The waves began gradually to subside at ten o’clock at night, and a slow steady rain came, which soon calmed the sea to a great extent. As soon as it was safe to go above deck, it was found that more than a hundred horses had been lost overboard, and that one mast had been carried away. Down below nearly every man was in his bunk, for there was scarcely a person who was not seasick, and most of them wouldn’t have cared if the ship had gone down with all aboard, such was their feeling of despondency. Archie was as sick as any of the others, but was able to make notes of occurrences just the same. And when he grew better the next day, he wrote an excellent account of the storm to send to the Enterprise on his arrival in Manila.
After this rough weather experience, every man aboard was anxious to reach port, and when, after many more days, the Bay of Cavité was reached, a great cheer went up from a thousand throats, for everyone was overjoyed at the sight of land.
The transport came to anchor off the forts which had once been Spain’s, and it was announced that no one would be allowed to land for two days, until advices could be had from Manila and the interior of the island. This was very trying for Archie, being obliged to sit on deck for two whole days, looking at a shore which seemed very inviting, in spite of the general dilapidated appearance of the various buildings and docks. Everything looked different from anything he had seen before, and the boy felt that he could hardly wait to be allowed to explore some of those streets which were so narrow, and those houses which were built in such a peculiar fashion.
Finally, the permission came for the troops to land, and Archie received the permission of the general to remain with them as long as he wanted to do so. And as he had no other plans, the young correspondent decided that it would be a good plan for him to stay right with one of these regiments, for the time being at any rate. He knew that they would be likely to be sent to the front immediately, and the front seemed the place for him to be.
And then he was already acquainted with many of the men, and with the colonel, and he realised that this would be an advantage to him in his work. So he made his plans to keep with them.
First they went to Manila, where they remained for a week. The quaint old city was a veritable fairy-land of wonders to Archie, who had never before been in a city so ancient, and here there were so many unusual things to be seen. There seemed to be absolutely no end to the winding streets, delightful old houses, and interesting churches, and the boy spent many days in exploring every corner of the island capital. The colonel warned him several times that he must look out for robbers and other suspicious characters, but Archie laughed at his fears. But the colonel was right, as he found later on.