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his desperate band of red-clad cut-throats, formulated his demand:

"Ten thousand silver pesos; twenty carabao loaded with palai, copra and white rice; all the women of the hacienda; and fifteen men for slaves," was the very modest demand of the outlaw.

"Listen to me, Faustino," said Don Juan, smiling with cool amusement into the very eyes of the outlaw, "you who, before the coming of the Americans were a slave on my brother's hacienda in Negros. The carabao laden with food I will give you; the men may choose whether they will serve you or me; but, Faustino, if you take a woman from my hacienda, I will follow you alone and have your own men bastinado you until you cannot walk for

a month."

"You threaten me?" and Faustino began to bluster, but the other cut him short.

"I do not. Your men I know. Nearly all of them were peons of my two brothers. Your lieutenant is Jesus Coroldo, whose mother was fed in her last illness by my brother, Carlos. Coroldo would not strike the brother of Carlos Balingan. He serves you from fear; he would serve me from love. Take what I give you from charity, Faustino, or leave empty handed as you came. But touch not a woman on my hacienda for fear of the bastinado, Faustino."

"For that threat you die," exclaimed the Pope, raising his bolo high for the death stroke.

Balingan sprang back quickly with the cry: "Friends of Balingan, to Balingan's rescue."

The training of centuries may not be overcome by the habits acquired in a year, nor can the new-born reverence for a Pope conquer the hereditary love for a master. They, their fathers, and their fathers' fathers had been reared to feel the Balingan heel upon their necks, to eat Balingan bread and to revere the Balingan name. These outlaws of to-day were the Balin

gan slaves of a hundred years. The friends of Balingan sprang to Balingan's rescue. Faustino looked at the men-his own followers, now ranged against himthen slowly turned away.

"You, too, are a Balingan peon, Faustino," said Don Juan. "Take all the food you need. I would not see my brothers'

servants starve. If you want men, my servants may choose between us. If at any time you want more food, come to my hacienda, and take it without asking. But if you want women, give my hacienda a wide berth for fear of the bastinado."

"Si, Senor," said Faustino meekly, dropping at once into the vernacular of the humility of the serf. But there was a gleam of malice in his eyes which escaped the notice of Don Juan Balingan.


From the hacienda of Don Juan, tino went at once to the habitation of the Governor. Pedro Soler had been appointed Governor several months previously He was not a Visayan, but a Tagalog, and hailed from Luzon. He was therefore not at all in sympathy with the people over whom he exercised government, though he had lived among them nearly all his life. To him came Faustino Ablen, the greatest of the outlaw chiefs of the Philippines. From the fact that Ablen came to him alone, the Provincial Governor might have suspected wrong-do-. ing by the unsophisticated minds of Occidentals. Right or wrong, the standard of the Governor is the standard of the Orient. There, might makes right, and even provincial Governors are inclined to recognize the power of a leader of five hundred armed men.

"This man, Don Juan Balingan," said Faustino to the Governor, "is feeding the ladrones in the mountains. I am told he has invited them to come to his hacienda and help themselves to what he has. I think he is an enemy of the Americans."

"I have thought all along that he was our enemy," replied the Governor. "What is to be done?"

"Faustino wants ten thousand pesos and all the women on that hacienda," answered that worthy. "If the American Government should take everything away from Don Juan because he is a traitor, Faustino would rob the American Government of ten thousand pesos. While Balingan is in jail, Faustino could sweep the hacienda clean of all the women and carabao. The American Government would be called a tyrant because all the people love Don Juan."

"But if the American Government should find out the truth!" urged the Gov


"Then Pedro Soler, Governor of Balirar, would come to his friend, Faustino Ablen, and be protected," coolly replied the outlaw. "But there is no danger. The American Government is busy in other places. Faustino has defied the power of that Government too long to fear it now."

The Governor recognized the force of this argument. Four years had passed since Baliran had seen the uniform of an officer whose commission gave him the power to inquire into the state of affairs in that island. Accordingly the nefarious bargain was made.

