondering
how long the ant-eaten supports of our house could hold out against
the violent wrenchings and shakings it was getting. I had poor rest,
for the howling of the wind, the noise of boards torn loose, and
the clatter of wrenched galvanized iron roofing made sleep almost
impossible. When I went out into the kitchen next morning, my
heart sank into my boots. The nipa roof had been torn away piece by
piece. The whole place was soaked, the stove was rusted, and rivulets
were running outside and inside of the pipe. Romoldo clucked his glee
in this devastation, and opined that the outlook for breakfast was
poor. It was certainly no poorer than breakfast when it came.

I dressed myself for the weather and went to school in a mackintosh
and rubber boots. The costume seemed to afford no small excitement to
the Filipinos who beheld. They had hitherto considered mackintoshes and
rubber boots as the exclusive property of men. Had I appeared in a pair
of pantaloons, I should not have created more sensation. Nobody came
to school, of course, but I had to go through the form of reporting
there twice anyway. We lunched on gingersnaps and water, and had a
dinner composed chiefly of tinned things.

After dinner, to our immense surprise, we had callers in spite of the
storm. Lieutenant and Mrs. C---- came over to ask us to Thanksgiving
dinner, and a couple of men from the officers' mess dropped in. One
of these, Captain R----, was in command of the launch kept at Capiz by
the military Government. She was about sixty feet long, and having been
built at Shanghai, rejoiced in a Chinese name--the _Yuen Hung_. But as
something was the matter with her engines, which coughed and wheezed
most disgracefully, the flippant Americans had rechristened her the
_One Lung_, much to the chagrin of her skipper.

A barkentine, loaded with molave timber and carrying native passengers,
had been driven ashore at the port that day, and the _One Lung_
had gone to the rescue and taken off the passengers. Fortunately the
little craft did not have to brave the full force of the sea, as the
arms of the bay broke the fury. But even in the bay Captain R----
said the waves were frightful, and he thanked his stars that they
had gotten back alive.

While we were still talking of the storm, there came a shout from
the tribunal next door, and the noise and rattle of the four-horse
escort wagon starting down to Libas. That could mean but one
thing--States mail, the which, as we had seen none of it for six
weeks, was particularly welcome. But we wondered what boat had come
in in such a storm, and, the unexpected always happening, were not
wholly unprepared to learn that that disreputable old tub the _General
Blanco_ had made harbor safe and sound. It took till nearly midnight
to get the mail up and distributed, but we stayed up for it. There
were actually eight sacks of mail for our little colony, and we went
over to the tribunal and watched the mail sacks opened, and seized
on our share with avidity, while we alternately blessed and despised
the skipper of the _Blanco_ for getting caught out in the tempest.

This was not the last feat the _Blanco_ was destined to achieve during
my stay in Capiz. She had a habit of dropping into port in weather that
it seemed no boat could live in. Once she came in about two P.M. in
a tremendous sea, bringing a single American passenger--a girl of
twenty-one, a Baptist missionary. As the _Blanco_ had no cabins, the
captain was forced to lock his native passengers in the engine room,
where no doubt they contributed much to the enjoyment of the engineer
and his aids. He had the deck chair of this girl carried up on his
bridge and lashed, and she was lashed to the chair. There they two
rode out the storm. The captain said that from eleven o'clock till
two, when he made the shelter of Batan Bay, he expected his boat to
be swamped any instant, and he expressed his unqualified admiration
for the way in which this girl faced her possible doom. He concluded
with a favorite Filipino ejaculation, "Abao las Americanas," which in
this case may be freely translated as "What women the Americans are!"

The _Blanco_ is still skipping defiantly over the high seas between
Iloilo and Capiz, though after all her hairbreadth escapes she came
near ending herself in a typical way. She started out one night from
Capiz for Iloilo, a heavenly calm night, bright moonlight, and a sea
smooth as a floor. Two or three miles from the port, a large island
called Olatayan lies off the coast--a single mountain rising out
of the sea. Everybody on the _Blanco_, including the watch and the
steersman, thought it a good night for sleep, and left the _General_
to steer her own course. The _General_ made straight for Olatayan,
and ran her nose up on the beach. She stayed there two weeks, and was
beaten up by bad weather, and assistance had to be sent to get her
off. Then she had to be pretty well rebuilt, and repainted. At the
time of all these happenings I was in Iloilo, whither I had gone for
treatment of an abscess of the middle ear, and as I depended on the
_Blanco_ for getting back, felt personally injured by her antics. I
went several times to the office of her agents, one of the big English
trading firms, to inquire how the wreck was getting along, and what
the prospect was for a return to Capiz before Christmas. The man at
the desk did not look characteristically English, and on my first
appearance I addressed him tentatively in Spanish. He answered in that
language, and we continued to use it. On one of the later visits this
gentleman was not visible, but in his place a red-headed, freckled
youth, with the map of Scotland outlined on his rugged countenance,
presided over the collection of inkstands and ledgers. Naturally, I
accosted him in English, whereupon the shape of my former interlocutor
rose up from behind a screen and remarked, "By Jove, I thought you
were Spanish, don't you know? and have been talking to you all this
time in Spanish. What a sell!"

Failing the _Blanco_, I took passage for Capiz on the _Fritz_, a craft
one or two degrees smaller and rustier than the old _General_. Of
all the weird experiences I ever had, that twenty-four hours was the
weirdest. They cleared out a sort of pantry or lazaretto just back
of the deck engine-house for me to use as a stateroom, and I slept on
the pantry shelf. Some kind of steam pipes must have passed under it,
for it grew so hot that several times I had to vacate and get down on
the floor. Then we met a little wind as we rounded the north coast,
and I was sick. A family of Filipino aristocrats came on board
at Estancia, and the ladies elected to share my retreat. They had
several servants and one or two babies and other necessaries of life,
and they left me only a corner of the pantry shelf, against which I
propped my weary and seasick frame. We made Capiz just at dusk, and
never was a wanderer more eager to see home. There on the bank were
two of my friends, who said they were invited out to dinner and were
to bring me if I arrived in time. So we went to that cheery American
home with its spotless linen, its silver and china. For six weeks I
had been living on Spanish "chow," and the contrast made me serenely
happy. It was almost worth enduring--the six weeks of chow and the
_Fritz_, I mean--to enjoy the change.

But to return to typhoons. We had several more that year, and I began
to feel that typhoons were terribly exaggerated in books. But in 1903
we had an object lesson that I do not care to repeat. We went through
all the usual preliminaries of typhoon signals, drizzle and gust. It
was, I believe, the tenth of June. I stayed up late that night,
working, and noticed that the gusts were increasing. Just at midnight
I laid down my pen and started to go to bed, when there came a blast
that shook the house like an earthquake and made me decide to wait
a while. For the next three hours the storm raged in a very orgy of
gladness. It slapped over nipa shacks with a single roar. It ripped
up iron roofing and sent it hurtling about the air. The nipa of my
roof was torn off bit by bit, and the rain came in torrents. I used
my mackintosh to cover up the books, and put a heavy woollen blanket
over the piano. Then I held an umbrella over the lamp to keep the rain
from breaking the chimney, and sat huddling my pet monkey, which was
crazed with fear. The houses on either side were taller than mine,
and for this little hollow it seemed as if all the iron roofing of
the town had steered a direct course. The pieces came down, borne by
the shrieking wind, and landed with rattle and bang. My house swayed
at every gust. It seemed that the cross-beams in the roof moved at
least a foot each way. The little lanterns that burn in front of
the houses were blown out by the wind, and when I peered out there
was nothing but the inky darkness, the howling of the wind, the
thrashing of the cocoanut trees, and the thud of falling nuts. From
my side window I could see the native family next door to me all on
their knees in front of an image of the Virgin, and once, in a lull,
caught the sound of their prayers.

The storm reached its greatest violence by half past one and subsided
by about three, at which time I went to bed and slept till morning. In
spite of my fear I could not help laughing at my two Filipino girl
servants. They slept undisturbed through the earlier gusts, but
when the roof went and the water came in, they awoke--disgusted. The
oldest one said, "Mucho aguacero" (a heavy shower) and cast about for
a dry spot. She didn't find any at first, but she finally concluded
that the corner where my bed stood was highest; lifting the valence,
they disappeared.

Next morning Capiz presented a pitiful sight. Many of the great almond
trees on the plaza were uprooted and the others dismembered. The
little nipa houses were flat on the ground or drunkenly sprawling
at every slant and angle. Even the best houses had suffered. The
constabulary cuartel was absolutely wrecked. The Supervisor's kitchen
was gone, and his wife mourned for her dishes, which were scattered
up and down the length of the street. The home of the scout officer
was jruined. He and his wife had taken shelter under a stone wall,
and been drenched for three or four hours. The young mangoes had
been strewn on the ground, and there was no hope of that crop. Many
of the cocoanut trees were broken off, and where this was not the
case, the nuts had been whipped off. The banana trees were entirely
destroyed. Altogether it was a sorry sight, and we all got out and
walked about and viewed the ruins, just as we do for a cyclone at home.

The storm had an aftermath in the rescue of an Englishman, Captain
B----, a pearl fisher. He was anchored under the lee of a small
island in the sea between Panay and Masbate. He was in a small
lorcha, or sailing vessel, with no barometer, his glass having been
left on a lorcha of larger tonnage, which was at another point. The
heavy wind caught them without warning almost, and its impact soon
pressed the lorcha over. Captain B---- found himself struggling in
the water--able to swim, but drowning, as he expressed it, with the
spindrift which was hurtling into his face. He kept one arm going,
and partially protected his face with the other. Then in the inky dark
he touched a human body. It was the leg of one of his crew, four of
whom were clinging to one of the lorcha's boats. It kept turning over
and over, and they had to go with it each time. Captain B---- hung
to the prow, so his circuit was not so wide as that of the others,
but his body--arms, legs, and chest--was literally ploughed by the
rough usage. Once he let go and lost the prow as it came up, and the
fright of this was enough to strengthen his hold. They were in the
water clinging to this all the rest of the night, the next day, and
the next night. One man died of exhaustion, and one went mad and let
go. On the second morning they succeeded in bailing it out by means
of an undershirt, which Captain B---- had been wearing, and which,
though torn to ribbons across the front, was whole in the back. They
remained in the boat all day, beaten on by the tropical sun, having
been thirty hours in the water without food or drink.

Captain B---- said they were all a little mad. They saw the _Sam
Shui_--the boat of the commanding officer of the Visayas--in the
distance, but were too low to be sighted by her. They wore their finger
ends down, tearing a plank off the side to use for an oar. Meanwhile
the current carried them down closer to the Panay coast, and on the
third day they were close enough to fall in with one of the big fishing
_paraos._ This carried them into Panay, a town five or six miles east
of Capiz. Captain B---- had just strength to write a line or two and
sign his name. This was brought down to Capiz, and the constabulary
officer on duty there went out immediately with a launch and brought
him in. He was in the military hospital a long time. His attending
physician said that between salt water and sun he had been literally
flayed, and the flesh torn into ribbons and gouged by the impact of
the boat.

