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Title: Adventures in the Philippine Islands
Author: La Gironière, Paul P. de, 1797-1862
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                               Adventures
                                 in the
                          Philippine Islands.


                     Translated from the French of

                        Paul P. de la Gironiere,

            Chevalier of the Order of the Legion of Honour.


                  Revised and extended by the author,
                      Expressly for this edition.

            London: Charles H. Clarke, 13, Paternoster Row.



PREFACE.


On hearing a recital of some adventures which had occurred to me
during my long voyages, many of my friends have frequently begged of
me to publish a narrative of them, which might perhaps be interesting.

"Nothing can be more easy for you," they said, "as you have always
kept a journal since your departure from France."

I hesitated, however, to follow their advice, or to yield to their
wishes, when I was one day surprised to see my name in one of the
feuilletons in the "Constitutionnel."

M. Alexandre Dumas was publishing, under the title of "The
Thousand-and-One Phantoms," a romance, one of the principal personages
of which, in a voyage to the Philippine Islands, must have known me
when I was residing at Jala-Jala, in the colony that I founded there.

It must be evident that the lively romancist has ranked me in the
category of his Thousand-and-One Phantoms; but, to prove to the public
that I am really in existence, I have resolved to take up the pen,
under an impression, that facts of the most scrupulous veracity,
and which can be attested by some hundreds of persons, might possess
some interest, and be read without ennui, by those especially who
are desirous of learning the customs of the savage tribes amongst
whom I have resided.



CHAPTER I.

    A Family Sketch--My Youthful Days--I Study for the Medical
    Profession--Obtain a Naval Surgeon's Diploma--Early Voyages--Sail
    for Manilla in the Cultivateur--Adventurous Habits--Cholera and
    Massacre at Manilla and Cavite--Captain Drouant's Rescue--Personal
    Dangers and Timely Escapes--How Business may make Friends of
    one's Enemies--An Unprincipled Captain--Tranquility restored at
    Manila--Pleasures of the Chase--The Cultivateur sails without
    me--First Embarrassments.


My father was born at Nantes, and held the rank of captain in the
regiment of Auvergne. The Revolution caused him the loss of his
commission and his fortune, and left him, as sole remaining resource,
a little property called La Planche, belonging to my mother, and
situated about two leagues from Nantes, in the parish of Vertoux.

At the commencement of the Empire he wished to enter the service again;
but at that period his name was an obstacle, and he failed in every
attempt to obtain even the rank of lieutenant. With scarcely the means
of existence, he retired to La Planche with his family. There he lived
for some years, suffering the grief and the many annoyances caused
by the sudden change from opulence to want, and by the impossibility
of supplying all the requirements of his numerous family. A short
illness terminated his distressed existence, and his mortal remains
were deposited in the cemetery of Vertoux. My mother, a pattern
of courage and devotedness, remained a widow, with six children,
two girls and four boys; she continued to reside in the country,
imparting to us the first elements of instruction.

The free life of the fields, and the athletic exercises to which
my elder brothers and I accustomed ourselves, tended to make me
hardy, and rendered me capable of enduring every kind of fatigue
and privation. This country life, with its liberty, and I may well
say its happiness, passed too quickly away; and the period soon came
when my education compelled me to pursue my daily studies in a school
at Nantes. I had four leagues to walk, but I trudged the distance
light-heartedly, and at night, when I returned home, I ever found
awaiting me the kind solicitude of our dear mother, and the attentive
cares of two sisters whom I tenderly loved.

It was decided that I should enter the medical profession. I studied
several years at the Hôtel-Dieu of Nantes, and I passed my examination
for naval surgeon at an age when many a young man is shut up within
the four walls of a college, still prosecuting his studies.

It would be difficult to form any idea of my joy when I saw myself in
possession of my surgeon's diploma. Thenceforward I regarded myself
as an important being, about to take my place among reasonable and
industrious men; and what perhaps rendered me still more joyous was,
that I could earn my own livelihood, and contribute to the comfort
of my mother and my sisters.

I was also seized with a strong desire to travel abroad, and make
myself acquainted with foreign countries.

Twenty-four hours after my nomination as surgeon I went and offered
my services to a ship-owner who was about freighting a vessel to the
East Indies. We were not long in arranging terms, and, at forty francs
per month, I engaged myself for the voyage.

Within twelve months afterwards I returned home. Who can depict the
sweet emotions which, as a young man, I felt on again beholding my
native land? I stayed a month on shore, surrounded by the affectionate
attentions of my mother and sisters. Despite their assiduities I was
seized with ennui. I made a second and a third voyage; then, after
having rounded the Cape of Good Hope half-a-dozen times, I undertook
one which separated me from my country during twenty years.

On the 9th October, 1819, I embarked on board the Cultivateur,
an old half-rotten three-masted vessel, commanded by an equally old
captain, who, long ashore, had given up navigating for many years. An
old captain with an old ship! Such were the conditions in which I
undertook this voyage. I ought, however, to add, that I obtained an
increase of pay.

We touched at Bourbon; we ran along the entire coast of Sumatra,
a part of Java, the isles of Sonde, and that of Banca; and at last,
towards the end of May, eight months after our departure from Nantes,
we arrived in the magnificent bay of Manilla.

The Cultivateur anchored near the little town of Cavite. I obtained
leave to reside on shore, and took lodgings in Cavite, which is
situate about five or six leagues from Manilla.

To make up for my long inactivity on board ship, I eagerly engaged in
my favourite exercises, exploring the country in all directions with my
gun upon my shoulder. Taking for a guide the first Indian whom I met,
I made long excursions, less occupied in shooting than in admiring the
magnificent scenery. I knew a little Spanish, and soon acquired a few
Tagaloc words. Whether it was for excitement's sake, or from a vague
desire of braving danger, I know not, but I was particularly fond of
wandering in remote places, said to be frequented by robbers. With
these I occasionally fell in, but the sight of my gun kept them in
check. I may say, with truth, that at that period of my life I had so
little sense of danger, that I was always ready to put myself forward
when there was an enemy to fight or a peril to be encountered.

I had only resided a short time at Cavite when that terrible scourge,
the cholera, broke out at Manilla, in September, 1820, and quickly
ravaged the whole island. Within a few days of its first appearance
the epidemic spread rapidly; the Indians succumbed by thousands; at
all hours of the day and of the night the streets were crowded with
the dead-carts. Next to the fright occasioned by the epidemic, quickly
succeeded rage and despair. The Indians said, one to another, that the
strangers poisoned the rivers and the fountains, in order to destroy
the native population and possess themselves of the Philippines.

On the 9th October, 1820, the anniversary of my departure from France,
a dreadful massacre commenced at Manilla and at Cavite. Poor Dibard,
the captain of the Cultivateur, was one of the first victims. Almost
all the French who resided at Manilla were slain, and their houses
pillaged and destroyed. The carnage only ceased when there were no
longer any victims. One eye-witness escaped this butchery, namely,
M. Gautrin, a captain of the merchant service, who, at the moment I
am writing, happens to be residing in Paris. He saved his life by his
courage and his muscular strength. After seeing one of his friends
mercilessly cut to pieces, he precipitated himself into the midst
of the assassins, with no other means of defence than his fists. He
succeeded in fighting his way through the crowd, but shortly afterwards
fell exhausted, having received three sabre-cuts upon his head, and a
lance-thrust in his body. Fortunately, some soldiers happened to pass
by at the time, who picked him up and carried him to a guard-house,
where his wounds were quickly attended to.

I myself was dodged about Cavite, but I contrived to escape, and
to reach a pirogue, into which I jumped, and took refuge on board
the Cultivateur. I had scarcely been there ten minutes when I was
requested to attend the mate of an American vessel, who had just
been stabbed on board his ship by some custom-house guards. When I
had finished dressing the wound, several officers, belonging to the
different French vessels lying in the bay, acquainted me that one
of their brethren, Captain Drouant, of Marseilles, was still ashore,
and that there might yet be time to save him. There was not a moment
to lose; night was approaching, and it was necessary to profit by the
last half-hour of daylight. I set off in a cutter, and, on nearing
the land, I directed my men to keep the boat afloat, in order to
prevent a surprise on the part of the Indians, but yet to hug the
shore sufficiently close to land promptly, in case the captain or
myself signaled them. I then quickly set about searching for Drouant.

On reaching a small square, called Puerta Baga, I observed a group
of three or four hundred Indians. I had a presentiment that it was
in that direction I ought to prosecute my search. I approached, and
beheld the unfortunate Drouant, pale as a corpse. A furious Indian was
on the point of plunging his kreese into his breast. I threw myself
between the captain and the poignard, violently pushing on either
side the murderer and his victim, so as to separate them. "Run!" I
cried in French; "a boat awaits you." So great was the stupefaction
of the Indians that the captain escaped unpursued.

It was now time for me to get out of the dangerous situation in which
I was involved. Four hundred Indians surrounded me; the only way of
dealing with them was by audacity. I said in Tagaloc to the Indian who
had attempted to stab the captain: "You are a scoundrel." The Indian
sprang towards me; he raised his arm: I struck him on the head with a
cane which I held in my hand; he waited in astonishment for a moment,
and then returned towards his companions to excite them. Daggers
were drawn on every side; the crowd formed a circle around me, which
gradually concentrated. Mysterious influence of the white man over his
coloured brother! Of all these four hundred Indians, not one dared
attack me the first; they all wished to strike together. Suddenly a
native soldier, armed with a musket, broke through the crowd; he struck
down my adversary, took away his dagger, and holding his musket by the
bayonet end, he swung it round and round his head, thus enlarging the
circle at first, and then dispersing a portion of my enemies. "Fly,
sir!" said my liberator; "now that I am here, no one will touch a
hair of your head." In fact the crowd divided, and left me a free
passage. I was saved, without knowing by whom, or for what reason,
until the native soldier called after me: "You attended my wife who
was sick, and you never asked payment of me. I now settle my debt."

As Captain Drouant had doubtless gone off in the cutter, it was
impossible for me to return on board the Cultivateur. I directed
my steps towards my lodgings, creeping along the walls, and taking
advantage of the obscurity, when, on turning the corner of a street,
I fell into the midst of a band of dockyard workmen, armed with axes,
and about to proceed to the attack of the French vessels then in
harbour. Here again I owed my preservation to an acquaintance, to whom
I had rendered some service in the practice of my profession. A Métis,
or half-breed, who had quickly pushed me into the entry of a house,
and covered me with his body, said: "Stir not, Doctor Pablo!" [1] When
the crowd had dispersed, my protector advised me to conceal myself,
and, above all, not to go on board; he then started off to rejoin
his comrades. But all was not yet over. I had scarcely entered my
lodgings when I heard a knocking at the door.

"Doctor Pablo," said a voice, which was not unknown to me.

I opened, and I saw, as pale as death, a Chinese, who kept a tea-store
on the ground-floor of the same house.

"What's the matter, Yang-Po?"

"Save yourself, Doctor!"

"And wherefore?"

"Because the Indians will attack you this very night; they have
decided upon it!"

"Is it not your apprehension on account of your shop, Yang-Po?"

"Oh, no! do not treat this matter lightly. If you remain here you
are doomed; you have struck an Indian, and his friends cry aloud
for vengeance."

The fears of Yang-Po were, I saw, too well-founded; but what could
I do? To shut my door and await was the safest plan.

"Thank you," said I to the Chinese; "thank you for your kind advice,
but I shall remain here."

"Remain here, Signor Doctor! Can you think of so doing?"

"Now, Yang-Po, a service: go and say to these Indians that I have,
at their service, a brace of pistols and a double-barreled gun,
which I know how to use."

The Chinese departed sighing deeply, from a notion that the attack
upon the Doctor might end in the pillage of his wares. I barricaded
my door with the furniture of the room; I then loaded my weapons,
and put out the lights.

It was now eight o'clock in the evening. The least noise made me think
that the moment had arrived when Providence alone could save me. I was
so fatigued that, despite the anxiety natural to my position, I had
frequently to struggle against an inclination to sleep. Towards eleven
o'clock some one knocked at my door. I seized my pistols, and listened
attentively. At a second summons, I approached the door on tip-toe.

"Who's there?" I demanded.

A voice replied to me: "We come to save you. Lose not an instant. Get
out on the roof, and climb over to the other side, where we will
await you, in the street of the Campanario." Then two or three persons
descended the stairs rapidly. I had recognised the voice of a Métis,
whose good feelings on my behalf were beyond doubt. There was now
no time to be lost, for at the moment I got out of a window which
served to light the staircase, and led on to the roof, the Indians had
arrived in front of the house, and in a few minutes were breaking and
plundering the little I possessed. I quickly traversed the roof, and
descended into the street of the Campanario, where my new preservers
awaited me. They conducted me to their dwelling: there, a profound
sleep caused me quickly to forget the dangers I had passed through.

The following day my friends prepared a small pirogue to convey me
on board the Cultivateur, where, apparently, I should be in greater
security than on shore. I was about to embark when one of my preservers
handed me a letter which he had just received. It was addressed to me,
and bore the signatures of all the captains whose vessels were lying in
the harbour, and it informed me that, seeing themselves exposed every
moment to an attack by the Indians, they were decided to raise anchor
and seek a wider offing; but that two among them, Drouant and Perroux,
had been compelled to leave on shore a portion of their possessions,
and all their sails and fresh water. They entreated me to lend them
my assistance, and had arranged that a skiff should be placed at my
command. I communicated this letter to my friends, and declared that
I would not return on board without endeavouring to satisfy the wishes
of my countrymen; it was a question of saving the lives of the crews of
two vessels, and hesitation was impossible. They used every effort to
shake my resolution. "If you show yourself in any part of the town,"
said they, "you are lost; even supposing the Indians were not to kill
you, they would not fail to steal every object intrusted to them." I
remained immovable, and pointed out to them that it was a question of
honour and humanity. "Go alone, then!" exclaimed that Métis who had
contributed the most to my escape; "not one of us will follow you;
we would not have it said that we assisted in your destruction."

I thanked my friends, and, after shaking hands with them, passed on
through the streets of Cavite, my pistols in my belt, and my thoughts
occupied as to the best means of extricating myself from my perilous
position. However, I already knew sufficient of the Indian character
to be aware that boldness would conciliate, rather than enrage them. I
went towards the same landing-place where once before I had escaped
a great danger. The shore was covered with Indians, watching the
ships at anchor. As I advanced, all turned their looks upon me; but,
as I had foreseen, the countenances of these men, whose feelings had
become calmed during the night that had intervened, expressed more
astonishment than anger.

"Will you earn money?" I cried. "To those who work with me I will
give a dollar at the end of the day."

A moment's silence followed this proposition; then one of them said:
"You do not fear us!"

"Judge if I am alarmed," I replied, showing him my pistols; "with
these I could take two lives for one--the advantage is on my side."

My words had a magical effect, and my questioner replied:

"Put up your weapons; you have a brave heart, and deserve to be safe
amongst us. Speak! what do you require? We will follow you." I saw
these men, who but yesterday would have killed me, now willing to bear
me in triumph. I then explained to them that I wished to take some
articles which had been left on shore to my comrades, and to those who
assisted me in this object I would give the promised recompense. I told
the one who had addressed me to select two hundred men, nearly double
the number necessary; during the time he made up his party I signaled
a skiff to approach the shore, and wrote a few words in pencil, in
order that the boats from the French vessels might be in readiness
to receive the stores as soon as they were brought to the water's
edge. I then marched at the head of my Indian troop of two hundred
men, and by their aid the sails, provisions, biscuits, and wines,
were soon on board the boats. That which most embarrassed me was the
transport of a large sum of money belonging to Captain Drouant. If the
Indians had conceived the least suspicion of this wealth, they would no
longer have kept faith with me. I therefore determined to fill my own
pockets with the gold, and to traverse the distance between the house
and the boats as many times as was necessary to embark it. There,
concealed by the sailors, I deposited piece after piece as quietly
as possible. In carrying the sails belonging to Captain Perroux, a
circumstance occurred which might have been fatal to me. A few days
before the massacre, a French sailor, who was working as sail maker,
had died of the cholera. His alarmed companions wrapped the body in a
sail, and then hurried on board their ships. My Indians now discovered
the corpse, which was already in a state of putrefaction. Terrified
at first, their terror soon changed to fury; for an instant I feared
they would fall upon me.

"Your friends," they cried, "have left this body here purposely, that
it might poison the air and increase the violence of the epidemic."

"What! you are afraid of a poor devil dead of the cholera!" I said to
them, affecting to be as tranquil as possible; "never fear, I will
soon rid you of him;" and, despite the aversion I felt, I covered
the body with a small sail, and carried it down to the beach. There
I made a rude grave, in which I placed it; and two pieces of wood,
in the shape of a cross, for some days indicated the spot where lay
the unhappy one, who probably had no prayers save mine.

It had been a busy and agitating day, but towards the evening I
finished my task, and everything was embarked. I paid the Indians,
and in addition gave them a barrel of spirits.

I did not fear their intoxication, being the only Frenchman there,
and when it was dark I got into a boat, and towed a dozen casks of
fresh water at her stern. Since the previous day I had not eaten;
I felt worn out by fatigue and want of food, and threw myself down to
rest upon the seats of the boat. Ere long a mortal chilliness passed
through my veins, and I became insensible. In this state I remained
more than an hour. At last I reached the Cultivateur, and was taken
on board, and, by the aid of friction, brandy, and other remedies,
was restored to consciousness. Food and rest quickly renovated my
powers of mind and body, and the next day I was calm as usual among
my comrades. I thought of my personal position; the events of the two
last days made the review extremely simple. I had lost everything. A
small venture of merchandise, in which I invested the savings of
my previous voyages, had been intrusted to the captain for sale at
Manilla. These goods were destroyed, together with all I possessed,
at Cavite. There remained to me but the clothes I had on--a few old
things I could wear only on board ship--and thirty-two dollars. I
was but a little richer than Bias. Unfortunately I recollected
that an English captain--whose ship I had seen in the roads--owed me
something like a hundred dollars. In my present circumstances this sum
appeared a fortune. The captain in question, from fear of the Indians,
had dropped down as far as Maribélé, at the entrance of the bay, ten
leagues from Cavite. To obtain payment it was necessary I should go on
board his vessel. I borrowed a boat, and the services of four sailors,
from Captain Perroux, and departed. I reached the ship at dusk. The
unprincipled captain, who knew himself to be in deep water and safe
from pursuit, replied that he did not understand what I was saying
to him. I insisted upon being paid, and he laughed in my face. I was
treated as a cheat. He threatened to have me thrown into the sea;
in short, after a useless discussion, and at the moment when the
captain called five or six of his sailors to execute his threat,
I retreated to my boat. The night was dark, and as a violent and
contrary wind had sprung up, it was impossible to regain the ship,
so we passed the night floating upon the waves, ignorant as to the
direction we were going. In the morning I discovered our efforts had
been thrown away; Cavite was far behind us. The wind becoming calmer,
we again commenced rowing, and two hours after noon reached the ship.

Meanwhile tranquillity was restored at Cavite and Manilla. The
Spanish authorities took measures to prevent a recurrence of the
frightful scenes I have detailed, and the priests of Cavite launched a
public excommunication against all those who had attempted my life. I
attributed this solicitude to the character of my profession, being in
fact the only Æsculapius in the place. When I left the town the sick
were obliged to content themselves with the hazardous presumptions of
Indian sorcerers. One morning, I had almost decided upon returning to
land, when an Indian, in a smartly decorated pirogue, came alongside
the Cultivateur. I had met this man in some of my shooting excursions,
and he now proposed that I should go with him to his house, situated
ten leagues from Cavite, near the mountains of Marigondon. The prospect
of some good sport soon decided me to accept this offer. Taking with
me my thirty-two dollars and double-barreled gun--in fact, my whole
fortune--I intrusted myself to this friend, whose acquaintance I had
just made. His little habitation was delightfully situated, in the
cool shadow of the palm and yang-yang--immense trees, whose flowers
spread around a delicious perfume. Two charming Indian girls were the
Eves of this paradise. My good friend kept the promises he had made
me on leaving the vessel; I was treated both by himself and family
with every attention and kindness.

Hunting was my principal amusement, and, above all, the chase of
the stag, which involves violent exercise. I was still ignorant of
wild-buffalo hunting, of which, however, I shall have to speak later
in my narrative; and I often requested my host to give me a taste of
this sport, but he always refused, saying it was too dangerous. For
three weeks I lived with the Indian family without receiving any news
from Manilla, when one morning, a letter came from the first mate--who,
on the death of the unfortunate Dibard, had taken the command of the
Cultivateur--telling me he was about to sail, and that I must go
on board at once if I wished to leave a country which had been so
fatal to all of us. This summons was already several days old, and
despite the reluctance I felt to quit the Indian's pleasant retreat,
it was necessary that I should prepare to start. I presented my
gun to my kind host, but had nothing to give his daughters, for to
have offered them money would have been an insult. The next day I
arrived at Manilla, still thinking of the cool shade of the palm and
the perfumed flowers of the yang-yang. My first impulse was to go to
the quay; but, alas! the Cultivateur had sailed, and I had the misery
of beholding her already far away in the horizon, moving sluggishly
before a gentle breeze towards the mouth of the bay. I asked some
Indian boatmen to take me to the ship; they replied that it might be
practicable if the wind did not freshen, but demanded twelve dollars
to make the attempt. I had but twenty-five remaining. I considered
for a few moments, should I not reach the vessel, what would become
of me in a remote colony, where I knew no one, and my stock of money
reduced to thirteen dollars, and with no articles of dress than those I
had on--a white jacket, trousers, and striped shirt. A sudden thought
crossed my mind: what if I were to remain at Manilla, and practise my
profession? Young and inexperienced, I ventured to think myself the
cleverest physician in the Philippine Islands. Who has not felt this
self-confidence so natural to youth? I turned my back upon the ship,
and walked briskly into Manilla.

Before continuing this recital, let me describe the capital of the
Philippines.



CHAPTER II.

    Description of Manilla--The two Towns--Gaiety of
    Binondoc--Dances--Gaming--Beauty of the Women--Their Fascinating
    Costume--Male Costume--The Military Town--Personal Adventures--My
    First Patient--His Generous Confidence--Commencement of my
    Practice--The Artificial Eye--Brilliant Success--The Charming
    Widow--Auspicious Introduction--My Marriage--Treachery and Fate
    of Iturbide--Our Loss of Fortune--Return to France postponed.


Manilla and its suburbs contain a population of about one hundred and
fifty thousand souls, of which Spaniards and Creoles hardly constitute
the tenth part; the remainder is composed of Tagalocs, or Indians,
Métis, and Chinese. The city is divided into two sections--the military
and the mercantile--the latter of which is the suburb. The former,
surrounded by lofty walls, is bounded by the sea on one side, and
upon another by an extensive plain, where the troops are exercised,
and where of an evening the indolent Creoles, lazily extended
in their carriages, repair to exhibit their elegant dresses and
to inhale the sea-breezes. This public promenade--where intrepid
horsemen and horsewomen, and European vehicles, cross each other in
every direction--may be styled the Champs-Elysées, or the Hyde Park,
of the Indian Archipelago. On a third side, the military town is
separated from the trading town by the river Pasig, upon which are
seen all the day boats laden with merchandize, and charming gondolas
conveying idlers to different parts of the suburbs, or to visit the
ships in the bay.

The military town communicates by the bridge of Binondoc with the
mercantile town, inhabited principally by the Spaniards engaged in
public affairs; its aspect is dull and monotonous; all the streets,
perfectly straight, are bordered by wide granite footpaths. In general,
the highways are macadamised, and kept in good condition. Such is
the effeminacy of the people, they could not endure the noise of
carriages upon pavement. The houses--large and spacious, palaces in
appearance--are built in a particular manner, calculated to withstand
the earthquakes and hurricanes so frequent in this part of the
world. They have all one story, with a ground-floor; the upper part,
generally occupied by the family, is surrounded by a wide gallery,
opened or shut by means of large sliding panels, the panes of which
are thin mother-of-pearl. The mother-of-pearl permits the passage
of light to the apartments, and excludes the heat of the sun. In the
military town are all the monasteries and convents, the archbishopric,
the courts of justice, the custom-house, the hospital, the governor's
palace, and the citadel, which overlooks both towns. There are three
principal entrances to Manilla--Puerta Santa Lucia, Puerto Réal,
and Puerta Parian.

At one o'clock the drawbridges are raised, and the gates pitilessly
closed, when the tardy resident must seek his night's lodging in
the suburb, or mercantile town, called Binondoc. This portion of
Manilla wears a much gayer and more lively aspect than the military
section. There is less regularity in the streets, and the buildings
are not so fine as those in what may be called Manilla proper; but in
Binondoc all is movement, all is life. Numerous canals, crowded with
pirogues, gondolas, and boats of various kinds, intersect the suburb,
where reside the rich merchants--Spanish, English, Indian, Chinese,
and Métis. The newest and most elegant houses are built upon the banks
of the river Pasig. Simple in exterior, they contain the most costly
inventions of English and Indian luxury. Precious vases from China,
Japan ware, gold, silver, and rich silks, dazzle the eyes on entering
these unpretending habitations. Each house has a landing-place from
the river, and little bamboo palaces, serving as bathing-houses, to
which the residents resort several times daily, to relieve the fatigue
caused by the intense heat of the climate. The cigar manufactory,
which affords employment continually to from fifteen to twenty
thousand workmen and other assistants, is situated in Binondoc; also
the Chinese custom-house, and all the large working establishments
of Manilla. During the day, the Spanish ladies, richly dressed in
the transparent muslins of India and China, lounge about from store
to store, and sorely test the patience of the Chinese salesman, who
unfolds uncomplainingly, and without showing the least ill-humour,
thousands of pieces of goods before his customers, which are frequently
examined simply for amusement, and not half a yard purchased. The
balls and entertainments, given by the half-breeds of Binondoc to their
friends, are celebrated throughout the Philippines. The quadrilles of
Europe are succeeded by the dances of India, and while the young people
execute the fandango, the bolero, the cachucha, or the lascivious
movements of the bayadères, the enterprising half-breed, the indolent
Spaniard, and the sedate Chinese, retire to the gaming saloons, to
try their fortune at cards and dice. The passion for play is carried
to such an extent, that the traders lose or gain in one night sums
of 50,000 piasters (£10,000 sterling). The half-breeds, Indians, and
Chinese, have also a great passion for cock-fighting; these combats
take place in a large arena. I have seen £1,500 betted upon a cock
which had cost £150; in a few minutes this costly champion fell,
struck dead by his antagonist. In fine, if Binondoc be exclusively
the city of pleasure, luxury, and activity, it is also that of
amorous intrigues and gallant adventures. In the evening, Spaniards,
English, and French, go to the promenades to ogle the beautiful
and facile half-breed women, whose transparent robes reveal their
splendid figures. That which distinguishes the female half-breeds
(Spanish-Tagals, or Chinese-Tagals) is a singularly intelligent
and expressive physiognomy. Their hair, drawn back from the face,
and sustained by long golden pins, is of marvellous luxuriance. They
wear upon the head a kerchief, transparent like a veil, made of the
pine fibre, finer than our finest cambric; the neck is ornamented
by a string of large coral beads, fastened by a gold medallion. A
transparent chemisette, of the same stuff as the head-dress, descends
as far as the waist, covering, but not concealing, a bosom that has
never been imprisoned in stays. Below, and two or three inches from
the edge of the chemisette, is attached a variously coloured petticoat
of very bright hues. Over this garment, a large and costly silk sash
closely encircles the figure, and shows its outline from the waist
to the knee. The small and white feet, always naked, are thrust into
embroidered slippers, which cover but the extremities. Nothing can
be more charming, coquettish, and fascinating, than this costume,
which excites in the highest degree the admiration of strangers. The
half-breed and Chinese Tagals know so well the effect it produces on
the Europeans, that nothing would induce them to alter it.

While on the subject of dress, that of the men is also worthy of
remark. The Indian and the half-breed wear upon the head a large
straw hat, black or white, or a sort of Chinese covering, called a
salacote; upon the shoulders, the pine fibre kerchief embroidered;
and round the neck, a rosary of coral beads; their shirts are also
made from the fibres of the pine, or of vegetable silk; trousers of
coloured silk, with embroidery near the bottom, and a girdle of red
China crape, complete their costume. The feet, without stockings,
are covered with European shoes.

The military town, so quiet during the day, assumes a more lively
appearance towards the evening, when the inhabitants ride out in
their very magnificent carriages, which are invariably conducted
by postilions; they then mix with the walking population of
Binondoc. Afterwards visits, balls, and the more intimate réunions
take place. At the latter they talk, smoke the cigars of Manilla,
and chew the betel, [2] drink glasses of iced eau sucrée, and eat
innumerable sweetmeats; towards midnight those guests retire who do
not stay supper with the family, which is always served luxuriously,
and generally prolonged until two o'clock in the morning. Such is the
life spent by the wealthy classes under these skies so favoured by
Heaven. But there exists, as in Europe, and even to a greater extent,
the most abject misery, of which I shall speak hereafter, throwing
a shade over this brilliant picture.

I shall now return to my personal adventures. While I spoke with
the Indians upon the shore, I had noticed a young European standing
not many paces from me; I again met him on the road I took towards
Manilla, and I thought I would address him. This young man was a
surgeon, about returning to Europe. I partly told him the plans I
wished to form, and asked him for some information respecting the city
where I purposed locating myself. He readily satisfied my inquiries,
and encouraged me in the resolution to exercise my profession in
the Philippine Islands. He had himself, he said, conceived the same
project, but family affairs obliged him to return to his country. I
did not conceal the misfortune of my position, and observed that it
would be almost impossible to pay visits in the costume, worse than
plain, which I then wore.

"That is of no consequence," he replied; "I have all you would
require: a coat almost new, and six capital lancets. I will sell you
these things for their cost price in France; they will be a great
bargain." The affair was soon concluded. He took me to his hotel,
and I shortly left it encased in a garment sufficiently good, but
much too large and too long for me. Nevertheless, it was some time
since I had seen myself so well clad, and I could not help admiring
my new acquisition.

I had hidden my poor little white jacket in my hat, and I strode
along the causeway of Manilla more proud than Artaban himself. I was
the owner of a coat and six lancets; but there remained, for all my
fortune, the sum of one dollar only; this consideration slightly
tempered the joy that I felt in gazing on my brilliant costume. I
thought of where I could pass the night, and subsist on the morrow
and the following days, if the sick were not ready for me.

Reflecting thus I slowly wandered from Binondoc to the military town,
and from the military town back to Binondoc,--when, suddenly, a bright
idea shot across my brain. At Cavite I had heard spoken of a Spanish
captain, by name Don Juan Porras, whom an accident had rendered almost
blind. I resolved to seek him, and offer my services; it remained but
to find his residence. I addressed a hundred persons, but each replied
that he did not know, and passed on his way. An Indian who kept a
small shop, and to whom I spoke, relieved my trouble: "If the senor
is a captain," he said, "your excellency would obtain his address at
the first barrack on your road." I thanked him, and eagerly followed
his counsel. At the infantry barracks, where I presented myself, the
officer on duty sent a soldier to guide me to the captain's dwelling:
it was time, the night had already fallen. Don Juan Porras was an
Andalusian, a good man, and of an extremely cheerful disposition. I
found him with his head wrapped in a Madras handkerchief, busied in
completely covering his eyes with two enormous poultices.

"Senor Captain," I said, "I am a physician, and a skilful oculist. I
have come hither to take care of you, and I am fully convinced that
I shall cure you."

"Basta" (enough is said), was his answer; "all the physicians in
Manilla are asses."

This more than sceptical reply did not discourage me. I resolved
to turn it to account. "My opinion is precisely the same as yours,"
I promptly answered; "and it is because I am strongly convinced of
the ignorance of the native doctors, that I have made up my mind to
come and practise in the Philippines."

"Of what nation are you, sir?"

"I am a Frenchman."

"A French physician!" cried Don Juan; "Ah! that is quite another
matter. I ask your pardon for having spoken so irreverently of men of
your profession. A French physician! I put myself entirely into your
hands. Take my eyes, Senor Medico, and do what you will with them!"

The conversation was taking a favourable turn: I hastened to broach
the principal question:

"Your eyes are very bad, Senor Captain," said I; "to accomplish a
speedy cure, it is absolutely necessary that I should never quit you
for a moment."

"Would you consent to come and pass some time with me, doctor?"

Here was the principal consideration settled.

"I consent," replied I, "but on one condition; namely, that I shall
pay you for my board and lodging."

"That shall not part us--you are free to do so," said the worthy man;
"and so the matter is settled. I have a nice room, and a good bed,
all ready; there is nothing to do but to send for your baggage. I
will call my servant."

The terrible word, "baggage," sounded in my ears like a knell. I cast
a melancholy look at the crown of my hat--my only portmanteau--within
which were deposited all my clothes--consisting of my little white
jacket; and I feared Don Juan would take me for some runaway sailor
trying to dupe him. There was no retreat; so I mustered my courage,
and briefly related my sad position, adding that I could not pay
for my board and lodging until the end of the month--if I was so
fortunate as to find patients. Don Juan Porras listened to me very
quietly. When my tale was told he burst into a loud laugh, which made
me shiver from head to foot.

"Well," cried he, "I am well pleased it should be so; you are poor;
you will have more time to devote to my malady, and a greater interest
in curing me. What think you of the syllogism?"

"It is excellent, Senor Captain, and before long you will find, I hope,
that I am not the man to compromise so distinguished a logician as
yourself. To-morrow morning I will examine your eyes, and I will not
leave you till I have radically cured them."

We talked for some time longer in this joyous strain, after which
I retired to my chamber, where the most delightful dreams visited
my pillow.

The next day I rose early, put on my doctoral coat, and entered the
chamber of my host. I examined his eyes; they were in a dreadful
state. The sight of one was not only destroyed, but threatened the
life of the sufferer. A cancer had formed, and the enormous size it
had attained rendered the result of an operation doubtful. The left
eye contained many fibres, but there was hope of saving it. I frankly
acquainted Don Juan with my fears and hopes, and insisted upon the
entire removal of the right eye. The Captain, at first astonished,
decided courageously upon submitting to the operation, which I
accomplished on the following day with complete success. Shortly
afterwards the inflammatory symptoms disappeared, and I could assure
my host of a safe recovery. I then bestowed all my attention upon
the left eye. I desired the more ardently to restore to Don Juan his
vision, from the good effect I was convinced his case would produce
at Manilla. For me it would be fortune and reputation. Besides, I had
already acquired, in the few days, some slight patronage, and was in a
position to pay for my board and lodging at the end of the month. After
six weeks' careful treatment Don Juan was perfectly cured, and could
use his eye as well as he did previous to his accident. Nevertheless,
to my great regret, the Captain still continued to immure himself;
his re-appearance in society, which he had forsaken for more than
a year, would have produced an immense sensation, and I should have
been considered the first doctor in the Philippines. One day I touched
upon this delicate topic.

"Senor Captain," said I, "what are you thinking about, to remain
thus shut up between four walls, and why do you not resume your old
habits? You must go and visit your friends, your acquaintances."

"Doctor," interrupted Don Juan, "how can I show myself in public with
an eye the less? When I pass along the street all the women would say:
'There goes Don Juan the One-eyed!' No, no; before I leave the house
you must get me an artificial eye from Paris."

"You don't mean that? It would be eighteen months before the eye
arrived."

"Then here goes for eighteen months' seclusion," said Don Juan.

I persisted for upwards of an hour, but the Captain would not listen
to reason. He carried his coquetry so far that, although I had
covered the empty orbit with black silk, he had his shutters closed
whenever visitors came; so that, as they always found him in the dark,
none would credit his cure. I was very anxious to thwart Don Juan's
obstinacy, as may well be imagined; I had not the time to waste, during
eighteen months, in dancing attendance at fortune's door; therefore
I determined to make this eye myself, without which the coquetish
captain would not be seen. I took some pieces of glass, a tube, and
set to work. After many fruitless attempts, I at last succeeded in
obtaining the perfect form of an eye; but this was not all--it must
be coloured to resemble nature. I sent for a poor carriage-painter,
who managed to imitate tolerably well the left eye of Don Juan. It
was necessary to preserve this painting from contact with the tears,
which would soon have destroyed it. To accomplish this I had made by
a jeweller a silver globe, smaller than the glass eye, inside which
I united it by means of sealing-wax. I carefully polished the edges
upon a stone, and after eight days' labour I obtained a satisfactory
result. The eye which I had succeeded in producing was really not so
bad after all. I was anxious to place it within the vacant orbit. It
somewhat inconvenienced the Senor Don Juan, but I persuaded him that
he would soon become accustomed to it. Placing across his nose a
pair of spectacles, he examined himself in the looking-glass, and
was so satisfied with his appearance that he decided on commencing
his visits the following day.

As I had anticipated, the re-appearance in the world of Captain Juan
Porras made a great sensation, and soon the consequence was, that
Senor Don Pablo, the eminent French physician--most especially the
clever oculist--was much spoken of. From all quarters patients came to
me. Notwithstanding my youth and inexperience, my first success gave
me such confidence that I performed several operations upon persons
afflicted with cataracts, which succeeded most fortunately. I no longer
sufficed to my large connection, and in a few days, from the greatest
distress, I attained perfect opulence: I had a carriage-and-four in my
stables. I could not, however, notwithstanding this change of fortune,
resign myself to leave Don Juan's house, out of gratitude for the
hospitality he so generously offered me. In my leisure hours he kept
me company, and amused me with the recital of his battle stories and
personal adventures. I had already spent nearly six months with him,
when a circumstance, which forms an epoch in my life, changed my
existence, and compelled me to quit the lively captain. One of my
American friends often called my attention in our walks towards a
young lady in mourning, who passed for one of the prettiest senoras
of the town. Each time we met her my American friend never failed
to praise the beauty of the Marquesa de Las Salinas. She was about
eighteen or nineteen years of age; her features were both regular
and placid; she had beautiful black hair, and large expressive eyes;
she was the widow of a colonel in the guards, who married her when
almost a child. The sight of this young lady produced so lively an
impression upon me, that I explored all the saloons at Binondoc,
to endeavour to meet her elsewhere than in my walks. Fruitless
attempts! The young widow saw nobody. I almost despaired of finding
an opportunity of speaking to her, when one morning an Indian came
to request me to visit his master. I got into the carriage and set
off, without informing myself of the name of the sick person. The
carriage stopped before the door of one of the finest houses in the
Faubourg of Santa-Crux. Having examined the patient, and conversed a
few minutes with him, I went to the table to write a prescription;
suddenly I heard the rustling of a silk dress; I turned round--the
pen fell from my hand. Before me stood the very lady I had so long
sought after--appearing to me as in a dream! My amazement was so
great that I muttered a few unintelligible words, and bowed with such
awkwardness that she smiled. She simply addressed me to inquire the
state of her nephew's health, and withdrew almost immediately. As
to myself, instead of making my ordinary calls, I returned home;
questioned Don Juan minutely about Madame de Las Salinas: he entirely
satisfied my curiosity. He was acquainted with all the family of this
youthful widow, and they were highly respected in the colony. The
next morning, and following days, I returned to this charming widow,
who graciously condescended to receive me with favour. These details
being so completely personal, I pass them over. Six months after
my first interview with Madame de Las Salinas, I asked her hand,
and obtained it. I had therefore found, at more than five thousand
leagues from my country, both happiness and wealth. I agreed that
we should go to France as soon as my wife's property, the greater
part of which lay in Mexico, should be realised. In the meantime my
house was the rendezvous of foreigners, particularly of the French,
who were already rather numerous at Manilla. At this period the
Spanish government named me Surgeon-Major of the 1st Light Regiment,
and of the first battalion of the militia of Panjanga. Having been so
successful in so short a time, I never once doubted but that fortune
would continue to bestow her smiling favours upon me. I had already
prepared everything for my return to France; for we hourly expected
the arrival of the galleons that plied from Acapulco to Manilla,
which were to bring my wife's fortune. Her fortune was no less than
700,000 francs (£28,000 sterling).

One evening, as we were taking tea, we were informed that the vessels
from Acapulco had been telegraphed, and that the next morning they
would be in; our piasters were to be on board; I leave you to guess
if our wishes were not gratified. But, alas! how our hopes were
frustrated: the vessels did not bring us a single piaster. This is
what occurred: five or six millions were sent by land from Mexico
to San Blas, the place of embarkation, and the Mexican government
had the van escorted by a regiment of the line, commanded by Colonel
Iturbide. On the journey he took possession of the van, and fled with
his regiment into the independent states. It is well known that later
Iturbide was proclaimed Emperor of Mexico, then dethroned, and at last
shot, after an expedition that offers more than one analogy with that
of Murat. The very day of the arrival of the vessels we learnt that
our fortune was entirely lost, without even hopes of regaining the
smallest part. My wife and self supported this event with tolerable
philosophy. It was not the loss of our piasters that distressed us
the most, but the necessity we were in to abandon, or at least to
postpone, our journey to France.



CHAPTER III.

    Continued Prosperity in Practice--Attempted Political
    Revolution--Desperate Street Engagement--Subjugation of the
    Insurgents--The Emperor of a Day--Dreadful Executions--Illness
    and Insanity of my Wife--Her Recovery and Relapse--Removal to
    the Country--Beneficial Results--Dangerous Neighbours--Repentant
    Banditti--Fortunate Escape--The Anonymous Friend--A Confiding
    Wife--Her Final Recovery, and our Domestic Happiness Restored.


Despite the misfortune I have alluded to, I kept up my house in
the same style as before. My connection, and the different posts I
occupied, permitted me to lead the life of a grandee belonging to
the Spanish colonies; and probably I should have made my fortune in a
few years, if I had continued in the medical profession, but the wish
for unlimited liberty caused me to abandon all these advantages for a
life of peril and anxiety. At the same time do not let us anticipate
too suddenly, and let the reader patiently peruse a few more pages
about Manilla, and various events wherein I figured, either as actor
or witness, before taking leave of a sybarite citizen's life.

I was, as I said before, surgeon-major of the 1st Light Regiment of
the line, and on intimate terms with the staff, and more particularly
with Captain Novalès, a Creole by birth, possessing a courageous and
venturesome disposition. He was suspected of endeavouring to excite
his regiment to rebel in behalf of the Independence. An inquiry was
consequently instituted, which ended without proof of the captain's
culpability; nevertheless, as the governor still maintained his
suspicions, he gave orders for him to be sent to one of the southern
provinces, under the inspection of an alcaide. Novalès came to see
me the morning of his departure, and complained bitterly of the
injustice of the governor towards him, and added that those who had
no confidence in his honour would repent, and that he would soon
be back. I endeavoured to pacify him: we shook hands, and in the
evening he went on board the vessel commissioned to take him to his
destination. The night after Novalès departure, I was startled out of
my sleep by the report of fire-arms. I immediately dressed myself in
my uniform, and hastened to the barracks of my regiment. The streets
were deserted; sentinels were stationed at about fifty paces apart. I
understood that an extraordinary event had occurred in some part of
the town. When I reached the barracks I was no little astonished to
find the gates wide open, the sentry's box vacant, and not a soldier
within. I went into the infirmary, set apart for the special service
of the cholera patients, and there a serjeant told me that the bad
weather had compelled the vessel that was taking Novalès into exile to
return into the port; that about one o'clock in the morning, Novalès,
accompanied by Lieutenant Ruiz, came to the barracks, and having
made himself certain of the votes of the Creole non-commissioned
officers, put the regiment under arms, took possession of the gates,
and proclaimed himself Emperor of the Philippines.

This extraordinary intelligence caused me some anxiety. My regiment
had openly revolted; if I joined it, and were defeated, I should
be considered a traitor, and, as such, shot; if, on the contrary,
I fought against it, and the rebels proved victorious, I knew
Novalès sufficiently well to be convinced that he would not spare
me. Nevertheless I could not hesitate: duty bound me to the Spanish
government, by which I had been so well treated. I left the barracks,
rambling where chance might lead me. I shortly found myself at the
head-quarters of the artillery; an officer behind the gate stood
observing me. I went up to him, and asked him whether he was for
Spain. Upon his answering me in the affirmative, I begged him to
open the gate, declaring that I wished to join his party, and would
willingly offer my services as surgeon to them. I went in, and took
the commander's orders, which soon showed me how matters stood. During
the night Ruiz went, in the name of Novalès, to General Folgueras,
the commander during the absence of Governor Martinès, who was
detained at his country house, a short distance from Manilla. He
took the guard unawares, and seized the keys of the town, after
having stabbed Folgueras; from thence he went to the prisons, set
the prisoners at liberty, and put in their places the principal men
of the public offices belonging to the colony. The 1st Regiment was
on Government Place, ready to engage in battle; twice it attempted
to fall unexpectedly upon the artillery and citadel, but was driven
back. Many expected assistance from without, and orders from General
Martinès to attack the rebels. Very soon we heard a discharge of
artillery: it was General Martinès, who, at the head of the Queen's
Regiment, broke open Saint Lucy's Gate, and advanced into the besieged
town. The body of the artillery joined the governor-general, and we
marched towards Government Place. The insurgents placed two cannons
at the corner of each street. Scarcely had we approached the palace,
than we were exposed to a violent discharge of loaded muskets. The
head chaplain of the regiment was the first victim. We were then
engaged in a street, by the side of the fortifications, and from
which it was impossible to attack the enemy with advantage. General
Martinès changed the position of the attack, and in this condition we
came back by the street of Saint Isabelle. The troops in two lines
followed both sides of the street, and left the road free; in the
meantime the Panpangas regiment, crossing the bridge, reached us
by one of the opposite streets: the rebels were then exposed to the
opposite attacks. They nevertheless defended themselves furiously,
and their sharpshooters did us some harm. Novalès was everywhere,
encouraging his soldiers by words, exploits, and example, while
Lieutenant Ruiz was busy pointing one of the cannons, that swept the
middle of the street we were coming up. At length, after three hours'
contest, the rebels succumbed. The troops fell upon everything they
found, and Novalès was taken prisoner to the governor's. As to Ruiz,
although he had received a blow on his arm from a ball, he was
fortunate enough to jump over the fortifications, and succeeded,
for the time, in escaping; three days afterwards he was taken. The
conflict was scarcely over, than a court-martial was held. Novalès
was tried the first. At midnight he was outlawed; at two o'clock in
the morning proclaimed Emperor; and at five in the evening shot. Such
changes in fortune are not uncommon in Spanish colonies.

The court-martial, without adjourning, tried, until the middle of the
following day, all the prisoners arrested with arms. The tenth part
of the regiment was sent to the hulks, and all the non-commissioned
officers were condemned to death. I received orders to be at Government
Place by four o'clock, on which spot the executions were to take place;
two companies of each battalion of the garrison, and all the staff,
were to be present.

Towards five the doors of the town-hall opened, and between a double
file of soldiers advanced seventeen non-commissioned officers, each one
assisted by two monks of the order of Misericordia. Mournful silence
prevailed, interrupted every now and then by the doleful beating of
the drums, and the prayers of the agonising, chanted by the monks. The
procession moved slowly on, and after some time reached the palace;
the seventeen non-commissioned officers were ordered to kneel, their
faces turned towards the wall. After a lengthened beating of the drums
the monks left their victims, and at a second beating a discharge
of muskets resounded: the seventeen young men fell prostrate on the
ground. One, however, was not dead; he had fallen with the others,
and seemed apparently motionless. A few minutes after the monks
threw their black veils upon the victims: they now belonged to Divine
justice. I witnessed all that had just happened. I stood a few steps
from him who feigned death so well, and my heart beat with force
enough to burst through my chest. Would that it had been in my power
to lead one of the monks towards this unfortunate young man who must
have experienced such mortal anguish; but, alas! after having been so
miraculously spared, at the moment the black veil was about to cover
him, an officer informed the commander that a guilty man had escaped
being punished; the monks were arrested in their pious ministry, and
two soldiers received orders to approach and fire upon the poor fellow.

