Archie was invited to remain in the building with the officers, and while they prepared and ate a lunch he busied himself in writing a description of his last two days’ experiences. He knew that a messenger would soon start for Manila, and that a boat would leave that city on the next day for Hong Kong, so be wanted to get his narrative written in order to send it to Mr. Van Bunting at once. He felt that he had some very interesting things to write about, for it wasn’t every correspondent who had seen Aguinaldo, and had been captured by the rebel army. He knew that most of them were content to remain in Manila, and send only what they could get from the general in command, and that this description of the rebels would be something new, at any rate. So he wrote it very carefully, and succeeded in getting it ready in time to send, so that it would be in the office of the Enterprise in less than a month. As he sat at the table writing, Archie thought of the great changes which can take place in one’s surroundings in a few weeks. It seemed ages to him since the day when he left home for the first time, and the experiences he had on his way to New York seemed now to belong to the far-away period of his boyhood. He was beginning to feel very old now, because he had been through so much of late, and he could hardly realise that he was still eighteen.
He wrote a short note to his mother at home, telling her not to worry, and assuring her that he was in good health and in no danger whatever of being captured by the rebels, for Archie felt quite safe after his experience with the insurgent leaders. He knew that no one of their prisoners was ever likely to come to a very bad end. They were far too slipshod in their methods of holding prisoners. He was sorry not to be able to send a longer letter home, but he knew that this note was much better than sending nothing at all, and that it would make his mother very happy to hear from him at all.