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Title: Alila, Our Little Philippine Cousin
Author: Wade, Mary Hazelton Blanchard, 1860-1936
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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[Transcriber's Note: Bold text is surrounded by =equal signs= and italic
text is surrounded by _underscores_.]


Our Little Philippine Cousin



THE

Little Cousin Series

(TRADE MARK)

    Each volume illustrated with six or more full-page plates in
    tint. Cloth, 12mo, with decorative cover,
    per volume, 60 cents


LIST OF TITLES

BY MARY HAZELTON WADE

(unless otherwise indicated)

    =Our Little African Cousin=

    =Our Little Alaskan Cousin=
        By Mary F. Nixon-Roulet

    =Our Little Arabian Cousin=
        By Blanche McManus

    =Our Little Armenian Cousin=

    =Our Little Australian Cousin=
        By Mary F. Nixon-Roulet

    =Our Little Brazilian Cousin=
        By Mary F. Nixon-Roulet

    =Our Little Brown Cousin=

    =Our Little Canadian Cousin=
        By Elizabeth R. MacDonald

    =Our Little Chinese Cousin=
        By Isaac Taylor Headland

    =Our Little Cuban Cousin=

    =Our Little Dutch Cousin=
        By Blanche McManus

    =Our Little Egyptian Cousin=
        By Blanche McManus

    =Our Little English Cousin=
        By Blanche McManus

    =Our Little Eskimo Cousin=

    =Our Little French Cousin=
        By Blanche McManus

    =Our Little German Cousin=

    =Our Little Greek Cousin=
        By Mary F. Nixon-Roulet

    =Our Little Hawaiian Cousin=

    =Our Little Hindu Cousin=
        By Blanche McManus

    =Our Little Hungarian Cousin=
        By Mary F. Nixon-Roulet

    =Our Little Indian Cousin=

    =Our Little Irish Cousin=

    =Our Little Italian Cousin=

    =Our Little Japanese Cousin=

    =Our Little Jewish Cousin=

    =Our Little Korean Cousin=
        By H. Lee M. Pike

    =Our Little Mexican Cousin=
        By Edward C. Butler

    =Our Little Norwegian Cousin=

    =Our Little Panama Cousin=
        By H. Lee M. Pike

    =Our Little Persian Cousin=
        By E. C. Shedd

    =Our Little Philippine Cousin=

    =Our Little Porto Rican Cousin=

    =Our Little Russian Cousin=

    =Our Little Scotch Cousin=
        By Blanche McManus

    =Our Little Siamese Cousin=

    =Our Little Spanish Cousin=
        By Mary F. Nixon-Roulet

    =Our Little Swedish Cousin=
        By Claire M. Coburn

    =Our Little Swiss Cousin=

    =Our Little Turkish Cousin=


    L. C. PAGE & COMPANY
    New England Building,      Boston, Mass.

[Illustration: ALILA]



ALILA Our Little Philippine Cousin


By Mary Hazelton Wade


_Illustrated by_ L. J. Bridgman


[Illustration]


    Boston
    L. C. Page & Company
    Publishers



    _Copyright, 1902_
    By L. C. PAGE & COMPANY
    (INCORPORATED)

    _All rights reserved_


    THE LITTLE COUSIN SERIES
    (_Trade Mark_)


    Tenth Impression, July, 1909
    Eleventh Impression, August, 1910



Preface


ON the farther side of the great Pacific Ocean are the Philippine
Islands. These form one of the many island groups that hang like a
fringe or festoon on the skirt of the continent of Asia. Like most of
the islands in the Pacific, the Philippines are inhabited by people
belonging to the brown race, one of the great divisions of the family
of mankind.

The Philippines are shared by many tribes, all belonging to the same
brown race. People of one tribe may be found on one of these islands;
those of a different tribe are living on another; or one tribe may live
in a valley and its neighbour in the hills; and so on to the number of
eighty tribes. Each tribe has its own customs and ways. And yet we
shall call these various peoples of the brown race our cousins; for
not only are they our kindred by the ties which unite all the races of
men in this world; they have been adopted into the family of our own
nation, the United States of America.

The people of these islands are many of them wild and distrustful
children. They have no faith in us; they do not wish to obey our laws.
If we are in earnest in our wish to do them good, and not harm, we must
learn to know them better, so that we may understand their needs. That
is one reason why we are going to learn about our little Philippine
cousin, Alila of Luzon.



Contents


    CHAPTER                            PAGE
       I. THE NEW BABY                    9
      II. HIS FIRST PARTY                15
     III. THE CHRISTENING                21
      IV. THE BUILDING OF THE HOUSE      25
       V. FOUR-FOOTED FRIENDS            29
      VI. THE BUFFALO HUNT               33
     VII. THE RICH MAN'S HOME            39
    VIII. TAPPING FOR TUBA               46
      IX. FOREST AND STREAM              51
       X. A SWARM OF LOCUSTS             57
      XI. THE NEW HOME                   63
     XII. IN THE FOREST                  68
    XIII. CROCODILES                     73
     XIV. TONDA'S STORY                  77
      XV. STRANGE NEIGHBOURS             81
     XVI. THE STOUT-HEARTED SAILOR       88



List of Illustrations


                                                            PAGE
  ALILA                                            _Frontispiece_
  "HIS MOTHER HAD BATHED HIM IN THE WATER OF THE RIVER"       21
  "SOMETIMES ALILA RIDES ON HIS BACK"                         31
  "HE WAS AS NIMBLE AS A SQUIRREL"                            49
  "SUCH A DIN AND COMMOTION YOU NEVER HEARD"                  58
  "'AROUND ONE PART OF THE CITY THERE IS A STRONG WALL'"      78



ALILA

Our Little Philippine Cousin



CHAPTER I.

THE NEW BABY.


ALILA is such a strong, active boy now, it is hard to imagine him in
his babyhood,--he was such a tiny brown tot!

His nose was so flat one would hardly have noticed there was a nose at
all, except for the wideness of the nostrils. His big black eyes seemed
to be moving around all the time, as much as to say:

"I must find out everything I can, and just as fast as I can, about
this queer place in which I find myself."

His hair was straight and coarse and black, even on the day he was
born. It was quite warm (in fact, almost all the days are warm in the
Philippines), yet the doorway was carefully covered and the windows
closed tightly.

Now, why do you suppose Alila found himself shut up in a close room
like that when he first entered this big round world of ours, while
there was such a soft gentle breeze outside as scarcely to move the
tops of the cacao-trees in the garden?

The fact is, Alila's father, who is not afraid of the wild buffalo nor
the boa-constrictor, nor even the huge cayman, is constantly dreading
the evil that bad spirits may bring to him. And now he had a darling
boy of his very own! According to the beliefs of his people, no evil
spirit must be allowed to enter a home when a child is born, or the
little one might be troubled by the spirit for the rest of his life.

So the loving parent walked back and forth over the roof waving a bolo
in his hand, as much as to say:

"Look out, spirits, or you may get your throats cut. Keep away from
here. Do not try to get inside to trouble my little one."

He did this very earnestly in the first hour of Alila's life, although
he was shown the foolishness of such ideas by the priests the Spaniards
sent among his people.

He is a small man, this father of Alila. He has high cheek-bones like
the Chinese and Japanese, and no beard upon his face.

When he felt that everything was really safe, he climbed down from the
thatched roof, and, opening the door as little as possible, went softly
up to the mat where the baby lay and kissed him.

But, dear me! not all persons kiss the way we do, and this father of
the Malay race seemed rather to _smell_ the baby than anything else we
can think of. He placed his own nose and lips on the baby's cheek and
drew a long breath. It was done to show his love, and that is what any
kiss is given for, is it not?

This baby's bed would not, perhaps, suit all the other babies in the
world. Some of those babies we know are cared for on cushions of
down and wrapped in soft flannels and delicate muslins. But what did
black-eyed Alila care for that? To be sure, he lay on a mat of woven
palm leaves, but it was sweet and fresh.

And although the floor his eyes sometimes rested on was not covered
with a rich velvet carpet, it was smooth and clean, for it was made of
split bamboos flattened and fitted close together. And oh, that floor
was beautifully polished by Mother Nature herself, for the bamboos as
they grow are covered on the outside with a coating of the finest and
hardest varnish.

