We hear that a limit of | pound each of peanuts has been imposed so that patients or healthy camp members cannot corner the market.
Everyone is seen with bunches of onions given out by camp. They are fresh green bouquets tucked under arms.
Jerry is so strained that he cannot bear an interruption—his voice shakes. We all lose track of thought if interrupted. These last weeks are ragged, with nerves raw.
June says, “Mummie, Dad and I see that Bedie gets more than we do, He is growing and needs it.” Dear June, she too is still growing at age Fifteen. Poor Jerry, how awful to cope with all this. He has lived through years in these last months.
The returning buyer brought nothing from Manila except soldiers and helmets. with the cold comfort that we are better off than people at Santo Tomas. He did bring soap and undershirts. He says Santo Tomas has used their reserve rice and eaten all their Red Cross supplies. We dare not let ourselves think about them, being too near the edge ourselves.
June and Jerry came down with a mixture of sub-coffee and burnt peanuts. Jerry’s conversation with Yamato at the tool shed is most entertaining. He asked June’s age and said his daughter was the same age and he had dreamed about her last night—dreamed that she had a special permit to come to the Philippines to see him. Poor Yamato, he is lonely, homesick and isolated, speaking as one father to another. Jerry said, slowly, “Somehow I don’t think the Philippines is a very good place to be right now.” Disconsolately, Yamato agreed that it probably wasn’t. Jerry then embarked on a long persuasion to let us have news—why couldn’t we hear about the U.S. election and such topics, even if they didn’t find it feasible to let us know about the Pacific? Yamato said we must not worry or disturb ourselves, must keep peaceful and serene. Jerry assured him that having no news disturbed us because being in a vacuum was very bad when we had only poor food to talk about. He told Yamato we might forget food, work better in the garden and be more cooperative if we had a little news. Yamato said, “But if it were bad news?” Jerry replied, “Even bad news was better than nothing at all. If we could listen to Tokyo—” “But would you believe that news?” asked Yamato. Jerry said we would discount it, believe what we liked even as the Japanese did with our radio news. He told Yamato that if he had been interned three years without hearing news of his country he would not like it either, and Yamato allowed as how this might be true. He argued that the Japanese were not allowed radios in the U.S. and Jerry stoutly denied it, sure they could listen to Tokyo or U.S. news as desired. Jerry outlined a suggestion that some Japanese staff member prepare a weekly news summary for us to post on our Board. Jerry said he was sure that one of our two Japanese-speaking ladies would be glad to translate it and suggested Miss Spencer. Yamato thought it worth thinking about.
Adults are said to be giving up food for the very young and the very old. The ethics of this is debatable, for the older ones do not do heavy work and others must carry on the labor. Such questions and weighing as this fill our days and become increasingly delicate—which should survive?