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BY HENRY VAN DYKE
What is Fortune, what is Fame?
Glory written on a grave.
What is Friendship? Something deep
Come, my friend, and let us prove
By this charm we shall elude
The Hague, 1914.
TO THEODORA, WITH THE POET'S NARCISSUS.
BY MARY LAWSON
Sweet maid, the passion of the rose
The coolest flower that springtide knows
A flower whose virgin whiteness glows
A flower whose fragrant whispers say
And truth and honor far outweigh
Sweet maid, I pray thee, have no fear
And haply, when fair June is here,
The rose, too, shall be ours!
BY CALEB GOODIN
T has been said that the insurrecto spirit of the Tondo district in Manila is due to Moro blood. Legaspi, the founder of Spanish Manila, discovered the Mohammedans already in control there when he arrived in 1570. A similar persistence of race traits is found among the Macabebes of Pampanga, who are said to be the descendants of Chinese pirates who were stranded there in the early seventeenth century. At any rate, the Macabebes have been great soldiers and have felt sufficiently different from the other Filipinos to remain loyal to the existing government even in Spanish times.
When the first Filipino soldiers were asked to join Uncle Sam's army under the name of Scouts back in 1900, the Macabebes were the first to enlist and made the best record for bravery. At Bajonam, where the Moro pirate Dato Sandi made his last stand in the crater of a volcano, it was the Macabebes who led the charge up the mountain-side, and it was they who first plunged over the edge into that seething mass of frenzied, fanatical Mohammedans, where it was kill or be killed, and where even the women and children fought like wildcats.
In this guerrilla warfare of the Moro country the Macabebes showed such bravery that the entire company were awarded medals, and many of them were raised to the rank of commissioned officers, a rank never before given to Filipinos. Since they were mustered out in 1907 they have met every year on Christmas Day in the great sala at Capitan Juan's to celebrate the anniversary of the last grand charge at Mount Apo, where they lost half their number, but proved that, man for man, they were the equal of any Moro.
At the close of this banquet Lieutenant Tomas always stood up and described how, sword in hand, Major Felipe led them up the mountain-side; how he was first on the earthworks to cut down the Crescent flag with his own hand and trample it in the dirt; how a giant Moro cut him down with a barong and dragged him into the trenches, while the rest of the Macabebes were driven back with the loss of fifty men; how the Macabebes refused to sleep till Capitan Luna, succeeding to Major Felipe's command, led
them through the jungle in the middle of the night and routed the Moros from their beds; and how they searched for Major Felipe, but could not find him. Then the old veterans would rise to their feet and drink with great solemnity to the memory of Major Felipe, the hero of Mount Apo.
Dato Boda was the son of the Sultan of Tawiji, on the Tawi Tawi Islands, between Jolo and Borneo, where the pirates live offshore in houses reared above the shallow water, making a prehistoric Venice in which the little brown-thatched huts perched on their slender pilings look like Cubist cranes asleep on their fishing-grounds. It was through these Tawi Tawi Islands that the first Mohammedans made their way into the Philippines in the early fifteenth century. Dato Boda was a young man of military training who desired to know the ways of the wonderful Occident, but he was a Mohammedan to the core, nevertheless. The old Sultan had sent him on a tour of the world to see the great armies of Germany and France, the great navy of England, and the industries of America. Arriving in Manila, on his way home in December, 1913, he stopped over to visit his father's friend Colonel Border.
The Colonel was a big, warm-hearted soldier of irresistible personality, the type of American that has won the admiration of the entire Orient. When he opened his mail at headquarters and found an invitation for himself and a companion to attend the annual reunion of the Macabebes, he slapped the crusty old Major on the back, exclaiming, "I'm going to take Dato Boda !"
Take Dato Boda where?" grunted the Major.
"To the Macabebe reunion-"
"To the Macabebe reunion! You're a fool! Might as well take a nigger to a Ben Tillman reception! Oh, well, you always was a fool about these googoos," and the Major walked away with a very disgusted look on his face.
