Tuesday, 29 December 2009

…. 5 September 1942

A day of days!  This morning out from 10 to 11 am.  We were officially informed that the Nips have departed for good and that we shall henceforth be the responsibility of the Director and ordinary prison staff.  It is too difficult to realise yet fully what this means, the tremendous relief from the strain under which we have lived for the past 5 months almost, to appreciate the fact that we can now live more or less normally and subject only to well defined restrictions.  I have gone down on my knees today.  Exchanged ‘The Alain Family’ yesterday for ‘Van Java’s Wegen’ by J E Jasper and that today for ‘Pension Vink’ by F de Sinclair.  Mingail’s baby is 2 years old today.  His own birthday was on 25 August and his wife’s on 27 July.


One of the first things I did when I was once settled in my bungalow was to purchase some hens.  Being town bred this acquisition had great attraction for me and I was so impatient to see chickens hatching out that a few times a day I would left up the brooding hens from their nests to see if there was anything doing under them.  After a few days of such inspection I became aware of an uncomfortable crawling sort of itch all over my body and by dint of careful scrutiny of my anatomy discovered that I was simply crawling with minute vermin known as hen lice.  I do not know if fowls at home are subject to this particular pest but I can answer with conviction for those of Java.  Needless to say, after this experience I was content to let nature take her course without further interference on my part and in due course had as many chickens as I could wish for, to my great pleasure and satisfaction.  I have heard it said that a hen can be mesmerized by having its head inclined to a chalk line on the ground but have never tried this or seen it done.  I can however vouch for the fact that if you take a chicken in your hands and turn it over quickly so that it lies on its back on the palm of one hand it will nine times out of ten stay in that position until you choose to put it on its feet again.  Later on I increased my fowl possession by the addition of some ‘entoks’ which, I believe, are a cross between ducks and geese.  They are good eating.  Their eggs, also good, are, however, sterile.  Entoks I should think, are the mules of the poultry world.  I man mention that within less then a year my entire poultry yard was wiped out in the course of a few days by an epidemic of chicken cholera which swept with the rapidity of a forest fire through the district.  I do not know sufficient about poultry at home to be able to tell whether or not such a disease is there prevalent, but in Java at any rate it is so common as to render any attempt at chicken farming a rather precarious undertaking.  The course of the disease is rapid with about 24 hours only between infection and death.  In my own stock, between 30 t0 40 hens died in a single night.  The cholera strikes suddenly, the symptoms being inability to swallow and standing hunched up with the eyes partly or even completely closed.  I have known a hen remain in the condition for days and die eventually of sheer starvation but this is not common.  As I have said, death usually supervenes within 24 hours.


An issue of 3 packets of the ‘A’ cigarettes this afternoon.  The ‘A’ which had evidently been pasted on to the packet, on being removed reveals a ‘V’.  The cigs appear to be of Chinese manufacture and cost 6 cents per packet – Virginia and quite good.

Monday, 14 December 2009

31 August 1942

Only one outing from 9.45 to 11 am.  Walk around and one ball game.  Some more people seem to have arrived and that is probably why no outing this afternoon, also no bath but I have just had a wash down with my flesh gloves so am not worrying very much.  Mingail got a parcel yesterday and I have profited there from to the extent of an orange, a bar of chocolate, three small biscuits, tow pieces of pisang saleh (banana) and 5 Mascot ‘Royal’ cigarettes.


It was during the period too that I was guilty of a very foolish and thoughtless action which had, however, its amusing side.  It was at the Chinese New Year which the Chinese celebrate with a seemingly endless stock of fireworks which they let off for days on end, culminating in one deafening mass explosion at the actual dawning of the new year.  Fenton and I, being what we were at that time, could not let this opportunity for further pranks pass and accordingly we purchased a stock of squibs large and small with which we proceeded to amuse ourselves.  In an effort to very the explosive effects of the large bombs we let some off under an inverted empty petrol tin and were gratified by seeing the tin rise about three or four feet into the air with the blast.  After a few times I said to Fenton, ‘I wonder what would happen if you were to sit on the tin?’ Fenton replied, ‘Try it and see.’  So in my weak mindedness I lit the fuse of the large squib, clapped the tin over it and sat down – but  not for long.  Even the memory of the subsequent proceedings causes me to squirm as I sit on my stool.  A few seconds later I was hopping around with my hands clapped to my posterior feeling as if I had been kicked by a horse, while Fenton was rolling on the ground in a fit of helpless laughter.  This instance reminds me of another foolish action of mine many years ago when I was about 15.  I had cycled into the country on Saturday afternoon to visit the Primrose family who were spending their summer holidays at a farm some miles from Aberdeen.  The son, Norman, and myself started amusing ourselves somersaulting over a heap of hay in the farmyard,  We did this by running at the heap and just in front of it putting our hands on the ground and throwing ourselves head over heels so tha we landed on our feet on the far side.  At length, encouraged by our prowess I suggested throwing ourselves over without using our hands and agreed to be the first to try the experiment.  So I ran towards the heap, pushed my head into the hay on the rear side and over I went.  My momentum was such, however, that when I landed on the other side my head kept on travelling and came down on my knees with such a whack that I was almost knocked unconscious.  My nose suffered most because the bridge of that organ came in violent contact with one bony knee.  Not only did my nose bleed freely but the blow raised a bump on my nose which, even after all these years, is still visible.