Don Juan Balingan sat upon the broad veranda all unconscious of the dire storm about to break over his head. He smiled the self-satisfied smile of conscious superiority as he thought of the outlaw, Faustino, and the general fear which the name of that bloodthirsty ladrone inspired. Could it be possible that the American Government in Manila was afraid of this former peon of the Balingan family? Was this the reason of the immunity enjoyed by Faustino? And yet the same Government had shown no fear of the Spaniard who was far superior both as a man and as a fighter. Well, it was peculiar, to say the least. But he, a rich planter, was not in the least concerned with Governments. Let them all fail, for what he cared. At this point in his reflections, he recognized the approaching party of eight men as the Governor and the squad of municipal police of Baliran. There had been a time when the approach of a Governor would have brought Don. Juan to his feet and Dona Elena to the door, while every servant in the house would have turned out in greeting. But that was the time when Governors had been chosen by Spain for their blood and birth. Now the Governors were chosen because they were men of action. Don Juan scorned them. Had not this very Pedro Soler held his stirrup many times in the halcyon days of his courtship? Was not this very Pedro Soler a former servant of his father-in-law? Then why should he. Don Juan Balingan, receive the Governor when he would never have received the servant? Thinking thus -if he gave the matter a thought-Don Juan remained seated while the party approached the house.

The small, brown, leathery chief of

police halted his squad at the doorway while the Governor entered and approached the master of the house. At the approach of the official, Don Juan turned his head and regarded him fixedly with half-shut eyes, looking lazily from protruding lids. The steady gaze of the wellborn is always disconcerting to the serf, and under it, Pedro Soler, Governor of a province, cringed.

"What is it, tao?" asked Don Juan, not unkindly.

The word "tao" is the word in the languages of the Philippine Islands meaning man. In the vernacular of the Spaniards it has come to have the same significance usually attached to the word "peon," just as, in the vernacular of the Americans in the tropics, the Spanish word "hombre" has come to mean. "paid servant." Thus it was that the Governor felt more deeply than ever his former position as the lash of the word fell upon him. The scorn of Balingan did not anger him so much as it disconcerted him.

"You are under arrest." he stammered. This was not at all what he intended to say. The speech had been carefully prepared, in which he should remind Don Juan of their relative positions, both now and formerly. He would then declare his detestation of the act of feeding ladrones, and wind up with a scathing denunciation of traitors. But instead he found himself stammering: "You are under arrest."

Balingan did not move nor take those disconcerting eyes for a moment from the face of the Governor.

"Very well," he said, still speaking indulgently. "I will come to the presidio to-morrow and surrender. You may go


This cool dismissal brought the wavering sense of dignity back to the Governor. The face of a Malay in anger is not a pleasant sight. The thick lips of the Governor curled in a snarl; the small, wicked eyes closed to half their size; and the broad nose flattened upon the cheeks. Balingan looked on unmoved.

"You may go now," he repeated.

"When I go, you go too," replied the Governor. "The time has passed, Don Balingan, when your birth or family will save you from irons."

Balingan started to his feet, his frame

shaking with suppressed wrath, and his eyes flashing.

The Governor recoiled from the wrath of Don Juan, but did not abate a jot from the purpose with which he had come. At a sign, a squad of police stepped forward. The work of a moment sufficed to place the handcuffs upon the wrists of the haughty Balingan. The thing was so quickly done that Don Juan did not realize it until the chill of the iron brought him to the consciousness of the ignominy thrust upon him. Then his lip curled with contempt, and he turned to the Governor.

"You are a Governor, Senor," and the accent of the "Senor" hurt more deeply than the sneering utterance of the word "tao" had previously. "But this I tell you: I will kill you for this. These men

of yours hear me say it."

For the benefit of the policemen, Don Juan repeated the threat in Visayan and in Tagalog, while the Governor cowered in abject terror before the manacled man.

"I will kill you for this," he continued coldly, with no trace of anger in his tone. "I will kill you."

At this instant Dona Elena appeared upon the scene. Don Juan's wife was of the fair type of Mestiza. The abundant strain of Spanish blood had given to her eyes the fire of Southern Europe, to her hair the gloss and texture of satin, and to her skin the glow of roses under olive colored silk. Accustomed to deeds of violence, the lady at once took in the situation. In her bosom lay the tiny stiletto, pearl handled and finely pointed as a scorpion's sting. Before the Governor realized her presence, the stiletto was at his breast and the small hand of Dona Elena was pressing its point through the light clothing he wore.

"Take the irons off his wrists," she demanded.

The terrified official was on the point of commanding the irons to be taken off when the chief of police whirled his heavy club, struck the lady a terrific blow upon the temple and started the retreat from the hacienda. The Governor, dazed by his narrow escape, could do no less than follow. No servants had witnessed the scene, and the arrest of the master of the hacienda was not known.

