The two girls from Radcliffe were in a town in Negros where there was no other American, man or woman, and held their position for over a year; nor were they once affrighted in all that time.
After five years of this peace and security in the “wilds,” I went back to the United States and met the pitying ejaculations of the community on my exile. Well, there was a difference. I noted it first on the dining-car of the Canadian-Pacific Railroad, where one’s plate was surrounded by a host of little dishes, where the clatter of service was deafening (so different from the noiselessness of the Oriental), and the gentleman who filled my water glass held it about three feet from the water bottle, and manipulated both in sympathetic curves which expressed his entire mastery of the art. I found it again on the Northwestern, where the colored porter, observing some Chinese coins in my purse when I tipped him, said, “Le’s see,” with a confidence born of democracy, and sat down on the arm of the Pullman seat to get a better view of them.
But it was in Chicago—the busy, noisy, dusty, hustling Chicago—that all the joys of civilization fell on me at once. It seemed to be in a state of siege with house thieves, assassins, and “hold-ups.” There had been several murders of women, so revolting that the newspapers would not print the details. I found my brother’s flat equipped with special bolts on all outside doors, so that they could be opened for an inch or two without giving anybody an opportunity to push in. Once when a police officer called at the door to ask for subscriptions for the sufferers of the San Francisco disaster, I locked him out on the back porch while I did some telephoning to see if it was all right. Women were afraid to be on the streets in the early dusk. Extra policemen had been sworn in, preachers had delivered sermons on the frightful condition of the city.
At night I locked my bedroom door, and dreamed of masked burglars standing over me threatening with drawn revolver. For the thirty days I remained there, I knew more of nervousness and terror than the whole time I spent in the Philippines, and I came back to resume the old life where there is security in all things, barring a very remote insurrection and the possibility of hearing the roar of Japanese guns some fine morning. And through and through a grateful system I felt the lifting of the tremendous pressure, the agonizing strain, competition, and tumult of American life. Thank Heaven! there is still a manana country—a fair, sunny land, where rapid transportation and sky-scrapers do not exist.
Weddings in Town and Country
Filipino Brides, Their Weddings and Wedding Suppers—River Trip to a Rural Wedding—Our Late Arrival Delays the Ceremony Until Next Morning—The Ball—We Tramp Across the Fields to the Church—After the Marriage, Feasting and Dancing.