I was indignant at this. I advanced towards the informer and reproached
him for his cruelty; he wished to reply; I treated him as a coward,
and turned my back to him. Express orders from my colonel compelled
me to leave my house, to assist at this frightful execution; still,
deep anxiety ought to have prevented me from so doing, as I will
explain. On the eve when the battle was over, and the insurgents
routed, the distress of my dear Anna came across my mind. It was now
one o'clock in the afternoon, and she had received no tidings from
me since three in the morning; might she not think me dead, or in the
midst of the rebellion? Ah! if duty could make me forget for a moment
she whom I loved more than life, now all danger was over her charming
image returned to my mind. Dearest Anna! I beheld her pale, agitated;
asking herself at each report of the cannon whether it rendered her
a widow; when my mind became so agitated that I ran home to calm her
fears. Having reached my house I went quickly up stairs, my heart
beating violently; I paused for a moment at her door, then summoning
a little courage I entered. Anna was kneeling down praying; hearing my
footsteps she raised her head, and threw herself into my arms without
uttering a word. At first I attributed this silence to emotion, but,
alas! upon examining her lovely face, I saw her eyes looked wild,
her features contracted: I started back. I discovered in her all the
symptoms of congestion of the brain. I dreaded lest my wife had lost
her senses, and this fear alarmed me greatly. How fortunate it was
that it lay in my power to relieve her. I had her placed in bed, and
ministered myself to her wants. She was tolerably composed; the few
words she uttered were inconsistent; she seemed to think that somebody
was going to poison or kill her. All her confidence was placed in
me. During three days the remedies I prescribed and administered
were useless; the poor creature derived no benefit from them. I
therefore determined to consult the doctors in Manilla, although I
had no great opinion of their skill. They advised some insignificant
drugs, and declared to me that there were no hopes, adding, as a
philosophical mode of consolation, that death was preferable to the
loss of reason. I did not agree on this point with these gentlemen:
I would have preferred insanity to death, for I hoped that her madness
would die away by degrees, and eventually disappear altogether. How
many mad people are cured, what numbers daily recover, yet death is
the last word of humanity; and, as a young poet has truly said, is
"the stone of the tomb."

Between the world and God a curtain falls! I determined to wage a
war against death, and to save my Anna by having recourse to the most
indisputable resources of science. I looked now upon my brotherhood
with more contempt than ever, and, confident in my love and zealous
will, I began my struggle with a destiny, tinged indeed with gloomy
clouds. I shut myself up in the sick-chamber, and never left my wife. I
had great difficulty in getting her to take the medicaments I trusted
she would derive so much benefit from; I was obliged to call to my
assistance all the influence I had over her, in order to persuade
her that the draughts I presented to her were not poisoned. She did
not sleep, but appeared very drowsy; these symptoms denoted very
clearly great disorder of the brain. For nine days she remained in
this dreadful state; during which time I scarcely knew whether she
was dead or alive; at every moment I besought the Almighty to work a
miracle in her behalf. One morning the poor creature closed her eyes. I
cannot describe my feelings of anguish. Would she ever awake again? I
leant over her; I heard her breathing gently, without apparent effort;
I felt her pulse, it beat calmer and more regular; she was evidently
better. I stood by her in deep anxiety. She still remained in a calm
sleep, and at the end of half-an-hour I felt convinced that this
satisfactory crisis would restore my invalid to life and reason. I
sat down by her bed-side, and stayed there eighteen hours, watching
her slightest movements. At length, after such cruel suspense, my
patient awoke, as if out of a dream.

"Have you been long watching?" she said, giving me her hand: "Have I,
then, been very ill? What care you have taken of me! Luckily you may
rest now, for I feel I am recovered."

I think I have during my life been a sharer of the strongest emotions
of joy or of sadness man can feel; but never had I experienced
such real, heartfelt joy as when I heard Anna's words. It is easy
to imagine the state of my mind in recollecting the bitter grief
I was in for ten days; then can be understood the mental anguish I
felt. Having witnessed such strange scenes for a considerable time,
it would not have been surprising had I lost my senses. I was an
actor in a furious battle; I had seen the wounded falling around me,
and heard the death-rattle. After the frightful execution, I went home,
and there still deeper grief awaited me. I had watched by the bed-side
of a beloved wife, knowing not whether I should lose her for ever,
or see her spared to me deprived of reason; when all at once, as if by
a miracle, this dear companion of my life, restored to health, threw
herself into my arms. I wept with her; my burning eyes, aching for
want of rest, found at last some tears, but they were tears of joy and
gladness. Soon we became more composed; we related to each other all
that we had suffered. Oh! the sympathy of loving hearts! Our sorrows
bad been the same, we had shared the same fears, she for me and I for
her. Anna's rapid recovery, after her renovating slumber, enabled her
to get up; she dressed herself as usual, and the people who saw her
could not believe she had passed ten days struggling between death
and insanity--two gulphs, from which love and faith had preserved us.

I was happy; my deep sadness was speedily changed to gladness,
even visible on my features. Alas! this joy was transitory, like
all happiness; man here below is a continual prey to misfortune! My
wife, at the end of a month, relapsed into her former sickly state;
the same symptoms showed themselves again, with similar prospects,
during the same space of time. I remained again nine days at her
bed-side, and on the tenth a refreshing sleep brought her to her
senses. But this time, guided by experience, that pitiless mistress,
who gives us lessons we should ever remember, I did not rejoice
as I had done the month before. I feared lest this sudden cure
might only be a temporary recovery, and that every month my poor
invalid would relapse, until her brain becoming weaker and weaker,
she would be deranged for life. This sad idea wounded my heart, and
caused me such grief that I could not even dissimulate it before her
who inspired it. I exhausted all the resources of medicine; all these
expedients proved unavailable. I thought that perhaps, if I removed my
poor invalid from the spot where the events had occurred that caused
her disorder, her cure might be more easily effected; that perhaps
bathing and country walks in the fine weather would contribute to
hasten her recovery; therefore I invited one of her relations to
accompany us, and we set out for Tierra-Alta, a delightful spot,
a real oasis, where all things were assembled that could endear
one to life. The first days of our settling there were full of joy,
hope, and happiness. Anna got better and better every day, and her
health very much improved. We walked in beautiful gardens, under the
shade of orange-trees; they were so thick that even during the most
intense heat we were cool under their shade. A lovely river of blue
and limpid water ran through our orchard; I had some Indian baths
erected there. We went out in a pretty, light, open carriage, drawn
by four good horses, through beautiful avenues, lined on each side
with the pliant bamboo, and sown with all the various flowers of the
tropics. I leave you to judge, by this short account, that nothing
that can be wished for in the country was wanting in Tierra-Alta. For
an invalid it was a Paradise; but those are right who say there is
no perfect happiness here below. I had a wife I adored, and who loved
me with all the sincerity of a pure young heart. We lived in an Eden,
away from the world, from the noise and bustle of a city, and far, too,
from the jealous and envious. We breathed a fragrant air; the pure and
limpid waters that bathed our feet reflecting, by turns a sunny sky,
and one spangled with twinkling stars. Anna's health was improving:
it pleased me to see her so happy. What, then, was there to trouble
us in our lovely retreat? A troop of banditti! These robbers were
distributed around the suburbs of Tierra-Alta, and spread desolation
over the country and neighbourhood by the robberies and murders
they committed. There was a regiment in search of them; this they
little cared about. They were numerous, clever, and audacious; and,
notwithstanding the vigilance of the government, the band continued
their highway robberies and assassinations. In the house where I then
resided, and which I afterwards left, Aguilar, the commander of the
cavalry, who had replaced me as occupant, was fallen upon unexpectedly,
and stabbed. Several years after this period, the government was
obliged to come to some terms with these bandits, and one day twenty
men, all armed with carbines and swords, entered Manilla. Their
chieftain led them; they walked with their heads upright, their
carriage was proud and manly; in this order they went to the governor,
who made them a speech, ordered them to lay down their arms, and sent
them to the archbishop that he might exhort them. The archbishop in a
religious discourse implored of them to repent of their crimes, and
become honest citizens, and to return to their villages. These men,
who had bathed their hands in the blood of their fellow-creatures,
and who had sought in crime--or rather, in every crime--the gold they
coveted, listened attentively to God's minister, changed completely
their conduct, and became, in the end, good and quiet husbandmen.

Now let us return to my residence at Tierra-Alta, at the period when
the bandits were not converted, and might have disturbed my peaceful
abode and security. Nevertheless, whether it was carelessness, or the
confidence I had in my Indian, with whom I spent some time after the
ravages occasioned with the cholera, and with whose influence I was
acquainted, I did not fear the bandits at all. This Indian lived a
few leagues off from Tierra-Alta; he came often to see me, and said
to me on different occasions: "Fear nothing from the robbers, Senor
Doctor Pablo; they know we are friends, and that alone would suffice
to prevent them attacking you, for they would dread to displease me,
and to make me their enemy." These words put an end to my fears,
and I soon had an opportunity of seeing that the Indian had taken me
under his protection.

If any of my readers for whom I write these souvenirs feel the same
desire as I experienced to visit the cascades of Tierra-Alta, let
them go to a place called Yang-Yang; it was near this spot where
my Indian protector resided. At this part the river, obstructed in
its course by the narrowness of its channel, falls from only one
waterspout, about thirty or forty feet high, into an immense basin,
out of which the water calmly flows onwards, to form, lower down, three
other waterfalls, not so lofty, but extending over the breadth of the
river, thereby making three sheets of water, clear and transparent as
crystal. What beautiful sights are offered to the eyes of man by the
all-powerful hands of the Creator! And how often have I remarked that
the works of nature are far superior to those that men tire themselves
to erect and invent!

As we went one morning to the cascades we were about to alight
at Yang-Yang, when all at once our carriage was surrounded with
brigands, flying from the soldiers of the line. The chief--for we
supposed him to be so at first--said to his companions, not paying the
slightest attention to us, nor even addressing us: "We must kill the
horses!" By this I saw he feared lest their enemies should make use of
our horses to pursue them. With a presence of mind which fortunately
never abandons me in difficult or perilous circumstances, I said to
him: "Do not fear; my horses shall not be used by your enemies to
pursue you: rely upon my word." The chief put his hand to his cap,
and thus addressed his comrades: "If such be the case, the Spanish
soldiers will do us no harm to-day, neither let us do any. Follow
me!" They marched off, and I instantly drove rapidly away in quite
an opposite direction from the soldiers. The bandits looked after
me; my good faith in keeping my word was successful. I not only
lived a few months in safety at Tierra-Alta, but many years after,
when, I resided in Jala-Jala, and, in my quality of commander of the
territorial horse-guards of the province of Lagune, was naturally a
declared enemy of the bandits, I received the following note:


    "Sir,--Beware of Pedro Tumbaga; we are invited by him to go to
    your house and to take you by surprise; we remember the morning we
    spoke to you at the cascades, and the sincerity of your word. You
    are an honourable man. If we find ourselves face to face with
    you, and it be necessary, we will fight, but faithfully, and
    never after having laid a snare. Keep, therefore, on your guard;
    beware of Pedro Tumbaga; he is cowardly enough to hide himself
    in order to shoot you."


Everybody must acknowledge I had to do with most polite robbers.

I answered them thus:


    "You are brave fellows. I thank you for your advice, but I do
    not fear Pedro Tumbaga. I cannot conceive how it is you keep
    among you a man capable of hiding himself to kill his enemy;
    if I had a soldier like him, I would soon let him have justice,
    and without consulting the law."


A fortnight after my answer, Tumbaga was no more; a bandit's bullet
disembarrassed me of him.

I will now return to the recital I have just interrupted. When I had
left the bandits at Yang-Yang, I pulled up my horses and bethought
me of Anna. I was anxious to know what impression had been produced
on her mind from this unpleasant encounter. Fortunately my fears were
unfounded; my wife had not been at all alarmed, and when I asked her
if she was frightened, she replied: "Frightened, indeed! am I not with
you?" Subsequently I had good proofs that she told me the truth, for
in many perilous circumstances she always presented the same presence
of mind. When I thought there was no longer any danger we retraced our
steps and went home, satisfied with the conduct of the bandits towards
us, for their manner of acting clearly showed us that they intended us
no harm. I mentally thanked my Indian friend, for to him I attributed
the peace our turbulent neighbours allowed us to enjoy. The fatal time
was drawing near when my wife would again be suffering from another
attack of that frightful malady brought on by Novalès revolt. I had
hoped that the country air, the baths, and amusements of every kind
would cure my poor invalid; my hopes were deceived, and, as in the
preceding month, I had the grief once more to assist at a period of
physical and mental suffering. I despaired: I knew not what course
to pursue. I decided, however, upon remaining at Tierra-Alta. My
dear companion was happy there on the days her health was better,
and on the other days I never left her, endeavouring by every means
that art and imagination could invent to fight against this fatal
malady. At length my care, attempts, and efforts were successful, and
at the periods the symptoms usually returned I had the happiness not
to observe them, and believed in the certainty of a final cure. I then
felt the joy one experiences after having for a long time been on the
point of losing a very dear friend, who suddenly recovers. I now gave
myself up without fear to the various pleasures Tierra-Alta offers.



CHAPTER IV.

    Hunting the Stag--Indian Mode of Chasing the Wild Buffalo: its
    Ferocity--Dangerous Sport--Capture of a Buffalo--Narrow Escape of
    an Indian Hunter--Return to Manilla--Injustice of the Governor--My
    Resignation of Office--I Purchase Property at Jala-Jala--Retire
    from Manilla to Take Possession of my Domains--Chinese
    Legend--Festival of St Nicholas--Quinaboutasan--Description
    of Jala-Jala--Interview with a Bandit Chief--Formation of a
    Guard--Preparations for Building--Visit to Manilla, and Return
    to Jala-Jala--Completion of my House--Reception of my Wife by
    the Natives--The Government of the Philippines--Character of the
    Tagaloc Indians--Unmerited Chastisement--A Curate Appointed--Our
    Labours at Civilisation--My Hall of Justice--Buffalo Hunting
    Expedition.


Naturally fond of hunting, I often went to the home of my Indian
friend in the Marigondon mountains. Together we chased the stag,
and killed the various kinds of birds which abound in these regions
to such an extent that one may always choose between fifteen or
twenty different species of pigeons, wild ducks, and fowl, and it
frequently happened that I brought down five or six at a shot. The
manner of killing wild fowl (a sort of pheasant) much amused me. We
rode across the large plains, strewed with young wood, on good and
beautiful horses, broken in for the purpose; the dogs raised the game,
and, armed with whips, we endeavoured to knock the birds down at a
single blow, which is not so difficult as might be imagined. When a
number of the frightened flocks left the shelter of the wood we put
our steeds to the gallop, and it became a veritable steeple-chase,
such as amateur jockeys would much delight in. I also hunted the stag
with the lance, on horseback; this sport is likewise very amusing,
but, unfortunately, often attended with accidents. This is how they
occur:--The horses employed are so well trained to the sport, that
as soon as they perceive the stag it is no longer necessary, neither
is it possible, to guide them; they pursue the animal at the top of
their speed, and leap over every obstruction before them. The horseman
carries a lance seven or eight feet long, which he holds in readiness
to cast as soon as he thinks himself within reach of the stag. If he
misses his aim the lance sticks in the ground, and it then requires
great skill to avoid coming in contact with the opposite end, which
often wounds either the hunter or the horse. I speak not of the falls
to which one is liable from going at a furious gallop along unknown
and uneven roads. I had already enjoyed this sport during my first
sojourn at the Indian's, but, well as I acquitted myself, I was never
able to gain his permission that I should assist at a chase far more
dangerous, and which I might almost call a combat--that of the wild
buffalo. To all my questions my host had replied: "In this sport there
is much to fear: I would not expose you to the risk." He avoided, also,
taking me near that part of the plain touching upon the mountains of
Marigondon, where these animals could generally be found. However,
after repeated solicitation, I managed to obtain what I so ardently
desired; the Indian only wished to know whether I was a good horseman,
if I possessed dexterity; and when he had satisfied himself on these
two points, we started one fine morning, accompanied by nine huntsmen
and a small pack of dogs. In this part of the Philippines the buffalo
is hunted on horseback, and taken with the lasso, the Indians not being
much accustomed to the use of guns. In other parts fire-arms are used,
as I shall have occasion to recount in another part of my narrative;
but, in whichever case, there is little difference in the danger,
for the one requires good riding and great skill, the other much
presence of mind and a good gun.

The wild buffalo is quite different from the domesticated animal;
it is a terrible creature, pursuing the hunter as soon as it gets
sight of him, and, should he transfix him with its terrible horns, he
would promptly expiate his rashness. My faithful Indian was much more
anxious about my safety than his own. He objected to my taking a gun;
he had little confidence in my skill with the lasso, and preferred
that I should merely sit on horseback, unarmed and unencumbered
in my movements; accordingly I set out, with a dagger for my sole
weapon. We divided our party by threes, and rode gently about the
plains, taking care to keep at a distance from the edge of the wood,
lest we should be surprised by the animal we were seeking.

After riding for about an hour, we at last heard the baying of
the dogs, and understood that the enemy was forced from its forest
retreat. We watched with the deepest attention the spot where we
expected him to break forth. He required a great deal of coaxing
before he would show; at last there was a sudden crashing noise
in the wood; branches were broken, young trees overthrown, and a
superb buffalo showed himself, at about one hundred and fifty paces'
distance. He was of a beautiful black, and his horns were of very large
dimensions. He carried his head high, and snuffed the air as though
scenting his enemies. Suddenly starting off at a speed incredible in
so bulky an animal, he made for one of our groups, composed of three
Indians, who immediately put their horses to a gallop, and distributed
themselves in the form of a triangle. The buffalo selected one of them,
and impetuously charged him. As he did so, another of the Indians,
whom he passed in his furious career, wheeled his horse and threw the
lasso he held ready in his hand; but he was not expert, and missed
his aim. Thereupon the buffalo changed his course, and pursued the
imprudent man who had thus attacked him, and who now rode right in
our direction. A second detachment of three hunters went to meet the
brute; one of them passed near him at a gallop, and threw his lasso,
but was as unsuccessful as his comrade. Three other hunters made the
attempt; not one of them succeeded. I, as a mere spectator, looked
on with admiration at this combat--at those evolutions, flights, and
pursuits, executed with such order and courage, and with a precision
that was truly extraordinary.

I had often witnessed bull-fights, and often had I shuddered at seeing
the toreadors adopt a similar method in order to turn the furious
animal from the pursuit of the picador. But what comparison could
possibly be established between a combat in an enclosed arena and
this one in the open plain--between the most terrible of bulls and
a wild buffalo? Fiery and hot-blooded Spaniards, proud Castilians,
eager for perilous spectacles, go, hunt the buffalo in the plains
of the Marigondon! After much flight and pursuit, hard riding, and
imminent peril, a dexterous hunter encircled the animal's horns with
his lasso. The buffalo slackened his speed, and shook and tossed
his head, stopping now and then to try to get rid of the obstacle
which impeded his career. Another Indian, not less skilful than his
predecessor, threw his lasso with a like rapidity and success. The
furious beast now ploughed the earth with his horns, making the
soil fly around him, as if anxious to display his strength, and to
show what havoc he would have made with any of us who had allowed
themselves to be surprised by him. With much care and precaution the
Indians conveyed their prize into a neighbouring thicket. The hunters
uttered a shout of joy; for my part I could not repress a cry of
admiration. The animal was vanquished; it needed but a few precautions
to master him completely. I was much surprised to see the Indians
excite him with voice and gesture until he resumed the offensive,
and bounded from the ground with fury. What would have been our fate
had he succeeded in shaking off or breaking the lassos! Fortunately,
there was no danger of this. An Indian dismounted, and, with great
agility, attached to the trunk of a solid tree the two lassos that
retained the savage beast; then he gave the signal that his office
was accomplished, and retired. Two hunters approached, threw their
lassos over the animal, and fixed the ends to the ground with stakes;
and now our prey was thoroughly subdued, and reduced to immobility,
so that we could approach him with impunity. With blows of their
cutlasses the Indians hacked off his horns, which would so well have
revenged him had he been free to use them; then, with a pointed bamboo,
they pierced the membranes that separate the nostrils, and passed
through them a cane twisted in the form of a ring. In this state
of martyrdom they fastened him securely behind two tame buffaloes,
and led him to the next village.

Here the animal was killed, and the hunters divided the carcass, the
flesh of which is equal in flavour to beef. I had been fortunate in my
first essay, for such encounters with these shaggy sovereigns of the
plain do not always end so easily. A few days afterwards we renewed
the sport, which, alas! terminated with an accident of too frequent
occurrence. An Indian was surprised by a buffalo, at the moment the
animal issued from the wood. With one blow from his horns the horse
was impaled and cast to the earth, while his Indian rider fell near
to him. The inequality of the ground offered some chance of the man
escaping the notice of his redoubtable foe, until the latter, by a
sudden movement of his head, turned the horse over upon his rider,
and inflicted several blows with his horns, either of which would have
proved fatal, but from the force becoming diminished in traversing
the carcass of the horse. Fortunately some of the other sportsmen
succeeded in turning the animal, and compelled him to abandon his
victim. It was indeed time, for we found the poor Indian half dead,
and terribly gored by the horns of the buffalo. We succeeded in
stopping the blood which flowed copiously from his wounds, and
carried him to the village upon a hastily constructed litter. It was
only by considerable care and attention that his care was eventually
effected, and my friend the Indian strongly opposed my assisting at
such dangerous sport for the future.

Anna's health was now completely re-established. I no longer dreaded
the return of her fearful malady. During the space of several
months I had enjoyed all the pleasures that Tierra-Alta afforded,
and my affairs now requiring my presence at Manilla we set out for
that city. Immediately after my arrival I was compelled, much to my
regret, to resume my ordinary occupation; that is, to visit the sick
from morning to night, and from night to morning. My profession did
not well accord with my natural character, for I was not sufficiently
philosophic to witness, without pain, the sufferings I was incapable
of alleviating, and, above all, to watch the death-beds of fathers,
of mothers, and of dearly loved children. In a word, I did not act
professionally, for I never sent in my bills; my patients paid me
when and how they could. To their honour, I am bound to say that I
rarely had to complain of forgetfulness. Besides, my appointments
permitted me to live sumptuously, to have eight horses in my stables,
and to keep open house to my friends and the strangers who visited
Manilla. Soon, however, what my friends designated a coup-de-tête
caused me to lose all these advantages.

Every month I summoned a council of revision in the regiment to
which I belonged. One day I brought forward a young soldier for
rejection; all went well; but a native surgeon, long jealous of my
reputation, was nominated by the governor to make inquiry and check my
declaration. He naturally inserted in his report that I was deceived;
that the malady of which I spoke was imaginary; and he succeeded in
all this so well that the governor, enraged, condemned me in a penalty
of six piasters. The following month I again brought forward the same
soldier, as being incapable of performing his duties; a commission
of eight surgeons was nominated; their decision was unanimous in my
favour, and the soldier was accordingly discharged. This reparation
not quite satisfying me, I presented an appeal to the governor, who
would not receive it, upon the strange pretext that the decision of
the medical committee could not annul his. I confess that I did not
understand this argument. This method of reasoning, if reasoning it
was, appeared to me specious in the extreme. Why allow the innocent
to suffer, and the ignorant practitioner, who had contradicted my
opinions and deceived himself, to escape? This injustice revolted
me. I am a Breton, and I have lived with Indians--two natures which
love only right and justice. I was so much annoyed by the governor's
conduct towards me that I went to him, not to make another reclamation,
but to tender my resignation of the important offices which I held. He
received me with a specious smile, and told me that after a little
reflection I should change my mind. The poor governor, however, was
deceived, for, on leaving his palace, I went direct to the minister
of finance and purchased the property of Jala-Jala. My course was
marked out, my resolution unshakable. Although my resignation was
not yet duly accepted, I began to act as though I was completely
free. I had at the beginning informed Anna of the matter, and had
asked her if she would reside at Jala-Jala. "With you I should be
happy anywhere." Such was her answer. I was free, then, to act as I
pleased, and could go wherever my destiny might lead me. I forthwith
decided upon visiting the land that I had purchased.

For the execution of this project it was necessary to find a faithful
Indian upon whom I could rely. From among my domestics I chose the
coachman, a brave and discreet man, who was devoted to me. I took some
arms, ammunition, and provisions. At Lapindan, a small village near the
town of Santa Anna, I freighted a small boat worked by three Indians:
and one morning, without making my project known to my friends, and
without inquiring whether the governor had replaced me, I set out to
take possession of my domains, respiring the vivifying and pure air of
liberty. I ascended in my pirogue--which skimmed along the surface of
the waters like a sea-gull--the pretty river Pasig, which issues from
the lake of Bay, and traverses, on its way to the sea, the suburbs of
Manilla. The banks of this river are planted with thickets of bamboo,
and studded with pretty Indian habitations; above the large town of
Pasig it receives the waters of the river St. Mateo, at the spot where
that river unites itself with that of the Pasig. Upon the left bank
are still seen the ruins of the chapel and parsonage of St. Nicholas,
built by the Chinese, as the legend I am about to relate informs us.

At an unknown epoch, a Chinese who was once sailing in a canoe, either
upon the river Pasig, or that of St. Mateo, suddenly perceived an
alligator making for his frail bark, which it immediately capsized. On
his finding himself thus plunged in the water, the unfortunate Chinese
whose only prospect was that of making a meal for the ferocious animal,
invoked the aid of St. Nicholas. You, perhaps, would not have done
so, nor I either; and we should have been wrong, for the idea was a
good one. The good St. Nicholas listened to the cries of the unhappy
castaway, appeared to his wondering eyes, and with a stroke of a
wand, like some benevolent fairy, changed the threatening crocodile
into a rock, and the Chinese was saved. But do not imagine that the
legend ends here; the Chinese are not an ungrateful people--China
is the land of porcelain, of tea, and of gratitude. The Chinese who
had thus escaped from the cruel fate that awaited him, felt desirous
of consecrating the memory of the miracle; and, in concert with his
brethren of Manilla, he built a pretty chapel and parsonage in honour
of the good St. Nicholas. This chapel was for a long time officiated
in by a bonze; and every year, at the festival of the saint, the rich
Chinese of Manilla assembled there in thousands, to give a series of
fêtes which lasted for fifteen days. But it happened that an archbishop
of Manilla, looking upon this worship offered up by Chinese gratitude
as nothing but paganism, caused both the chapel and parsonage to be
unroofed. These harsh measures had no other result than to admit the
rain into the buildings; but the worship due to St. Nicholas still
continued, and remains to this day. Perhaps this arises from the
attempt to suppress it!

At present, at the period when this festival takes place--that is,
about the 6th of November every year--a delightful view presents
itself. During the night large vessels may be seen, upon which are
built palaces actually several stories high, terminating in pyramids,
and lit up from the base to the summit. All these lights are reflected
in the placid waters of the river, and seem to augment the number of
the stars, whose tremulous images dance on the surface of the waters:
it is an extemporised Venice! In these palaces they give themselves
up to play, to smoking opium, and to the pleasures of music. The
pévété, a species of Chinese incense, is burning everywhere and at
all times in honour of St. Nicholas, who is invoked every morning
by throwing into the river small square pieces of paper of various
colours. St. Nicholas, however, does not make his appearance; but
the fête continues for a fortnight, at the termination of which the
faithful retire till the year following.

And now that the reader is acquainted with the legend of the crocodile,
of the Chinese, and of the good St. Nicholas, I will resume my voyage.

I sailed on peaceably upon the Pasig, proceeding to the conquest of my
new dominions, and indulging in golden dreams. I gazed on the light
smoke of my cigarette, without reflecting that my dreams, my castles
in the air, must evaporate like it! I soon found myself in the lake
of Bay. The lake occupies an extent of thirty leagues, and I greatly
admired this fine sheet of water, bounded in the distance by mountains
of fantastic forms. At length I arrived at Quinaboutasan--this is a
Tagal word, which signifies "that which is perforated." Quinaboutasan
is situated on a strait, which separates the island of Talem from
the continent. We stopped for an hour in the only Indian hut there
was in the place, to cook some rice and take our repast. This hut
was inhabited by a very old fisherman and his wife. They were still,
however, able to supply their wants by fishing. At a later period I
shall have occasion to speak of old Relempago, or the "Thunderer,"
and to recount his history. When I was in the centre of the sheet of
water which separates Talem from Jala-Jala, I came in sight of the new
domain which I had so easily acquired, and I could form some opinion of
my acquisition at a glance. Jala-Jala is a long peninsula, extending
from north to south, in the middle of the lake of Bay. This peninsula
is divided longitudinally for the space of three leagues by a chain of
mountains, which diminish gradually in height till they become mere
hillocks. These mountains, are easy of access, and generally covered
on one side with forests, and on the other with fine pasturage,
abounding with waving and flexible grass, three or four feet high,
which, agitated by the breeze, resembles the waves of the sea when in
motion. It is impossible to find more splendid vegetation, which is
watered by pure and limpid springs that gush from the mountain heights,
and roll in a meandering course to join the waters of the lake. These
pasture grounds constitute Jala-Jala the greatest game preserve
in the island: wild boars, deer, buffaloes, fowls, quail, snipe,
pigeons of fifteen or twenty different varieties, parrots--in short
all sorts of birds abound in them. The lake is equally well supplied
with aquatic birds, and particularly wild ducks. Notwithstanding its
extent, the island produces neither noxious nor carnivorous animals;
the only things to be apprehended are the civet cat, which only preys
upon birds, and the monkeys, which issue in troops from the forests
to ravage the fields of maize and sugar-cane. The lake, which abounds
with excellent fish, is less favoured in this respect than the land,
for it contains numerous crocodiles and alligators, of such immense
size that in a few moments one of them can tear a horse to pieces,
and swallow it in its monstrous stomach. The accidents they occasion
are frequent and terrible, and I have seen many Indians become their
victims, as I shall subsequently relate. I ought, doubtless, to have
begun by speaking of the human beings who inhabited the forests of
Jala-Jala, but I am a sportsman, and must therefore be excused for
beginning with the game.

At the time I purchased it Jala-Jala was inhabited by some Malay
Indians, who lived in the woods, and cultivated a few spots of
ground. During the night they carried on the trade of piracy, and
gave shelter to all the banditti of the neighbouring provinces. At
Manilla this country had been described to me in the most gloomy
colours. According to the citizens of that place it would not be long
before I fell a victim to these robbers. My adventurous disposition,
however, only made all these predictions, instead of frightening me,
increase my desire to visit these men, who lived in an almost savage
state. As soon as I had purchased Jala-Jala, I had laid down a line of
conduct for myself, the object of which was to attach to me such of
the inhabitants as were the most to be dreaded. I resolved to become
the friend of these banditti, and for this purpose I knew that I must
go amongst them, not like a sordid and exacting landlord but like a
father. For the execution of my enterprise, everything depended on the
first impression that I should make on these Indians, who had become
my vassals. When I had landed, I directed my steps along the borders
of the lake, towards a little hamlet composed of a few cabins. I was
accompanied by my faithful coachman; we were both armed with a good
double-barreled gun, a brace of pistols, and a sabre. I had taken the
precaution of ascertaining from some fishermen the name of the Indian
to whom I should especially address myself. This man, who was the most
respected amongst his countrymen, was called in the Tagal language,
"Mabutiu-Tajo," which may be translated the "bravest of the brave"
he was a thorough-paced robber, a real piratical chief; a fellow that
would not hesitate to commit five or six murders in one expedition;
but he was brave, and with a primitive people bravery is a quality
before which they bow with respect. My conference with Mabutiu-Tajo
was not long. A few words were enough to win me his favour, and to
make him my faithful servant during the whole time I remained at
Jala-Jala. This is the manner in which I spoke to him: "You are a
great villain," I said; "I am the lord of Jala-Jala. I insist on your
changing your conduct; if you refuse, I shall punish you for all your
misdeeds. I have occasion for a guard: will you pledge me your honour
to become an honest man, and I will make you my lieutenant?"

After these few words, Alila (this was the name of the robber)
continued silent for a few moments, while his countenance displayed the
marks of profound reflection. I awaited his answer with considerable
anxiety and doubt as to what it would be.

"Master," he at length replied, with enthusiasm, presenting me his
hand, and bending one knee to the ground: "I shall be faithful to
you till death!"

His answer made me happy, but I did not let him see my satisfaction.

"Well and good," I replied; "to show you that I confide in you,
take this weapon, and use it only against the enemy."

I gave him a Tagal sabre, which bore the following Spanish inscription,
in large letters: "No me sacas sin rason, ni me envainas sin
honor." "Never draw me unjustly, and never sheath me with dishonour."

I translated this legend into the Tagaloc language: Alila thought it
sublime, and vowed never to deviate from it.

"When I go to Manilla," I added, "I shall procure you a handsome
uniform, with epaulettes; but you must lose no time in assembling
the soldiers you will have to command, and who are to form my
guard. Conduct me to the house of one of your comrades whom you
think most capable of obeying you as serjeant." We went some distance
from his cabin to the hut of one of his friends, who almost always
accompanied him in his piratical excursions. A few words like those
I had spoken to my future lieutenant produced a similar influence
on his comrade, and induced him to accept the rank I offered him. We
occupied the day in recruiting amongst the various huts, and in the
evening we had a guard of ten effective men, infantry and cavalry,
a number I did not wish to exceed.

Of these I took the command as captain; and thus, as will be seen,
I went promptly to work. The following day I assembled the population
of the peninsula, and, surrounded by my extempore guard, I chose a
situation where I wished to found a village, and a site on which
I wished my own habitation to be built. I ordered the heads of
families to construct their huts on an allotment which I indicated,
and I directed my lieutenant to employ as many hands as possible, to
quarry stones, to cut down timber for the wood-work, and to prepare
everything in short for my house. Having issued my orders, I departed
for Manilla, promising to return soon. When I reached home, I found
them in a state of inquietude, for, as nothing had been heard of me,
it was thought I had fallen a prey to the crocodiles, or a victim to
the pirates. The recital of my journey, and the description I gave of
Jala-Jala, far from disgusting my wife with the idea I had conceived
of inhabiting that country, made her, on the contrary, impatient to
visit our estate, and to establish herself there. It was, however, a
farewell she was taking of the capital--of its fêtes, its assemblies,
and its pleasures.

I paid a visit to the governor. My resignation had been considered as
null and void: he had preserved all my places for me. I was touched
by this goodness. I sincerely thanked him, but told him that I was
really in earnest, that my resolution was irrevocably fixed, and that
he might otherwise dispose of my employments. I added, that I only
asked him for one favour, that of commanding all the local gendarmerie
of the province of La Lagune, with the privilege of having a personal
guard, which I would form myself. This favour was instantly granted,
and a few days after I received my commission. It was not ambition
that suggested to me the idea of asking for this important post,
but sound reason. My object was to establish an authority for myself
at Jala-Jala, and to have in my own hands the power of punishing my
Indians, without recurring to the justice of the alcaid, who lived
ten leagues away from my dominions.

Wishing to be comfortably settled in my new residence, I drew
out a plan of my house. It consisted of a first-floor, with five
bed-chambers, a large hall, a spacious drawing-room, a terrace, and
bathing rooms. I agreed with a master-mason and a master carpenter
for the construction of it; and having obtained arms and uniforms
for my guard, I set out again. On arriving I was received with joy
by my Indians. My lieutenant had punctually executed my orders. A
great quantity of material was prepared, and several Indian huts were
already built.

This activity gave me pleasure, as it evinced a desire for my
gratification. I immediately set my labourers to work, ordering them
to clear away the surrounding wood, and I soon had the pleasure of
laying the foundation of my residence; I then went to Manilla. The
works lasted for eight months, during which time I passed backwards and
forwards continually from Manilla to Jala-Jala, and from Jala-Jala to
Manilla. I had some trouble, but I was well repaid for it when I saw
a village rise from the earth. My Indians constructed their huts on
the places I had indicated; they had reserved a site for a church,
and, until this should be built, mass was to be celebrated in the
vestibule of my mansion. At length, after many journeys to and fro,
which gave great uneasiness to my wife, I was enabled to inform her
that the castle of Jala-Jala was ready to receive its mistress. This
was a pleasing piece of intelligence, for we were soon to be no
longer separated.

I quickly sold my horses, my carriages, and useless furniture, and
freighted a vessel to convey to Jala-Jala all that I required. Then,
having taken leave of my friends, I quitted Manilla, with the
intention of not returning to it but through absolute necessity. Our
journey was prosperous, and on our arrival, we found my Indians
on the shore, hailing with cries of joy the welcome advent of the
"Queen of Jala-Jala," for it was thus they called my wife.

We devoted the first days after our arrival to installing ourselves
in our new residence, which it was necessary to furnish, and make both
useful and agreeable; this we accordingly effected. And now that years
have elapsed, and I am far removed from that period of independence
and perfect liberty, I reflect on the strangeness of my destiny. My
wife and I were the only white and civilised persons in the midst of a
bronzed and almost savage population, and yet I felt no apprehension. I
relied on my arms, on my self-possession, and on the fidelity of my
guards. Anna was only aware of a part of the dangers we incurred,
and her confidence in me was so great, that when by my side she knew
not what it was to fear. When I was well established in my house, I
undertook a difficult and dangerous task, that of establishing order
amongst my Indians, and organizing my little town according to the
custom of the Philippine islands. The Spanish laws, with reference to
the Indians, are altogether patriarchal. Every township is erected,
so to speak, into a little republic. Every year a chief is elected,
dependant for affairs of importance on the governor of the province,
which latter, in his turn, depends on the governor of the Philippine
islands. I confess that I have always considered the mode of government
peculiar to the Philippines as the most convenient and best adapted
for civilization. The Spaniards, at the period of their conquest,
found it in full operation in the isle of Luzon.

I shall here enter into some details. Every Indian population is
divided into two classes, the noble and the popular. The first is
composed of all Indians who are, or have been cabessas de barangay,
that is to say, collectors of taxes, which situation is honorary. The
taxes established by the Spaniards are personal. Every Indian of more
than twenty-one years of age pays, in four instalments, the annual sum
of three francs; which tax is the same to the rich and the poor. At a
certain period of the year, twelve of the cabessas de barangay become
electors, and assembling together with some of the old inhabitants of
the township, they elect, by ballot, three of their number, whose names
are forwarded to the governor of the Philippines. The latter chooses
from amongst these names whichever he pleases, and confides to him
for one year the functions of gobernadorcillo, or deputy-governor. To
distinguish him from the other Indians, the deputy-governor bears
a gold-headed cane, with which he has a right to strike such of his
fellow-citizens as may have committed slight faults. His functions
partake at the same time of those of mayor, justice of the peace,
and examining magistrate. He watches over good order and public
tranquillity; he decides, without appeal, suits and differences of
no higher importance than sixteen piasters (£3 6s. 8d.). He also
institutes criminal suits of high importance, but there his power
ceases. The documents connected with these suits are sent by him to
the governor of the province, who, in his turn, transmits them to
the royal court of Manilla. The court gives judgment, and the alcaid
carries it into execution. When the election for deputy-governor takes
place, the assembled electors choose all the officials who are to act
under him. These are alguazils, whose number is proportioned to the
population; two witnesses, or assistants, who are charged with the
confirmation of the acts of the deputy-governor--for without their
presence and sanction his acts would be considered null and void;
a jouès de palma, or palm judge, with the functions of rural guard;
a vaccinator, bound to be always furnished with vaccine matter, for
newborn children; and a schoolmaster, charged with public instruction;
finally, a sort of gendarmerie, to watch banditti and the state of
the roads within the precincts of the commune and the neighbouring
lands. Men, grown up, and without employment, form a civic guard, who
watch over the safety of the village. This guard indicates the hours
of the night, by blows struck upon a large piece of hollow wood. There
is in each town a parochial house, which is called Casa Réal, where
the deputy-governor resides. He is bound to afford hospitality to all
travellers who pass through the town, which hospitality is like that
of the Scotch mountaineers--it is given, but never sold. During two
or three days, the traveller has a right to lodging, in which he is
supplied with a mat, a pillow, salt, vinegar, wood, cooking vessels,
and--paying for the same--all descriptions of food necessary for
his subsistence. If, on his departure, he should even require horses
and guides to continue his journey, they are procured for him. With
respect to the prices of provisions, in order to prevent the abuses
so frequent amongst us, a large placard is fixed up in every Casa
Réal, containing a tariff of the market prices of meat, poultry,
fish, fruit, &c. In no case whatever can the deputy-governor exact
any remuneration for the trouble he is at.

Such were the measures that I wished to adopt, and which, it is true,
possessed advantages and disadvantages. The greatest inconvenience
attending them was undoubtedly that of placing myself in a state
of dependence upon the deputy-governor, whose functions gave him a
certain right, for I was his administrator. It is true that my rank,
as commandant of all the gendarmerie of the province, shielded me from
any injustice that might be contemplated against me. I knew very well
that, beyond military service, I could inflict no punishment on my men
without the intervention of the deputy-governor; but I had sufficiently
studied the Indian character to know that I could only rule it by the
most perfect justice and a well-understood severity. But whatever were
the difficulties I foresaw, without any apprehension of the troubles
and dangers of every description that I should have to surmount,
I proceeded straightforward towards the object I had traced out for
myself. The road was sterile and encumbered with rocks; but I entered
upon it with courage, and I succeeded in obtaining over the Indians
such an influence, that they ultimately obeyed my voice as they would
that of a parent. The character of the Tagaloc is extremely difficult
to define. Lavater and Gall would have been very much embarrassed by
it; for both physiognomy and craniology would be, perhaps, equally
at a loss amongst the Philippines.

The natural disposition of the Tagal Indian is a mixture of vices
and virtues, of good and bad qualities. A worthy priest has said,
when speaking of them: "They are great children and must be treated
as if they were little ones."

It is really curious to trace, and still more so to read, the moral
portrait of a native of the Philippine islands. The Indian keeps his
word, and yet--will it be believed?--he is a liar. Anger he holds in
horror, he compares it to madness; and even prefers drunkenness, which,
however, he despises. He will not hesitate to use the dagger to avenge
himself for injustice; but what he can least submit to is an insult,
even when merited. When he has committed a fault, he may be punished
with a flogging; this he receives without a murmur, but he cannot brook
an insult. He is brave, generous, and a fatalist. The profession of a
robber, which he willingly exercises, is agreeable to him, on account
of the life of liberty and adventure it affords, and not because it may
lead to riches. Generally speaking, the Tagalocs are good fathers and
good husbands, both these qualities being inherent. Horribly jealous
of their wives, but not in the least of the honour of their daughters;
and it matters little if the women they marry have committed errors
previous to their union. They never ask for a dowry, they themselves
provide it, and make presents to the parents of their brides. They
dislike cowards, but willingly attach themselves to the man who is
brave enough to face danger. Play is their ruling passion, and they
delight in the combats of animals, especially in cock-fighting. This
is a brief compendium of the character of the people I was about
to govern. My first care was to become master of myself. I made a
firm resolution never to allow a gesture of impatience to escape me,
in their presence, even in the most critical moments, and to preserve
at all times unshaken calmness and sang-froid. I soon learned that it
was dangerous to listen to the communications that were made to me,
which might lead me to the commission of injustice, as had already
happened under the following circumstances.

Two Indians came one day to lodge a complaint against one of their
comrades, living at some leagues' distance from Jala-Jala. These
informers accused him of having stolen cattle. After I had heard all
they had to say, I set off with my guard to seize upon the accused, and
brought him to my residence. There I endeavoured to make him confess
his crime, but he denied it, and said he was innocent. It was in vain
I promised him if he would tell the truth to grant him his pardon, for
he persisted even in the presence of his accusers. Persuaded, however,
that he was telling me falsehoods, and disgusted with his obstinacy
in denying a fact which had been sworn to me, with every appearance
of sincerity, I ordered him to be tied upon a bench, and receive a
dozen strokes of a whip. My orders were executed; but the culprit
denied the charge, as he had done before. This dogged perseverance
irritated me, and I caused another correction to be administered to him
the same as the first. The unfortunate man bore his punishment with
unshaken courage: but in the midst of his sufferings he exclaimed,
in penetrating accents: "Oh! sir, I swear to you that I am innocent;
but, as you will not believe me, take me into your house. I will be a
faithful servant, and you will soon have proofs that I am the victim of
an infamous calumny." These words affected me. I reflected that this
unfortunate man was, perhaps, not guilty after all. I began to fear I
had been deceived, and had unknowingly committed an act of injustice. I
felt that private enmity might have led these two witnesses to make
a false declaration, and thus induce me to punish an innocent man. I
ordered him to be untied. "The proof you demand," I said to him, "is
easily tried. If you are an honest man, I shall be a father to you;
but if you deceive me, do not expect any pity from me. From this moment
you shall be one of my guard; my lieutenant will provide you with
arms." He thanked me earnestly, and his countenance lit up with sudden
joy. He was installed in my guard. Oh! human justice! how fragile,
and how often unintelligible art thou! Some time after this event,
I learnt that Bazilio de la Cruz--this was the name of the man--was
innocent. The two wretches who had denounced him had fled, to avoid
the chastisement they merited. Bazilio kept his promise, and during my
residence at Jala-Jala he served me faithfully and without malice or
ill-will. This fact made a lively impression on me; and I vowed that
for the future I would inflict no punishment without being sure of
the truth of the charge alleged. I have religiously kept this vow--at
least I think so; for I have never since ordered a single application
of the whip until after the culprit had confessed his crime.

I have before said that I had expressed a wish to have a church
built in my village, not only from a religious feeling, but as a
means of civilisation: I was particularly desirous of having a curate
at Jala-Jala. With this view I requested Monseigneur Hilarion, the
archbishop, whose physician I had been, and with whom I was on terms of
friendship, to send me a clergyman of my acquaintance, and who was at
that time unemployed. I had, however, much difficulty in obtaining this
nomination. "Father Miguel de San-Francisco," the archbishop replied,
"is a violent man, and very headstrong: you will never be able to live
with him." I persisted, however; and as perseverance always produces
some result, I at length succeeded in having him appointed curate
at Jala-Jala. Father Miguel was of Japanese and Malay descent. He
was young, strong, brave, and very capable of assisting me in the
difficult circumstances that might occur; as, for example, if it were
necessary to defend ourselves against banditti. Indeed I must say that,
in spite of the anticipations, and I may add the prejudices, of my
honourable friend the archbishop, I kept him with me during the whole
time of my abode at Jala-Jala, and never had the slightest difference
with him. I can only reproach him with one thing to be regretted,
which is that he did not preach sufficiently to his flock. He gave
them only one sermon annually, and then his discourse was always the
same, and divided into two parts: the first was in Spanish, for our
edification, and the second in Tagaloc, for the Indians. Ah! how many
men have I since met with who might well imitate the worthy curate
of Jala-Jala! To the observations I sometimes made he would reply:
"Let me follow my own course, and fear nothing. So many words are not
necessary to make a good Christian." Perhaps he was right. Since my
departure from the place the good priest is dead, bearing with him
to the tomb the regret of all his parishioners.