The storm did frightful havoc all through the Visayas, and many lives
were lost and vessels wrecked. The _Blanco_ as usual made harbor all
right, but another little Capiz boat, the _Josefina_, went ashore, and
her captain and several others were lost. The adventurous _One Lung_
was at Iloilo, and it was reported that she started out of the river
without consulting her pilot, creating thereby general consternation
among her sister craft.

We accustomed ourselves at last to typhoons and earthquakes, and,
on the whole, decided that they were less fearful than tornadoes at
home. Meanwhile we rather luxuriated in the sensations of romance
inspired by living in a town surrounded by a hostile population and
protected by soldiery. It was very, very new, and we made the best
of it.

CHAPTER XIV

War Alarms and the Suffering Poor

A Surprise Party of Bolo-Men--Forty_ _Insurrectos_ _Arrive in Our
Neighborhood--Anecdotes of Encounters with Insurgents--Anxiety Because
of Treachery of the Natives--A False Alarm--Five Hundred Starving
Persons--Great Lack of Institutions for the Poor--Smallpox Patient
in the School Building--The Newspaper a Creator of Hysteria.

As I said before, Capiz had never been a warlike province, and
there had been comparatively little resistance to the American
occupation. Antique province to the west of us had fought stubbornly
and was still infested by _ladrones_, or guerilla troops. One
engagement took place at Ibajay, a town on the north coast close to
the western border of Capiz, quite worthy of description.

There was a small American garrison at Ibajay--about seventy-five or
a hundred--and the Filipinos planned to surprise and massacre them
just at day-break when the reveille was sounded. But the bugler was
an astute youth, with an observing mind, and as he made his morning
promenade, it seemed to him that there were far too many ladies
squatting about on the plaza. So he got as close to quarters as he
could, and instead of blowing reveille, blew the call to arms with
all his soul, and then ran for his life. The American troops swarmed
out in their underdrawers and cartridge belts, and that surprise
party turned right about face. The squatting women on the plaza,
who were bolo-men in disguise, left for the hills with the yelling
undergarmented in pursuit. A Filipino girl who saw it all described
the affair to me, and said, "Abao," as she recalled the shouts of
enjoyment with which the Americans returned after the fray. They
seemed to regard the episode as planned to relieve the monotony of
life in quarters and to give them a hearty breakfast appetite.

I had been little more than a month in Capiz when the rumor went
abroad that a parao with forty insurrectos from Samar had landed at
Panay, just east of us, and the occupants had scattered themselves
out between Panay and Pontevedra. Pontevedra was supposed to be an
insurrecto town, thirsting for American gore.

As we at Capiz were protected by a company of the Sixth Infantry and
one of the Tenth Cavalry, and the Islands were theoretically at peace,
we were not very much alarmed by this. But it gave us something to
talk about, and we enjoyed it just as we do telling ghost stories on
winter nights, when the fire is low, and there is plenty of company
in case the ghosts materialize. Shortly after, however, came the
shocking details of the affair at Balangiga, and we--I speak of
the feminine portion of our colony--did not feel so secure by any
means. The Supervisor's wife insisted upon having a guard at her house,
and when any two American women got together they discussed what they
would do in case of a sudden alarm.

I am certain that there is no braver soldiery in all the world than
ours. But I am equally certain that when war is a man's profession,
on which all his chances of honor, pay, and promotion hinge directly
or indirectly, the wish in his mind is father to the thought, and
unconsciously he scents danger because he wants danger. Of an officer
it may be said, as of Thisbe's lion, that his trade is blood, and
"a lion among ladies is a most dreadful thing," But nothing pleased
me more than to hear the officers tell tales of the old campaign and
speculate on the possibilities of a new one.

Our Supervisor had been a captain of volunteers in a Minnesota
regiment. He was a thoroughly interesting talker, and an inimitable
story-teller, a man who did not lose his sense of humor when the
joke turned on himself. I heard him tell one or two stories well
worth repeating.

Our valorous Supervisor was stationed in Antique province, while
in Capiz was a detachment of the regular army. And in full sight
of both on the top of a precipice, an insurrecto flag flaunted its
impertinent message.

The Supervisor said he waited a decent length of time to give the
regulars a chance to pull down the flag, as it lay in their province,
but when they failed to act, he went out, full of hope and good United
States commissary valor, to destroy the insurrecto stronghold and
to give an object lesson in guerilla warfare to the regulars. His
men hacked and hewed their way through the jungle and cogon grass,
with never a shot from the insurrectos. Then at the last they
came to a clear slope, and when they were about half-way up this,
the insurrectos opened fire, not only with rifles but with great
boulders. The Supervisor said it took them over two hours to get
up, and they went down in less than twenty minutes. One little Dutch
private was in so much of a hurry that he punched him (the officer) in
the back with a gun butt and said, "Hurry up! get out of the way." Most
of the shots flew high, however. The flag came down later, but it
required four hundred men and a battery of artillery to bring it down.

On another occasion the Supervisor, his wife, a constabulary
lieutenant, and I were out on the _playa_ (beach) when we came to a
little hollow almost hidden by grass, so that I stumbled in crossing
it. This started the two men into retrospect of a day's fight over on
the beach of the west coast. The insurrectos at last took to flight,
and the Supervisor started after one whom he had noticed, on account
of the beautiful kris, or fluted bolo, which he carried. As they ran,
the Supervisor stumbled over such a grass-hidden hollow, and without
his perceiving it, his revolver flew out of its holster. He kept on
gaining slightly on his quarry, who glanced apprehensively over his
shoulder now and then, expecting to see the big Colt come out. At
last, when he thought the range was good, the officer reached for
his revolver. He described the sort of desperate grin with which
the Filipino glanced back expecting the end, and the rapid change to
satisfaction and triumphant ferocity as pursuer and pursued realized
what had happened. Then the race changed. It was the Supervisor
who panted wearily back toward his scattered fellows, and it was
the Filipino with a kris to whose muscles hope of victory lent fresh
energy. Fortunately, this young constabulary lieutenant, who had been
a non-commissioned officer of volunteers, saw what was going on, and
picked off the Filipino with a long range shot from his rifle. The
kris was secured, and its beautiful blade and tortoise-shell scabbard,
inlaid with silver, went as a present to Mrs. Wright when she visited
the province.

Somewhere in his "Rulers of the South" Marion Crawford speaks of the
wonderful rapidity with which news flies among the native population in
warfare, and he cites as an illustration that "when Sir Louis Cavagnari
was murdered in Cabul, in 1879, the news was told in the bazaar at
Allahabad before the English authorities received it by telegraph,
which then covered more than half the whole distance between the
two places." This same condition beset the American officers in
the Philippines. Secretly as they might act, they found the news of
their movements always in advance of them, and the crafty native hard
to surprise.

Among the leaders in Panay a certain Quentin Salas who operated
both in Antique and Iloilo provinces was noted for his daring and
cruelty. The American troops spent much time in pursuit of him,
and among others the doughty Captain of volunteers. The Captain said
that Salas made his headquarters in a certain pueblo, and often word
was brought that the insurrecto would be found there on a certain
day. The Captain tried all devices, forced marches, and feints on
other pueblos, but to no purpose. He always arrived to find his quarry
gone, but breakfast waiting for him (the American) at the _convento_,
or priest's house. The table was laid for just the right number of
persons, and the priest was always affable and amused. The Captain
grew desperate. He gave out false marching orders, and tried all the
tricks he knew of. Finally, he let it be known that he intended to
march on Salas's pueblo the next morning, and he did so, and actually
arrived unexpectedly, or at least so nearly so that breakfast was
not ready. The Filipinos had assumed that his announcement cloaked
some other invention, and had expected him to branch off at the
eleventh hour.

The Captain searched the town from garret to cellar, but no Quentin
Salas. He unearthed, however, the usual score of paupers and
invalids. One of these was a man humped up with rheumatism, as only
a Filipino decrepit can be. The Americans finally departed, leaving
this ruin staring after them from the window of a nipa shack. Months
afterward, when peace had been declared, the officer heard his name
called in the government building at Iloilo, and saw a keen-eyed
Filipino holding out his hand. The Filipino introduced himself as
Quentin Salas, and owned that he possessed a slight advantage in
having viewed the officer _in propria persona_, while he, Salas, was
in disguise. He confessed that the American had caught him napping on
that day, and that he had been forced to assume hurriedly the garb
and mien of an aged pauper. The American owned himself outwitted,
and shakes his head to this day to think how near he came to victory.

We lived in a maze of war talk all that autumn. I doubt not that,
to the officer commanding, much that was mere excitement to us
was deadly reality and anxiety, for although peace was declared,
the treachery of the natives had been demonstrated at Balangiga,
and there was no certainty that the affair would not be repeated
elsewhere. The American people have little conception of the burdens
laid upon the army. These were to hold a people in subjection while
denying that they were in subjection; to assume the belief of peace
and yet momentarily to expect war; to rule without the semblance of
rule; to accomplish when all the recognized tools of accomplishment
were removed; to be feared and yet to be ready to bear cheerfully all
blame if that fear expressed itself in complaint. I cannot but feel
that the army had much to bear in those early days, and bore it well.

One little incident will serve to illustrate how lightly and yet how
seriously the circumstances of life were viewed at that time. The
open sea beach, or playa, two miles north of the town, was the
favorite afternoon drive, and one day Miss C----, who lived with me,
was invited by the wife of Dr. D---- to share her victoria. They left
for the playa about half-past four, the Doctor accompanying them on
his bicycle. He never permitted his wife to leave the borders of the
town unaccompanied.

Mrs. D---- was in poor health and found long drives unendurable, so
when seven o'clock came and Miss C---- had not returned, I concluded
that she was going to dine at Dr. D----'s. However, before sitting down
without her, I sent Romoldo up to the Doctor's to inquire if she was
there. He came back saying that the D----s had not returned, and that
their servants were quite upset, as such a thing had never happened
before. I waited till eight and sent Romoldo again for news. Again he
brought back word that the D----s had not appeared. I thereupon went
over to Lieutenant C----'s house, who instantly picked up his hat and
left to talk the matter over with the officer of the day. Thence it
was reported to Captain M----, who ordered out searching parties for
each of the three main roads leading out of Capiz. Just as the men
were ready to start, the victoria and bicycle appeared. Our friends
had stopped at a Filipino house where a saint's day celebration was
in full swing, and had found it impossible to leave. The Filipino
hosts had brought up ice all the way from Iloilo to make ice-cream,
but as they were not adepts, it didn't freeze properly, and they would
hear of no guest leaving until the ice-cream had been served. Miss
C---- said they were worried and tried to get away, but I declined to
believe her. Ice-cream, I insisted, might excuse four times the delay,
and I flatly refused to be convinced that they had intended to turn
their backs on it after a compulsory fast of seven months.

The troops bundled themselves back to quarters, and it all ended
in a laugh. Only the commanding officer leaned out of his window to
chuckle at me.

"Well, did you get your chicken?" and I went home and vowed that
Miss C---- should perish four times over before I would stir up an
excitement about her again.

