Summary: Chapter 26, Madness

Louie is asked to record another radio message for Japan’s propaganda. This time he is given a message to read, not one he had written. The upbeat but oddly-worded message does not sound like Louie at all. When Louie refuses, the producers try to bribe him by treating him to a proper meal and by showing him where he could live, with an actual mattress and sheets. Louie still refuses and is told he will be sent to a punishment camp. When he returns to Omori, the Bird beats him.

On November 24, more than one hundred American B-29s streak across the sky. In the weeks that follow, many more B-29s cross the city. The Bird is enraged by this and by what this will mean for the Japanese. Bombings also set off the Bird’s violence. Louie dreams of killing him.

The narration shifts to Phil, who is in the Zentsuji POW camp with Fred Garrett. At Zentsuji, conditions are horrible, with nearly all prisoners suffering from dysentery. In December 1944, a year and a half after his disappearance, Phil’s family receives a call telling them that Phil is alive. The family receives a postcard from him later that month, but the government asks them not to speak publicly about his status as a POW. It is too late, and the news is all over town. The mothers of all Green Hornet crewmen continue to correspond, though most are distraught.

Louie is starving, even as he finally receives Red Cross relief packages and other food deliveries. Some men manage to steal food. They also find a theatrical trunk, courtesy of the Red Cross, and put on a musical production of Cinderella.

One of the POWs informs a Japanese dignitary about the Bird’s cruelty. The Bird is promoted and transferred out of Omori, to another POW camp. The men celebrate his departure.

Summary: Chapter 27, Falling Down

With the Bird gone from the camp, the men enjoy a period of relatively fair treatment. They are allowed to write letters to their families.