If Alila could have thought about it at all, he would have considered
himself more fortunate than most babies,--for did not his own dear
mother, who lay at his side, make every bit of the spread which covered
his tiny body? She had taken the fibres of pineapple leaves and hemp
and woven them together.

But that alone would not make the spread beautiful enough for her
dear one. It must be given a bright colour, so she searched through
the woods till she found a sapan-wood tree; then, breaking off some
branches and opening them, she took a substance from the heart of each
and made a crimson dye.

So you can see that the cover was done entirely by Alila's mother; and
you can ask yourself if that wasn't a hundred times better than buying
cloth out of a store. That would not have the touch of love in its
making.

There was something else in Alila's home one does not see in other
lands. Whenever the baby's eyes turned toward the light, they found
it very soft and restful, for it came through a window in which were
fitted the inner shells of a certain kind of oyster.

It was so pretty! The colours of the rainbow shone there in pale tints,
and the flaring sunshine could not enter. The room was kept in a sort
of twilight all day long, and made it pleasant for the new-born baby
and his mamma to doze and dream.



CHAPTER II.

HIS FIRST PARTY.


ALILA was not two hours old before friends began to arrive to see him.
But they did not enter suddenly! That would have been the height of
rudeness. As they reached the doorway, each in turn stood for a long
time on the outside, making many complimentary remarks to Alila's
family. That was their way of showing themselves well-mannered and
polite.

The Tagals, for that is the name of this tribe of people, never do
anything suddenly. They do not appear to believe in surprise parties.

When all the fine speeches which seemed proper had been made, they
entered the little house and came to the side of the new baby. They
made the young mother very proud by the praise they gave her tiny son.

[Illustration: "HIS MOTHER HAD BATHED HIM IN THE WATER OF THE RIVER"]

But she and her husband were not the only ones pleased. There was
Alila's grandmother, who was always the most honoured one in the
household; there was also an aunt who made her home here as she was
too poor to have one of her own; and beside these, there was a lame
old man, a friend of the family, who had come to them for shelter. The
Tagals are so hospitable they will never turn any one from their homes.

As one visitor after another arrived, the little house became crowded.
If it had not been for the high, dome-shaped roof, the air would have
grown heavy and impure. As it was, Alila and his mother soon grew very
tired and closed their eyes in sleep.

"That is good," said the grandmother, "we must let her rest. We will go
out under the cacao-trees and talk, and I will bring some cocoa wine
and betel to you there."

This old woman was certainly not pretty, although good and thoughtful.
As she stood talking to the visitors in low tones, one could see how
short she was. Her coarse, black hair grew down upon her forehead
almost to her eyebrows; her wrinkled skin was dark brown; her eyes were
large and round and, like her baby grandchild's, ever turning in a new
direction.

She was dressed in a short skirt much like those of the other women of
the party; it was of three colours,--green, white, and bright red. Over
this she wore a large piece of blue cotton cloth, cut in the shape of
an oblong, tucked in at the waist and hanging over her skirt almost
down to her knees. No shoes or stockings covered the bare legs or feet,
but she did not seem to miss them.

She was as straight as an arrow, even if she were a grandmother.
Perhaps it was because she had been used to carrying jars of water and
baskets of fruit upon her head ever since she was a little child.

She moved softly about the hut as she got the entertainment ready for
the company. From one corner she drew forth a large bamboo with a grass
stopple in it. This held the wine the guests would sip so sparingly,
for the Tagals are a sober people and seldom drink enough fermented
liquor to hurt them. The old woman next got some cocoanut shells
together. These were the only drinking-cups the family ever used.

But the betel which she now placed beside the other things,--what is
that, you ask? It is not a food, and yet it often takes the place of
food; for a Tagal can work a long time without eating if he can chew
all of this he wishes. It is prepared from the nut of the areca palm,
one of the most beautiful trees in the world. A palm of this kind
grows right beside Alila's home, and, now that he is a big boy, he
climbs the tall tree himself and brings down the nuts which grow at the
top under the tuft of glossy green leaves.

The nuts are cut into thin slices and wrapped in the leaves of a
singular plant called buyo. But, before they can be used for this
purpose, these leaves are coated with lime made from oyster shells and
then folded up.

Alila's grandmother prepared a quantity of betel before the new baby
was born.

Just as she was going out to offer refreshments, another visitor
arrived. It was a friend who had come from a distance, but the mother
and child must not be wakened. Oh, no! that was not to be thought of.
The souls of people leave their bodies and go away while they are
sleeping, the old woman believes; and if any one should arouse them
suddenly, they might never return to their bodies.

So, of course, the visitor, who also had this belief, wouldn't have
disturbed the sleepers for anything in the world. She quietly turned
away and joined the other guests in the garden.



CHAPTER III.

THE CHRISTENING.


ALILA was christened soon after he was born. Dear me, what a time that
was! The festival lasted several days. There was a host of friends and
acquaintances around the little home, making merry and admiring the
baby.

Alila himself was as clean and sweet as any child in the world could
be. His mother had bathed him in the water of the river which flowed
down the mountainside near them, while the leaves of the papaw-tree
took the place of soap.

The young mother herself was only fifteen years old. She was dressed
in her brightest skirt and fairly shone with the abundance of cheap
jewelry she wore. Her hair was combed straight back from her forehead.
She wore nothing on her feet excepting her queer slippers, of which she
seemed very proud. She had herself embroidered them to look like a pair
worn by the rich lady whose husband owned the plantation. They were
perfectly flat and had only uppers enough to encase two or three toes.

What queer, uncomfortable things to wear on one's feet! Alila will
never own such things because he is a boy, and he should be glad of it.

His grandmother and aunt had a fine feast prepared for the visitors.
There was a good supply of roasted buffalo and wild boar's meat. There
was a salad made from the young green tops of the bamboo; steamed rice
and stewed iguana; papaws, which tasted like melons; tamarind sauce and
guavas and bananas. And, of course, there was an abundance of betel,
cocoa wine and tuba.

But strangest of all the dishes at the Tagal's feast was one prepared
from a kind of beetle. The guests relished it greatly and Alila's
father was praised very much for surprising them with this dainty.

But the feast was only a small part of the entertainment. A band came
from the village to furnish music. Every instrument on which they
played was made of bamboo. Then there was dancing and singing under the
palm-trees by old and young, and when evening came there were displays
of fireworks.

As Alila's father was quite poor, how could he afford such splendour?
The fact is, it cost him nothing! It was a free show given by Mother
Nature. Her little children, the fireflies, gathered in great numbers
and danced in circles around the trees. Any one ought to be satisfied
with fireworks like those.

Alila's eyes watched the people eat with their fingers and looked at
the lights dancing about; he listened to the odd, sweet music for
a little while; and then those black eyes closed tightly and he lay
fast asleep in his young mother's arms. Of course, he doesn't remember
anything about it now, but his grandmother has told him the story so
many times it almost seems as though his own mind had kept the pictures
for him.



CHAPTER IV.

THE BUILDING OF THE HOUSE.


AND now he is a big boy, ten years old, and can do so many things to
help his parents. He has not always lived in the home where he was
born. Last summer a whirlwind destroyed that one, but he helped his
father build another just like the first, and he showed himself a very
clever worker.

He searched through the forest for bamboos of the right size; he did
his share in cutting them down and splitting them for the walls of the
hut. When they were ready, he worked each morning in thatching the roof
until it grew too warm. Then came dinner and a nap under the trees
until the late afternoon, when work began again.

In a few days a new home was ready and the terrible hurricane forgotten
by the carefree, happy little boy.

Can you guess what part of the hut took the largest share of Alila's
time and attention? It must have been the window-panes, for he was
anxious to get the most beautiful mother-of-pearl he could find. He had
to take a trip to the seashore ten miles away, and then he spent many
hours finding such oyster shells as had a very delicate lining.

"The two windows must be beauties," said the boy to himself, "for that
will please my mother so much."

No carpenter's shop nor store was visited during the whole time. It
was not needful, for the forest near by stretched its arms toward
the workers, as much as to say: "Come to me; I will gladly give you
everything you can possibly wish."

"How about nails," you ask, "and stout cord with which to fasten all
the parts together?"

Nails, and a bolt in the door? Why, what could be better than a stick
of rattan, cut and whittled into shape? Cord? That was obtained very
easily, too, from a bushrope-tree growing near Alila's home. It is so
stout and strong it is not an easy thing to break it.

