December 11, 1941, Thursday

Servants all said they were leaving, but when I told them there would be no pay till Mr. Vaughan returned, they grudgingly returned to work. At 11:00 a.m. Mr. Serobe called excitedly saying Japanese had landed at Banago pier and were now marching on Bacolod—that roads were blocked, and to leave the house at once with one suitcase. Frantic packing of one case for children with diapers and Carnation milk principally, also blankets (weather cool). Second suitcase with bandages, gauze, iodine, mercurochrome, many bottles of cod liver oil. (Children catch cold easily if not given concentrated cod liver oil daily.) Servants running wildly, children screaming because of noise and excitement around them, my heart missing every other beat with fear for children—thinking of horror stories of torture administered by Japanese soldiers and my lips repeating, “Jim, oh Jim, come home.” When we could do no more, I decided to stay in the house because of the physical impossibility of carrying two small children and suitcases. We have no car and taxis have been impossible to obtain since war was declared.

When I decided to stay and face what came, a certain calmness prevailed. Then telephone call saying alarm was false, that ship seen from pier was American battleship patrolling area.

Thursday night constantly at radio hoping for some word about passage from Manila that might indicate when Jim would come home or when I might expect a letter at least. Not a word of English on any station, all weird (and at the moment terrifying) Oriental dialect and string music. Thought that “on the hour” or the “half-hour” spot the station announcement, at least, would be given in English, and also some explanation. Went to bed, got up four times to turn on radio, but same terrifying programs. Decided it could only mean Manila had fallen into Japanese hands and they were broadcasting in own language from all Manila stations. Terror so great, Jim must be trapped in Manila nauseated with fear. Finally, in spite of late hour, called the Simkes to ask if Manila had been taken. Mr. Simke said there had been an ouncement in late afternoon that the most popular Manila stations KZRH and KZRM, would be off the air that night and as a result Chinese broadcasts filled the air, the language and music were Chinese not Japanese. I finally could sleep fitfully.

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