Last night we slept near a regimental command post. Early today, the regimental Commanding Officer somehow managed to get us a truck. But the truck was too small to hold all of us. The intelligence scouts were left behind. We hitch hiked our way to Mariveles, Bataan. Once, during an interval in our hiking and riding, we spotted a plane. We were all going to dive for the canal when Alfred assured us that it was a P-40. So we held our horses and watched the approaching plane. The plane came nearer and nearer every second, what a beautiful plane, we all thought. Suddenly, what we thought was a P-40 fired its machine guns. After we came out of our hiding places, Alfred was as meek as a lamb.
On arriving in Mariveles, we were told to get into a waiting truck. We were to go to Km 188. To me, it felt like I was more on a treasure hunt than in a war. On arriving at Km. 188, we found no one. I also realized that my bag, containing my precious eight packs of Camels and my yellow bowl pipe had fallen off the truck. Everything had to happen to me.
Alfred once more told us to stay and wait while he went out to make further inquiries. Noon came. Patience. Once more, we had to be Gandhi’s disciples. At five, Alfred arrived with two trucks. We boarded and once more were on the go. We came down and stopped at Lamao, just three kilometers from where our truck broke down. We had half- cooked rice and salt. Never did I taste sweeter food. This fellow Alfred deserved to be an officer. He had leadership, resourcefulness, courage and plenty of common sense. That night, I did my first sentry duty in Bataan, from 12 midnight to seven in the morning.