If we lived in a slightly hysterical state as concerns the
possibilities of war and bloodshed, we soon learned to be phlegmatic
enough about disease and pestilence. Nearly five hundred starving
people had gathered in Capiz, and their emaciated bodies and cavernous
eyes mocked all talk of the brotherhood of man. This condition did
not represent the normal one of the whole province,--but rather these
people represented the aggregate of starvation. Of course, following
the war, there was a short crop and no little distress. But a certain
Capiz politician with his eyes on the future caused word to be sent
out through the province that if the needy would come into Capiz he
would see that they were fed. Of course he did no such thing. They
came and starved to death; but meanwhile the report of his generosity
was spread abroad, and nobody took any pains to tell the story of how
the miserable wretches had been cheated. So the politician profited
and the poor died.

No one whose life has been passed in American rural prosperity
can wholly realize one's helplessness in the face of these
conditions. Capiz was a town of twenty-five thousand people rejoicing
in many commodious and luxurious homes and a fine old church. It
would seem a small affair to tide over the distress of so small a
number as five hundred starving. But the greatest obstacle was the
fact that they were not temporarily starving. They represented a
portion of the inhabitants who either from voluntary or involuntary
helplessness would always need assistance, and the people of the town
did not see a clear way of assuming the burden.

I confess in my unsophistication I went out among them consuming with
fine altruistic zeal. A woman with a starving child in her arms begged
of me in the plaza. Instantly my purse was out, and instantly I was
mobbed by the howling, filthy crowd. My purse was almost torn out of
my hand, my hat was knocked over my eyes, and a hundred eager claws
tugged and pulled at my garments. I had fairly to fight my way out of
the mob, and learned to bestow no more alms in public. Then I took to
throwing pennies out of the window, and found as a consequence that
there was no rest day or night from the wailing and howling in the
street. Little by little the fountain of my philanthropy dried up,
and I contented myself with giving what I could to the Church to be
bestowed in regular channels.

At that time there was not a single hospital (American military
hospital excepted) in the Philippine Islands outside of the city of
Manila, and with the exception of one or two missionary establishments,
no poorhouses, no orphan asylums,--in short, no properly organized
eleemosynary institutions conducted by the State. The result was
one at which we Americans were first appalled, then indignant, then,
through sheer helplessness, indifferent. We simply became hardened
to sights and sounds which in our own land would stir up a blaze of
excitement and bring forth wagon-loads of provisions.

Between the two stone schoolhouses at Capiz was a connecting house
of nipa where in ante-insurrection days the native teachers had
their quarters. At first the horde of beggars were allowed to make
their headquarters in this; but on the arrival of the Division
Superintendent, he protested against sowing the seeds of disease
among school children in that way. So the paupers were driven forth
and found shelter wherever they could, in barns and unused houses.

In the following June a part of the older pupils were separated from
the others and placed in a room in the tribunal, as the nucleus of an
intermediate school. I was in charge of them, and noticed one day a
heap of rags lying on a pile of boards underneath the opposite wing
of the building. Presently the rag heap began to twist and turn and
throw arms about and then to scream. I went over to investigate, and
found a girl of fourteen or fifteen nearly dead. Her skeleton body
was covered with sores, her eyes seemed sightless, and the flies had
settled in clouds around them and her nostrils. She would lie on the
hard boards a few minutes until the torment grew unendurable, and then
break into screams and lamentations. The rooms of all the municipal
officers were about her, she was in full sight of the police, and yet
there she lay and suffered with no human being to help her. Naturally
I went to the Mayor, or Presidente. He wanted to know, with some
irritation, what was to be expected when the School Superintendent
refused to let the school building be used by the poor. After some
talk the girl was removed to a house and assistance given her. She
was past the need of food, and died in less than twenty-four hours.

The aforementioned nipa house between the two schoolhouses was
utilized for janitors' quarters, and the arrangement was such that
pupils leaving the room temporarily passed through it. One day one
of the children casually remarked that some one was sick in there
with _viruela_ (smallpox). I went in and found a child apparently in
the worst stages of confluent smallpox. Now in our own dear America
this would have meant almost hysteria. There would have been head
lines an inch deep in the local papers, the school would have been
closed for two weeks, a general vaccination furor would have set in,
and many mammas and little children would have dreamed of confluent
smallpox for weeks to come. But we did none of these things in
the Philippines. We merely requested the authorities to remove the
smallpox patient, and ordered the janitor to scrub the room with
soap and water. Nobody quitted school; nobody got the smallpox;
and the whole thing was only an incident.

Later I was destined to pass through the cholera epidemic of 1902-03,
and I realized how great a factor a daily paper is in creating public
hysteria. Part of the time I was in Manila, where the disease was under
much better control than it ever was in the provinces (where it was
not under control at all), and there was about five or six times as
much worry, talk, and excitement in Manila as ever prevailed outside,

I have lived in towns with newspapers and in towns without them,
and have come to believe with Gilbert Chesterton that the newspaper
is used chiefly for the suppression of truth, and am inclined to add,
on my own account, the propagation of hysteria.

CHAPTER XV

The Filipino's Christmas Festivities and His Religion

Autumn Weather--Winter Weather--A Christmas Tree for
Filipino Children--A Christmas Eve Ball--Early Mass on
Christmas--Visitors--Attitude of the Filipino to Religion--His Ideas
of the Fine Arts Formed by the Church--Joys and Sorrows Carried to
Church--Religion Not a Source of Party Animosity--Filipinos More
Likely to Become Rationalists than Protestants.

What with typhoons, earthquakes, talk of insurrection, the novelty
of military life about us, and the effort to comprehend the native,
the days sped quickly by at Capiz. October and November came and went
in alternate stages of storm and sunshine. For days at a time the
fine rain drove like a snow storm before a northeast wind, and it
was difficult to realize that the deluge was the remnant of a great
blizzard which, starting on the vast frozen plains of Siberia, had
swept southward, till crossing the China Sea it gathered up a warm
flood and inundated us with it. We spoke of its being autumn at home,
but we could not realize the fact. When clear days came, they were so
warm, so glinting with sunlight, that it seemed all the world must
be bathed in glory. It would rain steadily for a week or ten days,
and then there would come one of those clear days when every breath of
vapor was blown out of the sky, the heavens were a field of turquoise,
and the mountain chains were printed against them in softest purple.

With the month of December the weather changed, the rain ceased, and
the dry chill winter of the tropics set in. The nights were so cold
that one was glad to nestle into bed under a blanket. The northeast
wind still blew, but fresh and cool from the sea, and hardly a cloud
floated in the sky. We drove often out to the open beach where the
surf came in gloriously, and the great mountain island of Sibullian,
away to the north, hung half cloud, half land in the sky.

Christmas was near at hand, and we began to think of turkey and
other essentials. Presents to home folk had to be mailed early in
November, and after that an apathy came on us. Thanks to Mrs. C----,
the energetic wife of a military man of private fortune, Christmas
was destined to wear, after all, an Anglo-Saxon hue.

The Filipinos do not understand Santa Claus or the Christmas Tree. The
giving of presents is by no means a universal custom of theirs,
and such as are given are given on the festival of _Tres Reyes_, or
The Three Kings, some six or eight days after Christmas. Mrs. C----
decided to give a Christmas festival to certain Filipino children,
and she actually managed to disinter, from the Chinese shops, a box
of tiny candles, and the little devices for fastening them to the
tree. No Christmas pine could be found, but she got a lemon tree,
glossy of foliage. With the candles and strings of popcorn and colored
paper flowers, this was converted into quite the natural article. She
invited several of us to dinner on Christmas Eve, and we went early
to see the celebration.

By half-past six o'clock, when the tropical dusk had closed down, the
little guests began to arrive, each in charge of a servant. There were
twenty-five twinkling, berry-eyed babelets with their satiny black down
hanging like bangs over their eyes, and their tubby little stomachs
covered with fine garments and bound about with gorgeous sashes. They
squatted on their little heels and sucked their little thumbs, and
waited in wondering patience for this strange mystery to occur. As many
American children would have made the air noisy for a block around.

The windows of the house were thrown wide open, and the sliding doors
which pull back all around the base boards were open too, so that
the whole interior was visible from the street below. There a great
crowd had gathered, men, women, and children, beggars, and many of
the elder brothers and sisters of the favored guests within. Nearly
every child was displaying a toy that seems to be the special evidence
of Christmas in the Philippines--some sort of animal made of tissue
paper and mounted on wheels. It is lighted within like a paper lantern,
and can be dragged about. Great is the pride in these transparencies,
and great the ambition displayed in the construction. Pigs, dogs, cats,
birds, elephants, and tigers, of most weird and imposing proportions
they are, and no few feuds and jealousies grew out of their possession.

When the coverings were drawn off the tree, and the candles were
lighted, the crowd in the street waxed quite vociferous, but
the babies merely uttered little ecstatic sighs. They took their
presents and turned the toys over gravely, and sucked gingerly at the
sweets. Then one by one they marched out to join their relatives and
the transparencies.

We had a good dinner and drank to the homeland and a merry
Christmas. Afterwards Captain C---- leaned out of the window and cried
to us to look at the snow. The moon was just overhead, ringed round
with a field of cirrus clouds. They were piled one on top of another,
glistening and cool, with the sheen of real snow by moonlight. I have
never seen such an effect in our own land, and only once subsequently
here.

There was a ball that night, and we were all going. While we were at
dinner, the waits came in and sang in the hallway just as in merry
England they sing under the window. But if the English waits sing
as badly as the Filipino ones, then the poetry of the wait songs is
gone from me forever. These of ours were provided with tambourines,
and they sang an old Latin chant with such throaty voices that it
sounded as if the tones were being dragged out by the roots.

By half-past nine the local band, or one of them--for most Filipino
towns rejoice in half a dozen--came round to escort us to the
hall. This attention was, as President Harper always declared of the
many donations to the University of Chicago, "utterly unsolicited on
our part," and was the result of a hope of largesse, and of a high
Filipino conception of doing honor to the stranger. Preceded by the
band and surrounded by a motley assembly of several hundred people,
the children dragging their transparencies with them, we strolled up
the quarter of a mile of street intervening between the Lieutenant
and Mrs. C----'s house and the Filipino mansion where the ball was
held. When we entered, the guests all rose to do us honor, and shortly
thereafter the rigadon was called.

The ball differed little in its essential features from other balls,
save that, owing to its being Christmas Eve, the Filipino men,
in accordance with some local tradition, discarded the usual black
evening dress, and wore white trousers, high-colored undershirts, and
camisas, or outside Chino shirts, of gauzy pina or _sinamay_. This is
the ordinary garb of a workingman, and corresponds to the national
or peasant costume of European countries; and its use signifies a
tribute to nationality.

At midnight the church bells began to toll, and the three or four
hundred ball guests adjourned _en masse_ to the church. This building
is larger than any I can remember in America, except the churches
of Chicago and New York, and was packed with a dense throng. It was
lighted with perhaps two thousand candles, and was decked from lantern
to chapel with newly made paper flowers. The high altar had a front
of solid silver, and the great silver candlesticks were glistening
in the light.

The usual choir of men had given place to the waits with their
tambourines, though the pipe organ was occasionally used. The mass
was long and tedious, and I was chiefly interested in what I think
was intended to represent the Star of Bethlehem. This was a great
five-pointed star of red and yellow tissue paper, with a tail like a
comet. It was ingeniously fastened to a pulley on a wire which extended
from a niche directly behind the high altar to the organ loft at the
rear of the church. The star made schedule trips between the altar
and the loft, running over our heads with a dolorous rattle. The
gentleman who moved the mechanism was a sacristan in red cotton
drawers and a lace cassock, who sat in full view in the niche behind
the high altar. There seemed to be a spirited rivalry between him and
the tambourine artists as to which could contribute the most noise,
and I think a fair judge would have granted it a drawn battle.

