CHAPTER XVI. The American Commission
With such prudent as well as well founded reflections, I succeeded in calming my companions shortly before the official news arrived reporting that the Washington Government, acting on Admiral Dewey's suggestion, had intimated its intention to despatch a Civil Commission to Manila which would treat with the Filipinos with a view to arriving at a definite understanding respecting the government of the Islands.
Joy and satisfaction now filled the breasts of all the Revolutionists, and I thereupon set about the appointment of a Commission to meet the American Commissioners. At the same time I gave strict orders that the most friendly relations should be maintained with the Americans, enjoining toleration and overlooking of the abuses and atrocities of the soldiery because the effect on the Commissioners would not be good it they found us at loggerheads with their nation's forces.
But the abases of the Americans were now becoming intolerable. In the market-place at Arroceros they killed a woman and a little boy under the pretext that they were surprising a gambling den, thus causing the greatest indignation of a great concourse of people in that vicinity.
My Adjutants, too, who hold passes permitting them to enter Manila with their uniform and sidearms, were molested by being repeatedly stopped by every patrol they met, it, being perfectly evident that, the intention was to irritate them by exposing them to public ridicule.
While this sort of thing was going on as against our people the American Commanders and officers who visited our camp were treated with the utmost courtesy and consideration.
In Lacoste Street an American guard shot and killed a boy seven years of age for taking a banana from a Chinaman.
The searching of houses was carried on just as it was during the Spanish regime, while the American soldiers at the outposts often invaded our lines, thus irritating our sentries. It would make this book a very large volume if I continued to state seriatim the abuses and atrocities committed by the American soldiery in those days of general anxiety.
It seemed as if the abuses were authorised or at least winked at in official quarters for the purpose of provoking an outbreak of hostilities. Excitement ran high among all classes of people, but the Filipino Government, which had assumed responsibility for the acts of the people, by the constant issue of prudent orders succeeded in calming the excited populace and maintained peace, advising all sufferers to be patient and prudent pending the arrival of the Civil Commission.