But the Colonel was not discouraged. He was immensely popular with both Moros and Filipinos, and since they both liked him so well he could not see how they could hate each other very much. On giving the invita
tion to Dato Boda, the latter bowed courteously and said, "The honor is very great, Colonel."
On hearing of Dato Boda's coming the Macabebes frowned and shook their heads sorrowfully." But," interposed Capitan Juan, who had seen three years' service against the Moros of Tawi Tawi, "Boda is part Christian. Why shouldn't the Colonel bring him? His mother was a Spanish lady captured by the pirates in the raid of Calivo in '83. She was a delicate woman for a Sultan's harem. When Boda was born, the old Sultan took him away from her until she promised not to teach him Christianity. And later, when some spiteful old hag told the Sultan that Boda's mother still prayed to the Virgin, she was torn from her boy and sent to a harem in Borneo. For his mother's sake we should welcome Dato Boda."
On Christmas Day the old warriors gathered round the long table at Capitan Juan's. The windows were open, and to the westward the rice-fields, loaded with ripened grain, were swaying in the northeast monsoon. Beyond the rice-fields the Zambales Mountains loomed up in the blue distance, not so high as those of the Moro country, but high and rugged enough to suggest the scenes of bygone days when the Macabebes climbed the lofty Catabato Range and defeated the followers of Mohammed at their last stand on the slopes of Mount Apo. Major Luna, the hero of Bajonam, and successor to Major Felipe, sat at the head of the table. Colonel Border, of the illustrious Fifth Cavalry, was at the other end, and Dato Boda, wearing a red fez, sat at his right. All were in the brown uniform of the United States Scouts except the Colonel, who wore the blue uniform of the regulars, with a Foreign Service pin three inches long and his left breast gleaming with medals.
Valenciana and venison, bantalaan, obud, and mangoes were piled on the plates in rapid succession by stalwart servers of dignified mien, each with a badge of honor on his breast, and dressed, like the guests, in the brown uniform of the Scouts. These were the few remaining privates of the company of Macabebes. None but heroes could be present at this celebration, even among the servants. The glasses were kept filled with purple tinto, and as the banquet progressed the laconic warriors gradually loosened their tongues and began to talk.
"Dato Boda should tell us about the great
armies he has seen in Europe," suggested the voluble little bugler. Dato Boda was visibly embarrassed. Filipino men, unlike their women, are poor conversationalists, even though they are much given to oratory of the stump-speech variety. It is only in the most democratic civilizations that conversation supersedes speeches at public banquets.
"It is only by arguing with him on a point of military organization that you can get him to tell you what he has seen," volunteered the Colonel, smiling approvingly on his protégé.
They say the Moro Scouts made a brave stand at Jolo last year," said Lieutenant Tomas, returning to the attack on Dato Boda's silence.
"Yes, they are fine soldiers; braver even than the Moros of the jungle," he replied, forgetting his embarrassment in his enthusiasm for his own comrades-he had been a Moro Scout himself.
"But they have to call in the Macabebes when real fighting begins," whispered Sergeant Unson to Marcos, the little bugler.
"Yes, and the juramentados have all Jolo scared to death this minute, in spite of the 'brave' Moro Scouts," whispered back the little bugler.
A juramentado is a Moro who has sworn to kill Christians on sight. He is a religious fanatic, but it is generally supposed that this fanaticism is largely under the control of the Datos; leastwise they tell a story down in Zamboanga of an epidemic of juramentados that the Dato claimed to be unable to stop. A few days later a troop of American cavalrymen ran amuck and practically cleaned out the town in which the Dato lived. The old Dato came running to the Colonel's quarters crying, "Commandantė! Commandante! The soldiers are killing my people !"
The Colonel shrugged his shoulders helplessly, "What can I do ?" he said, with eyebrows lifted. "I cannot stop them. They have gone juramentado."
