香港淪陷前夕，國民黨駐港的最高級官員是海軍少將陳策 (1893-1949) （註六）。項美麗曾經跟 Charles Boxer 一起在金龍酒家宴請陳策：
Chan Chak was working for the British, I found out later, with the approval of Chunking, and he was the most important Chinese in town, so far as Charles was concerned. But he didn't speak much English and Charles had no Chinese, and so I was a welcome addition to the party. It was given at one of the big restaurants, the Golden Dragon.
1941 年的聖誕節，日軍壓境，陳策非走不可，他和幾十名駐港英軍成功突圍，由鴨月利洲乘小艇（註七）逃出香港，一行人在 1941 年 12 月底到達由國民黨部隊控制的惠州，再循陸路到昆明，然後到緬甸仰光，同行的英軍再由當地乘船前往印度。這段歷史傳誦一時，但項美麗顯然興趣不大，只是輕描淡寫地交代過去：
Those were the days when most of the escapes were made. The historical escape, the famous one, was that of Admiral Chan Chak, for whom it was vitally necessary to avoid the Japanese. With him went Max Oxford and a whole lot of British officials. They got away in a boat. One boat was sunk under them and Chan Chak, who has only one leg, almost drown. But they pulled him out and got another boat and they reached Chunking, ultimately. That was a coup for the British.
陳策後來被授與大英帝國爵士 (Knight of the British Empire) 稱號。項美麗大概沒有料到，六十年後，在香港的舞台上扮演她的，是陳策的後人（註八）。
They were in the middle of a drive to “repatriate” the Chinese, i.e. to get them out of town and out of sight, where it would not be necessary to bring in food to feed them. These drives came along at short intervals and while they lasted nobody was secured. Trucks rolled around the streets and their drivers stopped now and then to wait while gendarmes rounded up beggars and anyone else who didn't look wealthy enough to make trouble; these people were then carted down to the water front, loaded on junks, and “repatriated”. Sometimes they were dumped out in the country, and sometimes – well, we didn't know.
換言之，被不幸選中的香港居民，可能給日軍隨意棄置或者幹掉了。日軍的遣返行動加上戰時的死傷，令香港人口到了 1945 年 8 月重光時只剩下六十萬人。六十年後，類似的事件在中國大陸發生，被不幸選中的依舊是弱勢社群，下手的卻是他們的「父母官」：根據東方衞視的報導，江西某縣的民政部門為了「整頓市容」，把六名流浪者用車拉到離縣城幾十公里的地方拋棄荒野。
其中一位叫 Sir Robert Kotewall, 中文名字是羅旭龢，有英國、中國和波斯血統，港島區的旭龢道，便是以他命名。項美麗形容他是足以令英國人引以為榮的殖民地「優秀」產品：
I think he started out as a clerk in the government, and worked his way up, speech by speech, to his knighthood and a glorious position among the British-tamed cats on the municipal council, before the war. The Hong Kong government were proud of Kotewall and did him honor. It was quite a nice textbook example of how to run a colony, judging by the results.
Sir Robert Kotewall was the very first of the great men to welcome the Japanese. It was Sir Robert Kotewall who made speeches at Jap-inspired mass meetings. It was Sir Robert Kotewall who led the meeting when the new Governor of Hong Kong was welcome into office. He shouted, “Banzai,” three times, and urged the crowd to do likewise, at the end of his speech. By that time, however, he was't Sir Robert Kotewall any more. The Japs made him give up his British knighthood. They didn't let anybody keep British titles, even Britons at home in England; they wouldn't call people “Lord This” or “Sir That’ in the public prints. They were all, severely, Mr. This and Mr. That. And poor Sir Robert Kotewell became Mr. Lo Kuk-wo.
I don't particular blame Kotewall, because I don't quite believe he exists. I mean, I've seen him in the flesh often enough, and heard his voice droning away, but I'm not convinced that there ever anything to Sir Robert but sawdust. The British manufactured him and deliberately used cheap material, so they shouldn't be surprised or hurt because he has gone on fulfilling his destiny as a genuine talking doll, now that the Japanese instead of the British are winding him up. How should he know the difference? The Japs let him make speeches too, don't they?
六十年後，只要把羅旭龢改為某位「港英餘孽」，再把 the Japanese 換成 the Chinese Communist，以上一番話簡直度身訂造。
There was a doctor in town who was very well know. His name was Li Shu-fan. It still is. He is in the States at this moment (1944), but until July of 1943 he was in Hong Kong, managing cleverly to hang onto his hospital, one of the best in town, and getting by with the Japanese, perilously, but still getting by. People wondered at his immunity, because he had been an intimate friend, we all knew, of T.V. Soong. He was seen everywhere, arousing jealous criticism by his jaunty bearing and his good clothes. He went to the races, he ate, he played around exactly as if there had been no war. I dined in his flat in the hospital, with the Gattis. I invited him to dinner at my house. Next thing I knew he had asked Maria and me to tea. We went down to the hospital at four o'clock.
We waited for the colonel and made polite talk. Nobody could have guessed, watching Li'smooth hospitality, that all his plans for escape were completed and polished and perfected. He got out two months later, buy only he knew what was going to be.
My escape from the Japanese in Hong Kong took 18 months of planning. On my advice, brother Dr. Li Shu-Pui and his wife left for Kweilin, Kuangsi Province, six months ahead of me, with my wife and my daughter, nine months. While the plan was sound, the Japanese soon found out that I was most likely to be the next, as I was already one of the 70 persons black-listed in Hong Kong...
There were three good reasons for my escape, viz., to avoid being a collaborator by the “election” as President of the Sino-Japanese Medical Association (on 1st August, 1943); I was black-listed; to avoid attending Japanese officials and their families at night owing to the danger of lawlessness after dark.
My craft as a surgeon had helped me to prepare my escape by sewing 12 blue diamonds to the seam of my underpants, as that was the only currency I could smuggle out. (The blue diamonds are the so-called kerosene diamonds which fetch a high price.) A friend of mine ingeniously escaped with gold leaves in his shoes, but it was soon detected by robbers on the way ...
I had bumped myself in a chair a few times as a test, some of the hard and sharp diamonds cut out and fell to the floor. I was in abject despair until a fortnight later when I finally solved the problem by imbedding the 12 diamonds in small muslin bags I neatly made and sewing them in turn on to the seam. I must say the training of a surgeon thus came handily to my rescue, because it must be remembered that preparations for escape could never be entrusted to a second person.