PHILIPPINE ISLANDS 189
them a chance to work their arms and legs and get the excess of nitrogen out of their systems. You see, the great pressure of the water forces it into their blood.a
Natives still dive for pearls without the modern air-pump, and some operate a dredge, but the majority of the shells are gathered by the new method.
a Did you ever hear how the sea became phosphorescent ?a asked the captain that night, as we plowed our way through gleaming water.
a The natives say that long ago a brave Rajah fought a wicked giant. The Rajah killed his enemy, but in pulling back his kris, his magic golden ring flew off and rolled into the sea. He saw it gleaming near the shore and reached for it, but it broke into a EDIBLE nlRDS NESTS F0R SALE
thousand dazzling lights which
scattered over the water. And thata s why the sea down here is phosphorescent.a
From Jolo we sailed south to Siasi, Tawi-Tawi and Bongao, isles not far from the coast of Borneo. The southernmost constabulary post in the Philippines is stationed on Bongao and the brave young officer in charge here keeps peace, far away from reenforcements from Jolo. Swallowsa nests and sharksa fins, so prized by the Chinese as food, are among the strange shipments from this part of the world.
These are the islands which give Uncle Sama s representatives a tropical nightmare, for this is the principal smuggling ground.
It is just an easy hop from Borneo over to these southern islands; then smooth sailing on to Jolo and Mindanao, with transshipment to the northern Philippines.