Mass was over at one, and we went back to our ball, and the supper
which was awaiting us. I shall speak hereafter of feasts, so will give
no time to this particular one. Dancing was resumed by half-past two,
and shortly afterwards I gave up and went home. Sleep was about to
visit my weary eyelids when that outrageous band swept by, welcoming
the dawn by what it fancied was patriotic music--"There'll be a Hot
Time," "Just One Girl," "After the Ball," etc. It passed, and I was
once more yielding to slumber, when the church bells began, and some
enterprising Chinese let off fire crackers. I gave up the attempt
to rest, and rose and dressed. Then the sacristan from the church
appeared in his scarlet trousers and cassock. He carried a silver
dish, which looked like a card receiver surmounted by a Maltese cross
and a bell. The sacristan rang this bell, which was most melodious,
went down on one knee, and I deposited a peso in the dish. He uttered
a benediction and disappeared. After him came the procession of common
people, adults and children, shyly uttering their _Buenas Pascuas_. We
had, forewarned by the sagacious Romoldo, laid in a store of candy,
cigarettes, cakes, and wine. So to the children a sweet, and to the
parents a cigarette and a drink of wine,--thus was our Christmas cheer
dispensed. Later we ate our Christmas dinner with chicken in lieu of
turkey, and cranberry sauce and plum pudding from the commissary. The
Filipinos honored the day by decorating their house-fronts with flags
and bunting, and at night by illuminating them with candles in glass
shades stuck along the window sills.

The church in the provinces is at once the place of worship, the
theatre, the dispenser of music and art, the place where rich and
poor meet, if not on the plane of equality, in relations that bridge
the gulf of material prosperity with the dignity of their common faith.

So far as the provincial Filipino conceives of palaces and
architectural triumphs, the conception takes the form of a
church. There are no art galleries, no palaces, no magnificent public
buildings in the Philippines, but there are hundreds of beautiful
churches, of Byzantine and Early Renaissance architecture. You may
find them in the coast towns and sometimes even in the mountainous
interior, their simple and beautiful lines facing the plaza, their
interiors rich with black and white tiling and with colored glass. The
silver facings of the altars and their melodious bell chimes are the
most patent links which bind the Philippines to an older civilization.

As far as he has ever come in contact with beautiful music, the
provincial Filipino has met it in the church. Nearly every one boasts
its pipe organ imported from Europe, and in the choir lofts you may
find the great vellum-leaved folios of manuscript music, with their
three-cornered, square, and diamond-shaped notes. They know little
of the masses of Mozart, Gounod, or more modern composers, but they
know the Gregorian chants, and the later compositions of the Middle
Ages. Often badly rendered--for nowhere are voices more misused than
in the Philippines,--their music is nevertheless grand and inspiring.

On the walls of churches and conventos too are found pictures in
oil, often gloomy, full of tortures and death, as Spanish paintings
incline to be, yet essentially true art--pictures which it is to be
hoped will survive the inundation of American commercial energy. The
extract-of-beef advertisements and the varied "girls" of all pursuits
have found their way into the Philippines; and the Filipino, to our
sorrow be it said, takes kindly to them.

So far as the Filipino knows pageantry, it is the pageantry of the
Church. He knows no civic processions, no industrial pomp, such as
exploits itself in the Mardi Gras at New Orleans, or the Veiled Prophet
of St. Louis. He is even a stranger to the torchlight procession of
politics, and the military displays of our civil holidays. Neither
the Masons, nor the Knights Templars, nor the Knights of Pythias,
nor the Ancient Order of Hibernians, with their plumes and banners,
have any perceptible foothold in the Philippines. But in Holy Week and
certain other great festival or penitential seasons of the Church, the
great religious processions take place--floats sheathed in bunting
and decked with innumerable candles in crystal shades, carrying
either the altar of the Virgin or some of the many groups of figures
picturing events in the life and passion of the Saviour. Almost every
provincial family of wealth owns one of these cars, and the wooden
figures surmounted by wax heads, which constitute the group. At the
proper seasons the figures are clothed in gorgeous raiment decked
with jewels, and the car is put at the service of the Church for use
in the procession. The floats are placed about a hundred yards apart,
and between them the people form in two parallel lines, one on each
side of the street, every person carrying a lighted candle. When there
are twenty or thirty floats, and half as many bands, the glitter and
brilliancy of it all strikes even our satiated minds. What must it
be to the untravelled child of the soil?

When the Filipinos win a fight or an election, or fall heirs to
any particular luck, they do not express their enthusiasm as we do
in fire crackers, noise, and trades processions. They go sedately
to church and sing the Te Deum. And as we enjoy the theatre, not
merely for the play, but for the audience and its suggestions of a
people who have put care behind them and have met to exhibit their
material prosperity in silks and jewels, so do the Filipinos enjoy
the splendor of the congregation on feast days. The women are robed
as for balls in silken skirts of every hue--azure, rose, apple-green,
violet, and orange. Their filmy camisas and panuelos are painted in
sprays of blossoms or embroidered in silks and seed pearls. On their
gold-columned necks are diamond necklaces, and ropes of pearls half
as big as bird's eggs; while the black lace mantillas are fastened
to their dusky heads by jewelled birds, and butterflies of emeralds,
sapphires, and diamonds.

The first time I went to church in Capiz and looked down from the choir
loft on the congregation, I could think of nothing but a kaleidoscope,
and the colored motes that fall continually into new forms and
shapes. When the results of the war had made themselves felt, and
the cholera had ravaged the province, this variety of color was lost,
and the congregation appeared a veritable house of mourning. This was
not, however, due to the appalling mortality, but to the Filipinos'
punctilious habit of putting on mourning. When death visits a family,
rich or poor, even the most distant relatives go into mourning,
and they cling to it for the required time.

If the reader will take into consideration all that I have said about
the part played by the Church in Filipino life, and at the same
time consider their insular isolation, their lack of familiarity
either through literature or travel with other civilizations,
he will readily perceive that religion means a totally different
thing in the Philippines from what it does in America, even in Roman
Catholic America.

To the complacent Protestant evangelist who smacks his lips in
anticipation of the future conquest of these Islands, I would
say frankly that there is no room for Protestantism in the
Philippines. The introspective quality which is inherent in true
Protestantism is not in the Filipino temperament. Neither are the vein
of simplicity and the dogmatic spirit which made the strength of the
Reformation. Protestantism will, of course, make some progress so long
as the fire is artificially fanned. There will always be found a few
who cling ardently to it. But most Americans with whom I have talked
(and their name is legion) have agreed with me in thinking that it
will never be strong here.

The attitude of the Filipino Catholic is at once tolerant
and positive. It is positive because without any research into
theological disputes the ordinary Filipino is emotionally loyal to
his Church and satisfied with the very positive promises which that
Church gives him. It ministers not only to his spiritual but to his
material needs on earth, and it promises him in no circumlocutory
terms salvation or damnation. It either gives him or denies him
absolution. He believes in it with the implicit faith of one who
has never investigated. On the other hand, he is tolerant with the
tolerance of one who has in his blood none of the acrimony begotten
by an ancestry alternately conquerors and victims through their
faith. The Filipino Catholic is far more tolerant than the Irish or
German Catholic. But the Philippines have known no battle of the Boyne,
no Thirty Years' War. When the abuses of the friars here led to revolt
and insurrection, the ultimate outcome of the struggle would have
been probably a religious secession from Rome, as well as political
severance from Spain, had not the accident of the Spanish-American
War precipitated us upon the scene, and settled the matter by the
immediate expulsion of the Spanish Government. The only real point of
infection left to create a sore in the new body Filipino--the friar
lands--was fortunately so treated by Secretary Taft that it ceased
to menace the State or threaten to mingle religion with government.

The Filipinos are tolerant of Protestantism because to them it is
still a purely religious and not a civil influence. They have not
killed or been killed for religion; for it they have not burnt the
homes of others, nor seen their own roof trees blaze; they have not
gained power or office through religion; they have neither won nor
lost elections through it. They have the same tolerance in religious
matters that they have in regard to the Copernican Theory or Kepler's
Laws. Religion, as pure religion, unrelated to land or land titles,
property or office, is no more the source of party animosity to them
than to us. Secretary Taft was wise enough to see that, and eliminated
the cause that threatened to make religion a vital question.

But if religion is not consciously vital to the Filipinos, as they
themselves would conceive and act on it (and I make the assertion in
the assumption that the reader understands as I do by _consciously
vital_ that for which the individual or the race is willing to die
singly or collectively), the unprejudiced observer must admit that
it is vital to their ultimate evolution, vital in just the sense that
any function is vital to one who is in need of it. As I said before,
they are not essentially a religious people; but the early Spanish
discoverers prescribed religion as a doctor prescribes a missing
ingredient in the food of an invalid, and the Filipinos have benefited
thereby, Roman Catholicism is just what the Filipino needs. He has no
zest for morbid introspection, he does not feel the need of bearing
testimony to cosmic truth, and in his lack of feeling that need is just
as helpless as the man whose system cannot manufacture the necessary
amount of digestive juices or red blood corpuscles; he is an invalid,
who must be supplied artificially with what his system lacks.

I am quite sure that the Catholic clergy, as represented by
the American Archbishop, bishops, and priests, are certain that
Protestantism holds no threats for the Church in the Philippines
other than that it may be the opening wedge in a schism which will
send the Filipino not only out of the Church, but to rationalism of
the most Voltairian hue. When danger really threatens the Church in
the Philippines, it will be no half-way danger. The Filipino will be
orthodox as he is now, formally, positively orthodox, or he will be
cynically heterodox. As God made him, he might in time have arrived
at the philosophy of Omar, "Drink, for ye know not why or when,"
or the identical philosophy of Epicurus, "Let us eat and drink,
for to-morrow we die." But the Church found him, and recognizing his
peculiarities artfully substituted her own phrase, "Eat and drink in
peace, for to-morrow you die in the full knowledge that pertains to
your salvation." Let no proselyting evangelist delude himself with the
idea that the Filipino has the mental bias which leads him to think,
"Let me neither eat nor drink till I know whence I came and whither
I go." That is the spirit of true Protestantism, which discovers a
new light on faith every decade and still is seeking, seeking for
the perfect light.

But if the Church in the Philippines is in no real danger from
Protestantism, it is in more or less imminent danger from two
sources--the necessity for reform in the Church itself, and the
growing national sense of the Filipinos, which leads them to demand
their own clergy, and to resent to the point of secession a too firm
hold by the new American clergy.

CHAPTER XVI

My Gold-Hunting Expedition

Word of an Abandoned Gold Mine near Manila--I Arise Before Three
A.M. and Find the Town Asleep--Our Trip down the River--Scenery and
Sights by the Way--Three Buffaloes Are Brought to Drag Us over the
Mud--Digging for Gold--I Fail As an Overseer of Diggers--Results of
the Digging Unsatisfactory--The Homeward Trip.