As may be seen, I was at the beginning of my labour of
civilisation. Anna assisted me with all her heart, and with all her
intelligence, and no fatigue disheartened her. She taught the young
girls to love that virtue which she practised so well herself. She
furnished them with clothes, for at this period the young girls from
ten to twelve years of age were still as naked as savages. Father
Miguel de San Francisco was charged with the mission more especially
belonging to his sacred character. The more readily to disseminate
through the colony that instruction which is the beneficent parent of
civilisation, the young people were divided into squads of four at a
time, and went by turns to pass a fortnight at the parsonage. There
they learned a little Spanish, and were moulded to the customs of
a world which had been hitherto unknown to them. I superintended
everything in general. I occupied myself in works of agriculture,
and giving proper instruction to the shepherds who kept the flocks I
had purchased to make use of my pasturage. I was also the mediator of
all the differences which arose amongst my colonists. They preferred
rather to apply to me than to the deputy-governor; and I succeeded
at last in obtaining over them the influence I desired. One portion
of my time, and this was not the least busy, was occupied in driving
the banditti from my residence and its vicinity. Sometimes I set
off for this purpose before daybreak and did not return until night;
and then I always found my wife good, affectionate, and devoted to
me: her reception repaid me for the labours of the day. Oh, felicity
almost perfect! I have never forgotten you! Happy period! which has
left indelible traces in my memory, you are always present to my
thoughts! I have grown old, but my heart has ever continued young in
recollecting you.

In our long chit-chat of an evening we recounted to each other the
labours of the day, and everything that occurred to us. This was
the season of sweet mutual confidence. Hours too soon vanished,
alas! Fugitive moments, you will never return! It was also the time
when I gave audience; real bed of justice, imitated from St. Louis,
and thrown open to my subjects. The door of my mansion admitted all
the Indians who had anything to communicate to me. Seated with my
wife at a great round table, I listened, as I took my tea, to all the
requests that were made to me, all the claims that were laid before
me. It was during these audiences that I issued my sentences. My guards
brought the culprits before me, and, without departing from my ordinary
calmness, I admonished them for the faults they had committed; but I
always recollected the error I bad committed in my sentence against
poor Bazilio, and I was, therefore, very circumspect. I first listened
to the witnesses; but I never condemned until I heard the culprit say:

"What would you have, sir? It was my destiny. I could not prevent
myself from doing what I did."

"Every fault merits chastisement," I would reply; "but choose between
the deputy-governor and me--by which do you wish to be chastised?"

The reply was always the same.

"Kill me, if you will, master; but do not give me up to my own
countrymen."

I awarded the punishment, and it was inflicted by my guards. When this
was over, I presented the Indian with a cigar, as a token of pardon,
I uttered a few kind words to him to induce him not to commit any fresh
faults, and he went away without hearing any malice to his judge. I
had, perhaps, been severe, but I had been just; that was enough. The
order and discipline I had established were a great support for me
in the minds of the Indians; they gave me a positive influence over
them. My calmness, my firmness, and my justice--those three great
qualities without which no government is possible--easily satisfied
these natures, still untrained and unsophisticated. But one thing,
however, disquieted them. Was I brave? This is what they were ignorant
of, and frequently asked of one another. They spurned the idea of being
commanded by a man who might not be intrepid in the face of danger. I
had indeed made several expeditions against banditti, but they had
produced no result, and would not serve as proofs of my bravery
in the eyes of the Indians. I very well knew that they would form
their definite opinion upon me from my conduct in the first perilous
extremity we should encounter together. I was therefore determined
to undertake anything, that I might show myself at least equal to
the best and bravest of all my Indians: everything was comprised in
that. I felt the imperious necessity of showing myself not only equal
but superior in the struggle, by preserving my self-possession.

An opportunity at length offered.

The Indians look upon buffalo hunting as the most dangerous of all
their wild sports, and my guards often said they would rather stand
naked at twenty paces from the muzzle of a carbine than at the same
distance from a wild buffalo. The difference they said is this, that
the ball of a carbine may only wound, but the horn of a buffalo is
sure to kill. I took advantage of the terror they had of this animal,
and one day declared, with the utmost possible coolness, my intention
to hunt one. They then made use of all their eloquence to turn me from
my project; they gave me a very picturesque, but a very discouraging
description of the dangers and difficulties I should have to encounter,
especially as I was not accustomed to that sort of warfare,--and such
a combat is, in fact, a struggle for life or death. But I would listen
to nothing. I had spoken the word: I would not discuss the point,
and I looked upon all their counsels as null and void. My decision
was right; for these kind counsels, these frightful pictures of the
dangers I was about to incur, had no other object than to entrap
me; they had concerted amongst themselves to judge of my courage by
my acceptance or refusal of the combat. My only answer was to give
orders for the hunt. I took great care that my wife should not be
informed of our excursion, and I set off, accompanied by half a score
Indians, nearly all of whom were armed with muskets. Buffalo hunting
is different in the mountains from what it is in the plains. On the
plain one only requires a good horse, with address and agility in
throwing the lasso; but in the mountains it requires something more:
and, above all, the most extraordinary coolness and self-possession
are essentially necessary.

This is the way in which it is done: the hunter takes a gun on which
he can depend, and places himself in such a position that the buffalo
must see him on issuing from the wood. The moment the animal sees
him, he rushes on him with the utmost velocity, breaking, rending,
and trampling under foot every obstacle to the fury of his charge;
he rushes on as if about to crush the enemy, then stops within some
paces for a few seconds, and presents his sharp and threatening
horns. This is the moment that the hunter should fire, and lodge his
ball in the forehead of the foe. If unfortunately his gun misses fire,
or if his coolness fails him, if his hand trembles, or his aim is bad,
he is lost--Providence alone can save him! This was, perhaps, the
fate that awaited me; but I was resolved to tempt this cruel proof,
and I went forward with intrepidity--perhaps to death. We at length
arrived on the skirts of an extensive wood, in which we felt assured
there were buffaloes, and here we halted. I was sure of my gun,
and I conceived I was equally so of my self-possession; I therefore
determined that the hunt should be conducted as if I had been a simple
Indian. I placed myself at the spot where it was fully expected that
the animal would come out, and I forbade anyone to remain near me. I
ordered everyone to his proper place, and I then stood alone on the
open ground, about two hundred paces from the borders of the forest,
to await an enemy that would show me no mercy if I missed him. It is,
I confess, a solemn moment, when one stands between life and death by
the more or less certainty of a gun, or the greater or less steadiness
of the arm that holds it. I was, however, perfectly tranquil. When
all were at their posts two hunters entered the forest, having
first thrown off some of their clothing, the more readily to climb
up trees in case of danger: they had no other arms than a cutlass,
and were accompanied by the dogs. A dead silence continued for
upwards of half-an-hour; everyone listening for the slightest noise,
but nothing was heard. The buffalo continues a long time frequently
without betraying his lair; but at the end of the half-hour we heard
the repeated barking of the dogs, and the shouts of the hunters:
the animal was aroused from his cover. He defended himself for some
time against the dogs, till at length, becoming furious, he sprang
forward with a bound towards the skirts of the forest. In a few minutes
after, I heard the crashing of the branches and the young trees that
the buffalo rent asunder in the terrible velocity of his course. His
advance could only be compared to the galloping of several horses--to
the rushing noise of some frightful monster--or, I might almost say,
of some furious and diabolical being. Down he came like an avalanche;
and at this moment, I confess, I experienced such lively emotions that
my heart beat with extraordinary rapidity. Was it not death--aye,
and frightful death--that was perhaps approaching me? Suddenly the
buffalo made his appearance. He stopped for an instant; gazed, as if
frightened, around him; sniffed up the air of the plain which extended
in the distance; then, with distended nostrils, head bent, and horns
projected, he rushed towards me, terrible and furious. The moment was
come. If I had longed for an opportunity of showing off my courage
and sang-froid to the Indians, these two precious qualities were now
put to a severe test. There I was, face to face with the peril I had
courted; the dilemma was one of the most decided and unavoidable that
could possibly be: conqueror or conquered, there must be a victim--the
buffalo or me, and we were both equally disposed to defend ourselves.

It would be difficult for me to state exactly what was passing in my
mind, during the brief period which the buffalo took in clearing the
distance that lay between us. My heart, so vividly agitated while the
ferocious animal was rushing through the forest, now beat no longer. My
eyes were fixed upon him, my gaze was rivetted on his forehead in such
a manner that I could see nothing else. My mind was concentrated on
one object alone, in which I was so absorbed, that I could actually
hear nothing, though the dogs were still barking at a short distance,
as they followed their prey. At length, the buffalo lowered his head,
presented his sharp-pointed horns, stopped for a moment, then, with
a sudden plunge, he rushed upon me, and I fired. My ball pierced his
skull, and I was half saved. The animal fell within a pace of me, like
a mass of rock, so loud, and so heavy. I planted my foot between his
two horns, and was preparing to fire my second barrel, when a long and
hollow bellowing indicated that my victory was complete--the monster
had breathed his last sigh. My Indians then came up. Their joy was
succeeded by admiration; they were in ecstasy; I was everything they
could wish for. All their doubts had vanished with the smoke of my
rifle, when, with steady aim, I had shot the buffalo. I was brave;
I had won their confidence; I had stood the test. My victim was cut
up in pieces, and borne in triumph to the village. As the victor,
I took his horns; they were six feet long. I have since deposited
them in the museum of Nantes. The Indians, those imaginative beings,
called me thenceforward, "Malamit Oulou," Tagal words, which signify
"cool head."

I must confess, without vanity, that the proof to which my Indians had
subjected me was sufficiently serious to give them a decided opinion
of my courage, and to satisfy them that a Frenchman was as brave as
themselves. The habit I subsequently acquired of hunting convinced
me that but little danger is really incurred when the weapon is a
good one, and the self-possession does not fail. Once every month I
indulged in this exercise, which imparts such lively sensations; and
I recognised the facility with which one may lodge a ball in a plain
surface, a few inches in diameter, and at a few paces distance. But
it is no less true that our first huntings were very dangerous. Once
only I permitted a Spaniard named Ocampo to accompany us. I had taken
the precaution to station two Indians at his side; but when I quitted
them to take up my own post, he imprudently sent them away, and soon
after, the buffalo started from the wood, and rushed upon him. He
fired both his barrels, and missed the animal; we heard the reports
and ran towards him, but it was too late! Ocampo was no longer in
existence. The buffalo had gored him through and through, and his body
was ploughed up with frightful wounds. But no such accident ever took
place again; for when strangers came to witness our buffalo hunts,
I made them get up in a tree, or on the crest of a mountain, where
they might remain as spectators of the combat, without taking any
part in it, or being exposed to any danger.

And now that I have described buffalo hunting in the mountains,
I must return to my colonising labours.



CHAPTER V.

    Description of my House at Jala-Jala--Storms, Gales, and
    Earthquakes--Reforming the Banditti--Card-playing--Tagal
    Cock-fighting--Skirmishes with Robbers--Courage of my Wife--Our
    Domestic Happiness--Visits from Europeans--Their Astonishment at
    our Civilisation--Visit to a Sick Friend at Manilla--Tour through
    the Provinces of the Ilocos and Pangasinan Indians--My Reception
    by the Tinguians--Their Appearance and Habits--Manners and
    Customs--Indian Fête at Laganguilan y Madalag--Horrible Ceremonies
    to Celebrate a Victory--Songs and Dances--Our Night-watch--We
    Explore our Cabin--Discovery of a Secret Well--Tomb of the
    Tinguian Indians.


As I have previously said, my house possessed every comfort that
could possibly be desired. It was built of hewn stone, so that in
case of an attack it could serve as a small fortress. The front
overlooked the lake, which bathed with its clear and limpid waters
the verdant shore within a hundred steps from my dwelling; the back
part looked upon woods and hills, where the vegetation was rich and
plentiful. From our windows we could gaze upon those grand majestic
scenes which a beautiful tropical sky so frequently affords. At
times, on a dark night, the summits of the hills suddenly shone
with a weak faint light, which increased by degrees; then the bright
moon gradually appeared, and illuminated the tops of the mountains,
as large beacon-fires would have done; then again, calm, peaceful,
and serene, she reflected her soft poetic light over the bosom of
the lake, as tranquil and unruffled as herself. It was indeed an
imposing sight. Towards evening, Nature at times showed herself
in all her commanding splendour, infusing a secret terror into the
very soul. Everything bore evidence of the sacred influence of the
Divine Creator. At a short distance from our house we could perceive
a mountain, the base of which was in the lake and the summit in the
clouds. This mountain served as a lightning conductor to Jala-Jala:
it attracted the thunder. Frequently heavy black clouds, charged with
electricity, gathered over this elevated point, looking like other
mountains trying to overturn it; then a storm began, the thunder roared
tremendously, the rain fell in torrents; every minute frightful claps
were heard, and the total darkness was scarcely broken by the lightning
that flashed in long streams of fire, dashing from the top and sides
of the mountain enormous blocks of rock, that were hurled into the
lake with a fearful crash. It was an admirable exemplification of the
power of the Almighty! Soon the calm was restored, the rain ceased,
the clouds disappeared, the fragrant air bore on its yet damp wings
the perfume of the flowers and aromatic plants, and Nature resumed
her ordinary stillness. Hereafter I shall have occasion to speak
of other events that happened at certain periods, and were still
more alarming, for they lasted twelve hours. These were gales of
wind, called in the Chinese seas Tay-Foung. At several periods of
the year, particularly at the moment of the change of the monsoon,
[3] we beheld still more terrifying phenomena than our storms--I
allude to the earthquakes. These fearful convulsions of nature
present a very different aspect in the country from what they do in
cities. If in towns the earth begins to quake, everywhere we hear a
terrible noise; the edifices give way, and are ready to fall down;
the inhabitants rush out of their houses, run along the streets, which
they encumber, and try to escape. The screams of frightened children
and women bathed in tears are blended with those of the distracted
men; all are on their knees, with clasped hands, their looks raised to
Heaven, imploring its mercy with sobbing voices. Everything totters,
is agitated; all dread death, and terror becomes general. In the
country it is totally different, and a hundred times more imposing and
terrific. For instance, in Jala-Jala, at the approach of one of these
phenomena, a profound, even mournful stillness pervades nature. The
wind no longer blows; not a breeze nor even a gentle zephyr is
perceptible. The sun, though cloudless, darkens, and spreads around
a sepulchral light. The atmosphere is burdened with heavy and sultry
vapours. The earth is in labour. The frightened animals quietly seek
shelter from the catastrophe they foresee. The ground shakes; soon it
trembles under their feet. The trees move, the mountains quake upon
their foundations, and their summits appear ready to tumble down. The
waters of the lake quit their bed, and inundate the country. Still
louder roaring than that produced by the thunder is heard: the earth
quivers; everywhere its motion is simultaneously felt. But after this
the convulsion ceases, everything revives. The mountains are again firm
upon their foundations, and become motionless; the waters of the lake
return by degrees to their proper reservoir; the heavens are purified
and resume their brilliant light, and the soft breeze fans the air;
the wild buffaloes again scour the plain, and other animals quit the
dens in which they had concealed themselves; the earth has resumed
her stillness, and nature recovered her accustomed imposing calm.

I have not sought to enter upon those minute descriptions, too tedious
generally for the reader; I only wished to give an idea of the various
panoramas that were unfolded to our eyes whilst at Jala-Jala.

I now return to the details of my ordinary life.

As I had killed a wild buffalo when hunting, I had given sufficient
proofs of my skill, and my Indians were devoted to me, because they
had confidence in me. Nothing more now pre-occupied me, and I spent
my time in superintending some necessary alterations. Shortly the
woods and forests adjoining my domain were cut down, and replaced by
extensive fields of indigo and rice. I stocked the hills with horned
cattle, and a fine troop of horses with delicate limbs and haughty
mien; I also succeeded in dispersing the banditti from Jala-Jala. I
must say a great many of them abandoned their wandering sinful lives;
I received them on my land, and made good husbandmen of them. How
was it that I had collected such a number of recruits? In a strange
manner, I will admit, and worthy of relating, as it will show how
an Indian allows himself to be influenced and guided, when he has
confidence in a man whom he looks upon as his superior. I frequently
walked in the forests alone, with my gun under my arm. Suddenly a
bandit would spring out, as if by enchantment, from behind a tree,
armed from top to toe, and advance towards me.

"Master," said he to me, putting one knee to the ground, "I will be
an honest man; take me under your protection!"

I asked him his name; if he had been marked out by the high court of
justice, I would answer him severely:

"Withdraw, and never present yourself again before me; I cannot
forgive you, and if I meet you again, I must do my duty."

If he was unknown to me, I would kindly say to him:

"Follow me."

I would take him home, and then tell him to lay down his arms; and
after having preached to him, and exhorted him to persist in his
resolution, I would point out to him the spot in the village where
he might build his cabin, and, in order to encourage him, I would
advance him some money to support himself until he became transformed
from a bandit into an agriculturist. I congratulated myself each
day on having left an open door to repentance, since by my cares I
restored to an honest and laborious life, people who had gone astray
and been perverted. I endeavoured also to persuade the Indians to
abandon their vicious wild customs, without being too severe towards
them; to obtain much from them I knew it was necessary to give way a
little. The Indians are passionately fond of cards and cock-fighting,
as I have said before; therefore, in order not to debar them entirely
from these pleasures, I allowed them to play at cards three times a
year--the day of the village festival, upon my wife's birthday, and
upon my own. Woe to the one who was caught playing out of the times
prescribed above; he was severely punished. As to the cock-fights,
I allowed them on Sundays and holidays, after Divine service. For
this purpose I had public arenas built. In these arenas, in presence
of two judges, whose decrees were without appeal, the spectators
laid heavy wagers. There is nothing more curious than to witness a
cock-fight. The two proud animals, purposely chosen and trained for
the day of the contest, come upon the battle-field armed with long,
sharp, steel spurs. They bear themselves erect; their deportment
is bold and warlike; they raise their heads, and beat their sides
with their wings, the feathers of which spread in the form of
the proud peacock's fan. They pace the arena haughtily, raising
their armed legs cautiously, and darting angry looks at each other,
like two old warriors in armour ready to fight before the eyes of an
assembled court. Their impatience is violent, their courage impetuous;
shortly the two adversaries fall upon and attack each other with equal
fury; the sharp weapons they wear inflict dreadful wounds, but these
intrepid combatants appear not to feel the cruel effects. Blood flows;
the champions only appear the more animated. The one that is getting
weak raises his courage at the idea of victory; if he draw back, it is
only to recruit his strength, to rush with more ardour than ever upon
the enemy he wishes to subdue. At length when their fate is decided,
when one of the heroes, covered with blood and wounds, falls a victim,
or runs away, he is declared vanquished, and the battle is ended.

The Indians assist with a sort of ferocious joy at this
amusement. Their attention is so captivated by it that they do not
utter a word, but follow with particular care the most minute details
of the conflict. Almost all of them train up a cock, and treat him
for several years with comical tenderness, when one reflects that
this animal, taken as much care of as a child, is destined by its
master to perish the first day it fights. I also found that it was
necessary to provide some amusement compatible with the tastes,
manners, and habits of my former bandits, who had led for so long
a space of time such a wandering vagabond life. For this purpose I
allowed hunting on all parts of my estate, conditionally, however,
that I should take beforehand, as tithe, a quarter of any stag or wild
boar they should kill. I do not think that ever a sportsman--one of
those men reclaimed from the paths of vice to those of virtue--failed
in this engagement, or endeavoured to steal any game. I have often
received seven or eight haunches of venison in a day, and those who
brought them were delighted to be able to offer them to me.

The church I had laid the foundation of was progressing rapidly;
the population of the township was daily increasing: and everything
succeeded according to my wishes. I had still occasional difficulties
with the hardened robbers who surrounded me; but I pursued them
without intermission, for it was to my interest to remove them from the
neighbourhood of my residence. Frequently they annoyed me by the alarms
that they gave us. These resolute, determined men arrived in gangs to
besiege our house. My guards surrounded me, and we occasionally fought
skirmishes, which always terminated in our favour. Providence has
unfathomable secrets. I was never struck by a ball from a bandit. I
bear the scars of seventeen wounds; but these wounds were made with
naked blades. It could be said of me, as in I know not which Scotch
ballad: "Did not the Devil's soldiers pass through the balls, instead
of the balls passing through them." Yet I have often been fired at;
sometimes the barrel of a gun has been pointed at my chest, and that
at a few paces from me. My clothes have been torn by the bullet,
but my body has always escaped harm.

One morning I was cautioned to put myself on my guard, because some
banditti had met together at a few leagues from my house, and intended
attacking it. Hearing this, I armed my people, and set out to meet
the band that was coming to assail me, so as to anticipate their
attack. At the place that had been indicated to me I found nobody,
and passed the day in exploring the neighbourhood, in hopes of meeting
the bandits, but my search was useless. Suddenly the thought struck me
that a secret enemy had imposed upon me, and that, at the moment I was
going to face imaginary danger, perhaps my house I had left would be
suddenly attacked. I trembled--I shivered all over. I gallopped off,
and reached home in the middle of the night. My fears were but too
well-founded. I had fallen into a snare. I found my servants armed,
watching, with my wife at their head. "What are you doing here?" I
exclaimed, going up to her. "I am keeping watch," she replied, with
great presence of mind; "I was told that the advice given to you
was false; that you would not find the robbers where you expected,
and that, during your absence, they would come here." This act of
heroism proved to me what courage and energy God had given to a woman
apparently so delicate. The banditti did not attack us: was there
not some guardian angel watching over my dwelling?

We were more than a year at Jala-Jala without seeing a European. One
would have thought that we had withdrawn ourselves entirely from the
civilised world, and that we were going to live for ever with the
Indians. Our mountains had so bad a reputation, that nobody dared
expose themselves to the thousand dangers they feared to encounter in
the locality. We were therefore alone, yet still very happy. It was,
perhaps, the most pleasant time I spent in my life. I was living with a
beloved and loving wife; the good work I had undertaken was performed
under my eyes; the comfort and happiness, the natural results of
such good work, spread themselves among my vassals, who daily became
more and more devoted to me. How could I have regretted quitting
the pleasures and entertainments of a town, where those diversions
and pleasures are bought by lies, hypocrisy, and deceit--those three
vices of civilised society? However, the terror spread around by the
banditti was not great enough to keep away the Europeans entirely;
and one morning some people, [4] mad enough to dare to visit a mad
man--such was the name given to me at Manilla, when I left to go and
live in the country--came to see me, armed to their very teeth. The
surprise of these venturesome visitors is impossible to be described,
when they found us at Jala-Jala, calm, and in perfect safety. Their
astonishment increased when they went entirely through our colony; and
on their return to town they gave such an account of our retreat, and
of the entertainments they found there, that shortly after we received
more visits, and I had not only to give hospitality to friends, but
likewise to strangers. If, now and then, our affairs compelled us to
go to Manilla, we very soon came back to our mountains and forests,
for there only Anna and myself were happy. Very great reasons alone
could induce us to leave our pleasant abode; however, a slight event
occurred that obliged us to quit it for a short time. I was informed
that one of my friends, who had acted as witness to my marriage,
was seriously ill. [5] What the greatest pleasure, the most heartfelt
joy, the most splendid banquet, could not obtain from me, friendship
exacted. At this sad intelligence I determined at once upon going to
Manilla, to give my advice to the sick man, whose family had solicited
my aid; and as my absence might be prolonged, I packed up my things,
and we left, our hearts sadder than ever at having to quit Jala-Jala
on so melancholy an errand. Upon my arrival there, I was told that
my friend had been taken from Manilla to Boulacan, a province to the
north of that town, where it was hoped the country air would hasten
his recovery. I left Anna at her sister's, and went off to join Don
Simon, whom I found convalescent; my presence was almost useless,
and the journey I had made resulted in shaking affectionately my
former comrade by the hand, whom I would not leave until convinced
that he was entirely recovered.

In order to utilise my time, I decided upon making a tour to the north
into the provinces of Ilocos and Pangasinan. I had my reasons for so
doing: I wished, if possible, to make an excursion to the Tinguians
and Igorrots, wild populations, who were much talked of, but little
known. I wished to study them myself. I took the precaution not to
confide this idea to anybody, for then, indeed, people would not
have known what name to give my folly. I made my preparations, and
set out with my faithful lieutenant, Alila, who never left me, and
who was justly styled Mabouti-Tao. We were mounted upon good horses,
that carried us along like gazelles to Vigan, the chief town of the
province of South Ilocos, where we left the animals. From there we
took a guide, who conducted us on foot to the east, close to a small
river called Abra (opening). This river is the only issue by which
we could penetrate to the Tinguians. It winds around high mountains
of basalt; its sides are steep; its bed is encumbered with immense
blocks of rock, fallen from the sides of the mountains, which render
it impossible to walk along its banks. To reach the Tinguians, it
is necessary to have recourse to a slight skiff, that can easily
pass through the current and the most shallow parts. My guide and
my lieutenant soon contrived to make a small raft of bamboos; when
it was finished we embarked, Alila and myself, our guide refusing
to accompany us. After much trouble and fatigue, casting ourselves
often into the water to draw our raft along, we at length got clear
of the first range of mountains, and perceived, in a small plain,
the first Tinguian village. When we reached there we got out, and
went towards the huts we had distinguished in the distance. I allow
it was acting rather foolishly to go and thus expose ourselves,
in the midst of a colony of ferocious and cruel men whose language
we did not know; but I relied upon my usual good fortune. I will add
that I had taken divers objects with me to give as presents, trusting
to meet some inhabitant speaking the Tagaloc language. I walked on,
then, without troubling myself about what would become of us. In a
few minutes we reached the nearest cabins, and the inhabitants gave
us at first an unwelcome reception. Frightened at seeing us approach,
they advanced towards us, armed with hatchets and spears; we waited
for them without recoiling in the least. I spoke to them by signs,
and showed them some necklaces of glass beads, to make them understand
we were friendly disposed. They deliberated among themselves, and when
they had held their consultation, they beckoned us to follow them. We
obeyed. They led us to their chief, who was an old man. My generosity
was greater towards him than it had been to his subjects. He appeared
so delighted with my presents, that he immediately put us at our ease,
by making us understand that we had nothing to fear, and that he took
us under his special protection.

This pleasing reception encouraged us.

I then set about examining with attention the men, women, and children
who surrounded us, and who seemed as much astonished as ourselves. My
amazement was very great when I beheld tall men, slightly bronzed,
with straight hair, regular features, aquiline noses, and really
handsome, elegant women. Was I really among savages? I should rather
have thought I was among the inhabitants of the south of France,
had it not been for the costume and language. The only clothing the
men wore was a sash, and a sort of a turban, made out of the bark of
the fig tree. They were armed, as they always are, with a long spear,
a small hatchet, and a shield. The women also wore a sash, and a small
narrow apron that came down to their knees. Their heads were ornamented
with pearls, coral beads, and pieces of gold, twisted among their hair;
the upper parts of their hands were painted blue; their wrists adorned
with interwoven bracelets, spangled with glass beads--these bracelets
reached the elbow, and formed a kind of half-plaited sleeve. On this
subject I learnt a remarkable fact. These interwoven bracelets squeeze
the arm very much; they are put on when the women are quite young,
and they prevent the development of the flesh to the advantage of the
wrist and hand, which swell and become dreadfully big; this is a mark
of beauty with the Tinguians, as a small foot is with the Chinese,
and a small waist with the European ladies. I was quite astonished
to find myself in the midst of this population, where there was no
reason whatsoever to be alarmed. One thing only annoyed me; it was
the odour that these people spread around them, which could be smelt
even at a distance. However, the men and women are cleanly, for they
are in the habit of bathing twice daily. I attributed the disagreeable
smell to their sash and turban, which they never leave off, but allow
to fall into rags. I remarked that the reception given me by the
chief gained us the good-will of all the inhabitants, and I accepted,
without hesitation, the hospitality proffered us. This was the only
means of studying well the manners and customs of my new hosts.

The territory occupied by the Tinguians is situated about 17 degrees
north latitude, and 27 degrees west longitude; it is divided into
seventeen villages. Each family possesses two habitations, one for
the day and the other for the night. The abode for the day is a
small cabin, made of bamboos and straw, in the same style as most
Indian huts; the one for the night is smaller, and perched upon great
posts, or on the top of a tree, about sixty or eighty feet above the
ground. This height surprised me, but I understood this precaution
when I knew that thus, under shelter at night, the Tinguians are saved
from the nocturnal attacks of the Guinanès, their mortal enemies,
and defend themselves with the stones which they throw from the tops
of the trees. [6] In the middle of each village there is a large shed,
in which are held the assemblies, festivities, and public ceremonies. I
had been already two days in the village of Palan (this was the name
of the place where I stopped at), when the chiefs received a message
from the small town of Laganguilan y Madalag, that lies far off to the
east. By this message the chiefs were informed that the inhabitants of
this district had fought a battle, and that they had been victorious.

The inhabitants of Palan hearing this news screamed with joy; it
was quite a tumult when they heard that a fête would be given in
commemoration of the success at Laganguilan y Madalag. All wished
to be present--men, women, children; all desired to go to it. But
the chiefs chose a certain number of warriors, some women, and a
great many young girls: they made their preparations and set out. It
was too favourable an opportunity for me not to avail myself of it,
and I earnestly begged my hosts to allow me to accompany them. They
consented, and the same night we set out on our journey, being in all
thirty in number. The men wore their arms, which are composed of a
hatchet, that they call aligua, a sharp-pointed spear of bamboo, and a
shield; the women were muffled up in their finest ornaments. I remarked
that these garments were cotton materials, of showy colours. We walked
one behind another, according to the custom of the savages. We went
through many villages, the inhabitants of which were also going to
the fête; we crossed over mountains, forests, torrents, and at last,
at break of day, we reached Laganguilan y Madalag. This small town was
the scene of much rejoicing. On all sides the sound of the gong and
tom-tom were heard. The first of these instruments is of a Chinese
shape; the second is in the form of a sharp cone, covered over at
the bottom with a deer's skin.

Towards eleven o'clock, the chiefs of the town, followed by all the
population, directed their steps towards the large shed. There everyone
took his place on the ground, each party, headed by its chiefs,
occupying a place marked out for it beforehand. In the middle of a
circle formed by the chiefs of the warriors were large vessels, full
of basi, a beverage made with the fermented juice of the sugar-cane;
and four hideous heads of Guinans entirely disfigured--these were
the trophies of the victory. When all the assistants had taken their
places, a champion of Laganguilan y Madalag took one of the heads
and presented it to the chiefs of the town, who showed it to all the
assistants, making a long speech comprehending many praises for the
conquerors. This discourse being over, the warrior took up the head,
divided it with strokes of his hatchet, and took out the brains. During
this operation, so unpleasant to witness, another champion got a second
head, and handed it to the chiefs, the same speech was delivered,
then he broke the skull to pieces in like manner, and took out the
brains. The same was done with the four bleeding skulls of the subdued
enemies. When the brains were taken out, the young girls pounded them
with their hands into the vases containing the liquor of the fermented
sugar-cane; they stirred the mixture round, and then the vases were
taken to the chiefs, who dipped in their small osier goblets, through
the fissures of which the liquid part ran out, and the solid part that
remained at the bottom they drank with ecstatic sensuality. I felt
quite sick at this scene, so entirely new to me. After the chieftains'
turn came the turn of the champions. The vases were presented to them,
and each one sipped with delight this frightful drink, to the noise
of wild songs. There was really something infernal in this sacrifice
to victory.

We sat in a circle and these vases were carried round. I well
understood that we were about undergoing a disgusting test. Alas! I
had not long to wait for it. The warriors planted themselves before
me, and presented me with the basi and the frightful cup. All eyes
were fixed upon me. The invitation was so direct, to refuse it would
perhaps be exposing myself to death! It is impossible to describe
the interior conflict that passed within me. I would rather have
preferred the carbine of a bandit five paces from my chest; or await,
as I had already done, the impetuous attack of the wild buffalo. What a
perplexity! I shall never forget that awful moment. It struck me with
terror and disgust; however, I contained myself, nothing betraying my
emotion. I imitated the savages, and, dipping the osier goblet into the
drink, I approached it to my lips, and passed it to the unfortunate
Alila, who could not avoid this infernal beverage. The sacrifice was
complete; the libations were over, but not the songs. The basi is a
very spirituous and inebriating liquor, and the assistants, who had
partaken rather too freely of this horrible drink, sang louder to the
noise of the tom-tom and the gong, while the champions divided the
human skulls into small pieces destined to be sent as presents to all
their friends. The distribution was made during the sitting, after
which, the chiefs declared the ceremony over. They then danced. The
savages divided themselves into two lines, and howling, as if they
were furious madmen or terribly provoked, they jumped about, laying
their right hand upon the shoulder of their partners, and changing
places with them. These dances continued all day; at last night came
on, each inhabitant retired with his family and some few guests to
his aerial abode, and soon afterwards tranquillity was restored.

We cannot help feeling astonished, when we are in Europe--in a
good bed, under a warm eider-down coverlet, the head luxuriously
reclining upon good pillows--when we reflect on the singular homes
of the savages in the woods. How often have I represented to myself
these families--roosting eighty feet above ground, upon the tops of
trees. However, I know that they sleep as quietly in those retreats,
open to every wind, as I in my well-closed and quiet room. Are they
not like the birds who repose at their sides upon the branches? Have
they not Nature for a mother, that admirable guardian of all she has
made, and do they not also close their eyelids under the tutelary
looks of the Supreme Father of the universe?

My faithful Alila retired with me into one of the low-storied
cabins to pass the night, as we had been in the habit of doing
while staying with the Tinguians. For our better security we were
accustomed to watch one another alternately; we never both slept at
the same time. Without being timid, ought we not to be prudent? This
night it was my turn to go to sleep the first. I went to bed, but the
impressions of the day had been too strong: I felt no inclination to
sleep. I therefore offered to relieve my lieutenant of his watch; the
poor fellow was like myself--the heads of the Guinans kept dancing
before his eyes. He beheld them pale, bloody, hideous; then torn,
pounded, broken to pieces; then the shocking beverage of the brains,
that he also so courageously swallowed, came back to his mind,
and he suffered sufficiently to make him repent our visit. "Master,"
said he to me, looking very much grieved, "why did we come among these
devils? Ah! it would have been much better had we remained in our good
country of Jala-Jala." He was not perhaps in the wrong, but my desire
to see extraordinary things gave me a courage and a will he did not
partake of. I answered him thus: "Man must know all, and see all it is
possible to see. As we cannot sleep, and that we are masters here, let
us make a night visit; perhaps we shall find things that are unknown
to us. Light the fire and follow me, Alila." The poor lieutenant
obeyed without answering a word. He rubbed two pieces of bamboo one
against the other, and I heard him muttering between his teeth:

"What cursed idea has the master now? What shall we see in
this miserable cabin--with the exception of the Tic-balan, [7]
or Assuan? [8] We shall find nothing else." During the Indian's
reflections the fire burnt up. I lit, without saying a word, a cotton
wick, plastered over with elemi gum, that I always carried with me in
my travels, and I began exploring. I went all through the inside of
the habitation without finding anything, not even the Tic-balan, or
Assuan, as my lieutenant imagined. I was beginning to think my search
fruitless, when the idea struck me to go down to the ground-floor of
the cabin, for all the cabins are raised about eight or ten feet above
ground, and the under part of the floor, closed with bamboos, is used
as a store: I descended. Anyone who could have seen me--a white man,
a European, the child of another hemisphere--wander by night, with a
taper in my hand, about the hut of a Tinguian Indian, would have been
really surprised at my audacity, and I may almost say, my obstinacy,
in seeking out danger while pursuing the wonderful and unknown. But
I went on, without reflecting on the strangeness of my conduct: as
the Indians say: "I was following my destiny." When I had reached the
ground, I perceived in the middle of a square, inclosed with bamboos,
a sort of trap, and I stopped quite pleased. Alila looked at me with
astonishment. I lifted up the trap, and saw a rather deep well;
I looked into it with my light, but could not discover the bottom
of it. Upon the sides only, at a depth of about six or seven yards,
I thought I distinguished some openings that I took for entrances
into sub terraneous galleries. What had I now discovered? Was I,
like Gil Blas, about to penetrate into the midst of an assemblage of
banditti, living in the internal parts of the earth; or should I find,
as in the tales of the "Arabian Nights," some beautiful young girls,
prisoners of some wicked magician? Indeed, my curiosity increased
in proportion to my discoveries. "There is something strange here,"
said I to my lieutenant; "light a second match, I will go down to the
bottom of the well." Hearing this order, my faithful Alila shrunk back
in dismay, and ventured to say to me, in a frightfully dismal tone:

"Why, master, you are not content to see what is upon the earth,
you must also see what is inside of it!"

This simple observation made me smile. He continued: "You wish to
leave me alone here; and if the souls of the Guinans whose brains I
have just drank come to fetch me, what will become of me? You will
not be here to defend me!"

My lieutenant would not have been frightened at twenty banditti, he
would have struggled against every one of them until death; but his
legs trembled, his voice faltered, he was terrified at the idea of
remaining alone in this cabin, exposed to the view of the spirit of
a Guinan, which would come and ask him to restore his brains! Whilst
he addressed me these complaints, I had leant my back against one
side of the well, my knees were applied against the other, and down
I went. I had already descended about four yards, when I felt some
rubbish falling upon me. I raised my head, and saw Alila coming down
too. The poor fellow would not remain alone. "Well done," said I to
him, "you are becoming curious too; you will be rewarded, believe
me, for we shall see fine sights." And I continued my under-ground
research. After proceeding six or seven yards I reached the opening
I had remarked from above, and stopped. I placed my light before me,
and espied a corner, where sat the dried black corpse of a Tinguian in
the same state as a mummy. I said nothing; I waited for my lieutenant,
anxious as I was to enjoy his surprise. When he was aside of me: "Look,
look," I exclaimed; "what is that?" He was stupified. "Master," said he
at last, "I entreat of you to leave this place; let us get out of this
cursed hole! Take me to fight against the Tinguians of the village--I
am quite willing to do that--but do not remain among the dead! What
should we do with our arms, if they suddenly appeared to ask us why
we are here?" "Be quiet," I answered him; "we shall go no farther." I
felt satisfied that this well was a tomb, and that lower down I should
see some more Tinguians in a state of preservation. I respected the
abode of the dead, and came up, to Alila'a great satisfaction. We
put everything in its place, and returned to the upper story of the
cabin. I soon fell asleep, but my lieutenant could not: the thoughts
of the mummy and horrible beverage kept him awake.



CHAPTER VI.

    Visit to Manabo--Conversation with my Guide--Religion of the
    Tinguians--Their Marriage Ceremony--Funereal Rites--Mode
    of Warfare--I take leave of the Tinguians--Journey to the
    Igorrots--Description of them--Their Dwellings--A Fortunate
    Escape--Alila and the Bandits--Recollections of Home--A Majestic
    Fig-tree--Superstition of Alila--Interview with an Igorrot--The
    Human Hand--Nocturnal Adventure--Consternation of Alila--Probable
    Origin of the Tinguians and Igorrots.


The following morning, before dawn, our hosts began to descend
from their high regions, and we left our temporary abode, to
make preparations for our departure. I had resided long enough at
Laganguilan y Madalag; I was desirous of visiting Manabo, a large
village, situated at a short distance from Laganguilan. I availed
myself of the presence of the inhabitants of Manabo, who had come
to assist at the Brain Feast--this was the appellation I had given
to this savage fête--and I set out with them. Among the troop there
was one who had spent some time among the Tagalocs; he spoke their
language a little, and I knew it tolerably well. I profited by this
fortunate occurrence, and during the whole of the way I conversed with
this savage, and questioned him upon the habits, customs, and manners
of his fellow-countrymen. One point particularly pre-occupied me. I
was unacquainted with the religion of these people, so very curious to
study. Until then I had seen no temple; nothing that bore resemblance
to an idol; I knew not what God they worshipped. My guide, chatty for
an Indian, gave me quickly every information necessary. He told me
that the Tinguians have no veneration for the stars; they neither
adore the sun, nor moon, nor the constellations; they believe in
the existence of a soul, and pretend that after death it quits the
body, and remains in the family. As to the god that they adore, it
varies and changes form according to chance and circumstances. And
here is the reason: When a Tinguian chief has found in the country
a rock, or a trunk of a tree, of a strange shape--I mean to say,
representing tolerably well either a dog, cow, or buffalo--he informs
the inhabitants of the village of his discovery, and the rock, or
trunk of a tree, is immediately considered as a divinity--that is to
say, as something superior to man. Then all the Indians repair to the
appointed spot, carrying with them provisions and live hogs. When
they have reached their destination they raise a straw roof above
the new idol, to cover it, and make a sacrifice by roasting hogs;
then, at the sound of instruments, they eat, drink, and dance until
they have no provisions left. When all is eaten and drank, they set
fire to the thatched roof, and the idol is forgotten until the chief,
having discovered another one, commands a new ceremony.

With regard to the morals of the Tinguians, my guide informed me that
the Tinguian has generally one legitimate wife, and many mistresses;
but the legitimate wife alone inhabits the conjugal house, and the
mistresses have each of them a separate cabin. The marriage is a
contract between the two families of the married couple. The day
of the ceremony, the man and wife bring their dowry in goods and
chattels; the marriage portion is composed of china vases, glass,
coral beads, and sometimes a little gold powder. It is of no profit to
the married couple, for they distribute it to their relations. This
custom, my guide observed to me, has been established to prevent a
divorce, which could only take place in entirely restituting all
the objects that were contributed at the marriage by the party
asking for divorce--a rather skilful expedient for savages, and
worthy of being the invention of civilised people. The relatives
thus become much interested in preventing the separation, as they
would be obliged to restitute the presents received; and, if one of
the couple persisted in requesting it, they would prevent him or her
by making away with one of the objects furnished, such as a coral
necklace, or a china vase. Without this wise measure, it is to be
supposed that a husband, with mistresses, would very often endeavour
to obtain a divorce. My fellow-traveller enlightened me upon all the
points that I wished to investigate. The government, said he to me,
after resting himself for a few minutes, is very patriarchal. It is
the oldest man who commands.--As at Lacedæmonia, thought I, for there
old age was honoured.--The laws are perpetuated by tradition, as the
Tinguians have no idea of writing. In some instances they apply the
punishment of death. When the fatal sentence has been pronounced,
the Tinguian who has merited it must escape, if he wishes to avoid
it, and go and live in the forests; for, the old men having spoken,
all the inhabitants are bound to perform their orders. Society is
divided into two classes, as with the Tagalocs, the chiefs and the
commonalty. Whoever possesses and can exhibit to the public a certain
number of china vases is considered a chief. These jars constitute
all the wealth of the Tinguians. We were still conversing about the
natives of the country when we reached Manabo. My guide had scarcely
ceased talking all the way from Laganguilan.

My attention was now attracted by some flames that were issuing from
under a cabin, where a large fire was burning. Around it many people
were sitting, howling like wolves.

"Ah! ah!" said my guide, seemingly very pleased; "here is a funeral. I
did not tell you anything about these ceremonies; but you will judge
for yourself of what they are. It will be time enough to-morrow. You
must be tired. I will take you to my day-cabin, and you may repose
yourself without any danger of the Guinans, for a funeral compels a
great many people to be on the watch all night."

I accepted the offer made to me, and we took possession of the Tinguian
cabin. It was my turn to take the first watch, and my poor Alila,
a little more at his ease, fell into a sound sleep. I followed his
example, after my watch, and we did not wake up until it was broad
daylight.

We had scarcely finished our morning repast, composed of
kidney-potatoes, palms, and dried venison, when my guide of the
preceding day came to conduct me to the spot where the funeral of
the deceased was about to take place. I followed him, and placing
ourselves a few steps from the cortége, we assisted at a strange
sight. The deceased sat in the middle of his cabin upon a stool;
underneath him, and at his side, fires were burning in enormous
chafing-dishes; at a short distance about thirty assistants were
seated in a circle. Ten or twelve women formed another circle; they
were seated nearer to the corpse, close by which the widow was also
placed, and who was distinguished by a white veil, that covered her
from head to foot. The women brought some cotton, with which they
wiped off the moisture that the fire caused to exude from the corpse,
which was roasting by degrees. From time to time one of the Tinguians
spoke, and pronounced, in a slow, harmonious tone of voice, a speech,
which he concluded by a sort of laugh, that was imitated by all the
assistants; after which they stood up, ate some pieces of dried meat,
and drank some basi; they then repeated the last words of the orator,
and danced.

I endured--such is the word--this sight for an hour; but I did not
feel courage enough to remain in the cabin any longer. The odour that
exhaled from the corpse was unbearable. I went out, and breathed the
fresh air; my guide followed me, and I begged him to tell me what
had occurred from the beginning of the illness of the deceased.

"Willingly," he answered me.

Delighted to breathe freely, I listened with interest to the following
recital:

"When Dalayapo," said the narrator, "fell sick, they took him to the
grand square, to apply severe remedies to him; that is to say, all the
men of the village came in arms, and, to the sound of the gong and
the tom-tom, they danced around the sick man from the rising to the
setting of the sun. But this grand remedy had no effect--his illness
was incurable. At the setting of the sun they placed our friend in
his house, and no more heed was paid to him: his death was certain,
as he would not dance with his fellow-countrymen."

I smiled at the remedy and the reasoning, but I did not interrupt
the narrator.

"For two days Dalayapo was in a state of suffering; then, at the end
of these two days, he breathed no more; and, when that was perceived,
they immediately put him on the bench where we saw him just now. Then
the provisions that he possessed were gathered together to feed the
assistants, who paid him all due honours. Each one made a speech
in his praise: his nearest relations began the first, and his body
was surrounded with fire to dry it up. When the provisions are
consumed, the strangers will leave the cabin, and only the widow and
a few relations will wait until the body is thoroughly dried. In a
fortnight's time he will be placed in a large hole that is dug under
his house. He will be put in a niche, or aperture, in the wall, where
already his deceased relatives' remains are deposited, and then all
is over."

This hole, thought I, must be similar to the one I went into the
other night at Laganguilan.

The explanation that I had just received completely satisfied me, and
I did not request to be present again at the ceremony. I resolved,
since I was very comfortably seated, under the shade of a balété,
upon availing myself of the obliging disposition of my guide, to ask
him to inform me, suddenly changing the conversation all the while,
how his tribe managed to wage war on the Guinans, their mortal enemies.

"The Guinans," said he to me, without drawing in any way on my
patience, "wear the same arms as we do. They are neither stronger,
nor more skilful, nor more vigorous. We have two modes of fighting
them. Sometimes we give them a grand battle at mid-day, and then we
meet them face to face, under a burning sun; at other times, during
some dark night, we creep in silence to their dwelling-places, and
if we be able to surprise any of them we cut off their heads, which
we take away with us, and then we get up a feast, such as you have
already witnessed."

