Fairchild Tropical Garden Expedition aboard the Cheng Ho 1939-1940
NOVEMBER 1939
 
 
 
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DECEMBER 1939
 
 
 
 
 
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JANUARY 1940
 
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FEBRUARY 1940
 
 
 
 
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DEC 1939
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Manila

Written by Edward Beckwith on Sunday, December 31, 1939

David Fairchild's first view of the Cheng Ho in Manila Harbor

David Fairchild’s first view of the Cheng Ho in Manila Harbor
Stern of the Cheng Ho

Stern of the Cheng Ho, photographed in Manila Harbor by Edward Beckwith
We went out to the junk at 9:30. There were lots of visitors. Members of the yacht club offering courtesies, Admiral Hart, Commander of the Asiatic Fleet, and Dr. and Mrs. Smith.

Petersen came out looking very badly and I knew at once there had been goings on after I left them last night. He said he was not well enough to go to the party this evening. Finally Kilkenny came out with a black patch over one eye and a badly banged up face. I did not question him but I knew he had been in a fight last night. He said he was going to the party tonight. David was not pleased about it and neither was Marian. Ted should have known better his first night here.

David, Marian and I had an early lunch and drove to Cavite to meet Mrs. Archbold on the Hong Kong plane.

She is a mass of energy and can look rather attractive with her strange, rather hard face. She wants to get off as quickly as possible, so it will only be a few days before the start. She told me to look over the dark room and have anything done I wanted, also to take the exterior details in color before they became faded.

I felt rather nervously tired and took some rest feeling rather apprehensive about the New Years Eve party tonight, after what happened on Christmas Eve at the Fairchilds.

Marian, Mrs. Archbold, David and I had tea on the lawn and had a confidential talk about Kilkenny and the general situation. Everyone is disgusted that he got banged up last night. Think it possible that he will resign or be supplanted by Fant before long.

At 7:30 we all went first to the Fairchilds and then to Thomas Wolffs New Years Eve party. Ted did not appear which was lucky. At the Fairchilds, Mrs McKay took too much to drink almost immediately and became very affectionate standing up in the middle of the room. The Wolffs party was large, about 90 people. Remarkable house with a swimming pool in the middle of the hall. I did not feel in the mood for the party and when Marian told me they were going I joined her, David and Mrs. A. to go home. They were surprised I did not stay as the hour was only 10:45. I only spoke to Lydia for a few moments at the Fairchilds house. The best time I had was a talk with Blanquita. She is intelligent and extremely attractive.

Glad that I came home early as I need readjustment to the new conditions now that we are ready to start. Feel the need of getting balance and energy.

Writing at 6 A.M. Old year has gone, the most difficult for a long time. Feel well satisfied with the way I have handled different hard situations. Full of events, they have worked out well in each case. It would seem that I was beginning the new one with a rather uncertain outlook, but extremely interesting and with good possibilities.

 

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