As Louie experiences the cruel conditions of life in captivity, he actually misses life on the raft. Louie experiences extreme physical symptoms that rack his body. When he is not crouching over the waste hole, he vomits into it. He barely has enough strength to stand up once a day. Guards and other visitors taunt him, abuse him, or treat him indifferently. Louie becomes so dehydrated that he begs the guards for water. Meanwhile, Phil is down the hall experiencing his own miseries, which include rats crawling over his face at night.
One thing that gives Louie hope is the singing he hears—the same singing as he had heard when he was on the boat. This singing gives him some hope and prompts him to spend hours praying. Louie carves his name into the wall, beside the names of the other marines who have carved their names there. Though they have probably long left the island, Louie begins to think of them as his friends.
Louie and Phil try to learn as much as they can about the Japanese language. Louie is brought into an interrogation room. There, he learns more about the Japanese kidnapping and sexual enslavement of women from other countries. The interrogators try to get Louie to tell them about planes and about the Norden bombsight. Louie skillfully mixes partial truth with lies.
A new guard named Kawamura befriends Louie. Soon after, though, eighty or ninety members of a submarine crew come through and attack both Louie and Phil with rocks and spit. Louie and Phil are subjected to medical experimentation of biological and chemical warfare. Doctors inject a substance into their arms that make their bodies burn and sting. Soon after, Louie contracts dengue fever. When interrogators question Louie again, he gives them false information about the locations of American bases. Forty-two days after arriving at Execution Island, Louie and Phil learn that they will not be executed and will instead be taken to a POW camp. Louie expects that conditions will be better there.
Louie and Phil are on a ship for three weeks. Early on, sailors punch Louie in the face for saying that America will win the war, but after this the sailors apologize and treat them better. Louie spends time trying to reset his broken nose.
When the ship lands at Yokohama, Louie is blindfolded, put in a car, and brought to a destination. He has his first bath since Oahu, and a man shaves his head and beard. When he is led into a room, he is shocked to see his college friend Jimmie Sasaki, who talks to him in a friendly way. Louie learns that Sasaki has a high rank and is head interrogator of all POWs in Japan.