It was his plan not to go farther than fifty miles in the interior, for he thought that if he found no traces of the rebels in that distance there would be little use in going farther into the forest, for, it would be almost impossible to find them there. So he set out gaily upon his trip of exploration, and Archie couldn’t remember when he had been so happy before, save on that day when he first visited the office of the Enterprise. This adventure was exciting enough to please the wildest boy in America, and Archie could imagine how envious the other boys would be if they could but know the trip he was having. It had an official air to it, too, for had not the colonel been most anxious, in the beginning, that he should go, and did he not say that he would reward him handsomely if he were successful in locating any of the insurgents, or in proving that he had been right when he said they were near Manila? It was all as perfect an adventure as Archie could have imagined. He could not have planned a better one if he had been able to select any trip he could think of.
He planned that it would take him at least three days to walk fifty miles, and perhaps longer, for the roads were not very good in some places. He knew that he would find many villages and towns along the way, too, for the island was thinly settled in this neighbourhood. So if he were obliged to rest, he would never be at a loss for a place to get a bed. Archie couldn’t help thinking, as he walked along the road outside Manila, this first morning, that he might find a body of the insurgents in possession of one of these towns. They were very bold, he had heard, and they probably knew that there were no American troops anywhere in the neighbourhood, outside the city of Manila itself. And, knowing this, he knew they wouldn’t hesitate to camp at the very gates of the city, for they were marvellously successful in getting away into the interior whenever an American force made its appearance.