OUR ISLANDS AND THEIR PEOPLE.
a debt, although he may never pay it. So long as he gets his food and fair treatment, and his stipulated wages paid in advance, he is content to act as a general utility man. If not pressed too hard, he will follow his superior like a faithful dog. If treated with kindness, according to European notions, he is lost. Lodging he will find for himself. The native never looks ahead; he is never anxious about the future; but if left to himself, he will do all sorts of imprudent things, from sheer want of reflection on the consequences, when, as he puts it, a his head is hot a from excitement due to any cause.
a His admiration for bravery and perilous boldness is only equaled by his contempt for cowardice and puerility, and this is really the secret of the native's disdain for the Chinese race. Under good European officers they make excellent soldiers; however, if the leader fell, they would become at once demoralized. There is nothing they delight in more than pillage, destruction and bloodshed, and when once they become masters of the situation
circumstances. Cases have been known of a native sentinel having been left at his post for a little over the regulation time, and to have become frantic, under the impression that the two hours had long since expired, and he had been forgotten. In one case the man had to be disarmed by force, but in another instance the sentinel simply refused to give up is rifle and bayonet, and defied all who approached him. Finally, a brigadier went with the colors of the regiment in hand to exhort him to surrender his arms, adding that justice would attend his complaint. The sentinel, however, threatened to kill any one who should draw near, and the brigadier had no other recourse open to him but to order an European soldier to climb up behind the sentry-box w^ith a revolver and blow out the insubordinate nativea s brains.
a Some years ago a contingent of Philippine troops was sent to assist the French in Tonquin, where they rendered very valuable service. Indeed, some officers are of opinion that they did more
A FILIPINO SUGAR FACTORY.
Showing yard covered with cakes of brown sugar in process of drying. Only the coarser grades of sugar are made by the natives.
in an affray, there is no limit to their greed and savage cruelty.
a Yet, detesting order of any kind, military discipline is repugnant to them, and, as in other countries, all kinds of tricks are resorted to to avoid it. On looking over the deeds of an estate which I had purchased, I saw that two brothers, each named Catalino Raymundo, were the owners at one time of a portion of the land. I thought there must have been some mistake, but, on close inquiry, I found that they were so named to dodge the recruiting officers, who would not readily suppose there were two Catalino Raymundos born of the same parents. As one Catalino Raymundo had served in the army and the other was dead, no further secret was made of the matter, and I was assured that this practice was common among the poorest natives.
a According to the Spanish army regulations, a soldier cannot
be on sentinel duty for more than two hours at a time under any 48
to quell the rising of the Tonquinese than the French troops themselves. When in the melee, they throw off their boots, and, barefooted, they rarely falter. Even over mud and swamp, a native is almost as surefooted as a goat on the brink of a quarry. I have frequently been carried for miles in a hammock by four natives and relays through morassy districts too dangerous to travel on horseback. They are adepts at climbing wherever it is possible for a human being to scale a height; like monkeys, they hold as much with their feet as with their hands; they ride any horse barebacked without fear; they are utterly careless about jumping into the sea among the sharks, which sometimes they will occasionally attack with knives, and I never knew a native who could not swim. There are natives who dare dive for a cayman and rip it up. If they meet with an accident they bear it with supreme resignation, simply exclaiming a desgracia pa (it was a misfortune).a