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Friday, March 30, 2012

Part VII. Three men against Japan.

After the Tall guy had slept for a couple of hours he woke up and told Jan to get some sleep. Soon it would be light again and in the east he saw some flashes of light coming from the sun.

The two natives woke up and he greeted them with a good morning.He told them to get some water from the kali (river) and to make a fire so they could boil some water for their coffee.The sun came up right over the trees, it was beautiful to watch.It looked like mother of pearl.Hard to believe that there was a war going on with all this beauty around them.

The Tall guy was checking his wound on his leg, last night when they crossed a river he had hurt himself on some sharp rocks. The wound was hurting; the skin was beet red and his leg was swollen. Up to now he had not told the others that he had hurt himself because he did not wanted them to get worried. He washed the wound and bandaged it.Time to wake up his friends, it was time to get going. Jan and the Pimpel washed themselves in the river, and after they had a simple breakfast the two natives cleaned up and packed.Soon they were ready and on their way.

The two natives thought they had been the luckiest men in the world, to be able to come along with these three Dutch men. They too liked to go to Australia,but you needed money and a boat for that journey, and that's what they did not have.
The Tall guy had heard, while he was in Buitenzorg, that there was a concern somewhere in Wijnkoopsbaai, the concerns name was Wilhelmina, and it was said that there was a safe hidden with a lot of money in it. That concern was their goal for this trip, and to look for this safe. The map showed them the route; they had to take the road to Tjianten first, that road they should cross and continue till they arrived at the Goenoeng Halimoen,and from there they had to go South, that would take them to the concern, which lay close to Tji Solok in a wild scarce inhabitant district. While the sun came up they went on their way.The land became more and more inhospitable.Now and then they saw a few kampongs, very primitive.

The mountains looked capricious,covered with thick impenetrable forest.Centuries old gigantic trees, covered in vines, blocked their way.They covered very little ground.Unknown birds in the most beautiful colors were flying in front of them.
So much beauty and no time to take it all in.They had to keep going.

Sometimes descending into deep mighty ravines, grown over so tick with brush it was almost impossible to get through.Often they had to take a detour.

Exhausted they set up camp.Night had fallen and they fell asleep almost immediately.As early in the morning as possible, they were on their way again.Their supply of food was almost gone; less to carry anyway. They had to go fishing for food and hunt for wildlife. That mend that they would lose a lot of time.The easiest way to catch some fish was to throw a hand grenade. They had to build a dam and left a small opening where they laid their fish net.This seemed to work very well and they caught sometimes more then ten kilo fish.They could not use all their hand grenades so at one point they had to hunt for game.Here in the mountains many wild boar roamed around,they are a little smaller then pigs, but never the less it was enough to give them a good meal.

Their was an abundance of poultry.The only thing they were not able to find was fruit or vegetables.
One night when they were sitting around their campfire they heard suddenly a lout penetrating roar.The natives thought that it was the cry of a tiger or panther. They quickly threw some more wood on the fire. But the roar came closer and closer.The Tall guy made a quick move for his rifle and loaded it with ammo.They waited and suddenly there was a sound from braking brenches close to where they were sitting near the fire, but they could not see anything. "Just aim that way, and shoot!", shouted the Pimpel.
"No... I wait until it gets closer, that way I have a better shot", whispered the Tall guy.To their judgement, listening to the sound of broken branches it looked like they had to do with a large animal. Jan and the Pimpel also made a move for their riffles and loaded them. Around them they heard only the usual sound of the jungle. They threw some more wood on the fire and the Tall guy suddenly took a brench which had caught fire and threw it in the direction where he heard a sound and noticed some movement. "Keep your riffles ready!" he yelled. The Pimpel had his riffle already cocked ,when suddenly a yellow enormous animal was jumping through the high grasses and disappeared between the trees. So quick was the movement that none of the three had a change to shoot.Hopefully the animal had left; but one of them was keeping the fire going and stood guard all night long.

The Tall guy's leg was infected, and it slowed down the men tremendously. Many times he had to be supported by the others. But thanks to Jan's knowledge how to take care of infections, the wound healed soon. Slowly but steady they made headway through the mountains.

