Further down the road, before we reached the nearest town from Mariveles, another group of Gold Looters armed with pliers to remove gold-capped teeth and rings stopped us.
One of them tried to remove my wedding ring but could not pull it out from my swollen finger.
Before he could cut my finger, a Jap officer riding a horse came along and all the soldiers left us alone.
I said: “Praise the Lord. Thank you, my God.” Along the way, with the use of lots of saliva and real force, I finally got the ring off my finger and hid it inside the seam of my pants, where I had placed a 50-peso bill earlier after we learned of our surrender.
(This wedding ring served as a part of my “portiss,” or partial teeth, after the war, when dentists did not have gold to use in the Headquarters, First Military Area, Camp Olivas. I used to joke, saying: “I have my wedding ring inside my mouth.”)
(The 50-peso bill was sent by me to Pat with my smuggled letter through Mrs. Sarte when I was a P.O.W. in Capas, Tarlac.)
The Jap looters were sporting rings on every finger and wrist watches up to their elbows!
I have not actually seen how they pulled out gold teeth because I was busy with my wedding ring being taken away, but I was told that the Japs knocked down the teeth first with a blow of the pliers, then pulled them off one by one. OUCH!