After Christmas we settled down to humdrum work, and barring my
gold-hunting experience there was little to relieve the daily monotony
of existence. I wrote an account of the gold-hunting expedition as one
of a series of newspaper articles published in _The Manila Times_,
With the consent of the editors, I now transcribe it bodily here,
for, without any gleam of romance or adventure, the experience was
one typical of the land and of our life here, which I believe the
generous reader will be willing to accept without any attempt on my
part to embellish it with excitement and lurid writing.

Our Supervisor had gotten hold of a legend of an abandoned mine
in a mountain some four or five miles from town. According to the
native story, half a century or more before this period the mine was
worked, and considerable quantities of gold were taken out of it. But
dissensions arose between the _barrios_ that supplied the labor, and
finally the native priests ordered the shaft to be filled and closed,
and all work to cease, lest it bring a curse upon the people. They
obeyed, and the mining interests thereabouts fell into oblivion.

The Supervisor had, with native assistance, located the spot, and
made a few crude washings in which he found "color." Then he came
back to make a sluice box, and, together with a young lieutenant of
constabulary, intended to pass the Sabbath day in further investigation
of the mine's possibilities.

The occasion was too tempting. I promptly laid siege to the
Supervisor's wife, pleading that she induce her liege to let us
accompany him. As he was good-natured and the trip was short and easy,
he consented. We were to leave town in a _baroto_ at three A.M. to
get the benefit of the tide. At half-past nine the night before, the
lunch basket containing my contribution to the commissary department
was packed and suspended from the ceiling by a rope, protected by
a petroleum-soaked rag, and I went to bed to dream of gold mines,
country houses, yachts, and European travel. It was ten minutes to
three when I scrambled out in a great fright lest I should be late
and keep the others waiting. I lighted the alcohol lamp to boil the
coffee, and flew into my garments. But I dressed and ate and still
they came not. So I poked my head out of the window into the sad
radiance of a setting moon.

It was a town sleeping peacefully, and yet with every hint of warlike
preparation that scattered itself along the river. In front of the
officers' quarters a sentry clanked up and down the pavement. From
the military jail came a sound of voices and the creaking of benches,
as the guard turned on the hard bamboo seats, mingled also with a
steady tramp. More sentries could be seen across the river, where the
troop barracks loomed up and almost hid the hills which gloomed over
the town. The bridge was in shadow, but now and then a tall figure,
gun on shoulder, emerged at its farthest end into a pale little dash
of moonlight. The lanterns which the Filipinos hang out ol their
front windows in lieu of street lamps burned spectrally, because they
were clogged with lamp black. And the brooding and hush of night were
disturbed only by the rhythmic footfalls, or by the occasional slap
of a wave against the bridge rests, or by a long shrill police whistle
which told that the municipal police were awake and complying with the
regulation to blow their whistles at stated intervals for the purpose
of testifying to the same. It was all full of charm and suggestion,
singularly like and singularly unlike an American village under the
same conditions of light and temperature.

The moon sank so low that the mists caught it and turned its sheen
into a surly red. Presently a sentry challenged up by the jail, and
then the glint of white clothing grew distinct. I unhooked the lunch
basket and prowled my way out of the house, seeking to disturb nobody
and feeling quite adventurous.

Our baroto with six native oarsmen was waiting at the stone stairway
in the shadow of the bridge, and as the tide was beginning to turn we
lost no time in bestowing ourselves and our provisions. The middle
of the baroto, for a distance of about six feet, was floored and
canopied. Mr. L---- took the far corner, his wife pushed herself
and a couple of pillows up against him; then I braced myself and my
pillows against her; and the unfortunate lieutenant fell heir to the
fate of an obliging young gentleman and was stowed away at the end,
supported (or incommoded) by the lunch baskets and an unsympathetic
soap-box filled with water bottles. The men unslung their revolvers,
and we disposed ourselves so as to secure a proper equilibrium to
our tippy craft, and were off.

We slipped down the river, aided by the tide, and in a few minutes
were far away from the last house, the last gleam of light, and
the least sound of human life. Save for the soft dip of oars, not a
sound broke the night. Yet it was not silence so much as the sense of
deep respiration, as if the earth slept and sent up an invocation to
the watching heavens. The banks were thickly weeded at the water's
edge with nipa, and behind that were knolls of bamboo with here
and there a gnarled and tortured tree shape silhouetted against the
faint sky. Occasionally we came to a convention of fireflies in that
tree which they so much affect, the name of which is unknown to me,
but which in size and outline resembles a wild cherry. Millions of
them starred its branches, and in the surrounding gloom it winked
and sparkled like a fairy Christmas tree.

We talked little, and were content to drink in the silence and the
strangeness, till by and by the wind fell cooler and we knew the dawn
was at hand. It seemed to come suddenly, bursting out of the east in
a white glare, without the pearly tints and soft gray lights that
mark our northern day births. Then the white glare changed to red,
to a crimson glow that painted the world with its glory, and dying,
left little nebulous masses floating in the azure, tinted with pink,
gold, and purple.

With the first touch of light we turned out of the main river,
which was now a broad estuary as it neared the sea, and fled down a
water lane not over fifteen or twenty feet wide, absolutely walled
with impenetrable nipa growths. From this we emerged just as the day
played its last spectacular effects, and found ourselves in a deep
oval indentation, glassy as an inland lake, whose bosom caught the
changing cloud tints like a mirror, and whose deep cool green borders
were alive with myriads of delighted birds, skimming, chattering,
calling. Half a mile away, at its farther end, the surf leaped frothily
over a bar, and beyond that the open sea tumbled and flashed in the
first sun-rays. It was idyllic--and on our left a mere stone's throw,
it seemed, behind the embowering forest, the mountain of our quest
thrust a treeless, grassy shoulder into the blue.

Mr. L----, however, warned us that our way was still long and
circuitous. We crossed the lagoon and went wandering off down a green,
silent waterway which rejoiced in the appellation of "kut-i-kut" and
proved itself unworthy of the same. The tide was going out rapidly,
and the water mark oh the tree trunks was growing high. Sometimes we
met a baroto on its way to market with a cargo of three chickens,
five cocoanuts, two bunches of bananas, one head of the family,
four children, and several women unaccounted for. The freight was
heaped at one end, and the passengers all squatted in that perfect,
uncommunicative equilibrium which a Filipino can maintain for hours
at a time. Sometimes we came out where there were almost a hundred
square yards of ground and two or three houses and the stir of morning
life. Ladies with a single garment looped under their arm pits were
pouring water over themselves from cocoanut shells, and whole colonies
of game-cocks were tethered out on the end of three feet of twine,
cursing each other and challenging each other to fights. The male
population almost to a man was engaged in the process of stroking the
legs of these jewels, to make them strong, and some of the children
were helping.

As a rule, our advent generally disturbed these morning devotions, for
American women were still comparatively new and few in the province at
that time. A shout, "Americanas!" usually brought the whole village
to the waterside, where they bowed and smiled and stared, proffering
hospitality, and exchanging repartee with the lieutenant, who used
the vernacular.

Meanwhile the tide went out and out, and we sank lower and lower in
kut-i-kut till we were in a slimy ditch with four feet of bank on
each side. The turns and twists grew narrower, and the difficulty of
steering our long baroto around these grew greater. The men got but
and waded, pushing the baroto lightly over the soft ooze. But finally
this failed. It was eight o'clock, the sun climbing higher and burning
fiercer, when we stuck ignominiously in the mud of kut-i-kut.

After a short consultation the lieutenant sighed, cast a glance at the
mud and his clean leather puttees, then went overboard, taking a man
with him. They disappeared in the nipa swamps, but came back in half
an hour with three carabaos, their owners, and an army of volunteers.

Our motive power, being hitched tandem, now extended round a couple of
bends, and there ensued the wildest confusion in an endeavor to get
them all started at the same time. Apparently it couldn't be done,
and we wasted a half-hour, in which every native in the swamp seemed
to be giving orders, and the overwhelming desire of the carabaos was
to swarm up the bank and get out, without regard to the effect on the
baroto. The lieutenant had come aboard and was sitting on the high
prow dangling his muddy leggins ahead. To him Mr. L---- in disgust
suggested that the _taos_ were making little real effort and that he
"stir 'em up," Soothe lieutenant drew his revolver and at a season
of discord aimed it carefully in the high distance and fired.

The effect on the humans was just what he desired, but he did not allow
for the nervousness of the carabaos on hearing a revolver shot in a
locality where it is distinctly not native. The unanimity thait had
so long been sought swept like an epidemic into our lumbering steeds,
and our baroto started ahead with a firmness of purpose that sent the
author of this book flying into the mud, and bumped us all up most
gloriously as we lunged round the corner. The good work once begun
was not allowed to fall slack, however. The lieutenant caught up and
climbed aboard, and we swept through the three miles of kut-i-kut
in a wild cavalcade, rolling like a ship in a storm. At its end we
struck upon water, and parted from our long-horned _ayudantes_.

A short row up a narrowing stream brought us to the place of
disembarkation, an open grassy field which swept down from a cleft
between the mountains. We walked across this till we came to a
brook purling out of cool green shadows, and after following it in
a rather stiff climb for about forty-five minutes, came to the scene
of investigation.

There, the week before, the men had built a dam, and had thrown a
rough framework and shelter across the bed of the stream. This they now
covered with freshly cut boughs and leaves, and Mrs. L---- and I were
only too glad to spread our pillows and lie down for a few minutes in
the cool shade with the water bubbling and murmuring underneath. I was
pretty well done with the heat and the unaccustomed exercise, but was
soon rested and helped to make the coffee. That was a good meal, spiced
with waiting, and immediately after we went at the business at hand.

The men set up the sluice box, which the _taos_ had brought along
with labor and disgust, and giving me a revolver, commissioned me to
see that the excavating department kept busy. So I sat on the edge
of a twenty-foot bank clasping the Colt, and hanging my feet into
vacancy. I hadn't felt so close to childhood for many a long year.

For an hour or so all went well, and the cheerful _tao_ dug and delved
and carried without murmur. Then his diligence subsided and there
was a talk of "siesta." Somebody down at the sluice box shouted,
"Keep busy up there"; so, after one or two efforts to hurry up our
minions, I pointed the pistol carefully into the ground and fired. They
all jumped prodigiously and looked around. But I couldn't play the
part. I didn't look stern, and I simply sat there grinning fatuously
with the sense of my own valor, whereupon the _taos_ burst into a
shout of laughter and seemed to think a bond of friendship had been
established between us. They got lazier and lazier and smiled at
me more and more openly, and made what I judged to be remarks about
my personal appearance. So at another convenient opportunity I let
off another shot, which was a worse fizzle than the first. One old
fellow whose back was glistening with sweat turned and winked at me,
and another pretended to hunt for imaginary wounds.

Recognizing that I was an ignominious failure in the public works
department, I left it to manage itself and strolled over to add my
inexperience and ignorance to the sluicing agency.

Mrs. L---- had anticipated me and was already advising the willing
workers when I appeared. On the whole, they were pretty patient about
it all, and let us ask innumerable questions and make suggestions
(which, however, they never observed) _ad libitum_.

