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Mon. Oct. 23/44

(Bernice’s birthday) One day last week, Wednesday, I think, we heard a plane coming low over the camp. We looked and saw that smoke was coming from the engine. As it passed over the camp, the engine started to sputter, and in a few seconds the pilot winged over and bailed out. The plane landed with a crash not far away. We gave a great sigh of relief as we saw the pilot was safe. Some said it was a Jap plane. Others were just as certain it was an American and thought that the pilot escaped and was taken to the mountains by the guerrillas. On Thursday we saw a large flight of American bombers and their escort of fighters. It was a grand sight. We had “alerts” every day last week. The more planes the less food. Yesterday was Cecil’s birthday. I forgot to say that Leo’s stomach trouble and diarrhea got steadily worse, and he had to go to the hospital where his case was pronounced “amoebic dysentery”. I could not see him yesterday or today — isolated — but in a serious condition.

To return to Cecil’s birthday, we had two duck eggs from the canteen, and a scrap of bacon, so I diced the bacon, fried it with pepper berries, (grown in our garden) and garlic, added some chopped greens, and then put it in the eggs. I do not know the name of it, but the boys thought it a swell adjunct to our breakfast, of rice gruel. When we left Manila we were given a bottle of condensed carabaos milk, sweetened, so we had milk in our coffee at noon. In the afternoon I made a pudding of rice, moldy chocolate, brown sugar and some of the milk, and Cecil opened a can of Salmon. What a meal! It was a feast. We still have a little tea, and every Sunday evening, we have a few of our friends in for tea and a chat. Last night the usual ones – Henry Pickins, Dave Martin, and also Christie came in, and an extra one, Henry Bucher.  We finished off the milk with our tea, and all agreed it was a treat.