Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sunday 5th September 1943

Paced 12 furlongs.

The note book is OK. The leaf edges are rough and protrude slightly beyond the cover, and the book is rather stiff to open. On the whole however, it is OK. I've decided to give it sub-titles of “Sunset,” “Twilight” and “Starshine,” which shows I still have lingering fragments of faith, for these are not desert titles!

I have just written to April and explained the real position. Now I feel more at ease and so will she, when she understands why I'm still hanging around instead of being discharged. I was just about to write to her yesterday, - the pen was dipped in the ink – when, a few yards away, a man tried to cut his throat with a razor blade. There was a swift, short struggle with another patient and then two orderlies rushed in and seized the would-be suicide.

He was quickly secured by the arms, legs and head, across a bed, and then one of the orderlies – white with temper and perhaps fearful at the consequences to himself if the attempt had succeeded – began to beat the poor lad. He struck him at least 20 times in the stomach and chest, all vicious short-arm jabs with closed fist. He was shouting,”Have you had enough? Do you want any more?” “Fetch the firing squad and finish me off,” sobbed the victim, obviously out of his mind. “Do you want another for luck, Hey? Well, here's three more, anyhow!”

When the punishment was over they dragged him out and put him under a cold shower...

How could I write to April then?


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