The mistress of the hacienda lay where

she had fallen. The shadows of the afternoon began to lengthen as the fiery tropic sun sailed down the West. The Babel of women's voices within the house rose as the siesta hour drew to a close, and the awakening of the house told of coming activity. Still that white robed figure lay upon the floor in a silence deep as that of death itself. Then they found her. Tenderly they bore her into the big, shaded room, quietly they laid her upon. the silken divan, and gently they nursed her back to consciousness. There was no inquiry after the master; there was no hubbub over the stricken mistress; there was no excitement over her condition. The stoicism of the Orient was there, and its sorrow spoke only in the dullness of apathetic eyes and in the fear-quickened movements of the servants. With a long-drawn shudder of physical agony the Dona Elena opened her eyes to gaze bewilderedly into the dark, where a smoky, cocoanut-dipped cloth burned dimly in a bronze dish. In that little circle of light she saw the faces of two of her women. She recognized them, and then the merciful coma of the rallying physical powers shut out the vision, and with it the struggling memories that crowded upon her. When next she opened her eyes, a dozen candles burned in their sconces, and the room was light as day with their silver radiance. Her husband was bending tenderly over her. Yes, the face was the face of her husband; but the clothes! Surely she had never seen him dirty and ragged before. Again, after an interval, she could look at him. There was no doubt of it. It was Don Juan; but such a Don Juan! The once immaculate white had become dingy-even dirty. The clothes were ragged, as if a strong hand had rent them, and the face and hands were scratched and bleeding. Suddenly the scene of the early afternoon came before her with all its horror. Then she knew the meaning of his appearance. He was an escaped prisoner. Horror of recapture swept over her, and gave her strength more than human. Sitting erect, she demanded feverishly, incoherently, the explanation of the scene in which she herself had taken part-the meaning of his


"They arrested me as an enemy of America," he told her. "I gave food to my

brothers' servants who are now members of Faustino's band of cutthroats. America fears Faustino and regards me as an enemy because I gave him food. How could I know that a peon of Balingan had inspired fear in America? I have no fear of Faustino. The Governor, Pedro Soler, declares that America will keep me many months in jail, and may even send me to the great prison of Bilibid for years. I have never been in prison, and I escaped from the cuartel. I will not go to another -but I will kill Pedro Soler and the chief of police of Baliran."

The excitement of Malay hatred flamed in the eyes of Dona Elena. Gone was the refinement of her European education; gone was the inheritance of mercy in the strain of her white blood; gone were the precepts of her Christian teaching. that moment she was the Malay inflamed by hate and athirst for vengeance. Staggering weakly to her feet, she swayed for a single instant with the dizzy pain in her wounded temple, then summoning all the powers of her body for the consummation. of her hate, she steadied herself on her feet and cried:

"Call the servants. Every peon on the place shall take the oath of vendetta, or die!"

They came trooping into the room-ignorant, slouching, shambling formsready to die for the dignity of Balingan as they had lived for the glory of Balingan. And their master, disheveled, ragged and haggard as they had never seen him, spoke to them. The tense earnestness of Don Juan told these ignorant peons that he had cast off at one time the flowery politeness of Spain and the strain of blood derived from the same source. He spoke simply, using words they could understand, and addressing them in their native Visavan.

"I come to you, not as master to man, but, as a man, when trouble is big, will go to those whose friend he has been. I have been declared the enemy of America because I fed Balingan peons when they were starving. For this I was imprisoned; for this I was handcuffed; for this my wife was struck as men would strike a dog.

"I have sworn to kill the Governor, Pedro Soler, who ordered the irons put on my wrists, and the chief of police, who

struck the Dona Elena with a club. I cannot kill these men alone, for they are always guarded. I want your help.

"Before you give it, I must tell you the dangers in your way. We are not the men to stand against the Americans. When we kill these men we must go to the mountains. The American soldiers will come to this island. They will hunt us in the mountains. They will find us and kill us, or they will capture us and hang us. There is no other way. If you go with me you will die. You may starve in the mountains you may hang in town; or you may die with bolos in your hand fighting the Americans. It is death to go with me. Choose now!”

At the conclusion of this speech there was a pregnant silence in which could be heard distinctly the hoarse breathing of the men and the quick, panting respiration of Dona Elena. Then that lady stepped forward. With her right hand she swept back the brown hair from her head, showing the great bruise, swollen and oozing blood.

