The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 192 pages of information about The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon.

When I got back to the presidente’s, everybody had turned in, and the house was dark.  However, I found a bed not occupied by anyone else, but of my bedding there was not a sign.  So I stretched out on the petate [19] of my bed, only to wake up later shivering with cold, which I tried to remedy by fishing around for cover in a pile of straw mats, from which I extracted what turned out in the morning to be a jusi table-cloth, through which you could have shot straws.  It is altogether a mistake to imagine that one can not be cold in the tropics.


    Magat River.—­Enthusiastic reception at Bayombong.—­Speeches
    and reports.—­Solano.—­Ifugao “college yell.”—­Bagabag.

The next day, April 20, we rode out at six, a splendid morning; Bubud felt the inspiration, too, for he got on capitally.  We soon reached the Magat River on the other side of which was Bayombong, the capital of the province and our first halt of the day.

The Magat is another of those turbulent, uncertain rivers of the Archipelago; we were not sure as we neared it whether we could get over or not.  When up, it carries waves in midstream six to seven feet from crest to trough.  But we had no such ill-luck, and bancas soon came over for us, the horses swimming.  While waiting for them we had a chance to admire the beautiful country; on one side tall spreading trees and broad savannahs, on the other the mountain presenting a bare scarp of red rock many hundreds of feet high; immediately in front the cool, green river, over all the brilliant sun, not yet too hot to prevent our thinking of other things.

Once over, we had no occasion to complain of our reception!  All the notabilities were present, of course, mounted, but in addition there were three bands, all playing different tunes at the same time, in different keys, and all fortissimo.  No instrument was allowed to rest, the drums being especially vigorous.  One of the bands was that of the Constabulary, playing really well, and with magnificent indifference to the other two.  I am bound to say they returned it.  We had the Constabulary troops, too, as escort, a well set-up, well-turned-out and soldierlike body.  What with the bands, the pigs, the dogs, the horses, the children, the people, it was altogether one of the most delightful confusions conceivable, not the least interesting feature being the happy unconsciousness of the people of the incongruity of the reception.  However, we formed a column, the Constabulary at the head, with its band, and were played into Bayombong, with the other bands, children, dogs, etc., as a mighty rear guard.

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The Head Hunters of Northern Luzon from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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