Cal went to Manila today. Commandant offered information yesterday that new barracks would be turned over to us without electricity, running water and other than Chick Sale affairs for toilets, to say nothing of a lack of concrete floors and verandas. Cal is going to protest and try and delay your arrival here. I hope you come up anyway and that they move men into the barracks and leave the buildings to the women. I want to see you. Hope you send some peanut butter some time.
I am having swell folding chair made, seat and back of rattan of course. In fact I think I’ll make it two if they’ll take my little one in the trade for pay of one… We sent packages and notes today; I sent ₱20 and I hope you buy a few things for yourself.
Two men, father and son were brought in today from Southern Luzon, they’ve apparently been out all this time. They look sort of bewildered.
No paper today, some say it was held at the gate because of the news. One copy came in contained something about expected naval engagements in South and Japanese claim that their major defense line, Sumatra, Java, Brunei and Celebes is impregnable. Wonder what you’re doing… I saw one of the kitchen help cooking a steak on an open fire out in front of God and everybody while I was choking over my mongo beans and squash this noon. I wrote a note to Calhoun and an investigation was underway before dinner time. He’s a pretty square guy… I heard today that one guy sold his pair of army shoes just issued to those who were “on their uppers” and lost the money at poker. After all the gab about the distribution of the shoes the whole affair is a mess. I sympathize with Bill McCandish in his utter distrust of 80% of the people of the camp. A new watch tower is being built on the hill near your old house. It’s high and overlooks the whole camp. I love you, pleasant dreams.
Calhoun can’t get over Santo Tomás spending ₱475 for “pottie” washing equipment, does seem ridiculous when we can’t get lumber to patch hole in floor or pipe to repair defective septic tank that is draining on surface 30 ft. from living quarters. Wonder how far the Sit Down protest at Santo Tomas will go—talk is cheap enough but I’ll bet when the J. Mil. says move, they’ll move. I love you.
I’m practically recovered from my gastronomic disturbance following the holiday debauch. I hope I can keep up to my present program Monitor, Safety and Order, Ant. History—I’m taking Spanish—German—Accounting and two Economics courses, besides reading Caesar’s Commentaries under the guidance of one the padres, Dr. Griffiths Literature courses, and trying to read Gibbon’s Decline and Fall and Durant’s Story of Philosophy. When you come up I want you to take French and teach me about Music and you too can take the Spanish course. I wish you were here now. I’m duty bound to be up at 6:30 for Buckle’s calisthenics too. Things are as usual—they say 500-1,000 of you up here by 7/31… The new barracks progressing under efforts of 5,000 workers. I wonder how livable they will be eventually. I’ve dreamed of you twice since July 1, I was looking for you both times and found you too. We’ll be very happy. Darling. Oh yes, I’m spending an hour every evening with Dan going over L.M. book and problems.
The glorious fourth is over and I’m suffering from a terrific hangover. Bill and I made honey yesterday and went to the hospital to have lunch with Mr. and Mrs. Curran. There was a vegetable salad, peas and corn, corned beef and pressed meat, pudding, bread, good coffee (yours) and fudge and peanuts. They asked the Lord’s blessing in their original fashion and requested the presence of you and Polly at the next such gathering. I love you darling. I wish you were here to take care of me because my stomach is rebelling and I feel like hell. We had beans and pork last night, maybe they should be blamed, at any rate I’ve been in distress since 3 a.m. today. Calhoun returned last night and it appears that some of the duds at Santo Tomas are finally convinced that the camp here is to be enlarged. The feeling is that Santo Tomas Authorities have deliberately refused to admit that the camp was to be moved and have regarded us as the unlucky guys that were sent to Los Baños. The refusal to release necessary equipment and charging us total amounts for things that will benefit those yet to come has rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. Classes started today and I enjoyed all three very much; particularly Newman’s German II.
Another week and the war will be 19 months duration. How can it be that as much as been taken out of our lives? We’ve got to make it up somewhere, somehow. Some of the lines from [Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s] Sonnets from the Portuguese still haunt me, I should not allow myself to be so sentimental, and why not!… I hate this life more an more each day. I’m restless and no matter how or what I eat I can’t gain weight—I guess I never will until we regain some semblance of normality. I’m skeptical about the future of this camp and I hope and pray that things work out, it can certainly be one helluva mess if 7,000 are dumped here in a lump.
..It rather amused me today when Kenny Edwards came to me and requested that I remove the name Margaret Nestle from the list of those whose presence was desired here. Apparently Dr. Leitch has advised someone that conditions were going to be quite primitive in the new barracks and suggested that a person not have his wife come up with the first group. Denny even intimated that there were to be open urinals, horror of horrors! These fools have believed that these barracks were going to be furnished like a New York apartment. I don’t suppose they’ll be too bad, but with all the speculation, no one has actually seen the plans yet. Everything we know about them has been told us by the Contractor. On the other hand, I believe they will be fairly up to what was described, but from what I’ve observed, descriptions become well garbled…