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Woman's enterprise. (Baton Rouge, La.) 1921-19??, December 15, 1922, Image 11

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn89059303/1922-12-15/ed-1/seq-11/

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First Rifles Reach Managua After Feasting and Betrayal by Our
Native Allies-Interviewed by a Spy-Join My Company-Made
a Corporal and Secure a Dead Man's Shoes.
Leaving Managua the command ci
had covered some seven or eight tl
miles when it met General Walker sl
and escort returning from Leon and o
on the way to Granada from whom ii
Captain McChesney received order to o
return to Managua there to await the h
coming of the First Rifles to which a
he was to transfer all the detached h
men and then proceed to Masaya with v
his company to join the Infantry bat- r
talion of which it was a unit.. As t
we entered the plaza we were some- I1
what surprised to notice the absence q
of the native troops, our allies, who s
had been stationed there, and upon
investigation discovered they had de
serted us in a body, leaving shortly r
after our departure. Not a man, sol- I
dier or civilian was to be seen, even t
the surly Alcalde had followed the
troops.. As we had not yet learned
of events at Leon, it was thought
Walker, iwho was commander of , the
army, native as well as American,
had ordered the natives elsewhere.
We soon learned better.
What with the march from Masaya
and a sleepless night I was so com
pletely exhausted when we reached I
Managua on our return that I could
scarcely vwalk or keep awake and:
would have thrown myself on the
ground as soon as we broke ranks
had not a small boy beckoned me, who
when we were beyond ear shot of
other Americans, told me his mother
wished I would come to her house.
As I had not seen a boy in the morn
ing I feared conspiracy to trap Amer
icans. A town without inhabitants is
lovelier than a graveyard; there was
something uncanny about Managua
and while we had not yet learned of
conditions at Leon we felt that some
thing serious was happening. The
sudden and unexpeated departure of
our native allies and the absence of
inhabitants made the town a desolate
one indeed. Shouldering my rifle,
however, I followed the little fellow
and preceeded to the house where I
had been fed in the morning and
where I was met by the Senora as
though a long absent friend and
'treated to a substantial dinner. The
I lady said she had sent for me to in
quire if women and children would be
safe if they remained at home while
i "los barbarous del norte" were in
SManagua. "We are not bargarians,
rand you and your little daughters will
- be as safe as if we were your coun
i trymen", I told her. I then asked her
Swhat had become of the women and
I children of the town and was inform
t native allies and Walker, and that
e the women were in hiding.
4 "What trouble?" I inquired, but she
- declared she did not know but all na
tive troops had been ordered to con
a centrate at Lean and not to obey
- Walker longer. She then inquired as
d to the number of Americans in Nicar
d agua and advanced other questions I
d felt a woman had slight interest in,
e so many, in fact, that I felt she had
s some ulterior purpose and was not
o altogether moved by curiosity. A
f door leading into the room in which
r we were conversing I noticed was
.slightly ajar, and over it a cur
L- tain was hung and at one time I heard
-behind that door what I imagined
as were footsteps of a man. So suspici
,s ous had I become that while eating
a Ithe food set before me I kept my
f I rifle across my lap and after satis
fying my hunger prepared to take hi
my departure having offered to pay es
which was declined with many pro- ti,
testations against the offer of money. SE
Joining my comrades, the first hi
sergeant greeted me with "Where in w
hell have you been?" The Captain so
orders that I keep the men together, I
under arms as it were and besides you gi
are for guard duty to-night." "Ser
geant, I am totally unfit for sentinel t
duty. I was up all night in efforts i
to save the lieutenant's baggage and I
can scarcely keep awake now. In my
condition I think it both unwise and
unsafe to trust me on a post." "Well, li
you'll do guard duty all the same but h
guard will not be formed until six u
o'clock and I'll have you placed on "
the third relief so if you lay down at h
I once you will secure about six hours' r
sleep and that's enough for any ga- a
