SIX GO VERNORS- GENERA LaMORIONES 15
they were not entirely vicious, that repentance and reform were still possible to the great majority. He would, therefore, spare the lives of most of them in the hope that they might once more become worthy soldiers of Spain. But he would decimate them ; every tenth man must die.
He then directed the lieutenant-colonel in command to number off the regiment by tens from the right.
Let the reader ponder upon the situation. Here was a mutinous veteran regiment that for months had been the terror of the city, and had frightened the Governor-General and all the authorities into condoning its crimes.
In front of it sat upon his horse one withered old man. But that man's record was such that he seemed to those reckless mutineers to be transfigured into some awful avenging angel. His modest stature grew to a gigantic size in their eyes ; the whole regiment seemed hypnotized. They commenced numbering. It was an impressive scene athe word ten meant death. The men on the extreme right felt happy ; they were sure to escape. Confidently rang out their voices : one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nineathen a stop. The doomed wretch standing next would not say the fatal word. Moriones turned his glance upon the captain of the right company, and that officer perceived that the crisis of his life had arrived, and that the next few seconds would make or mar him ; one instant's hesitation would cost him his commission. Drawing and cocking his revolver, he held it in front of the forehead of the tenth man, and ordered him to call out ten. Placed thus between the alternative of instant death or obedience, the unhappy gunner complied, and the numbering of the whole line was accomplished. The number tens were ordered to step out of the ranks, were disarmed, placed under arrest, and notified , that they would be shot next morning. As regards the others, all leave was stopped, and extra drills ordered. Great interest was exerted with Moriones to pardon the condemned men, and he did commute the death sentence on most of them, but the ringleaders were shot the following morning, others imprisoned, and fifty were sent back to Spain in the same vessel as Admiral Malcampo, whose pampering of them had ruined their discipline. So much for the courage of Moriones. It was a wonderful example of the prestige of lawful authority, but of course the risk was great.
To him was due the construction of the Manila Water-To him was due the construction of the Manila Water-