OUR ISLANDS AND THEIR PEOPLE.
the work of exterminating them. They have been wiped out entirely on all but the largest islands, such as Luzon and Mindanao, and some others, where they still survive in small numbers in the mountainous and inaccessible interior. Among them are certain aborigines of Sumatra, whose bodies are covered all over with soft, dark hair, and who wear no clothing, have no language of their own, and learn with the utmost difficulty to pronounce a few Malay words. As far away as Ceylon, the wild folk of the mountains, known as Veddahs, make themselves understood by signs, grimaces and inarticulate grunts.
These pygmy peoples, according to the belief of Dr. Becker and Prof. Marsh, are descended directly from the original stock of the so-called missing link. Of course, the missing link was not an individual, but a species, and the best authorities are of the opinion that the type was not very unlike the chimpanzeea a kind of ape now almost extinct, unfortunately, but regarded as nearer to man than any other of the great anthropoids. Nobody will ever know how he came about, but he arrived somehowa very likely in Luzon or its near neighborhooda and it soon became apparent that he was there to stay. He was smarter than the other monkeys, and so could get a better living; he learned how to grasp a stick and use it as a club, and thus he was enabled to whip all comers in a fight.
Now, this missing link is no theory. That he and his kinda a whole tribe, constituting a new and improved speciesa did actually exist, has been proved by the discovery, in Java, not very far from the Philippines, of a fossil specimen. One should rather say a few of the bones of an individual, but they were enough so show his physical and even his mental characteristics, in a rough way. There was the upper part of a skull, a molar tooth and a left thighbonea all completely fossilized, and found in a volcanic deposit of approximately known age, on the banks of the Bengawan River. The earth surrounding these interesting remains had turned to solid rock, and it is a surmise that the cataclysm which destroyed this individual may have wiped out an entire nation of his kind. Certainly the creature in question was not human, but in size, brain power and erect posture he approached much nearer to man than any other animal hitherto known. The capacity of his skull seems to have been about two-thirds that of the average human being.
It may be imagineda such a notion being not in the least improbablea that the first really manlike monkey and his wife resided
in the neighborhood of were exceptionally clever thropoids, and they had proud of themselves, they were only known
Manila. They people, for an-reason to be inasmuch as a if they had ita the superiors, intellectu-
ALTAR AND MARBLE) STEPS. CHURCH OF ST. DOMINGO, MANILA.
This altar is richly carved and decorated, and presents an entrancing spectacle, especially when illuminated.
COURT OF THE CONVENT OF ST. AUGUSTINE, MANILA.
This is a highly ornate facade, embellished with numerous statues and closely resembling porcelain in its general appearance.
ally and otherwise, of all other existing animals. In a word, they were at the tiptop of the zoological heap. Of course they lived in a treea a very convenient kind of a domicile under primitive conditions, by reason of the protection it gives against enemies, while affording a large outlook. All of the great manlike monkeys to-day, such as the chimpanzee and orang, seek safety in trees. But this particular pair had less trouble to get along in the world than their simian acquaintances, because they were smarter; they were more clever at procuring and storing food supplies, and the gentleman of the household knew how to use a club.
The first human-like family increased rapidly, and soon spread over a wide territory, being much helped toward survival by the superior cleverness and prowess of its members. From generation to generation they improved, physically and mentally. Their arms grew shorter, their legs longer, and their brain-pans bigger, until at length the type represented by the bones dug up in Central Javaa the pithecanthropus erectus, or upright monkey-man, as scientists have named the animala was evolved. Here, at last, was the destined ancestor of the monkey-like Negritos of Luzon.
All of this took a great length of time, and hundreds of thousands of years may have elapsed, dating from the first human-like pair, before there came into existence that wonderful species of ape called by science, homo sapiens. The earliest man, it is true, was covered with hair; but so likewise is his modern descendant, though the hirsute covering of the latter has been reduced for the most part to a slight down. As for tail, he had nonea at all events, no more than is possessed in the way of caudal appendage by an average human being today. For, strange though it may seem, the large apes, such as the gorilla and orang, have less tail, actually, than man; and, if we ranked ourselves among the mammals by the tail alone, we would have to take second place, the great anthropoids enjoying the first.
Now, this early man, like his anthropoid progenitors, lived in trees, finding such an abode convenient for the same reason as they did. And one reason for assuming this to have been the fact is that the human baby of to-day, which in many physical points is monkey-likea for example, in respect to its over-long arms and over-short legsa has feet so formed as to indicate the tree-climbing habit, the joint of the ankle being so