Diary of Alfred Burton Welch

Monday 11-28-98

Work in office in a.m. & in p.m. took a crew to town to mail letters on Hongkong steamer leaving at 2. Took inside route, passed the wooden wreck of a cruiser which the Spanish blew up. Up to the Customs House then Serg’t Maj. Joe Smith & I went to P.O. Passed many wild-eyed, abused buffaloes, yoked to 2 wheeled carts. Rings in their noses and have a great breadth of heavy black horn –slow and patient. Crossed canal upon a floating bridge where $25.00 would place a stone one. Very narrow winding streets –and every where the pushing, trotting laborers, strange faces and costumes as well as customs. The calls of nature responded to at once –anywhere by both sexes, old & young. To P.O. on Escolta then to several stores. Silks are very cheap and broadcloth goes at 50¢ American per yd. Went to Alhambra, a drinking hall, heard a native orchestra. Crossed over the old bridge & stood on old town and watching the throng of carriages, buffalo carts, laborers too, who all travel in the road, as the sidewalks are only 2 ft. wide. Such a crowd of heathen. This is the bridge over which rushed the terrible rabble of Aug. 13. To principal market of thatch houses or booths, having everything for sale –fish, fruit, nuts and many strange things to eat & wear. Back via barracks of Penn. boys on bank of canal on Escolta. They have a lot of monkeys in trees, also parrots. Found boat at Res. Espanol and at 5 we took stream down under bridge, and below the Customs House a tug took us up –and we got to “Ohio” too late for mess. So went to bed in bunk as it was raining hard. Ger. Cruiser “Irene” left at 6 p.m. and at 7 the transport “Zealandia,” with Tenn. reg. slid in between the Arizona and Ohio. “Raleigh” turned on her lights and she turned and was soon out of sight towards Cavite. “Raleigh” threw up red & white lights for half hour, was answered from the flag ship and at 12 she put to sea. Followed at 2 a.m. by the “Charleston.”

Query: To follow “Irene”?