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Volume 6828

or Buck Burroughs Rides Again
Written April 1943 ~ Copyright ERB, Inc.
Transcribed and Illustrated for ERBzine by Bill Hillman


Jan 29/30: Noumea Hotel ~ Spider Bites ~ Poker ~ Beer and Tap Water
Wrote Story ~ Bouncing Baby Stolen ~ Hospital Visit
When I got back to the hotel, wet, muddy, and looking forward to a shower, I found that the water had been turned off -- a common occurrence. So I did the best I could with pitcher and washbowl, and put on my last clean uniform.

When I took off my shirt, I found seven or eight big red welts on my back. These now accounted for the severe itching I had endured on the ride to Tontouta. Evidently a spider had crawled into my shirt. Incidentally, I never felt quite as peppy again as I had previous to this. Whether this was caused by the considerable amount of poison the spider must have injected into me, I don't know; but I shall always think so.

found a message on my bed making me to go to G-2, USAFISPA and see Major Gates. I went over as soon as I had changed, getting mud all over my clean pants as I crawled into my dirty jeep. Gates only wanted to ask me to a poker game -- another meeting of the Noumea Chowder and Marching Club to be held that evening.

I saw Lt. Col. Skaates and Colonel Sherman while I was there, and talked with the latter relative to my request for air transportation to Guadalcanal. He said that it had gone through channels to Admiral Halsey, which means I shall have to use surface ships.

Back in my room, Capt. Bowen came in and asked me if I'd like a cold bottle of beer. I thought he was kidding, as there has been no such thing around here for some time. But he wasn't. In his quarters, he introduced me to Col. Leroy E. Nelson, C.O, 132nd Inf., of Chicago, just back from fighting in Guadalcanal and on his way to the States. He was going by way of Honolulu, and promised to call Hulbert and tell him I was still alive. Hulbert told me afterward that he did so.

We drank four bottles of beer each before supper, and it tasted mighty good after drinking sewage and chlorine for so long. Which reminds me, I don't know but that I have mentioned it before, but for most of the time I was in Noumea I drank the unchlorinated tap water; because some one told me that the water supply was chlorinated at the source. It wasn't, and I should have contracted dysentery at least. But I didn't. Probably because of the pure life I have led. What?

So I went to Col. Hayward's room after supper and lost $16, thus ending a large day. I have neglected mentioning that Cmdr. Burroughs invited me to a party being given by his Air Group the following Thursday at a road house a few miles out of Noumea on the Colonial Highway, at 1930 (7:30 P.M.)

January 20. Found Bouncing Baby gone that morning. As the stealing of jeeps was one of the major outdoor sports on the island, I was not greatly surprised. My greatest surprise had been that it had not been stolen before. I always parked it against the curb across the street from the hotel where hundreds of servicemen passed all day and all night. I locked it, but that was only a futile gesture; as one jeep key unlocks the ignition of all other jeeps.

Wrote a story, and then got Lt. Minter to drive me to the Postoffice for stamps and to the hospital, where I inquired about my bites. A pleasant but ill informed Army doctor assured me that they were mosquito bites. I knew differently. I do not react so violently to mosquito bites. In fact there is little or no reaction. Most mosquitoes have to tell me when they bite me.

Poisonous Spiders
The General Hospital, New Caledonia, WWII
Censored Negative, Noumea, New Caledonia
Fleet Hospital Cruise Book - Noumea, New Caledonia
WWII Cultural Clash in New Caledonia
Tontouta in Wiki


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