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January 28, 1945

Walter Robb
General’s birthday
Rum, Money

What an assortment of memoranda! I couldn’t sleep the other night and I jotted down in the dark, since we were under complete blackout, the above items. I am not at all sure what I was thinking about.

Barter? I must have been thinking how dumb I am at it. One woman I know traded a battered old iron flower
stand for rice—quite a lot of rice. Ethel’s cook showed me a lovely bunch of bananas the other day, saying: “These are the Master’s singlet. Bananas taste better than undershirts any day.”

Clothes? We all go about in comparative rags, so I must have been thinking about a curtain I had found to
be made into a dress. Or, the Filipinos in rags? They don’t need to be in rags, these last days. The Japanese
gave, or sold for very little, thousands and thousands of yards of material either from Japan or from the military issue, khaki, denim, poplin, even silk, left behind. But the buy-and-sell instinct is strong, and instead of clothing themselves, many Filipinos are selling this stuff at enormous prices. We all need clothes but have no money to buy this stuff.

Shoes, next item. Wish I had a pair to walk in. Still have some go-to-party, ride-in-a-car pumps, but no shoes
to walk on broken pavements. All gone.

Hairpins? What’s the use of even thinking about them!

Planes? The planes are driving us mad at night. The Jap planes are so noisy, I swear their motors must run on charcoal, as the trucks do. I call them :pop: (first charcoal engines used here were named that). I think the Jap planes just fly around because they have no place to go. Clark Field is already occupied. They are like homeless swallows robbed of their roosts and trying to light in Manila. The “Lone Ranger” nicked off a few more Jap planes in Manila yesterday—he’s quite a lad, evidently operates on his own with a sense of humor. Gets the Japs early before they can get in the air.

Stockings? What are stockings?

Walter Robb? I heard Robb on the radio the other night, pulling out all the vox humana stops in his charming voice, in a speech about Camp O’Donnell, the first prison camp after Bataan fell. In a thousand years the Japanese can never live down that outrage, the cruelty and brutality of that dreadful Death March of soldiers who had only done their duty, who had surrendered to a conquering enemy, and who were treated far worse than beasts. Far, far worse, for the beasts were guarded for future use. Robb did very well and I hope the world will not soon forget.

MacArthur’s birthday? He timed his taking of Stotsenburg very well, taking the fort he had once commanded on his birthday! He has a long score to settle. May he arrive soon in Manila for the final reckoning.

Rum and Money side by side could only mean I was upset by the rising cost of rum. However, I sold the gold earrings and am negotiating for a demijohn of rum. It keeps up our courage.