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DECEMBER 22,' 1905
A Tale ot the Yule Tide
By WILL M. MAVPIN
CHRISTMAS IN THE JUNGLE
"Tis mighty little Oi love th' work," growled
Private O'Brien as he savagely jabbed his knife
into the can of embalmed beef with one hand
and reached for his canteen with the other.
"O, g'wan with your everlasting' growlin',
Terry," grunted Private Wilklns. "Did you think
you were comin' on a Sunday school picnic?"
"I guess Oi knew phwat wus comin t' me when
01 enlisted," replied O'Brien, wiping the perspira
tion from his forehead with the sleeve of his
shirt. "But little did Oi t'lnk thot we'd bo
hikin' Trough these blessed jungles at Chris'mas
toime. Divle fly away wid th' little brown fellys
thot keep pesterin' us so. Av it wasn't for them
it's home we'd be this minnit, an' tomorrow th'
blessed Chris'mus day."
Lieutenant Gilder, in charge of a squad of
"hikers" in pursuit of some recalcitrant members
of our assimilated brethren, was writing up his
report while his men were hastily getting sup
per, and ever and anon he would stop aud look
away toward the east with a far-away look in
his eyes. He, too, was thinking of home aud
Christmas joys, and he caught the conversation
of his little .command as it came floating towards
him on the fever-laden air.
"Christmas eve and home ten thousand miles
away," he muttered. "And the thermometer 100
in the shade when it isn't raining and 150 then.
Well, we're in for it, I guess."
The sun was rapidly nearing the western
horizon, and Lieutenant Gilder hastily finished
his report and prepared to take the usual pre
cautions for the night. The supper was quickly
finished, the guards posted, and In an instant aK
most the sun disappeared and the tropical night
fell like a pall.
No fires were allowed, so the soldiers un
rolled their blankets and lolled around upon the
ground, talking in low tones and sending the
clouds of pungent smoke curling upwards .to
wards the stars that fairly seemed to shoot into
sight as the sun dropped behind the horizon.
"Oi'm wonderin' if Santa could find me
stockin' if Oi hung it on thot thorn beyant," re
marked O'Brien with a grin, pointing lazily with
his toe towards a nearby thornbush.
"He could that, if he isn't sufferin' from ca
tarrh," retorted Billy Borden, the wag of the
"If it wasn't ag'in th' rules Oi'd punch yer
head for thot," said O'Brien. "Tis cruel of ye
t' poke fun at th'.fate that has carried me so
many moiles in th' effort t' make paceful citizens
of me brown brothers."
"Not so loud boys," cautioned the lieutenant.
"No telling where we are, or what may happen."
"Tis cruel hard t' be kept so oxcited on
Christmas eve," whispered the irrepresible
O'Brien. "Wid all th' rest of th' world at pace
it seems a murtherin' shame we hev t' be itchin'
t' shoot our felly min."
"I'll bet the kids at home are just about
hikin' out of bed to look in their stockin's," said
Burkett, the bugler.
"O, study your geography," growled a com
rade. "You've got your time on backwards.
"Well, I'm thinkin' of stockin's and hangin'
them up, just the same," retorted Burkett.
"Oi'm not goin' t' snub Santa Claus, onyhow,"
said O'Brien, sitting up suddenly. "If so be he
happens t' come t'rough this God-forsaken part
of th world he's goin' t' find Terence O'Brien
makin' familiar wig-wag.'
"What areyou goin' t' do, Terry?" queried
Riley, he of the corporal's stripes.
"Oi'm goin t hang me stockin' on thot same
thorn, Oi am, an' I'll lick th' man thot laughs
"Go ahead, Terry," said the lieutenant. "We'll
all hang up our stockings. It will seem like home
t0 do it, and ' maybe we' can sleep better."
The whimsicality of the thing appealed to the
lonesome and tired soldiers, and with subdued
chucklings they dug down into the packs and
brought out clean array socks. They hung them
on thorjibush and bramble, then after a few more
Pipefulls of tobacco they lay down quiet, dozing
off into the first stages pf tired sleep where
visions of days gone by pass in review. It is
not difficult to imagine what those soldier boys
wore dreaniing about as they lay beneath the
"opic sky ten thousand miles from home on a
Christmas eve, with unknown dangers lurking
a" about. But at lasttheir restless" movings
ceased, and the only sounds heard were those
SL?!ei?e ntr!es moving about and the call of the
night birds in the jungle.
' t Priv,at Calkins was just beginning to wonder
when relief would come when he heard a rustling
noise in the brake. He stopped instantly, brought
"inst!)"Ward and peercd lnl the Uarkness
"What'n thunder's Unit?" ejaculated the
"Hist! I'm amtgo," came a voice from iho
"Then come out into the open, hands up,"
commanded Calkins, cocking his riile and throw
ing the butt to his shoulder.
Tn response to his command a lithe figure
walked out, hands up.
The figure stopped, just close enough for Cal
kins to see that it was a Filipino clad in a lull
of soiled linen, hands aloft and a smile upon
"What's your business, eh?" growled Calkins.
"I'm Captain Enrique Analdo," said the Fil
ipino, speaking in purest English. "I would like
to speak to the officer in command.
Calkins was puzzled. He didn't know exact
ly what to dowhether to arouse the camp, or
whether to quiz his visitor a little further.
"I'm in command of the band that your band
is pursuing," said Analdo. "But I want to arrange
a truce for twenty-four hours. Take me to your
"What's up, Calkins," queried the voice of
"Please come here, lieutenant," replied Cal
kins. "Here's a little dago who says he's an
officer in the Filipino army, and he wants to
arrange a truce."
Lieutenant Gilder stepped forward and peered
into the face of the stranger.
"Well, what is it?" he asked.