That word "feast" recalled to my mind the sanguinary orgie, or
carousing, I had been present at, and particularly the share I
had taken in it, so that I felt I was blushing and growing pale by
turns. The Indian took no heed of it, and went on thus:

"In the grand battles all the men belonging to a village are compelled
to take up arms, and to march against the foe. It is generally in
the midst of a wood that the two armies meet. As soon as they come in
sight of each other they set up crying and howling on both sides. Each
man then rushes upon his enemy, and upon this shock depends the
fate of the victory; for one of the armies is always panic-struck,
and scampers away; then it is that the other pursues it, and kills
as many as possible, taking care to preserve the heads, which they
bring home with them." [9]

"Why it is a hide-and-seek fight, the consequences of which are,
however, very cruel," I said. My Indian was of the same opinion,
and rejoined:

"In general the conquerors are ever those who are cleverest in
concealing themselves, in order to surprise their enemies, and who
then dash on them bawling and howling."

Here my guide stopped short, the fight having no longer any interest
for him; and then, perceiving I questioned him no longer, he left me
to myself, when I returned to my habitation and Alila, who was sick
enough of Manabo. For my own part I had seen enough of the Tinguians,
and besides I thought I had observed that they seemed not too well
pleased with the long stay I had made among them. I passed over in my
mind the brain feast, so I resolved upon leaving. I therefore went to
take leave of the elders. Unfortunately I had nothing to offer them,
but I promised them many presents, when I should get back among the
Christians--and then I left them.

The satisfaction of my faithful lieutenant was at its height when
we started for home. Not being disposed to go back by the same way
I had come, I determined upon keeping more to the east, crossing
over the mountains, and upon taking the sun as my guide. This road
seemed preferable to me, inasmuch as I was about to traverse a country
inhabited by a few Igorrots, that other species of the savage tribe I
was not acquainted with. The mountains we crossed over were crowned
with magnificent forests. Now and then we perceived lovely fertile
valleys below our feet, and the grass was so high and thick-set, that
it was with great difficulty we could pass through it. During our
journey, my lieutenant kept a sharp look-out, wishing to kill some
game for our support. As for myself, I was indeed far from thinking
of the pleasure of shooting, so great was my contemplation of the
admirable panoramic views that we met with every moment; and I was
too much enraptured with the virgin and fruitful soil that spread
itself so incommensurately around us to think even of eating. But my
faithful Alila was less an enthusiast than I was myself: however,
in return, he was more prudent. At the close of the day on which
we started he killed a stag; so we halted on the brink of a stream,
cut off some palm-tree strips, in guise of rice and bread, and set
about eating the roasted liver of the animal. Our repast was truly
a copious one. Ah! how often since that time, when seated before a
richly served table--having before me delicious and recherché viands,
and that in dining-rooms where the atmosphere was balmy and perfumed by
the aroma arising from the highly flavoured dishes--how often, I say,
have I regretted the supper I partook of with Alila in the forest,
after a day's ramble on the mountains! Nay, what mortal could forget
such hours--such places?

Our repast over, we made our bed of some branches we lopped off
from the trees, and which we joined together on the very moist soil
in the interior of the vast forest, and there we slept soundly till
the morrow, without fear, and particularly without having any sombre
or disagreeable dreams. At the dawn of day we were on foot again,
all Nature seeming to wake up with ourselves. Oh! how fine and calm
did she appear to us! The vapours that arose from her breast covered
her all over with a veil, like a young virgin at her waking; and then
this veil by degrees would break up into pieces, which pieces, gently
balanced on the morning breeze, would disappear, and be lost on the
tops of the trees or the summits of the rocks. On we walked for a long
time, till at last, towards the middle of the day, we came to a small
plain inhabited by the Igorrots. We found, in all, three cabins, or
huts, so that the population was far from being large. At the door
of one of these cabins I saw a man, of about sixty years of age,
and a few women. As we had arrived from behind the huts we took the
savages by surprise, so that they had no time to fly at our approach:
we were in the midst of them.

I assumed the line of conduct I had pursued on arriving at Palan,
but as I had no more coral beads or coloured glass, I presented them
with a part of our stag, making them understand at the same time that
we came with the most friendly intentions. From that moment there
was established between us a very curious sort of mimic conversation,
during which I was able to examine at my ease the new race of beings I
saw around me. I perceived that the costume of the Igorrots was pretty
nearly the same as that of the Tinguians, the ornaments excepted,
but their features and physiognomy were quite different. The men were
smaller, their breasts being exceedingly broad, their heads immensely
big, their limbs developed, their strength herculean; their shape was
not so handsome as that of the savages I had just left; their colour
of a dark bronze, very dark indeed; their noses are less aquiline,
their eyes yellow and fully open--a la Chinoise. The women's shape
was also very protuberant, their complexion dark, their hair long,
and combed up--a la Chinoise. Unfortunately it was impossible for
me, with all my mimicry, to obtain the information I wished for, so
I was obliged to content myself with visiting the cabin, which was
a real hut, having but the ground-floor. The surrounding parts were
closed in by very thick piles, covered with a roof in the form of a
bee-hive. There was but one issue, through which it was impossible to
have either egress or ingress, except in crawling on all-fours. In
spite of this difficulty I would see the interior of this Indian
dwelling; so, having made a sign to my lieutenant to keep watch, I
penetrated into the hut. The Igorrots seemed quite surprised at my
so doing, but they made no opposition to it. I found myself within
an obnoxious hole, or hovel, through a small opening in the summit
of which the daylight peeped in and the smoke crept out. The floor
was thickly covered with dust, and it was upon such a soft couch that
the whole family laid down to rest. In one of the corners I perceived
some bamboo lances, a few cocoa-nuts divided into two parts, so as to
serve as cups, a heap of good-sized round pebbles, that were used in
case of attack, and a few pieces of wood, of very common workmanship,
that served as pillows.

I soon got out of such a den, from which I was driven by the nauseous
smell it contained in its every part, but I had been able to see
everything in it. I then inquired, by signs, of the Igorrot, the way
I should go, in order to join the Christians. He fully understood
me, showed me the road with his finger, and we then proceeded on
our journey. As I journeyed on, I remarked here and there fields
of patates and sugar-cane, which of course must have been the only
husbandry of those miserable savages. After about an hour's journey
we were near running into a very great danger. On entering into a
vast plain we saw an Igorrot, flying away as quickly as possible. He
had remarked us, and I attributed his flight to fear, when suddenly I
heard the sound of the tom-tom and gong, and saw, at the same time,
twenty men armed with lances, rapidly advancing towards us. I felt
that a fight was about to ensue, so I told my lieutenant to fire at
the group, so as to injure none of them.

Alila fired: his bullet passed over the heads of the savages, who were
so astonished at the detonation that they suddenly halted, and examined
us attentively. I prudently took advantage of their surprise, and an
immense forest presenting itself on our right, we entered it, leaving
the village on our left, but the savages did not follow us into it.

During the whole of this scene my lieutenant did not utter a word. I
had already remarked that when in presence of danger he became dumb,
but when he had lost sight of the Igorrots his speech and loquacity
returned to him.

"Master," said he to me, in a very dissatisfied tone, "how I do regret
not having fired directly into the middle of those miscreants!"

"And why so?" asked I.

"Because I am certain I should have killed one of them at least."

"Well?"

"Well, master, our journey would not have terminated without our
sending at least one soul of a savage to the devil."

"Ah! Alila," said I; "so you have become wicked and naughty, have you?"

"No, no, no, master," replied he; "but I cannot conceive why you
are so kind and compassionate to that infernal race. You, who pursue
and persecute the Tulisans, [10] who are a hundred times better than
these wretches are, and who are Christians besides."

"What!" cried I; "brigands, robbers, and assassins better than poor
primitive beings, who have no one to guide and conduct them to the
path of virtue!"

"Oh, master!" replied my lieutenant, and most sententiously this time;
"Oh! the brigands, as it pleases you to call them, are in nowise
what you think them. The Tulisan is not an assassin. When he takes
away life it is only when he is compelled, in defence of his own,
and if he do kill, why it is always de bon coeur."

"Oh! oh!" said I; "and the robberies--how do you explain them?"

"If he rob, why it is only to get possession of a little of the
superfluity of the rich, and that he divides among the poor--that's
all. Now, master, do you know what use the Tulisan makes of his
plunder?"

"No, indeed, master Alila," answered I, smilingly.

"Well, he keeps nothing of it for himself," said my lieutenant, with
great pride; "in the first place he gives a part of it to the priest,
to have masses said for him."

"Indeed! it is mighty edifying--go on."

"And then he gives another part of it to his mistress, or bonne amie,
because he loves her, and likes to see her finely dressed out; and as
for the remainder, why, faith! he spends it among his friends. You
may therefore see, master, that the Tulisan possesses himself of
the superfluity of one person to satisfy several other persons with
it. [11] Oh! but he is far, very far indeed, from being so wicked as
those savages, who kill you without saying a word to you, and then eat
up your brains--fie!" And here Alila heaved a deep sigh, for the brain
feast was ever present to his mind. His conversation so interested me,
his system was so curious, and he himself so frank in drawing it out,
that I almost forgot the Igorrots in listening to him.

We pursued our road through the wood, keeping as much as possible
to the south, in order to get near the province of Batangas, where
I was to meet my poor patient, who no doubt was very uneasy about
my long absence. When I started I said not a word about my project,
and had I done so it is most likely I should have been thought as no
longer belonging to this world. The recollection of my wife, whom I
had left at Manilla, and who was far from supposing me to be among
the Igorrots, inspired me with the most anxious desire of returning
home to my family as quick as possible. Absorbed in my thoughts,
and carried away by my reflections, I walked silently along, without
even casting a glance upon the luxuriant vegetation all around us. I
must indeed have been very much pre-occupied, for a virgin forest
between the tropics, and particularly in the Philippine islands, is in
nowise to be compared with our European forests. I was aroused from
my pensiveness, and recalled to the remembrance of my whereabouts,
by the noise of a torrent, and I gratefully admired nature in her
gigantic productions. I looked up, and before me I perceived an
immense balété, an extraordinary fig-tree, that thrives in the sombre
and mysterious forests of the Philippines, and I stopped to admire
it. This immense tree springs from a seed similar to the seed of the
ordinary fig-tree; its wood is white and spongy, and in a few years it
grows to an extraordinary size. Nature, who has had foresight in all
things, and who allows the young lamb to leave its wool on the bushes
for the timid bird to pick it up and build its nest with--Nature,
I say, has shown herself in all her genius in the fig-tree of the
Philippine islands, which grows so rapidly and so immensely. The
branches of this tree generally spring from the base of the trunk;
they extend themselves horizontally, and, after forming an elbow or
curve, rise up perpendicularly; but, as I said before, the tree is
spongy, and easily broken, and the branch, while forming the curve,
would inevitably be broken, did not a ligament, which the Indians
call a drop of water--goutte d'eau--fall from the tree and take root
in the earth; there it swells, and grows in proportion with the size
of the branch, and acts to it as a living prop. Besides which, around
the trunk, and at a considerable distance from the ground, are natural
supports, which rise up in points or spirals to about the middle of the
trunk. Has not the Grand Architect of the world foreseen everything?

The appearance presented by the balété is very frequently indescribably
picturesque; and this is so true that, within a space of some hundred
paces in diameter--which these gigantic fig-trees usually occupy--one
may see by turns grottoes, halls, chambers, that are often furnished
with natural seats, formed out of and by the roots themselves. No! no
vegetation is more diversified, nor more extraordinary! This tree
sometimes grows out of a rock, where there is not an inch of earth;
its long roots run along the rock, encompass it, and then plunge into
the neighbouring brook. It is indeed a masterpiece of nature--a chef
d'oeuvre--which, however, is very ordinary in the virgin forests of
the Philippine islands.

"Here," said I to my lieutenant, "is a good spot for us to spend the
night on."

He recoiled some paces.

"What!" said he; "do you wish to stop here, master?"

"Certainly," replied I.

"Oh! but you don't see that we are in still more danger here than in
the midst of the Igorrots!"

"And why, then, are we in danger?" asked I.

"Why? why? Do you not know that the Tic-balan dwells in the large
balétés. If we stop here you may be very sure that I shan't sleep a
moment, and that we shall be tormented the whole night."

I smiled, which my lieutenant perceiving:

"Oh! master," said he, most dolefully, "what should we do with an
evil spirit that fears neither bullet nor dagger?"

The terror of the poor Tagal was really too great for me to resist
him, so I yielded, and we took up our quarters for the night at a
place much less to my own taste, but much more to Alila's. The night
passed away like many others--I mean, perfectly well, and we woke up
to resume our journey through the forest.

We had been walking about two hours, when, on leaving the wood,
and entering on a plain, we met an Igorrot, mounted upon a buffalo,
face to face. The encounter was somewhat curious. I levelled my gun at
the savage: my lieutenant took hold of the animal by the long leather
strap, and I made a sign to the Igorrot not to stir: then--always
in my mimic language--I asked if he were alone. I understood from
him that he was accompanied by no fellow-traveller, and that he was
going northwards, in the opposite direction to our own. But Alila,
who decidedly had a grudge against the savages, was most anxious to
lodge a ball in this fellow's head. However, I strenuously opposed
such a project, and ordered him to let go the bridle.

"But, master," said he, "allow me at least to see what these jars
contain."

Around the neck of the Igorrot's buffalo were strung three or four
jars, covered with leaves of the banana tree.

My lieutenant, without even waiting for my answer, applied his nose
to them, and discovered, to his infinite satisfaction, that they
contained a deer or stag ragout, which sent forth a certain perfume;
so, still without consulting me, he undid the smallest of the jars,
struck the buffalo a blow with the but-end of his gun, and, letting
go the animal at the same time, exclaimed:

"Go, you rascal--go!"

The Igorrot, finding himself free, fled as quick as the beast could
carry him, and we re-entered the woods, taking care to avoid the
openings, for fear of being surprised by too large a number of savages.

Towards four o'clock we halted to take our repast. This wished-for
moment was impatiently expected by my lieutenant, as the savage's jar
sent forth a very savoury smell. At last the desired moment arrived:
we sat down on the grass. I stuck my poignard into the jar, which
Alila had brought up to the fire, and I withdrew--an entire human
hand! [12] My poor lieutenant was as stupified as I was myself, so
we remained a few minutes without saying a word. At last I gave a
vigorous kick to the jar, and smashed it in pieces, so that the human
flesh it contained was scattered over the ground, while still I held
the fatal hand on the point of my dagger.

That hand horrified me; yet I examined it most carefully, and it
appeared to me to have been the hand of a child of an Ajetas, a species
of savages that inhabit the mountains of Nueva-Exica and Maribèles,
of which race I shall have an opportunity of speaking during the
course of this work. I took some strips of palm-tree, roasted in the
burning embers; Alila did the same, and we set out, not in the best
of humours, in search of another resting-place for the night.

Two hours after sun-rise we issued from the forest and entered upon
the plain. From time to time--that is, from distance to distance--we
met with rice-fields, cultivated after the Tagal manner, and then
did my lieutenant exclaim most joyously to me:

"Master, we are now in Christian ground."

He was right; the road was becoming more easy. We followed on a narrow
pathway, and towards evening arrived in front of an Indian cabin,
at the door of which a young girl was sitting, while abundant tears
trickled down her sorrowful countenance. I drew near her, and inquired
into the cause of her grief. On hearing my question she rose up, and
without replying to my queries, conducted us into the interior of the
habitation, where we beheld the inanimate body of an old woman, whom
we learned was the mother of the young girl; the brother of the latter
had gone to the village in quest of the relations of the deceased,
to aid them in transporting the corpse to its final destination.

This scene affected me very much. I did my best to console the
poor young girl, and solicited hospitality for the night, which was
instantly granted. To be in company with a dead body nowise affrighted
me; but I bethought of Alila, so superstitious and so fearful with
regard to ghosts and evil spirits.

"Well," said I to him; "are you not afraid to spend the night near
a corpse?"

"No, master," replied he, courageously; "this dead person is a
Christian soul, which, far from wishing us evil, will watch over us."

I was really astonished at the answer of the Tagaloc, at his calmness
and security: the rogue had his own motives for thus speaking to
me. The Indian huts in the plains, are never composed of more than
one room; the one we were in was scarcely large enough to hold us
all four; however, we one and all managed as well as we could. The
deceased occupied the back part; a small lamp, placed by her head,
threw out a feeble light, and beside her lay the young Indian girl. I
had established my quarters at a short distance from the bed of death,
and my lieutenant was nearest the door, left open purposely to dispel
the heat and foul air.

Towards two o'clock in the morning I was waked up by a shrill voice,
and I felt at the same time that some one was passing over me, and
uttering cries that soon were heard outside the cabin. I immediately
stretched out my hand towards the place where Alila had lain down,
but that place was empty; the lamp was out, and the darkness complete.

This made me very uneasy. I called to the young girl, who answered
me that she had heard, like me, cries and noise, but she was ignorant
of the cause. I snatched up my gun and sallied forth, calling out to
my lieutenant; but to no purpose. No one answered; the stillness of
death reigned all around. I then set out, walking over the fields at
hazard, calling out now and then Alila's name. I had not, perhaps,
gone a hundred paces when I heard the following words, pronounced
most timidly, proceeding from a tree by which I was passing:

"I am here, master."

It was Alila himself. I drew nigh, and saw my lieutenant ensconced
behind the trunk of the tree, and trembling like one of its leaves.

"What then has happened to you?" I inquired; "and what are you
doing there?"

"Oh! master," said he to me; "pray forgive me! Bad thoughts got the
better of me; it was the young Indian girl inspired me with them,
and the demon blew them into my inner man. I--I--I--drew nigh, during
the night, to the young girl's resting-place, and when I saw you fast
asleep--I put out the lamp."

"Well, and then--" said I, most impatiently and angrily.

"And then--I wished to take a kiss from the young girl; but, at the
very moment I drew nigh, the old dead woman took her daughter's place,
so I only met with a cold and icy face, and at the same moment two
long arms stretched out to seize upon me. Oh! it was then I gave such
a cry--and I fled! fled! fled! but the old woman pursued me--yes,
the corpse tracked me behind; and she has only just now disappeared,
on hearing the sound of your voice. I then hid behind this tree,
where you now see me, in a piteous plight."

The fright of the Tagal and his mistake made me almost laugh out;
but I severely reprimanded him for the bad intention he had of
abusing the hospitality that had been so graciously afforded us:
he repented, and begged of me to excuse him. He was, I should think,
sufficiently punished by his fright. I wished to take him back to the
cabin with me; but for no consideration would he return. I therefore
left my gun in his charge, and went back to the house of mourning,
where I found the poor young girl just as frightened as he was. I
soon made her acquainted with the adventure; so thanking her for
her kind hospitality, and morning coming on, I returned to Alila,
who was most impatiently expecting me.

The hope of seeing soon again our relations, our homes, our friends,
gave us new courage, and before sunset we arrived at an Indian village,
without anything remarkable having taken place: this was to be our
last stage. [13]

After this long and interesting journey I arrived at Quingua,
a village in the province of Boulacan, where I had left my friend
in convalescence.



CHAPTER VII.

    I return to Jala-Jala--An Excursion on the Lake--Relempago's
    Narrative--Re-organisation of my Government--A Letter from
    my Brother Henry--His Arrival--He joins me in the Management
    of my Plantations--Cajoui, the Bandit: Anten-Anten--Indian
    Superstition--A Combat with the Bandit--His Death--A Piratical
    Descent--My Lieutenant is Wounded--I extract the Ball, and
    cure him.


My prolonged absence from home caused great uneasiness. Very
fortunately my wife remained at Manilla, and was totally ignorant of
the journey I had recently undertaken.

My patient had not exactly followed the prescribed regimen, so that
his distemper had increased, and he was impatiently expecting to
return and die, he said, in his house: his wishes were complied
with. A few days after my arrival we set out and arrived the next
day at Manilla, where my poor friend rendered his last sigh in the
middle of his family. This event damped, of course, the pleasure I
should have enjoyed in beholding my wife once more.

A few days after the demise of our friend we embarked, and set sail
for Jala-Jala.

We glided most agreeably upon the lake until we left the strait
of Quinanbutasan, but, once there, we met with so violent an east
wind, and the water of the lake was so ruffled, that we were obliged
to re-enter the strait, and cast anchor near the cabin of the old
fisherman, Relempago, whom I have already noticed.

Our sailors landed to prepare their supper; as for ourselves, we
remained in our boat, where we stretched ourselves at our ease, the
old fisherman, as he sat doubled up in the Indian fashion, amusing
us in the best way he could by the narration of brigand stories.

I interrupted him all on a sudden, saying to him:

"Relempago, I should prefer hearing the history of your own personal
adventures; do, therefore, relate your misfortunes to us."

The old fisherman heaved a sigh, and then, unwilling to disoblige me,
began his story in the poetical terms so familiar to the Tagal tongue,
and which it is almost impossible to reproduce by a translation:

"Lagune is not my native place," said he; "I was born in the
island of Zébou, and was at the age of twenty what is called a
fine young man; but, pray believe me, I was by no means proud of my
physical advantages, and I preferred being the first fisherman of my
village. Nevertheless, my comrades were jealous of me, and all that
because the young girls would look at me with a certain complaisant
air, and seemed to find me to their liking."

I could not but smile at this frank avowal of the old man, which he
perceiving, continued:

"I tell you these things, sir," replied he, "because at my age
one can speak of them without fearing to appear ridiculous--it is
so long ago. And besides, allow me to inform you that I relate to
you such things, not from vanity--Oh, no! but merely to furnish you
with an exact recital. Besides, the sly and roguish looks that young
girls threw at me, as I passed through the village, flattered me in
no manner. I was in love with Theresa, sir; yes, I was passionately
in love with her, and my love was returned, for fondly did she love
me; a look from any other but from her was totally indifferent to
me. Ah! Theresa was the prettiest lass in the village! but, poor
soul! she has done like myself--she has greatly altered; for years
are an enormous weight, which bends and breaks you down in spite of
yourself, and against which there is no way of struggling.

"When, seated as I am at present, I bethink me of the fine by-gone days
of my youth--of the strength, the courage, that we used to find in our
mutual affection--Oh! I shed tears of regret and sensibility. Where
are now those fine--those happy days? Gone, gone, gone! they have
fled before the piercing and terrible winds that forerun the storms
and the hurricanes. Like the day, life has its dawn; like the day,
also, it has its decline!"

Here the poor old fisherman made a pause, and I was loth to interrupt
him in his meditation. There then ensued a profound silence, that
lasted several minutes. Suddenly Relempago seemed to start from a
dream, and passing his hand over his forehead, looked at us for some
time, as if to excuse himself for those few moments of mental absence,
and then he continued as follows:

"We had been brought up together," said he, "and had been affianced as
soon as we had grown up. Theresa would have died rather than belong to
any other, and, as I shall hereafter prove it, I would have accepted
any condition, even the most unfavourable one, rather than abandon the
friend of my heart. Alas! it is almost always with our tears that we
trace our painful way through life. Theresa's relations were opposed
to our union; they even put forward vain and frivolous pretexts;
and whatever efforts I made to bring them to decide upon bestowing
her affianced hand on me, I never could succeed. And yet they well
knew that, like the palm trees, we could not live without each other,
and were we to be separated, it would be condemning us to die. But our
tears, our prayers, our griefs, were only heard by senseless people,
and we were labouring under the most poignant grief, while no one would
understand or sympathise with our sorrow. I was beginning to lose all
courage, when one morning there came into my mind the pious thought
of offering to the Infant Jesus, in the church of Zébou, the first
pearl I should fish up. I therefore repaired earlier than usual to
the sea-shore, implored the Almighty to grant me his protection, and
to have me married to my beloved Theresa. The sun was just beginning
to dart his burning rays upon the earth, and was gilding the surface
of the waters. Nature was awaking from her transitory sleep, and
every living being or object was singing in its language a hymn to
the Creator.

"With a beating heart I began diving to the bottom of the sea, in
search of the pearl which I so ardently wished for, but my searches
and struggles were completely fruitless at first. Had anyone been
near me at that moment he would have easily read my disappointment
in my face. Nevertheless, my courage failed me not. I began again,
but with no better success. 'Oh, Lord!' cried I, 'thou hearest not
then my prayers, my supplications! Thou wilt not then accept for thy
beloved son the offering that I destine for him.' [14] For the sixth
time I plunged, and brought up from the bottom of the sea two enormous
oysters. Oh! how my heart leaped with joy! I opened one of them, and
found it contained a pearl so large that never in my life had I seen
one like it. My joy was so great that I set to dancing in my pirogue,
as if I had lost my reason. The Lord, then, did vouchsafe to protect
me, since He enabled me to accomplish my vow. With a joyful heart I
retraced my steps to my dwelling, and, not wishing to fail in my word,
I took my magnificent pearl to the curate of Zébou.

"The reverend father," continued the old fisherman, "was delighted with
my present. That pearl was worth 5,000 piasters (or 25,000 francs,
i.e., £1,000 English money), and you must have admired it--you, as
well as all other persons who attend the church--for the Infant Jesus
always holds it in his hand. The curate thanked and congratulated me
on my very good idea.

"'Go home in peace, brother,' said he to me; 'go home in peace. Heaven
will not forget thy meritorious action--yea, the disinterestedness of
thy good work, and sooner or later thy desires will he hearkened to.'"

"I left the holy man with my heart joyful indeed, and I hastened to
inform Theresa of the pastor's consoling words: we rejoiced like two
children together. Ah! true indeed it is to say that youth has been
endowed by the Almighty with every privilege, particularly with that
of hope. At the age of twenty if the heart think that it may live
in hope, away with all cares immediately; and, as the morning breeze
sips up the drops of moisture that have been left by the storm in the
chalice of flowers, so does hope dry up the tears that moisten the eyes
of the young, and drive away the sighs that inflate and oppress the
breast. So sure were we that our tribulations would ere long be over,
that we no longer thought of our by gone sorrow! In the spring-time
of life grief leaves do more trace after it than the nimble foot of
the wily Indian on the strand, when the sea-wind has blown over it.

"The inhabitants of the village, seeing us so joyful, so purely happy,
were envious of our lot, and Theresa's relations could no longer
find any pretext for opposing our being united. We were now in full
sight of connubial bliss; our boat of life was gently rocked by a
very mild wind; we were singing the return-home hymn, not supposing,
alas! that we were going to be dashed against a breaker! Our young
Indians foresee not in the morning the storm that is to assail them
in the evening. The buffalo cannot avoid the lasso, and most often,
in order to avoid it, he anticipates the danger. I roved about, I may
say heedlessly thoughtless of the precipice before my feet. Misfortune
marked me for her own when I least expected it.

"One evening, on my return from fishing, at the moment when I was
repairing to Theresa's, there to repose myself after my fatigues of
the day, I saw one of my neighbours advancing towards me. That man
had always shown me the greatest affection, so that on seeing him
thus advance, my limbs began to tremble, and the pulsations of my
heart gradually ceased. His face was pale, and entirely altered. His
haggard eyes threw forth flashes of terror, and his voice was trembling
and agitated.

"'Los Moros [15] have made a descent upon the coast,' said he to me.

"'Good Heavens!' exclaimed I, covering my face with my hands.

"'They surprised some persons of the village, and carried them off
prisoners.'

"'And Theresa?' exclaimed I.

"'Carried off with the others,' he replied.

"I heard no more of this revelation, and for some minutes--like the
warrior pierced to the heart by a poisoned arrow--was completely
deprived of all consciousness.

"When I came back to myself tears flooded my face, and brought me some
relief: but suddenly I resumed my courage, and felt that no time was
to be lost. I ran to the shore where I had left my pirogue, which
I unfastened, and, as quickly as oars could pull me, I pursued the
Malays, not in the hope of wresting Theresa from them, but resolved
upon partaking of her captivity and misfortune. We better endure the
sufferings we have to undergo when we are two together than when we
are alone. He who had brought me the fatal tidings saw me start, and
thought I had lost my senses; the fact is, my countenance bore all the
traces of mental alienation. Methought I was inspired by the grand
master-spirit; my pirogue bounded along the troubled waters of the
ocean as if it possessed wings. One would have said that I had twenty
rowers at my disposal, and I cleft the waves with the same rapidity
as the halcyon's flight, when wafted away by the hurricane. After
a short time's laborious and painful rowing I at last came in view
of the corsairs who were carrying away my treasure. At the sight my
strength was renewed again, and I was soon up with them. When I was
side by side with them I informed them, in words the most feeling,
and which sprang from my poor lacerated heart, that Theresa was my
wife, and that I would prefer being a slave with her to abandoning
her. The pirates listened to my voice, stifled by my tears, and took
me on board, not from commiseration, but from cruelty. In fact, I was
a slave more added to their numbers: why should they have repulsed
me? A few days after that fatal evening we arrived at Jolo. There the
division of the slaves was made, and the master into whose hands we
fell took us away with him. Was it, then, to undergo a like destiny
that I had dived so early in the morning for a pearl for the Infant
Jesus of Zébou? Yes, was it for this that I had made a vow to bring
him the first pearl I should find? Notwithstanding my profound sorrow
I murmured not, neither did I regret my offering. The Lord was the
master! His will should be done."

Here Relempago paused, and looked towards Heaven with a smile of
angelic resignation, and we then remarked upon his face the furrows
traced by the deep sorrows of his life. The wind was still blowing
with violence, and our boat was dancing on the waves; our sailors had
finished their repast, and, in order to listen to the fisherman's
tale of woe, had taken up their place by his side. Their features
wore an expression of the most innocent attention; so, having made
a sign to the narrator, he resumed his story as follows:--

"Our captivity lasted two years, during which time we had to endure
very great sufferings. Very often would my master take me away with
him to a lake in the interior of the island, and these absences
lasted for whole months together, during which time I was perforce
separated from my Theresa, my dear wife; for, not having been able
to get united by a clergyman, we had joined ourselves, under the
all-benevolent and protecting eye of the Almighty! On my return,
I used to find my poor companion still the same good, faithful,
devoted, and affectionate friend, whose courage sustained my own.

"One circumstance decided me upon taking an audacious
resolution. Theresa was in an interesting situation! Oh! what would
not my joy have been had I been at Zébou, in the midst of our family
and of our friends! What happiness should I not have felt at the idea
of being a father! Alas! in slavery, that very same thought froze my
blood with terror, and I firmly resolved upon snatching both mother
and child from the tortures of captivity. In one of our excursions
I had been wounded in the leg, and this wound came greatly to my
aid. One day my master set out for the borders of the grand lake, and,
knowing I had a bad leg, left me at Jolo. I availed myself of this
opportunity to put into execution a project that I had formed for a
long time, that of flying with Theresa. The task was a daring one,
but the desire of freedom doubles one's strength and increases one's
courage, so I did not hesitate for a moment. When night had lowered,
my dear Theresa took a road I had pointed out to her; I went by another
one, and we both arrived at the sea-shore at a short distance from
each other. There we jumped into a pirogue, and threw ourselves upon
the protection of Divine mercy!

"We rowed vigorously the whole night, and never in my life shall
I forget that mysterious flight. The wind blew rather violently,
the night was dark, and the stars insensibly lost their vivid
brightness. Every moment we thought we heard behind us the noise of our
pursuers, and our hearts beat so loud and so violently that they could
be heard in the midst of the silence that reigned around all nature.

"Day at last appeared: we descried by degrees, in the mist of the
morning, the rocks that lined the shore, and we could see far enough
in the distance that no one was pursuing us. Then were our hearts
filled with cheering hope, and we continued rowing towards the north,
in order to land on some Christian isle.

"I had taken with me some cocoa-nuts, but they were a very small
resource, and we had been at sea three whole days without eating
anything, when, exhausted by fatigue and want, we fell upon our knees
and invoked the pity, compassion, and succour of the Infant Jesus of
Zébou. Our prayer over, we felt our strength completely exhausted;
the oars fell from our hands, and we lay down in the bottom of the
pirogue, decided upon dying in each other's arms.

"Our weakness gradually increased, and finally we swooned away,
the pirogue all the while dashing heedlessly on with the waves.

"When we recovered from our fainting fit--I know not how long it
lasted--we found ourselves surrounded by Christians, who, having
perceived us in our light skiff, had come to our aid, conveyed us
to their hospitable dwelling, and took the most pious care of us. We
had not long been disembarked when Theresa was taken with the pains
of labour, and was confined of a very diminutive, sickly child. I
went down on my knees before the innocent little creature that had
so miraculously escaped from slavery, and prayed for it--it was a boy!"

Here the poor old fisherman heaved a heavy sigh, while tears were
fast falling upon his shrunken hands.

We one and all respected this painful recollection of the poor old man.

"Our convalescence was very long indeed," said Relempago; "at last our
health was sufficiently restored to permit of us leaving the isle of
Negros, where the Infant Jesus had so miraculously caused us to land,
and we came to settle here, on the side of this large lake, which,
being situated in the interior of the isle of Luçon, afforded me the
means of pursuing my avocation of fisherman without in any way fearing
the Malays, who might very easily have captured us again at Zébou.

"My first care--yes, the dearest act of my life--on arriving, was to
have our marriage celebrated in the church of Moron. I had promised it
to God, and I would not fail in the promise I had made Him who reads
all hearts. After that I built the little cottage you see hard-by,
and my existence glided on most peacefully. The fishing trade went
on prosperously. I was still a young man, active and intelligent,
and sold my fish very easily to the vessels passing through the
strait. My son had by this time become a fine young man."

"Of course he resembled his father," said I, recollecting the beginning
of the old man's tale, but my remark could not excite a smile upon
his countenance.

"Oh! the lad was a good fisherman," continued he, "and happily did we
all three live together, till a dreadful misfortune befell us. The
Infant Jesus had no doubt forsaken us, or perhaps the Almighty was
displeased with us; but I am far from murmuring. He has visited us
most severely, since He has overwhelmed us with grief of such a strong
nature, that it must accompany us to our last resting-place!"

And here the poor old man's tears trickled down his weather-beaten
cheeks once more, in abundance, in bitterness, and in sorrow.

Ah! how right was the Italian poet, when he said:--


            "Nought lasteth here below but tears!"


The voice of Relempago was stifled by his sobbing; however, he made
one more effort, and continued thus:

"One night--a fine moonlight night--we set our nets in a certain part
of the strait, and as we felt some difficulty in drawing them up,
the lad plunged into the water to ascertain what obstacle we had to
contend with, and to set all to rights. I was in my pirogue, leaning
over the side, waiting for his return, when all of a sudden I thought
I saw, through the silvery beams of the lamp of night, a large spot
of blood spreading itself over the surface of the water. Fear took
possession of me, and I quickly hauled up my nets. My hapless child
had seized upon and become entangled in them--but, alas! when he came
to the surface he was a corpse!"

"What! your son?" cried I.

"My poor dear José-Maria," said he, "had his head bitten off by a
cayman that had got entangled in our nets. Ever since that night--that
fatal night!--Theresa and I offer up our prayers to the Omnipotent,
imploring Him to take us to himself; for, alas! nothing now has
any charms for us here below. The first of us that will depart for
that bourn from whence no traveller returns will be interred by the
survivor beside our beloved child--there, under that little hillock
yonder, which is surmounted by a wooden cross, in front of my humble
cottage; and the last of us two to leave this valley of tears will no
doubt meet with some charitable Christian hand, to place our mortal
remains beside the bodies of those we loved so tenderly during our
hapless pilgrimage here below."

Here Relempago ceased his painful history, and, that he might give a
free course to his grief and tears, he rose up, and bowed us his adieu,
which we returned to him with hearts oppressed with sympathetic sorrow.

The wind had ceased blowing, and the attentive sailors were awaiting
our orders, so that in a few moments afterwards we were sailing
towards Jala-Jala, where we landed before sunset.

On the morrow of my arrival I entered on the business of my little
government, to which my absence had been far from useful or favourable,
so that I was obliged to suppress many abuses that had crept into it
while I had been away. Some slight corrections, joined to an active
and incessant surveillance, or inspection, soon established once more
the most perfect order and discipline; so that, from that moment, I
was at liberty to devote all my time and attention to the cultivation
of my lands.

We were now at the beginning of the winter--the rainy and windy
season. No stranger had dared crossing the lake, to come and visit us,
so that, alone with my dear wife, our days glided most happily and
tranquilly away, for we knew not what ennui was or meant: our mutual
affection was so great that our own presence was sufficient company
for each other.

This delightful solitude was soon interrupted by a fortunate and
unforeseen event. A letter from Manilla--a very rare circumstance at
Jala-Jala--reached me, informing me that my eldest brother, Henry,
had just arrived there; that he had put up at my brother-in-law's;
and that he was expecting me with all imaginable impatience. I was
not aware that he had left France to come and see me, so that such
news, and his sudden, as well as unexpected, arrival, surprised and
overjoyed me.

I was once more to see one of my dearest relations--a brother whom I
had always tenderly loved. Ah! he who has never quitted his home, his
family, and his early attachments, will with difficulty understand the
emotions I experienced on receiving this agreeable letter. When the
first transports of my joy were somewhat allayed, I resolved to set
out at once for Manilla. Preparations for my departure were speedily
made. I chose my lightest canoe, and my two strongest Indians, and a
few minutes after, having embraced my beloved Anna, I was scudding
over the waters of the lake, slowly--too slowly for my impatience,
as I wished to be able to give wings to my fragile skiff, and to
traverse the distance that separated me from my brother as rapidly as
my thoughts: no journey ever appeared to me so long, and nevertheless
my two robust rowers exerted all their strength to favour my wishes. At
length I arrived, and immediately hastened to my brother-in-law's,
and there I threw myself into Henry's arms. Our emotions were such
that for some time we could not speak; the abundant tears we shed
alone showed the joy of our hearts. When the first transport was
over, I asked him questions beyond number. Not one member of my
family was forgotten; the smallest details concerning these beloved
beings were to me of the greatest interest. We passed the remainder
of the day and the following night in incessant and interesting
conversation. The next day we started for Jala-Jala. Henry was eager
to become acquainted with his sister-in-law, and I to make the dear
companion of my life a sharer in my happiness. Excellent Anna! my joy
was joy for you--my happiness was your delight! You received Henry
as a brother, and this sisterly attachment was always, on your part,
as sincere as your affection for me had ever been.

After a few days spent in the most agreeable conversation about
France, and about all those beloved friends who remained there,
feelings of sadness that I could with difficulty repress became
intermingled with my joy. I thought of our numerous family, so far
distant, and so scattered over the globe. My youngest brother was,
to my great regret, dead at Madagascar. My second brother, Robert,
resided at Porto-Rico; and my two brothers-in-law, both captains of
vessels, engaged in long voyages, were gone to the Indies. My poor
mother and my poor sisters were alone, without protectors, without
support: what sad moments of fear and anxiety you must have spent in
your solitude! Ah! how I should have rejoiced to have you near me; but,
alas! a whole world separated us, and the hope of seeing you again
one day could alone scatter the clouds that darkened occasionally
the happy days adorned by the presence of my brother.

After some time of rest, Henry asked to join me in my labours. I then
made him acquainted with my mode of cultivation, and he took upon
himself the management of the plantations and of their products. I
reserved to myself the regulation of my Indians, the charge of the
flocks, and that of putting down the bandits.

I had frequent quarrels, and even incessant conflicts, with these
turbulent Indians; but I never boasted of these petty engagements, in
which I was often obliged to take a most active part. On the contrary,
I recommended strict silence to my attendants, for I did not wish to
cause anxiety to my excellent Anna, nor to give my brother the desire
of accompanying me. I did not like to expose him to the dangers I
ran myself, as I had not equal hopes of safety for him. I relied
upon my star, and really, to a certain degree, all modesty aside,
I think that the bandits' balls respected me. When I was engaged in
contests in the plain, or in some of the skirmishes, the danger was
not great; but it was quite a different thing when it was necessary
to fight hand to hand, which happened more than once; and I cannot
forbear the pleasure of relating one of those circumstances that made
me say just now the bandits' balls respected me.

One day I was alone with my lieutenant, having both of us only our
daggers, and we were coming back to our habitation, and passing through
a thick forest, situated at the end of the lake. Alila said to me:
"Master, this neighbourhood is much frequented by Cajoui." Cajoui
was known as the chief of a most daring gang of brigands. Among
his numerous atrocities he had amused himself, on that very day, by
drowning twenty of his fellow-countrymen. I then determined to free
the country of the odious assassin, and the advice of my lieutenant
induced me to take a narrow path, that led us to a hut concealed in
the midst of the woods. I told Alila to remain below, and to watch,
while I went to endeavour to reconnoitre the persons who inhabited
it. I went up by the small ladder that leads to the interior of the
Tagalese huts; a young Indian woman was there, quite alone, and very
busy plaiting a mat. I asked her for some fire to light my cigar, and
returned to my lieutenant. Having accidentally cast my eyes upon the
exterior of the hut, it appeared much larger than it did inside. I
ran up again quickly, and looked all round the place in which the
young girl was, and observed at the extremity of it a small door,
covered over by a mat. I gave it a strong push, and at the moment,
Cajoui, who, with his carbine on cock, was waiting for me behind the
door, fired straight at me. The fire and the smoke blinded me, and
by a most inconceivable chance the ball slightly grazed my clothes
without wounding me. Alila, knowing I had no fire-arms, hearing the
report, thought I was killed. He ran up to the top of the steps, and
found me enveloped in a cloud of smoke, with my dagger in my hand,
trying to find my enemy, who seeing me still standing erect, after he
had shot at me, thought, no doubt, I had about me some anten-anten--a
certain diabolic incantation that, according to the Indian belief,
makes a man invulnerable to all sorts of fire-arms. The bandit was
frightened, jumped out of a window, and ran away as fast as he could
across the forest.

Alila could not believe what had happened to me; he felt all over
my body, in order to convince himself that the ball had not passed
through me. When he was quite sure that I had not received a wound,
he said to me:

"Master, if you had not had the anten-anten about you you would have
been killed."

My Indians always believed I was possessed of this secret, as well
as of many others. For instance, when they often saw me go for
twenty-four, even for thirty-six hours, without eating or drinking,
they became persuaded that I could live in that manner for an
indefinite period; and one day, a good Tagalese padre, in whose
house I chanced to be, almost went upon his knees while begging me
to communicate to him the power I possessed, as he said, to live
without food.

The Tagals have retained all their old superstitions. However, thanks
to the Spaniards, they are all Christians; but they understand that
religion nearly in the way that children do. They believe that to
attend on Sundays and festival days at the Divine offices, and to go
to confession and to communion once a year, is sufficient for the
remission of all their sins. A little anecdote that occurred to me
will show how far they understand evangelical charity.

One day two young Indians stole some poultry from one of their
neighbours, and they came to sell them to my major-domo for about
sixpence. I had them called before me, to administer a lecture, and
to punish them. With the utmost simplicity they made me this answer:

"It is true, master, we have done wrong, but we could not do otherwise;
we are to go to communion to-morrow, and we had not money enough to
get a cup of chocolate."

It is a custom with them to take a cup of chocolate after communion,
and it was considered by them a greater sin to miss taking that than
to commit the trifling theft of which they were guilty.

Two evil-doing demons play an important part among them, and in which
all believed before the conquest of the Philippine islands. One
of those malevolent demons is the Tic-balan which I have already
mentioned, who dwells in the forests, in the interior of the large
fig-trees. This demon can do every possible harm to anyone who dares
not to respect him, or who does not carry certain herbs about his
person; every time an Indian passes under one of these fig-trees
he makes a movement towards it with his hand, saying: "Tavit-po,"
Tagal words, signifying: "Lord! with your permission!" The lord of
the place is the Tic-balan.

The other demon is called Azuan. She presides especially over
parturitions in an evil manner, and an Indian is often seen, when his
wife is in labour, perched upon the roof of his hut, with a sabre in
his hand, thrusting the point into the air, and striking on all sides
with the edge, to drive away, as he says, the Azuan. Sometimes he
continues this manoeuvring for hours, until the labour is over. One
of their beliefs--and one that Europeans might envy--is, that when
a child that has not reached the age of reason dies, it is happy for
all the family, since it is an angel that has gone to heaven, to be
the protector of all its relations. The day of the interment is a
grand fête-day; relations and friends are invited; they drink, they
dance, and they sing all night in the hut where the child died. But I
perceive that the superstitions of the Indians are drawing me from my
subject. I shall have occasion, further on, to describe the manners
and customs of these singular people.

I now resume my statement, at the moment when my lieutenant tried to
assure me that I had some anten-anten, and that consequently I could
not be wounded by a shot fired at me.

He then addressed the young girl, who had remained in the corner,
more dead than alive.

"Ah! cursed creature!" said he to her; "you are Cajoui's mistress:
now your turn is come!"

At this moment he advanced towards her with his dagger in his hand. I
ran between him and the poor girl, for I knew he was capable of
killing anyone, particularly after I had been attacked in a manner
that had placed me in danger.

"Wretch!" said I to him, "what are you going to do?"

"No great things, master; only to cut off the hair and ears of this
vile woman, and then send her to tell Cajoui that we shall soon
catch him!"

It cost me much trouble to prevent him from executing his plan. I was
obliged to use all my authority, and to allow him to burn the cabin,
after the terrified young girl, thanks to my protection, had fled
into the forest.

My lieutenant was right in sending word to Cajoui that we should catch
him. Some months after, and several leagues from the place where we had
set fire to his cabin, one day, when three men of my guard accompanied
me, we discovered, in the thickest part of the wood, a small hut. My
Indians rushed forward in quick time to surround it; but almost all
round it there was found a morass, covered over with sedges and bushes,
when all three sunk in the mud, up to their middle. As I did not run
as fast as they did I perceived the danger, and went round the marsh,
so as to reach the cabin by the only accessible way. Suddenly I found
myself face to face with Cajoui, and near enough almost to touch him. I
had my dagger in my hand; he also had his--the struggle began. For
a few seconds we aimed many strokes at each other, which each of us
tried to avoid as well as he could. I think, however, that fortune was
turning against me; the point of Cajoui's poignard had already entered
rather deeply into my right arm, when with my left hand I took from
my belt a large-sized pistol. I discharged it full at his breast:
the ball and the wadding went through his body. For a few seconds
Cajoui endeavoured still to defend himself; I struck him with all my
force, and he fell at my feet; I then wrested from him his dagger,
which I still retain. My people came out of the mud-hole and joined
me. Compassion soon replaced the animosity we bore against Cajoui. We
made a sort of litter; I bandaged his wound, and we carried him more
than six leagues in this manner to my habitation, where he received
all the care his state required. Every moment I expected him to die;
every quarter of an hour my people came to tell me how he was; and
they kept saying to me:

"Master, he cannot die, because he has the anten-anten upon him; and
it is very lucky that you have some of it too, and that you fired at
him, for our arms would have been of no avail against him."

I laughed at their simplicity, and expected from one minute to
another to hear that the wounded man had breathed his last, when my
lieutenant brought me, quite joyously, a small manuscript, about two
inches square, saying to me:

"Here, master, is the anten-anten I found upon Cajoui's body."

At the same time one of my men announced his death.

"Ah!" said Alila, "if I had not taken the anten-anten from him he
would be still alive."

I searched the small book through and through; prayers and
invocations that had not much sense were therein written in the
Tagalese language. A good friar who was present took it out of my
hands. I imagined that he had the same curiosity as I had, but by
no means; he rose up and went into the kitchen, and in a short time
after came out and told me that he had made an auto-da-fé of it. My
poor lieutenant almost cried with vexation, for he considered the
little book to be his property, and thought that in possession of it
he would be invulnerable. I should also have wished to have kept it,
as a curious specimen of Indian superstition. The next day I had much
trouble to persuade my stout friend, Father Miguel, to bury Cajoui in
the cemetery. He maintained that a man who died with the anten-anten
upon him ought not to receive Christian burial. To make him accede to
my wishes it was necessary to tell him that the anten-anten had been
taken from Cajoui before his death, and that he had time to repent.

