Leyte, November 9, 1944

Today I went native in a big way. I just finished a lunch consisting of coconuts and bananas and corn.

This morning we improved our shelters, which had a pretty rough time last night. It rained like the devil and there was a terrific wind. I was on guard last night and had an opportunity to witness the whole thing. It was so dark you could see nothing. I had the feeling that i was alone in a world of darkness and nothing else existed. The wind hammered the rain against my raincoat like nails. Occasionally a flash of lighting would light theskies and I could see the branches of the palm trees waving about wildly in all directions, like the arms of a woman in agony–he long black air flying in the wind. There was a defeaning rush as the wind raced through the trees, and it sounded very much like the roar of a giant water fall. Now and then I could see a tiny little lightning bug caught in the current and being carried across the skies like a minature coment.

Surprisingly, our little shelter stayed fairly dry but since our native friends predict more heavy rain for tonight, we thought it wise to strengthen our structure. We have learned how to weave mats out of the branches of palm trees. It produces a beautiful pattern–through each leaf runs a thin little yellow vein.

Gioddamit. Our weather prophets proved to be only too accurate. I was sitting under the palm tree writing to you when there was a clap of thunder and the clouds collapsed. So on this sheet you will find several drops of famous Philippine rain. It’s a little difficult to write now so I’ll sign out.

Feeling fit as a fiddle. Take good care of yourself and Wm. we’re depending on you. Don’t worry–and keep busy. Write as often as you can. It’s mighty lonesome out here and letters from you are good medicine.