When the house was finished, it looked like a great beehive. There was
only one room, but what of that? If people are perfectly comfortable
they can be as happy in a one-roomed hut as though they lived in a
palace.

Alila has so many good times you would almost envy him. In the first
place, it takes him only a minute to dress in the morning. A pair of
thin trousers and a shirt hanging down outside instead of being tucked
in at the waist, and his toilet is made.

When he goes out into the sunlight, he wears an odd-looking hat of
rattan. It is made in the shape of a cone, and shields his eyes nicely
from the sunshine. He goes to no school, so he does not know how to
write to his new American brothers, but that doesn't trouble him in the
least.

He always has enough to eat, and is satisfied with a dinner of rice
and fish any day. Besides, there is always a bunch of bananas hanging
inside the house, and he has sugar-cane in abundance.

He is hardly ever punished and is allowed to do very much as he
pleases. It is fortunate that he pleases to do right nearly all the
time.

He swims every day in the river; he fishes from his bamboo raft; he
hunts in the forest with his father. His chief duty on the sugar
plantation is to keep the monkeys out of the cane. It was not long ago
that he shot two of the mischievous little fellows with his bow and
arrow and hung the poor things on poles like scarecrows to frighten
others away.



CHAPTER V.

FOUR-FOOTED FRIENDS.


ALILA has a tame monkey at home now. He has taught him many clever
tricks. Every night when he goes to bed, the monkey curls himself up
by his side and lies there till morning. He seems to love his little
master very dearly and often rides on his shoulder while Alila is
working.

Until a few months ago, the boy has lived on a sugar plantation owned
by a rich Tagal planter. The plantation is divided up into small farms
and rented to different workmen. The planter furnishes one buffalo and
all the needed tools to care for each little place.

When the harvest time arrives in December, each tenant carries his crop
to the mill for grinding. He is allowed one-third of it for himself,
and, whatever price it brings, it must support his family for the next
year.

[Illustration: "SOMETIMES ALILA RIDES ON HIS BACK"]

Alila is not the least afraid of his father's buffalo. When he was only
three years old the huge creature would obey him and allow him to drive
anywhere he pleased. He seemed to know by the tone of the boy's voice
just what he wished him to do.

It made an odd picture,--the tiny little fellow, holding a slender rein
in his chubby hands as he trotted along by the buffalo's side. The rein
was fastened to a piece of split rattan drawn through the animal's
nose. Yet somehow every motion of Alila was understood by him. Is it
the boy's patience that makes the beast so gentle? We like to think so.

If we should take Alila's place the animal would not stir to obey us.
He would at once become stubborn and ugly, because he is not used to
our quick, nervous, impatient ways.

He cannot work all day like a horse. After two or three hours, he needs
to stop and rest. But that is not enough,--he suffers if he cannot
have a bath. Sometimes Alila rides on his back when he plunges into
the river, and holds on without fear while the buffalo stretches his
head down and holds it under the water for two minutes at a time as he
searches for food.

How Alila does love him! He has the next place in his heart to his
father and mother. But the buffalo has other good friends beside
Alila's family. They are not people, nor even other buffaloes. They
are white herons that follow him as he ploughs. They are not afraid if
Alila is the only person there. As the animal's heavy feet plod over
the ground, worms and insects come to the surface. The herons know this
and easily get a good breakfast.

Besides these attendants, a small blackbird often keeps the buffalo
company, who will raise up his head in delight to meet it. Why is
it? Because the bird flies about his head and neck and picks off the
insects from his skin.

This buffalo has lived on the farm from the time he was caught wild
when a baby. If he had not been so young he could never have been
tamed. A wild buffalo is a terrible thing; he is most to be dreaded of
any creature in the islands.



CHAPTER VI.

THE BUFFALO HUNT.


ALILA'S father has been on several buffalo hunts, but never yet has
he allowed his boy to go with him. He says it is far too dangerous;
the little boy must wait until he is older. But it is so hard to wait,
Alila thinks, as he longs for the time to come and looks up at the pair
of horns brought home from the last hunt.

The horns are very long and curved and sharp. The boy often wonders if
there is another animal in the world with such fearful horns. He says
to himself:

"Perhaps the very buffalo who owned this pair was the one that gored
to death poor Olo." Alila stretched himself on the ground, closed his
eyes, and again pictured the story in his mind. This is the tale:

In the village just below the plantation there lived a young man who
was honest and brave but very poor. It happened that he loved the
daughter of a neighbour very dearly and she returned his love. But the
youth had no money and no land, and at first the girl's father said:

"No, you cannot have my daughter, for you can give her no wedding
portion."

It is the custom among these people for the lover to give his bride as
fine a present as her parents think suitable. The young man felt very
sad, when an idea entered his mind that gave him hope. He said to the
father:

"Can I not come to your farm and serve you for two years? And if I then
show myself faithful in all my duties, will you give me your daughter?"

The father consented. It was a very common thing for such service to
be given, and he felt satisfied.

The two years passed by. The young man had worked day after day at
the hardest labour. He had never spoken a cross word nor found the
slightest fault. But now that his service was over and the day set for
his marriage, he wished to show the father of the lovely girl how brave
he was, and he wanted to make his bride some little present, too.

He heard that a party of men, one of whom was Alila's father, were
going on a buffalo hunt. He would join them. It was to be his first
venture of this kind, but he had no fear.

The party was made up of six men on horseback, two tame buffaloes, and
a pack of immense dogs used to hunting. The men were armed with knives
and spears and each one carried a lasso.

They started in the early morning and rode out over the plains till
they came to the edge of a large forest. There they waited at some
little distance from an opening through the trees while the dogs were
sent into the forest to rouse the prey. They had only a short time to
wait before the barking of the dogs was heard.

They took their places some distance from each other and listened
breathless. The young lover was to be given the first chance in this
combat. A bull-fight is fearful enough, but it cannot compare with the
struggle between a maddened buffalo and his pursuer.

Hark! There is a crashing of trees, a falling of branches. The ground
shakes and out from the darkness of the forest plunges a huge buffalo.
He raises a storm of dust as he comes onward. He is shining black, and
as he tosses his head one can see the wicked horns, capable of doing
such terrible injury.

For an instant he pauses and looks at the men standing ready to
capture him; then he rushes toward the young man, who now has the
chance he begged for. With lasso in hand he urges his horse toward the
buffalo.

It is over in a moment's time. He has hurled his lasso but has failed;
and before he can move out of danger the furious animal has thrown him
from his horse and ended his life.

But the other hunters cannot stop a second. They, too, will lose their
lives if they are not careful and quick. One after another gallops
after the enraged animal and throws his lasso. There are several
failures, but each time the men manage to escape. At last two are
successful, and the monster, hardly able to breathe, stands quiet and
still.

He is conquered. And now other lassos are drawn tightly around that
magnificent head and the animal is tied to the stout trunk of a tree.
The danger is over for these others, but the poor youth who longed so
greatly to succeed lies dead not far away. He will never see his dear
one again.

The men lift his body tenderly and carry it to the place where the tame
buffaloes have been left. They place it on the back of one of them.
Then they return to their prey and fasten a rattan ring through his
nose. With one of the tame buffaloes on each side of him, he can now be
easily led to the village, where they will kill him.

All the people came out to meet the hunters, and, when they heard the
sad news, all hearts were filled with pity for the young bride.



CHAPTER VII.

THE RICH MAN'S HOME.


ONE day as the boy lay dreaming of the time when he should be allowed
to risk his life in a buffalo hunt, his quick ear heard the steps of
some one coming down the road. He jumped up and saw an old friend of
his father's, a well-known hunter. He carried a basket in each hand and
would not have stopped if Alila had not called out:

"Where have you been the last few days? And where are you going? Father
will be home soon and he will wish to see you."

"I am on my way to the master's house to sell these bird's nests and I
will stop here on my way back. I expect a good price for them. He told
me he would pay me well. Ah, but it was hard work getting them, my
little fellow! You never could have done it in the world."

Alila looked at the hunter with envy, for he knew how dangerous his
work had been. Among many people in the East, no food is thought so
great a dainty as these edible birds' nests. What queer tastes they
have! At least it seems so to us.

