Through Fire and Through Water.
On Friday, October 24, 1941, we left on the night train for Shanghai. Several Christians came to see us off in spite of dangers of being on friendly relations with Americans. It was like leaving dear loved ones to part with them. By the influence of a Korean Christian friend, a Japanese military interpreter, the whole station staff were made aware of our going and were all very courteous. We checked our baggage and departed without the usual intensive searches.
Saturday evening we reached Pukow on the Yangtse River after a long and tiresome ride. Two young Chinese business men, who made friends with the children, were exceedingly helpful. At Hsuchowfu by their help I quickly got all my money changed. North and Central China had been separated into two different governments by the Japanese, and the money was different. These men had often traveled this line, and they knew all the ropes. After we had crossed the Yangtse on a ferry from Pukow to Nanking, that evening they treated us all to a delicious supper at a restaurant while we waited for the night train for Shanghai. It was cold that night on the train, and as we tried to sleep in our hard, third class seats, these friends of ours obligingly shared with us some fine, warm blankets they were carrying with them. Moreover when we at last arrived in Shanghai they assisted us in getting reasonable transportation from the railroad station. Their names are forgotten, but they were real "Good Samaritans" to us.
Sunday morning in Shanghai we went directly to the Elam House where we had reservations. It was a home for missionaries run by a missionary family named Savage, and not only was it well located, but it was also a place of congenial, Christian atmosphere. On Monday morning upon inquiring at Cooks Travel Service I found that a French ship was to leave for Manila on Wednesday and that the second class fare, their lowest class, was only $40 U.S., but that this had to be paid in the equivalent of Chinese currency. The children had funds saved to cover their passage, but I had only drafts on American banks, which I could not cash anywhere. At last by the kindness of the Southern Baptist Missions office I was able to exchange enough checks to get money for my fare. I had met several of their workers before who greeted me at the Missions Building in Shanghai.
Wednesday morning, October 29th, we boarded the French ship, "DArtagnon," as it waited in the Whangpoo River, and by noon we were sailing lazily out the broad mouth of the Yangtse River bound for Manila and the Philippines, a new land and not a single friend or acquaintance to meet us there. However aboard ship we soon had many friends. A number of second class passengers were Presbyterian missionaries who had been compelled to leave Korea and Japan, and they were mostly spiritual, Bible loving people with whom we greatly enjoyed the fellowship of those days on the ship.
The weather was fine, the skies perfectly clear as we neared the tropics, and I can never forget those evenings on deck under the stars as we sang songs in English and in our various languages, the stories that were told, and the testimonies of Gods love that we heard. Some of those missionaries were later to be fellow internees in the Philippines, and one of them, a very dear friend, was left to sleep beneath the sod at the edge of the burned and barren camp at Los Banos.
Assigned to the same table with us in the dining salon were a young Chinese lady and her little three year old son. She and Sally soon became friends, for Sally enjoyed watching after the little boy as he romped upon the deck. This ladies name was Mrs. Loh, and her husband was a representative of The Bank of China in Manila. She was quite concerned for us in going there with no one to meet us, and she gave us her husbands business address, insisting that we contact him as soon as possible after landing, that he would help us in getting a place to live.