1 September 1942

Out today from 9.45 to 11 am and 3 to 4 pm.  shave with own razor in cell.  In the past 3 days I have exchanged ‘Woodstock’ for ‘A Scarlett Sin’ by A & C Askew, that for ‘Caucasion Tales’ in Dutch by Lee Tolstoi and that again for ‘Fromont Junior and Risler Senior’ by Alphonse Daudet.


2 September 1942

Fatty is back.  Out from 4.15 to 5.30 pm.  Two ball games.  Exchanged ‘Fromont’ for ‘Freely Forgiven’ by J B Horton & Kate Drew, which without reading have exchanged with Jack Husband for ‘The Alain Family’ by Alphone Karr.


3 September 1942

Out from 4.30 to 6.15 pm.  Run round, jerks.  Races of 100, 200, 400, 1000 metres.  Prize giving tomorrow.


4 September 1942

This was the 5th day of another reign of terror, hence the little writing done.  Out today from 10.45 to 11.30 am prize giving and jerks.  Less than half an hour later out again for inspection by big bug who together with all other jays took salute.  The BB’s informed us this afternoon that all had departed.  Very strange.

30 August 1942

No outing this morning probably on account of the ground being wet as a result of heavy rain overnight.  Out for a walk from 2 to 3.20 pm.  One ball game.  Saw Str.  Excellent Sunday supper again this afternoon.  Stewed potatoes and vegetables with a piece of meat.


From the time of my arrival on the Estate I had talked freely regarding the fact that I had become engaged before leaving home and that it was my intention to let my fiancee join me as soon as I had got together sufficient money for her passage.  The manager was going home on leave at the beginning of 1928 and proposed that Miss Simpson should travel with them on their return.  Fenton suggested that the idea at the back of FV’s mind was to procure gratis the services of somebody to help with the children.  He was probably correct in his surmise but the plan was very attractive to me as it was definitely preferable for the young lady to make the long journey in the company of the FV family than to travel such a long distance alone.  The matter was thus arranged accordingly and the FV family had already been in Europe for some time when the blow fell.  I cannot do better than to quote the correspondence which passed between the parties concerned, commencing with the letter which I received from my prospective father in law.  (The correspondence referred to will be inserted here when, if ever, opportunity offers.*)

So, as Robbie Burns says, ‘the best laid schemes a’mice and men gang aft agley’, but how often are we capable of appreciating the providence which seems at the time, to have dealt us a blow from which we shall never recover.  With now more than eight of the happiest years of my life behind me I can implicitly believe that whom the gods love, they chastise.  I can wish my former fiancĂ©e no better fate than to have had as much happiness in her second choice as I have experienced in mine.  While FV was on leave, Fenton was Acting Manager and acquitted himself in that capacity exceptionally well.  I must admit, however, after the office was closed at 5 o’clock, he and I used to fly kites, just like a couple of small boys, and to defy any semblance of authority by flying them right in front of the big house.  I am ashamed when I recall my annoyance the first time Fenton cut my kite loose in mid air having previously surreptitiously treated the string of his own with a preparation of powered glass.  Kite flying is a favourite pastime with the natives but I really do now know what they thought when they saw the manager and bookkeeper indulging in this, for us under the circumstances, high undignified amusement.  But I am afraid we enjoyed ourselves too much to worry about that.



* The correspondence disappeared during the Japanese occupation.

Monday, 16 November 2009

29 August 1942

Out twice today from 9.15 to 10.30am  for walk around and again from 4.10 to 4.45 pm walk and ball game.  Some more people have arrived.  Fighting Mieck included.  No extra food after today, I am informed.


