Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday 24th February 1943

The nigger sergeant got worse, if anything, today. He leapt about the tent, peered furtively from the window, lay on the cold stone floor and went through the motions of frantic swimming. In all these antics he was restrained. At intervals, he screamed, sang hymns and threatened and denounced the “whites.” “You are no good. (in a deep, resonant voice) You are evil. You try to put my people in chains... WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!!”

This afternoon the four blacks were moved in to a tent on their own. I was not sorry to see the religious maniac go, but shall miss gibbering Ghandi, the genial madman. Ghandi had been very excited all morning, jabbering, rolling his eyes, gesticulating. I think the old boy was warning us of the hostile intentions of the nigger sergeant, as the latter obviously did not like his chatter, and the agitated gestures of Ghandi told a story in dumb-show.

We are a small family in here now. There is a Palestine Jew (homicidal/suicidal) who suffers from depression and sometimes refuses food because he feels he is a waste; the Leading Seaman; a Welsh RAF man (homicidal/suicidal) who is nearly fit again and is now reading my “How Green...”; a Guards Sergeant who looks a queer hawk but is alright when there is no noise; the merry little Arab from Beisan, called Hamad (homicidal/suicidal) who hasn't had an attack of any kind for two days and is now peacefully knitting. We also have two patients in enclosures now – Jock, still talking to himself in a monotone, as though dictating a signal message (“We must- have-further supplies-of blood. Young blood-because-one-two-three...”) - and in the other enclosure is a South African who has been demoted from the upper class tent where Hunt has gone. This Springbok nurses a grudge against the English (funny how these racial feelings come out) and particularly against one orderly, so he has refused all food today.

I was offered a chance to move into the partly sane tent this evening, but said I'd rather stay here. It might get a bit monotonous in there, if everyone is well behaved. It has been quite quiet in here, since the blacks went, but something is always liable to happen.

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