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Monday, March 23, 1942

Two cables from the States—first messages since the beginning of the war—from Emestine, who asked if I needed anything (nothing, not even money, can be sent by cable now) and who said, “Hurry home.” Other from Aunts Susie and Fannie in Mississippi, who sent love to all four of us (Jim at front) and ended with “Mizpah.” Had to look in Bible concordance to trace meaning of this word and was surprised that censor let it pass since he might have thought it a code word, and no code messages allowed now. After much reading of Bible (12 references in full) found that aunts were saying in one word that if I put my trust in the Lord all would come out well. So much in one cabled word. These two cables in answer to two last week (deferred night letters) asking for reply via Cebu. Cables sent before, but no reply, probably because logical way to send cables is via Manila and of course, since Manila is occupied by Japs, this route is closed, so unless local telegraph office had instructions to route by Cebu (or sender knew this is only way open) cable might not be accepted by office.

Baby (Clay, one and a half years) has diarrhea. All thoughts of packing and evacuation out of mind for present. Only doctor near is Dr.Jardelega (Filipino married to American nurse), who is anti-American and pro-Japanese in spinit because he is not accepted by whites, but his asceite de castor followed by bismuth prescription worked after three days and baby’s bowels checked. At times when children are ill I miss my husband most. Need his comfort and moral support. Japanese don’t frighten me like illnesses of the children. Fear dysentery more than Japanese army, and fear coconuts falling from palms, as children play, more than bombs.

Reports over KZRH, Manila (formerly our favorite station), now Japanese voice speaking English with un-American twang. Public schools in Manila reopened with Japanese the language taught all children (to replace English). Japanese currency has replaced the PJ. peso and US. dollar. Japanese stamps on letters. Railroads on Luzon functioning again—Saturday broadcast said, “All former railroad employees will report to work by Tuesday or suffer severe consequences.” Everyone knows “severe consequences” means death, so doubtless many workers returned to jobs. Faced also by starvation they gladly accept pittance (Jap. money) paid them.