My DEAR CHRISTINE: In spite of the fact that you owe me several letters, I am going to write you on a piece of Spanish legal paper I picked up in a house in Manila and thought it was a little odd. I went to Manila Saturday, and had a little change in food and air. Manila is nearly four miles from this station, and a pleasant, shady road leads into the town. Last year there was some heavy fighting all up and down this way, and there are remains of burnt houses everywhere.
There are some street railway tracks running into the city, and during the fighting some of the cast-iron ties were removed and made into breastworks. The telegraph poles are of iron, and a great many of these were missing, having been torn down and used as defences. The natives always carry their market produce and a few other articles into the markets early in the morning, and they hurry with their picturesque costumes, carrying everything either on the head, or in
the case of a man it is carried by means of a rod of wood with two baskets, or whatever the receptacle is, and it is remarkable how strong these natives are in the neck, shoulders, and legs. The people have good faces generally, and do not look like a down-trodden race. They are beginning to have a wholesome respect for the American Soldado ; we are ahead of them in size and energy, but not in cunning. I did not have to walk far that morning. I meta native public carriage, called a carretita [carretela], and I should have called it the “ one-hoss shay,” or a relic of the Ark. Away we bounced, jounced, and spanked, into Manila, and I stopped at the Hotel de Oriente, for a cool drink and a little rest. There was a staff officer from General Lawton’s staff having a drink of water, and I joined him. Finally I took a carriage and saw the paymaster. Of course he was glad to see me, and feeling better in pocket, I left him and drove along the Luneta to the Army and Navy Club, where I expected to meet this staff officer. I did not find him, so went and lunched at a first-class boarding-house on the San Luis road, near the water. This is the best boarding-house I have been able to find, and while there is not
much show, everything is good.