Fairchild Tropical Garden Expedition aboard the Cheng Ho 1939-1940
FEBRUARY 1940
 
 
 
 
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MARCH 1940
 
 
 
 
 
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APRIL 1940
 
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MAY 1940
 
 
 
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MAY 1940
12

Ambon, Indonesia

Written by Edward Beckwith on Sunday, May 12, 1940

Films developed yesterday morning were still damp.

David came in and told me that at 4 o’clock last night 5 guards were placed on the boat and we were forbidden to leave. I had packed up and paid my bill intending to move on board this morning but changed my mind when I heard this.

Marian and Anne joined us and we walked to the Hamel’s. Mr. Hamel went to see the commander here and obtained the withdrawal of 3 guards but instead they will remove all essential parts of the engines.

From there we walked to the Resident’s house and saw Mr. Jansen for a few moments. We then returned to my room and Anne stayed and had lunch with me at the hotel.

No ships except warships are permitted at sea so there is nothing personal in the restriction. However, it looks as though we might be here for some time. There is some question whether the Dutch have the right to keep the ship of a neutral nation from sailing.

Anne said she was “fed up” with the boat and spent all afternoon sleeping in a chair on my porch. I left her and went out to the boat. The guards were on deck. They are not shifted and are supposed to stay on duty the whole time, sleeping when they can in their uniforms. Ted told me that they had taken the small pump from the engines but that the engines could be used without it. He thought that the Dutch could not hold us if we wished to sail.

There was mix up about photographs I had printed for Anne and Marian. Anne got Hugo to open my drawer with a pass key and get them out when I was ashore.

She is extremely arbitrary and peculiar and I understand was in a very bad humour with everyone on the boat this morning. It is really remarkable that the cruise has gone as well as it has.

I returned to shore with David to the Hamels who went with David to see the commander. He said that if the order to hold the Cheng Ho was not recalled in 4 days he would cable to Batavia to ask instructions.

Hugo and Fenton came in. Fenton was in the same depressed but talkative mood. He asked me if I had a gun so he could shoot himself. The humid rainy season which is just starting here seems to me to have a disturbing effect on the nervous system.

Resident's Garden, Ambon
Resident’s Garden, Ambon. Photographed in 1938. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license by Tropenmuseum of the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT).

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