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February 12, 1945

Monday. Weariness threw me last night and I gave up, with the story half told. We had some of the officers to dinner with us and poor Janson got a little male company—after all of us females questioning him and worrying him for so long!

We asked so many questions, and so did they. What we all don’t know would fill several thousand tomes of St. Peter’s. One thing we found out. This is an army trained to the nth degree, equipped in a fashion unheard of by us, and ready and eager to fight the Japanese to the last man.

Some of them came to lunch today, bringing a tin of butter—which we haven’t seen for two years—and some sulfa powder for Felie’s wound.

They warned us yesterday we had better sleep in the shelter as there seemed to be a battle moving our way.
I felt bombs would be better than squirmy youngsters, so I lay on the floor in the house for a time, but finally went upstairs to my own bed. It seemed to me I was too tired to die elsewhere! It sounded rugged outside.

Quite a number of Jap civilians seem to have stayed in the neighborhood. I think they are military who have taken off the uniform. The commandant who lived near us fled some nights ago, in civilian clothes, so the servants tells us. The Jap civilian who had asked Janson’s advice, gave himself up to the paratroopers. But as two of them were marching him down Park Avenue to their temporary headquarters, two Filipinos stabbed the Jap in the back. He is still alive, but in a very serious state. We can understand why he wanted to surrender to the Americans!

There is an artesian well not too far from us, and some of the paratroopers made camp there. The well is taking quite a beating—the boys are getting all scrubbed up. They haven’t any extra clothes with them, and no
underwear to mention. Seems the Leyte clothes shortage impressed them so, they practically denuded themselves!

The horror stories are trickling through from the other side. The Japanese have been firing whole sections with gasoline, then shooting people as they try to escape. Their favorite sport is to toss hand grenades into houses, and then shoot people as they try to run. Thank heaven, we never left our gates. Refugees from further toward town are coming out this way, some with just the clothes on their backs. Murder seems to be the order of the day. We were terribly lucky; the Japanese in our section were all headed for battle at Paranaque and seemed to have confined their deviltry to burning and shooting in a big way, not house to house, Libertad seems to be the line where the murders in an organized way began.