But however little I knew about gold-mining, I have shared one thing
with the real prospector--the eager, fascinated, breathless suspense
of staring into a fold of blanket for "color." When we really saw a
vagrant glint here and there, what delight!--delight easily quenched
by Mr. L----, however, who declared the yield too small for a paying
basis.

All that hot summer day, we dug and washed and watched, but with
unsatisfactory results. In the long-shadowed afternoon we packed
traps and set off down the valley. The egrets, camping by dozens on
feeding carabao, flapped away as we approached; we found our baroto
as we had left it, rising gently on the incoming tide in the shade
of a clump of bamboo.

The homeward journey, if not one of resignation to the will of
Providence, had its compensation in the loveliness of afternoon lights
and the cool, peaceful silence of the forests. We avoided the insidious
snares of kut-i-kut, but found our lagoon just bestowed for the night,
snug, glassy, with the dusk creeping on and on. Thence we passed
into the open sea, were cradled gently into our own bay, and saw the
coastguard station at the inlet send ruddy gleams across the water,
beneath the lowering form of the hill. Once in the river, we fairly
flew along, bathed in moonlight. We neared home, heard bands playing
in the distance, and, with sudden remembrance that it was a native
fiesta, turned the bend and saw a fairy city aglow with lanterns,
where eighteen hours before had been silence and stealth. All the
craft in the river were hung with multicolored lights, and the people
were out promenading, while a crowd of school children, sitting on
the river bank, were singing "Old Kentucky Home" in four parts.

It was a happy day, one of those photographic experiences to be
treasured forever, but the dream of yachts and country houses never
has become a reality. If an energetic prospector wishes to try, he
will find in a cleft between two tall mountains an abandoned shaft and
the remains of a dam spanning a mountain stream. But let him not taste
of the babbling water. I did, and put in six weeks of illness therefor.

CHAPTER XVII

An Unpleasant Vacation

The Inspector's Nightly Bonfires--Our Vacation in Manila and in
Quarantine--After Our Return to Capiz Cholera Breaks Out--Record of
Our Experiences During the Epidemic.

School closed in March, and Miss C---- and I decided to spend our
vacation in Manila. We were to leave Capiz on the small army transport
_Indianapolis_ and go to Iloilo, thence by the _Compania Maritima's_
boat to Manila.

The _Indianapolis_ was carrying an inspector around the island,
which gave us a four days' trip to Iloilo. The sea was perfectly
smooth and the nights brilliant moonlight. We ran from town to town
wherever a military detachment was stationed, and the inspector went
ashore and inspected. This rite usually culminated in a huge bonfire
on the beach, in which old stoves, chairs, harnesses, bath towels, and
typewriters were indiscriminately heaped. I remarked once with civilian
density that this seemed a most extravagant custom. If the army did
not want these things longer, why not let them fall into the hands
of others who could patch them up and make use of them? The captain
of the transport explained to me that all condemned articles must be
irretrievably destroyed to prevent fraud in subsequent quartermasters'
accounts. For example, if a quartermaster has a condemned stove which
is not destroyed, he can sell a perfectly new stove, and on the next
visit of the inspector present again the condemned article to be
recondemned, and continue to follow this practice till he has robbed
the Government of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Of course it was
plain enough after the explanation, and I wondered at my stupidity.

Our four days' trip around the island was uneventful save for the
nightly bonfires of the inspector. Once at San Joaquin a fine military
band came down to the beach and played for an hour in the silver
moonlight. I enjoyed immensely the music, the bonfire (which was
burning enthusiastically), the wonderful light, the tranquil expanse
of the China Sea, and the delicate spire of the village church,
rising in the ethereal distance from glinting palm fronds. Nothing
is more beautiful than the glisten of moonlight on palms.

Arrived at Iloilo, I was taken ill almost immediately with the
prevailing tropical evil, dysentery, presumably the result of drinking
spring water on the gold hunt. At the same time there came down the
report that cholera was epidemic in Manila. Nevertheless, when I was
able to travel, to Manila I went, and there loathed myself, for it was
blistering hot. I was staying at a hotel in the Walled City, and the
great yellow placards announcing cholera were to be found on houses
of almost all streets in the vicinity. But when I was ready to leave,
the full evil of a cholera epidemic made itself apparent. There was
no getting out of Manila without putting in five days' quarantine in
the bay.

We went aboard on the twenty-seventh of May. The steamer pulled out
into the bay and dropped anchor. We were paying five pesos a day
subsistence during this detention, and yet we were supplied with no
ice and no fresh meat. We consumed the inevitable goat, chicken,
and garbanzos, the cheese, bananas, and guava jelly, and the same
lukewarm coffee and lady-fingers for breakfast. Owing to the heat,
and the lack of fans, the staterooms were practically impossible,
and everybody slept on deck either on a steamer chair or on an army
cot. The men took one side of the deck, and the women the other. By
day we yawned, slept, read, perspired, and looked longingly out at
Manila dozing in the heat haze. There were several Englishmen aboard,
and they were supplied with a spirit kettle, a package of tea, some
tins of biscuits, and an apparently inexhaustible supply of Cadbury's
sweets, which they dispensed generously every afternoon. They had
also a ping-pong outfit, and played.

Every day the doctor's launch came out to see that none of us had
escaped or developed cholera, and it brought us mail. Decoration
Day was heralded by the big guns from Fort Santiago and the fleet at
Cavite, and as I recalled all the other Decoration Days of my memory,
the unnaturalness of a Decoration Day in the Philippines became more
and more apparent.

Our quarantine was up on Sunday morning, but at the eleventh hour it
was noised about that we should not leave, because a lorcha which
we had to tow had failed to get her clearance papers. Our spirits
descended into abysmal infinity. We felt that we could not endure
another twenty-four hours of inaction.

The lorcha was a dismasted hull, no more, with a Filipino family and
one or two men aboard to steer. We had a Scotch engineer who might
have been the original of Kipling's McFee. I spoke to him about the
rumor as he leaned over the side staring at the lorcha, and he gave
vent to his feelings in a description of the general appearance of the
lorcha in language too technically nautical for me to transcribe. At
the end he waxed mildly profane, and threatened to "pull the dom nose
out of her" when once he got her outside of Corregidor.

The rumor proved a _canard_, however, and we lined up at eleven
o'clock, while the doctor counted us to see that we were all alive
and well. Then up anchor and away, with the breeze born of motion
cooling off the ship.

The engineer was not able to keep his dire threat about the lorcha's
nose, but it is only just to say that he tried to. We met a heavy sea
outside of Corregidor, and never have I seen anything more dizzy and
drunken and pathetic than the rolls and heaves of the lorcha.

At Iloilo we met the army transport _McClellan_, and continued our
voyage upon her to Capiz. We bade farewell to her with regret, and
consumed in an anticipatory passion of renunciation our last meal with
ice water, fresh butter, and fresh beef. The _McClellan_ took away the
troops of the Sixth Infantry and the Tenth Cavalry, and left us, in
their stead, a detachment of the Ninth Cavalry, which remained perhaps
two months, and was then stationed at Iloilo, leaving us with nothing
but a troop of native _voluntarios_, or scouts, officered by Americans,
and a small detachment of native constabulary. We had barely accustomed
ourselves to this, and ceased to predict insurrection and massacre,
when the cholera, which we had hoped to avoid, descended upon us.

I am sorry that I can relate no deeds of personal heroism or of
self-sacrifice in the epidemic. There didn't seem to be any place
for them, and I am not certain that I knew how to be heroic and
self-sacrificing. I was not, however, so nervous about the cholera
as some Americans were, and I like to convince myself that if any
of my friends had sickened with it and needed me, I should have gone
unhesitatingly and nursed them. Fortunately (or unfortunately for the
proof of my valor) this was not the case. The scourge stayed with
us between two and three months. The highest mortality was between
a hundred and a hundred and fifty deaths a day, and by its ravages
Capiz was reduced from a first-class city of twenty-five thousand
inhabitants to a second-class city of less than twenty thousand. I
kept a brief record, however, of our experiences during that time,
and once again, by permission of _The Times_, insert them here.

_September 8._ Miss P----, Dr. B----, and I were out for a long
walk this afternoon. They left me at my door just as Mrs. L---- and
Mrs. T---- drove up in the latter's victoria. Both ladies were much
excited by the news that a parao had landed at the playa with one
dead man and a case of cholera still living. The other people of the
parao had scattered before the health officers got hold of the matter.

_September 9._ The story about the parao has been confirmed. We had
hoped to escape the epidemic, but are in for it now, for certain.

_September 10._ It is rumored that two cases of cholera developed
yesterday. Dr. B---- denies it, says they are nothing but acute
dysentery. Dr. S---- thinks they are cholera.

_September 11._ Whatever this illness be, it kills people in a very
short time. A little public-school boy was taken sick last night,
and died in three or four hours. Natives are terribly frightened,
and we Americans are far from comfortable.

_September 12._ Several more deaths. Dr. S---- says cholera. Dr. B----
says if there has been a case of cholera in town he will eat his
hat. They are making every effort to find out what it is, but the
bacillus is shy, and refuses to respond to the searchings of the
microscope.

_September 13._ Cholera increasing. Dr. B---- has given in at
last. A scout died, and they made an examination of the stomach and
bowels. Found the bacillus. Dr. B---- says if I will come around to
the hospital, he will show me one.

_September 14._ Have seen the comma bacillus. It is certainly an
insignificant microbe to be raising so much trouble. Got hold of
a report from the Board of Health, saying that, if the epidemic
grew worse, the public school buildings should be converted into
hospitals. Took it over to the Deputy Division Superintendent to
protest. Schoolhouses are scarce here. Cannot afford to infect them.

_September 15._ The schools are closed to-day, the number of deaths
having passed ten _per diem_. As I am the only householder, the other
teachers are to have their meals with me till the epidemic is over.

_September 16._ The house smells to high heaven! The provincial
Supervisor came in this morning with a quart of crude carbolic acid,
about half a bushel of chloride of lime, and a lot of camphor. I
immediately put the camphor in my trunks, having wanted some for
quite a little time, and devoted the rest of the stuff to its proper
uses. Put the lime over the stone flagging below, with a large heap at
the foot of the stairs, so that everybody coming in must walk through
it. The floors and stairs are frightfully tramped up. Ciriaco, much to
his disgust, had to wash off all the furniture with _agua finecada_
(diluted carbolic acid). Bought a new kettle in which to boil the
drinking-water. Bought yards and yards of new tea towelling, and gave
orders that, after being once used, the dish towel is to be boiled
before using again.

_September 18._ Dr. S---- says get nothing out of the market. Dr. B----
says he eats cucumbers three times a day. What the doctor can risk
surely the layman can chance. I buy cucumbers still. On being brought
into the house they are washed in diluted carbolic acid, and rinsed
in boiled rain water. Then the servant washes her hands in bichloride
solution, peels the cucumber, slices it and lets it stand in vinegar
till meal time. Dr. B---- says the vinegar is sure death to the
shy bacillus.

_September 19._ All the change is deposited in _agua finecada_ when the
servant comes in from market. What could we do without cucumbers? How
weary we are of the canned stuff from the commissary! It is rumored
that Dr. S---- and wife will not eat butter, because it must stand
too long. Mrs. S---- bakes her own bread, and, it is reported,
locks her cook up at night for fear he may escape and visit among
his kindred. He is not allowed to leave the premises by day.

