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Monday morning, May 23, 1898

The English gunboat, Swift, has arrived in Hongkong. An important dispatch: the Americans are sending not 5,000 but 15,000 men. The first convoy should arrive in three weeks. The Spaniards still have time to upset this plan. What are they doing? Nobody knows. Perhaps this silence has a meaning. But just like the false image of profound thought the Arabs project by their solemn air, these Spaniards in reality have no plans at all.

Chamberlain’s patriotic statements are spreading among the English-speaking communities in the Far East, giving us food for thought. Perhaps, in time, a militant party will be born of the imperialist party. It would be interesting to follow this trend either in England or America where a number of refined chauvinistic clubs exist. But, why not? No government policy can explain the variations in man’s nature as he goes through the difficult moments in his life.

God bless the Swift, which brings us our mail. There aren’t many joys greater than opening letters which come from the other side of the world, even if the stories are slightly distorted by distance.