OUR ISLANDS AND THEIR PEOPLE.
the necessity of providing public schools to be accessible to the poorest inhabitants. Had events so shaped themselves as to have provided an opportunity for carrying into effect the plans formed on this point, it seems possible that the mental plane of the entire population might have been raised gradually to a surprising height.
a Out of respect to the statements of other people, which the narrative of my experience may seem to contradict, I wish to say that I have found the native of the interior of Luzon an astonishingly different character from the one ordinarily met in Manila. Previous to my journey, I regarded those whom I had encountered in that city with great dislike, and after my return I was unable to overcome that feeling. They are not a fair sample of the race; and I cannot expect any one who has formed his judgment on the subject merely from observations of that type to express an opinion similar to mine, as recorded above.a
Some of the difficulties of the journey, and the relations between the civil and military officials of the Filipinos, are thus described by Mr. Sargent:
a Our original plans wrere of a very indefinite nature, being merely to proceed as far to the northward as the character of the country and the attitude of the natives would permit, and to
hospitable Englishman, while I spent two days at Malolos petitioning Aguinaldo for a more favorable answer. The Filipino president remained firm, however. He expressed great friendliness, and readily gave his consent to our journey, refusing only to provide written passports, without which, we should be, of course, as defenseless against the opposition of his officers as the most unwarranted trespassers. It was evident that he preferred that we should remain at home. When I joined Mr. Wilcox at Bayambang we talked the matter over and came to the conclusion that we held anything but a strong hand. We decided, therefore, to adopt that method of play by which alone it is possible to win on a poor one. Leaving Bayambang at daybreak next morning, we accordingly proceeded by the main traveled road on the first stage of our journey.
a This road led us almost due east through the low and marshy province of Nueva Icija. The rainy season at this time was at its height, and for seven days we scarcely saw the sun. Almost from the start we found the mud so deep that it was impossible to ride the horses through it. Leading them by their bridles, we struggled along on foot until men and beasts were exhausted, covering in this way only ten or twelve miles a day. Even with the sun
AMERICAN HElvIOGRAPHIC CORPS.
Showing the men in the act of telegraphing to a distant point by means of the suna s rays.
return only when forced to do so. The existing ignorance of the conditions prevailing in the interior gave rise to a very exaggerated idea of the difficulties of such a journey.
a Had it been suggested at any time prior to our departure, that we could cover the ground as completely as we eventually succeeded in doing, we should have scouted the idea as preposterous. Suggestions of this nature were, however, conspicuous by their absence, while prophecies of an early failure and an ignominious return were numerous. As the few days that we could devote to our preparations passed and we found ourselves coming face to face with the difficulties of our undertaking, these gloomy prophecies certainly forced an echo from our own hearts.
a The first material obstacle that we encountered was the refusal of Aguinaldo to provide us with passports. These, we had reason to believe, were a sine qua non of peaceful travel through the island, officers of our army whose duties carried them beyond our own lines having been repeatedly turned back for want of them. Mr. Wilcox, with the outfit, servants and horses, proceeded to Bayambang, a town near the northern terminus of the railroad, where he was entertained by Mr. Donald Clark, a
covered, the heat was excessive, and members of our party were frequently prostrated by that and the exertion combined. Two of our servants proved too old to stand the strain and were sent back, a fate which befell two of our horses also. We soon recruited our party to its original strength, however. Pack horses were quickly abandoned in favor of natives, who accompanied us from town to town, carrying our luggage divided among them on their backs. For the tremendous labor which these men performed they considered ten cents a day ample pay. This amount seems still more ridiculously small when you consider that the men were usually discharged a full daya s travel from their homes.
a As we proceeded the road grew worse, until, finally, at San Jose, it dwindled to a soggy bridle path. Just beyond San Jose the province of Nueva Icija joins that of Nueva Vizcaya, the division between them being marked by a range of mountains. The natives along the route had informed us that this range wras impassable, even to natives, during that season of the year, and this statement received decided indorsement at San Jose. It was not with any great hope of success, therefore, but with a determination to carry the attempt as far as possible, that we set out from San