There is a certain kind of bird that makes its nest high up on the
sides of steep cliffs jutting out over the waters of the ocean. These
nests are like no others. The birds that build them swallow a certain
kind of glutinous weed growing on the coral rocks. They then cough it
up and use this material they have so oddly prepared in making their
nests.

Whenever a man makes it his business to search for these nests, he
knows the danger full well. Slowly and painfully he must climb the
sides of the cliffs, often placing his feet where we should think there
was no foothold whatever. He clutches at a sharp point of rock here,
or a twig there; but if it is not as safe as he believed, woe unto him!
For down he falls into the raging waters below and is a lucky man if he
is not dashed to pieces on the sharp rocks. Again, he may grow faint
and dizzy when he has climbed only a part of the way, or he may lose
his hold from very weakness.

The Chinese are as fond of these edible birds' nests as are the
Filipinos. Perhaps you have heard of the great Chinese viceroy, Li Hung
Chang, who came to visit us several years ago. He brought his own cooks
and a large supply of birds' nests and sharks' fins.

Alila joined the hunter on his way to the planter's mansion. The boy
wished to have a chance to see the grand lady, the planter's wife, and
their little daughter, who plays so beautifully on the harp.

They soon reached the house, which seemed very large beside Alila's
little cabin. It was two stories high. The lower part was of stone and
the upper half of wood. It would not have been safe to use stone above
the lower floor on account of the frequent earthquakes.

The roof was thatched with cogon grass. When it was built the planter
said to himself: "I will not have an iron roof like many of the city
houses; it would be too hot. I like the grass thatching much better."

Beautiful gardens where roses were always in bloom surrounded the
house. Bright-coloured birds flew about among the bushes, but they
had no songs for Alila and the hunter as they passed along. The broad
veranda was shaded by a clump of tall banana-trees, swaying to and fro
in the gentle breeze. How noble they looked, with their tufts of glossy
leaves at the very top, lapping over each other and shutting out the
sun's hot rays!

As Alila glanced up to see if the fruit was ripening the hunter said:

"Did you ever hear the stories told of the banana? Some say it is the
very fruit that tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden, while others think
that she and Adam made their first clothing of banana leaves."

"I wonder if that can be so," said the little boy, thoughtfully. "Any
way, I'm glad there is fresh fruit every month in the year; I like
bananas so much."

They reached the house as he finished speaking. The planter and his
wife were sitting alone on the veranda. Alila was disappointed in not
seeing their little daughter.

While the hunter was attending to his business with the planter, the
boy's bright eyes noted the lady's dress.

"I must tell mother all about it," he said to himself. "She will want
to know. My, what a long train she wears! It is so thin and delicate
I think it must be woven of pineapple fibre. What beautiful bright
colours it has!

"And how stiff her kerchief is! It stands up so high at the back of her
neck I should think it would feel very uncomfortable. Her chemisette is
very pretty, my mother would think. What wide sleeves! Still they are
short, so she can keep cool."

But the jewels! Alila had never seen so many before. The lady fairly
sparkled, with her gold earrings and bracelets, set with precious
stones. Surely there was going to be a party at the big house, or she
would not be dressed so finely.

Just as the boy was thinking this, the planter's wife turned her head
toward him and spoke.

"Alila, is it not time to tap the cocoanut-trees? Tell your father
I want some tuba as soon as possible. You are now such a big boy, I
suppose you will be able to help him get it."

The little fellow made a low bow and answered that his father had
spoken about it that very morning and had promised that he should help
him. Perhaps you remember that when Alila was christened there was a
good supply of tuba at the feast. Did you wonder what it could be?

On the sugar farm there is a clump of cocoanut-trees on which no fruit
ever grows. Why is this? Because all the sap which would be used by
Mother Nature in making blossoms and changing these into cocoanuts is
used for another purpose. It is drawn from the tree at a certain time
of the year to make a drink much loved by the natives.

Tapping the trees for tuba is dangerous work, but Alila, you know,
loves danger. He went home from the planter's mansion very happy, for
now he should have an errand there every day during the next few weeks.
For must he not bring the family a fresh bamboo of tuba each night and
morning?



CHAPTER VIII.

TAPPING FOR TUBA.


ALILA was wide awake before sunrise of the next day. He did not lie on
his mat lazily watching to see if a lizard or newt should creep out of
a corner, as he often did on other mornings. It was only the day before
that he pulled a newt by its tail just to see if the tail would really
come off in his hand. It did, for a fact! and away Mr. Newt scuttled
without any tail.

Wasn't it a little cruel and ungrateful in Alila, when he knew how much
the newts as well as the lizards do to let him sleep comfortably? They
destroy ants and spiders and other creeping things, so that Alila's
mother never kills them nor drives them away.

Neither did Alila stop to play with his pet cat this morning--such an
odd cat, too, with a queer little twist in her tail like that of a pug
dog. Alila was dressed before his father waked.

While waiting, he went out into the yard to sharpen his knife. But he
had no whetstone. There are more ways than one of doing things, we have
already discovered. The boy took a piece of wood and covered it with a
paste made of ashes and oil. Then he rubbed the blade of his knife back
and forth over this till the edge was sharp enough to split a hair with
ease.

Next he got together some vessels of bamboo and two long bamboo rods.
He was just a little bit nervous, although it was not in his nature to
be easily excited. He said to himself:

"Oh, dear, I hope I shall not have to wait much longer."

At this very moment he looked up and there was his kind, quiet father
standing in the doorway.

[Illustration: "HE WAS AS NIMBLE AS A SQUIRREL"]

"All ready!" And the two started for the cocoanut grove not far away.

As soon as they reached the place, Alila took out his sharp knife.
Work began at once, for notches must be cut in the tree, one above
another, in which to place his toes. As one notch was made, the boy
drew himself high enough to get a foothold in it; then, reaching up, he
cut the next one and drew himself up to that, and so on until he had
reached the top, fully sixty feet above the ground. A cocoanut-tree, as
you probably remember, has no branches whatever to give any help to a
person in climbing.

And now Alila came down again. He did it so easily and gracefully, it
was a pleasure to watch him. As soon as he was within reach, his father
handed him vessels of bamboo, which the boy fastened to his waist
and again climbed the tree. One might almost say he was as nimble as
a squirrel, yet that does not express the long, graceful movements of
his body as he rose far from the ground.

When he was once more at the top of the tree, he made deep cuts in the
trunk directly under the great tuft of leaves, and hung his bamboo
vessels so the sap could flow into them.

Now for the same work in the next tree. Do you think he must go down
to the ground again and go through all the work he had in climbing the
first tree? Not at all. His father reached up to him two long bamboo
rods. He took the first one and stretched it across to the next tree.
This would serve as a bridge over which he could walk. The second one
was placed above the first and would make a good hand-rail.

Alila did not think of the danger of a walk in mid-air on such a
slender support. His head was cool, his feet were firm, his body
light, and he passed from one tree to another in perfect safety. He was
happy as a king to be trusted by his father to take such a risk.

Think of a fall from a height like that! Suppose for one instant that
the bamboo should give way under the boy's feet or failed to hold
in the tree-top! That would have ended our little Alila's life in a
moment, or at least made him a cripple for the rest of his days.

The fact is, however, that the boy had no accident, and every day
afterward, as long as the sap continued to flow, he went out to the
cocoanut grove, collected the tuba, and carried a good supply of it to
the planter's mansion.



CHAPTER IX.

FOREST AND STREAM.


THERE is another cocoanut grove on the farm, beside the one where Alila
gets the tuba. The fruit is allowed to ripen on these trees, and it is
the boy's duty to gather it. There is a new growth of cocoanuts three
times a year.

Alila does not need to climb the trees for them unless he wishes. He
usually fastens a sickle-shaped knife to the end of a long pole. In
this way he can reach up to the tops of the tallest trees and cut off
the cocoanuts; when thud! thud! down they fall to the ground, safe and
sound. For the delicious pulp is not only shut up in the hard shell
that we know, but this also is enclosed in a still larger and thicker
covering.

How could the natives of tropic lands get along without this valuable
tree? It has so many uses it would take a long time even to mention
them all.

Its roots are good to cure Alila when he is seized by an attack of
fever during the wet season. His mother believes that his life has been
spared through the use of this medicine. Alila's father made his canoe
from the trunk of a cocoanut-tree; while much of the furniture in his
employer's mansion has been carved from its beautiful wood. The boy's
mother uses a comb made from the stalks of cocoanut leaves. The husks
which enclose the fruit are made into _coir_, out of which are made
ropes, brooms, brushes, and even bedding.

