Today our northern trip entered upon its first stages. Once more we packed our grips, gathered together copies of the provincial and municipal laws, and sailed away to spread the gospel of free government among a stranger people. This is the trip planned for June, but not until now has the situation in Manila been such that the Commission could leave. As it is, Commissioners Wright and Moses remain behind— Commissioner Wright to work upon a proposed Criminal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure, and Commissioner Moses to assist in caring for the six hundred teachers expected next week on the Thomas.
We are to visit the provinces of Zambales, La Union, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, Abra, Cagayan, and Isabela. It is the typhoon season and our vesel this time is not the Sumner, but the Aldecoa, a small coasting vessel of the “Compañia Maritima.”
Our schedule is a hard one, involving simply one night stands. No one has the temerity to speak of it as a pleasure trip.
We were to have left at four o’clock, but it was four-thirty before we got away from the Ayuntamiento, work piling up until the last minute. Four laws were passed today. We reached the ship shortly after five, and at five-thirty were steaming toward Corregidor.
The upper deck of the Aldecoa is roofed over, and dinner was served in the open. It was well, for the lower regions of these boats have a musty taste and smell about them anything but appetizing. As we sat at the table it was good to see so many of the old guard present—these who had been on hand from the first speech at Bacolor through all the vicissitudes of subsequent trips and encounters. Of the Commission, we have Governor Taft and Commissioners Worcester and Ide, and of the staff, Fergusson, interpreter extraordinary, and LeRoy, Carpenter, and myself, Secretaries. McDonnel of the Sun, Juan de Juan of El Progreso, Pellicena of the Noticiero, and Gonzalez of El Comercia are also with us, seasoned veterans all of them of innumerable banquets and bailes. Among the new faces we have Dr. Kruger, German Consul; Don Benito Legarda, one of the newly-appointed Commissioners; Tomas G. del Rosario, Director of the Partido Federal; Dr, Ejército and Felix Dancel, who have done much to bring in insurrecto leaders; Padre Aglipay, Aguinaldo’s Chaplain General, one of the hardest
men with whom our troops had to deal; Father McKinnon, late Chaplain of the First California; Dr. Stafford, physician for civil employes; McCormick, of the Chicago Tribune; Adamson, of Leslie’s Weekly, and Dave Morris, acting for the Associated Press. From the office we have Schlodfeldt and Calvin.
The Aldecoa is chartered everything furnished, and our dinner far eclipsed anything served on the Sumner. The wines were of the finest, and the cigars of a brand calculated to woo forgetfulness of all earthly tribulations. It was a scene of peace and perfect content, but its moments were fleeting. Lying in wait for us just beyond Corregidor was the treacherous China Sea, ever turbulent and restless. No sooner had our little vessel poked her nose outside the bay than she was caught and tossed about in most reckless fashion. Smiles faded, mirth and jollity died away, and faces became lined and solemn as with deep inward reflection. Anon there were hurried trips to the rail and a scattering for cabins, and the night witnessed many generous though woeful partings from that much-applauded dinner.