Mr. Worcester, as we rode off, expressed the liveliest satisfaction with the meeting. These people, returning to their rancherias, he said, would talk for a year of their treatment at the hands of the Americans, of the gift of palay (rice) to four hundred people, for two days, to say nothing of two vacas (cows) and of other gifts. Next year, he hoped, half of them would come in; besides, the start made was good; the presence of so many women and children was a good sign, and equally good was the total absence of old women. For these are a source of trouble and mischief with their complaints of the degeneracy of the times. They address themselves particularly to the young men, accusing them of a lack of courage and of other parts, taunting them with the fact that the young women will have none of them, that in their day their young men brought in heads, etc. Thus it has happened, especially when any native drink was going about, that trouble has followed. It is the practice, therefore, of our Government when arranging these meetings to suggest that the old women be left at home, and if so left, it is a good indication.
Return to civilization.—Reception
The return to the main road from Campote was a great improvement over the advance. The sun had partly dried the trail, and his vertical rays enabled us to see about us a little, and realize what a tremendous phenomenon tropical vegetation can be. Some Philippine trees, for example, the narra, throw out buttresses. One we saw on this trail must have measured twenty feet across on the ground, from vertex to vertex of diametrically opposite buttresses, the bole itself not being over two and one-half feet in diameter, and the buttresses starting about fifteen feet above the ground. But the greatest difference to me personally was in my mount, Connor having lent me his pony, as admirable as mine of the day before had been wretched. In spite of the fact that Connor had to stay behind at Campote and could catch us up later, this attention on his part was one of the most generous things that ever happened to me, for certainly the pony he got from me was the most irritating piece of horseflesh imaginable. I am glad publicly to give him my warmest thanks again! Mr. Worcester was well mounted, too; he rode this day at two hundred and thirty-five pounds, and his kit must have weighed some thirty more, yet his little beast carried him soundly to Bambang, our destination, about seventeen miles, twelve of them at a “square, unequivocal” trot, by no means an unusual example of the strength and endurance of some of these native ponies. In what seemed a very short time (but the trail was comparatively dry) we broke out of the forest, and again had our lovely valley below and in front of us. At the top we saw some giant fly-catchers,