When Alila was only five or six years old he learned to weave baskets
and mats from the leaves, and he knows how to thatch a roof with them
very neatly.

What is so delicious on a hot day as a drink of fresh cocoanut milk! It
is never hurtful and quenches the thirst as well as the coldest water.
The oil obtained from the nuts is used by Alila's mother in her cooking.

But she also needs it for another purpose. She is always in fear of an
earthquake, and feels safer to have a light burning in readiness all
night long. She keeps in the cabin a small vessel half-full of water.
Cocoanut oil is poured on the water and a wick made of a certain kind
of pith called _tinsin_ hangs down in the middle of this odd lamp. The
Chinese taught the Tagals the value of tinsin. There is scarcely to be
found a native hut where it is not used for lamp wicks.

But you must be tired of hearing about cocoanuts and their uses, so we
will return to Alila and his strange adventures. One day not long ago
his mother said to him:

"My child, I should like some fish for dinner. Will you go to the
river and get some?"

Alila has great success in fishing. He started off at once on his
errand. He did not stop to get hook and line, as you would have done;
he knew another way to fish, different from any we have in our country.

When he got to the river he walked along by its side till he found a
place where the water ran very deep. Then he took off his clothing, and
lay quietly down on the bank. His eyes were wide open and watchful,
though his body was so still. He soon saw some fish rise near the
surface of the water. Quick as a flash he jumped in and dived down,
down under where the fish were darting. Rising as suddenly as he had
dived, he came to the surface with a fish in each hand.

He is such a nimble little fellow that he did this several times, and
hardly ever failed. It was not long before he had a fine string of
fish to carry home. As he walked back, he stopped to gather some green
bamboos of medium size, for he knew they would be needed in cooking the
dinner.

While his mother was cleaning the fish, Alila made a fire and cut the
bamboos at every joint. They were changed at once into baking pans,
each one large enough to slip a fish inside, together with a little
water and some spices. The ends were stopped up, and the bamboos laid
in the fire. As soon as they began to burn, it was a sign that the fish
inside were cooked enough.

What a good dinner it was! You would have thought so if you could have
tasted the rice steamed in the same way as the delicate fish and served
on plantain leaves.

Alila has still another way of fishing which is not as hard work as
diving, though, after all, it is not much fun. He carries a bamboo
basket in which he has put a mixture containing a curious kind of
poison. He sets it floating on the water. When the fish come near it
the poison makes them stupid, and they rise and float motionless on the
surface, as though they were dead. Then it is an easy matter for Alila
to get them.



CHAPTER X.

A SWARM OF LOCUSTS.


THE little brown boy has lived, as you know, on a sugar plantation,
where the cane ripens only once a year. You also remember that last
summer a hurricane destroyed the boy's home, and a new one had to be
built. The sugar crop barely escaped ruin, when, alas! another danger
came to it, more fearful even than the great wind. It was a storm of
locusts.

Alila was working in the cane-fields with his loved buffalo one
morning, when, looking up suddenly, he saw something which frightened
him. It was a long distance away, far as his eyes could see, and it
appeared like a dark cloud near the earth.

[Illustration: "SUCH A DIN AND COMMOTION YOU NEVER HEARD"]

The boy was frightened, as I have said, but it was not for himself.
It was on account of the danger threatening the plantation; he knew
very well that what seemed like a cloud was composed of millions and
millions of locusts. Unless something were done at once, all the
sugar-cane would be ruined. For, if that army of insects, perfectly
harmless to animals, should settle down upon the canes, the leaves
would be entirely eaten in a few hours.

Alila ran as fast as his legs could carry him from one part of the
plantation to another, and gave the alarm to the working people as he
passed along.

It was wonderful how quickly men, women, and children armed themselves
to meet the coming enemy. All the bamboo clappers, cocoanut shells, tin
pans, and red flags that could be found were seized and put into use.

Then such a din and commotion you never heard nor saw, even on
the glorious Fourth of July. Locusts are very sensitive to noise, so
between the beating of drums and clappers, the waving of the red flags,
and the smoke from fires of wet wood at the sides of the fields, the
greater part of the army passed on. The people breathed again, since
the danger was over for the present.

When it was all over Alila was not too tired to play for awhile with a
few locusts he had caught in a net. Their bodies looked like those of
large grasshoppers, except that they were of a brownish colour.

They would not sting or bite, and the boy kept his new pets as long as
they lived. That was only a few days, however, as a locust has a very
short life. It is said that food passes through its body as fast as it
is eaten, so it is not nourished, and soon dies for this reason. It
also has an enemy, a small worm that forms in its body and gradually
eats it up.

The mother locust has a queer way of making a nest for her eggs. She
extends the end of her body till it is like an auger, and with this
she bores a deep hole in the earth. She chooses spots near fields of
ripening rice or sugar cane, so the young locusts, as they hatch out,
will be near a good supply of food; for at first they have no wings and
cannot go in search of it.

After the visit of the locusts, Alila went carefully around the edges
of the fields with the other workmen. They wished to see if any signs
of young locusts could be found. But they found none and felt that the
crops were free from danger for this year, at least. But Alila's father
said to himself:

"How many risks there are in working on a sugar plantation! I have been
here now many years. I never know whether the crop will be a failure
or not. I believe I will go somewhere else. Up on the side of the
mountain, not far from here, is a large hemp plantation; I will seek
work there. Besides, there is fine hunting near by and Alila can see
new sights."

When he told his family, they were all pleased, for Tagals dearly love
a change and often move from place to place merely for the sake of
change. Alila was the most delighted of all. He said:

"Now, father, I can hunt with you and go bat shooting in the deep
forests. You know I can sell their beautiful soft skins to travellers."

Alila's grandmother and mother were pleased, too. They liked the idea
because the hemp is gathered throughout the year and can be sold from
time to time, whenever there is need of money. But when the women
thought of the bands of brigands who hide in the mountain passes, they
began to fear.

Many were the stories they had heard of these robbers and their sudden
attacks in the night-time on people in lonely houses.

"You need not worry," said Alila's father, "for these wild robbers
seldom harm poor people; and they never kill unless they are obliged to
do so. I believe they are not as terrible as they are often described."



CHAPTER XI.

THE NEW HOME.


SO it came to pass that Alila went to a new home. It was not hard work
to get ready, for there was little to move. The old buffalo that had
grown up with his young master was able to carry on his broad back
everything owned by the entire family. He could easily have taken more,
too!

The women rode on ponies and the men walked beside the buffalo. No one
seemed to feel sad, although it had been an easy, happy life on the
little farm and the sugar planter had always been kind.

Their fellow workmen were Tagals like themselves; they would find many
Chinese labourers on the hemp plantation, at least they had been told
so. But they did not care for that.

There are many Chinamen in the Philippines, and they agree very well
with their Tagal neighbours and the people of the many other tribes.
Alila has a cousin married to a Chinese merchant in Manila and some
time he is going to visit her.

As they journeyed onward they passed a party of Americans. Alila's
mother called:

"Come nearer to me, my child. Stay by my side."

She had a fear of white faces of which she could not rid herself.
The Spaniards had been cruel to her people, she well knew. And now
that these others from far-away lands had taken the power from the
Spaniards, she felt that they, too, would be hard and unkind.

Poor ignorant mother! She did not understand that it meant such
different things,--schools for _all_ children instead of a very few;
work for any one who desired it; better care for the sick in the
cities; fewer taxes for all. Yes, all these and many other good things
would be done by the Americans to make Alila and Alila's children live
more wisely and therefore more happily.

When the sun was setting that night, the hemp plantation could be
plainly seen. It was a beautiful sight, those rows of small trees with
their large, glossy leaves, shut in by woods of a larger growth.

The plant from which is made what is called Manila hemp belongs to the
same family as the banana and the plantain. The leaves all of them look
so much alike it would be hard for us to tell the difference.

It did not take many days to get settled. The neighbours were very kind
and gave the family shelter and food until Alila and his father had
finished building a cabin. This time they made the roof as well as the
sides of the hut of split bamboo, and the boy's mother and grandmother
helped in preparing it.

