April 4th, 1900

Last Monday morning at 3 A.M. 25 men each from CO’s K & L, under Capt. Griffiths started out on a scouting expedition to follow up the principal trails in the mountains to the west of here. We carried ponchos, canteens & haversacks & what rations we could get into the haversacks, and two hundred rounds of ammunition each. We ate breakfast just after daylight at the foot of the mountains and then pushed on, crossing three mountains before we stopped for dinner. After dinner we went almost straight up an untrailbroken mountain side & then followed a slowly descending trail which crossed our forenoons line of march then turned again toward the heart of the mountains & camped that night clear back away from where there were any signs of civilization. “The great what is it” howled till the mountains rang but we never knew what it was and those not on guard just laid still & trusted the guards & the guards just kept still and shook in their boots. During the day we passed several little shacks with new made & unfinished lug-nut boats all around them but the niggers had all left the camps before we got there. In one place we burnt a small shack with a suspicious look to it & examined a near-by grave. Tuesday we climbed, all day, up & down, up and down till we were nearly worn out. Kerstetter gave out about the middle of the forenoon & we had to take turns at helping carry him on a stretcher, which, of course, made it much harder on us. During the day we saw a few wild chickens and one of the advance guards picked up the antlers of a deer. Late in the evening we came upon a band of Igorritoes [Igorots] (little kinky-heads) clad in breechclouts, only. Most of them sneaked away but we managed to keep two with us for guides the next day. I bought a string of beads from a young squaw which was the largest half of her clothing. We camped where we found the ..ms. I was on guard & it rained nearly all night but I was in such condition that I laid & slept like a log during my hours off in spite of the rain & nothing under me for a bed. Lawrence & Sharp (as with me) were awake all night & knew every move I made during my “hours on”. They said the “what is it” howled again but I didn’t hear it. Wednesday morning we were almost out of rations but managed to scrape up enough amongst us for breakfast. The niggers which we had held were comeing to a little burrit near this place so we took them as guides and started back. During the forenoon we passed the trucks of a big Krupp gun & the track in which it had been hauled up into the mountains. At noon we were back to where there were a few scattering houses so we went into camp there while a scouting party went & rustled some rice & sweet potatoes for dinner. I washed out some black sand with a gold colored sparkle in it (got about a thimble full from a mess pan full of sand) out of a creek where we camped. Don’t know whether the glitter is gold or not. After dinner we came on into Dinalupijan [Dinalupihan] getting here just as mess call blew for supper. The paymaster had been here while we were gone & left our money with the adjutant so, after supper we lined up & drew our pay. Carried Kerstetter all day, again. Thursday I spent paying & collecting bills, buying necessaries for the next two months etc. Friday I was supernumerary & Saturday was on guard. Monday I went to Orani with the wagon for bread & meat (we are to get bread & meat Mondays & Fridays hereafter) and bought a lot of stuff from the commissary. I came in the worst worn that I have been from any hike on the Island. While at in Orani I was on the scales & scored them at 144 lbs. Yesterday I was on guard again. We got a big mail Friday night. Jess sent me Papers & envelopes from Bautista. On our mountain hike things were much the same one place as another. The streams are cold & swift, running amongst & over big rocks. Except right in the beds of the streams very little rock shows in the mountains; they being for the most part hard clay estored soil & thickly wooded. Some parts were bamboo thickets but most of the mountains are covered with a growth of gigantic hardwood timber that will be worth fortunes when opened up. On the first morning out I tore my pants nearly off & had to patch them up with my handkerchief & some safety pins. The Captain made fun of me all the way. Someone “swiped” my knife that C.W. C. sent to me, Wednesday noon while we were cooking our dinner.