On the third day they reached Goenoeng Halimoen. There are two mountains with the same name, one is 1920 meters high and the other is 1760 meters high.They went from one Goenoeng Halimoen mountain to the other. The second mountain top showed an unbelievable panoramic view.

In the far distance the blue of dawn went imperceptible over into the azure of the Indian Ocean and the horizon. The white foam from the branding was glistering in the sun on the beach.Below them it looked like a beautiful paradise,it was almost like watching a fairy-tale and so unbelievable peaceful.This was Wijnkoopsbaai; and on the other side the fertile land stretched itself out all the way to the wooded area of the mountains.

The small group marched to the west, in the direction of Tilaga.In the vicinity of the village they decided to set up bivouac.They told the natives that they were free to go,but they told them that they liked to stay with the three Dutch men, who did not mind at all.
The men decided that they needed a few days rest. But after one day Jan decided to investigate the surroundings.He discovered a small kampong (village). He slowly walked towards it, and soon was greeted by barking village dogs. Children, who saw him, stopped their game and fled into the low little dwellings.

Jan continued to walk through the narrow kampong paths.Seeing a white man with a heavy machine gun made the adults run into their small houses as well.Jan walked up to one of a bit bigger dwelling,where he noticed a group of men, women and children, who were staring at him. He greeted them, and told them that they had nothing to be afraid off; he only came to buy some rice.
Nobody said a word and nobody moved. Jan took some coins out of his pocket and showed them.He would pay them quite a few coins if he could get some rice.One of the men stepped forward and declared that he liked to negotiate with him.Now the others came closer and even the children formed a circle around the white man and begged for some coins.Jan was able to buy some rice, salt, Javanese sugar and some other ingredients for a nice fried rice meal.They asked Jan where he came from and where he was going. Jan pointed at the Zuidergebergte(Mountains in the South).On various of the dwellings were hanging Japanese small flags.Jan turned around and pulled the flags of the dwellings and threw them in an aran-fire.One of the Sudanese walked up to Jan, he was a tall robust fellow, and he protested vehemently. He apparently was a propagandist of the Tiga-A-movement, a nationalistic group who were inspired to support the Japanese. They had spread out into the farthest corners of Java.This movement was very active these days; they showed wide spread dislike of every Westerner. Jan found himself all of a sudden in a precarious situation. But undaunted Jan started to talk in malay language with as many Sundanese words as he knew,(Sudanese in this district is their native tong), to defend the Dutch people. He asked them:" Before the Japanese invasion was here every where was justice and safety, even here at your village! What is left of that law and order since the Japanese Regime took over? How is the medical provision right now, and what about quinine, textile, white sugar, cigarettes and tobacco?" The Tiga-A-man started a vehemently debate." Wait, he said, wait until the Japanese has won the war, we will gain an unprecedented welfare, which nobody has never seen before.!"
To Jan's pleasant surprise he heard the growing crowd screaming of indignation and mock against the Japanese, after the Sudanese had spoken.Jan's words were not in vain.The Tiga-A-man disappeared quickly, hooted after by the others.An friendly short man walked up to the white man and warned him for possible retaliation. He told him that there were not many Japanese in this neighborhood, but sometimes a convoy passed over the high way about 12 kilo meters from here.The embittered Tiga-A-man would surely do everything possible to betray the blanda's (white men).Jan thanked him and made an appointment to see him regular at a particular place a little distance from the village.

The man would bring Jan provisions and news,and would keep it very secret.The whole village population waved Jan out.
He first walked to the north, as if he went into the mountains, turned around when he was out of sight, and went east to reach the bivouac.Arriving at the bivouac his friends and the natives could not believe the food he had with him. Jan told them his experience with the villagers. The next day Jan had a meeting with his new village friend.After the Tall guy first had checked out the place where they had said they would meet, if it was safe.Jan rewarded the trust of the villager with a hefty some of money.
They stayed for a few more days, until the leg from the Tall guy was almost back to normal and continued their march to the east.

will continue:
next: Searching for the concern where they were told was a safe hidden, with a large amount of money.
An attack on a Japanese guard.
Meeting with villagers who befriend the Japanese.


  1. Christine Doyle likes this blog. Thank you so much Christine for reading it.

  2. I love this story keep it up Duur.!!