OUR ISLANDS AND THEIR PEOPLE.
a The church opened, most of the waiting groups followed the orchestra within, that they, like the spectators of any other nationality, might secure advantageous places, each pausing, as good Catholic Church people should, to sign their foreheads with holy water dipped from the two great sea-shells that served as fonts. The groom, however, wraited writh us for his bride. When she had arrived, in the only quilez that the town affords, accompanied by three of her female relatives, he tossed aside his third cigarette of the morning and met her at the church door. She was in gorgeous attire. A skirt of heavy brocaded silk of brightest pink, the color not less pronounced than was the cabbage-leaf pattern; a bodice of embroidered pina cloth, the rosebuds thereon rivaling in bursting flashes of color the startling pinkiness of the skirt; these, with as daintily an arranged veil as any bride ever wore, and held in place by a tiny wreath of orange blossoms, gave her all of the blushing effect of pink on white, so desired since brides have been, and denied her so sadly by her natural coloring.
a Now there was no delay. The orchestra plunged gallantly into a really dreamy waltz. The groom offered his hand to the trim little figure in pink, and friends and aliens followed the little party to the center of the church, where the padre stood, with
into his pocket with much ostentation. There had been many murmurs of wonderment from the crowd of kneeling witnesses, at the sight of so much wealth, and I have no doubt that the double object of the gold had been accomplished.
a The ceremony was conducted partly in the Spanish language and partly in that of the church, or Latin. Both were strange tongues to the girl, for I later heard her say to one of our party that she did not understand Spanish.
a For the conclusion, the party now moved to the foot of the brilliantly illuminated altar. Chairs had been provided for the family, and we were included in that chosen circle. The orchestra now beat its way into a sweet, songlike strain. It was not the beautiful, a The Voice that Breathed Oa er Eden,a but it was a satisfying, thrilling native air, that carried much of home-thoughts in its liquid notes of violins and softer a cello to the ears of that little group of strangers there present.
a But now the swarthy padre is leaving the altar and the newly-wedded apothecary leaves his emotionless bride to hasten to extend to us an invitation to the wedding breakfast. When we arrived at the home of the bride we found the feast prepared, and, after all the ladies had breakfasted in one large, chattering crowd,
A NATIVE FARM-HOUSE, INTERIOR OF THE ISLAND OF LUZON.
This is one of the better class of country houses, being well built of bamboo and thatch and containing a number of rooms. None of the houses have chimneys, as fire is not needed in that country except for domestic purposes.
accompanying acolytes, to receive them. The fanlike train of silk swept slowly over the dusty floor of brick and came to a halt at the edge of a rug of crude red, whose color swore violently at the Chinese pink above it. There was no variation from the ceremonies of the Catholic Church, but there was one ludicrous piece of forgetfulness on the part of the bridegroom. He had forgotten to put aside his hat before he met his bride, and it was necessary for him to interrupt the ceremony long enough to call to one of the numerous ragged and barefooted boys that stood open-mouthed near the wedding party, to relieve the now embarrassed gentleman of that article. And when came the ceremony of the giving of estate to the bride we saw the need that there was for the mana s two hands. For the best man had provided most generously for that part. A handful of our twenty-dollar gold pieces, representing the best in money procurable, had to be passed from bridegroom to priest and then to the senorita and back again to the future man of family, as the token of the giving of endowment and sharing of wrorldly possessions. When this symbolism had ended, the ever-efficient man of affairs of the occasion, or sexton, quickly returned the shining coins to their obliging owner, and he dropped them
the men were seated and had served to them delicious native chocolate and little cakes, with accompanying cigarettes.
a As we had now spent the time until our messes w^ere awaiting our return for our breakfasts, we made our adieu in our best Spanish and were thus spared the sight of the seizure of one of the guests as an insurgent captain. It was all done very quietly and without roughness; and later, w^hen the happy apothecary and the new senora drove away for Manila in the quilez, there was one guest missing from the throng that waved good-byes from the high balcony just opposite the guard-house. It was unfortunate, but we needed that one guest, and we had been sufficiently considerate to allow him to attend his former sweethearta s wedding. That all came out in the little talk that the provost marshal had with the crestfallen captain later in the day. It was all very touching. Was it not ? But that is the way things go sometimes. The girl and happiness for one; the guard-house and hopelessness for another. The little spray of orange blossoms pinned to the captaina s coat was sadly wilted, but not more so than the captain himself as he stood holding to the iron bars of the window of his cell and watched the breaking up of her wedding party.a
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