Alila had never before seen hemp gathered, and he had much to learn.
He was soon very quick in separating the fibres from the pulp and
spreading them out to dry before packing.

The boy sometimes wonders what journeys the bales of hemp will take.
To what countries will they sail? To what uses will they be put? His
father has told him that nothing else in his island home is shipped in
such quantities as Manila hemp. It makes stout cordage and sail-cloth;
it is woven into mats, carpets, and hammocks; while the finest hemp is
made into delicate dress goods for the rich ladies of the island.

Yes, people all over the world have heard of Manila hemp, and when he
is older, Alila says he will bear it company and seek strange sights
across the oceans.

He had lived in his new home but a short time when he had an exciting
adventure. Not far from the farm there is a dense forest. One night
Alila's father said to his friends:

"Let us go on a hunt for wild boars. There must be plenty of boars and
deer, too, in those woods."

The other men were ready for a little sport. They had been hunting in
the forest many times before, and knew the best course to take.

"May I go with you, too?" whispered Alila, who was listening at his
father's side.

When all agreed that it would make no trouble to allow the boy to go
with them, since he was brave and strong, he was greatly pleased. They
would be gone several days. What new, strange creatures should he see?
What dangers should he meet?



CHAPTER XII.

IN THE FOREST.


THE party started out early the next morning. They carried very little
food with them; it would only be in their way when hunting, and they
trusted Mother Nature would supply what they needed as they went along.
Two of the men had guns; the others carried bows and arrows. Every one
was also supplied with a sharp spear and knife.

The first day was very quiet. Nothing was shot but a few birds and
bats. When night came they found themselves far from any stream; all
were thirsty and there was no water. What should they do? Ah! in plain
sight was a _liana_. It is called the "travellers' drink" because any
one, on breaking off a stalk, can obtain a cool draught. How refreshing
it was!

A fire was quickly made and the birds cooked for supper. They all lay
down to sleep. But, alas! that was not an easy thing to get. They had
no sooner stretched themselves by the fire than they were attacked. By
wild animals, you think at once. By no means. It was a small enemy,
fierce for their blood, which darted out from the grass and fastened
upon their bodies.

Multitudes of leeches have their home in the mountain forests of the
Philippines, and every native who travels there is armed with a small
rattan knife to cut them off as they seize upon him.

Alila's party knew that sleep was out of the question for this night.
As fast as our little brown brother was able to cut off one of the
bloodthirsty creatures, another took its place, till at last the
daylight came and the hunters could go on their way.

But what a wretched sight they were! Blood streamed from their arms and
legs, and they looked like the wounded survivors of a terrible battle.
When they came to a spring of water, they were glad enough to have a
chance to bathe.

Alila can tell you that was the worst night he ever passed in his life,
yet he hardly spoke a word of complaint through the long hours, and
in the morning laughed gaily with his friends when they gazed at each
other's sorry-looking faces.

Small creatures can make themselves as troublesome as big ones. Perhaps
you have already found this out when mosquitoes have found their way to
your bedside and waked you in the middle of the night.

After a hasty breakfast, the hunters were ready for a tramp, and they
soon found the tracks of wild boars. It was not long till they had
killed three of them with little trouble. They were about to make a
fire and roast some of the flesh for dinner, when a pitiful cry was
heard.

How it rang out through the forest! It sounded almost human. What could
it be? Alila's father jumped up and crept through the woods in the
direction of the sound. His boy followed close at his heels. They had
gone but a short distance when a strange sight met their eyes. High up
on the branch of a tree lay a huge boa-constrictor. He must have been a
hundred years old, he was so large.

His eyes were fastened upon a poor little deer in the coil of his tail,
which he had stretched down to trap his prey as it walked along. Ah!
the deer's eyes close and the piteous cry stops as he is clasped more
and more tightly in the clutch of the boa. And now the serpent raises
him from the ground, and swings him against the trunk of the tree; he
is thrown with such force he is instantly killed.

But what were Alila and his father doing all this time? They were too
late to save the deer, but the boa did not escape. As he was about
to descend the tree to feed upon his victim, his wicked eyes saw the
hunters for the first time. Out darted his forked tongue in anger, just
as two arrows entered his body and ended his life. The rest of the
party came up at this moment and helped cut away the skin of the boa.
It would be useful for making dagger sheaths.

Now indeed they would have a grand feast, for they could add the flesh
of the deer and boa to what they had already obtained.



CHAPTER XIII.

CROCODILES.


WHEN dinner was over, they began to look around their stopping-place.
They found they were close to a deep river. Should they swim across it,
or turn homeward?

"You must not try to cross without a boat," said one of the men to
Alila's father. "Crocodiles make their home in these waters. It is
possible we may not see any from this shore, but at the same time,
if you should try to swim to the other side, you might be attacked
suddenly, and be unable to escape. I know one poor fellow who lost his
life in this very place.

"Still, if you wish for more sport, I will tell you what to do. Let
us all watch on the shore here for signs of crocodiles. We are in no
hurry. Have your guns and arrows ready to help if one of the creatures
should appear. I will dive into the river and attack him with my spear."

It was a daring thing to think of. As every one knew, there is only one
place in the animal's body that can be pierced. That is directly under
the fore legs. Even bullets will fly off from any other part of the
scaly covering as though they had struck against a stone wall.

If the hunter venture to come close to such a monster, and his dagger
fail to pierce the vital spot, there is no help for him. The great jaws
will close upon him instantly, and he will never be seen again.

But the quiet Tagals seem to love danger, and no one tried to
discourage the hunter. They walked quietly along the river's side for
two hours, at least; they were about to turn when Alila cried:

"There he is, close to the bamboo thicket on the shore."

As they looked toward the spot, the fearful head and jaws of a
crocodile could be seen reaching up out of the water.

Ready! Down dived the hunter, spear in hand. The attack was sudden and
successful. The spear reached the one place it could enter, and stuck
fast. The diver did not stop a moment longer, but swam back to the
shore to his waiting friends. The surface of the river was instantly
streaked with blood as the crocodile plunged through the water in his
death agony.

The men waited till the great body of the monster became still and
quiet. Then with the aid of rattan nooses they drew it up on the shore,
and with their sharp knives proceeded to strip away the skin.

"It is a good medicine for rheumatism. I know it will cure the bad
pains from which my mother suffers," said Alila's father.

"And I will take some of the flesh and dry it as a cure for asthma,"
said another of the party. "I know a man who suffers very much from the
trouble. He will be glad to be able to breathe easily once more."

It was now near night and too late to think of starting home. They must
camp out once more. Every one hoped to be free from the persistent
leeches this time. They made a fire and stretched themselves beside it.



CHAPTER XIV.

TONDA'S STORY.


"TONDA, do tell us some of your adventures," begged Alila. "You have
travelled so far and seen such wonderful things! Father says you have
even been to the great city of Manila. I wonder what a city can be
like."

Tonda had certainly seen more of the world than any one Alila knew, and
he was always proud and glad to show his knowledge. So, although he was
tired and sleepy from the excitement of the day, he began to tell of
his visit to Manila when a young man.

"Oh, a city is indeed a wonderful place, Alila; I believe you would be
almost frightened, at first, at the queer noises you would hear.

[Illustration: "'AROUND ONE PART OF THE CITY THERE IS A STRONG WALL'"]

"What would you think of long, heavy cars rushing along through the
streets with no buffaloes to draw them and a single pony in their
place? These cars run along on tracks through streets in which round
stones are set in, side by side.

"There are great buildings divided by walls into many different rooms.
Around one part of the city there is a strong wall which was built
long, long ago, I was told. Behind those walls the people used to fight
against their enemies and were safe.

"There is a river running right through the city, and upon it many
kinds of boats sail at every hour of the day and night. While I was
there, the Chinese had a grand festival. Great ships like floating
palaces rode up and down the river. At night they were lighted up from
topmast to stern. Bands of music kept playing, and every morning the
Chinese who filled the vessels threw squares of coloured paper over
the sides and burned incense in honour of St. Nicholas, in whose memory
they held the festival.

"Why was St. Nicholas honoured so? Because in far distant times he
saved the life of a Chinaman from the fury of a crocodile.

