H. Beaber - In the Philippines - Friday, July 9, 1943

It is raining hard and has been for some time. The rainy season is on in full swing. We still sell vegetables.

Last month, I started teaching in the home of Mr. Brady. As a result, I have made other contacts and have students some here to the house, too. It has eased the financial situation some. Cecil teaches, too.

     

This last week or two, there have been many shootings, murders, and hold-ups. Most of it is blamed on the guerrillas but I think most of it is just gangsterism. A number of high Philipinos have been shot, some for spite, some for money, and some because they were pro-Japanese. Also, robberies are taking place right in broad daylight and as I had a little experience with one, I will relate it!

     

I was in the home of Mr. Brady that I mentioned before, this morning reading to the children. The lady of the house came into the room accompanied by a man who was holding a revolver. I looked surprised, I guess, as the woman said, “It is a hold-up.” I said, “Oh!” The man brandished the gun around a little and I got nervous for fear the things might go off. They herded us all into the front bedroom (we were on the upper floor) and there I saw the house-boy being guarded by two other thieves, one having a revolver. They seemed to be amateurs and did not know just what they wanted.


First, they would look through boxes, bags, or the camphor chests and then return to search our persons. Of course, the children were frightened. The leader, a short man, called me to the corner where he went through my pockets. He found my watch, but it had a nickel silver case he thought it was a cheap one and returned it to my pocket. He took a few pesos from my pocket book but returned the small change. Then I was told to sit on the bed and my hands were tied behind my back. They tried to get the lady of the house to tell them where the money was, but she told them there was none. They took her to another part of the house and I was afraid they might abuse her in some way. I was gagged then but later in the taller man, the other gunman, took the gag out of my mouth because he wanted to ask me some questions. He thought I might be German and if so, he was going to shoot me on the spot. Most of the threats were a bluff, and if it had not been for the woman and children, I might have risked a chance of hitting one of them while the other was out of the room. They returned the gag to my mouth, bound my hands and feet, did the same to the others and gathered all they could into bundles. Most of their loot consisted of clothing (which is a real item these days), jewelry, and medicines.


They skipped out of the house and joined their confederates in the lane. It did not take long for us to get ourselves unloosened from the bonds and the house-boy was dispatched to phone to the husband. I guess the folks lost a quiet a bit of jewelry but the man of the house seemed glad that we were all alive, and tried to pass it off as a light thing. Pretty hard lines, though, especially now.


Life is becoming more uncertain all the time.