I ENTER AND LEAVE THE FISH BUSINESS
HE Moros on Jolo, I
was told, were a healthy lot. They looked very robust, and I myself
scarcely ever saw a sickly person among them. The hookworm and dengue
fever were what plagued them most. I did not hear of many serious cases
of malaria or of the worse form of the same disease, blackwater fever.
Even beri-beri was comparatively rare, because the poorer folk ate
unpolished rice; and it has, I believe, now been conclusively
established that the part of the grain which is removed in the
polishing process contains the antidote to that disease.
friend Dr. Russell, who had studied hookworm in men and beasts,
maintained that few natives or domesticated animals on the island, or
in the whole of the Philippines, were entirely free from it. He argued
that this was the cause of that lazy languorous feeling which is
generally called Philippinitis. He said that the preventive was
ridiculously simple—never to go unshod.
I brought my own family to the islands during the early years of the
war I impressed on my youngsters that it was not safe to go unshod, and
made them get into their slippers immediately they stepped out of bed.
In consequence they were terrified of the very name of hookworm, and
imagined it to be a monstrous creature with hooks at the end of horny
claws, which lay in ambush under the bed waiting to pounce upon
unsuspecting feet. At any rate it made them careful, although I should
not like to think that I harassed their young souls.
I come to think of it, I did not see many maimed among the island folk
either, and only once a blind man. I have every reason to remember this
blind man. One day, re-