Miss P---- tells me that at Mrs. T----'s the visitor is requested to
scrape his feet in the chloride of lime at the foot of the stairs, and,
on arriving at the top, is presented with a bowl of _agua finecada_,
wherein to wash his hands. The towel has been boiled, and, of course,
a fresh one is provided for each person. This is not so extravagant as
it sounds. We Americans are few in number, and do but little visiting
these days.

_October 3._ Saw four cholera patients carried past to-day. The
new cholera hospital is now open, and a credit to the town. Deaths
average about fifty per day. The town is unutterably sad. Houses are
closed at dusk, and not a gleam of light shines forth where there
used to issue laughter and song. The church, which used to resemble a
kaleidoscope with the bright-hued raiment of the women, is now filled
with kneeling figures in black. So far, the sickness has not touched
the _principales_. Only the poor people are dying. There is a San
Roque procession every night. Fifty or a hundred natives get a lot
of transparencies and parade in front of the altars of the Virgin and
San Roque. A detachment of the church choir accompanies, caterwauling
abominably. It is all weird and barbaric and revolting--especially
the "principal" in a dress suit, who pays the expenses, and, with a
candle three feet long, paces between the two altars. I always set
three or four candles in my windows, which seems to please the people.

_October 6._ Mr. S----, being a member of the Board of Health, has
been engaged in inspecting wells. The natives are now saying that he
poisoned them. He is indignant, and we are all a little uneasy. We are
a handful of Americans--fifteen at the most. We have little confidence
in the native scouts, though their officers insist on their loyalty. We
are twenty-four hours from Iloilo by steamer, and forty-eight from
Manila, and are without a launch at this port. In case of violent
animosity against us, the situation might become serious.

_October 7._ At dinner last night, Mr. S---- said there had been an
anti-American demonstration in the market, and that a scout had cried,
"Abajo los Americanos!" That settled me. I lost my nerve completely,
and went up and asked Dr. and Mrs. S---- to let me spend the night
at their house. They were lovely about it, and salved over my
mortification by saying that they wondered how I had been able to
stand it so long, alone in the native quarter. Slept badly in the
strange house, and am afraid I gave much trouble.

_October 8._ Got some command of my nerves last night, and stayed at
home, though I asked the officer commanding the constabulary for a
guard. He was most accommodating and outwardly civil, though it was
apparent he thought I was making a goose of myself. The guard came,
in all the glory of khaki, red-shoulder-straps, 45-calibre revolver,
and rifle--don't know whether it was a Krag or a Springfield. At any
rate, he was most imposing, and, as he unrolled his petate on the
dining-room floor, assured me in broken Spanish that he would protect
me to the last. I bolted my door and went to bed. Slept wretchedly,
being, it must be confessed, about as much afraid of the guard as of
the possible anti-Americanos.

_October 9._ Last night, decided that I had yielded to my nerves long
enough. Stayed at home, and didn't ask for a guard either. Being much
exhausted by two nights of wakefulness, slept soundly all night. To-day
the world looks bright and fresh, and my late terrors inexplicable.

_October 12._ Poor M---- has the cholera. His duties as a road overseer
have taken him into the province, and he has been forced to eat native
food. He got a bottle of chlorodyne and seemed to feel that it would
save him.

But to-day he is down. Mr, S---- brought the news when he came by to
take me for an afternoon walk. We met the inspector and the padre,
coming from M----'s house. Extreme unction had been given him and all
hope of recovery was gone, though both American physicians had been
with him all day and were making every effort to save him. He asked
for Mr. S----, so the latter left me to go to his bedside.

At seven o'clock Mr. S---- went by in the dusk, and called to me from
the street to send his dinner up to his house. Poor M---- had just
died. Mr. S---- held his hand to the last, and was on his way home
to burn his shoes and clothing and to take a bath in bichloride.

Most of the American men went in to see M----. I am glad of it. It
may not be sanitary, but it is revolting to think of an American
dying alone in a Filipino hut.

M---- was buried to-night. I saw the funeral go by. First came the
body in the native coffin, smeared with quicklime. The escort wagon
loomed up behind in the starlight, full of American men, and then
came the scout officer and his wife in the spring wagon. M---- was
once a private in the Eighteenth Infantry.

Just after this mournful little procession went by with its queer
muffled noises, the big church bell boomed ten, and the constabulary
bugles from the other end of the town blew taps. The sound came faintly
clear on the still night air, and the tall cocoanut tree that I love
to watch from my window drooped its dim outline as if it mourned.

_October 15._ The weather remains bright and hot in spite of our
continual prayers for rain. The natives say a heavy rain and wind
will "blow the cholera away." The deaths have now swelled to more
than a hundred a day, though the disease remains largely among the
poor. Yesterday I saw a man stricken in the street. He lay on his
back quite still, but breathing in a horrible way. The bearers came
at last and carried him away on a stretcher. Two cases were taken
out of the house next door to me.

_October 16._ Ceferiana professed to be ill this morning, and I was
alarmed. I dosed her with the medicine which Dr. S---- had given me
when the epidemic first appeared, and sent for the Doctor himself. But
I discovered, before he came, that she had gotten too close a whiff
of the chloride-of-lime bag, and it nauseated her. She is more afraid
of the disinfectants than of the disease.

_October 20._ Have had to chastise Tomas, and have thus violated
Governor Taft's standards for American treatment of our brown
friends. Tomas is about forty and the father of a small boy, and
Mr. S----, who contemplates setting up a bachelor's establishment when
the epidemic is over, fondly dreams that Tomas embodies the essentials
of a cook. So Mr. S---- brought Tomas down, accompanied by his son,
a child of twelve, with the request that I train them for him. I set
them first to washing dishes, and had a struggle of a week or so's
duration in trying to adjust Tomas's conception of that labor to my
own. I particularly ordered that no refuse was to be thrown in the
yard or under the house. This rule was violated several times, and
my patience pretty well exhausted. I stepped into the kitchen this
morning just in time to see Tomas doubling over, and poking the coffee
grounds down between the bamboo slats of the flooring. The American
broom was handy, and the angle of Tomas's inclination was sufficient
to expose a large area of resisting surface. So I promptly "swatted"
Tomas with the broom with such energy that the coffeepot flew up in
the air and he tumbled over head foremost. His small boy sent up a
wail of terror; and Billy Buster, the monkey, who was discussing
a chicken bone, fled up to the thatch, where he remained all day
until coaxed down by the tinkle of a spoon in a toddy glass. Tomas
was out of breath, but not so much so that he could not ejaculate,
"Sus! Maria Santisima, Senorita!" in injured tones. Ciriaco, the cook,
lay down on the floor and laughed. Later I heard him and Ceferiana
agreeing that I was "_muy valiente_"

_October 25._ In spite of the agua finecada and the boiled towel,
Mrs. T----'s cook has developed cholera. Though I speak of it lightly,
I am truly sorry for them, for Mrs. T---- is exceedingly nervous,
and they have a little child to care for.

There is a slight diminution in the death rate, and we begin to hope
the worst is over.

_October 28._ The death rate is still decreasing. When will the
rain come?

To-day I discovered that all the elaborate boilings of dish cloths and
towels that have been carried out here since the epidemic began have
been a mere farce. Every day for a week I went out and superintended
the operation till I thought Ceferiana had mastered it. She had,
indeed, caught the details, but quite missed the idea. She found the
process of suspending the dish towel on a long stick till it was cool
enough to wring out, a tedious one, so she set her fertile brain to
work to find an expedient in the way of a bucket of cool well water,
into which she dropped them. Well water! All but pure cholera! We
had a hearty laugh over it at dinner to-night, though Mr. C----
looked grave. His official dignity sits heavily upon him.

Tomas dodges me when he passes. I find it impossible to restore
his confidence.

_November 2._ The rains have come, and whether they have anything to
do with it or not, the epidemic is subsiding. Two days ago, when the
first shower broke after an inconceivably sultry morning, the bearers
were passing with a couple of cholera patients on stretchers. They were
at first minded to set them down in the rain, but thought better of
it, and carried them into my lower hall. The shower lasted only a few
minutes, and then they went on their way, and Ciriaco and I descended
and sprinkled the floor all over with chloride of lime. While they
were there, I was nervously dreading the sounds of the great suffering
which accompanies cholera. But the patients were very quiet.

To-night at dinner Mr. C---- tasted his coffee and looked
suspicious. In my capacity of boarding-house keeper, I was instantly
alarmed and tasted mine. It seemed to have been made with _agua
finecada_. Miss P---- said plaintively that she had as lief die of
cholera as of carbolic acid poison. Neither Ciriaco nor Ceferiana
could explain. They conceded that the _agua finecada_ was there,
but could not say how. They were not much concerned, and seemed to
regard it as a pleasing sleight-of-hand performance on their part.

_November 5._ Only eighteen deaths to-day! If the decrease continue
steady, we shall open school in a few days. It will be a relief after
the long tension of these two months--for it was a tension in spite
of our refusal to discuss its more serious aspects. We have taken all
legitimate precautions, and laughed at each other's oddities, knowing
that it is better to laugh than to cry. But had sickness come to any
of us as in the case of poor M----, everybody stood ready to chance
all things to aid. But we come out unscathed with the exception of
that one poor fellow.

_November 14._ School will begin to-morrow! Have had to discharge
Tomas. He went to Baliwagan, a barrio where the cholera is still
raging, last night, and Mr. S---- was properly incensed. As a parting
benediction, Tomas stole a lamp of mine, but I haven't the energy
to go after him. Besides, I have a guilty conscience, and if Tomas
feels our account is square, I am willing to accept his terms.

_November 15._ Began work again to-day. The school is much fallen
off. Many pupils are dead, and the rest have lost relatives. It is
a gloomy school, but the worst is over.

CHAPTER XVIII

The Aristocracy, the Poor, and American Women

Aristocracy and "Caciquism" in the Philippines--Poverty of the
Filipino Poor--Happiness in Spite of Poverty--Virtual Slavery of the
Rustics--Their Loyalty to Their Employers--Wages in Manila and in the
Provinces--Many Resources Possessed by the Upper Classes--Chaffering
for All Kinds of Produce--Happiness Within the Reach of American
Women if Employed--American Women Safe in the Philippines--After a
Visit to America I Am Glad to Return to the islands.

To an American of analytical tendencies a few years in the Philippines
present not only an interesting study of Filipino life, but a novel
consciousness of our own. The affairs of these people are so simple
where ours are complex, so complex where ours are simple, that one's
angle of view is considerably enlarged.

The general construction of society is mediaeval and aristocratic. The
aristocracy, with the exception of a few wealthy brewers and cigar
manufacturers of Manila, is a land-holding one. There is practically
no bourgeoisie--no commercial class--between the rich and the poor. In
Manila and all the large coast towns trade is largely in the hands of
foreigners, chiefly Chinese, some few of whom have become converted
to the Catholic faith, and established themselves permanently in the
country;--all of whom have found Filipino helpmates, either with or
without the sanction of the Church, and have added their contingent
of half-breeds, or _mestizos_, to the population.