There were no more juramentados in that section of Moroland.
The eating over, the glasses were refilled and the Major called on Colonel Border for a speech. The Colonel rose slowly from his chair, his six feet two inches of bone and muscle looming above the table like a giant in comparison with the short brown men beside him; but noble deeds make all men of equal stature. "Boys," he began, "I cannot tell you how deeply I appreciate the
honor of being present on this occasion. It is a great pleasure to know that the brave deeds of Major Felipe are so appropriately remembered. It is a double pleasure to know that his memory is the occasion for the meeting of so many noble men. 'To the memory of the dead heroes of Mount Apo!" All drained their glasses with great solemnity.
"I feel it a great privilege," he continued, "to be able to bring as my guest the renowned Dato Boda, one of the noblest of Moros, and one who is with us, not against us, in our attempt to establish peace and happiness in the southern islands."
"Brother Filipinos," interrupted Dato Boda, "it is the custom of my people not to take off the fez in the presence of Christians. But in this common cause we are full brothers. With bared head I join you in drinking to the Americans." Every glass was emptied with fervor.
'Long live Dato Boda !" cried Capitan Juan, and all glasses were raised again.
At that moment the door opened and a man on a litter was carried into the room. "What means this intrusion?" demanded Major Luna. The waiters advanced angrily to order the supposed beggar from the room, but stopped when they saw his face. Well! Speak up! We can't stand here all day waiting for you to get out," snapped the Major, testily.
"Be seated, gentlemen," said Major Luna, going to the litter to look at the man. He couldn't have meant our Felipe. Why, man, I saw Major Felipe cut wide open before my very eyes at Mount Apo! We lost fifty men. there, and never one returned. That was five years ago!" As the carrier stepped aside, letting the light shine full on the man's face, Major Luna gave a start. A terrible scar ran from the man's left forehead clear across
his right eye and cheek. His one good eye was closed, and his face was furrowed deeply with lines of pain. What might once have been a noble brow was now misshapen and inflamed.
The Macabebes slowly gathered round the
litter. The man stirred. His left eye opened and scanned the men in brown uniform. A weak smile spread over his face, then he swooned away. "Call the doctor!" ordered the Major, taking the man's bony hand and rubbing it. Colonel Border and Dato Boda joined the group around the litter. Some cold water and brandy revived the man again, and his face lighted up as though he saw a vision. "Macabebes!" he whispered, so softly that only the Major could hear him.
"Are you Major Felipe?" asked Major Luna.
Murmurs against the Moros arose among the Macabebes. Dato Boda stiffened. He put on his red fez and stood erect, head back, eyes looking straight to the front. But as he placed the fez on his head the red caught the eye of the man in the litter. With a horrible scream, the man threw his arms over his head as though to ward off a blow, and shook from head to foot in abject
Dato Boda's nose curled in a sneer, and he said something as though talking to himself. The little bugler just in front of him thought he said, "Coward!"
Come," said Colonel Border, touching the haughty Moslem on the arm. "We will go now." The two men walked from the room, the Colonel with a troubled look on his face, the Moro as stiff as an automaton, head back, nose curled, eyes straight to the front.
The Macabebes were impassive but for a hint of fire in their eyes. Major Luna knelt beside the litter and took the man partly in his arms. "Don't be afraid, Felipe. Don't be afraid. The Moros have gone and your Macabebes are here." The Major was not convinced as to the man's identity, but he had sympathy for any one who hated a Moro.
The man ceased shaking under the reassuring words of Major Luna, and some more brandy gave him strength. When he took his hands from his face, his eyes had a haunted look as he searched the crowd for a red fez. Seeing none, the smile returned, but every moment or two he put his hand to his forehead, and his face was all twisted with pain. "Tell us where you come from," entreated Major Luna.
