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May 17, 1944

We had all our meals in the dugout and I spent the whole day there, resting and reading. A box is our cupboard and Dr. Hall’s wooden tray makes a good buffet, with the silver Spanish candlestick and two chromium plates catching highlights. The two hand-carved trays are against the dirt wall on a ledge; silver, agate and tin cups hang in the rafters. It is compact, casual, a real home. Jerry likes to putter about in it, putting in small additions, but for me it is finished. I can relax and catch up a little.

Saban barrio people (the banana gate on the mountain trail) were all taken down to San Fernando for questioning, so there are no banana pickers or sellers. The enemy kills the goose that lays the golden egg by picking on laborers and peasants.

We are to have 100 guards. It seems odd, for our possibilities of action are not worth that much. The two who escaped certainly poked up a hornet’s nest for us.

The new Mr. Yamato is an entertaining character. He has a tip-tilted expression, precise little mouth, is very short, and extremely correct in manner. His sayings as reported by Miss McKim in class are delightful. Upon arriving, he pronounced, “I hope to cooperate and be kind and true.” He was “pleased to find everything serene and calm.” He said the office building was “simperu but beautiful.” He must have been looking at the painted front. As to roll call, he said it must be more “strict” which he explained to mean “regular.” Carl suggested to him that we had always been more free than Manila camp, and Mr. Yamato nodded, “Yes, we will be strict but free.”

Tanabe went out with ten of our men to bring in more Presbyterian cottages. He asks, “When will the Americans come?” Tomibe answers, “They will never come. They are not coming.” Denki says, “You know blankety blank well that’s not true. They will come!” “Yes, but you must not say so,” Tomibe says.

This dugout is heaven—to get out of that room, hear no more opinions or sour critics. I am out of the stream where I need to be right now, gathering strength, after two weeks of sleepless nights, months of sore mouth and going downhill. Thank God for liver shots sent by the Red Cross.

Scotts came over for coffee and quiet bridge. They purred over the dugout, loved it. Izzy took her shoes off and curled up on the couch. Church as always liked such a casual place. We had a good time. The children came in to study near us, with Bedie’s eyes shining. Scotts admit that everyone is pleased over Family Unit now that it is accomplished. Each one is visiting other cubicles, bridge foursomes are taking place, there is interest and curiosity in seeing each cubicle arrangement. It is the same in the Underground. Various ones come calling and no two dugouts are alike, Mansells’ is huge, has a window with two panes of glass, a door, curtains, couch, chair, all on a grand scale. Phil’s and Peg’s is like the saloon of a ship, with curtains at porthole windows, settees at a table with one leg in the middle of it, a white sheet tacked up on the wall into an effect of white paint, drawings of sailboats on it, a sloping ceiling like a cabin.