And Archie saw brave Bill Hickson get down from the roof. He brushed some tears from his eyes as he realised that here was a brave soldier doing good work for his country. A moment later he saw him running across the square with four of the Filipinos, and waving his hat to the “youngster” as he went. He followed him with his eyes as long as he could, and then he sat down and made a solemn vow that Bill Hickson should be named among the heroes of the war.
ARRIVAL OF THE AMERICAN TROOPS— ARCHIE THE HERO OF THE REGIMENT.
Archie descended from the roof, and found everything below in a state of wild disorder. The fleeing rebels had taken with them all they had time to get together, but in their haste they had left behind many of their most useful belongings. In a cupboard of the dining-room Archie found a supply of food and wines sufficient to feed several people for a week, so he supposed that it had been the intention of the occupants of the house to remain for some days. The news that the Americans were coming upset all their plans, however, and now, as often before, they were obliged to flee before them, leaving behind most of their creature comforts in the way of food and furniture.
“What a life they must be leading,” thought Archie to himself, “going from one place to another, constantly endeavouring to hide from the Americans. Now in some town, now in the wilderness, and again venturing as near as possible to the boundaries of Manila.” And he could scarcely help admiring their courage, or recklessness, rather, in camping so near the head of the American government, where they might expect to be caught in a trap at any moment. But Archie realised, too, that such an army can get away in a very short time, and he began to have serious doubts as to whether the Americans would ever be able to capture Aguinaldo and his men. For knowing the islands perfectly, and being able to get from one point to another in the easiest and quickest way, the rebels have a great deal in their favour.
Selecting some canned beef and some native bread and cheese, Archie managed to make a very good meal for himself, though he ate hurriedly for fear some of the rebels might return. As soon as he had finished he returned to his position on the roof, for there he knew that he would be safe in case the building was entered by the townspeople. From his high perch he looked down into the streets, and was surprised to find them as quiet and as much deserted as they had been the night before. The news of the coming of the Americans had been effective in quieting the enthusiasm of the morning, and all the townsfolk had again entered their homes and put the shutters up before their windows. One would have taken the place for a deserted village, judging from appearances. But Archie knew that within the shuttered windows and barred doors there were hundreds of people waiting