The manufacture of Sole Crepe is a special operation.  Sole Crepe, as the name implies, is the rubber used for the soles of tennis shoes etc.  It is possible that, since my time on Langen, manufacturing methods have changed.  On Langen strips of ordinary Crepe were built up one on top of the other, on tables specially designed for the purpose, until the required thickness was attained.

The strips, or laminations to give the technical name, were caused to adhere to each other by forceful slappings of the open hands applied to each strip as it was stretched out on the table.  It should be explained that even pressing two pieces of Crepe together is sufficient  to cause them to adhere strongly to each other.  By beating with the open hands, the strips became, as it were, welded together into one thick sheet.  The necessary laminations having been thus stuck together, this thick sheet was then passed through a pair of heavy rollers where the intense pressure completed the operation of producing Sole Crepe ready for use.  Sole Crepe was manufactured in thickness of 1/8, 3/16 or 1/4 inch and experience had taught the exact number of laminations to be slapped together in order to produce the required thickness when milled.  As an example of the strength of the Langen product, I may mention that in 1927 I had made for me a pair of sandals soled with Sole Crepe made under my supervision and these sandals I threw away only a few months ago and only then because the lether had at last given way.  In spite of my having worn the sandals regularly every day for 15 years, the rubber soles showed only moderate signs of wear.  One of the difficulties connected with manufacture was a water shortage during the dry season.  Ordinarily, water from the Tjutandoei river was pumped along a pipeline to a deep concrete reservoir in front of the factory.  This water was then pumped up into a water tank situated on a skeleton tower about 60 feet from the ground thus ensuing by gravity the pressure required to supply the faucets in the milling batteries and the many other points throughout the building.  During very dry seasons, however, the river fell so low that the inlet of our pipeline was left high and dry some feet above the stream.  We always had the reservoir to fall back upon but that supply was, of course, not inexhaustible so that a continued drought could have very seriously interfered with the manufacture.  For many years, therefore, experimental boring was carried out in the hope of striking a subterranean source of supply but without success until, in spite of repeated failures in the immediate vicinity, the manager with characteristic pigheadedness insisted on the engineer sinking a shaft just between the reservoir and the factory building.  Water was found, a pump rigged up and the precious element poured forth in a continuous stream.  I translated a glowing report to the company on the success which had at last crowned FV’s efforts.  It was only after the report had been dispatched that it was observed that, when the shaft pump was in action for any length of time, the water level in the reservoir fell and continued to fall the longer pumping went on.  Alas for FV’s hopes and his glowing report.  It was only too evident that the concrete basin of the reservoir had sprung a leak and that the supposedly tapped subterranean stream was nothing less than the seepage from that source.  It took, however, some three months of repeated pumping and observation to convince FV of the fact.

Friday, 6 November 2009

28 August 1942

Last night just before turning in composed a melody for a Cavalier ballad quoted in Sir Walter Scott’s ‘Woodstock’, chapter 20 titled ‘Glee for King Charles’.  This is the second song I have made since coming here.  The first one, which I completed about a month ago is a to a little poem called,’My Lady verily awaited me’ by Austin Dobson and quoted in F Amtey’s novel, The Pariah.  Many more people arrived overnight, apparently mostly young lads.  Out for a walk round 9.30 to 10.45 am.  Out again from 3 to 4.30 pm.  Walk and one ball game.  My rib is still painful on getting up in the morning.


