GOSSIP / CHISMIS
There was much general gossip about the general expedients resorted to to gain information throughout the archipelago, and, generally speaking, they were all "water cure," in the language of the country.
Some of the expedients mentioned in my presence were as follows: The application of a lump of ice suddenly to the bare skin of a speechless native who had grown up in the brush in the tropics was so novel that he was talking before he ascertained whether he was burned or chilled; by allowing a native to stand long enough to collect himself, after asking him a question, was found to enable him to answer; marching was another way of loosening his tongue. The use of oil was mentioned, and also setting a man on an ant hill.
The two last named seemed so grave that I instituted inquiries to ascertain whether any such things had been resorted to in my command; but the stories vanished into thin air, and neither time, place, nor person could be discovered, nor when, where, or by whom any such alleged treatment had been perpetrated. Possibly an investigation of the other stories would have resulted in much the same way, but I did not attempt to follow up the gossip about them.
ENGAGEMENT AT BALASAN.
I sent a command of the Twenty-sixth Volunteers to Carles, which is a point to the extreme north of Iloilo Province, to land there at night and by a swift march to reach Balasan, which is about ten miles distant, where they would find a band of insurgents. Captain Brownell had command. He did it, and he killed quite a number and took some prisoners, and got about twelve or fifteen stands of arms and generally demoralized that detachment of insurrectos.
The presidente of Carles having failed to notify the insurrectos of this landing of our people—not from any failure of effort, as I understand it, but his man did not get there soon enough—they took his head off and a good many cases of that kind have been reported. How many of them may be true and how many may not be true I could not tell.
In Panay there would seem to be some favorable change going on, but just how it is we do not know with any certainty. All our information comes through native sources which are never entirely trustworthy, but the current has been constant and to the effect that there has been a break of a sensible character between the Visayan and the Tagalogs. That General Delgado has been designated "High chief" or something that resembles military governor by the Luzon authorities and has dissolved the civil government and taken general charge, and, it is said, has imprisoned General Araneta and Vice-President Aboncina, who came in to see me on the authority of the said defunct civil government. But how much of all this is true I do not venture to guess. I am only certain that there has been differences and a break of some kind. This is evident from the fact that Molo, Arevelo, and Manduriao have called for our protection against the Tagalogs.