"Peons of Balingan," she said, passionately, "I command you to go. If any man turns back before Balingan bolos are red with the blood of those men," and again she drew the stilletto from her bosom, "I will plunge this blade into the heart of the wife, child or mother he leaves upon this hacienda."

Dull, stolid, soulless, they gazed into her beautiful, passion-distorted face with eyes that read the intense meaning back of her dire threat. Then, one and all, they turned to Don Juan. At least they could understand his motives. They could judge his hate. They could estimate his purpose. Through the soft, black heart of the night he led them to the town that harbered his two enemies. The carnage in the police station of Baliran that night is a matter of history. Pedro Soler, conscious of guilt, fled from the town. Don. Juan led his servants to the mountains.

Before the headless trunks of the seven men had been removed from the cuartel, Pedro Soler had sworn in another force of municipal police. His explanation of a midnight raid by Faustino was believed by all. With fear in their voices, the new police swore to do their duty, with the mental reservation that no duty should

tempt them to anger the outlaw in the mountains.

Then Pedro Soler led his police to the Balingan hacienda. This time he went on a mission of confiscation. The Dona. Elena met him at the door.

"This hacienda is mine until the Americans can come to claim their own," he told her. "Your husband, the Balingan tao, is an outlaw. The Americans will not let him own such a fine property as this. You are to move into one of the small houses and your children are to work for the Americans in the fields. This is to be the casa of the Governor."

The ever-ready stiletto flashed in her hand, but the Governor, with a blow upon the wounded temple, laid her senseless at his feet. Stepping over the prostrate form the Gubernatorial party looted the house. The hoarded wealth of Juan Balingan was carried to the cuartel to be guarded. Faustino raided the cuartel for his ten thousand pesos, and was sorry he had not demanded twice the amount.

When Dona Elena recovered consciousness, she found herself with her two children in the cuartel from which her husband had escaped. She was held as a hostage for Don Juan's good behavior. Realizing her helplessness. she placed her hand in her bosom to assure herself that the stiletto was there. Her heart sank when she knew they had taken it from her. Uuarmed and in the power of this Governor who had been a peon of her father's, she might well despair; but she did not. The stolid indifference of her race to sorrow and to suffering came to her aid when most she needed it, and she awaited without apprehension the coming of the events. whose shadows were even then being east over her. The intention of Pedro Saler was that those events should not delay their coming long. The iron door of the prison opened and he entered as Dona Elena was soothing her little daughter with one of those crooning folk songs of the Philippine people. She did not look up at his entrance, nor did her voice break with a note of terror at his approach. Indifferent to all save the fright of the child, she continued the lullaby.

"The Americans want me to sell the little girl in Samar," he announced.

"Mentira," she replied apathetically,

continuing her lullaby. She called him a liar in the same tone in which she might have stated the weather was fair.

"The little boy will go to work on the hacienda to-morrow to make money for the Americans," he stated.

Again he was answered with the indifferent mentira.

"Don Juan was killed last night," he assured her.

"Mentira," was the only reply he received.

Then the shameful proposal was made. Don Juan was really dead. The Americans would like to see her daughter sold into slavery in Samar, and her boy put to work upon the hacienda which had been his father's. It had always been the American policy to humiliate the Spaniards and to wipe out all sign of Spanish pride left in the islands. On one condition he would disobey the Americans. Of course he was married, but the brown woman should be beaten if she objected. And so he ran on and on, heaping specious lie upon plausible falsehood. Erect and with no sign of emotion in her face, she listened until he had made an end of his pleading and threatening. Then, still without having displayed her feelings by sign or glance, she walked very close to him and -spat fully in his face.

The brute underlying the Malay character came to the surface with a quick, uncontrollable flash of anger. Selecting the lacerated temple as the chject of assault, he dealt her a blow behind which he put every ounce of muscular energy he possessed. She fell heavily, lifelessly, to the cement floor, and the Governor turned from the room indifferently.

Then it was, when Pedro Soler's cup of iniquity was full to the brim and running over, and before Don Juan Balingan could wreak vengeance upon the perfidious Governor, that Sibley arrived in Baliran with two companies of Philippine Constabulary. The Dona Elena was still raving in the throes of a two-day delirium when Sibley visited the jail in company with the Governor and the chief of police. At the first glance, the American saw a woman of his own race tossing in delirium upon the bare cement floor with an ugly, undressed wound upon her head. Without a word, he took from his pocket a roll of

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