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
15

Ambon, Indonesia

Written by Edward Beckwith on Wednesday, May 15, 1940

I was looking over some prints for Anne when the younger Devin boy came by and told me that Holland had been taken by the Germans. He said his school had been dismissed and that the teacher was in tears. I knew then why no one had greeted me in the dining room this morning, – they were too depressed to speak.

Clear and warm for the first time in several days.

Fenton came in with the three Devin girls at 9:30 and told me that two Europeans had been shot and that some of the natives had run amok. That there had been some sort of trouble at the bank. The older Devin girl’s employer had been jailed as a Nazi sympathizer.

They all left soon to get more news and Fenton promised to come back and tell me of anything new.

I had already noticed some excitement earlier on the green in front of the hotel and a gun has been placed facing the building where the Germans are interned.

Anne came in and then David. I went with David to the Commander’s office. He was not there and the officer whom we saw was visibly upset. As far as he knew no answer had been received from Batavia in answer to the cable asking permission to leave. We returned to my room after calling on the Resident. They all ask whether America will now go into the war.

Anne and David discussed the situation and David sent a cable to the Am. Consul General in Batavia. Anne wanted to cable Admiral Hart at Manila. He is commander of the Asiatic fleet.

I went with Anne again to the Commander’s office to see if he was there and if any word had been received. The rain came down heavily on the way and we waited for some time in a Chinese store. Anne bought a variegated flowery material to make a shirt for me. I did not approve of it but she bought it just the same.

The Commander was in and we also talked with his wife. No word had been received.

As we were walking back the Commander passed in a car, stopped, and said that he had just received the answer. We could leave for the Philippines but not stop at Bachian. I returned to the hotel while Anne drove off with the Commander to see the Harbor Master. While I was packing at the hotel the Hamel boy came in and said that he understood that the Commander had ordered us to leave immediately.

I am waiting now for an especially heavy rain to let up before going on board.

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