Saturday, January 17, 2009

Monday 22nd November 1943

I shall not record my journeys around the compound much more, as I've now got something better to do than pace up and down. It's nice having a job to do.

Had a look at the stars late last night (upon returning from a classical music programme of gramophone records) and saw Canis Major (with Sirius), Canis Minor (with Procyon) and Gemini (with Castor and Pollux). These locations – all in the same sky region – make the two mystery stars even more puzzling. The brighter of the two was quite as luminous as Sirius.

Corporal Pritchard made the headlines yesterday – by escaping from the compound! He was fairly fit, a couple of weeks ago and quite interesting to talk with, as he knows the Runnymede area of the Thames very well. He could accurately describe that fine reach from Staines Bridge to Bell Weir which is so familiar to me.
Recently however, he's been troubled by an electric ray which the hospital authorities have been using against him. Yes, they switch it on and read his thoughts, apparently! It's done to annoy him and he's the only man in the compound thus persecuted.

Perhaps I should speak in the past tense, for Grumpy Pritchard made his get-away somehow last night after tea, being unable to bear the persecution any longer. He's now been “at large” about 20 hours. Poor old boy! He's probably out in the desert, falling flat every now and then, when he thinks “the ray” is probing in his direction!

Pritchard slipped off so discreetly that we didn't know he was gone until roll call at lights out. If we had known, we could have rattled our chains, banged on our cell doors and howled in sympathy in approved Sing Sing style.

(That's if there were any chains or cell doors for us to operate on!)

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