] didn’t go to bed. Mr. P-———— , an oil man caught here en route to India, has been staying in the house. He was in the Bay View bar when the Japs came in, but somehow he sneaked out and came back here. I got out a bottle of the Scotch I had saved from the breakage and some ice, and we sat in a window overlooking the hotel and watched the performance most of the night. A stage set for tragedy: The Fall of Manila. The Japanese milled around all night, threw a guard around the hotel and got some sort of a patrol shuffling around the streets. That’s a ghastly sound. They drag their feet as if their shoes were unmanageable—as I fancy they are. I never saw any shoes on anyone in Japan. No one bothered us, thank goodness. I didn’t turn the lights on and we all kept very quiet indeed. Mr. P. and I, in spite of the tragic aspects of the situation, got some really good laughs. They look so apish, and they are so little. They “confiscated” cars all night, getting the keys from owners in the hotel whenever possible. Others they just started as best they could.
Mine’s in the garage in the next block. Suppose they have it by now. They are obviously dreadful drivers. The sound of stripped gears, backfiring and crashing was most appalling. Any number of horns got stuck—to add to the general bedlam. If I ever get another car it’ll be a Cadillac (Cadillac, please mail check for the plug). The little yellow lads tried all night to start one parked in front of the house. It had some sort of fancy lock on it to prevent easy opening. The Japs are still working at it.
In spite of the occupation, we have to eat. The freezers have plenty of meat in them—thank goodness; the electric current came back on last night—so we did right well this noon: Veau Marengo in red wine, a bowl of salad, and the cook even made cake and ice cream—my theory being it’s better to keep the staff occupied. Most of them came back today.
The temptation to telephone around is irresistible— it’s probably dumb to do it, though. However, judging from the manner in which they are milling around this neighborhood, they aren’t well enough organized yet to get any phone tapping under way. I shouldn’t care to be shot, however. And this house is wide open tropic style, only iron bars and canvas drops and a few shell windows between them and me! Everyone I have talked to has a different idea. I’m too bewildered to have any theory as to what they will do. They’ll do it quickly enough, anyhow.
The guard has been doubled in front of the hotel and there is a sizable patrol in front of the University
Club, on the corner. I seem to be under that guard. They stick their heads in here from time to time, gibbering. I’m petrified and can only sort of gibber back. I believe I’m scared, but don’t dare admit it.
I just saw two truck-loads of Americans being taken into the hotel; someone said they are from the Y.M.C.A. I just had a phone call from the Manila Hotel saying the Japanese High Command had taken over. The Elks Club and the Army and Navy Club across from my place seem to have troops in them. I can’t see any too well and I don’t dare go outside to look more closely.
My lavandera didn’t get here and, of course, the steam laundry service is not functioning. So I’ll do some washing to soothe my shattered nerves.
Middle of the night. I tried to sleep, but no go. I kept peeping out the window at the goings-on of the Japanese, so I might as well be up. I thought the Japs would be in rags and tags, but they are actually quite
well uniformed: full panoply of leggings, head riggings like curtains hanging from their caps in the back such as soldiers wear in the desert, and they have good shoes—how those shoes must hurt them, the way they drag their feet. Getting shoes on a barefoot nation must have been a job!
This afternoon they took the Bay View Hotel owners and the staff outside with some of the distinguished
guests and photographed them, guarded by the Nips with fixed bayonets. It was so funny, though tragic, I had to giggle at the Japanese—every one of the prisoners looked so calm and correct and the guards were trying
so hard to look ferocious. Tokyo will eat that up, damn their eyes! It’s awful not having a newspaper, and I’m a
trifle hesitant about using the short-wave radio too much. Did hear the United States broadcasting a lot of
tripe about paying for their dastardly deeds. Who’s paying? We’re paying now. I’d even welcome a good rumor, but I’d be afraid to open the door to let one in! Guess I’ll go back to bed.