Finding I could not beg off Id
e spread my blanket on the floor of the a
Shouse we were occupying, and was a
' soon fast asleep to remain so until t
I called by the relief party which It
' followed half awake, tired, with ev
r ory muscle of my body aching to the =
d most outward and lonesome of all the
posts. For awhile I paced my beat,
t but finally overcome by fatigue and I
desire for sleep I sat down in a door
e way, making strenuous efforts to
- keep awake, knowing the penalty of
'- sleeping on past was death if de
y tected, but to sleep I went. I have
s no idea how long I slept only to be
- awakened suddenly by a dog rushing
I out of the house barking furiously
3, which instinctively caused me to chal
d lenge "Who comes there?" I had no
)t idea that anyone was near so the
A reader can imagine my surprise to be
h answered. "Amigo" and to see a
s man within ten steps of me. Cock
r- ing and pointing my rifle at the fel
'd low he dropped on his knees and be
d gran begging my mercy. "Oh, good
1- American, let me go, mother is dying
g and I am on my way to get a priest,"
iy said the liar. I told him if he moved
5- there would be a double. funeral from
his house, still he kept on begging burg
earnestly but to no purpose. I no- killed
ticed he kept one hand under his until
serape, a blanket with an opening for a goc
his head which covered him to his Fran)
waist, and I was sure he was hiding 58" 1
something he did not care for me to San :
see. I called for the sergeant of the onel
guard but my post was so remote my of th
voice would not reach. Not long af- who
ter the grand round in charge of a name
lieutenant made its appearance when dislik
I was relieved of my trouble of keep- ished
ing my prisoner. ticula
"What have you here?" said the maeu
lieutenant. "A prisoner who says ficer
his mother is dying and he was on his as ts
way to find a priest," I replied, value
"Well, under the circumstances I will want
let him go," said the officer. "All On
right then, I only obeyed orders in agua
arresting him." "Well tell him to little
go," which I did and that greaser I di(
disappeared as rapidly and mysteri- tions
ously als he had appeared. . "Lieuten- talio:
ant you made a mistake in releasing with
that fellow for I am sure he was up -
to mischief. You failed to search
him and I feel certain he was a
spy." "But he said his mother was
dying." "Yes, and he lied when he
said it." But the fellow had disap
A few days later just after the
coming of the First Rifles a native
Fwas arrested under like circumstances
with circulars he was distributing re
questing all able bodied men to join
in a war against the Americans. I
S saw him placed against a wall and
/ shot and thought from his size he
- wais the same man I had arrested.
With the arrival of the Rifles to
B which I reported at once we learned
B what had taken place at Leon. It
a seems that when the battalion neared
- the city the entire population includ
- ing the President, Cabinet, clergy and
- prominent citizens turned out in force
d to give the boys welcome. Arches
g bearing the most flattering expres
sions were erected for miles along
d the road followed by two days of
n feasting and rejoicing. They were
- hailed as saviors of the liberty of the
Speople who had brought peace to a
:; republic long suffering from inten
*o necine strife; they were unselfish he
roes and patriots and yet upon the
5 third or fourth day they were in
arms against the unselfish heroes. It
appears that when President Rivas
. left Granada for Leon some months
Sgefore, he at once entered into cor
Srespondence with authorities of Gau
temala, Honduras and San Salva
dore requesting the assistance of
those states in expelling the very -
men who placed him in the Presiden- 0
tial chair and brought peace to the
country, so that when Walker ar
rived at Leon accompanied by the
SFirst Rifles the stage was set for the
final act of deceit and treachery.
On the third day after the arrival
of the Americans, Walker was in
vited to attend a meeting of the
President, Cabinet, army officers and
notables generally when he was in
formed that the neiAhboring repub
lies had demanded the disarming of
the Rifles and their dismisal from the
military service. "Are you prepared
to pay the American trooprs?" .said
Walker. "No" was the answer.
"Then," said he, "you propose to
disarm my men and leave them at
the mercy of hostile native troops
without means to leave the country.
They will not give up their arms."