"It happened in this way. The man was sailing on the river in a small
canoe, with no thought of danger. All at once, a crocodile appeared
close to the boat, capsized it, and with open jaws was ready to devour
the man. It was a fearful moment, but the Chinaman did not lose hope.
He lifted up his voice in prayer to St. Nicholas, and begged him to
save his life. The good saint appeared before him, and, striking the
crocodile with his wand, changed it instantly into a rock.

"The man was saved, but you may be sure he did not forget the wonderful
help he had received. He went back to Manila, and with the help of
his friends built a chapel in honour of the saint. Every year since
then the Chinese have gathered in the city and remembered the day when
their countryman's life was saved. They hold one festival after another
during two whole weeks. The people say that the city is always a gay
sight at such times."

By the time this story was finished, the company gathered around the
fire began to nod their heads. They were so tired from the day's hard
work that they could listen no longer. A minute afterward Alila was
sound asleep. He knew nothing more till the sunlight fell upon him the
next morning.

On the way home two more boars and a deer were shot. A bamboo hurdle
was quickly made, and the store of flesh was placed on it and easily
carried on the shoulders of the men.



CHAPTER XV.

STRANGE NEIGHBOURS.


YOU can imagine how glad Alila's mother was to see him back once more,
safe and sound. She kissed him tenderly in the odd fashion of her
people. When he had told her all his adventures, he said:

"Oh, mother, I want to go again. I haven't seen half of the strange
things in those forests. And, besides, hunters have told me of queer
people who live high up in the mountains beyond us. They are very wild,
and have such strange customs. It is said that they lived in these
islands before our people came here, hundreds and hundreds of years
ago. They must have been driven up into the thick forests to save
themselves from being captured.

"The men call them Negritos. They are very black, and do not look at
all like us. Their hair is a great ball of curls. They do not know much
more than animals."

"Yes, my child, I have not only heard about these savages, I have seen
one of them," replied his mother. "Your father has been among them, and
will tell you about their queer ways of living. They have no homes, but
sleep at night under the trees. If you heard them talking, you would
think at first it was the chattering of monkeys. They have very few
words in their language.

"When they plant their gardens, they do not plough them as we do. They
only scrape away the top of the earth, and then scatter their seed.
They do not even clear places in the forests."

While she was telling Alila these things, his father was not there. As
soon as he got back from the hunt, he went off to look over the farm to
see if the hemp was growing well. When he returned from this work Alila
went up to him, and said:

"Why is it, father, you have never told me about the Negritos? I never
even heard of them till I went on the hunt with you and your friends."

"I knew how you like daring deeds, my boy, and felt you would be
anxious to go among these savages and see them for yourself. So I
waited till you should be older. Now you have shown how much you can
bear, I will take you into strange places, and you shall see things for
yourself. The Negritos are a cowardly race, yet they are dangerous;
they always use poisoned arrows, and, from their safe hiding-places in
the mountains, often succeed in killing any people who dare to come
near them."

Then he told Alila how the Negrito children are taught to use their
bows and arrows when very young. They learn to shoot so well they can
hit the fish swimming in the water. They seldom fail to hit what they
aim at.

These savages live mostly on roots and fruits. Still, they do know how
to make a fire and cook some of their game. But they have no dishes,
and the bird or animal to be eaten is thrown among the embers and
allowed to stay there till the outside is burned to a crisp. When any
one among them is very ill, they do not wait for him to die, but bury
him alive.

One of the most laughable things Alila's father ever saw was a Negrito
wedding. The young bride pretended to run away from her future husband.
After he had caught her, they were carried up a bamboo ladder by their
friends, and sprinkled with water out of a cocoanut shell. Then they
came down and knelt on the ground, and an old man touched their heads
together. That made them man and wife.

Alila was much interested, and begged his father to tell more stories
of the Negritos and other savage tribes living in the depths of the
island forests.

He listened to tales of the Igorrotes, who live in huts like beehives
and creep into them like insects. They are people whom the white men
have tried again and again to conquer and to teach of God, but they
prefer to go naked and lead their own savage life.

And then his father described to him some of the sights he had seen. He
told him of a wonderful cave right there in his own island of Luzon. It
was equal in beauty to the cave Aladdin himself had entered.

Wonderful pendants of crystallised lime reached down from the lofty
roof, shining like diamonds. There were pillars of the snowy lime
a hundred feet in height, glittering in dazzling beauty. There were
spacious halls leading one from another in this underground palace. It
was a dangerous journey into this wonderful cave, but sometime Alila
must go there, his father said.

He should visit the volcano island, too,--an island in the middle of a
lake, from which terrible floods of lava and boiling water have poured
forth many times. What sorrow and destruction it has caused!

A long, long time ago, the boy's father cannot tell how many years have
passed, there was a terrible eruption. It lasted for many days. There
were quakings of the earth and horrible sounds under ground. The air
was filled with darkness save for flashes of lightning. Great columns
of mud and sand arose from out the lake. Torrents of lava poured over
the sides of the volcano and destroyed whole villages on the shores of
the lake.

Ah! it was a fearful time for the people, and few of those who were
there lived to tell the story to their children.

Alila's eyes grew larger as he listened to the wonders of the world
around him. Yes, he would travel and see these things for himself. He
was growing impatient. He could not wait much longer, for now he was
nearly a man grown.

Sometime, let us hope, we shall meet our little Alila. We will ask him
what he himself has learned that no one else can tell us.



CHAPTER XVI.

THE STOUT-HEARTED SAILOR.


ALTHOUGH Alila is anxious to travel and learn more of this great round
world, yet his own people seldom leave their island home. Strange to
say, however, white travellers from distant lands began to visit these
shores hundreds of years ago.

The first one to do this was a brave admiral named Ferdinand Magellan.
What wonderful adventures filled the life of this man! It seems almost
like a fairy tale.

After Columbus made his famous voyages across the Atlantic and
discovered America, Magellan, who lived in Portugal, was much excited
over the news. The world must certainly be round, he thought, and he
was no longer satisfied to explore the waters near his own home. He,
too, wished to find new and distant lands; but this was not enough. He
felt sure he could discover a way to the countries of the East, rich in
silks, spices, and precious gems, by sailing west.

The King of Portugal was a powerful ruler and anxious for new
possessions, yet he did not encourage Magellan. Instead of this, he was
ordered to go back to Africa and keep on fighting against the Moors,
for he had already won many victories there. The king was even stern to
him for leaving the war in Africa. Why had he returned to Portugal to
ask for other work than what had been given him?

It was a sad disappointment, and Magellan turned away from the king's
presence with a bitter heart. It was almost impossible for him to keep
from bursting into tears, though he was a brave, strong man. Just as
he was leaving the palace, an old friend stopped him and whispered:

"Why do you not go to the King of Spain and ask his help? He is young,
to be sure, but he will be glad to get the services of a brave man from
any country, for he is anxious to gain new lands and greater power."

Magellan's first thought was, "I cannot leave the service of my own
country for that of another." But afterward he said to himself, "No, I
am not right in working for one king when I can do more for the world
in serving another. I feel that I shall do much yet. And I am willing
to dare great risks, and give my life even, for the sake of what is not
yet known."

He went to Spain and offered his services to King Charles. You will be
pleased to know that this king was the grandson of the very Isabella
who so nobly helped Columbus. The young king was filled with the
spirit of his grandmother. He said to Magellan:

"Your plan is good; you are daring, yet cautious; you shall have ships
and supplies. So be of good courage and prepare for your voyage."

Magellan's heart bounded with joy. He promised the king that wherever
he should land in places not discovered before, there he would plant
the flag of Spain. He also vowed that he would do his best to teach the
Christian religion to the heathen and that a goodly company of priests
should go with him to baptise all who were willing.

At last the great day came when Magellan set sail. Shortly before, he
was married to one whom he had long loved and whom, alas! he should
never see again after leaving the shores of Spain. He and his fair
young wife had watched the building and repairing of the ships which
were to sail away with him so soon. With her at his side, he had
studied the rude maps of the Atlantic Ocean made by earlier voyagers,
and the instruments which should aid him in managing the fleet.

The great moment arrived at last. Amidst the shouts of the people, the
peals of the bells, and the roaring of the cannon, the anchors were
lifted and the fleet sailed into the West.

Days passed quietly by. The weather was good, and Magellan, now Admiral
Magellan, watched constantly for land. Many wonderful things were seen
by the sailors as they crossed the broad Atlantic. There were shoals of
flying-fish, strange and interesting birds, besides immense sharks that
followed the ships for days at a time.

