The looting is terrible, the disarmed police powerless. The Japanese are expected in the city this afternoon or evening. Wish to get it over with quickly now. Saw mobs break into Chinese groceries in the fashionable Ermita district. Fires are everywhere. Saw bedlam near the Post Office where the mob looted a small ship which was already half ablaze. People snatched goods from the burning hold –a fiendish sight. Sternberg military hospital across the road trom the Y. is dead since the army moved on. American nurses used to work there and relax on the verandah after a hot day. Now the rabble of Manila is clearing the place of beds and of all that can be moved.
Spent this morning watching the doomed and burning city from the roof of the tall
building in which Steve has his office. The fires on the river, the Santiago forts, the
piers and half a dozen other blazes in the Walled City make an unforgettable sight, and Steve takes pictures with his film camera. I wondered where he thought to have them processed, but did not ask.
Saw the editor of the ‘Manila Bulletin’, I wish he would get out of the city. I was unable to get my idea across to him to publish an appeal that all car owners should destroy their vehicles, giving detailed instructions on how to do it. He agrees but says the idea that Mr. Jones should take the sledge hammer to his beautiful Packard is even now too alien to the possessive mind. I am furious, knowing from the Japanese record in China
that all cars will be confiscated and used immediately against us. In any case, it would be too late now.
While having a shower at the Y.M.C.A.. at seven p.m. in the fading daylight, lorries full of Japanese soldiers drive through our street, Calle Concepcion. There are no people in the streets, no cheers, no jeers. They are here, and the curtain of lead comes down. All the nausea accumulated in recent years, while watching the rise of a nation infected with the diseases of aggression, intolerance and hate, wells up at the sight of the peaked caps with the yellow stars, and of the Japanese flags flying from every lorry. I will get away or go down in the attempt. I shall fight them another day.
At nine p.m., a detachment came to the Y., and places us in confinement on the second floor. Guards are posted all over the place and the interpreter informs us politely that anyone trying to get out will be shot. He has a printed map of the city with him at which I looked. It was over-prated with apancse characters. Their preparations were very thorougn.