With' this Walker retired from the
meeting and as he did so men rode
through the city shouting that Walk
er was about to seize the President
and leading men, causing the appear
ance in the streets of hundreds of
soldiers and armed civilians and forc
ing the Americans to adopt measures
for defense. The strongest position
to be found was the Cathedral, one
of the largest and most strongly con
structed edifices in Central America,
and this the Rfles seized and therein
bid defiance to the howling mob. For
three days our fellows held the sa
cred edifice momentarily expecting
attack but the soldiers who had run
away at the first Are of every en
gagement, leaving the Americans to
fight it out had not the courage to
attack. A wholesome dread of Amer
idan rifles held them at bay and per
mitited the riflemen to withdraw un
iAolested which they did in leisurely
manner cheering and inviting tie en
emy to attack. The fellows compos
ing the memrbership of this battalion
were as reckless and courageous a
bunch of fighters as could be found
the world over. Some had crossed
the plains in 1849 in the face of
bands of hostile Indians, fighting daily
others had fought Indians and Mexi
cans along the border, still others
had been desperate gun men in the
gold mines and all were imbued with
extreme contempt for everything of
the class they called "Greasers."
O the arrival of the Rifles I lost
no time in joining my company where
I received a warm welcome not only
* from my home chums but others
* while one and all doubted my wis
dom in leavibg comfortable surround
ings for a life as a private in the
ranks. Captain Jessie' Stith, a Vicks
burg man, succeeded Captain Linton,
killed at Rivas and from my joining
until he also was killed. I had in him
a good friend. Our Colonel was
Frank Anderson, one of "Immortal
58" who came with Walker from
San Francisco. the Lieutenant Col
onel was named Saunders, also one
of the early birds, while the Major
who was a first class martinet was
named Leonard. He was generally
disliked by the men who he had pun
ished for every slight offense, par
ticularly for not keeping rifles im
maculately clean. He was a brave of
ficer and accomplished tactician but
as tactics were considered of silght
value in fighting natives the boys
I wanted none of it.
1 On the day the Rifles reached Mian
1 agua, many friend, the Senora, sent her
> little boy to invite me to call which
r I did only to be entertained by ques
- tions as to the strength of the bat
- talion and other matters connected
g with our little army. She was the
embodiment of hospitality, however,
treating me again to an excellent
meal. After eating, conversation
continued along the same lines when
to my surprise the curtain spoken of
above parted and a handsome young
man stepped into the room smiling as
he approached and extended his
hand, stating the Senora was his
mother. I was so astonished that
I must have turned pale as I made
up my mind the fellow was not only
an officer, but a spy and that if it
was known I was in communication
with the enemy my life would end
just as soon as I could be placed up
against a wall and a firing party se
"You see we trust you and feel
satisfied you will not let it be known
my son is in hiding," said the old
S (To be continued).
And speaking of the cotton mar
ket, there still is room at the top.
Stroube 's
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Priced ..........$2.25 to $35.00 from ............$1.00 to $8.50
Gibson 's .Christmas' Cards
Why forget a soul this year,
When Gibson's cards will bring them cheer?
Stop in while the assortment is fresh ar_ complete and make your
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You know the quality, come and Djerkiss, Azurea, Three Flow
see the boxes this year; they're ers, Floramye, Mary Garden,
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Big Christmas Reduction
of Stock Sale
Mrs. N. E. Richard
216 Main Street. Telephone 684
China, Glass, Crystal, Crockery and Tin Ware, Household
Goods, Toys, Silverware, Cutlery and Novelties and Toys
of all Kinds.
10% on all goods in the store,
20% on all China.
Make Your Christmas Purchases Here.
Mrs. M. E. Richard
216 Main Street. Telephone 684
Only Exclusive China and Vairety Store in Baton Rouge
Fenders, per set of 4........S13.95
Peerless Radiators ......... 18.00
Top Recovers, touring ..... 6.95
Front Springs ............. 2.50
Wheels, front or rear ....... 4.50
Front Cushion ............ 5.95
Rear Qushion .............. 6.45
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