With the frown of pain still on his forehead the man began to talk; weakly at first, but gaining in strength as the excitement of the
narrative stimulated him to superhuman effort. "Comrades, you know the charge at Mount Apo." The Macabebes jumped as from an electric shock, then looked at him. more intently. "When I reached the earthworks, I tore their yellow flag from its place and called for you to come on. Then all was
dark. See! They cut me here with a barong." He put his hand on the terrible scar that ran across forehead, eye, and cheek. The eyeball had been cut open.
I awoke with an awful pain shooting through my right eye. A Moro girl was nursing me and she spoke to me. With my left eye I could see that her face was kindly, but I could not understand her words. The Moros knew who I was, and looked at me with respect, but soon the Dato came and told me I must be a Mohammedan. The priests came every day to read from the Koran, but I would not listen."
The sun had gone down behind the Zambales Mountains, dull and red. The sickly glare reflected from a salmon sky gave the objects in the sala a pale, ghostlike hue, and a feverish light began to shine in the man's eye. "One day I thought they were not looking; so I began to run. A guard soon blocked the path, and then Dato Alim came running up in an awful rage. "You will not escape again, you dog of a Christian !' The men held me down while he chopped off my feet with a bolo."
"Oh!" groaned the listening Macabebes, their lips hideously pale in the fading light. The little bugler threw back the sheet that covered the man's legs, then fainted, falling across the litter. The man's feet were chopped off above the ankles, and his knees were scabbed and swollen as though he had been walking on them. The Macabebes turned to the table and drank gin like water, while the little bugler was carried from the
"Go on!" pleaded Major Luna.
"The little Moro girl nursed me back to life again, but the priests kept coming every day." His voice began to grow weak. They put spies around my room. They heard me pray to the Saviour. Dato Alim came again; he would make me forget my Saviour! He struck me on the forehead many times with a little iron ball. Here in this hollow place. I became unconscious. Each day he struck me again in this same place."
The look of a beaten, cringing man came
over his face. He threw his arms over his head to ward off an imaginary blow, and seemed to lose his senses. "Please, Dato Alim, do not strike to-day! Oh, oh! in the name of Allah, do not strike to-day !"
The Macabebes cursed out loud. Then the man seemed to regain his senses. A smile hovered weakly around his mouth, but the fire in his eye had faded. His lips. moved. "Comrades!" came, the whisper. At that his muscles relaxed, his eyes closed, and a slight quiver ran through his wasted body. The Macabebes bowed their heads as though in submission to a divine Providence, but the last rays of the twilight saw their faces set in hard lines of hatred.
As the Macabebes stood with bowed heads in the twilight gloom, one of the privates who had helped carry the little bugler from the room entered from the kitchen, crossed the floor quickly but silently, and touched Major Luna on the shoulder. "Marcos has gone to kill the Moro," he said.
Not a word was uttered, not a movement made, for almost a minute; then old Capitan Juan seemed to wake up. Major! Dato Boda is our guest. He must not be attacked here." Major Luna remained hesitatingly on his knees by the litter for a moment, and rose to his feet. "You are right, Capitan. We must stop Marcos."
The moon was obscured by a cloud as the officers approached the bulky outline of the Vargas House, which overhung the street like a cavern. Before they could call to Colonel Border, whom they knew to be somewhere inside, they saw a figure dart across the balcony and strike a figure in a square cap that was sitting there smoking. The cigar tumbled to the floor and the figure that was struck jumped to its feet, stood proudly erect a moment facing toward Mecca, and then fell full length on the balcony floor.
The two Macabebes ran up the stairs and out onto the balcony. A stream of moonlight at the far end near the railing revealed three statue-like figures as though in a spot-light scene at a drama. The Moro lay at full length on the floor, the red fez still on his head, and a knife handle sticking out of his back ridiculously. back ridiculously. Colonel Border's massive figure was kneeling beside the corpse, and he was looking tragically at the little bugler who stood stiffly to one side in an awkward position, gazing blankly at the victim of his revenge. Colonel Border was speaking. "Oh, Marcos You-you-why did you kill him?"