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December 15, 1941

Night before last, rumors spread like wildfire that the tap water has been poisoned by the Japanese, or by the Germans, or by fifth columnists… or by ghosts. The Japanese, the Germans and the fifth columnists have been put away in safety. Only the ghosts can be walking around freely. The police and the members of the CEA (Civilian Emergency Administration) are greatly responsible for spreading the false rumors.

“Do not drink tap water. It is poisoned!” they shouted in the streets. All of a sudden, a number of gullible individuals started feeling stomach pains. Fortunately for us, we got wind of the news quite late, and no one among us suffered the minimum of discomfort either in the stomach or in the imagination. The more enterprising ones set up stalls with their original concoctions of sure antidotes.

Otherwise, the city has returned to normalcy. There are no more explosions at night. All the sympathizers of the Axis were nabbed after the “heroic” street to street and house to house encounters. I tried to find out where they were confined, to know what has become of my friends and some other people I know. I had to be very discreet, as we were all under suspicion. There is a news black-out about the fate of citizens of the enemy countries. A number of German and Italian priests were arrested on the first day and imprisoned. But they were released after two days. An Italian parish priest, on returning to his parish, found out that his cook had been manhandled and robbed. He complained to the authorities but they said to him:”You are an Italian and you are complaining?” And they locked him again.