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July 4, 1944

—The Glorious Fourth—and I don’t dare hang out the American flag, but I have been admiring it all day, hung up in the bathroom. Can’t be much of a celebration, with nearly all Americans locked up. I am sure they are happy in the camp, what with the good news in the air. I’ve had several smuggled notes from camp and while the morale is good, they are getting increasingly hungry. The Japs are trying to starve them. But they seem to get the news and take heart.

The local sheet says Guam, Tinian, Saipan, have been bombed by the American —“‘fruitlessly,”” of course, and all Jap planes R.S.B. [returned safely to base], except one “which crashed into its objective.”

We are all expecting to be bombed. When Cebu got it, or was rumored to have been bombed, someone said: “What’s Cebu got that we haven’t?” and I said, “Cebu got bombed.” A very poor joke, I admit. I dug an air-raid shelter under the mango tree. I have claustrophobia, so didn’t put a top on it. It rained last night so it is a lovely well now.

I think the cubbyhole under the stairs will be the best place for a shelter. Gives us about three ceilings above it, and fixed up with mattresses it will counteract the shock anyhow and keep out shrapnel.

My food situation is pretty good in case of siege, or revolt. I have rice for several months, about two cases of corned beef, a case of tomatoes, string beans, plenty of salt and about a hundred and fifty pounds of sugar. Our garden is doing very well. We have fresh corn, beans, tomatoes, camotes and talignum. I have plenty of charcoal for at least three months, which we are keeping for an emergency. If worst comes to worst, our few households can eat together, saving fuel that way. There are seven houses surrounded by a great wall and each house has a wall around its own garden, so we will be somewhat protected. Glad Mike and I built the stiles between my two houses and his. We can hold off looters if we stick together, but, of course, we couldn’t do much against the Japs.

The Japanese keep harping at us to evacuate the town; but with no means of transportation and no place to go, It sounds impossible to me. The roads are clogged with people going back to their provinces, meeting people coming in from the provinces, each hoping for safety elsewhere. We are close to the airfield but, since the Japanese say we only bomb churches and schools for the blind, guess we’ll be safe. There aren’t any of those buildings near!

With the net slowly but surely closing on the Japanese, island by island, ship by ship, the local situation gets steadily worse. The Filipinos are really getting hungry, some of them. And some of them are getting fat, in the buying and selling and collaborating, but that is war.

After the June shipments to prisoners, the Japanese have steadfastly refused permission for any more aid to go to prisoners or to internment camps. Tokyo says it is up to the local authorities, and the local authorities say it is Tokyo which has forbidden further aid. And so goes the old rat race, and meanwhile the prisoners and the internees are starving. Damn the yellow rats!