."I am Captain Analdo," said the visitor. "I
command the detachment you are pursuing. I
come with a flag of truce. Tomorrow is the
Christ day, is it not? Why, then, should we be
at war on the eve of that blessed xiay?"
"Why at all?" muttered the lieutenant to
himself. Then aloud: "And you propose what?"
"Truce of twenty-four hours, commandant.
The Filipino's fingers pointed, and following
the direction Gilder could see the' socks of his
command waving against the starlit skyline.
"The blessed Christmas time," repeated the
Filipino officer. "Let us observe it."
"But how?" asked Gilder. ,
."I will give a signal to one or my men who
is near. He will join 41s. I will remain as a host
age in your camp while you go with him to my
camp. There my men will give presents fruit,
tobacco, cigars, baskets, little things for Christ
mas. You come back and we put them in the
stockings for your men. Tomorrow we eat to
gether. At sunset we go. At midnight the truce
ends. Then we fight if so it seems proper."
The little brown man's voice quivered with
"Well, this is a rum go," said Gilder. "But
I guess I'll be safe if he remains here. If I don't
get back in fifteen minutes, Calkins, arouse the
camp. Captain Analdo, I accept your offer. But
if anything happens to me what my men will do
to you will be a plenty. Wait until I bring an
Calkins saluted, the Filipino officer sat down
upon the ground and Gilder walked "hack and
shook O'Brien by the shoulder.
"Wake up, O'Brien; but don't make a sound. '
"Phwat's up," murmured the wide-awake
"Come and I'll show you."
O'Brien was quickly made familiar with the
Filipino's proposition and with a grin remarked:
"Oi guess you don't take no chances, lieu
tenant. It wouldn't be healthy f r me little brown
friend here t' let ony harm come t yez."
"Your officer's life is safer now than it was
an hour ago, sir," said Analdo, stiffly.
"Signal your man," said Gilder tersely:
The signal was given, and instantly another
Filipino emerged from the brake, hands aloft.
"Jose, conduct the Americano to camp, and
return with him in fifteen minutes. God bo with
you, sir." And Analdo gave a salute which the
American officer returned.
"In fifteen minutes, Calkins," said Gilder. If
not well, you know."
"And God help mo little frlond hero ir it's
more than fifteen," muttered O'Brien.
Gilder followed his guide into the brake, and
it seemed only a rod or two ere ho stepped into
the midst of the Filipino camp. That It should
bo so near and yet remained undetected gave
Gilder a wrench and he mentally awore at hl
stupidity. But he Immediately miw that his visit
was 1101 unexpected. The brown soldier stood
at attention and sahitod with precision an he
strode Into their midst. Scarcely a word was
spoken, but In a few mlnuu-a Glider and IiIk guide
were fairly loaded down with Chrlatmns tokens.
Then the two walked back until they met the
sentry and the waiting O'Brien.
"Thank God, yez got back all rolght," whin
pored the faithful Irishman. t'Ol had me revolver
at his head iv'ry minute of th lime yez was gone,
The Filipino' officer arose from the ground
and in a low voice, said:
"Lieutenant Glider, I wish you a worry
Christmas. May I have the pleasure of dining
with you tomorrow at 12?"
"If It can be arranged I shall be glad to have
you, sir," said the astonished Gilder.
"Then, sir, at 12 I will meet you here. My
men will follow me one at a time, depositing
their arms on the edge of this clearing. Wo trust
ourselves to you, sir. And wo will bring our
share of the Christmas dinner."
"Very well, sir. And a merry Christmas to
you, Captain Analdo," said Lieutenant Glldor.
With a swift salute Analdo and his guide dis
appeared In the darkness. But Glider redoubled
sentries before he composed Himself to sleep.
"It looks all straight, but It's almighty queer,"
"Lot's fill th socks before we sleep," whis
And no sooner said that done.
"Hi, there, boys!" shouted Burkett about
dawn. "Blast my eyes If old Santa didn't find
his way into this bloomin' Jungle!"
Instantly the camp was In an uproar. Cau
tion was thrown to the winds and the men dived
down Into those army socks and brought out the
little tokens with gasps of astonishment.
But all their queries wero for naught. The
three men who could have explained professed
Ignorance with the rest. And so the Christmas
morning lengthened away towards noon. Gildor
looked at his watch every little bit, and finally
he heard Sentry Bowles shout:
"Halt! Who goes there?"
"A friend under a flag of truce," waa the
Lieutenant Gilder hastened to the sentry
post, and there, clad in a suit of immaculate duck,
stood Captain Analdo.
"A merry Christmas, Lieutenant Glldor."
"The same to you, Captain Analdo."
The arrangements were soon completed. Cap
tain Analdo walked into camp, arm In arm with
Lieutenant Gilder. And one at a time Analdo's
men came forward, deposited his rifle and bolo
in the growing heap at the foot of a tree, but
carrying his little contribution to the dinner into
The Filipinos outnumbered the Americana al
most two to one, but the latter posted a guard
over the Filipino arms and were not afraid.
A half-hour later the queerest Christmas din
ner in many a year was well under way.
"Your health, Lieutenant Gilder," said Captain
Analdo, holding aloft a calabash full of strong
"The same to you, Captain Analdo," said
GIVler, quaffing from his own calabash.
As the evening shadows lengthened Captain
Analdo arose and said.
"It is time to go. The blessed Christmas is
closing. Until midnight tonight, Lieutenant
"Until midnight, Captain Analdo and would
to God it were forever."
"As God wills," whispered Analdo.
And with military salutes and with warm
handclasps, the little brown men bade farewell
to the stalwart American soldier boys and disap
peared into the jungle from whence they came.
As the last figure disappeared from sight
Private O'Brien spat upon the ground and ex
claimed: "Well, Oi be blowed!" ,