Sept. 15, 1901

One more of my bridges is burned. Yesterday at ten o’ clock we boarded the Francisco Reyes for Iloilo. As we stumbled at with our baggage, a kid rose up in our pathway and bleated pathetically at being disturbed. A dog poked his head around the corner to see what the row was about, and later two cats wandered on the scene in company with another dog. The kid has sampled all our belongings from the tag on Miss Hull’s suit case to the steel beads on Peggy’s chatelaine. Hung up above a chest ab the stern are several bunches of bananas, some onion leaves and two joints of meat. After the kid got tired of us it went up and tried a combination of meat and banana. It found it so good that he enticed one of the pussies up. Pussy preferred meat –and they had a royal feast until some one objected and they were driven away for the time being. We did not sail until half past one and soonafter starting all went below for the siesta. All but two appeared at dinner which was served at four. Hours for meals are seven o’ clock, coffee, ten o’ clock breakfast, four o’ clock dinner. The inevitable chicken appears at every meal but it is a blessing as that and the soup are all we can eat. There is also a supply of guava jelly which we eat when all else fails. I had not realized that I could be so intemperate. We have been cautioned again and again against drinking the water so we drink a red sour wine which serve in large quantities. It looks like claret so I asked yesterday afternoon for some bottled soda and claret. The “hombre” did not understand and after a puzzled look brought up the soda and a small glass of something yellow. Naturally I inquired “Que es?” and the roar that went up from the crowd on his replying “Cognac” drew the attention of everyone on baord. I was speechless but a man came to my rescue and told me to ask for “vino tinto.” Last night was one of torture. Our stateroom was rather large and at first we were quite comfortable though neither of us dared to lift the cover of our berths. About twelve o’clock it commenced to rain and a man came in to shut our port hole. To add to our discomfort from loss of air they commenced [illegible] stoning the deck and from then until five I dozed. At five I heard a great racket and woke to find a brown head stuck in the doorway letting forth a flood of Spanish from which I gathered I might open the port hole. I did so with alacrity and was rewarded by having a large stream of water run down my sleeve. It stopped after a minute and I was just about to sleep again when a quantity of ill smelling water was dashed over my face & pillow from the deck above. I welcomed sounds of rising with joy and dressed and went to breakfast. On a seat at one side lay a sea sick Spanish woman with her bowl beside her, while her husband looked on as if he wanted to join forces. My early breakfast consisted of hard crackers, guava jelly and chocolate after which I sat on the stairs and struggled [portion excised] a poor looking crowd all day but have succeeded in joking about our condition. The islands which we have passed are beautiful but we have not seen any houses. I am not worried about our quarters nor am I afraid of being killed, but how I dread relations with the people. Major Allison gave us two letters of introduction to men in Iloilo remarking that both he and his wife would feel much better to know we had someone to turn to. One of the letters ends “and please do all you can to keep them out of trouble.” Cheerful prospect but unpleasant situations are not what I fear. I simply [portion excised]

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