The typhoid-cholera-dysentery combination, plus the banged-up knee, plus cats on the roof, made last night definitely not a tranquil one. A masterpiece of understatement. Wish Hi could hear it. He would be proud to hear me speak reservedly. I usually says something like millions of people, thousands of this or that, worst this in the world, etc., and he raises an eyebrow and says: “How many did you say?” And I answer, ‘‘Maybe two or three.’’ Can it be I am getting cured of a seemingly incurable habit of exaggeration?
I went to Santo Tomas camp again this morning. It is now much better organized. Instead of handing packages through the fence after you once spot the individuals you want to contact, and shouting like a demon to attract attention, this morning we were told to line up, bow to the Japanese guards, walk through the gate with our bundles, deposit them under the proper letter, walk around a rope barrier, pick up outgoing laundry, containers, etc., and exit. No chance of seeing anyone, except those working on the line. I stood queued-up for an hour and forty minutes, along with two of my boys, all of us well laden. Behind me was a devoted Filipino bearing a huge suitcase for his boss inside. The suitcase had brass corners which contacted my person rather frequently, so in addition to (1) my shots, (2) my skinned knees, I have added (3) a million or so triangular black-and-blue spots on my-—shall we say, back?
I “forgot” to walk around the proper rope and found myself back of the sawali barricade. So I just mingled with the internees, and the Japs didn’t know the difference. I had a fine time and stayed for lunch, sharing the food I had brought into the line for my friends. I Saw many people and brought out the inevitable lists of things to be collected and sent in. Poor darlings, told to pack for three days and now it looks like many months! The news isn’t so good. But when I said many months they nearly mobbed me. Morale and courage are very high and they all feel it will soon be over. I, personally, fear the worst. It’ll not be over before the end of the year, I am convinced.