The land-owning aristocracy, though it must have been in possession
of its advantages for several generations, seems deficient in jealous
exclusiveness on the score of birth. I do not remember to have heard
once here the expression "of good family," as we hear it in America,
and especially in the South. But I have heard "He is a rich man" so
used as to indicate that this good fortune carried with it unquestioned
social prerogative. Yet there must be some clannishness based upon
birth, for your true Filipino never repudiates his poor relations
or apologizes for them. At every social function there is a crowd of
them in all stages of modest apparel, and with manners born of social
obscurity, asserting their right to be considered among the elect. I am
inclined to think that Filipinos concern themselves with the present
rather than the past, and that the _parvenu_ finds it even easier to
win his way with them than with us. Even under Spanish rule poor men
had a chance, and sometimes rose to the top. I remember the case, in
particular, of one family which claimed and held social leadership in
Capiz. Its head was a long-headed, cautious, shrewd old fellow, with so
many Yankee traits that I sometimes almost forgot, and addressed him
in English. My landlady, who was an heiress in her own right, and the
last of a family of former repute, told me that the old financier came
to Capiz "poor as wood." She did not use that homely simile, however,
but the typical Filipino statement that his pantaloons were torn. She
took me behind a door to tell me, and imparted the information in a
whisper, as if she were afraid of condign punishment if overheard.

"Money talks" in the Philippines just as blatantly as it does in
the United States. In addition to the social halo imparted by its
possession, there is a condition grown out of it, known locally as
"caciquism." Caciquism is the social and political prestige exercised
by a local man or family. There are examples in America, where every
village owns its leading citizen's and its leading citizen's wife's
influence. Booth Tarkington has pictured an American cacique in "The
Conquest of Canaan." Judge Pike is a cacique. His power, however,
is vested in his capacity to deceive his fellowmen, in the American's
natural love for what he regards as an eminent personality, and his
clinging to an ideal.

A Filipino cacique is quite a different being. He owes his prestige
to fear--material fear of the consequences which his wealth and power
can bring down on those that cross him. He does not have to play a
hypocritical role. He need neither assume to be, nor be, a saint in
his private or public life. He must simply be in control of enough
resources to attach to him a large body of relatives and friends whose
financial interests are tied up with his. Under the Spanish regime
he had to stand in by bribery with the local governor. Under the
American regime, with its illusions of democracy, he simply points to
his _clientele_ and puts forward the plea that he is the natural voice
of the people. The American Government, helpless in its great ignorance
of people, language, and customs, is eager to find the people's voice,
and probably takes him at his word. Fortified by Government backing,
he starts in to run his province independently of law or justice,
and succeeds in doing so. There are no newspapers, there is no
real knowledge among the people of what popular rights consist in,
and no idea with which to combat his usurpations. The men whom he
squeezes howl, but not over the principle. They simply wait the day
of revolution. Even where there is a real public sentiment which
condemns the tyrant, it is half the time afraid to assert itself,
for the tyrant's first defence is that they oppose him because he is a
friend of the American Government. Local justice of the peace courts
are simply farcical, and most of the cacique's violations of right
keep him clear at least of the courts of first instance, where the
judiciary, Filipino or American, is reliable. Thus our Government,
in its first attempts to introduce democratic institutions, finds
itself struggling with the very worst evil of democracy long before
it can make the virtues apparent.

The poor people among the Filipinos live in a poverty, a misery, and
a happiness inconceivable to our people who have not seen it. Their
poverty is real--not only relative. Their houses are barely a covering
from rain or sun. A single rude bamboo bedstead and a stool or two
constitute their furniture. There is an earthen water jar, another
earthen pot for cooking rice, a bolo for cutting, one or two wooden
spoons, and a cup made of cocoanut shells. The stove consists of three
stones laid under the house, or back of it, where a rice-pot may be
balanced over the fire laid between. There are no tables, no linen,
no dishes, no towels. The family eat with their fingers while sitting
about on the ground with some broken banana leaves for plates. Coffee,
tea, and chocolate are unknown luxuries to them. Fish and rice, with
lumps of salt and sometimes a bit of fruit, constitute their only
diet. In the babies this mass of undigested half-cooked rice remains
in the abdomen and produces what is called "rice belly." In the adults
it brings beriberi, from which they die quickly. They suffer from
boils and impure blood and many skin diseases. Consumption is rife,
and rheumatism attacks old and young alike. They are tormented by
gnats and mosquitoes, and frequently to rid themselves of the pests
build fires under the house and sleep away the hot tropical night in
the smoke. While the upper classes are abstemious, the lower orders
drink much of the native _vino_, which is made from the sap of cocoanut
and nipa trees, and the men are often brutal to women and children.

I think the most hopeful person must admit that this is an enumeration
of real and not fancied evils, that the old saw about happiness
and prosperity being relative terms is not applicable. The Filipino
laborer is still far below even the lowest step of the relative degree
of prosperity and happiness. Yet in spite of these ills he is happy
because he has not developed enough to achieve either self-pity or
self-analysis. He bears his pain, when it comes, as a dumb animal
does, and forgets it as quickly when it goes. When the hour of death
descends, he meets it stoically, partly because physical pain dulls
his senses, partly because the instinct of fatalism is there in spite
of his Catholicism.

Of course this poverty-stricken condition is largely his own fault. He
has apparently an ineradicable repugnance to continued labor. He
does not look forward to the future. Fathers and mothers will sit
the whole day playing the guitar and singing or talking, after the
fashion of the country, with not a bite of food in the house. When
their own desires begin to reinforce the clamors of the children,
they will start out at the eleventh hour to find an errand or an odd
bit of work. There may be a single squash on the roof vine waiting
to be plucked and to yield its few centavos, or they can go out to
the beach and dig a few cents' worth of clams.

The more intelligent of the laboring class attach themselves as
_cliente_ to the rich land-holding families. They are by no means
slaves in law, but they are in fact; and they like it. The men are
agricultural laborers; the women, seamstresses, house servants, and wet
nurses, and they also do the beautiful embroideries, the hat-plaiting,
the weaving of pina, sinamay, and jusi, and the other local industries
which are carried on by the upper class. The poor themselves have
nothing to do with commerce; that is in the hands of the well-to-do.

As the children of the _clientele_ grow up, they are scattered
out among the different branches of the ruling family as maids and
valets. In a well-to-do Filipino family of ten or twelve children,
there will be a child servant for every child in the house. The
little servants are ill-fed creatures (for the Filipinos themselves
are merciless in what they exact and parsimonious in what they give),
trained at seven or eight years of age to look after the room, the
clothing, and to be at the beck and call of another child, usually a
little older, but ofttimes younger than themselves. They go to school
with their little masters and mistresses, carry their books, and play
with them. For this they receive the scantiest dole of food on which
they can live, a few cast-off garments, and a stipend of a medio-peso
(twenty-five cents cents U.S. currency) per annum, which their parents
collect and spend. Parents and child are satisfied, because, little
as they get, it is certain. Parents especially are satisfied, because
thus do they evade the duties and responsibilities of parenthood.

It was at first a source of wonder to me how the rich man came out even
on his scores of retainers, owing to their idleness and the demands
for fiestas which he is compelled to grant. But he does succeed in
getting enough out of them to pay for the unhulled rice he gives
them, and he more than evens up on the children. If ever there was
a land where legislation on the subject of child labor is needed,
it is here. Children are overworked from infancy. They do much of the
work of the Islands, and the last drop of energy and vitality is gone
before they reach manhood or womanhood. Indeed, the first privilege
of manhood to them is to quit work.

The feeling between these poor Filipinos and their so-called employers
is just what the feeling used to be between Southerners and their
negroes. The lower-class man is proud of his connection with the great
family. He guards its secrets and is loyal to it. He will fight for
it, if ordered, and desist when ordered.

The second house I lived in in Capiz was smaller than the first,
and had on the lower floor a Filipino family in one room. I demanded
that they be ejected if I rented the house, but the owner begged me
to reconsider. They were, she said, old-time servants of hers to whom
she felt it her duty to give shelter. They had always looked after
her house and would look after me.

I yielded to her insistence, but doubtingly. In six weeks I was
perfectly convinced of her wisdom and my foolishness. Did it rain,
Basilio came flying up to see if the roof leaked. If a window stuck and
would not slide, I called Basilio. For the modest reward of two pesos
a month (one dollar gold) he skated my floors till they shone like
mirrors. He ran errands for a penny or two. His wife would embroider
for me, or wash a garment if I needed it in a hurry. If I had an errand
which took me out nights, Basilio lit up an old lantern, unsolicited,
and went ahead with the light and a bolo. If a heavy rain came up when
I was at school, he appeared with my mackintosh and rubbers. And while
a great many small coins went from me to him, I could never see that
the pay was proportional to his care. Yet there was no difficulty in
comprehending it. Pilar (my landlady) had told him to take care of me,
and he was obeying orders. If she had told him to come up and bolo
me as I slept, he would have done it unhesitatingly.

The result of American occupation has been a rise in the price of
agricultural labor, and in the city of Manila in all labor. But
in the provinces the needle-woman, the weaver, and the house
servant work still for inconceivably small prices, while there
has been a decided rise in the price of local manufactures. Jusi,
which cost three dollars gold a pattern in 1901, now costs six and
nine dollars. Exquisite embroideries on pina, which is thinner than
bolting cloth, have quadrupled their prices, but the provincial women
servants, who weave the jusi and do the embroidering, still work for
a few cents a day and two scanty meals.

When I arrived here a seamstress worked nine hours a day for twenty
cents gold and her dinner. Now in Manila a seamstress working for
Americans receives fifty cents gold and sometimes seventy-five cents
and her dinner, though the Spanish, Filipinos, and Chinese pay less. In
the province of Capiz twelve and a half cents gold per day for a
seamstress is the recognized price for an American to pay--natives
get one for less. A provincial Filipino pays his coachman two and
a half dollars gold a month, and a cook one dollar and a half. An
American for the same labor must pay from four to eight dollars for
the cook and three to six dollars for the coachman. As before stated,
the subordinate servants in a Filipino house cost next to nothing,
because of the utilization of child labor.

A provincial Filipino can support quite an establishment, and keep
a carriage on an income of forty dollars gold a month where to an
American it would cost sixty or eighty dollars. This is due partly to
our own consumption of high-priced tinned foods, partly to the better
price paid for labor, but chiefly to our desire to feed our servants
into good healthy condition. We not only see that they have more food,
but we look more closely to its variety and nutritious qualities. We
employ adults and demand more labor, because our housekeeping is more
complex than Filipino housekeeping, and we expect to employ fewer
servants than Filipinos do.

The Filipinos, the Spanish, and even the English who are settled
here cling to mediaeval European ideas in the matter of service. If
they have any snobbish weakness for display, it is in the number of
retainers they can muster. Just as in our country rural prosperity is
evinced by the upkeep of fences and buildings, the spic and span new
paint, and the garish furnishings, here it is written in the number of
servants and hangers-on. The great foreign trading firms like to boast
of the tremendous length of their pay rolls. They would rather employ
four hundred underworked mediocrities at twenty pesos a month than
half a hundred abilities at four times that amount. The land-holders

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