Unfortunately, in the rush of Christmas things, I had forgotten to give Esten a needed treatment of Castoria, and the little dear was nauseated and vomiting in spells up to about two o’clock. The little darling had never been sick like that before, and it made me feel so badly because it was all from neglect on my part. She had just settled from her last spell when the guard called me. He had seen my flashlight off and on during the night, and said that he wanted to talk with Mr. Olsen, Mr. Ivory or Mr. Rhudie, so I called Carl. He said that news had reached him that the Atimonan lines were breaking and that we should prepare to leave. I would not disturb Esten for she was now sleeping, but the rest of us got dressed, and the Ivorys packed, we had coffee and then waited hill it was light enough to travel. Everything was ready by the first rays of light, but. we were too packed to take with us our big box of Christmas things. The Rhudies promised that they would bring it tf they found that they must leave. Bob drove the Ivorys down so that he could return with that car, thus giving Oscar and Ada ample transportation when they had to come away. By light we were on the road and made beautiful time with the exception of being held up at Sta. Rosa for an air raid, but the planes just passed peacefully over and so we were not there for long.
We could see smoke for miles before reaching the city. There were two fires in different sections; one we rightly guessed was Cavite, the other we could not tell even as we entered the city proper. But we found at the first filling station that it was the oil dump which we were burning. The two families were to meet at the Elks Club and we arrived there a few minutes before ten to find that Manila was to be declared an open city, so the Army was destroying all oil and other supplies that were military objectives. We had been at the club just long enough to get washed up — the children had not yet got the glasses of water which they had called for —when the air alarm went on. And so to the air raid shelter we hastened. The alarm stayed on till after twelve. Then we went up and ordered sandwiches. These had not come when the alarm went on again, so the sandwiches were served to us in the air raid shelter. Every so often we could hear the booms and those that fell nearest shook the building — most unpleasant! This alarm went off about 2:15 and we made a break for our car. It was decided that we would stay with Jane and Bill out in New Manila, We got only as far as the City Hall when another alarm sounded, but we were there for not more than a half hour. While there, we had time to read the funnies to the children and I scanned the headlines of the daily paper. After the all clear, we hurried to Jane’s, reaching there without further delay at about three o’clock. Carl got us settled, had a bath, and waited for Jane and Bill to reach home. Then he left for the Elks Club where he had been living and where his clothes were.
Jane and Bill’s home is on the north side of the city, ours on the south. Their home is very lovely and overlooks the city. It is set in very ornate gardens where Jane spends countless hours with her orchids and flowers. Bill and Carl are associated with the same company. As they have no children, Jane also works. She is a private secretary to the manager of Texaco in the Philippines. For years they have been very close friends of ours and we are fortunate to have them to turn to in our hour of distress. Both of them are so very fond of Bobbie and Esten and it shall be pleasant being here where it is quiet and with these good friends. Jane and I slept in her downstairs bedroom and the children slept in the sala with the amah, while Bill slept upstairs.
Forgot to say that about a half hour after our arrival, Ada called up from John’s house here in New Manila, three blocks away, to say that they are here! They had just had their lunch when the Army notified them to leave on ten minutes notice. Bob having been caught in the alarms here had been unable to return. They met him on the outskirts of the city driving like mad and they could not make him take notice of them. In the one car they brought with their four servants with a child, the radio, sewing machine, typewriter, and clothes!