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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FEB 1940
15

Bitung, Sulawesi, Indonesia

Written by Edward Beckwith on Thursday, February 15, 1940

Very comfortable on deck in spite of the rain.

Started developing early and had done all but two films with Fenton’s help when an official in white came aboard and talked with Daan. Daan interpreted to me that there was some trouble about photographing, that it had been reported to Manado that someone had been out in the launch photographing the boat with the mountain as a background, and that he had instructions to confiscate the camera and film.

Anne arrived in the middle of it. I did not meet the official but stayed below. Ted said “Don’t let him have your camera.” I was uncertain what to do and did not know which of the two films was the correct one. Daan said to let him have the camera and I was getting ready to let him have mine. Anne said “He can take mine” and I think Ted said he could have his. I then thought of David’s Rolleiflex which he was not using and decided to let him have that. No one disapproved.

I regretted it afterwards because it might cause complications and David may not approve. My reasoning was that as this was a camera we were not using it was the best one to let go for all concerned. The official said the camera would be returned by the Resident when David lunches with him next Sunday. I let him have a roll of film, one of two which included the mountain. Daan told the official by no means to develop it. Later I developed the other firm and found that I had given the official the wrong one. There were six beautiful pictures of the junk and the mountain.

Anne stayed to lunch and left afterwards for Manado. She asked us to go with her but I was so curious to see whether I had given the official the right film that I wanted to stay and develop it, otherwise I would have gone.

All developing is now completed with the exception of the film the official took, which must have been of specimens.

It is difficult to see how my photographing was reported as we were anchored some distance from the town. There must have been someone in a native boat of which there were a good many around at the time.

I am not included in the lunch party with the Resident on Sunday. Those who are going, all for specific reasons, are Anne, Marian, David, Hugo and Daan, so they will have to fix it up about the photographing.

There are a good many Japanese here and I imagine the strict censorship has something to do with it.

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