A PHILIPPINE SCOOP.
By Jose de Olivares.
CLARENCE ADDINGTON was disconsolate almost to a degree of desperation. In very truth, he believed his mental perturbation to be entirely without precedence. Moreover, the fact that his fourteen companions, who, together with himself, constituted the correspondentsa mess, were to a man, in a similar frame of mind, tended to vindicate rather than temper his dejectedness. Until yesterday a full month had elapsed since his arrival in the Philippinesa a month of hustling and scurrying from one outpost to another on the firing line, in the interest of his papera without developing a single item of genuine interest. But yesterday a battle had been fought, a battle embracing all the elements of a splendid story. Ten hours of steady fighting, wherein every foot of ground lost or gained had been stubbornly contested by both sides. Then the final indomitable charge by the American forces, and the utter rout of the enemv.
Ah, but it had been magnificent! And the opportunity had promised to amply compensate for the tedious, wearisome ordeal that had preceded it. Far into the ensuing night the enterprising scribes had toiled, reeling off their copy by the light of flickering, close-screened candles, in anticipation of being allowed the privilege of hurrying the same to Manila for transmission by cable to their various papers.
But such expectations had early been thwarted, the general in command having issued an order prohibiting all persons in the American camp from passing the lines that night. So the eager correspondents had curbed their impatience as best they could and sleeplessly bided the morrow. But morning had only brought additional disappointment, for reports had been received at headquarters setting forth the intelligence that a portion of the enemya s forces had made a detour during the night, overrunning the jungle
in the rear of the American army. Notwithstanding this somewhat awkward circumstance, not one of the fifteen correspondents had hesitated in his determination to get his story through to Manila, even though forced to carry it on foot. The commanding officer, however, had entertained views of his own on this subject, with the result that a second order had been announced, forbidding any attempt to convey news matter to the rear until a safe avenue had been developed for the purpose.
Small wonder, then, the chafing, fretting and fuming that agitated the press contingent of that particular outpost!
a The supreme eminence of all thata s ironical!a soliloquized Addington, as he stood ruefully surveying the quire and a half of close-written copy he had prepared the evening before. a Herea s an account that wrould go a ways toward justifying a journalistic existence anywhere but in these iniquitous regions. Whata s the sense in tagging an army half way round the earth to see a fight
you cana t report ? Better have stayed at home and looked for an assignment on a cocking main. Besides, therea s the chief. I can hear him rhapsodize when this report comes ambling along a week after the associated dispatches.a Here Addington paused, while the mental picture of his wrathful superior assumed its utmost proportions. Incidentally, he allowed his gaze to penetrate beyond the immediate latitude occupied by his moody associates. How different the rest of the camp appeared. Look where he would, all was enthusiasm and expectancy, as the soldiers busied themselves preparing for the daya s work, whatever it might be. Here was a batallion of infantry assembled in light marching order impatiently awaiting the command to move forward to again dispute the question of supremacy with the foe. Close at hand a battery of field artillery was taking up a position, preparatory to shelling a distant point, where a portion of the enemya s forces were
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a mm% a -
GROUP OF AGUINALDOa S OFFICERS.
Several of the prominent Filipino leaders are in this group, and they have the appearance of earnest, capable men.