Then she came home and outlined the situation to an aged woman who was chaperoning her daughter, to a widow with two children, and to an old maid in whom the desire for masculine conquest had died for want of fuel to keep the flame alive. When the young man appeared, he found this austere and unbeautiful phalanx awaiting him. When the introductions were over and conversation was proceeding as smoothly as the caller’s discomfiture would permit it to do, the artful collegian excused herself on the ground of a previous engagement. She went away blithely, leaving him in the hands of the three. Nor was he seen or heard of on those premises again. Doubtless he still thinks bitterly of the effects of higher education on the feminine temperament. It was duplicity—duplicity not to be expected of a girl who could stick her head out of a window and hail the chance passer-by as innocently as she did.
From Manila to Capiz
I Am Appointed to a School at Capiz, on Panay Island—We Anchor at the Lovely Harbor of Romblon—The Beauty of the Night Trip to Iloilo—We Halt There for a Few Days—Examples Showing That the Philippines Are a “Manana” Country—Kindness of Some Nurses to the Teachers—An Uncomfortable Journey from Iloilo to Charming Capiz.
In due time our appointments were made, and great was the wrath that swelled about the Exposition Building! The curly-haired maiden who had fallen in love with a waiter on the Thomas wept openly on his shoulder, to the envy of staring males. A very tall young woman who was the possessor of an M.A. degree in mathematics from the University of California, and who was supposed to know more about conic sections than any woman ought to know, was sent up among the Macabebes, who may in ten generations arrive at an elementary idea of what is meant by conic sections. Whether she was embittered by the thought of her scintillations growing dull from disuse or of scintillating head axes, I know not, but she made little less than a tragedy of the matter. The amount of wire-pulling that had been going on for stations in Manila was something enormous, and the disappointment was proportionate.
I had stated that I had no choice of stations, was willing to go anywhere, and did not particularly desire to have another woman assigned with me. I had my doubts about the advisability of binding myself to live with some one whom I had known so short a time; and subsequent experience and the observation of many a quarrel grown out of the enforced companionship of two women who never had any tastes in common have convinced me that my judgment was sound. I was informed that my station would be Capiz, a town on the northern shore of Panay, once a rich and aristocratic pueblo, but now a town existing in the flavor of decayed gentility. I was eager to go, and time seemed fairly to drag until the seventh day of September, on which date the boat of the Compania Maritima would depart for Iloilo, the first stage of our journey.