Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sunday 28th February 1943

“Ghandi” is very happy at present, smoking a cigarette in a scarlet holder, with his mirror in his hand. He rolls his eyes, peers at the looking glass then turns and gazes placidly through the window. Last night he was very naughty though. When someone brought his supper, he immediately threw the cheese, bread and cocoa on the floor. Then he hit an orderly, leapt on to his bed and began to do a violent native war dance, shouting madly. Another orderly slowly went towards him and Ghandi became more frantic. “Back!” he screeched, “Back!!” At last the orderly, hands on hips, stood with his face about 18 inches from the grimacing black face. Ghandi reared up until he looked remarkable like a giant snake, bared his teeth, and hissed. The orderly looked at him stolidly. What a look it must have been, for suddenly the snake collapsed and became a docile, eye-rolling nigger, whom the orderly tucked into bed! A dramatic exhibition of will-power!

Hamad, a bright and merry little Arab nowadays, is learning a good deal of English from me, whilst I am picking up bits of Arabic from him. He has now appointed me King of America and King of the Village of London. He, in turn has agreed to be King of Hedjaz, Yemen, Palestine and Syria, but refused Egypt. “Egyptians no good,” said Hamad, “Plenty dance, plenty cinema, plenty woman, plenty lazy, no work.”


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