Skip to content

December 8, 1943*

(*Undated but entry itself dates it to December 8, 1943)

I should address this page to General MacArthur:

Dear Mr. General:

Please send a plane for us today. We are tired of it all, and we want to go home. Prisoners of Zenda (no, Zamora, for that’s the name of our street, right near the airfield). That’s where we are, and what price liberty from an internment camp if I have to lie on my tummy in a linen closet fiddling with a short-wave radio which is “hot,’’ with the Japs trying to find out what is going on in your set. I know you are busy, General, and I hope you didn’t have to do what I was forced to do today—hang out a fried-egg flag. It’s the 8th of the month here, and we are “celebrating’’ the proclamation of war, reprinted in yesterday’s paper, and all citizens must fly a flag. I do not like that flag, General, so we let the wind blow it down; but we’d like you to do something about swapping flags, but soon, Sir.

That was a nice proclamation running around Santo Tomas the other day, saying you were thinking of us over here. We need more than thinking.

We’re all getting a little hungry, General. The Filipinos need rice. We’d all have rice tummies if we had enough rice. We’re getting sort of mean, too, counterbalanced by quite a good deal of real decency. But I’ve discovered an addition to the Meanest Man series: There’s a lady in Santo Tomas who is in a room with
fifty-five other women. She covers up her clock—the only clock in the room—with a towel, so that other people cannot use her belongings. She’s British, though. But, Sir, we don’t want all of us to get like that.

Good-bye, Sir. Think kindly of us, and we’ll see you soon—we hope, we hope.

A bientot!