Page:A page of American history (1905).djvu/12

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10

as he frankly states, of a roving, incorrigible disposition and apparently was given by the authorities the alternative of joining the expedition to Yucatan or going to prison. He enlisted and served with White until the rangers were disbanded, when he married a native of Yucatan by whom he had one son, Carlos Foster, still living.

Michael Foster was, at the time of making his statement, in 1904, clear in intellect but had almost forgotten his native tongue. He spoke the Spanish and the native Maya tongue with far greater facility than he did the English language. His statement is as follows:

"I came to Yucatan with Colonel White. We disembarked at Sisal and then marched on to Merida. There we executed the Cacique of Santiago; he was shot in the yard of the Santiago Police Station where we were in barracks. During the battles of Peto and Ichmul we lost many of our men. At Santa Maria we lost forty-seven and at Tabi thirty-six, but at Calumpich nearly three hundred of our bravest men were killed. The Indians there played us a trick; they made concealed pitfalls in the path and placed sharp pointed stakes at the bottom; then they appeared and dared us to come on; we rushed after them with hurrahs and many of our men fell into the pits; we lost many men that day but we killed a great many more of the Indians than they did of our men. Pinkus and myself are now the only ones left and I guess that we will go soon too. I am over eighty and have lived hard all my life."

General Naverrette, an old Indian fighter of Yucatan, whose scarred body bears witness to his valor, stated to me as follows:

"Colonel White was my friend and so was Captain Daws; both were brave men and strict disciplinarians. The men they commanded were brave men and died valiantly, almost to a man. They suffered their greatest losses at the siege of Tijosuco and the battles of Calumpich."