A few days after Cajoui's death it was my faithful Alila's turn to
encounter danger, not less imminent than that to which I had been
exposed, at the time of my combat with the bandit chief. But Alila
was brave, and, although he had no anten-anten, fire-arms did not
frighten him.

Large vessels--real Noah's arks--freighted by various merchants,
sailed every week from the town of Pasig for that of Santa-Cruz, where
every Thursday a large market was held. Eight daring and determined
brigands went on board one of these vessels: they hid their arms among
the bales of goods. The ship was scarcely out at sea when they seized
them, and a horrible scene of slaughter ensued. All who endeavoured
to resist them were butchered, even the pilot was thrown overboard;
at length, finding no more resistance, they plundered the passengers
of the money they had upon them, took every article of value they
could find, and, loaded with their booty, they steered the vessel to
a deserted spot on the shore, where they landed.

I had been informed of this nefarious enterprise, and went with haste
to the spot where they landed. Unfortunately I arrived too late, for
they had already escaped to the mountains, after they had divided the
spoil. Notwithstanding the slight hope I entertained of overtaking
them, I set off in pursuit, and after a long march I met an Indian,
who informed me that one of the bandits, not so good a walker as the
others, was not far off, and that if I and my guards ran quickly we
might overtake him. Alila was the best runner--he was as fleet as
a deer; so I told him: "Set out, Alila, and bring me that runaway,
either dead or alive."

My brave lieutenant, to be less encumbered in the race, left his
gun with us, took a long spear, and went off. Shortly after we had
lost sight of him we heard the report of firearms; we knew it must
be the brigand firing upon Alila, and we all thought that he was
killed or wounded. We hastened forward, in the hopes of arriving in
time to render him assistance; but we soon saw him coming leisurely
towards us; his face and clothes were covered with blood, the spear
in his right hand, and in his left the hideous head of the bandit,
which he carried by the hair--as Judith had formerly done with that
of Holophernes. But my poor Alila was wounded, and my first care was
to examine if the wound was serious. When I was satisfied it was not
dangerous, I asked him for the details of his combat.

"Master," said he to me, "shortly after I left you I perceived the
bandit; he saw me also, and ran off as quickly as he could, but I ran
faster than he, and was soon close to him. When he lost all hopes
of escaping he turned upon me and presented his pistol; I was not
alarmed, and advanced towards him at all risk. The pistol was fired,
and I felt myself wounded in the face; this wound did not stop me. I
darted at him and pierced his body with my spear; but, as he was too
heavy for me to bring to you, I cut off his head, and here it is."

When I had congratulated Alila upon his success, I examined his wound,
and found that a fragment of a ball, cut into four pieces, had hit
him upon the cheek, and was flattened on the bone. I extracted it,
and a speedy cure followed.

Now, as I have almost terminated, and shall not return to, my numerous
adventures with the bandits, I resume the continuation of my ordinary
life at Jala-Jala.



CHAPTER VIII.

    Death of my Brother Robert--Our Party at Jala-Jala--Illness and
    Last Moments of my Friend Bermigan--Recovery and Departure for
    France or Lafond--Joachim Balthazard: his Eccentricity--Tremendous
    Gale of Wind--Narrow Escape in Crossing the Lake--Safe Return
    to Jala-Jala--Destruction of my House and the Village by a
    Typhoon--Rendezvous with a Bandit--Ineffectual Attempts to Reform
    Him--His Death--Journey to Tapuzi--Its Inaccessibility--Government
    of the Tapuzians--Morality and Religious Character of their
    Chief--Their Curiosity at Beholding a White Man--Former Wickedness
    and Divine Punishment--We bid Adieu to the Tapuzians, and Return
    to Jala-Jala.


At this period a sad event plunged my house into mourning. Letters from
my family announced to me that my brother Robert had returned from
Porto-Rico, but that soon after a serious illness had carried him to
the grave. He died in the arms of my mother and sisters, in the small
house of La Planche, where, as I said before, we had all been brought
up. My excellent Anna, wept with us, and exerted every means that
interesting affection could suggest to alleviate the grief my brother
Henry and myself experienced from this melancholy bereavement. A few
months afterwards a new source of sorrow fell to our lot. Our little
social party at Jala-Jala consisted of my sister-in-law; of Delaunay,
a young man from St. Malo, who had come from Bourbon to establish at
Manilla some manufactories for baking sugar; of Bermigan, a young
Spaniard; and my friend, Captain Gabriel Lafond, like myself, from
Nantes. He had come to the Philippine islands on board the Fils de
France, had passed some years in South America, and had occupied
several places of distinction in the navy, as captain-commandant,
until at last, after many adventures and vicissitudes, he came with
a small fortune to Manilla, where he bought a vessel, and set sail
for the Pacific Ocean, to fish for the balaté or sea-worm. He had
scarcely readied the island of Tongatabou when the vessel struck upon
the rocks that surround this island; he saved himself by swimming
to the shore, having lost everything. From thence he went to the
Marianne islands, where grief and bad food caused him to fall ill;
he returned to Manilla, labouring under dysentry. I had him brought
to my house, and whilst there attended to him with all the care
a fellow-countryman and a good friend, endowed with sterling and
amiable qualities, deserved. Our evenings were spent in amusing and
instructive conversation. As we had all travelled a great deal, each
had something to relate. During the day the invalids kept company
with the ladies, while my brother and myself followed our respective
avocations. But soon, alas! a shocking event disturbed the calm that
reigned at Jala-Jala. Bermigan fell so dangerously ill, that a few days
sufficed to convince me there was no hope of saving him. I shall never
forget the fatal night: we were all assembled in the drawing-room,
grief and consternation were in every heart and pourtrayed in every
countenance; in an adjoining room a few short steps from us, we heard
the death-rattle of poor Bermigan, who had only a few minutes to
live. My excellent friend, Lafond, whom sickness had reduced almost
to the last stage, broke silence, and said: "Well! poor Bermigan goes
to-day, and in a few days, perhaps to-morrow, it will be my turn. Just
see! my dear Don Pablo; I may almost say that I no longer exist. Look
at my feet--my body! I am a mere skeleton; I can scarcely take any
food. Ah! it is better to be dead than live like this!"

I was so persuaded that his forebodings would not be delayed in being
realized, that I scarcely dared to utter the smallest consolation or
any hopes. Who could then have told me that he and I alone were to
survive all those who surrounded us, full of life and health? But,
alas! let us not here anticipate future events.

Poor Bermigan breathed his last. Our house at Jala-Jala was no longer
untouched by the hand of Death--a human being had expired therein;
and on the following day, in sadness and silence, we all proceeded
to the cemetery, to inter the body of our friend, and to render him
the last proofs of our respect. The body was laid at the foot of a
large cross, which is placed in the centre of the grave-yard. For
many days sadness and silence prevailed in our home at Jala-Jala.

Some time afterwards I had the gratification to see the efforts
I employed for my friend Lafond were successful. By means of the
strong remedies I administered his health was speedily restored, his
appetite returned, and he was soon able to set sail for France. He
is now residing in Paris, married to a woman possessed of every
quality necessary to make a man happy, and is the father of three
children. Holding an honourable position, and enjoying public esteem,
he has never forgotten the six months he spent at Jala-Jala, for
ingratitude never sullied his noble, loving, and devoted heart. A
sincere attachment still subsists between us, and I am happy thus to
assure him that he is, and ever will be, to me a valued friend. [16]

As I have now mentioned several persons who resided for some time at
Jala-Jala, I must not forget one of my colonists, Joachim Balthazard,
a native of Marseilles, as eccentric a man as I have ever known. When
Joachim was young, he set sail from Marseilles. When he arrived at
Bourbon, his name not being on the crew's list, he was arrested,
and put on board the Astrolabe, which was then making a voyage
round the world. He deserted at the Marianne islands, and came to
the Philippines in the greatest distress, and addressed himself to
some good friars, in order, as he said, to effect his conversion
and his salvation. He lived among them, and at their expense, for
nearly two years; afterwards he opened a coffee-house at Manilla,
and spent in pleasure and debauchery a large sum of money that a
fellow-countryman and I had advanced him. He afterwards built upon
my grounds a large straw edifice, that had more the appearance of
a huge magazine than of a house. There he kept a kind of seraglio,
adopted all the children which his numerous wives gave him, and, with
his own family, made his house not unlike a mutual school. Whenever
he was weary of either of his wives he called one of his workmen,
saying to him in the most serious manner:

"There is a wife that I give you; be a good husband, treat her well:
and you, woman, this is your husband, be faithful to him. Go, may
God bless you! Be off, and let me never see you again."

He was generally without a farthing, or all of a sudden rich with heavy
sums, that were spent in a few days. He borrowed from everybody, and
never paid them back; he lived like a real Indian, and was as cowardly
as a half-drowned chicken. His light-coloured hair, sallow complexion,
and beardless face, gave him the nick-name among the Indians of
Onela-Dogou, Tagalese words, that signify "one who has no blood."

As I was one day crossing over the lake in a small canoe with him and
two Indians, we were assailed by one of those extraordinary gales of
wind, which in the Chinese seas are called Tay-Foung (typhoon). These
gales of wind, though extremely rare, are tremendous. The sky is
covered with the heaviest clouds; the rain pours in torrents; the
day-light disappears, almost as much as in the densest fog; and the
wind blows with such fury that it throws down everything it reaches
in its course. [17]

We were in our canoe; the wind had scarcely begun to blow with all
its violence than Balthazard commenced to invoke all the saints in
Paradise. Almost in despair, he cried out aloud:

"Oh, God! have mercy upon me, a wretched sinner! Grant me the grace
that I may have an opportunity of confessing my sins, and of receiving
absolution!"

All these lamentations and appeals served only to frighten my two
Indians, and most undoubtedly our position was critical enough for us
to endeavour to retain our presence of mind, so as to attend to the
management of our little boat, which from one moment to another was in
danger of being swamped. However, I was certain that, being provided
with two large beams of bamboos, it could keep its position in the
current between two waters and not capsize, if we had the precaution
and strength to scud before the wind, and not turn the side to a wave,
for in such case we should all have been drowned. What I foresaw,
happened. A wave burst upon us; for a few minutes we were plunged
in the deep, but when the wave passed over we came above water. Our
canoe was swamped between the currents, but we did not abandon it;
we put our legs under the seats, and held them fast; the half of
our body was above water. But every time that a wave came towards
us it passed over our heads, and then went off, giving us time to
breathe until another wave came and dashed over us. Every three or
four minutes the same manoeuvring took place. My Indians and I used
all our strength and skill to scud on before the wind. Balthazard
had ceased his lamentations; we all kept silence; from time to time
I only uttered these words:

"Take courage, boys, we shall reach the shore."

Our position then became much worse, for night set in. The rain
continued to pour in torrents, the wind increased in fury. From time to
time we received some light from globes of fire, like what the sailors
call "Saint Elmo's fire." While these rays of light continued I looked
as far around me as I could, and only perceived an immense body of
water in furious agitation. For nearly two hours we were tossed about
by the waves that drove us towards the beach, and, at a moment when
we least expected it, we found ourselves driven into the midst of an
extensive grove of lofty bamboos. I then knew that we were over the
land, and that the lake had inundated the country for several miles
around. We were up to our breasts in water, and it was not in our power
to pass through the inundation. The darkness was too great to allow
us to go in any direction; our canoe was no longer of any use to us,
as it was entangled among the bamboos. We climbed up the trees as well
as we could, even to the height where the bamboos end in sharp points;
our bodies were much torn by the sharp thorns growing on the small
branches; the rain continued to pour without intermission; the wind
still blowed, and each gust caused the bamboos to bend, the flexible
branches of which tore our bodies and faces. I have suffered a great
deal in the course of my life, but no night ever appeared to me so
long and cruel as this! Joachim Balthazard then recovered his speech,
and, in a trembling, broken voice, said to me:

"Ah! Don Pablo, do write I beg of you, to my mother, and tell her
the tragical end of her son!"

I could not help answering him: "You cowardly rascal! Do you think,
then, that I am more at my ease than you are? Hold your tongue,
otherwise I shall make you turn diver, so that I may never hear you
again." Poor Joachim then knew what to do, and did not utter a word;
only from time to time he made us aware of his trouble by his deep
moans.

The wind, which was blowing from the north-west, towards four o'clock
in the morning suddenly changed to the east, and shortly afterwards
gave over. It was almost daylight: we were saved. We could at last
see one another; all four of us looked in a wretched condition; our
clothes being torn to pieces. Our bodies were lacerated, and covered
with deep scratches. The cold had penetrated into the very marrow
of our bones, and the long bath we had taken had wrinkled the skin;
we looked just like drowned people taken out of the water, where
they had been for some hours. Nevertheless, crippled as we were, we
slipped down from the bamboos, and were soon bathing in the waters
of the lake. The effect was healthful and agreeable: it seemed like
a warm bath at 30 degrees of heat.

We were quite restored by this mild temperature. We got our canoe out
of the grove, where fortunately it had been caught so fast that neither
the waves nor the currents could drive it any farther. We again set it
afloat, and soon succeeded in reaching an Indian hut, where we dried
ourselves, and recruited our strength. Calm was now re-established;
the sun shone in all its splendour, but everywhere traces of the
typhoon were visible. In the course of the day we reached Jala-Jala,
where our arrival caused great joy. They knew at home that I was on
the lake, and everything led them to presume that I had perished. My
good and dear Anna threw herself into my arms in tears; she had been
in such anxiety for my safety, that for some moments the tears that
flowed down her cheeks alone expressed her joy at again seeing me.

Balthazard returned to his seraglio. As long as he was under my
protection the Indians respected him, but after my departure from
Jala-Jala he was assassinated; and all those who knew him agreed that
he had deserved his fate for more than one cause.

As I have mentioned this typhoon, I am going to anticipate a little,
in describing, as briefly as possible, a still more frightful one than
that which I experienced in my slight canoe and in the bamboo grove.

I had just completed some pretty baths upon the lake opposite my
house. I was quite satisfied and proud of procuring this new pleasure
for my wife. On the very day that the Indians had added the last
ornaments to them, towards evening a western wind began to blow
furiously; by degrees the waters of the lake became agitated, and
shortly we no longer doubted but that we were going to have a typhoon.

My brother and I stayed some time examining, through the panes of
glass, whether the baths would resist the strength of the wind,
but in a heavy squall my poor edifice disappeared like a castle
made of cards. We withdrew from the window, and luckily too, for a
heavier squall than that which had destroyed the baths burst in the
windows that faced to the west. The wind drove through the house,
and opened a way for itself, by throwing down all the wall over the
entrance-door. The lake was so agitated that the waves went over my
house, and inundated all the apartments. We were not able to remain
there any longer. By assisting each other, my wife, my brother, a young
Frenchman who was then staying at Jala-Jala, and myself, succeeded in
reaching a room on the ground-floor; the light came from a very small
window; there, in almost total darkness, we spent the greater part of
the night, my brother and I leaning our shoulders against the window,
opposing with all our strength that of the wind, which threatened to
force it in. In this small room there were several jars of brandy: my
excellent Anna poured some into the hollow of her hand, and gave it us
to drink, to support our strength and to warm us. At break of day the
wind ceased, and calm re-appeared. All the furniture and decorations
of my house were broken and shattered to pieces; all the rooms were
inundated, and the store-rooms were full of sand, carried there by the
waters of the lake. Soon my house became an asylum for my colonists,
who had all spent a wretched night, and were without shelter.

The sun soon shone splendidly; the sky was cloudless; but my sadness
was extreme when, from a window, I examined the disasters produced
by the typhoon. There was no village! Every hut was levelled to the
ground. The church was thrown down--my store-houses, my sugar factory,
were entirely destroyed; there was then nothing more than heaps of
ruins. My fine cane-fields were altogether destroyed, and the country,
which previously had appeared so beautiful, seemed as if it had passed
through a long wintry season. There was no longer any verdure to be
seen; the trees were entirely leafless, with their boughs broken, and
portions of the wood were entirely torn down; and all this devastation
had taken place within a few hours. During that and the following day
the lake threw up, upon the shore, the bodies of several unfortunate
Indians who had perished. The first care of Padre Miguel was to
bury the dead, and for a long time afterwards there were to be seen,
in the grave-yard of Jala-Jala, crosses, with the inscription: "An
unknown who died during the typhoon." My Indians began immediately to
rebuild their huts, and I, as far as possible, to repair my disasters.

The fertile nature of the Philippine islands speedily effaced the
aspect of mourning which it had assumed. In less than eight days
the trees were completely covered with new leaves, and exhibited
themselves as in a brilliant summer, after the frightful winter had
passed over. The typhoon had embraced a diameter of about two leagues,
and, like a violent hurricane, had upset and shattered everything it
met during its course.

But enough of disasters: I return to the epoch when the death of poor
Bermigan caused affliction to us all.

All was prosperity in my dwelling: my Indians were happy; the
population of Jala-Jala increased every day; I was beloved and
respected. I had rendered great service to the Spanish government
by the incessant warfare I carried on against the bandits; and I may
say that even amongst them I enjoyed a high reputation. They looked
upon me, indeed, as their enemy, but in the light of a brave enemy,
incapable of committing any act of baseness against them, and who
carried on an honourable warfare; and the Indian character was so
well known to me, that I did not fear they would play me any low
tricks, or would treacherously attack me. Such was my conviction,
that around my house I was never accompanied by day or by night. I
traversed without fear all the forests and mountains, and I often even
treated with these honourable bandits, as one power does with another,
by not disdaining the invitations sometimes sent to me to come to a
certain place, where, without fear of surprise, they could consult me,
or even invoke my assistance. This sort of rendezvous was always held
in the night, and in very lonely places. On their side, as well as
on mine, a promise given of not doing any injury to each other was
religiously observed. In these nocturnal conversations, held without
witnesses, I often brought back to a life of peace mistaken men, whom
the turbulence of youth had thrown into a series of crimes, which
the laws would have visited with most severe punishment. Sometimes,
however, I failed in my attempts, and especially when I had to do
with proud and untameable characters, such as are to be found among
men who never have had any other guide but natural instinct. One day,
among others, I received a letter from a half-breed, a great criminal,
who infested the neighbouring province of Laguna; he told me that
he wished to see me, and begged me to come alone in the middle of
the night to a wild spot, where he would also come alone: I did not
hesitate to go to the place appointed. I found him there as he had
promised me. He told me that he wished to change his mode of life,
and to dwell on my estate. He added, that he had never committed any
crime against the Spaniards, but only against the Indians and the
half-breeds. It would have been impossible for me to have received
him without compromising myself. I proposed to place him in the house
of a friar, where he might remain concealed for several years, until
his crimes were forgotten, and then he could enter into society. After
a moment's reflection, he replied:

"No, that would be to lose my liberty. To live as a slave! I would
prefer to die."

I then proposed to him to go to Tapuzi, a place where the bandits, when
hotly pursued, were enabled to conceal themselves with impunity.--(I
shall very soon have occasion to speak of this village.)--The
half-breed, with an insignificant gesture, replied:

"No; the person I wish to take with me would not come there. You can
do nothing for me, adieu!"

He then pressed my hand, and we separated. Some days afterwards, a hut
in which he was seen, near Manilla, was surrounded by the troops of
the line. The bandit then caused the owners of the hut to quit it,
and when he saw them out of danger he took his carabine and began
firing upon the soldiers, who on their side returned the attack on
the hut. When it was riddled with balls, and the bandit had ceased
to defend himself, a soldier approached the hut and set fire to it,
so great was the fear they entertained of then finding him alive.

These nocturnal interviews having led me to mention Tapuzi, I cannot
refrain from dedicating a few lines to this remarkable retreat,
where men, when proscribed by the law, live together in a sort of
accord and union of a most extraordinary kind.

Tapuzi, [18] which in the Tagal language, signifies "end of the world,"
is a little village, situate in the interior of the mountains, nearly
twenty-five leagues from Jala-Jala. It was formed there by bandits
and men who had escaped from the galleys, who live in liberty, govern
themselves, and are altogether, on account of the inaccessible position
which they occupy, safe from any pursuit which could be ordered against
them by the Spanish government. I had often heard this singular village
mentioned, but I had never met anyone who had visited it, or could give
me any positive details relative to it. One day, therefore, I resolved
to go thither myself. I stated my intention to my lieutenant, who said:

"Master, I shall find there, no doubt, some of my old comrades,
and then we shall have nothing to fear."

Three of us set out together, under the pretext of quite a different
journey. For two days we walked in the midst of mountains, by paths
almost impracticable. The third day we reached a torrent, the bed of
which was blocked up by enormous stones. This ravine was the only road
by which we could get to Tapuzi; it was the natural and impregnable
rampart which defended the village against the attack of the Spanish
troops. My lieutenant had just told me:

"Look, master, above your head. None but the inhabitants of Tapuzi
know the paths which lead to the top of the mountains. All along the
length of the ravine they have placed enormous stones, that they have
only to push to throw them down upon those who should come to attack
them; a whole army could not penetrate among them, if they wished to
give any opposition."

I clearly saw that we were not in a very agreeable position, and
against which, if the Tapuzians should consider us as enemies, we could
oppose no defence. But we were involved in it, and there was no means
of retreating, it was absolutely necessary to go to Tapuzi. We had
been already more than an hour in this ravine when an immense block
of stone fell down perpendicularly, and broke into pieces only twenty
yards before us: it was a warning. We stopped, laid down our arms,
and sat down. Perhaps just such another block as what had fallen was
hanging over our heads, ready to crush us to pieces. We heard a scream
near us. I told my lieutenant to proceed alone towards the direction
it came from. In a few minutes he returned, accompanied by two Indians,
who, confident in my pacific intentions towards them, came to fetch us,
to take us to the village. We proceeded cheerfully on the remainder
of the road until we reached the spot where ended the sort of funnel
we were walking in. Upon this height there was to be seen a plain,
some miles in circumference, surrounded by high mountains. The part
that we were in was stopped up by enormous blocks of rocks, lying
one on the top of the other. From behind stretched forth an abrupt
threatening mountain, without any signs of vegetation--not unlike
an ancient European fortress, that some magical power had raised in
the midst of the high mountains that commanded it. With one glance I
beheld the whole of the site we were crossing, and at the same time
reflected upon the great varieties nature presents to our view. We
soon reached the long wished-for object of our journey--the village of
Tapuzi. It lies at the extreme end of a plain, composed of about sixty
thatched huts, similar to those of the Indians. The inhabitants were
all at their windows, to witness our arrival. Our guides conducted
us to their chief, or Matanda-sanayon, a fine old man, from the look
of his face about eighty years of age. He bowed affably to us, and
addressed himself to me.

"How are you come here--as a friend, or is it curiosity--or do the
cruel laws of the Spaniards perhaps compel you to seek refuge among
us? If such is the case, you are welcome; you will find us brothers."

"No," I said to him; "we do not come to stay among you. I am your
neighbour, and lord of Jala-Jala. I am come to see you, to offer you
my friendship, and to ask yours."

At the name Jala-Jala the old man looked quite astonished; he then
said to me:

"It is a long time since I heard you spoken of as an agent of the
government for pursuing unfortunate men, but I have heard also that
you fulfilled your mission with much kindness, and that often you
were their protector, so be welcome."

After this first recognition they presented us some milk and some
kidney potatoes, and during our repast the old man conversed freely
with me.

"Several years ago," said he to me, "at a period I cannot recollect,
some men came to live in Tapuzi. The peace and safety they enjoyed
made others imitate their example, who sought like themselves to avoid
the punishment of some faults they had committed. We soon saw fathers
of families, with their wives and children flock hither; this was
the foundation of the small government that you see. Now here almost
all is in common; some fields of kidney potatoes or Indian corn, and
hunting, suffice for us; he who possesses anything gives to him who has
nothing. Almost all our clothing is knitted and woven by our wives;
the abaca, or vegetable silk, from the forest supplies us the thread
that is necessary; we do not know what money is, we do not require
any. Here there is no ambition; each one is certain of not suffering
from hunger. From time to time strangers come to visit us. If they
are willing to submit to our laws, they remain with us; they have a
fortnight of probation to go through before they decide. Our laws
are lenient and indulgent. We have not forgotten the religion of
our forefathers, and God no doubt will forgive me my first faults,
on account of my efforts for so many years to promote his worship,
and the well-being of my equals."

"But," said I to him, "who is your chief, who are your judges and
priests?"

"It is I," said he, "who fulfil all those functions. Formerly they
lived like savages here. I was young, robust, and devoted to all my
brothers. Their chief had just expired: I was chosen to replace him. I
then took care to do nothing but what was just, and conducive to the
happiness of those who confided in me. Until then they had devoted
but little attention to religion: I wished to put my people in mind
that they were born Christians. I appointed one hour every Sunday
for us to pray together, and I have invested myself with all the
attributes of a minister of the Gospel. I celebrate the marriages, I
pour water upon the foreheads of the infants, and I offer consolations
to the dying. In my youth, I was a chorister; I remembered the church
ceremonies; and if I do not actually possess the necessary attributes
for the functions I have given myself, I practise them with faith and
love. This is the reason I trust that my good intentions will obtain
my forgiveness from Him who is the Sovereign Lord of all."

During the whole time of the old man's conversation I was in continual
admiration. I was among people who had the reputation of living in
the greatest licentiousness as thieves and robbers. Their character
was altogether misunderstood. It was a real, great phalanstery,
composed of brothers, almost all worthy of the name. Above all I
admired this fine old man, who with moral principles and simple laws,
had governed them for so many years. On the other hand, what an example
that was of free men not being able to live without choosing a chief,
and bringing one another back to the practice of virtuous actions!

I explained to the old man all my thoughts. I bestowed upon him a
thousand praises for his conduct, and assured him that the Archbishop
of Manilla would approve all the religious acts he performed with so
noble an object. I even offered to intercede with the archbishop in
his behalf, that he might send a pastor to assist him. But he replied:

"No, thank you, sir; never speak about us. We should certainly
be glad to have a minister of the Gospel here, but soon, under his
influence, we should be subjected to the Spanish government. It would
be requisite for us to have money to pay our contributions. Ambition
would soon creep in amongst us, and from the freedom which we now
enjoy, we should gradually sink into a state of slavery, and should
no longer be happy. Once more I entreat of you, do not speak of us:
give me your word that you will not."

This argument appeared so just to me that I acquiesced to his
request. I again gave him all the praise he deserved, and promised
never to disturb the peace of the inhabitants of his village under
any pretext whatever.

In the evening we received visits from all the inhabitants,
particularly from the women and children, who all had an immoderate
curiosity to see a white man. None of the Tapuzian women had ever been
out of their village, and had scarcely ever lost sight of their huts;
it was not, therefore, astonishing that they were so curious.

The next day I went round the plain, and visited the fields of
kidney potatoes and Indian corn, the principal nourishment of the
inhabitants. The old chief and some elderly people accompanied
me. When we reached the spot where, upon the eve, I had already
remarked enormous blocks of rock, the old man paused and told me:

"Look yonder, Castilla. [19] At a time when the Tapuzians were without
religion, and lived as wild beasts, God punished them. Look at all
the part of that mountain quite stripped of vegetation: one night,
during a tremendous earthquake, that mountain split in two--one part
swallowed up the half of the village that then stood on the place
where those enormous rocks are. A few hundred steps further on all
would have been destroyed; there would no longer have existed a single
person in Tapuzi: but a part of the population was not injured, and
came and settled themselves where the village now is. Since then we
pray to the Almighty, and live in a manner so as not to deserve so
severe a chastisement as that experienced by the wretched victims of
that awful night."

The conversation and society of this old man--I might say the King
of Tapuzi--was most interesting to me. But I had already been four
days absent from Jala-Jala. I ordered my lieutenant to prepare for
our departure. We bid most affectionate adieus to our hosts, and set
off. In two days I returned home, quite pleased with my journey and
the good inhabitants of Tapuzi.



CHAPTER IX.

    Suppression of War between two Indian Towns--Flourishing Condition
    of Jala-Jala--Hospitality to Strangers--Field Sports--Bat
    and Lizard Shooting--Visit to, and Description of, the Isle
    of Socolme--Adventure with a Cayman--Cormorants--We Visit Los
    Banos--Monkey Shooting--Expedition to, and Description of, the
    Grotto of Sun-Mateo--Magnificent aspect of the Interior.


I found Anna in great trouble, not only on account of my absence,
but because, on the previous evening, information had been received
that the inhabitants of the two largest towns in the province had,
as it was stated, declared war against each other; the most courageous
amongst them, to the number of three or four hundred on each side, had
started for the island of Talem. There both parties, in the presence
of each other, were upon the point of engaging in a battle; already,
while skirmishing, several had been mortally wounded.

This news frightened Anna she knew that I was not a man who would
await quietly at home the issue of the battle; she already fancied
she saw me, with my ten guards, engaged in the thick of the fight,
and perhaps a victim of my devotedness. I comforted her as I had
always done, promising to be prudent, and not forget her; but there
was not a moment to lose; it was necessary, at all risks, to try to
put an end to a conflict that might no doubt cause the death of many
men. How could I do so with my ten guards? Dare I pretend to impose my
will as law on this vast multitude? Clearly not. To attempt to do it
by force would be to sacrifice all: what was to be done? Arm all my
Indians--but I had not boats enough to carry them to Talem: in this
difficulty I decided upon setting out alone with my lieutenant. We
took our arms, and set sail in a canoe, that we steered ourselves; we
had scarcely come near the beach within hail of the shore, when some
armed Indians called out to us to stand off, otherwise they would fire
upon us. Without paying attention to this threat, my lieutenant and I,
some minutes later, jumped boldly on shore, and after a few steps we
found ourselves in the midst of the combatants.

I went immediately up to the chiefs and addressed them, "Wretched
men," I said to them, "what are you going to do? It is upon you who
command that the severity of the law will fall. It is still time:
try to deserve your pardon. Order your men to give me up their arms;
lay down your own, or else in a few minutes I will place myself at
the head of your enemies to fight against you. Obey, if not you will
be treated as rebels."

They listened attentively to me; they were half conquered. However,
one of them made me this reply:

"And if you take away our arms who will satisfy us that our enemies
will not come to attack us?"

"I will," I told them; "I give you my word; and if they do not obey
me as you are going to do, I will return to you, I will give you back
your arms, and will fight at your head."

These words, said with a tone of authority and command, produced the
effect I expected. The chiefs, without uttering a word, laid their
arms at my feet. Their example was followed by all the combatants,
and, in a moment, a heap of carabines, guns, spears, and cutlasses
were laid down before me. I appointed ten among these individuals
who had just obeyed me, gave them each a gun, and told them:

"I confide to you the care of these arms. If anyone attempts to take
possession of them, fire upon the assailants."

I pretended to take down their names, and went off to the opposite
camp, where I found all the combatants on foot, ready to march and
fight against their enemies. I stopped them, saying:

"The battle is over--your enemies are disarmed. You, too, must give
me up your arms, or else immediately embark in your canoes, and go
home. If you do not obey me, I will give back their arms instantly to
your opponents, and I will put myself at their head to fight against
you. Perform what I command you; I promise you all shall be forgotten."

There was no room for hesitation. The Indians knew that I did not
allow much time for reflection, and that my threats and chastisements
followed each other closely. Shortly after, they all embarked in
their canoes. I remained on the beach alone, with my lieutenant,
until I had almost lost sight of this small fleet. I then returned
to the other camp, where I was impatiently expected. I announced to
the Indians they had no longer any enemies, and that consequently
they could go back quietly to their village.

But a few days elapsed, as may be seen, without my having new dangers
to encounter. I was accustomed to them: I relied upon my star, and
triumphed from all my imprudences. My Indians were blindly submissive
to me. I was so certain of their fidelity, that I no longer took
against them the precautions which I considered necessary during the
first year of my residence at Jala-Jala.

My Anna took part every day more and more in my labours, anxieties,
and even in some of my dangers. Would it have been possible not to
have loved her with deeper affection, than that which one feels for a
companion leading a peaceful and insignificant life? With what gladness
she received me after the shortest absence! Joy and satisfaction
shone on her face, her caresses were as a balsam that healed all my
lassitude, and even the reproaches she addressed me so gently, for the
uneasiness I had caused her, fell upon my heart us drops of beatitude.

Jala-Jala was most flourishing; immense fields of rice, sugar-cane,
and coffee, had taken the place of woods and forests unproductive
in themselves. Rich pasture-grounds were covered with numerous
flocks; and a fine Indian village stood in the centre of the
labouring-ground. Here, there was everywhere to be seen plenty,
activity; and joy smiled on the countenances of all the inhabitants. My
own dwelling had become the rendezvous, or resorting-place, of all
the travellers arriving at Manilla, and a refuge of convalescence
of many patients, who would come and breath the good and mild air of
Jala-Jala, as well as enjoy its pleasures and amusements. Under that
roof there was no distinction, no difference; all were equals in our
eyes, whether French, Spanish, English, American. No matter to what
nation belonged those who landed at Jala-Jala, they were received like
brothers, and with all that cordial hospitality to be found formerly
in our colonies. My visitors enjoyed full and active liberty on my
little estate; but he who was not desirous of eating alone was obliged
to remember the time of meals: during the other hours of the day one
and all followed their own inclinations. For instance, naturalists
went in pursuit of insects and birds, and made an ample harvest of
every species of plants. Persons ailing met with the assiduous care
of a physician, as well as with the kind attention and enjoyed the
company of a most amiable and well-informed mistress of the house,
who had the natural talent of enchanting all those who spent but a
short time in her society. They who liked walking might look about for
the fine views, and choose their resting-place either in the woods,
the mountains, near the cascades or the brooks, or on the beautiful
borders of the lake.

But to sportsmen Jala-Jala was really a "promised land;" there they
always found a good pack of hounds, Indians to guide them, good
stout horses to carry them across the various mountains and plains,
where the stag and wild boar were to be met with most plentifully;
and were they desirous of less fatiguing exercise, they only had to
jump into some of our light canoes, and skim over the blue waters,
shooting on their way at the hosts of aquatic birds flying around
them in all directions,--they could even land on the various small
islands situated between Jala-Jala and the isle of Talem. There
they could find a sort of sport utterly unknown in Europe--that is,
immense bats, a species of vampire, designated by naturalists by the
name of roussettes. During six months in the year, at the period of the
eastern monsoon, every tree on these little isles is covered, from the
topmost down to the lowest branch, with those huge bats, that supply
the place of the foliage which they have entirely destroyed. Muffled
up in their vast wings they sleep during the whole day, and in the
nighttime they start off in large bodies roaming about in search
of their prey. But as soon as the western monsoon has succeeded the
eastern, they disappear, and repair always to the same place,--the
eastern coast of Luzon, where they take shelter; after the monsoon
changed, they return to their former quarters.

As soon as our guests would alight upon one of these islands, they
opened their fire, and continued it till--frightened by so many
explosions and the screams of the wounded, clinging to and hanging
from the branches--the bats would fly away in a body--en masse. For
some time they would whirl and turn round and round like a dense
cloud over their abandoned home, imitating, in a most perfect way,
those furies we see in certain engravings representing the infernal
regions, and then, flying off a short distance, would perch upon the
trees in a neighbouring isle. If the sportsmen were not over-fatigued
by the slaughter they might then follow them, and set-to again; but
they generally found they had made victims enough, and diversified
their pleasure by picking up the slain from under the trees. The bat
shooting over, our sportsmen would then proceed to a new sport--


                  "To fresh fields and pastures new;"


that is, in pursuit of and shooting at the iguanas, a large species of
lizard, measuring from five to six feet long, which infest the rocks
on the borders of the lake. Tired of firing without being obliged to
show any skill, our chasseurs would re-embark in their pirogues and
row in search of new amusement,--this was, to shoot at the eagles that
came hovering over their heads. Here skill was requisite, as well
as a prompt, sure glance of the eye, as it is only with ball that
these enormous birds of prey can be reached. Our fowlers would then
return home, with their boats full of game; and everyone, of course,
had his own feats of prowess to relate.

The flesh of the iguana and the bat is savoury and delicate; but as
for its taste, that entirely depends upon the imagination, as may
here be seen.

After returning from one of these grand shooting excursions to the
minor islands, a young American informed me that his friends and he
himself were most desirous of tasting the iguana and the bat; so,
supposing them all to be of the same mind, I ordered my maître-d'hôtel
to prepare for dinner a curry of iguana and a ragout of bats. The
first dish served round at dinner was the curry, of which they one
and all partook with very good appetite; upon which I ventured to say:
"You see the flesh of the iguana is most delicate." At these words all
my guests turned pale, and they all, by a sudden motion, pushed their
plates from before them, not even being able to swallow what their
mouths contained. I was therefore obliged to order the removal of
the entrées of iguana and bats before we could proceed with the repast.

When it was in my power, I would accompany my guests in their
excursions, and then the chase was abundant and full of interest,
because I ever took care to guide them towards places abounding
in game and very picturesque. Sometimes I would take them to
the isle of Socolme, a still more curious place indeed than
the bat islands. Socolme is a circular lake--being one league in
circumference--in the midst of the great lake of Bay, from which it
is separated by a cordon or ribbon of land; or, to express myself
better, by a mountain which rises to an elevation of from twelve to
fifteen hundred feet; the centre of the mountain at the summit is
occupied by the lake of Socolme, and is evidently the crater of an
extinct volcano. Both sides are completely covered with large trees
of luxuriant growth. It is on the border of the small lake--where
the Indians never go, through fear of the caymans--that almost all
the aquatic birds of the grand lake resort to lay their eggs. Every
tree, white with the guano which they deposit there, is covered with
birds'-nests, full of eggs and birds of every size and age.

One day, in company of my brother and Mr. Hamilton Lindsay, [20] an
Englishman, who was as fearless an explorer as ourselves, I started
from the plantation, with the intention of having some light canoes
carried across the high ground which separates the Socolme lake from
the lake of Bay, and of using them on the lake; and, after overcoming
many difficulties, we, by the assistance of our Indians, carried out
this project.

We were the first tourists that ever ventured to expose our lives
on this Socolme lake. The Indians who had come with us refused most
decidedly to enter the boats, and exerted all their eloquence to
prevent us from going on the water. They spoke to us thus:--

"You are going, for no good purpose, to expose yourselves to very
great dangers, against which you have no means of defence, for
before you have gone far you will see thousands of caymans rising
out of the deep water; they will come to attack you, and what can
you oppose to those ferocious and invulnerable monsters? Your guns
and bullets cannot wound them. And as for escape by rowing quickly,
that is not possible. In their own element they swim much faster
than your canoes, and when they come up to you they will turn your
boats up-side-down with far more ease than you can drive it along;
and then the frightful scene will begin, from which you cannot escape."

There was much good sense in what they said, and there can be no doubt
that it was most imprudent of us to embark in a little frail canoe,
and to make a trip over a lake inhabited by such numbers of caymans,
and especially since it was to be feared that the lake did not supply
fish enough to satisfy their voracity; and of course when enraged by
hunger they were more to be dreaded.

But we were never deterred by dangers or difficulties; so, taking
no account of the prognostics of my prudent Indians, we, while they
were delivering their long speeches, had lashed together two canoes
for greater security.

We had not proceeded many yards from the bank, when we all experienced
feelings of alarm, attributable, no doubt, to the expectation of
danger being immediate, as well as to the aspect of the place which
presented itself to our view.

We were down in the deepest part of a gulf, surrounded by lofty
and precipitous mountains, which were externally covered with very
thick vegetation. They, on all sides, presented a barrier, through
which it was impossible to pass. The shadows which they cast over
the water, at the extreme point of the lake, produced the effect of
half darkness, which, in conjunction with the silence prevailing in
that dismal solitude, gave it an aspect so dreary and saddening,
as to produce in us most painful feelings; each of us as it were,
struck with terror, kept his thoughts to himself, and no one spoke.

Our canoes went on, moving farther and farther from the brink from
which we had embarked; and it glided easily over the glassy sheet of
water, which is never agitated by even the roughest gales, and does not
receive the rays of the sun except when that luminary is at the zenith.

The silence in which we were absorbed was suddenly broken by the
appearance of a cayman, which raised its hideous head, and opened
its enormous jaws, as if about to swallow the canoes, as it darted
after us.

The moment was come; the grand drama announced by the Indians was
about to be realised, or all our fears would be dissipated without any
delay. There was not one instant to be spared, and we had no choice
but to try and escape as fast as we could, for the enemy was gaining
on us, and it would be madness to await his attack. I was steering,
and I exerted myself to the utmost to get away from the danger and
to escape to the shore. But the amphibious beast was approaching so
fast that he could almost seize us, when Lindsay, running all risks,
fired his gun direct at the brute.

The effect produced by the detonation was prodigious, for, as it were
by enchantment, it dispelled all our apprehensions. The awful silence
was broken in the most striking manner; the cayman was frightened, and
sank abruptly to the bottom of the lake; hundreds of echoes resounded
from all sides, like the discharges of a rifle corps, and these were
repeated to the tops of the mountains, while clouds of cormorants,
starting from all the trees around, uttered their screaming and
piercing cries, in which they were joined by the Indians, who shouted
with joy on seeing from the bank the flight of the hostile beast,
of which they are always so much afraid.

All then became tranquil, and we proceeded at our leisure. From time
to time a cayman made his appearance; but the explosions caused by
our firing soon drove the monsters down into the deepest parts of
the lake, more frightened than hurt, for even when we struck them
our balls rebounded from their scales without piercing them.

We went close to the large trees, the branches of which were spreading
over the water; they were thickly covered with nests, filled with eggs,
and so great a quantity of young birds, that we not only captured as
many as we wished, but could have filled several boats with them.

The cormorants, alarmed by the explosions we made, whirled over us
continually, like an immense cloud, during the time we troubled their
gloomy abode, and seemed to "disturb their solitary reign;" but they
did not wish to go far from their nests, in which their young broods
were crying out for parental care.

After we had rowed round the lake, we came to the spot from which we
started, having ended our expedition happily without any accident,
and even without having incurred all the dangers that our Indians,
who were awaiting our return in order to take our boats once more
across the mountain, had wished to make us believe.

Resolved not to finish the excursion without producing some beneficial
results for the sake of scientific knowledge, we measured the
circumference of the lake, which we found to be about two miles and
a-half. We were able to take soundings in the deepest parts towards
the middle, where we found the depth about three hundred feet; while at
some few fathoms from the banks we found it was invariably one hundred
and eighty feet. And here the remark may be made, that in no part of
the great Lake of Bay has the depth been found to exceed seventy-five
feet; from which it may be concluded, as we have previously stated,
that the lake of Socolme is formed within the crater of an extinct
volcano, its waters having percolated or filtered through from the
outer lake of Bay.

From Socolme I took my guests to Los Banos, at the foot of a mountain,
several thousand feet high, from which several springs of boiling
water flow into the lake, and, mixing with its waters, produce every
temperature to be desired in a natural bath. There also, on the hill,
we were sure to meet with good and plentiful sport. Wild pigeons and
beautiful doves, perched upon majestic trees, "mistrustful of their
doom," allowed our sportsmen to approach very near, and they never
returned from "the baths" without having "bagged" plenty of them.

Upon our appointed days of relaxation from labour, we would go into the
neighbouring woods, and wage war on the monkeys, our harvest's greatest
enemies. As soon as a little dog, purposely brought up to this mode
of warfare, warned us by his barkings that marauders were in sight,
we repaired to the spot, and then the firing was opened. Fright seized
hold on the mischievous tribe, every member of which hid itself in its
tree, and became as invisible as it possibly could. But the little
dog would not leave his post, while we would turn round the tree,
and never failed discovering the hidden inmate. We then commence
the attack, not ceasing until pug was laid prostrate. After having
made several victims, I sent them to be hung up on forks around the
sugar-cane fields, as scarecrows to those that had escaped; I, however,
always sent the largest one to Father Miguel, our excellent curate,
who was very fond of a monkey ragout.

Sometimes I would take my guests to a distance of several days' march,
to show them admirable views, cascades, grottoes, or those wonders
of vegetation produced by the fertile nature of the Philippines.

One day, Mr. Lindsay, the most intrepid traveller I had ever known,
and who had recently accompanied me to the lake of Socolme, proposed
to me to go with him to the grotto of San-Mateo, a place that several
travellers and myself had visited more than once, but always in
so incomplete a manner, that we had only been able to explore
a small portion of it. I was too well pleased with the proposal
not to accept it with eagerness; but this time I resolved that I
would not return from this expedition, as I had from former ones,
without having made every possible effort to explore its dimensions
and recesses. Lindsay, Dr. Genu, and my brother, participated in
my resolution of verifying whether or not there was any semblance
of truth in what the Indians related concerning that grotto; or if,
as I had so often experienced it myself, their poetic minds did not
create what had never existed. Their old Indian traditions attributed
to that cavern an immense extent. There, they would say, are to be
seen fairy palaces, with which nothing could be compared, and which
were the residences of fantastical beings. Determined, then, on seeing
with our own eyes all these wonders, we set out for San-Mateo, taking
with us an Indian, having with him a crowbar and a couple of pickaxes,
to dig us out a way, should we have the chance of prolonging our
subterraneous walk beyond the limits which we all already knew. We
also took with us a good provision of flambeaus, so necessary to
put our project into execution. We arrived early at San-Mateo, and
spent the remaining part of the day in visiting admirable views and
situations in the neighbourhood. We also went down into the bed of
a torrent that takes its source in the mountains, and passes through
the north side of this district; there we saw several Indians, male
and female, all busy in washing the sand in search of gold-dust. Their
daily produce at this work varies from one to ten francs; this depends
on the more or less fortunate vein that perchance they fall on. This
trade, together with the tilling of land--to be equalled by no other
in fertility--and hewing timber for building, which is to be found
most plentifully on the neighbouring mountains, is all the wealth of
the inhabitants, who, in most part, live in abundance and prosperity.

At the next day's dawn we were on our way to the grotto, which is
about two hours' walk from the village. The road, which is bordered
by nature's most beautiful productions in vegetation, traverses the
finest rice plantations, and is of most easy access; however, about
half-way, it suddenly becomes dangerous and even difficult. Here we
leave the cultivated fields, and follow along the banks of the river,
which flows in the midst of not very high mountains, and has so many
bends, twistings, and meanderings, that, in order to cross it, it is
necessary at almost every moment to have recourse to swimming, and
then to take the narrow paths leading from its margin. Nothing, until
at a very short distance from the grotto, interrupts the monotony of
these rural sites and situations. The traveller plods his way through
a gorge, or ravine, where upon all sides the view is bounded by rocks,
and a long line of verdant vegetation, composed of the shrubs that
cover the hills. But through a vast winding, or rather turning, made
by the river, the eye is suddenly dazzled by the splendid panorama
that seems to develop itself and move on with fairy magnificence. Let
the reader imagine that he is standing at the base of two immense
mountains, resembling two pyramids in their form, both equally alike
and similar in height. The space that intervenes between them allows
the eye to plunge into the distance, and to discover there a tableau,
a picture, or view, which is impossible to be described. Between
the two monster mountains the river has found an issue, and there
the traveller beholds it at his feet, precipitating itself like an
impetuous torrent in the midst of white marble rocks. The water, both
limpid and glossy, seems to play with every object that impedes its
course; at one moment it will form a noisy cascade, and then suddenly
disappear at the foot of an enormous rock, and soon after appear again,
bubbling and foaming, just as if some supernatural strength had worked
it from the bowels of the earth. Farther on, and in forming itself into
a continuous number of minor cascades, this same river flows, with a
vast silvery surface, over a bed of marble, as white and as brilliant
as alabaster, and falls upon others of still equal whiteness. Finally,
after having passed over all difficulties, all dangers, it flows with
much more modesty over a humble bed, where may be seen the reflection
of the admirable vegetation its banks are embellished with.

