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Boy Scouts Beyond The Seas

CHAPTER VI IN THE CANNIBAL ISLANDS

NEW GUINEA: A SING-SING DANCE

The Philippines

THREE days’ steaming from Hong Kong brought us to Manila, the seaport and capital of the Philippine Islands. These islands are as big as England, Scotland, and Wales put together.

They originally belonged to Spain. They were first discovered in 1521, by that fine old sea scout Magellan, whose story I told you in my description of South America.

He was the first explorer to sail round the world. With five little ships he set out from Spain and sailed across the Atlantic, and all down the east coast of South America, till he got to the southern end of it, and then he made his way through the very narrow and dangerous straits, still known as Magellan Straits, on to the Pacific Ocean.

Then he boldly set out to sail across this huge unknown ocean, with only a limited supply of provisions and water, and in little sailing vessels which could only make a few miles a day unless there was a strong, favourable wind.

But he and his men, by carrying out the Scouts’ motto of “Stick to it” through thick and thin, succeeded at last in reaching the islands which form the western boundary of the Pacific, and landed safely in the Philippines.

Here they made friends with the native inhabitants.

But, unfortunately, the islands were at war among themselves, and when Magellan landed on one of them, called Mactan, the inhabitants, who were hostile to those with whom he had been friendly, rushed down and killed him while he was getting his men back to their boats.

His ship eventually got back home, sailing round Africa to do it, but it was the only one out of his fleet of five that did so, and only eighteen men out of his 250 gallant comrades lived to get back

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