I am now settled down into a sort of routine. The only excitement there is about life up here is an occasional rumor that the ladrones are going to attack the town and kill us all; about every two weeks, some mail arrives from the States; occasionally I manage to make a trip down to loilo to lay in a stock of canned goods; and that is about all.
I have a new cook named Blas. Blas doesn’t speak much English, excepting the full vocabulary of soldier profanity, and even that in “bamboo” fashion. In this strange parlance, “got” always means “there is,” and “no got,” “there is not.” But to Blas, easy-going and not accustomed to bringing up short in anything, much less in English phonetics, “got” is “god.” So, for example, when I say, “Blas, have you any more soup?” the answer is “God,” “God mucho,” “No god,” or “No god más,” as the case may be.
This evening, Several of the Filipino “scouts” came up ostensibly to make a friendly call, but in reality, as I believe, to pave the way toward an attempt to borrow money.
They talked a long time and among other things told how the Spaniards used to raise a levy of troops. According to their statements, the authorities would requisition so-and-so many men from each pueblo, the requisition being made upon the head-man of the village. This dignitary, when hard put to it to secure enough men to fill the levy (which was often the case because of the meager return paid for military service), would manage for some man to come to the town hall, where he was seized upon some flimsy pretext and thrown into prison. This was repeated until a sufficient number of men had been gotten together to fill the quota.