REBEL ARMS AND ARTILLERY 87
reputed the best shot carried the rifle and cartridge belt, and if he was killed or wounded in an engagement, the next best shot took the weapon and continued the fight In the early actions there was scarcely ever a rifle left on the ground by the insurgents.
The only cannon the rebels had at first were some ancient brass swivel guns called falconetes or lantcas, which they took from the estate-houses at Imus and Malabon.
They also had some brass mortars like quart pots, which are used for firing salutes on feast days. These they fastened at an angle to blocks of wood, thus making small howitzers, quite effective at short range. They loaded these with the punchings from boiler-plates and broken cooking-pots.
They showed a considerable ingenuity in making cannon out of any materials at hand. They would take a steel boiler-tube, a stay tube for choice, say about three inches bore and a quarter of an inch thick. Plugging up one end and drilling a touch-hole, they would drive this tube into a hole bored in a log of hard wood turned on the outside to a taper, then they drove eight or nine wrought-iron rings over the wood. They drilled through the wood to suit the touch-hole and the gun was ready.
They fitted no trunnions, but mounted this rude cannon upon a solid block of wood.
In other cases they made some wire guns by lapping steel boiler-tubes with telegraph-wire.
Towards the end of the campaign of Lachambre's division against the rebels, some modern field-pieces of eight centimtres were captured from them, but it is not clear where these came from.
To supplement their scanty stock of rifles, they made some hand-guns of gas-tube. These were fired by applying a match or lighted cigar to the touch-hole, and would seem to be very clumsy weapons. But I may say that when on a visit to the estate of Palpa, in Peru, I saw a Chinaman who was in charge of the poultry corral, kill a hawk hovering, with a similar gun.
The Spanish Military and Naval Authorities now took the revolt very seriously, and on the 8th November the squadron comprising the Costilla, Reina Cristina, and other vessels, and the guns of the forts at Cavite and Puerto Vaga, opened upon the rebel position at Cavite,The Spanish Military and Naval Authorities now took the revolt very seriously, and on the 8th November the squadron comprising the Costilla, Reina Cristina, and other vessels, and the guns of the forts at Cavite and Puerto Vaga, opened upon the rebel position at Cavite,