The famous grotto is situated in the mountain on the right side of
the river, which the traveller crosses over by jumping from one block
of marble to another; and then, after having ascended a steep height
of about two hundred yards, he finds himself at the entrance to the
grotto, whither I shall conduct the reader step by step.

The entrance, the form of which is almost regular, represents pretty
well the portico of a church, with a full arch, adorned with verdant
festoons, composed of creeping plants and bind-weeds. When the visitor
has once passed under the portico he enters into a large and spacious
hall, studded with stalactites of a very yellowish colour, and there
a dense crowd of bats, frightened by the light of the torches, fly
out with great noise and precipitation. For about a hundred paces,
in advancing towards the interior, the vault continues to be very
lofty, and the gallery is spacious; but suddenly the former declines
immensely, and the latter becomes so narrow that it scarce admits
of a passage for one man, who is obliged to crawl on his hands and
knees to pass through, and continue in this painful position for
about a hundred yards. And now the gallery becomes wide again, and
the vault rises several feet high. But here, again, a new difficulty
soon presents itself, and which must be overcome; a sort of wall,
three or four yards high, must be climbed over, and immediately behind
which lies a most dangerous subterraneous place, where two enormous
precipices, with open mouths on a level with the ground, seem ready
to swallow up the imprudent traveller, who, although he have his
torch lighted, would not walk, step by step, and with the greatest
precaution, through this gloomy labyrinth. A few stones thrown into
these gulfs attest, by the hollow noise produced by their falling
to the bottom, that they are several hundred feet deep. Then the
gallery, which is still wide and spacious, runs on without presenting
anything remarkable till the visitor arrives on the spot where the
last researches stopped at. Here it seems to terminate by a sort of
rotunda, surrounded by stalactites of divers forms, and which, in one
part, represents a real dome supported by columns. This dome looks
over a small lake, out of which a murmuring stream flows continually
into the precipices already described. It was here that we began our
serious investigations, desirous of ascertaining if it were possible
to prolong this subterraneous peregrination. We dived several times
into the lake without discovering anything favourable to our desires;
we then directed our steps to the right, examining all the while, by
the light of our torches, the smallest gaps to be seen in the sides
of the gallery, when at last, after many unsuccessful attempts, we
discovered a hole through which a man's arm could scarcely pass. By
introducing a torch into it, how great was our surprise to see within
it an immense space, studded with rock-crystal. I need not add that
such a discovery inspired us with the greatest desire of more closely
examining that which we had but an imperfect view of. We therefore
set our Indian to work with his pick-axe, to widen the hole and make
a passage for us; his labour went on slowly, he struck his blows
gently and cautiously, so as to avoid a falling-in of the rock, which
would not only have marred our hopes, but would, besides, have caused
a great disaster. The vault of rocks suspended over our heads might
bury us all alive, and, as will be seen by the sequel, the precautions
we had taken were not fruitless. At the very moment when our hopes
were about to be realised,--the aperture being now wide enough
to admit of us passing through it--suddenly, and above our heads,
we heard a hollow prolonged rustling noise that froze us to death;
the vault had been shaken, and we dreaded its falling upon us. For a
moment, which seemed to us, however, very long, we were all terrified;
the Indian himself was standing as motionless as a statue, with his
hands upon the handle of his pick-axe, just in the same position as
he was when he gave his last blow. After a moment's solemn silence,
when our fright had a little subsided, we began to examine the nature
of the danger we had just escaped. Above our heads a long and wide
split ran along the vault to a distance of several yards, and, at
the place where it stopped, an enormous rock, detached from the dome,
had been most providentially impeded in its fall downwards by one of
the columns, which, acting as a sort of buttress, kept it suspended
over the opening we had just made. Having, after mature examination,
ascertained that the column and the rock were pretty solid, like rash
men, accustomed to daunt all danger and surmount any sort of obstacle
and difficulty, we resolved upon gliding one by one into the dangerous
yawning. Dr. Genu, who till then had kept a profound silence, on
hearing of our resolution was suddenly seized with such a panic fear
that he recovered his voice, imploring and begging of us to take him
out of the cavern; and, as if he had been suddenly seized with a sort
of vertigo, he told us, with interrupted accents, that he could not
breathe--that he felt himself as if he were smothering--that his heart
was beating so violently, were he to stay any longer amidst the dangers
we were running he was certain of dying from the effects of a rupture
of the heart. He offered all he possessed on earth to him who would
save his life, and with clasped hands he supplicated our Indians not
to forsake him, but to guide him out of the place. We therefore took
compassion upon his state of mind, and allowed the Indian to guide
him out; but as soon as the latter returned, and having ascertained
during his absence that neither the rocky fragment nor the column had
stirred, but which had been the momentary cause of our alarm, we put
our project into execution, and like serpents, one after the other,
we crawled into the dangerous opening, which was scarcely large enough
for our passing through. We soon ceased thinking of our past dangers,
nor did our present imprudence much pre-occupy our minds, all our
attention being entirely absorbed by what presented itself to our
ravished eyes. Here we were in the midst of a saloon wearing a most
fairy aspect, and, by the light of our torches, the vault, the floor,
and the wall were shining and dazzling, as if they had been covered
over with the most admirably transparent rock-crystal. Even in some
places did the hand of man seem to have presided over the ornamenting
of this enchanted palace. Numberless stalactites and stalagmites, as
pellucid as the limpid stream that has just been seized by the frost,
assumed here and there the most fantastic forms and shapes--they
represented brilliant draperies, rows of columns, lustres, and
chandeliers. At one end, close to the wall, was to be seen an altar,
with steps leading up to it, and which seemed to be in expectation
of the priest to celebrate divine service. It would be impossible
for my pen to describe everything that transported us with joy, and
drew forth our admiration; we really imagined ourselves to be in one
of the Arabian Nights' palaces, and the Indians themselves were far
from guessing the one-half of the wonders we had just discovered.

Having left this dazzling palace, we continued our underground ramble,
penetrating more and more into the bowels of the earth, following
step by step a winding labyrinth, but which for a whole half-league
offered nothing remarkable to our view, except now and then the
sight of the very great dangers our undauntable curiosity urged us
on to. In certain parts the vault no longer presented the aspect
of being as solid as stone, earth alone seemed to be its component
parts; and here and there, recent proofs of falling-in showed us that
still more considerable ones might take place, and cut off from us
all means of retreat. Nevertheless we pushed on still, far beyond
our present adventurous discovery, and at last arrived at a new,
magnificent, and extensive space, all bespangled, like the first,
with brilliant stalactites, and in no way inferior to the former in
the gorgeous beauty of its details. Here again we gave ourselves up
to the most minute examination of the many wonders surrounding us,
and which shone like prisms by the light of our torches. We gathered
from off the ground several small stalagmites, as large and as round
as hazel-nuts, and so like that fruit, when preserved, that some days
later, at a ball at Manilla, we presented some of them to the ladies,
whose first movement was to put them to their mouth; but soon finding
out their mistake, they entreated to be allowed to keep them, to
have them, as they said, converted into ear-ring drops. Having fully
enjoyed the beautiful and brilliant spectacle presented to our eyes,
we now began to feel the effects of hunger and fatigue. We had been
walking in this subterraneous domain to the extent of more than three
miles, had taken no rest or refreshment since morning, and the day
was already far advanced.

I have often experienced that our moral strength decreases in
proportion as our physical strength does; and of course we must have
been in that state when sinister suppositions took possession of
our imaginations. One of our party communicated to us a reflection
he had just made--which was, that a falling-in might have taken
place between us and the issue from the grotto; or, what appeared
still more probable, that the enormous rock, that was suspended and
buttressed up by the column, might have fallen down, and thus bar
up all passage through the hole we had so rashly made. Had such a
misfortune happened to us, what a horrible situation we should have
been in! We could hope for no help from without, even from our friend
Genu, who, as we had witnessed, had been so upset by fear; so that,
rather than suffer the anguish and die the death of the wretch buried
alive in a sepulchre, our poignards must have been our last resource.

All these reflections, which we analysed and commented upon, one by
one, made us resolve upon returning, and leaving to others, more
imprudent than ourselves, if any there be, the care of exploring
the space we had still to travel over. We soon got over the ground
that separated us from the place we had most to dread. Providence
had favoured and protected us--the large fragment of rock, that
object of all our fears, was still propped up. One after the other
did we squeeze ourselves through the narrow opening, avoiding as
much as possible the least friction, till at last we had all passed
through. Joyous indeed were we on seeing ourselves out of danger after
so perilous an enterprise, and we were already beginning to direct
our steps towards the outlet of the cavern, when suddenly a hollow,
prolonged noise, and below our feet a rapid trembling excited once
more all our fears. But those fears were soon calmed by our Indian,
who came running towards us at full speed, brandishing in his hand
his pick-axe. The imprudent fellow, unwilling to sacrifice it, had
waited till we were some paces distant, and then pulling it to him
most forcibly, while all the while he took good care to keep quickly
moving away, when thanks to Providence, or to his own nimbleness,
he was not crushed to atoms by the fragment of the rock, which,
being no longer buttressed up by the column that had been shaken,
had fallen to the ground, completely stopping up the issue through
which we had passed one after the other: so that no doubt no one,
after us, will be able to penetrate into the beautiful part of that
grotto which we had just passed through so fortunately. After this
last episode we no longer hesitated in returning, and it was with great
delight that we beheld once more the great luminary of the world, and
found our friend Genu sitting upon a block of marble, reflecting on
our long absence, and, at the same time, on our unqualifiable temerity.



CHAPTER X.

    Dumont d'Urville--Rear-Admiral Laplace: Desertion of
    Sailors from his Ship--I recover them for him--Origin of
    the Inhabitants of the Philippine Islands--Their General
    Disposition--Hospitality and Respect for Old Age--Tagal
    Marriage Ceremony--Indian Legal Eloquence--Explanation of the
    Matrimonial Speeches--The Caymans, or Alligators--Instances of
    their Ferocity--Imprudence and Death of my Shepherd--Method
    of entrapping the Monster which had devoured him--We Attack
    and eventually Capture it--Its Dimensions--We Dissect and
    Examine the Contents of its Stomach--Boa-Constrictors--Their
    large size--Attack of a Boa-Constrictor on a Wild Boar--We Kill
    and Skin it--Unsuccessful Attempt to capture a Boa-Constrictor
    alive--A Man Devoured--Dangerous Venomous Reptiles.


I shall perhaps be accused of exaggeration for what I say of the
enjoyments and emotions of my existence at Jala-Jala: nevertheless
I adhere to the strict truth, and it would be very easy for me to
cite the names of many persons in support of the truth of all my
narrative. Moreover, the various travellers who have spent some time at
my habitation have published, in their works, the tableau or recital of
my existence in the midst of my dear Indians, who were all so devoted
to me. Among other works, I shall cite "The Voyage Round the World,"
by the unfortunate Dumont d'Urville; and that of Rear-Admiral Laplace,
in each of which works will be found a special article dedicated to
Jala-Jala. [21]

Since I have named M. Laplace, I shall here relate a little anecdote
of which he was the hero, and which will show to what a degree my
influence was generally considered and looked up to in the province
of Lagune.

Several sailors, belonging to the crew of the frigate commanded
by M. Laplace, had deserted at Manilla, and, notwithstanding all
the searches that the Spanish government had caused to be made,
it was found impossible to discover the hiding-place of five of
them. M. Laplace coming to pay a few weeks' visit to my little domain,
the governor said to him: "If you wish to find out your men you have
only to apply to M. Gironiere--no one will discover them if he do not;
convey to him my orders to set out immediately in pursuit of them."

On arriving at my habitation M. Laplace communicated to me this order,
but I was too independent to think of executing it: my business and
occupation had nothing to do with deserters. A few days afterwards a
captain, accompanied by about a hundred soldiers, under his orders,
arrived at Jala-Jala, to inform M. Laplace that he had scoured
the province without being able to obtain the least news of the
deserters, whom he had been looking after for the last fortnight; at
which news M. Laplace was very much grieved, and coming to me, said:
"M. de la Gironiere, I perceive I shall be obliged to sail without the
hands that have deserted, if you yourself will not look after them. I
therefore beg and beseech of you to sacrifice a little of your time,
and render me that important service."

This entreaty was no order: it was a prayer, a supplication, that
was addressed to me, consequently I took but little time to reply
as follows: "Commander, in one hour hence I shall be on my way,
and before forty-eight hours are expired you shall have your men here."

"Oh! take care," replied he; "mind, you have to do with more than
rough fellows: do not therefore expose your life, and should they
perchance make any resistance, give them no quarter, but fire on them."

A few minutes afterwards, accompanied by my faithful lieutenant and
one soldier, I crossed over the lake, and went in the direction
where I thought that the French sailors had taken refuge. I was
soon on their track; and on the second day afterwards I fulfilled
the promise I had made Commander Laplace, and delivered up to him
his five deserters against whom I had been obliged to employ neither
violence nor fire-arms.

I have already had the occasion of speaking about the Tagalocs, and
describing their disposition. However, I have not yet entered into
the necessary details to make well known a population so submissive
to the Spaniards, and whose primitive origin never can be anything
but hypothesis--yea, a true problem.

It is probable, and almost incontestible, that the Philippine Islands
were primitively peopled by aborigines, a small race of negroes still
inhabiting the interior of the forests in pretty large numbers, called
Ajetas by the Tagalocs, and Négritos by the Spaniards. Doubtless
at a very distant period the Malays invaded the shores, and drove
the indigenous population into the interior beyond the mountains;
afterwards, whether by accidents on sea, or desirous of availing
themselves of the richness of the soil, they were joined by the
Chinese, the Japanese, the inhabitants of the archipelago of the
South Seas, the Javanese, and even the Indians. It must not, then,
be wondered at, that from the mixture proceeding from the union of
these various people, all of unequal physiognomy, there have risen
the different nuances, distinctions and types; upon which, however,
is generally depicted Malay physiognomy and cruelty.

The Tagal is well made, rather tall than otherwise. His hair is long,
his beard thin, his colour brass-like, yet sometimes inclining to
European whiteness; his eye expanded and vivacious, somewhat á la
Chinoise; nose large; and, true to the Malay race, his cheek bones are
high and prominent. He is passionately fond of dancing and music; is,
when in love, very loving; cruel towards his enemies; never forgives an
act of injustice, and ever avenges it with his poignard, which--like
the kris with the Malays--is his favourite weapon. Whenever he has
pledged his word in serious business, it is sacred; he gives himself
passionately to games of hazard; he is a good husband, a good father;
jealous of his wife's honour, but careless of his daughter's; who,
despite any little faux-pas, meets with no difficulty in getting
a husband.

The Tagal is of very sober habits: all he requires is water, a
little rice, and salt-fish. In his estimation an aged man is an
object of great veneration; and where there exists a family of them
in all periods of life, the youngest is naturally most subservient
to the eldest.

The Tagal, like the Arab, is hospitably inclined, without any sentiment
of egotism, and certainly without any other idea than that of relieving
suffering humanity: so that when a stranger appears before an Indian
hut at meal-time, were the poor Indian only to have what was strictly
necessary for his family, it is his greatest pleasure to invite and
press the stranger to take a place at his humble board, and partake
of his family cheer. When an old man, whose days are dwindling to
the shortest span, can work no longer, he is sure to find a refuge,
an asylum, a home, at a neighbour's, where he is looked upon as one
of the family. There he may remain till he is called to "that bourne
from whence no traveller returns."

Amongst the Tagals the marriage ceremony is somewhat peculiar. It
is preceded by two other ceremonies, the first of which is called
Tain manoc, Tagal words, signifying or meaning "the cock looking
after his hen." Therefore, when once a young man has informed his
father and mother that he has a predeliction for a young Indian girl,
his parents pay a visit to the young girl's parents upon some fine
evening, and after some very ordinary chat the mamma of the young man
offers a piaster to the mamma of the young lady. Should the future
mother-in-law accept, the young lover is admitted, and then his future
mother-in-law is sure to go and spend the very same piaster in betel
and cocoa-wine. During the greater portion of the night the whole
company assembled upon the occasion chews betel, drinks cocoa-wine,
and discusses upon all other subjects but marriage. The young men
never make their appearance till the piaster has been accepted,
because in that case they look upon it as being the first and most
essential step towards their marriage.

On the next day the young man pays a visit to the mother, father,
and other relatives of his affianced bride. There he is received as
one of the family; he sleeps there, he lodges there, takes a part in
all the labours, and most particularly in those labours depending
upon the young maid's superintendence. He now undertakes a service
or task that lasts, more or less, two, three, or four years, during
which time he must look well to himself; for if anything be found
out against him he is discarded, and never more can pretend to the
hand of her he would espouse.

The Spaniards did their best to suppress this custom, on account of the
inconveniencies it entailed. Very often the father of a young girl,
in order to keep in his service a man who cost him nothing, keeps on
this state of servitude indefinitely, and sometimes dismisses him who
has served him for two or three years, and takes another under the same
title of prétendant, or lover. But it also frequently happens that
if the two lovers grow impatient for the celebration of the marriage
ceremony--for "hope deferred maketh the heart sick,"--some day or
other the girl takes the young man by the hair, and presenting him
to the curate of the village, tells him she has just run away with
her lover, therefore they must be married. The wedding ceremony then
takes place without the consent of the parents. But were the young
man to carry off the young girl, he would be severely punished,
and she restored to her family.

If all things have passed off in good order, if the lover has undergone
two or three years of voluntary slavery, and if his future relations
be quite satisfied with his conduct and temper, then comes the day
of the second ceremony, called Tajin-bojol, "the young man desirous
of tying the union knot."

This second ceremony is a grand festival-day. The relations and
friends of both families are all assembled at the bride's house,
and divided into two camps, each of which discusses the interests of
the young couple; but each family has an advocate, who alone has the
right to speak in favour of his client. The relations have no right
to speak; they only make, in a low tone of voice, to their advocate,
the observations they think fit.

The Indian woman never brings a marriage portion with her. When she
takes a husband unto herself she possesses nothing; the young man alone
brings the portion, and this is why the young girl's advocate speaks
first, and asks for it, in order to settle the basis of the treaty.

I will here set before my readers the speeches of two advocates in a
ceremony of this kind, at which I had the curiosity to be present. In
order not to wound the susceptibility of the parties, the advocates
never speak but in allegorical terms, and at the ceremony which
I honoured with my presence the advocate of the young Indian girl
thus began:--

"A young man and a young girl were joined together in the holy
bands of wedlock; they possessed nothing--nay, they had not even a
shelter. For several years the young woman was very badly off. At last
her misfortunes came to an end, and one day she found herself in a
fine large cottage that was her own. She became the mother of a pretty
little babe, a girl, and on the day of her confinement there appeared
unto her an angel, who said to her:--'Bear in mind thy marriage,
and the time of penury thou didst go through. The child that has
just been born unto thee will I take under my protection. When she
will have grown up and be a fine lass, give her but to him who will
build her up a temple, where there will be ten columns, each composed
of ten stones. If thou dost not execute these my orders thy daughter
will be as miserable as thou hast been thyself.'"

After this short speech, the adverse advocate replied:--"Once upon a
time there lived a queen, whose kingdom lay on the sea-side. Amongst
the laws of her realm there was one which she followed with the
greatest rigour. Every ship arriving in her states' harbour could,
according to that law, cast anchor but at one hundred fathoms deep,
and he who violated the said law was put to death without pity or
remorse. Now it came to pass one day that a brave captain of a ship was
surprised by a dreadful tempest, and after many fruitless endeavours
to save his vessel, he was obliged to put into the queen's harbour,
and cast anchor there, although his cable was only eighty fathoms
long, for he preferred death on the scaffold to the loss of his ship
and crew. The enraged queen commanded him to her audit chamber. He
obeyed, and throwing himself at her feet, told her that necessity
alone had compelled him to infringe upon the laws, and that, having
but eighty fathoms long, he could not possibly cast out a hundred,
so he besought her most graciously to pardon him."

And here ended his speech, but the other advocate took it up, and
thus went on:--

"The queen, moved to pity by the prayer of the suppliant captain,
and his inability to cast his anchor one hundred fathoms deep,
instantly pardoned him, and well did she devise."

On hearing these last words joy shone upon every countenance,
and the musicians began playing on the guitar. The bride and
bridegroom, who had been waiting in an adjoining chamber, now made
their appearance. The young man took from off his neck his rosary, or
string of beads, put it round the young girl's neck, and took back hers
in lieu of the one he had given her. The night was spent in dancing
and merriment, and the marriage ceremony--just as Christian-like as
our own--was arranged to take place in a week.

I shall now, just as I heard it myself, give the explanation of the
advocates' speeches, which I did not entirely understand. The bride's
mother had married without a wedding portion on her husband's side,
so she had gone through very adverse and pinching circumstances. The
temple that the angel had told her to demand for her daughter was, a
house; and the ten columns, composed of ten stones each, signified that
with the house a sum of one hundred piasters would be requisite--that
is, twenty pounds sterling.

The speech of the young man's advocate explained that he would give
the house, as he said nothing about it; but, being worth only eighty
piasters, he threw himself at the feet of the parents of his betrothed,
that the twenty piasters which he was minus, might offer no obstacle
to his marriage. The pardon accorded by the queen signified the grace
shown to the young man, who was accepted with his eighty piasters only.

The servitude which precedes matrimony, and of which I have spoken,
was practised long before the conquest of these isles by the
Spaniards. This would seem to prove the origin I attribute to the
Tagalocs, whom I believe to be descended from the Malays, and these
latter, being all Mussulmans, would naturally have preserved some of
the ancient patriarchal customs.

Believing that I have sufficiently described the Indians and their
habits, I will now introduce to my readers two species of monsters
that I have often bad occasion to observe, mid even to combat--the
one a denizen of forests, the boa constrictor; the other of lakes
and rivers, the cayman or alligator. At the period at which I first
occupied my habitation, and began to colonise the village of Jala-Jala,
caymans abounded on that side of the lake. From my windows I daily
saw them sporting in the water, and waylaying and snapping at the
dogs that ventured too near the brink. One day, a female servant of my
wife's, having been so imprudent as to bathe at the edge of the lake,
was surprised by one of them, a monster of enormous size. One of my
guards came up at the moment she was being carried off; he fired his
musket at the brute, and hit it under the fore-leg, or arm-pit, which
is the only vulnerable part. But the wound was insufficient to check
the cayman's progress, and it disappeared with its prey. Nevertheless,
this little bullet hole was the cause of its death; and here it is
to be observed, that the slightest wound received by the cayman is
incurable. The shrimps which abound in the lake get into the orifice,
gradually their number increases, until at last they penetrate deep
into the solid flesh, and into the very interior of the body. This
is what happened to the one which devoured my wife's maid. A month
after the frightful occurrence the cayman was found dead upon the
bank, five or six leagues from my house. Some Indians brought back
to me the unfortunate woman's earrings, which they had found in the
monster's stomach.

Upon another occasion, a Chinese was riding onwards in advance
of me. We reached a river, and I let him go on alone, in order to
ascertain whether the river was very deep or not. Suddenly, three or
four caymans which lay in waiting under the water, threw themselves
upon him; horse and rider disappeared, and for some minutes afterwards
the water was tinged with blood.

I was curious to obtain a near view of one of these voracious animals,
and, at the time when they frequented the vicinity of my house, I made
several attempts to accomplish my wishes. One night I baited a huge
hook, secured by a chain and strong cord, with an entire sheep. Next
morning, sheep and chain had disappeared. I lay in wait for the
creatures with my gun, but the bullets rebounded, half flattened
upon their scales, without doing the slightest injury. One evening
that a large dog of mine had died, belonging to a race peculiar to
the Philippines, and exceeding in size any of the canine species of
Europe, I had his carcass dragged to the shore of the lake, and hid
myself in a little thicket, with my gun ready cocked, in the event
of any cayman presenting itself to carry off the bait. Presently
I fell asleep; when I awoke, the dog had disappeared, the cayman,
luckily for me, not mistaking his prey.

In the course of a few years' time, these monsters had disappeared
from the environs of Jala-Jala; but one morning, when out with my
shepherds, at some leagues' distance from my house, we came to a river,
which could only be crossed by swimming. One of my people said to me:

"Master, the water is deep here, and we are in the courses where the
caymans abound; an accident soon happens, let us try further up the
river, and pass over in a shallower spot."

We were about to follow this advice, when another man, more rash
than his comrades, said: "I'm not afraid of caymans!" and spurred
his horse into the stream. He had scarcely got half-way across, when
we perceived a monstrous cayman rise and advance to meet him. We
uttered a warning shout, the Indian himself perceived the danger,
threw himself from his horse, and swam for the bank with all his
strength. He had already reached it, but imprudently stopped behind
the trunk of a tree that had been felled by the force of the current,
and where he had the water up to his knees. Believing himself secure,
he drew his cutlass, and watched the movements of the cayman, which,
meanwhile, had reached the horse just as, the Indian quitted the
animal. Rearing his enormous head out of the water, the monster threw
himself upon the steed and seized him by the saddle. The horse made
a violent effort, the girths broke, and thus enabled him to reach
the shore. Soon, however, finding that his prey had escaped, the
cayman dropped the saddle, and made towards the Indian. We perceived
this movement, and quickly cried out: "Run, run, or the cayman will
have you!" The Indian, however, would not stir, but calmly waited,
cutlass in hand. The monster advanced towards him; the Indian struck
him a blow on the head, which took no more effect than a flip of the
fingers would have on the horns of a bull. The cayman made a spring,
seized him by one of his thighs, and for more than a minute we beheld
my poor shepherd--his body erect above the surface of the water,
his hands joined, his eyes turned to heaven, in the attitude of a man
imploring Divine mercy--dragged back again into the lake. The drama
was over: the cayman's stomach was his tomb. During these agonizing
moments, we all remained silent, but no sooner had my poor shepherd
disappeared than we all swore to avenge him.

I caused to be made three nets of strong cords, each of which nets
was large enough to form a complete barrier across the river. I also
had a hut built, and put an Indian to live in it, whose duty was to
keep constant watch, and to let me know as soon as the cayman returned
to the river. He watched in vain, for upwards of two months, but at
the end of that time he came and told me that the monster had seized
a horse, and had dragged it into the river to devour at leisure. I
immediately repaired to the spot, accompanied by my guards, and by my
priest, who positively would see a cayman hunt, and by an American
friend of mine, Mr. Russell, [22] who was then staying with me. I
had the nets spread at intervals, so that the cayman could not escape
back into the lake. This operation was not effected without some acts
of imprudence; thus, for instance, when the nets were arranged, an
Indian dived to make sure that they were at the bottom, and that our
enemy could not escape by passing below them. But it might very well
have happened that the cayman was in the interval between the nets,
and so have gobbled up my Indian. Fortunately everything passed off
as we wished. When all was ready, I launched three pirogues, strongly
fastened together, side by side, with some Indians in the centre,
armed with lances, and with long bamboos, with which they could touch
the bottom. At last, all measures having been taken to attain my end,
without risk of accident, my Indians began to explore the river with
their long bamboos.

An animal so formidable in size as the one we were in search of,
could not hide himself very easily, and soon we beheld him on the
surface of the river, lashing the water with his long tail, snapping
and clattering with his jaws, and endeavouring to get at those
who disturbed him in his retreat. A universal shout of joy greeted
his appearance; the Indians in the pirogues hurled their lances at
him, whilst we, upon either shore of the lake, fired a volley. The
bullets rebounded from the monster's scales, which they were unable
to penetrate; the keener lances made their way between the scales,
and entered into the cayman's body some eight or ten inches. Thereupon
he disappeared, swimming with incredible rapidity, and reached the
first net. The resistance it opposed turned him back; he re-ascended
the river, and again appeared on the top of the water. This violent
movement, broke the staves of the lances which the Indians had stuck
into him, and the iron alone remained in the wounds. Each time that
he appeared the firing recommenced, and fresh lances were plunged
into his enormous body. Perceiving, however, how ineffectual firearms
were to pierce his cuirass of invulnerable scales, I excited him by
my shouts and gestures, and when he came to the edge of the water,
opening his enormous jaws all ready to devour me, I approached the
muzzle of my gun to within a few inches, and fired both barrels, in
the hope that the bullets would find something softer than scales in
the interior of that formidable cavern, and that they would penetrate
to his brain. All was futile. The jaws closed with a terrible noise,
seizing only the fire and smoke that issued from my gun, and the balls
flattened against his bones without injuring them. The animal, which
had now become furious, made inconceivable efforts to seize one of
his enemies; his strength seemed to increase, rather than to diminish,
whilst our resources were nearly exhausted. Almost all our lances were
sticking in his body, and our ammunition drew to an end. The fight
had lasted more than six hours, without any result that could make us
hope for its speedy termination, when an Indian struck the cayman,
whilst at the bottom of the water, with a lance of unusual strength
and size. Another Indian, at his comrade's request, struck two vigorous
blows with a mace upon the but-end of the lance; the iron entered deep
into the animal's body, and immediately, with a movement as swift as
lightning, he darted towards the nets and disappeared. The lance pole,
detached from the iron head, returned to the surface of the water;
for some minutes we waited in vain for the monster's re-appearance;
we thought that his last effort had enabled him to reach the lake, and
that our chase would result fruitlessly. We hauled in the first net, a
large hole in which convinced us that our supposition was correct. The
second net was in the same condition as the first. Disheartened by
our failure, we were hauling in the third, when we felt a strong
resistance. Several of the Indians began to drag it towards the bank,
and presently, to our great joy, we saw the cayman upon the surface
of the water. He was expiring. We threw over him several lassos of
strong cords, and when he was well secured, we drew him to land. It
was no easy matter to haul him up on the bank; the strength of forty
Indians hardly sufficed. When at last we had got him completely out
of the water, and had him before our eyes, we stood stupified with
astonishment, for it was a very different thing to see his body thus
and to see him swimming, when he was fighting against us. Mr. Russell,
a very competent person, was charged with his measurements. From the
extremity of his nostrils to the tip of his tail, he was found to
be twenty-seven feet long, and his circumference was eleven feet,
measured under the arm pits. His belly was much more voluminous,
but we thought it unnecessary to measure him there, judging that the
horse upon which he had breakfasted must considerably have increased
his bulk.

This process at an end, we took counsel as to what we should do
with the dead cayman. Every one gave his opinion. My wish was to
convey it bodily to my residence, but that was impossible; it would
have required a vessel of five or six tons burthen, and we could not
procure such a craft. One man wanted the skin, the Indians begged for
the flesh, to dry it, and use it as a specific against asthma. They
affirm, that any asthmatic person who nourishes himself for a certain
time with this flesh, is infallibly cured. Somebody else desired to
have the fat, as an antidote to rheumatic pains; and, finally, my
worthy priest demanded that the stomach should be opened, in order to
ascertain how many Christians the monster had devoured. Every time,
he said, that a cayman eats a Christian he swallows a large pebble;
thus, the number of pebbles we should find in him would positively
indicate the number of the faithful to whom his enormous stomach had
afforded sepulture. To satisfy everybody, I sent for an axe wherewith,
to cut off the head, which I reserved for myself, abandoning the rest
of the carcass to all who had taken part in the capture. It was no
easy matter to decapitate the monster. The axe buried itself in the
flesh to half-way up the handle without reaching the bones; at last,
after many efforts, we succeeded in getting the head off. Then we
opened the stomach, and took out of it, by fragments, the horse which
had been devoured by the monster that morning. The cayman does not
masticate, he snaps off a huge lump with his teeth, and swallows it
entire. Thus we found the whole of the horse, divided only into seven
or eight pieces. Then we came to about a hundred and fifty pounds'
weight of pebbles, varying from the size of a fist to that of a
walnut. When my priest saw this great quantity of stones:

"It is a mere tale," he could not help saying; "it is impossible that
this animal could have devoured so great a number of Christians."

It was eight o'clock at night when we had finished the cutting up. I
left the body to our assistants, and had the head placed in a boat to
convey it to my house. I very much desired to preserve this monstrous
trophy as nearly as possible in the state in which it then was, but
that would have required a great quantity of arsenical soap, and I
was out of that chemical. So I made up my mind to dissect it, and
preserve the skeleton. I weighed it before detaching the ligaments;
its weight was four hundred and fifty pounds; its length, from the
nose to the first vertebræ, five feet six inches.

I found all my bullets, which had become flattened against the bones
of the jaws and palate as they would have done against a plate of
iron. The lance thrust which had slain the cayman was a chance--a sort
of miracle. When the Indian struck with his mace upon the but-end
of the pole, the iron pierced through the nape, into the vertebral
column, and penetrated the spinal marrow, the only vulnerable part.

When this formidable head was well prepared, and the bones dried and
whitened, I had the pleasure of presenting it to my friend Russell,
who has since deposited it in the museum at Boston, United States.

The other monster, of which I have promised a description, is the
boa-constrictor. The species is common in the Philippines, but it is
rare to meet with a specimen of very large dimensions. It is possible,
nay probable, that centuries of time are necessary for this reptile to
attain its largest size; and to such an age, the various accidents to
which animals are exposed, rarely suffer it to attain. Full-sized boas
are consequently to be met with only in the gloomiest, most remote,
and most solitary forests.

I have seen many boas of ordinary size, such as are found in our
European collections. There were some, indeed, that inhabited my
house, and one night I found one, two yards long, in possession of my
bed. Several times, when passing through the woods with my Indians,
I heard the piercing cries of a wild boar. On approaching the spot
whence they proceeded, we almost invariably found a wild boar, about
whose body a boa had twisted its folds, and was gradually hoisting
him up into the tree round which it had coiled itself.

When the wild boar had reached a certain height, the snake pressed
him against a tree with a force that crushed his bones and stifled
him. Then the boa let its prey fall, descended the tree, and prepared
to swallow it. This last operation was much too lengthy for us to
await its end. To simplify matters, I sent a ball into the boa's
head. My Indians took the flesh to dry it for food, and the skin to
make dagger sheaths of. It is unnecessary to say that the wild boar
was not forgotten, although it was a prey that had cost us but little
trouble to secure. One day an Indian surprised one of these reptiles
asleep, after it had swallowed an enormous deer. Its size was so great,
that a buffalo waggon would have been necessary to transport it to the
village. The Indian cut it in pieces, and contented himself with as
much as he could carry off. Having been informed of this, I sent after
the remains, and my people brought me a piece about eight feet long,
and so large in circumference that the skin, when dried, enveloped the
tallest man like a cloak. I presented it to my friend Hamilton Lindsay.

I had not yet seen any of these largest sized serpents alive, when,
one afternoon, crossing the mountains with two of my shepherds, our
attention was drawn to the constant barking of my dogs, which seemed
to be assailing some animal that stood upon its defence. We at first
thought that it was a buffalo that they had roused from its lair, and
approached the spot with due caution. My dogs were dispersed along the
brink of a deep ravine, in which was an enormous boa constrictor. The
monster raised his head to a height of five or six feet, directing it
from one edge to the other of the ravine, and menacing his assailants
with his forked tongue; but the dogs, more active than he was, easily
avoided his attacks. My first impulse was to shoot him; but then it
occurred to me to take him alive, and to send him to France. Assuredly
he would have been the most monstrous boa that had ever been seen
there. To carry my design into execution we manufactured nooses of
cane, strong enough to resist the efforts of the most powerful wild
buffalo. With great precaution we succeeded in passing one of our
nooses round the boa's neck; then we tied him tightly to a tree,
in such a manner as to keep his head at its usual height--about six
feet from the ground. This done, we crossed to the other side of the
ravine, and threw another noose over him, which we secured like the
first. When he felt himself thus fixed at both ends, he coiled and
writhed, and grappled several little trees which grew within his reach
along the edge of the ravine. Unluckily for him everything yielded
to his efforts: he tore up the young trees by the roots, broke off
the branches, and dislodged enormous stones, round which he sought in
vain to obtain the hold or point of resistance he needed. The nooses
were strong, and withstood his almost furious efforts.

To convey an animal like this, several buffaloes and a whole system
of cordage were necessary. Night approached; confident in our nooses,
we left the place, proposing to return next morning and complete
the capture; but we reckoned without our host. In the night the
boa changed his tactics, got his body round some huge blocks of
basalt, and finally succeeded in breaking his bonds and getting
clear off. When I had assured myself that our prey had escaped us,
and that all search for the reptile in the neighbourhood would be
futile, my disappointment was very great, for I much doubted if a like
opportunity would ever present itself. It is only on rare occasions
that accidents are caused by these enormous reptiles. I once knew of
a man becoming their victim. It happened thus:--

This man having committed some offence, ran away, and sought refuge
in a cavern. His father, who alone knew the place of his concealment,
visited him occasionally to supply him with food. One day he found,
in place of his son, an enormous boa sleeping. He killed it, and
found his son in its stomach. The poor wretch had been surprised
in the night, crushed to death, and swallowed. The curate of the
village, who had gone in quest of the body to give it burial, and
who saw the remains of the boa, described them to me as being of
an almost incredible size. Unfortunately this circumstance happened
at a considerable distance from my habitation, and I was only made
acquainted with the particulars when it was too late to verify them
myself: but still there is nothing surprising that a boa which can
swallow a deer should as easily swallow a man. Several other feats of
a similar nature were related to me by the Indians. They told me of
their comrades, who, roaming about the woods, had been seized by boas,
crushed against trees, and afterwards devoured; but I was always on my
guard against Indian tales, and I am only able to verify positively the
instance, I have just cited, which was related to me by the curate of
the village, as well as by many other witnesses. Still there would be
nothing surprising that a similar accident should occur more than once.

The boa is one of the serpents the least to be feared among those
infesting the Philippines. Of an exceedingly venomous description is
one which the Indians call dajon-palay, (rice leaf). Burning with
a red-hot ember is the only antidote to its bite; if that be not
promptly resorted to, horrible sufferings are followed by certain
death. The alin-morani is another kind, eight or ten feet long, and,
if anything, more dangerous still than the "rice leaf," inasmuch as
its bite is deeper, and more difficult to cauterise. I was never
bitten by any of these reptiles, despite the slight precaution I
observed in wandering about the woods, by night as well as by day.

Twice only I endangered myself: the first time was by treading upon
a dajon-palay; I was warned by a movement under my foot. I pressed
hard with that leg, and saw the snake's little head stretching out
to bite me on the ankle; fortunately my foot was on him at so short a
distance from his head that he could not get at me. I drew my dagger,
and cut off his head. On another occasion, I noticed two eagles
rising and falling like arrows amongst the bushes, always at the
same place. Curious to see what kind of animal they were attacking,
I approached the place; but no sooner had I done so, than an enormous
alin-morani, furious with the wounds the eagles had inflicted on him,
advanced to meet me. I retreated; he coiled himself up, gave a spring,
and almost caught me on the face. By an instantaneous movement,
I made a spring backwards, and avoided him; but I took care not to
turn my back and run, for then I should have been lost. The serpent
returned to the charge, bounding towards me; I again avoided him, and
was trying, but in vain, to reach him with my dagger, when an Indian,
who perceived me from a distance, ran up, armed with a stout switch,
and rid me of him.



CHAPTER XI.

    The Prosperity and Happiness of my Life at
    Jala-Jala--Destructiveness of the Locusts--Agriculture in the
    Philippines--My Herds of Oxen, Buffaloes, and Horses--My Wife
    presents me with a Daughter, who Dies--The Admiration of the Indian
    Women for my Wife--Birth of my Son--Continued Prosperity--Death
    of my brother Henry--My Friendship with Malvilain--His Marriage
    with my eldest Sister--His Premature Death--I take my Wife to
    Manilla--Melancholy Adieus--We Return to Jala-Jala--Death of my
    Wife--My friend Vidie--I determine to Return to France.


Never was life more actively spent, or more crowded with emotions,
than the time I passed at Jala-Jala, but it suited my tastes and
my character, and I enjoyed as perfect happiness as one can look
for when far away from one's home and country. My Anna was to
me an angel of goodness; my Indians were happy, peace and plenty
smiled upon their families; my fields were covered with abundant
crops, and my pasturages with numerous herds. It was not, however,
without great difficulty and much toil that I accomplished my aim;
how often did I find all my courage and all my philosophy necessary
to face, without despair, reverses which it was impossible for me
to avoid? How often did I behold hurricanes and inundations destroy
the fine harvest that I had protected with so much labour against
the buffaloes, the wild boars, the monkeys, and even against an
insect more destructive still than all the other pests which I have
just mentioned--the locust, one of the plagues of Egypt, apparently
transported into this province, and which almost regularly, every seven
years, leave the isles of the south in clouds, and fall upon Luzon,
bringing desolation, and often famine. It is indeed necessary to have
witnessed this desolation to be able to form any idea of it. When the
locusts arrive, a fire-coloured cloud is perceived in the horizon,
formed of countless myriads of these destructive insects. They fly
rapidly, often covering, in a closely packed body, a space of two or
three leagues in diameter, and occupy from five to six consecutive
hours in passing over head. If they perceive a fine green field they
pounce down upon it, and in a few minutes all verdure has disappeared,
the ground is stripped completely bare; they then continue their flight
elsewhere, bearing on their wings destruction and famine. At evening
it is in the forests, upon the trees, that they take shelter. They
hang in such dense masses upon the ends of the boughs that they break
down even the stoutest limbs from the trees. During the night, from
the spot where they are reposing, there issues a continual croaking,
and so loud a noise, that one scarcely believes it to be produced by
so small an insect. The following morning they leave at day-break, and
the trees upon which they have reposed are left stripped and broken,
as though the lightning had swept the forest in every direction; they
pursue their course elsewhere to commit fresh ravages. At certain
periods they remain on vast plains or on fertile mountains; where,
elongating the extremity of their bodies in the form of a gimblet,
they pierce the earth to the depth of an inch and upwards to deposit
their eggs. The operation of laying being completed, they leave
the ground pierced like a sieve, and disappear, for their existence
has now reached its termination. Three weeks afterwards, however,
the eggs open, and myriads of young locusts swarm the earth. On
the spot where they are born, whatever will serve them for food is
quickly consumed. As soon as they have acquired sufficient strength
they abandon their birth-place, destroy all kinds of vegetation that
comes in their way, and direct their course to the cultivated fields,
which they desolate until the period when their wings appear. They
then take flight in order to devastate more distant plantations.

As may be seen, agriculture in the Philippines presents many
difficulties, but it also yields results that may be looked for in
vain in any other country. During the years which are exempt from
the calamities I have described the earth is covered with riches;
every kind of colonial produce is raised in extraordinary abundance,
frequently in the proportion of eighty to one, and on many plantations
two crops of the same species are harvested in one year. The rich and
extensive pasturages offer great facilities for raising a large number
of cattle, which absolutely cost nothing but the trifling wages paid
by the proprietor to a few shepherds.

Upon my property I possessed three herds--one of three thousand
head of oxen, another of eight hundred buffaloes, and the other of
six hundred horses. At that period of the year when the rice was
harvested, the shepherds explored the mountains, and drove these
animals to a vast plain at a short distance from my dwelling. This
plain was covered by these three species of domesticated animals,
and presented, especially to the proprietor, an admirable sight. At
night they were herded in large cattle-folds, near the village, and on
the following day a selection was made of the oxen that were fit for
slaughter, of the horses that were old enough for breaking-in, of the
buffaloes that were strong enough to be employed in working. The herds
were then re-driven to the plain, there to remain until night. This
operation lasted during a fortnight, after which time the animals
were set at liberty until the same period of the following year. When
at liberty the herd divided itself into bands, and thus roamed about
the mountains and the valleys they had previously quitted, the only
trouble caused to the shepherds being an occasional ramble about the
spots where the animals tranquilly grazed.

Around me all was prosperity. My Indians were also happy,
and entertained towards me a respect and obedience bordering on
idolatry. My brother gave me every assistance in my labours, and when
near my beloved Anna I forgot all the toils and the contrarieties I
had experienced. About this time a new source of hope sprung up, which
augmented the happiness I enjoyed with her, and made her dearer to me
than ever. During several months the health of my wife had changed: she
then found all the symptoms of pregnancy. We had been married twelve
years, and she had never yet shown any signs of maternity. I was so
persuaded that we should never have children that the derangement
of her health was causing me serious uneasiness, when one morning
as I was going to my work she said to me: "I don't feel well to-day,
and I wish you to remain with me." Two hours afterwards, to my great
surprise, she gave premature birth to a little girl, whose arrival no
one expected. The infant was born before the due time, and lived only
one hour, just sufficient to receive baptism, which I administered to
her. This was the second human being that had expired in the house
of Jala-Jala; but she was also the first that had there first drawn
the breath of life. The regret which we all experienced from the loss
was softened by the certainty that my dear Anna might again become a
mother, under more favourable circumstances. Her health was speedily
re-established, and she was again gay and beautiful as ever: indeed
she appeared so handsome, that often Indian women came from a long
distance for the sole purpose of looking at her. They would remain for
half-an-hour gazing at her, and afterwards returned to their villages,
where they gave birth to creatures little resembling the model which
they had taken such pains to observe, with a confidence approaching
to simplicity.

Eventually Anna exhibited new signs of maternity; her pregnancy went
through the usual course, and her health was not much affected. In due
time she presented me with a little boy, weakly and delicate, but full
of life. Our joy was at the highest, for we possessed that which we
had so long wished for, and that which alone was in my opinion wanting.

My Indians were delighted with the birth, and for several days there
was a round of rejoicings at Jala-Jala; and my Anna, although confined
to bed, was obliged to receive visits, at first from all the women
and maidens of the village, and afterwards from all the Indians who
were fathers of families. Each brought some little present for the
newly born, and the cleverest man of them was commissioned to express
a compliment in the name of all; which comprised their best wishes
for the happiness of the mother and child, and full assurances of
the satisfaction they felt in thinking that they would one day be
ruled over by the son of the master from whom they had experienced so
much kindness, and who had conferred upon them such benefits. Their
gratitude was sincere.

The news of the accouchement of my wife brought a very numerous
party of friends and relations to my house, where they waited for
the baptism, which took place in my drawing-room. Anna, then almost
thoroughly well, was present on the occasion: my son was named Henry,
after his uncle. At this time I was happy; Oh, so truly happy! for my
wishes were nearly gratified. There was but one not so--and that was
to see again my aged mother and my sisters; but I hoped that the time
was not far distant when I should realise the project of revisiting
my native country. My farming speculation was most prosperous: my
receipts were every year on the increase; my fields were covered with
the richest crops of sugar-canes, to the cultivation of which, and of
rice, I had joined that of coffee. My brother had taken upon himself
the management of a very large plantation, which promised the most
brilliant results; and appeared likely to secure the premium which
the Spanish government had promised to give to the proprietor of a
plantation of eighty thousand feet of coffee in product. But, alas! the
period of my happiness had passed away, and what pain and what grief
was I not doomed to suffer before I again saw my native country.

My brother--my poor Henry--committed some imprudences, and was
suddenly attacked with an intermittent fever, which in a few days
carried him off.

