But to continue the sequence of events as from the visit of Mrs Graven to 'Sunny Corner'. The day after she had turned up, Saturday, I felt it better to stay about the house in view of her warning as to an internment and in case other Japs should present themselves with an eviction notice. Our telephone had become very unreliable in the past two week and I could not get contact with the office to inform them that I was not coming into town. Not that it mattered in the slightest because there was really nothing to do.
We had,however, succeeded at an early hour in getting through to Mrs Van Ginkels, a good friend of ours, and had asked them if they could take some of our books in safe custody in anticipation of our having perhaps to leave the house at short notice. Mrs Ginkels, accompanied by a mutual friend Bert Krevels, arrived at the house about 8 am in Krevel's car which bore a Batavia licence number.
After we had told them all about Mrs Graven and our uncertain immediate future over a cup of coffee, the books, etc were loaded into the car and our friends took their leave.
Sometime during the afternoon, the 'phone rang. It proved to be some branch of the Dutch Military Police inquiring as to my whereabouts. I could not understand this interest and asked what it was all about. The MP explained that they had had a message from Sparkes to the effect that I was missing. This puzzled me considerably. About half an hour after the 'phone call, a motorcycle roared up the hill bringing a Police Inspector who was out in search of me, the local police also having been informed by Sparkes that something had happened to me. This only served to intensify our mystification.
Later on, Sparkes himself turned up and the mystery was cleared up. About 8 am he had driven up to the house intending to offer me a lift down town. Seeing a car with a Batavia licence plate standing outside the house, he had come to the conclusion, how, heaven only knows, that Japs were in the house and instead of ascertaining if this was actually the case, he had stepped on the gas and carried on into town. When I did not turn up at the office in due course, his too lively imagination had suggested that I had been taken away and he had immediately started telephoning right and left setting all authorities both civil and military, by the ears. That was the explanation of the whole business and it is a typical instance of the reactions of many people to the state of tension in which we lived during this period.
We were left in peace at 'Sunny Corner' until 3 April. Good Friday! As far as we were concerned this was a definite misnomer. It was the worst Friday of our lives!
****** to be continued