Leonard Wood, a Biography - Vol. 2

Leonard Wood, a Biography - Vol. 2

Leonard Wood, a Biography - Vol. 2

Leonard Wood, a Biography - Vol. 2

Excerpt

In tropic waters, a vast, green crab stretches out an irritated claw after a school of minnows skipping off in the direction of Borneo.The crab is the island of Mindanao, the minnows are the Sulu Archipelago.Southward along the menacing claw the steamer bears the new governor. On the left is a jagged shore rising three thousand feet or more to a ridge dark with forests; on the right is the purple placidity of sheltered waters where white-winged lorchas , schooner-rigged, carry cargoes dreamily this way or that across the Sulu Sea, or naked men in queer outrigger canoes float on the swells like huge birds.The air is heavy in the midsummer heat.

On the narrow tip of the crab's claw, barely a half dozen feet above high tide, lies Zamboanga, gleaming beneath her palms. A stone wharf juts out into deep water and marks the division between the white world and the brown.Westward, lifted on stilts above high tide, stretch thickly along the shore the thatched dwellings of Moro fisher-folk and divers.The sails of their ships, close by, are red or yellow. A flag shaped like an isosceles triangle, scarlet, edged with a ruffle of white, floats on each mast, and here and there brown-bodied men are tooting horns, reminding Allah that they need some wind.

The world of the white masters stretches from the wharf eastward under the palms to the ancient Fort Pilar with its jutting corners and its shrine, which the Spaniard built when the Pilgrims came to Plymouth and fled to at intervals until Dewey came to Manila.The first impression of America's regenerative rule is not cheering.Large letters call attention to the fact that the nation's most powerful social agency, the saloon, has here as elsewhere followed the flag. But, beyond the gin-parlors, a richer prospect beckons. Around a plaza, splashed with sunlight and color, old . . .

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