My Anna and I shed abundance of tears, for we both loved Henry with
the warmest affection. For several years we had lived together; he
participated in all our labours, our troubles, and our pleasures. He
was the only relative I had in the Philippines. He had left France,
where he had filled an honourable position, with the sole object
of coming to see me, and of aiding me in the great task which I
had undertaken. His amiable qualities and his excellent heart had
endeared him to us: his loss was irreparable, and the thought that I
had no longer a brother added poignancy to my bitter grief. Prudent,
the youngest, had died at Madagascar; Robert, the next to me, died
at La Planche, near Nantes, in the little dwelling where we spent
our childhood; and my poor Henry at Jala-Jala. I erected a simple
tomb for him near the door of the church, and for several months
Jala-Jala was a place of grief and mourning.

We had scarcely begun, not indeed to console ourselves, but rather
to bear with resignation the loss we had experienced, when a new
dispensation of fate came to strike me to the earth.

On my arrival in the Philippines, and while I resided at Cavite,
I formed a close connection with Malvilain, a native of St. Malo,
and mate of a ship from that port. During several years which he
spent at Cavite our friendship was most intimate. A day seldom passed
that we did not see each other, and two days never, for we were much
attached. Our two ships were at anchor in the port, not far one from
the other. One day as I was walking on deck, waiting for a boat to
take me on board Malvilain's ship, I saw his crew at work in regulating
one of the masts, when a rope suddenly snapped, and the mast fell with
a frightful crash on the deck, in the midst of the men, amongst whom
Malvilain was standing. From the deck of my own ship I beheld all that
passed on that of my friend, who I thought was killed or wounded. My
feelings were worked to the highest pitch of anguish and alarm; I
could not control myself; I jumped into the water and swam to his
ship, where I had the pleasure of finding him uninjured, although
considerably stunned by the danger from which he had escaped. Wet
as I was from my sea-bath I caught him in my arms, and pressed him
to my heart; and then hastened to afford relief to some of the crew,
who had not been so fortunate to escape without injury as he had been.

Another time I was the cause of serious alarm to Malvilain. One day,
a mass of black and thick clouds was gathered close over the point
of Cavite, and a frightful--that is, a tropical--storm burst. The
claps of thunder followed each other from minute to minute, and
before each clap the lightning, in long serpent-like lines of fire,
darted from the clouds, and drove on to the point of Cavite, where
it tore up the ground of the little plain situate at the extremity,
and near which the ships were moored. Notwithstanding the storm I was
going to see Malvilain, and was almost in the act of placing my foot on
the deck of his vessel, when the lightning fell into the sea so near
to me that I lost my breath. Instantly I felt an acute pain in the
back, as if a burning torch had been laid between my shoulders. The
pain was so violent, that the moment I recovered myself I uttered a
sharp scream. Malvilain, who was within a few paces of me, felt very
sensibly the electric shock which had struck me, and, on hearing my
cry, imagined that I was dangerously hurt. He rushed towards me and
held me in his arms until I was able to give every assurance of my
recovery. The electric fluid had grazed me, but without causing any
positive injury.

I have related these two slight anecdotes to show the intimacy that
subsisted between us, and how I afterwards suffered in my dearest
affections.

My existence has to this day, when I write these lines, been filled
with such extraordinary facts, that I have been naturally led to
believe that the destiny of man is regulated by an order of things
which must infallibly be accomplished. This idea has had great
influence over me, and taught me to endure all the evils which have
afflicted me. Was it, then, my destiny which bound me to Malvilain,
and bound him to me in the same manner? I have no doubt of it.

Some days before the terrible scourge of the cholera broke out in
the Philippines, Malvilain's ship set sail for France. With hearts
oppressed with grief we separated, after promising each that we should
meet again; but, alas! fate had ordained it otherwise. Malvilain
returned home, went to Nantes to take the command of a ship, and there
became acquainted with my eldest sister, and married her. This news,
which reached me while I resided in Manilla, gave me the greatest
satisfaction, for if I had had to choose a husband for my dear sister
Emilie, this marriage was the only one to satisfy the wishes I had
formed for the happiness of both.

After his marriage Malvilain continued to sail from the port of
Nantes. His noble disposition and his accurate knowledge of his
duties caused him to be highly esteemed by the leading merchants. His
affairs were in a state sufficiently good as not to require him to
expose himself longer to the dangers of the sea, and he was on his
last voyage, when, at the Mauritius, he was attacked by an illness,
which carried him off, leaving my sister inconsolable, and with three
very young girls to lament him.

This fresh and irreparable loss, the news of which had then reached
me, added to my grief for the sad death of my poor brother. Every
calamity seemed to oppress me. After some years of happiness I saw,
by little and little, disappear from this world, the persons on whom I
had concentrated my dearest affections; but, alas! I had not even then
reached the term of my sorrows, for other and most bitter sufferings
were still to be passed through.

I saw with pleasure my boy was enjoying the best health, and that he
was daily increasing in strength; and yet I was far from being happy,
and to the melancholy caused by the losses I had experienced was
added another most fearful alarm. My beloved Anna had never thoroughly
recovered after her accouchement, and day by day her health was growing
weaker. She did not seem aware of her state. Her happiness at being
a mother was so great that she did not think of her own condition.

I had gathered in my sugar-cane crop, which was most abundant,
and my plantations were finished, when, wishing to procure some
amusement for my wife, I proposed to go and spend some time at the
house of her sister Josephine, for whom she entertained the warmest
affection. She, with great pleasure, agreed to do so. We set out with
our dear little Henry and his nurse, and took up our quarters at the
house of my brother-in-law, Don Julian Calderon, then residing in a
pretty country-house on the banks of the river Pasig, half a league
from Manilla.

Of the three sisters of my wife, Josephine was the one for whom I had
the most affection: I loved her as I did my own sister. The day of our
arrival was one of rejoicing. All our friends at Manilla came to see
us, and Anna was so pleased in seeing our little Henry admired that
her health seemed to have improved considerably; but this apparent
amelioration lasted but a few days, and soon, to my grief, I saw that
she was growing worse than ever. I sent for the only medical man in
Manilla in whom I had confidence, my friend Genu. He came frequently
to see her, and after six weeks of constant attention, he advised
me to take her back to my residence near the lake, where persons
attacked with the same malady as my dear Anna had often recovered. As
she herself wished to return, I appointed a day for our departure. A
commodious boat, with good rowers, was ready for us on the Pasig, at
the end of my brother-in-law's garden; and a numerous assemblage of our
friends accompanied us to the water's edge. The moment of separation
was one of most melancholy feelings to us all. The countenance of each
seemed to ask: "Shall we meet again?" My sister-in-law Josephine, in a
flood of tears, threw herself into Anna's arms. I had great difficulty
in separating them; but we were obliged to set out. I took my wife
into the boat, and then those two sisters, who had always maintained
towards each other the most tender love, addressed with their voices
their last adieus, while promising not to be long separated, and that
they would see each other very soon.

Those painful adieus and the sufferings of my wife caused the trip,
which we had often previously made with the greatest gaiety, to be
melancholy and silent. On our arrival, I did not look on Jala-Jala with
the usual feelings of satisfaction. I had my poor patient placed in
bed, and did not quit her room, hoping by my continual care to afford
her some relief in her sufferings. But, alas! from day to day the
malady made fearful progress. I was in despair. I wrote to Josephine,
and sent a boat to Manilla for her to come and take care of her sister,
who was most anxious to see her. The boat returned without her; but a
letter from kind-hearted Josephine informed me that she was herself
dangerously ill, and confined to her room, and could not even leave
her bed; that she was very sorry for it, but I might assure Anna that
they would soon be re-united, never again to be separated.

Fifty days--longer to me than a century--had scarcely elapsed since our
return to Jala-Jala than all my hopes vanished. Death was approaching
with rapid strides, and the fatal moment was at hand when I was to be
separated from her whom I loved with such intensity. She preserved her
senses to the last, and saw my profound melancholy, and my features
altered by grief; and finding her last hour was near, she called me
to her, and said: "Adieu, my beloved Paul, adieu. Console thyself--we
shall meet again in Heaven! Preserve thyself for the sake of our dear
boy. When I shall be no more, return home to thy own country, to see
thy aged mother. Never marry again, except in France, if thy mother
requires thee to do so. Do not marry in the Philippines, for thou wilt
never find a companion here to love thee as I have loved." These words
were the last which this good and gentle angel spoke. The most sacred
ties, the tenderest and purest union, were then severed--my Anna was
no more! I held her lifeless body clasped in my arms, as if I hoped by
my caresses to recall her to life; but, alas! her destiny was decided!

It required absolute force to tear me from the precious remains which
I pressed against my heart, and to draw me into a neighbouring room,
where my son was. While I pressed him convulsively to my breast,
I wished to weep; but my eyes were tearless, and I was insensible to
the caresses even of my poor child.

The strongest constitution cannot resist the fatigue of fifty days
of constant watching and uneasiness; and the state of annihilation in
which I was, both physically and morally, after despair had taken the
place of the glimmering hope which sustained us to the last moment,
was such that I fell into a state of insensibility, which ended
in a profound sleep. I awoke on the following day with my son in my
arms. But how frightful was my state on awaking. All that was horrible
in my position presented itself to my imagination. Alas! she was no
more; my adorable companion, that beloved angel and consolatrix,
who had, on my account, abandoned all--parents, friends, and the
pleasures of a capital--to shut herself up with me in a deserted
wilderness, where she was exposed to a thousand dangers, and had but
me to support her. She was no more; and fatal destiny had torn her
from me, to sink me for ever in desolation and grief.

The funeral took place on the following day, and was attended by
every inhabitant of Jala-Jala. Her body was deposited near the altar
in the humble church which I had caused to be erected, and before
which altar she had so often poured forth prayers for my happiness.

For a long time mourning and consternation reigned in Jala-Jala. All
my Indians showed the deepest sympathy for the loss which they had
suffered. Anna was, during her life, beloved even to idolatry, and
after her death she was most sincerely lamented.

For several days I continued in a thorough depression, unable to attend
to anything, except to the cares which my son, then my only remaining
consolation, required. Three weeks elapsed before I quitted the room in
which my poor wife had expired. I then received a note from Josephine,
in which she stated that her illness had grown worse. The note ended
with these words: "Come, my dear Paul; come to me: we shall weep
together. I feel that your presence will afford some consolation."

I did not hesitate to comply with the request of dear Josephine, for
whom I entertained an affection as if for my own sister. My presence
might prove a solace to her, and I myself felt that it would prove
to me a great consolation to see a person who had so sincerely loved
my Anna. The hope of being useful to her re-animated my courage a
little. I left my house under the care of Prosper Vidie, an excellent
friend, who during the last days of my wife's life had not quitted me,
and departed, accompanied by my son.

After the first emotion which Josephine and I felt on meeting, and when
we both had shed abundant tears, I examined her state. It required a
strong effort on my part to conceal from her my anxiety, on finding
her labouring under a most serious malady, and which gave me grounds
for fearing that a fresh misfortune was not far distant. Alas! my
forebodings were correct; for eight days afterwards poor Josephine
expired in my arms, after the most poignant sufferings. What abundant
sources of woe in so short a space of time! It required a constitution
strong as mine was to bear up against such a number of sorrows,
and not to fail under the burthen.

When I had paid the last duties to my sister-in-law I went back to
Jala-Jala. To me everything was burthensome. I was obliged to betake
myself to my forests and to my mountains, in order to recover a little
calmness. Some months passed over before I could attend to my affairs;
but the last wishes of my poor wife required to be fulfilled, and I
was to quit the Philippines and return to my country. I commenced
preparations for the purpose. I made over my establishment to my
friend Vidie, who was, as I considered, the person best adapted for
carrying out my plans, and for treating my poor Indians well. He
requested me to stop a little time with him, and to show him the
secrets of my little government. I consented, and the more willingly,
as those few months would serve to render my son stronger, and better
able to support the fatigues of a long voyage. I therefore remained at
Jala-Jala; but life had become painful to me, and without an object,
so that it was positively a trouble. There was nothing to distract
me--nothing to remove the most painful thoughts from me. The pretty
spots of Jala-Jala, over which I had often looked with the greatest
pleasure, had become altogether indifferent to me. I sought out
the most melancholy and silent places. I often went to the banks
of a rivulet, concealed in the midst of high mountains, and shaded
by lofty trees. This spot was perhaps known to no other person; and
probably no human being had ever previously been seated in it. There
I gave free vent to my bitter recollections--my wife, my brothers,
my sister-in-law, engrossed my imagination. When the thought of my
son drove away these sombre reveries, I returned slowly to my house,
where I found the poor child, who, by his caresses, seemed to try to
find some way to cause a change in my grief; but they seemed only to
recall the time when Anna always came to welcome me home, and when,
clasping me in her arms, she caused me to forget all the toil and
trouble I met with when absent from her. Alas! that blissful time
had flown away, and was never to return; and in losing my companion
I lost every happiness.

My friend Vidie tried every means in his power to rouse me. He spoke to
me often of France, of my mother, and of the consolation I should feel
on presenting my son to her. The love of my country, and the thought
of finding there those affections of which I stood so much in need,
was a soft balm, which lulled for a while the sufferings that were
constantly vibrating in the bottom of my heart.

My Indians were deeply afflicted on learning the resolution I had
taken of quitting them. They showed their trouble by saying to me,
every time they addressed me! "Oh, master: what will become of us
when we shall not see you again?" I quieted them as well as I could,
by assuring them that Vidie would exert himself for their welfare;
that when my son should be grown up, I would come back with him and
then never leave them. They answered me with their prayers: "May God
grant it, master! But what a long time we shall have to pass without
seeing you! However, we shall not forget you."



CHAPTER XII.

    My friend Adolphe Barrot visits me at Jala-Jala--The Bamboo
    Cane--The Cocoa-Nut Tree--The Banana--Majestic Forests of Gigantic
    Trees--The Leeches--A Tropical Storm in a Forest--An Indian
    Bridge--"Bernard the Hermit"--We arrive at Binangon-de-Lampon--The
    Ajetas--Veneration of the Ajetas for their Dead--Poison used by
    the Ajetas--I carry away a Skeleton--We Embark on the Pacific in
    an old Canoe, reach Maoban, and ultimately arrive at Jala-Jala.


At this epoch of my recollections, in the midst of my melancholy and
of my troubles, I formed an intimate and enduring friendship with
a compatriot, a good and excellent man, for whom I always preserve
the attachment first formed in a foreign country, several thousand
leagues from home. I now speak of Adolphe Barrot, who was sent as
consul-general to Manilla. He came with several friends to spend
some days at Jala-Jala. Being unwilling that he should suffer any
unpleasantness from the state of my feelings, I endeavoured to render
his stay at Jala-Jala as agreeable as in my power. I arranged several
hunting and shooting parties, and excursions through the mountains
and on the lake. For his sake I resumed my old mode of life, such as
I had been used to before I was overwhelmed by misfortune.

The days which I thus spent in company with Adolphe Barrot aroused
within me my former taste for exercise, and my ruling passion for
adventure. My friend Vidie--always with the intention of exciting me
to action--pressed me very much to go and visit a certain class of
the natives which I had often expressed a wish to examine. My affairs
being almost regulated; my son being placed under his care, and that
of his nurse, and of a housekeeper in whom I had every confidence;
I was induced, by this feeling of security, and by the instances of my
friend, to proceed to visit the district of the Ajetas, or Black-men,
who were a wild race, altogether in a state of nature. They were the
aborigines of the Philippines, and had for a long time been masters
of Luzon. At a time not very far distant, when the Spaniards conquered
the country, the Ajetas levied a kind of black-mail from the Tagalese
villages situated on the banks of the lake of Bay. At a fixed period
they quitted their forests, entered the villages, and forced the
inhabitants to give them a certain quantity of rice and maize; and
if the Tagalese refused or were unable to pay these contributions,
they cut off a number of heads, which they carried away as trophies
for their barbarian festivities. After the conquest of the Philippines
by the Spaniards, the latter took upon themselves the defence of the
Tagalese, and the Ajetas, terrified by their fire-arms, remained in
the forests, and did not re-appear among the Indians.

The same race is found in various parts of the Malay country; and the
people of New Zealand--the Paponins--resemble them very much in form
and colour.

My intention was to pass some days amongst those wild savages, and
our preparations were speedily made. I chose two of my best Indians to
accompany me. It is not requisite to state that my lieutenant was one
of the party, for he was always with me in all my perilous expeditions.

We took each of us a small haversack, containing rice for three or
four days, some dried venison, a good provision of powder, ball,
and shot for game, some coloured handkerchiefs, and a considerable
quantity of cigars for our own use, and to insure a welcome
amongst the Ajetas. Each of us carried a good double-barreled gun
and his poignard. Our clothes were those which we wore in all our
expeditions,--on our heads the common salacote, a shirt of raw silk,
the pantaloon turned up to above the knee; the feet and legs remained
uncovered. With these simple preparations we set out on a trip of
some weeks, during which, and from the second day of our starting,
we could expect no shelter but the trees of the forest, and no food
but the game we shot, and the edible parts of the palm tree.

I took special care not to forget the vade mecum which I always
took with me, whenever I made these excursions for any number of
days--I mean paper and a pencil, with which I made notes, to aid my
recollections, and enable me afterwards to write down in a journal
the remarks I made during my travels. Every preparation being made,
we one morning started from Jala-Jala. We traversed the peninsula
formed by my settlement, and embarked on the other side in a small
canoe, which took us to the bottom of the lake to the north-east of
my habitation. We passed the night in the large village of Siniloan,
and at an early hour the following day resumed our march. This first
day's journey was one of toil and suffering: we were then beginning
the rainy season, and the heavy storms had swelled the rivers. We
marched for some time along the banks of a torrent, which rushed
down from the mountains, and which we were obliged to swim through
fifteen times during the day. In the evening we came to the foot of
the mountains where begin the forests of gigantic trees, which cover
almost all the centre of the island of Luzon. There we made our first
halt, lighted our fires, and prepared our beds and our supper. I think
that I have already described our beds, which use and fatigue always
rendered agreeable to us, when no accident occurred to disturb our
repose. But I have said nothing of the simple composition of our meals,
nor of our manner of preparing them. Our rice and palms required to
be cooked, an operation which might seem rather embarrassing, for we
had with us no large kitchen articles: we sometimes wanted a fire-box
and tinder. But the bamboo supplied all these. The bamboo is one of
the three tropical plants which Nature, in her beneficence and care,
seems to have given to man to supply most of his wants. And here I
cannot forbear dedicating a few lines to the description of those
three products of the tropics, viz: the bamboo, the cocoa-nut tree,
and the banana-plant.

The bamboo belongs to the gramineous family; it grows in thick groves,
in the woods, on the river banks, and wherever it finds a humid
soil. In the Philippines there are counted twenty-five or thirty kinds,
different in form and thickness. There are some of the diameter of the
human body, and hollow in the interior: this kind serves especially
for the construction of huts, and for making vessels to transport
and to keep water. The filaments are used for making baskets, hats,
and all kinds of basket-work, cords, and cables of great solidity.

Another bamboo, of smaller dimensions, and hollow within, which
is covered with varnish, almost as hard as steel, is employed in
building Indian houses. Cut to a point it is extremely sharp, and is
used for many purposes. The Indians make lances of it, and arrows,
and fleams for bleeding horses, and lancets for opening abscesses,
and for taking thorns or other things out of the flesh.

A third kind, much more solid, and as thick as one's arm, and not
hollow within, is used in such parts of the buildings as require sold
timber, and especially in the roofing.

A fourth kind, much smaller, and also without being hollow, serves to
make the fences that surround enclosed fields when tilled. The other
kinds are not so much employed, but still they are found to be useful.

To preserve the plants, and to render them very productive, the shoots
are cut at ten feet from the ground. These shoots look like the tubes
of an organ, and are surrounded with branches and thorns. At the
beginning of the rainy season there grows from each of those groves a
quantity of thick bamboos, resembling large asparagus, which shoot up
as it were by enchantment. In the space of a month they become from
fifty to sixty feet long, and after a short time they acquire all the
solidity necessary for the various works to which they are destined.

The cocoa-nut tree belongs to the palm family: it requires to grow
seven years before it bears fruit; but after this period, and for
a whole century, it yields continually the same product--that is,
every month about twenty large nuts. This produce never fails, and
on the same tree may be seen continually flowers and fruits of all
sizes. The cocoa-nut affords, as everyone knows, nutritious food,
and when pressed yields a quantity of oil. The shell of the nut
serves to make vases, and the filamentary parts are spun into ropes
and cables for ships, and even into coarse clothing. The leaves are
used to make baskets and brooms, and for thatching the huts.

A liquor is also taken from the cocoa-nut tree, called cocoa-wine;
it is a most stupifying drink, of which the Indians make great use
at their festivities. To produce the cocoa-wine, large groves of
the cocoa-trees are laid out, from which merely the sap or juice
is expected, but nothing in the shape of fruit. These trees have
long bamboos laid at their tops from one to another, on which the
Indians pass over every morning, bearing large vessels, in which they
collect the liquid. It is a laborious and dangerous employment,--a
real promenade in the air, at the height of from sixty to eighty
feet from the ground. It is from the bud which ought to produce the
flower that the liquid is drawn of which the spirit is afterwards
made. As soon as the bud is about to burst, the Indian employed in
collecting the liquid ties it very tight, a few inches from its point,
and then cuts across the point beyond the tying. From this cutting,
or from the pores which are left uncovered, a saccharine liquid
flows, which is sweetish and agreeable to the palate before it has
fermented. After it has passed the fermentation it is carried to the
still, and submitted to the process of distillation, it then becomes
the alcoholic liquor known in the country as cocoa-wine.

Besides these uses, the cocoa-nut shell, when burned, gives the fine
black colour which the Indians make use of to dye their straw hats.

The banana is an herbaceous plant, without any woody matter: the
trunk of each is formed of leaves placed one above the other. This
trunk rises from twelve to fifteen feet from the ground, and then
spreads out into long broad leaves, not less than five or six feet
each. From the middle of these leaves the flower rises, and also the
spike (régime). By this word is to be understood a hundred of large
bananas growing from the same stalk, forming together a long branch,
that turns towards the sun.

Before the fruit has reached its full ripeness, the spike is cut, and
becomes fit for use. The part of the plant which is in the earth is
a kind of large root, from which proceed successively thirty shoots,
and each shoot ought not to have more than one spike, or bunch; it
is then cut fronting the sun, and as all the shoots rising from the
same trunk are of different ages, there are fruits to be found in all
the stages of growth; so that every month or fortnight, and at all
seasons, a spike or two may be gathered from the same plant. There
is also a species of banana the fruit of which is not good to eat,
but from which raw silk is formed, called abaca, which is used to make
clothes, and all kinds of cordage. This filament is found in the trunk
of the plant, which, as I have said, consists of leaves placed one
over another, which, after being separated into long strips, and left
for some hours in the sun, is then placed on an iron blade, not sharp,
and then dragged with force over it. The parenchyme of the plant is
taken off by the iron blade, and the filaments then separate. Nothing
is now wanting but to expose them for some time to the sun's rays;
after which they are brought to market.

I observe that I have left my journey aside to describe three tropical
plants, which afford a sufficiency for all the wants of man. Those
plants are well-known; yet there may be some persons ignorant of
the utility, and of the various services which they render to the
inhabitants of the tropics. My readers will from them be naturally
led to reflect how the inhabitants of the torrid zone are favoured
by nature, in comparison with those of our frigid climate.

We were at the foot of the mountains, preparing to pass the night. Our
labour was always divided: one got the beds ready, another the fire,
a third the cookery. He who had to prepare the fire collects a quantity
of dry wood and of brambles. Under this heap of firewood he puts about
twelve pounds of elemi gum, which is common in the Philippines, where
it is found in quantities at the foot of the large trees from which
it flows naturally. He then takes a piece of bamboo, half a yard long,
which he splits to its length, tears with poignard so as to make very
thin shavings, which he rubs together while rolling them between his
hands, and then puts them into the hollow part of the other piece,
and lays it down on the ground, and then with the sharp side of the
piece from which he had taken the shavings, he rubs strongly the
piece lying on the ground, as if he wished to saw it across. In a
short time the bamboo containing the shavings is cut through and on
fire. The flame rising from the shavings, when blown lightly upon,
quickly sets the elemi gum in a blaze, and in an instant there is a
fire sufficient to roast an ox.

He who had to manage the cooking cut two or three pieces of the large
bamboo, and put in each whatever he wished to cook--usually rice or
some part of the palm tree--he added some water, stopped the ends of
the bamboo with leaves, and laid it in the middle of the fire. This
bamboo was speedily burned on the outside, but the interior was
moistened by the water, and the food within was as well boiled as
in any earthen vessels. For plates we had the large palm leaves. Our
meals, as may be observed, were Spartan enough, even during the days
while our provision of rice and dried venison lasted. But when game
was found, and that a stag or a buffalo fell to our lot, we fed like
epicures. We drank pure water whenever a spring or a rivulet tempted
us, but if we were at a loss we cut long pieces of the liana, called
"the traveller's drink," from which flowed a clear and limpid draught,
preferable perhaps to any which we might have procured from a better
source.

It was evident I was not travelling like a nabob; and it would have
been impossible to take more baggage. How could any one, with large
provisions and a pompous retinue move in the midst of mountains
covered with forests literally along untouched by human feet, and
forced, in order to get through them, at every instant to swim across
torrents, and having no other guide than the sun, or the blowing of
the breeze. There was no choice but to travel in the Indian style,
as I did, or to remain at home.

The first night we spent in the open air passed quietly; our strength
was restored, and we were recruited for the journey. At an early hour
we were up, and, after a frugal breakfast, we resumed our march. For
more than two hours we climbed up a mountain covered with heavy timber,
the ascent was rough and fatiguing, at last we reached the top,
quite exhausted, where there was a vast flat, which it would take us
some days to traverse. It was there, on this flat, that I beheld the
most majestic, the finest virgin forest that existed in the world. It
consists of gigantic trees, grown up as straight as a rush, and to
a prodigious height. Their tops, where alone their branches grow,
are laced into one another, so as to form a vault impenetrable to
the rays of the sun. Under this vault, and among those fine trees,
prolific nature has given birth to a crowd of climbing plants of
a most remarkable description. The rattan and the flexible liana
mount up to the topmost branches, and re-descending to the earth,
take fresh root, receive new sustenance, and then remount anew, and
at various distances they join themselves to the friendly trunks
of their supporting columns, and thus they form very often most
beautiful decorations. Varieties of the pandanus are to be seen,
of which the leaves, in bunches, start from the ground, forming
beautiful sheaves. Enormous ferns were to be met with, real trees
in shape, and up which we clambered often, to cut the top branches,
for their delicious perfume and which serve as food nearly the same as
the palms. But, in the midst of this extraordinary vegetation nature
is gloomy and silent; not a sound is to be heard, unless perhaps
the wind that shakes the tops of the trees, or from time to time the
distant noise of a torrent, which, falling precipitately, cascades
from the heights of the mountains to their base. The ground is moist,
as it never receives the sun's rays: the little lakes and the rivers,
that never flow unless when swollen by the storms, present to the eye
water black and stagnant, on which the reflection of the fine clear
blue sky is never to be seen.

The sole inhabitants of these melancholy though majestic solitudes
are deer, buffaloes and wild boars, which being hidden in their lairs
and dens in the daytime, come out at night in search of food. Birds
are seldom seen, and the monkeys so common in the Philippines, shun
the solitude of these immense forests. One kind of insect is met
with in great abundance, and it plagues the traveller to the utmost;
they are the small leeches, which are found on all the mountains of
the Philippines that are covered with forests. They lie close to the
ground in the grass, or on the leaves of the trees, and dart like
grasshoppers on their prey, to which they fasten. Travellers are
therefore always provided with little knives, cut from the bamboo,
to loosen the hold of the insects, after which they rub the wound
with a little chewed tobacco. But soon another leech, attracted by
the flowing blood, takes the place of the one which was removed, and
constant care is necessary to avoid being victimised by those little
insects, of which the voracity far exceeds that of our common leeches.

Our way lay through these singular creations of nature, and I was
engaged in looking at and examining the curiosities around me, while my
Indians were seeking some kind of game--deer, buffalo, or wild boar--to
replace our stock of rice and venison, which was exhausted. We were at
length reduced to the palms as our only resource; but the palms, though
pleasing to the palate, are not sufficiently nutritive to recruit the
strength of poor travellers, when, suffering under extreme fatigue,
and after a laborious march, they find no lodging but the moist ground,
and no shelter but the vault of the sky.

We directed our course as near as possible towards the eastern coast,
which is bathed by the Pacific ocean. We knew that it was in that
direction the Ajetas commenced their settlement. We wished also to pass
through the large Tagalese village, Binangonan de Lampon, which is to
be found, isolated and hidden, at the foot of the eastern mountains,
in the midst of the savages. We had already spent several nights in
the forest, and without experiencing any great inconvenience. The
fires which we lighted every evening warmed us, and saved us from
the myriads of terrible leeches, which otherwise would certainly
have devoured us. We imagined that we were within one day's march of
the sea-shore, where we expected to take some time for rest, when,
of a sudden, a burst of thunder at a distance gave us reason to
apprehend a storm. Nevertheless, we continued our journey; but in
a short time the growling of the thunder approached so near as to
leave no doubt that the hurricane would burst over us. We stopped,
lighted our fires, cooked our evening's repast, and placed some of
the palm leaves on poles by the side of a slope to save us from the
heavy rain. We had not finished all our preparations when the storm
broke. If we had not had the glimmering glare of our firebrands we
should have been in profound obscurity, although it was not yet
night. We all three, with pieces of palm branches in our hands,
crouched under the slight shelter which we had improvised, and there
awaited the full force of the storm. The thunder-claps were redoubled;
the rain began with violence to batter the trees, and then to assail
us like a torrent. Our fires were speedily extinguished; we found
ourselves in the deepest darkness, interrupted only by the lightning,
which from time to time rushed, serpent-like, through the trees of
the forest, scattering a dazzling light, to leave us the moment after
in profound obscurity. Around us the din was horrible; the thunder
was continuous, the echoes of the mountains repeating from distance
to distance its sound, sometimes deadened, and sometimes with awful
grandeur. The wind, which blew with violence, shattered the uppermost
parts of the trees, breaking off large branches, which fell with a
crash to the ground. Some trunks were uprooted, and, while falling,
tore down the boughs of the neighbouring trees. The rain was incessant,
and in the intervals between the thunder we could hear the awful roar
of the waters of a torrent which rushed madly past the base of the
mound where we had taken refuge. Amidst all this frightful commotion,
mournful and dismal sounds were heard, like the howls of a large
dog which had lost its master: they were the cries of the deer in
their distress, seeking for a place of shelter. Nature seemed to
be in convulsions, and to have declared war in every element. The
loose thatch under which we had taken refuge was soon penetrated,
and we were completely deluged. We soon quitted this miserable hole,
preferring to move our stiffened and almost deadened limbs, covered
with the fearful little leeches, which terrible infliction deprived
us of the strength so necessary in our awful position.

I avow that at this moment I sincerely repented my fatal curiosity,
for which I paid so dearly. I could compare this frightful night only
to the one I had passed in the bamboos, when I was wrecked on the
lake. In appearance there was not such pressing danger, for we could
not be swallowed up by the waves; but there were large trees, under
which we were obliged to stop, and one of which might be uprooted
and fall upon us; a bough torn off by the wind might crush us; and
the lightning, equally terrific in its reports and its effects,
might strike us at any moment. One thing was especially painful,
and that was the cold, and the difficulty of moving our frozen and
almost paralysed limbs. We awaited with impatience the cessation of
the storm; but it was not until after three hours of mortal agony that
the thunder gradually ceased. The wind fell; the rain subsided; and
for some time we heard nothing but the large drops which dripped from
the trees, and the dread sound of the torrents. Calm was restored;
the sky became pure and starry: but we were deprived of that view
which gives hope to the traveller, for the forest presented only a
dome of green, impenetrable to the sight.

Exhausted as we were by our exposure to the elements and our
exertions, we were so overpowered by nature's great renovator sleep,
that, notwithstanding our clothes were saturated with the rain,
we were able to pass the remainder of the night in tranquillity. At
break of day the forest, which a few hours previously had been the
scene of the terrors which I have described, was again tranquil
and silent. When we quitted our lair we were frightful to look at;
we were covered with leeches, and the marks of blood on our faces
rendered us hideous. On looking at my two poor Indians I could not
avoid laughing aloud; they also looked at me, but their respect
for me prevented their laughing. I was no doubt equally punished,
and my white skin must have served to show well the ravages of those
creatures. We were, indeed, knocked up; we could scarcely move, so
weak had we become. However, act we must, and promptly,--to light a
fire quickly, in order to warm us; to cook some of the palm stalks;
to cross, by swimming, a torrent which, with a terrible noise, was
rushing on below us; and to reach, during the day, the shores of the
Pacific ocean. If we delayed to start it might not be possible to pass
through the torrents,--we had left several behind us,--we might find
ourselves in the impossibility of going either backward or forward,
and perhaps be obliged to remain several days waiting for the waters
to subside before we could proceed. Besides, other storms might arise,
frequent as they are at this season, and we should have to remain for
several weeks in a desert spot without resources, and where the first
night passed under such a bad roof was no recommendation, There was no
time to be lost. From a large heap of palm leaves, where we had placed
and covered up our haversacks in order to preserve them from the wet,
we drew them out safe; our precautions had fortunately been successful,
they were quite dry. We made a large fire, thanks to the elemi gum,
which burns with such ease. Our feelings were delightful when the
heat entered our frames, dried our dripping garments, re-animated our
courage, and gave us some strength. But, to enjoy that satisfaction
fully, one should have acquired it at the same cost as I had. I very
much doubt that any European would like to participate in the scenes
of that night simply for the enjoyments of the following day.

Our scanty cookery was soon ready, and expeditiously dispatched,
and we moved off in quick time.

My Indians were uneasy, as they feared they would not be able to
pass through the torrent which was heard at a distance, consequently
they marched quicker than I did. On reaching the bank I found them
in a consternation. "Oh, master!" said my faithful Alila, "it is not
possible to pass; so we must spend some days here." I cast my eyes
on the torrent, which was rolling between steep rocks, in a yellow,
muddy stream: it had all the appearance of a cascade, and was carrying
down the trunks of trees and branches broken off during the storm. My
Indians had already come to a decision, and were arranging a spot for
a fit bivouac; but I did not wish to give up all hopes of success so
speedily, and set about examining with care the means of overcoming
the difficulty.

The torrent was not more than a hundred yards in breadth, and a
good swimmer could with ease get over in a few minutes. But it was
necessary, on the opposite side, to arrive at a spot which was not too
steep, and where one could find safe footing, and out of the torrent;
otherwise the risk would be run of being drawn down, no one could
tell whither.

From the bank on which we were it was easy to jump into the water,
but on the other side, for a hundred yards down the stream, there was
but one spot where the rocks were interrupted. A small stream joined
there the one we wished to cross. After I had carefully calculated by
sight the length of the passage, I considered myself strong enough to
attempt it. I was a better swimmer than my Indians; and I was certain
if I was once on the other side, that they would follow. I told them
that I was going to cross over the torrent.

But one reflection caused me to hesitate. How could I preserve our
haversacks, and save our precious provision of powder? How keep
our guns from injury? It would not be possible to think of carrying
those articles on my back through a torrent so rapid, and in which,
beyond doubt, I should be under water more than once before I gained
the other side.

The Indians, being fertile in expedients, speedily extricated me
from this difficulty: they cut several rattans, and joined the ends
together, so as to form a considerable length. One of them climbed a
tree which leant over the torrent, and there fastened one end of the
rattan length, while I took the other end to carry it over to the other
bank. All our arrangements being effected I plunged into the water,
and without much difficulty gained the opposite side, having the end
of the rattan with me, which I fastened to a tree on the steep bank I
had gained, allowing a slight inclination of the line towards me, yet
raised sufficiently over the water to allow the articles which we were
anxious to pass over to slide along without touching the water. Our
newly constructed bridge was wonderfully successful. The articles
came across quite safe and dry; and my Indians, by its aid, quickly
joined me. We congratulated each other on our fortunate passage,
and the more so, as we expected before sunset to reach the Pacific
ocean. Of the woods we had had enough: and we now looked for the sun,
which for several days had been obscured by clouds; the leeches caused
us considerable suffering, and weakened us very much, and our miserable
diet was not sufficient to recruit our exhausted frames. Moreover we
did not doubt that, on reaching the sea, we should be amply recompensed
for all the privations we had endured. In fine, with renewed hopes we
found our courage revive, and soon forgot the fatal night of the storm.

I walked nearly as quick as my Indians, who, like me, hastened to
get clear of the insupportable humidity in which we had existed for
several days.

Two hours after we had passed the torrent a dull and distant sound
struck our ears. At first we supposed it to be a fresh storm; but
soon we knew, from its regularity, that it was nothing less than the
murmur of the Pacific ocean, and the sound of the waves which come
from afar to break themselves on the eastern shore of Luzon. This
certainty caused me a most pleasing emotion. In a few hours I should
again see the blue sky, warm myself in the generous rays of the sun,
and find a boundless horizon. I should also get rid of the fearful
leeches, and should soon salute Nature, animated in creation, in
exchange for the solitudes from which we had just emerged.

We were now on the declivity of the mountains, the descent of which
was gentle and our march easy. The sound of the waves increased by
degrees. Near three o'clock in the afternoon we perceived through the
trees that the sun was clear; and an instant afterwards we beheld the
sea, and a magnificent beach, covered with fine glittering sand. The
first movement of all three was to strip off our clothes and to
plunge into the waves; and while we thus enjoyed a salutary bath, we
amused ourselves in collecting off the rocks a quantity of shell-fish,
which enabled us to make the most hearty meal we had eaten since we
started from home.

Having thus satisfied our hunger, our thoughts were directed to taking
rest, of which we stood in great need; but it was no longer on knotty
and rough pieces of timber, that we were going to repose,--it was on
the soft sand, which the shore offered to us, warmed as it was by the
last rays of the setting sun. It was almost night when we stretched
ourselves on this bed, which to us was preferable to one of down. Our
sacks served as pillows; we laid our guns, which were properly primed,
close by our sides, and after a few minutes were buried in a profound
sleep. I know not how long I had enjoyed this invigorating balm when
I was awakened by the painful feeling of something crawling over
me. I felt the prickings of sharp claws, which fastened in my skin,
and occasionally caused me great pain. Similar sensations had awakened
my two Indians. We collected the embers which were still ignited, and
were able to see the new kind of enemies which assailed us. They were
the crabs called "Bernard the Hermit," [23] and in such quantities that
the ground was crawling with them, of all sizes and of all ages. We
swept the sand on which we laid down, hoping to drive them away,
and to have some sleep; but the troublesome--or rather, the famishing
hermits--returned to the charge, and left us neither peace or quiet. We
were busy in resisting their attacks, when suddenly, on the edge of
the forest, we perceived a light, which came towards us. We seized
our guns, and awaited its approach in profound silence and without
any movement. We then saw a man and woman coming out of the wood,
each having a torch in their hands. We knew them to be Ajetas, who
were coming, no doubt, to catch fish on the beach. When they reached
within a few steps from us, they stood for an instant motionless and
gazed at us with fixed attention. We three were seated, watching them,
and trying to guess their intentions. One of them put his hand to his
shoulder, as if to take his bow; and I instantly cocked my gun. The
noise caused by the movement of the gun-lock was sufficient to frighten
them: they threw down their light, and scampered off like two wild
beasts, in the highest alarm, to hide themselves in the forest.

Their appearance was enough to prove that we were in a place frequented
by the Ajetas. The two savages whom we had seen were perhaps gone to
inform their friends, who might come in great numbers and let fly
at us their poisoned arrows. This dread, and the incessant attacks
of Bernard the Hermit, caused us to spend the remainder of the night
near a large fire.

As soon as day broke we made an excellent breakfast, thanks to the
abundance of shell-fish, of which we could take whatever quantity we
liked, and then set out again. Our way lay sometimes along the shore,
and at other times through the woods. The journey was very fatiguing,
but without any incident worthy of notice. It was after night-fall
when we arrived at the village of Binangonan de Lampon. This village,
inhabited by Tagalocs, is thrown, like an oasis of men, somewhat
civilised, in the midst of forests and savage people, and who had no
direct communication with the other districts which are governed by
the Spaniards.

My name was known to the inhabitants of Binangonan de Lampon,
consequently we were received with open arms, and all the heads of
the village disputed with each other for the honour of having me as
a guest. I gave the preference to him who had first invited me, and
in his dwelling I experienced the kindest hospitality. I had scarcely
entered when the mistress of the house herself wished to wash my feet,
and to show me all those attentions which proved to me the pleasure
they felt that I had given them this preference.

During supper, while I was enjoying the good food which was before me,
the small house in which I was seated became filled with young girls,
who gazed at me with a curiosity which was really comic. When I had
finished my meal the conversation with my host began to weary me,
and I stretched myself on a mat, which on that occasion I regarded
as an excellent substitute for a feather-bed.

I spent three days with the kind Tagalocs, who received and treated me
like a prince. On the fourth day I bade them adieu, and we shaped our
course to the northward, in the midst of mountains covered with thick
forests, and which, like those that we had quitted, showed no path
for the traveller, except some tracks or openings through which wild
animals passed. We proceeded with great caution, for we found ourselves
in the district peopled by Ajetas. At night we concealed our fire, and
each of us in turn kept watch, for what we dreaded most was a surprise.

One morning, while marching in silence, we heard before us a number
of shrill voices, resembling rather the cries of birds than human
sounds. We kept strict watch, and shaded ourselves as much as possible
by the aid of the trees and of the brushwood. Suddenly we perceived
before us, at a very little distance, forty savages of both sexes,
and of all ages; they absolutely seemed to be mere brutes; they were
on the bank of a river, and close to a large fire. We advanced some
steps presenting the but-end of our guns. The moment they saw us
they set up a shrill cry, and were about to take to flight; but I
made signs, and showed the packet of cigars which we wished to give
them. Fortunately I had learned at Binangonan the way by which I was
to approach them. As soon as they understood us they ranged themselves
in a line, like men about to be reviewed; that was the signal that we
might come near them. We approached with the cigars in our hands, and
at one end of the line I began to distribute my presents. It was highly
important to make friends of them, and, according to their custom,
to give to each an equal share. My distribution being finished, our
alliance was cemented, and peace concluded: the savages and we had
nothing to dread from each other. They all began smoking. A stag
had been suspended to a tree; their chief cut three large pieces
from it with a bamboo knife, which he threw into the glowing fire,
and a moment afterwards drew it out again and handed it round, a piece
being given to each of us. The outside of this steak was burned, and a
little spotted with cinders, but the inside was raw and full of blood;
however it was necessary not to show any repugnance, and to make a
cannibal feast, otherwise my hosts would have been affronted, and I
was anxious to live with them for some days on a good understanding. I
therefore eat my portion of the stag, which, after all, was not bad:
my Indians did as I had done. Good relations were thus established
between us, and treachery was not then to be expected.

I now found myself in the midst of a tribe of men whom I had come from
Jala-Jala to see, and I set about examining them at my ease, and for
as long as I wished. We fixed our bivouac some steps from theirs, as
if we wished to form part of the family of our new friends. I could
not address them but by signs, and I had the greatest difficulty in
making them understand me, but on the day after my arrival I had an
interpreter. A woman came to me with a child, to which she wished
to give a name; she had been reared amongst the Tagalocs; she had
spoken that language, of which she remembered a little, and could
give, although with much difficulty, all the information I desired
which was to me of interest.

The creatures with whom I had thus formed a connection for a few days,
and as I saw them, seemed rather to be a large family of monkeys than
human beings. Their voices very much resembled the shrill cries of
those animals, and in their gestures they were exactly like them. The
only difference I could see was that they knew how to handle a bow
and a lance, and to make a fire. To describe them properly I shall
give a sketch of their forms and physiognomies.

The Ajeta, or little negro, is as black as ebony, like the Africans;
his greatest height is four feet and a-half; his hair is woolly,
and as he takes no trouble about cutting it, and knows not how to
arrange it, it forms around his head a sort of crown, which gives him
an odd aspect, and, at a distance makes him appear as if surrounded
with a kind of halo; his eye is yellowish, but lively and brilliant,
like that of an eagle. The necessity of living by the chase, and of
pursuing his prey, produces the effect on this organ of giving to
it the most extraordinary vivacity. The features of the Ajetas have
something of the African black, but the lips are not so prominent;
while young their forms are pretty; but their lives being spent in the
woods, sleeping always in the open air without shelter, eating much
one day and often having nothing--long fastings, followed by repasts
swallowed with the voracity of wild beasts--gave them a protruding
stomach, and made their extremities lank and shrivelled. They never
wear any clothing, unless a belt of the rind of a tree, from eight to
ten inches in breadth, which they tie round their waist; their arms
are composed of a bamboo lance, a bow of the palm tree, and poisoned
arrows. Their food consists of roots, of fruits, and of the products
of the chase; the flesh they eat nearly raw; and they live in tribes
composed of from fifty to sixty individuals. During the day, the old
men, the infirm, and the children, remain near a large fire, while
the others are engaged in hunting; when they have a sufficiency of
food to last for some days, they remain round their fire, and sleep
pell-mell among the cinders.

It is extremely curious to see collected together fifty or sixty of
these brutes of every age, and each more or less deformed; the old
women especially are hideous, their decrepit limbs, their big bellies
and their extraordinary heads of hair, give them all the looks of
furies, or of old witches.

I had scarcely arrived than women with very young children came in
crowds to me. In order to satisfy them I caressed their babes: but
that was not what they wanted, and, notwithstanding their gestures
and their words, I could not make out their wishes. On the following
day, the woman whom I have already mentioned as having lived for
some time among the Tagalocs, arrived from a neighbouring tribe,
accompanied by ten other women, each of whom had an infant in her
arms. She explained what I was not able to comprehend on the previous
day, and said: "We have amongst us very few words for conversation:
all our children take at their birth the name of the place where they
are born. There is great confusion, then, and we have brought them
to you that you may give them names."

As soon as I understood this explanation, I wished to celebrate
the ceremony with all the pomp that the circumstances and the
place allowed. I went to a small rivulet, and there, as I knew the
formula for applying the baptismal water, I took my two Indians as
sponsors, and during several days baptised about fifty of these poor
children. Each mother who brought her infant was accompanied by two
persons of her own family. I pronounced the sacramental words, and
poured water on the head of the child, and then announced aloud the
name I had given to the child. Therefore, as they have no means of
perpetuating their recollections, from the time that I pronounced
the name,--Francis, for instance,--the mother and her accompanying
witnesses repeated it very often, until they learned to say it
correctly, and commit it to memory. Then they went away, and were
constantly repeating the name, which they were anxious to retain.

The first day the ceremony was rather long; but the second day the
number lessened, and I was allowed to pursue my examination of the
character of my hosts. I had retained the woman who spoke Tagaloc,
and in the long conversations which I held with her, she initiated
me thoroughly in all their customs and usages.

The Ajetas have no religion; they do not adore any star. It
seems, however, that they have transmitted to, or received from,
the Tinguianes, the practice of adoring, during one day, a rock or
a trunk of any tree on which they find any resemblance whatever of
an animal; they then abandon it, and think no more of an idol until
they meet with a strange form, which, for a short time, constitutes
the object of their frivolous worship. They have a strong veneration
for the dead; and during several years it is their practice to visit
their graves, and there to leave a little tobacco or betel. The bow
and arrows which once belonged to the deceased are hung up over his
grave on the day of his interment; and every night, according to
the belief of his surviving comrades, he rises up out of his grave,
and goes to hunt in the forest.

