I have not written for several days as Millard has been very ill with a temperature of 104.3°. You can imagine how I worried! There was no doctor around and I had to treat him to the best of my knowledge. He complained of pains in his chest and I was afraid he had pneumonia. Thank God I had some antiphlogistine and I applied it to his chest. I also gave him some sulphathiazol and A.S.A. compound. Five days have passed since he hasn’t had a fever, but I shall keep him in bed for another four or five days. I do not believe now that he had pneumonia, as he did not cough at all.
Thank heavens we did not have to leave our house after all! The Japanese did not advance when they saw our soldiers retreating.
The last few days have been quiet, but this morning we heard the drone of planes, and looking out we saw 16 planes flying overhead. Four returned and flew over us very low – so low that Dolly could see the pilot! We were badly frightened for fear they would machine gun us. One of the servants saw something falling from the planes, and we just heard that they had dropped leaflets over Banate (about 6 km from here). The Army does not want the civilians to know their contents. I have been told that the army soldiers thought the planes were Americans and jumped for joy, but when they knew they were Japanese they were terribly disappointed. It is very discouraging for these boys to fight under such terrible odds, with no aid of any kind, but still they are full of hope and their morale is high.
Two days after the burning of Barotac we heard that our farm house was spared. Martha Rey’s house was also saved (1/2 mile down the road) I have sent John and six men once more to Barotac to try and bring back some of our supplies and clothes (about 14 km away). They were able to get through this time, and when they reached the house Agustin was there. He had never left the house except on one occasion when he took Melecia and Maring to a safer hiding place. He said that when he was on his way back to the house, he was walking along the road when he noticed some Japanese soldiers up ahead. They also saw him at the same time, so it was too late to run and hide. If he had, they would have shot him. He kept walking as though nothing were wrong. He said, “the Japanese just stared at me and did not say a word.”
We were told that Maring had taken some of our belongings with her when she and Melecia left for a safer place. She said she would try to save all she could.
On the night that Barotac was burned by the Army, Agustin heard two men outside the house discussing whether to burn the house or not. One wanted to burn it, the other did not. Fortunately, they did not burn it.
Poor Ladis (Coné’s nephew) – his beautiful home in the town of Barotac has been burned! It will be hard to replace. He is now ill with tuberculosis and I am wondering if he will recover.
Food is getting scarce. To make matters worse the rice crop is not so good, and the rice near Iloilo is being harvested by the Japanese.
Last week a swarm of locusts attacked the rice near Barotac. We are hoping the locusts do not come this way. Our only salvation is the strong wind that is blowing.