After a voyage of over two months, the coast of South America came
in sight. The fleet stopped at different places; at one time finding
themselves among friendly savages, at another among a race of
unfriendly giants. Each time the ships were headed farther and farther
south.

At this time Magellan had other troubles besides directing the fleet.
You remember that he was a Portuguese, although he was sailing under
the King of Spain. So it happened that while some of the sailors were
from Magellan's country, most of them were Spaniards. These latter were
jealous of their leader because he belonged to a different nation from
themselves. Some of them talked secretly together and made a plan to
imprison him and take possession of the ships.

But Magellan learned of their wicked plot in time to defeat them, and
he punished them as they deserved. Only a cool and daring man could
have succeeded in defeating so many strong enemies. But he did succeed,
and the ships sailed onward as though nothing had happened.

It grew colder and colder. A violent storm arose and the ships were
tossed about like leaves in the wind. But Magellan was without fear and
kept his men filled with courage. At length he reached a narrow passage
leading to the west. He said to his captains:

"I believe we have come to the end of this continent. If we can make
our way through this strait we shall look upon the new ocean."

And the brave explorer sailed safely through the dangerous strait now
named for him. The storm passed away, and one bright, clear morning
Magellan looked for the first time upon a new and vast extent of water.
It was the dreamed-of ocean. It looked so calm and peaceful that he
said, "I will call it 'Pacific,' for I have never seen the like before."

Weeks were spent upon these waters. They were so quiet that for days at
a time the ships could not advance. There was hardly a breath of wind.

And now it was discovered that the supplies were getting low. The
sailors thought of home so far away, of friends they might never see
again; they pictured death by starvation here in the midst of these
beautiful waters. The food was served out in smaller and smaller
portions to the unhappy men. At last they were told there was nothing
left to satisfy their hunger save the rats which infested the ships and
some ox-hides which had been used to protect the rigging.

Think for a moment of the condition of Magellan and those with him.
They were out of sight of land in the midst of an unknown ocean. Some
were already dying of thirst; others were too sick and weak to help in
the care of the ship. Do you wonder that the sailors felt bitter at the
one who had brought them here and was the cause of their suffering? But
Magellan did not give up courage, even now. He ordered the hides to be
softened in the sea water and then boiled. For some days longer the
crews managed to live on with this for food.

One morning, when hope was nearly gone, a fresh breeze from the east
filled the sails of the ships, and in a few hours Magellan saw land in
the distance. The men's hearts beat hard for joy at the welcome sight.
They soon reached a small island where ripe fruits were abundant, and
where they could provide fresh supplies for the ships.

But they did not stay many days, for Magellan was not even now ready
to give up his search for the famous lands of the East. He felt that,
as the world was round, he must surely be near them by this time. So
once more the ships set sail, and soon reached the shores of one of
the Philippines, but a short distance from Alila's home. It looked so
rich and beautiful that the ships anchored once more, and the admiral
ordered the sick men to be taken on shore. Large tents were set up,
and the sufferers were nursed back to health and strength. There was
an abundance of good pure water and fresh food. All were soon well and
strong.

There were no people living on this island, but two days after he
arrived Magellan saw some canoes out upon the water. They were coming
swiftly toward the camp. They were filled with natives of another
island near by, who had seen the ships of the strangers; they were
curious to look upon the white men who were living near them.

These people of Alila's race had soft yellow skins and beautiful white
teeth. They wore no clothing except aprons made of bark. They danced
around the great admiral as he stood on the shore dressed in his most
elegant garments, and laughed and shouted. They wished him to see
they were friendly. They offered fresh fish and palm wine, cocoanuts
and figs, while Magellan made them wildly happy by giving them
looking-glasses and bells, ivory toys and brass trinkets. As he found
them honest and peaceful, he allowed them to go on board his ships.
He ordered his men to fire the cannon to amuse them, but the noise
frightened them so much that some of them jumped into the water and
came near drowning.

The chief of these people came to see the Spaniards. His face was
painted, and he wore heavy gold earrings and bracelets. He was kind
and pleasant. He brought a boat-load of fruit and, best of all, some
chickens.

Magellan learned from these people that he was near still richer and
larger islands. After a few days he started out once more. He passed
island after island, sometimes landing on their shores, sometimes
sailing slowly along, drawing a map of these new and wonderful places.

At the island of Cebu, Magellan made friends with the king, who was
baptised by the priests, and pretended to become a Christian. A large
cross bearing a wooden crown was set up on the top of a high hill near
the shore. It was a token to all travellers who should come this way
that this land now belonged to the King of Spain.

While the white visitors were staying here, the King of Cebu did all he
could to entertain them. He seemed anxious to show how friendly he felt
toward them. The Spanish sailors were much interested in the strange
customs and festivals of the brown people. They noticed that the food
was only half cooked and then heavily salted. This made the eaters very
thirsty, and quite ready to drink quantities of palm wine afterward.
They sucked this through long reeds of bamboo. They were always glad to
have the sailors share their feasts and entertainments.

Just as the fleet was about to set sail again, something happened to
change Magellan's plans. The King of Cebu was in trouble. The people
of another island over whom he was also the ruler were coming to make
war upon him. Could the brave admiral refuse help, when the king had
treated him so kindly? Surely not. He said to the king:

"Let me go against these rebels and make peace for you. I have cannons
which I will use, and other weapons of war such as they have never seen
before. They will be easily terrified, and quickly submit to your rule."

So it was that Magellan and sixty of his followers sailed against
the enemy. But when they arrived at the island they found a large
army ready to meet them. The warriors carried sharp spears, bows, and
poisoned arrows, and each man was protected by a wooden shield. They
stood upon the side of a hill. As Magellan and his men landed and
advanced toward them, they rushed down upon the Spaniards with fury,
surrounding them on all sides.

The great leader was calm and brave as usual, but there was little
hope for success. In another hour he had fallen, a noble victim to his
savage foes. Many of his followers fell by his side; the rest managed
to escape to the ships and sail back to Cebu to tell the sad news to
the king.

Thus ended the life of the noble Magellan, the first white man to cross
the broad waters of the Pacific, the first one to show others it was
indeed possible to sail around the world.

He was unlike many who lived in those old days,--for he did not care
for gold or great possessions. He only wished to know more of this
wonderful world, and to help others to greater wisdom. He gave his life
for one whom he thought had need of help.

How did the King of Cebu act when he learned of the leader's death? He
turned against those of his followers who were left, and they were
obliged to depart in haste.

They made still other discoveries of great value. At length, sailing
around the continent of Africa, they returned to Spain to tell of the
brave deeds of their dead leader, the great admiral and navigator, and
their own strange adventures.

They were the first men to sail around the world.


THE END.



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=THE ROSES OF SAINT ELIZABETH=

By JANE SCOTT WOODRUFF.

    Small quarto, cloth decorative, illustrated and decorated
        in colors by Adelaide Everhart                        $1.00

This is a charming little story of a child whose father was caretaker
of the great castle of the Wartburg, where Saint Elizabeth once had her
home.


=GABRIEL AND THE HOUR BOOK=

By EVALEEN STEIN.

    Small quarto, cloth decorative, illustrated and decorated
        in colors by Adelaide Everhart                        $1.00

Gabriel was a loving, patient, little French lad, who assisted the
monks in the long ago days, when all the books were written and
illuminated by hand, in the monasteries.


=THE ENCHANTED AUTOMOBILE=

Translated from the French by MARY J. SAFFORD.

    Small quarto, cloth decorative, illustrated and decorated
        in colors by Edna M. Sawyer                            $1.00

"An up-to-date French fairy-tale which fairly radiates the spirit of
the hour,--unceasing diligence."--_Chicago Record-Herald._


=O-HEART-SAN=

THE STORY OF A JAPANESE GIRL. By HELEN EGGLESTON HASKELL.

    Small quarto, cloth decorative, illustrated and decorated
        in colors by Frank P. Fairbanks                        $1.00

"The story comes straight from the heart of Japan. The shadow of
Fujiyama lies across it and from every page breathes the fragrance
of tea leaves, cherry blossoms and chrysanthemums."--_The Chicago
Inter-Ocean._

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Note:

A title was added to the first page of this text to conform to the rest
of the series.

Obvious punctuation errors repaired.





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