Interments take place without any ceremony. The dead body is laid at
full length in a grave, which is covered up with earth. But whenever
one of the Ajetas is dangerously ill, and his recovery despaired of,
or that he has been even slightly wounded by a poisoned arrow, his
friends place him seated in a deep hole, with the arms crossed over
his breast, and thus inter him while living.

I thought of speaking to my interpreter on religion, and asked her
if she did not believe in a Supreme Being--an all-powerful Divinity,
on whom all nature--even we ourselves--depend in all things; and who
had created the firmament, and who was looking on at our acts. She
looked at me with a smile, and said: "When I was young, amongst
your brothers, I remember that they spoke to me of a master, who, as
they said, had Heaven for his dwelling-place; but all that was lies;
for see"--(she here took up a small stone and threw it into the air,
saying, in a very serious tone)--"how can a king, as you say, remain
in the sky any more than that stone?" What answer could I give to
such reasoning? I left religion aside, to put to her other questions.

I have already stated that the Ajetas did not often wait for the death
of a person to put him into the ground. As soon as the last honours are
rendered to a deceased, it is requisite, conformably to their usages,
to take revenge for his death. The hunters of the tribe to which he
belonged set out, with their lances and their arrows, to kill the first
living creature which should appear before their eyes--be it man,
stag, wild boar, or buffalo. From the moment they start in search
of a victim, they take care, in every part of the forest through
which they pass, to break the young shoots of the arbustus shrub,
by pointing its tops in the direction which they are following. This
is done to give a caution to their friends, and other passers-by,
to avoid those places in which they are searching for a victim, for
if one of themselves fell into their hands, he would, without fail,
be taken as the expiatory victim.

They are faithful in marriage, and have but one wife. When a young
man has made his choice, his friends or his parents make a demand for
the young girl; a refusal is never given. A day is chosen; and on the
morning of that day the young girl is sent into the forest, where she
hides herself or not, just as she pleases, and according as she wishes
to be married to the young man who has asked her. An hour after her
departure, the young man is sent to find out his bride. If he has the
good luck to find her, and to bring her back to her parents before
sunset, the marriage is concluded, and she becomes his wife without
fail; but if, on the contrary, he returns to the camp without her,
he is not allowed to renew his addresses.

Among the Ajetas old age is highly respected. It is always one of
the oldest men who governs the assembled body. All the savages of
this race live, as I have stated, in large families of from sixty to
eighty persons. They ramble about through the forests, without having
any fixed spot for their abode; and they change their encampment
according to the greater or less quantity of game which they find in
various places.

While thus living in a state of nature altogether primitive, these
savages have no instrument of music, and their language imitating,
as I have stated, the cries of monkeys, has very few sounds, which
are extremely difficult for a stranger to pronounce, how much soever
may be his eagerness to study them. They are excellent hunters, and
make a wonderful use of the bow. The young negroes, however little,
of each sex, while their parents are out hunting, amuse themselves on
the banks of the rivulets with their small bows. If by chance they
see any fish in the translucent stream they let fly an arrow at it,
and it is seldom that they miss their aim.

All the weapons of the Ajetas are poisoned; a simple arrow could not
cause a wound so severe as to stop a strong animal, such as a deer,
in its course; but if the dart has been smeared with the poison known
to them, the smallest puncture of it produces in the wounded animal
an inextinguishable thirst, and death ensues upon satisfying it. The
hunters then cut out the flesh around the wound, and use the remainder
as food, without any danger; but if they neglect this precaution,
the meat becomes so exceedingly bitter that even the Ajetas themselves
cannot eat it.

Never having given credit to the famous boab of Java, I made
experiments at Sumatra on the sort of poison of which the Malays make
use to poison their weapons. I discovered that it was simply a strong
solution of arsenic in citron juice, with which they coated their arms
several times. I tried to find the poison used by the Ajetas. They
led me to the foot of a large tree, and tore off a piece of its bark,
and told me that that was the poison they used. I chewed some of it
before them; it was insupportably bitter, but otherwise not injurious
in its natural state. But the Ajetas make a preparation of it, the
secret of which they refused to impart to me. When their poison is
made up as a paste, they give to their arms a thin coating of it,
about an eighth of an inch in thickness.

The Ajetas in their movements are active and supple to an incredible
degree; they climb up the highest trees like monkeys, by seizing the
trunk with both hands, and using the soles of their feet. They run
like a deer in the pursuit of the wild animals: this is their favourite
occupation. It is a very curious sight to see these savages set out on
a hunting excursion; men, women, and children move together, very much
like a troop of ourang-outangs when going on a plundering party. They
have always with them one or two little dogs, of a very special breed,
which they employ in tracking out their prey whenever it is wounded.

I enjoyed quite at my ease the hospitality exercised towards me by
these primitive men. I saw amongst them, and with my own eyes, all
that I was desirous of knowing. The painful life which I had led
since my departure from home, without any shelter but the trees,
and eating nothing but what the savages provided, began to tire me
exceedingly: I resolved to return to Jala-Jala. Having previously
noticed several graves at a short distance from our bivouac, an idea
struck me of carrying away a skeleton of one of the savages, which
would, in my judgment, be a curiosity to present to the Jardin des
Plantes or to the Museum of Anatomy at Paris. The undertaking was one
of great danger, on account of the veneration of the Ajetas for their
dead. They might surprise us while violating their graves, and then
no quarter was to be expected. I was, however, so much accustomed to
overcome whatever opposed my will, that the danger did not deter me
from acting upon my resolution. I communicated my intentions to my
Indians, who did not oppose my project.

Some few days afterwards we packed up our baggage, and took farewell
of our hosts. We shaped our course towards the Indian cemetery. In
the first graves which we opened we found the bones decayed in part,
and I could only procure two skulls, which were not worth the danger
to which they exposed us. However, we continued our researches, and
towards the close of the day discovered the remains of a woman, who,
from the position of the body in the grave, must have been buried
before her death. The bones were still covered with skin; but the
body was dry, and almost like a mummy. This was a fit subject. We
had taken the body out of the grave, and were beginning to pack it
up piece by piece into a sack, when we heard small shrill cries at a
distance. The Ajetas were coming upon us, and there was no time to be
lost. We seized our prize and started off as quick as possible. We had
not got a hundred yards, when we heard the arrows whistling about our
ears. The Ajetas, perched on the tops of the trees, waited for us and
attacked us, without our having any means of defence. Fortunately night
came to our aid; their arrows, usually so sure, were badly directed,
and did not touch us. While escaping we fired a gun to frighten them,
and were soon able to leave them far behind, without having received
any other injury than the alarm, and a sufficient notice of the danger
to be encountered in disturbing the repose of their dead. On emerging
from the wood, some drops of blood caused me to remark a slight
scratch on the forefinger of my right hand; I attributed this to the
hurry of my flight, and did not trouble myself much about it, as was
my practice with trifles, but continued my march towards the sea-shore.

We still retained the skeleton, which we laid on the sandy beach,
as well as our haversacks and guns, and sat down to rest after the
fatigue of the journey. My companions then began to make reflections
on our position, and my lieutenant, inspired by his affection for me,
and his sense of the danger we were exposed to, addressed me in the
following strain:

"Oh, master! what have we done, and what is to become of us? To-morrow
morning the enraged Ajetas will come to attack us for the execrable
booty which we have carried off from them at the risk of our lives. If
they would attack in the open ground, with our guns we might defend
ourselves; but what can one do against those animals, perched here
and there like monkeys in the top branches of the trees of their
forest? Those places are for them so many fortresses, from which they
will to-morrow shower down upon us those darts, which, alas! never fail
to do mischief. Luckily it was night when they attacked us just now,
for otherwise we at this hour should have a lance through each of our
bodies, and then they would have cut off our heads to serve as trophies
for a superb fête. Your head, master, would first have been laid on the
ground, and the brutes would have danced round it, and, as our leader,
you would have been a target of honour for them to practise upon.

"And now, master, all that which would have occurred to us if the
night had not favoured our escape is but deferred, for, alas! we cannot
remain continually on this beach, although it is the only spot where
we can protect ourselves against these black rascals. We must go to
our homes, and this we cannot do without passing through the woods
inhabited by these abominable creatures, who made us eat raw meat,
and seasoned only with cinders. Well, master, before you undertook
this excursion, you ought to have recollected all that happened to
us among the Tinguians and the Igorrots."

I listened calmly to this touching lamentation of my lieutenant, who
was perfectly right in all he said; but when he finished I sought to
rouse his courage, and replied:

"What! my brave Alila! are you afraid? I thought the Tic-balan, and
the evil spirits could alone affect your courage. Do you want to make
me think that men like yourself, without any arms but bad arrows, are
enough to make you quake? Come, enough of this cowardice; to-morrow
we shall have daylight, and we shall see what is to be done. In
the meantime let us search for shell-fish, for I am very hungry,
notwithstanding the alarm into which you are trying to throw me."

This little sermon gave courage to Alila, who immediately set about
making a fire, and then, by the aid of lighted bamboos, he and his
comrade went to the rocks to find out the shell-fish.

Alila was nevertheless quite right, and I myself could not disguise
the fact, that good luck alone could extricate us from the critical
position in which we were placed by my fault, in having thought of
my country, and in wishing to ornament the Museum of Paris with a
skeleton of an Ajetas. [24]

From disposition and habit I was not a man to alarm myself with any
danger which was not immediate; yet I avow that the last words I
had said to Alila:--"To-morrow we shall have daylight, and we shall
see what is to be done:"--came back to my mind, and for a short time
occupied my thoughts.

My Indians brought back a large quantity of shell-fish, sufficient
for our supper, and Alila ran up quite breathless, saying:

"Master, I have made a discovery! A hundred steps from this I have
found a canoe, which the sea has cast upon the beach; it is large
enough to hold us three. We can make use of it to get to Binangonan,
and there we shall be safe from the poisoned arrows of these dogs
the Ajetas."

This discovery was either that Providence had come to our aid, or it
was a complication of dangers greater than those reserved to us on
land on awaking in the morning.

I went instantly to the spot where Alila had made his important
discovery, and having disencumbered the canoe from the sand with which
it was partly covered, I soon became certain that, with some bamboos,
and by stopping a few cracks, it would be staunch enough to take us
over the Pacific ocean, away from the Ajetas.

"Well," said I to Alila, "you see I was right, and you must admit the
hand of Providence is here. Is it not evident that this fine boat,
built, perhaps, several thousand leagues from this, has arrived
express from the Polynesian islands to carry us away from the claws
of the savages."

"True, master, true; it is our luck. To-morrow they will finely be
taken in on not finding us here; but let us set to work, for we have
much to do before this fine boat, as you call it, will be in a fit
state for going through the water."

We immediately made a large fire on the shore, and went into the
woods to cut down bamboos and rattans; then we set to work to stop
the holes, which decreased fast enough under our handy-work upon the
abandoned canoe.

Persons who have never travelled amongst the savages cannot imagine
how, without having been instructed in the arts, and without nails,
one could stop up the fissures in such a boat, and put it in a state
fit for sea. Yet the means were very simple; our poignards, bamboos,
and rattans supplied everything; by scraping a bamboo we obtained from
it something like tow, which we put into the chinks, so that the water
could not enter. If it was necessary to stop any breach a few inches
in width, we took from the bamboo a little plank, somewhat larger
than the opening we wished to close, and then with the point of the
poignard we pierced it all round with little holes, to match those
which were made in the same manner in the boat itself. Afterwards,
with long strings of the rattan, which we split up and made fine,
we sewed the little plank to the boat, just as one would a piece of
cloth on a coat; we covered the sewing with the elemi gum, and were
sure the water could not pass through. The rattan served instead of
hemp, and supplied all our necessities on the occasion.

We worked with ardour at this our new and only means of safety. Once
caulked, we placed in it two large bamboos as beams, for without
those beams we could not have sailed for ten minutes without being
upset. Another bamboo served as our mast; the large sack of matting
that contained our skeleton was transformed into a sail. At last,
before the night was far advanced, every preparation was finished. The
wind was favourable, and we hastened to try our boat, and to struggle
with new difficulties.

We placed in the canoe our arms and the skeleton, the cause of our new
troubles; we then pushed the boat over the sand and got it afloat. It
took us a good half-hour to get clear of the breakers. We were every
moment in danger of being swamped by the large waves, which rolled
on, dashing against the rocks that bound the shore. At last, after
we had overcome a thousand difficulties and dangers, we reached the
open sea, and the regular wave--a real movable mountain--lifted up,
without any sudden shock, our frail boat almost to the skies, and
then in the same quiet manner let it sink into an abyss, from which
it was again raised to the top of a liquid mountain. These large
waves, which follow each other usually from interval to interval very
regularly, cause no danger to a good pilot, who takes the precaution
of turning the prow of his boat so as to meet them. But woe to him
if he forgets himself, and makes a false manoeuvre, he is then sure
to be upset and wrecked. Being used to the management of canoes,
and, more confident in my own vigilance when at sea than in that
of my Indians, I took the helm. The wind was favourable; we set
up our little sail, and went very fast, although every moment I
was obliged to turn the prow to the heavy waves. We were already a
sufficient distance from the shore not to fear, if the wind changed,
that we should be driven in among the breakers. Everything led us to
expect a safe voyage, when unfortunately my poor Indians were taken
ill. They had never sailed before except on the lakes of fresh water,
and were now attacked with sea-sickness. This was vexatious to me,
for I knew from experience that a person so attacked for the first
time is altogether incapable of rendering any service, and even of
protecting himself against the smallest danger that threatens him. I
had no one to aid me in managing the boat, and was obliged to rely
on my own exertions. I told him who held the sheet of the sail to
hand it to me, and I twisted it round my foot, for both my hands
were engaged in holding the paddle which was our helm. My Indians,
like two inanimate bodies, lay at the bottom of the boat.

When I reflect on my position,--on the ocean, in a frail boat; having
only for helps two individuals who could not move, two skulls, and a
skeleton of an Ajetas,--I cannot help thinking that the reader may
imagine that I have concocted a story for his amusement. However,
I relate facts exactly as they occurred, and I leave all at liberty
to believe as they please.

I was, as it were, alone in my frail boat, struggling continually
with the large waves, which obliged me every moment to deviate from
the course. I longed for daylight, for I hoped to be able to discern
the beach of Binangonan de Lampon, as a place of refuge, where I
should find the frank hospitality and the valuable assistance of my
old friends.

At last the long-wished-for sun arose above the horizon, and I saw
that we were about three leagues from the coast. I had gone far too
much out to sea, and had passed Binangonan a long way. It was not
possible to steer back, the wind would not allow it; so I decided on
pursuing the same course, and on doing my best to reach, before night,
Maoban, a large Tagaloc village, situate on the coast of Luzon, and
which is separated by a small ridge of mountains from the lake of
Bay. The first rays of the sun and a little calm restored my Indians
to a state of being able to render me some service. We passed the
day without eating or drinking, and we had the regret of seeing that
we had not attained our purpose. Our position was most distressing:
a storm might rise, the wind might blow with force, and our only
resource then would be to throw ourselves into the breakers, and to
reach the shore as well as we could. But luckily nothing of the kind
took place; and about midnight we knew, from meeting a small island,
that we were in front of the village of Maoban. I steered to it, and
in a short time we arrived in a calm quiet bay, near a sandy shore. The
fatigue and want of food had thoroughly exhausted my strength. I had no
sooner landed than I threw myself on the ground, and fell into a deep
sleep, which lasted until day. When I awoke I found the sun's rays
were shining full upon me: it was near seven o'clock. On any other
occasion I should have been ashamed of my laziness, but could I feel
dissatisfied with myself for sleeping soundly after thirty-six hours'
fasting, and spent in such extraordinary exertions? During my sleep
one of my Indians went into the village in search of provisions, and
I found excellent rice and salt fish near me. We made a delicious and
splendid breakfast. My Indians, on behalf of the inhabitants, asked me
to go to the village, and spend the day, but I was too eager to reach
home. I knew by walking quickly we could get through the mountains,
and arrive at night on the banks of the lake, within a few hours'
journey from my house. I determined to start without any delay. We took
our things out of the boat; the little sail retook its former shape,
as a sack, to hold the skulls and the skeleton, the cause of all the
disasters to which we had been exposed, and, with reunited strength,
and abundant provisions for the day, we began to mount the high hills
which separate the gulf of Maoban from the lake of Bay. The journey
was laborious and painful. At seven o'clock we embarked on the lake,
and towards midnight we reached Jala-Jala, where I very speedily
forgot all the toil and trouble of my long and dangerous journey,
while pressing my son in my arms and covering him with paternal kisses.

My excellent friend Vidie, to whom I sold my house and establishment,
gave me letters which he had received from Manilla, and from them I
learned that my presence was desired there on affairs of importance. I
resolved to start on the following day.



CHAPTER XIII

    I Determine not again to Separate from my Son--I take
    him to Manilla--The Effects of the Wound I received among
    the Ajetas--My Recovery--Kindness of the Spanish and other
    Inhabitants of Manilla--Illness of my Son--I return with him to
    Jala-Jala--Sorrowful Remembrances--The Death of my poor Boy--His
    Interment--My frantic Grief and Despair--I Determine to Quit the
    Philippines--I am Called to Manilla by Madame Dolorès Seneris--My
    Final Departure from Jala-Jala--I Arrive at Manilla, where I
    resume Practice as a Surgeon--I Embark for France--Discontent--My
    Travels through Europe--I Marry again--Death of my Mother and my
    Second Wife--Conclusion.


Having now concluded my last trip into the interior of the Philippines,
I was desirous of not separating myself again from my son, the only
being that remained to me of all those whom I had loved so tenderly. I
took him with me to Manilla; but I did not altogether bid farewell
to Jala-Jala, yet I had almost the intention of never going back to it.

The journey was as agreeable as my melancholy recollections would
permit. I experienced such pleasure in holding my boy in my arms,
and in receiving his gentle caresses, that I occasionally forgot
every sorrow.

I arrived at Manilla, and took up my quarters in the environs, at
the abode of Baptiste Vidie, brother of the friend whom I had left
at Jala-Jala.

After my escape from the Ajetas, I had noticed a small wound on
the forefinger of my right hand, which I attributed to having
been accidentally scratched by a branch or a thorn, while we were
endeavouring to make our escape with such precipitation from the arrows
which the savages let fly at us. The first night I spent at Manilla,
I felt in the place where the wound was such extreme pain that I fell
down twice totally senseless. The agony increased every instant, and
became so violent that I could no longer doubt that it was caused by
the poison of an arrow, shot at me by the Ajetas. I sent for one of
my confréres, and after a most careful examination, he made a large
incision, which did not, however, afford me any relief: the hand,
on the contrary, festered up. By little and little the inflammation
extended itself up my arm, and I was soon in an alarming state.

In short, after suffering during a whole month, and after the most
cruel incertitude, it seemed that the poison had passed into my
breast. I could not sleep for an instant; and, in spite of me, dead
and painful cries came forth from my breast, which was on fire. My
eyes were veiled--I could not see; a burning sweat covered my face;
my blood was on fire, and did not circulate in my veins; my life
seemed about to become extinct. The medical men declared that I could
not pass through the night. According to the usages of the country,
I was told that I ought to regulate my affairs for death. I asked
that the consul-general of France, my excellent friend Adolphe Barrot,
should be sent for.

Adolphe I knew to be a man of true heart and affection, and to him I
recommended my poor boy. He promised to take care of him as if he were
his own son, to take him to France, and to give him over to my family.

Lastly a good Dominican friar came, and with him I had several long
conferences, and after he had dispensed to me the consolations of his
ministry, he gave me extreme unction. Everything was done according
to the customary form, and nothing was wanting but my death.

However, amidst all these preparations, I alone was not so eager;
and, although in excessive anguish, I preserved my presence of
mind, and declared I should not die. Was it courage? Was it great
confidence in my strength and robust health, which made me believe in
my recovery? Was it a presentiment, or was it an inward voice which
told me: "The doctors are wrong, and how great will be their surprise
tomorrow on finding me better?" In short, I did not wish to die; for,
according to my system, my will ought to stop the order of nature,
and to make me survive all imaginable pain.

The following day I was better: the doctors found my pulse regular,
and without any intermitting symptom. Some days afterwards the poison
passed out to my skin: my whole body was covered with a miliary
eruption, and thenceforth I was safe. My recovery was very gradual,
and for more than a year I felt acute pains in my breast.

During the course of my illness I received the kindest attention from
my fellow-countrymen, and in general from all the Spanish inhabitants
of Manilla; and here I ought to state, to the praise of the latter
class, that during twenty years spent in the Philippines, I always
found amongst those with whom I had dealings, a great nobleness of
soul and a devotedness free from egotism. I shall never forget the
kindnesses I received from this noble race, for which I entertain
feelings of the warmest gratitude. To me, every Spaniard is a brother;
and to him I shall always be happy to prove that his countrymen have
not conferred obligations on an ungrateful character. I hope the
reader will pardon me for having quitted my subject for a short time
to fulfil the duty of gratitude; but are they not my recollections
which I am detailing? [25]

The wish to undertake, together with my boy, the voyage which would
restore me to my country; the hope of seeing my kind good mother,
my sisters, and all the friends whom I had left behind, reconciled me
somewhat to existence, and made me experience a little happiness. I was
awaiting with impatience the time for embarking; but, alas! my mission
was not yet terminated in the Philippines, and a new catastrophe,
quickly opened afresh all my sorrows.

I was scarcely recovered, when my dear boy--my sole delight the last
beloved being that remained to me on this earth, so fruitful in joys,
and still so destructive of them--my poor Henry fell suddenly ill,
and his disease made the most rapid progress. My friends immediately
foreboded that a great misfortune would befall me. I alone did not know
the state in which my child really was. I loved him with such an ardent
passion, that I believed it impossible that Providence would deprive
me of him. My medical attendant, or rather my friend, Genu, advised
me to take him to Jala-Jala, where his native air and the country,
as he said, would without doubt promote his recovery. I liked the
advice, for so many persons had recovered their health at Jala-Jala
that I hoped for my child a similar good result. I set out with him
and his governess; the voyage was one of sadness, for I saw my poor
boy continually suffering, without being able to afford him any relief.

On our arrival Vidie came to receive us, and in a few moments I
occupied, with my Henry, the room which brought to my remembrance two
very sorrowful losses--the death of my little daughter and that of my
beloved Anna. It was, moreover, in that very room my Henry was born,--a
cruel association of the happiest moments of my existence with that
when I was bewailing the state of my beloved boy. Nevertheless, I did
not altogether despair, for I had hopes in my art and experience. I
seated myself by his bedside, and did not leave him for a moment. I
slept close to him, and I passed every day in administering the
medicine and all the comforts in my power, but without any good result,
or any relief for his sufferings. I lost all hope, and on the ninth
day after our arrival the dear boy expired in my arms.

It is not possible for me to give an account of my feelings on this
last trial. My heart was broken, my head on fire! I became mad, and
never did despair take such a hold on me. I listened to nothing but
my sorrow; and force became necessary to tear from my arms the mortal
remains of my child.

On the following day he was laid close to his mother, and another
tomb was erected in the church of Jala-Jala.

In vain did my friend Vidie endeavour to afford me consolation, or
to change the current of my affliction. Several times he tried to
remove me from the fatal room, which I now looked upon as a scene
of misfortunes, but he could not succeed. I hoped at the time--and
I also thought that I too had a right--to die there, where my wife
and my son had breathed their last sighs. My tears refused to flow,
and even words failed me to express the full extent of my grief. An
ardent fever, which devoured me, was far too slow for the eagerness
of my wishes. In a moment of bewilderment, I was near committing
the greatest act of cowardice which man can perpetrate against his
Creator. I double-locked the door; I seized the poignard which I had
so often used to protect my life, and pointed it against myself. I
was already choosing the spot in which I should strike, in order by
one blow to terminate my miserable existence. My arm, strengthened by
delirium, was about to smite my breast, when one sudden thought came to
prevent me from consummating the crime which has no pardon--although
the crime of despair. My mother, my poor mother, whom I had so much
loved, my good mother presented herself to my mind, and said to me:
"Thou wouldst abandon me--I shall see thee no more!" I recollected
then the words of Anna: "Go, and see thy mother again!" This thought
changed my resolution completely. I threw the poniard aside with
horror, and fell on my bed quite exhausted. My eyes, which during many
days had been dry and burning, were once again overflowing with tears,
which removed the heavy weight from my lacerated heart.

The force of mind of which I stood so much in need was awakened again
within me: I no longer thought of death, but of fulfilling my rigorous
destiny. Calmed and relieved already by the abundant flow of tears,
I gave myself up wholly to the idea of embracing my mother and my
sisters. Then I wished to add the following pages to my journal. My
head was not thoroughly right. I shall translate what I then wrote
in Spanish, which was my adopted and familiar language, in preference
even to French, which I had scarcely spoken during twenty years:--

"How have I strength to take this pen? My poor boy!--my son!--my
beloved Henry!--is no more: his soul has flown to his Creator! Oh,
God! pardon this complaint in my distress. What have I done to be
thus cruelly afflicted? My boy!--my dear son!--my only hope!--my last
happiness!--I shall never again see thee! Formerly I was happy; I had
my good Anna and my dear child; but cruel fate soon tore my companion
from me. My trouble was indeed great, and my affliction was profound;
but thou wast still with me, Oh, my child! and all my affections were
concentrated in thee. "With thy caresses thou didst dry my tears; thy
smile was like that of thy mother, and thy beautiful features reminded
me of her, and in thee I found her again. But to-day, alas! I have
lost you both. What a void! Oh, God! what a solitude! Oh! I ought to
die in this room which is the depository of all my misfortunes. Here I
bewailed my poor brother; here I closed the eyes of my daughter; here,
also, Anna, when dying, bade me, bathed in tears, her last adieus;
and here, at last, thou, my son, they tore thee from my arms, to lay
thee near the ashes of thy mother.

"So many afflictions and so many troubles for one man! Oh, God of
goodness and mercy, will you not restore to me my poor child? Alas! I
scarcely feel that I am mistaken: but He will pity my bewilderment--he
who has been beloved and who has seen carried off, one by one, all
the elements of his happiness. As for me, an isolated being, and
henceforward useless on this earth, it matters little where I shall
sink under the weight of my afflictions. If it was not from the hope of
seeing my mother and sisters, I should terminate my wretched existence,
my grave should be with you--you all!--whom I loved so much. I should
remain near you, and during the rest of my miserable existence I should
every day visit your tombs! But no; a sacred duty obliges me to leave
you, and to separate for ever from you. Cruel! Oh, cruel indeed will
be the hour when I shall depart from you. And thou, my beloved, my
good, excellent wife, my Anna, thy last words shall be accomplished. I
will set out, but regret and grief accompany me during the voyage; my
heart and my memory will remain at Jala-Jala. Oh! land bedewed with
my sweat, with my blood, and with my tears! when fate brought me to
thy shores thou wast covered with dismal forests which this day have
given place to rich harvests: among thy inhabitants order, abundance,
and prosperity have taken the place of debauchery and misery. My
efforts were crowned with full success; all was prosperity around
me. Alas! I was too happy! But while misfortune strikes me down and
overwhelms me, it will have stricken me alone, my work will outlive
me. You will be happy, Oh, my friends! and if I myself have been so
in contributing to your welfare, let a thought sometimes awaken your
feelings towards him to whom you often gave the name of 'Father;'
and if you preserve gratitude towards him, Oh, take a religious care
of the tombs, trebly dear to him, which he now intrusts to you."

My readers will pardon this melancholy and long lamentation; they
will understand it if they examine with care my position. Separated
from my country by five thousand five hundred leagues, the stroke
of fate which laid all my cherished hopes in the dust was the
more acutely felt as it was unexpected. I had no relatives in the
Philippines; in France alone I might yet find some affections; and,
at the moment of quitting Jala-Jala for ever, the idea of parting with
my Indians--attached, devoted, as they were to me--was an additional
grief to the many which overpowered me. Thus I could not resolve to
acquaint them beforehand of this separation. I remained in my room,
without quitting it even at meal times. My friend Vidie did everything
possible to prepare me for these adieus, and to console me. He pressed
me to start speedily for Manilla, and to make arrangements for my
departure; but an irresistible force retained me at Jala-Jala. I
was weak; my heart was so crushed by sorrows that I had no courage
to adopt any resolutions. I put it off from day to day, and from day
to day I was more undecided. An unexpected occasion was necessary in
order to conquer my apathy; it was requisite also to triumph over me
by sentiments of gratitude--sentiments which I could never resist.

On this occasion, the motive which decided my departure was furnished
by Providence. I had a friend in Manilla, a lady of angelic goodness,
gentleness, and devotedness. United from the period of my arrival in
the most intimate manner with all her family, I had known her as a
child, and afterwards married to a highly honourable man, of whom when
she was subsequently bereaved, I afforded her all the consolations
which the sincerest friendship could offer. She was a witness of the
happiness which I enjoyed with my dear Anna, and, hearing that I was
unhappy, she did not hesitate to undertake a long journey, and in her
turn to come and take a part in my troubles. The excellent Dolorès
Seneris arrived one morning at Jala-Jala; she threw herself into my
arms, and for some moments tears alone were the interpreters of our
thoughts. When we recovered from our first emotions, she told me that
she had come to take me away, and she herself made the preparations
for my departure. I was too grateful for this proof of the friendship
of the good Dolorès not to acquiesce in her wishes, and it was decided
that on the following day I should quit Jala-Jala for ever.

The report was soon spread among my Indians. They all came to bid me
farewell: they wept, and they said to me:

"Oh, master, do not deprive us of all hope of seeing you again. Go,
and receive consolation from your mother, and then return to your
children." That day was filled with most distressing feelings.

The day following was Sunday. I went to say adieu to the remains of
those whom I had loved even in their tombs. I heard for the last time
the divine service in the modest little church which I had erected,
and in which for a long time, surrounded by my dearest friends, I was
happy to assemble, on the same day of the week, the small congregation
of Jala-Jala.

After the service I proceeded to the beach, where the boat was waiting,
which was to take me to Manilla. There--surrounded by my Indians, the
good parish priest, Padre Miguel, and my friend Vidie--I bade adieu
to them all for the last time. Dolorès and I got into the boat, which
was scarcely pushed off from the shore when every arm was stretched
out towards me, and every one exclaimed:--"May your voyage be happy,
master! And oh! return soon!"

One of the oldest Indians made a sign for silence, and then in a loud
voice uttered these solemn words:--"Brothers, let us weep and pray,
for the sun is obscured to us; the star which is going has shed light
on our best days, and now for the future, being deprived of that light,
we cannot tell how long will last the night in which we are plunged
by the misfortune of his departure."

This exhortation of the old Indian were the last words that reached
us: the boat moved away, as I, for the last time, fixed my eyes on
the beloved land which I was never again to behold.

We reached Manilla late: it was one of those enchanting nights, which
I have described in the happy period of my voyages. Dolorès insisted
that I should not lodge in any house but hers. Before she set out
her careful friendship had provided for everything. I was surrounded
by all those little attentions of which woman alone has the secret,
and which she knows how to confer with such grace on him who is the
object for whom they are designed.

My windows looked on the pretty river Pasig. I there passed whole
days in looking at the graceful Indian canoes gliding over the water,
and receiving the visits of my friends, who came with eagerness to
endeavour to divert my thoughts, and to afford sources of pleasing
conversation.

When I was alone I sought to dispel my melancholy by thinking of my
voyage; on the happiness I should experience on seeing again my poor
mother and sisters, a brother-in-law whom I did not know, and nieces
born during my absence.

The obligation of returning the visits I received, and the
re-establishment of my health, allowed me at length to enter into
affairs connected with my departure.

My friend, Adolphe Barrot, consul-general of France, was every day in
expectation of intelligence from his government, with orders for his
return home. He proposed to me to wait for him, so that we might make
the voyage together. I accepted the proposal with pleasure, and we
decided amongst ourselves that, for our return, we should take the
route of India, of the Red Sea, and of Egypt.

While I stayed at Manilla I did not wish to be idle. The Spaniards
reminded me that at a former epoch I had carried on the art of
medicine, and with great success. I soon had patients from all quarters
of the island, and I resumed my old profession, and gave advice. But
what difference between this time and that of my débût. Then I was
young, full of strength and of hope; then I indulged in the illusions
usual to youth; a long future of happiness presented itself to my
imagination. Now, overwhelmed by the weight of troubles and of the
laborious works I had executed, there was only one wish to excite
me, and that was, to see France again; and yet my recollections took
me continually back to Jala-Jala. Poor little corner of the globe,
which I civilised! where my best years were spent in a life of labour,
of emotions, of happiness, and of bitterness! Poor Indians! who loved
me so much! I was never to see you again! We were soon to be separated
by the immensity of the ocean.

Reflections and recollections beyond number thus occupied my mind. But,
alas! it is vain to struggle against one's destiny; and Providence,
in its impenetrable views, was reserving me for rude trials and
fresh misfortunes.

Having again become a doctor at Manilla, where I had such difficulty
at my commencement, I visited patients from morning until night. To
Dolorès and to her sister Trinidad I was indebted for the most touching
and most delicate attentions, calculated to heal the wounds which were
still bleeding in the bottom of my heart. I frequently saw the two
sisters of my poor wife, Joaquina and Mariquita, as well as my young
niece, the daughter of excellent Josephine, for whom I had entertained
so warm a friendship, and who so soon followed my darling Anna to
the grave. By little and little I was forming new ties of affection,
which I was soon to break, and never afterwards to renew. I could
not forget Jala-Jala, and my recollections never quitted that place
where were deposited the remains of those whom of all the world I
had most loved. My eager wishes induced me to hope that my work of
colonisation should continue, and that my friend Vidie should find some
compensation for the rough task he had undertaken. At this period, even
while I remained in Manilla, a great misfortune was nearly the cause
of throwing Jala-Jala back into its former state of barbarism. The
bandits, who always respected the place while I was in possession of
it, came one night to attack it, and made themselves masters of the
house in which Vidie had shut himself up, and defended until he was
forced to escape out of a window, and to run and hide in the woods,
leaving his daughter, then very young, to the care of an Indian
nurse. The bandits pillaged and shattered everything in the house;
wounded his daughter by a sabre-cut, of which to this day she bears the
marks; and then went off with the plunder they had made. But Jala-Jala
had become too important a point to be neglected; and the Spanish
government sent troops to it, to protect Vidie, and to maintain order.

At last, Adolphe Barrot received from the French government the
long-awaited instructions to return home; all my preparations were
made for setting out. It was in 1839; twenty years had passed over
since I left my country, which I was now about to return to with
satisfaction. For a long time I had received no news from my mother,
and the pleasure which I anticipated from seeing her was troubled by
the dread of having new sorrows to experience on my arrival. My mother
was then very old; her life had been passed in long tribulations,
and in complete sacrifice of self. The numerous moral troubles which
she had gone through must have affected her state of health. Besides,
I had been so unfortunate: fate seemed to have so roughly treated all
my affections, that I could not refrain from thinking that I should
never again see her for whom I abandoned my much-loved country. The
day for sailing came; yet it was not without a heartfelt grief that
I tore myself away from my friends, and bade adieu to the Philippines.



Here ought to terminate the account which I proposed: yet I cannot
refrain from dedicating a few lines to my return to my native land.

On board various vessels I passed the coasts of India, the Persian
Gulf, and the Red Sea.

After having often admired the grand works of Nature, I felt a strong
desire to see the gigantic works executed by the hand of man.

I went to Thebes, and there visited in detail its palaces, its tombs,
and its monolithes. I descended the Nile, stopping at every place
which contained any monuments worthy of my curiosity. I ascended
one of the Pyramids. I passed several days in Cairo, and set out for
Alexandria, where I embarked anew, to pass over the small space of
sea which separated me from Europe.

I have sometimes wished to compare the grandest of human productions
with the works of the Creator; the comparison is by no means
favourable to the former, for all those useless ornaments are nothing
but lasting proofs of pride, and of the fanaticism of a few men, who
were obeyed by a people in slavery. I also saw all that remained of
the traces of destruction committed by two of the greatest conquerors
of the world: the first was but a haughty despot, causing cohorts of
slaves to act as he pleased, and carrying the sword and destruction
amongst peaceful people, to profane their tombs, to follow up useless
conquests,--history afterwards shows him dying of an orgie; and the
other, alas! was enchained to a rock.

From the summit of one of the Pyramids, in religious abstraction, I
had contemplated the majestic Nile, which glides serpent-like through
a vast plain, bordered by the Desert and arid mountains. Looking,
then, below me, I could with difficulty descry some of my travelling
companions, who were gazing at the Sphinx, and who appeared like little
spots on the sand. And I then exclaimed: "It is not these useless
monuments that we ought to admire, but rather this magnificent river,
which, in obedience to the laws of all-powerful wisdom, overflows
every year, at a fixed period, its limits, and spreads itself, like
a vast sea, to water and to vivify these immense plains, which are
afterwards covered with rich harvests. If this immutable and beneficent
order of Nature did not endure, all these fertile districts would be
but a desert waste, where no living creature could exist."

These reflections took their origin, without doubt, from my having
spent almost all my life amidst those grand creations of Nature,
from which man continually derives sentiments that elevate him to
the Supreme Being. I had studied that Nature--in all her details,
her beneficence, and her magnificence--too attentively to allow
the productions of man's genius to make upon me the impression
which I thought might be expected, when I first formed the wish
to see the monuments of Egypt; and, while sailing for Europe, I
already anticipated the feeling that a short sojourn in the midst of
civilisation would cause me to regret my ancient freedom, my mountains,
and my solitudes in the Philippine Islands.

On arriving at Malta I was for eighteen days locked up in Fort Manuel,
and then passed the quarantine. I there received news of my family. My
mother and sisters wrote to me that they were in the enjoyment of
excellent health, and were awaiting with impatience my coming to
them. After the quarantine was over, I stopped nearly a week in
the city, while waiting for a steamer that was going to France. I
embraced the opportunity of seeing every curiosity in the island. I
then resumed my voyage to my native land, and the following week I
recognised the arid rocks of Provence and France, from which I had
been absent for twenty years.

In a few days I reached Nantes, where for some time I enjoyed, in every
respect, all the happiness which one feels when those beloved beings
from whom one had been long severed, and who formed the last living
ties of affection for an unhappy being who had been severely tried
by a capricious destiny. But the want of excitement in which I lived
soon became irksome; my life had been too active, so that the sudden
transition could not fail to prove injurious to my health, and the idea
of submitting during the remainder of my existence to a life sterile
and monotonous became intolerable. Not knowing how to employ myself,
I resolved to travel through Europe, and to study the civilised world,
which was then so strange to me. I travelled through France, England,
Belgium, Spain, and Italy, and returned to my family, without being
able to discover anything that could induce me to forget my Indians,
Jala-Jala, and my solitary excursions in the virgin forests. The
society of men reared in extreme civilisation could not efface from my
memory my past modest life. Notwithstanding all my efforts, I retained
in my heart a fund of sadness, which it was not possible to conceal. My
kind-hearted mother, who with deep regret observed my repugnance
to establish myself in any part of the country, and who entertained
fears, perhaps well-founded ones, that I should yet endeavour to go
back to the Philippines, used every means to prevent me. She spoke
to me of marriage, and in all her letters repeated that she should
not be happy until I agreed to enter into the ties of a new union:
she said my name would otherwise become extinct, and, as her last
consolation, she asked me to allow her to choose a companion for me.

The wish to satisfy her, and also the remembrance of Anna's last words:
"Return to thy country, and marry one of thy countrywomen," decided
my resolution.

I soon made choice of one, who would have fully rendered a man happy
who had not too frequently before him the remembrance of a previous
union. Nevertheless, I was as happy as I could be. My new wife
possessed every quality necessary for my happiness. By her I became
father of two children, and I began to bless the determination which my
mother had contributed so much to make me adopt; but, alas! happiness
was never for me lasting; the cup of bitterness was not yet exhausted,
and I had still to shed many tears.

In the cemetery of Vertoux, a modest tomb for thee, poor mother! is
erected, between that of a husband and a son; and soon after another
grave was opened at Neuilly. In profound affliction I had the following
lines engraved on the latter:


        "Veille, du haut des cieux, sur ta triste famille;
        Conserve-moi ton fils et revis dans ta fille." [26]



NOTES


[1] Pablo signifies Paul, my Christian name. I was always called thus
at Manilla and at Cavite.

[2] The betel is a species of pepper plant, the leaves of which
are wrapped round areca nuts and the chunam--the latter is a kind
of burnt-lime made of shells, and the areca nut is the fruit of
a species of palm. The Indians, Chinese, half-breeds, and a great
number of Creoles, continually chew this mixture, which is reputed
to sweeten the breath and assist digestion.

[3] During six months the winds blow continually from the north-east,
and during the other six months from the north-west: these two periods
are termed north-east monsoon and north-west monsoon.

[4] At their head was Don José Fuentès, my constant friend.

[5] Don Simon Fernandez, Oidor at the Court Royal.

[6] The most bitter enemies of the Tinguians are a race of cruel,
blood-thirsty savages, who inhabit the interior of the mountains. They
have also to fear the Igorrots, who live nearer, but who are less
savage.

[7] Evil Spirit.

[8] A malicious divinity of the Tagalocs.

[9] It is on account of this cruel custom of beheading their victims
that the Spaniards have given to these savages the name of "corta
cabesas," "decapitators."

[10] Banditti.

[11] "The nakedness of the poor might be clothed out of the trimmings
of the vain."--Dr. Goldsmith's "Vicar of Wakefield."--Tr.

[12] The Igorrots, however, according to the reports of the Indians,
are not anthropophagi; perhaps the one in question had received these
ragouts from some other savages--the Guinans, for instance.

[13] It would be difficult to establish from what nations the divers
species of men who inhabit the interior of Luzon originally came. The
Tinguians, from their fine shape, their colour, their eyes, their
almost aquiline nose, the value they set upon china vases, their music,
and finally from their habits, would appear to be the descendants
of the Japanese. It is most likely that at a very distant period
some junks from the Japan coasts, hurried along by strong northern
winds, may have been wrecked upon the Luzon shores, and that their
crews, seeing no possibility of returning to their native country,
as well as to avoid the Malayan population that was in possession
of the beaches,--it is possible, I say, that the shipwrecked persons
withdrew into the interior of the mountains, the difficulty of access
to which protected them from all invasion.

The Japanese sailors, who are merely coasters, sail about with their
wives, as I had an opportunity of witnessing on board many junks,
whither I went through mere curiosity. Those same junks, beaten by
the tempest, had steered for shelter to the eastern coast of Luzon,
where they anchored for four months, waiting for the return of the
monsoon; and had they not met with a protecting government, their crews
would have been compelled to fly into the mountains, as I suppose the
Tinguians had been obliged to do. The latter having some women with
them, must have procured others from among the neighbouring population,
and as they inhabit the finest and healthiest country in the world,
their number must have considerably increased. They are now spread
over sixteen villages: Palan, Jalamey, Mabuantoc, Dalayap, Lanquiden,
Baac, Padanquitan y Pangal, Campasan y Danglas, Lagayan, Ganagan,
Malaylay, Bucay, Gaddani, Laganguilan y Madalag, Manab, Palog y Amay.

The Igorrots, whom I had less opportunities of studying, seem to
be the descendants of the remains of the grand naval army of the
Chinese Lima-On, who, after attacking Manilla, on the 30th November,
1574, had taken refuge in the province of Pangasinan, in the gulf of
Lingayan, where he was a second time defeated, and his fleet completely
destroyed. A part of the crew escaped into the mountains of Pangasinan,
where the Spaniards could not pursue them.

The Igorrot has long hair, eyes à la Chinoise, a flat nose, thick
lips, high cheek bones, broad shoulders, strong and nervous limbs,
and bronze colour; he greatly resembles the Chinese of the southern
provinces of the Celestial Empire.

I could obtain no information as to extraction concerning the Guinans,
another people of savages, ferocious and cruel, who live in the
neighbourhood of the Tinguians.

I keep back for a future period a description of the Ajetas, or
Negritos, the aborigines of Luzon.

[14] According to Indian tradition, and to Spanish tradition
likewise, the Infant Jesus of Zébou existed before the discovery of
the Philippines. After the conquest the Infant was found upon the
sea-shore; the Spanish conquerors deposited it in the cathedral,
where it performed great miracles.

[15] The Malays.

[16] See Appendix, I.

[17] I experienced two such gales during my residence at Jala-Jala--the
one I am now speaking of, and another to which I shall afterwards
allude.

[18] Tapuzi is situated in the mountains of Limutan. Limutan is a
Tagalese word, signifying "altogether forgotten."

[19] In the eyes of the natives of Tagal all Europeans are Spaniards.

[20] While this work was in the press, Mr. Hamilton Lindsay, who has
already published an account of his "Voyage to the Northern Ports of
China," kindly furnished the Publishers with confirmatory proofs of
M. de la Gironiere's narrative, see Appendix, No. II.

[21] See Appendix III. and IV.

[22] Of the house of Russell and Sturges, a good and true friend, the
recollection of whom, often present to my mind, will never be effaced.

[23] Bernard the Hermit is a crab, which lodges in the abandoned
shell of the molluscæ, and comes at night in search of food, which
it finds on the sea beach.

[24] The skeleton is now in the Musée Anatomique of Paris.

[25] Gratitude here requires that I should name some of those to
whom I am specially indebted for marks of affection and kindness. It
would be indeed ungrateful on my part to forget them, and I beg them
to accept this proof of my recollections.

The Governors of the Philippines to whom I owe these remembrances
are:--Generals Martinès, Ricafort, Torres Enrile, Camba, and Salazar;
in the various administrations of the colony, the Judges (Oidorrs)
Don Inigo Asaola, Otin-i Doazo, Don Matias Mier, Don Jacobo Varela,
administrator-general of the liquors; Don José de la Fuente, commissary
of the engineers, who rendered me innumerable kindnesses; Colonel Don
Thomas de Murieta, corregidor of Tondoc; the colonel of engineers, Don
Mariano Goicochea; the Colonel-Commandant Lante Romana; the Governor of
the province, Don José Atienza; the brothers Ramos, sons of the judge;
all the family Calderon; that of Seneris; Don Balthazar Mier, Don
José Ascaraga; and lastly my friend, Don Domingo Roxas, whose son, Don
Mariano Roxas, after having received a solid and brilliant education at
Manilla, came to travel in Europe. He has acquired the most extensive
information in the sciences and arts, and when he shall have returned
to the Philippine Islands, he will most worthily replace his dignified
father, whom a premature death has snatched away from the industry,
the agriculture, and the advancement of his country. If gratitude
has induced me to mention here the Spaniards from whom I experienced
many acts of kindness, the same feeling compels me to allude to an
English gentleman to whom I was indebted for one of those important
services which are never to be forgotten. I allude to Mr. Thomas Dent,
with whom I have frequently conversed upon our hunting parties at
Jala-Jala, in which he was occasionally one of the principal actors.

[26]        "From Heaven's height look down and see
            The sorrows of thy family;
            Preserve for me thy only boy,
            And in thy daughter give me joy."





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+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



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