My appointment was specified in the contract as that of book keeper to the Estate but it was stipulated that the manager could make use of me in any other capacity such as necessity demanded.  One point I omitted to mention in connection with my interview in London was Mitchell Thom’s reply to a rash query of mine as to the working hours on the Estate.  He just fixed me with his eye and replied coldly ‘twenty four hours a day and seven days a week!’ This was a slight exaggeration because we did go to sleep overnight.  However, it was the company’s intention that young men like myself should be trained in every branch of Estate work with a view to forming a reserve of future managers from those who displayed the required ability during the first five years.  A book keeper’s duties were not at all a full time job, so after a month or two I was given the whole manufacturing process from the reception of the liquid latex to the dispatch of the finished article and it was quite a mouthful for me to chew, considering that I had never before occupied a position of authority.  Besides I found myself all at once with almost 150 people under me and with all the power and responsibility pertaining to such a charge.  One department especially used to reduce me to a state not very far from blue funk.  This was the Sole Crepe room where between 50 to 60 girls and women were employed and I had to screw up my courage every time I entered there in order to be able to withstand the glances from a battery of over a hundred eyes and the smiles and soft spoken comments of the one to the other of the damsels there assembled.  It was most uncomfortable, the more so as I did not yet understand their languages and was therefore uncertain as to whether their observations were complimentary to myself or otherwise.  But one gets used to anything in time (even imprisonment) and it was not very long before I had a complete grasp of all the necessary details of manufacture and packing, I will endeavour to describe briefly what goes on inside an Estate rubber factory.  When the latex (literally the milk of the rubber tree) arrives in the factory it is received into large vats or tanks for the preparation of what is known as Crepe Rubber or into small rectangular basins in preparing Smoked Sheet Rubber.  Whether Crepe or Smoked Sheet is to be produced, the first equipment is to cause the latex to coagulate or bind together like, say, a corn flour pudding, by the addition of formic acid.  After being allowed to stand for two hours or so the mass is sufficiently congealed to be handled as required.  For making Crepe the coagulated latex is passed through a battery of rollers in lumps, starting with rough and grooved and ending with smooth rollers, eventually producing a strip of wet rubber, light yellow in colour, and from 8 to 10 inches broad.  This strip, which could be, if required, continued to any length, is cut off in lengths of about 10 feet to allow of their being hung up to dry on racks in the drying house.  The drying house is just a big shed containing four or five tiers of wooden rails about 5 feet from the ground and between each tier, some 8 inches apart and extending the whole breadth of the interior with the exception of a narrow passage down each side.  The Crepe strips are hung over these rails and left to dry, drying being complete within 5 to 8 days, depending on the humidity of the air.  In very wet weather, the drying process can be assisted by introducing a current of hot air into the shed by means of a special apparatus.  When the Crepe is dry it is removed from the racks, folded and packed in the regulation veneer chests for export of rubber.  Smoked Sheets being with coagulated cakes contained in the small rectangular basins which measure approximately 24 by 12 inches.  The flabby slab from each basin has these measurements and is, before milling, about 2 inches, thick and pure white.  This slab is passed through a battery of four graded rollers, ultimately emerging as a sheet of wet rubber, still opaque white, measuring 36 by 24 inches and about 1/8” thick.  These sheets are then hung to dry and cure in what is known as the Smokehouse.  Simply described the Smokehouse consists of a row of rooms fitted with racks as in the Crepe Drying Shed.  These rooms are situated on the first floor of the building, the ground floor containing large drums, usually converted oil drums, in which wooden logs are kept smoldering to produce both heat and smoke.  Each room has its corresponding drum and the heat and smoke rise through interstices between the planks forming the floor.  Within 7 to 10 days, depending on the weather, the sheet are dry and smoked to a golden brown and are semi transparent.  They are then removed from the racks and packed in veneer cases as is the Crepe.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

27 August 1942

Out from 9.15 to 10.45 am.  Walk around and one ball game.  Issued with 2  packets of 20 ‘Mascot’ cigarettes.  I still have 3 Capstans left and 2 squares of toffee.  Rumoured that we are to have a big match this afternoon between our bunch and the convicts.


I must admit that my first impressions of the Dutch were not very favourable as it seemed to me that all reported meanness attributed to the Scot was as naught compared with that of the natives of Holland, so much so indeed that in a letter home I misquoted a proverb to the effect of ‘cast your whole bread upon Dutch waters and it will return to you a half loaf’.  That this opinion was not altogether unjustified, let the following experience prove.  As I have already stated, I arrived on Langen towards the end of November and as Christmas and New Year approached, I felt naturally very homesick at the prospect of being so far from home and among strangers in a strange land during that, in all former years, so happy and festive season.  It was therefore to my great joy and satisfaction that I was informed that there would be a Christmas party at the Big House and to which the whole staff was to be invited.  And not only a party by a Christmas tree as well.  My spirits soared at the prospect.  The manager’s wife asked me one day what I should like  off the Christmas tree.  Fenton suggested half a dozen pillow cases as I had forgotten to include these very necessary articles in my outfit.  I considered not only Fenton’s suggestion but also what I took to be the Dutch way of arranging Christmas presents as extremely practical indeed.  Accordingly I acquainted Mrs F V  with my desire and got my first shock when she intimated, ‘You understand, you pay for the present yourself – only it is rather nice to get it off the tree.’  Anyhow, by Christmas Eve I had somewhat recovered and became, although still puzzled, somewhat reconciled to the strange Dutch custom.  We duly forgathered at 8 pm on the night on the spacious open verandah of the Manager’s house where on arriving we sat down in a large circle, radiating from the decorated Christmas tree which stood in one corner.  At 2 am we were still in the same position and during the six hours there had been, if I am not mistaken, not more than two rounds of drinks.  The Christmas tree was hung with many parcels, and many more lay on the ground round about it.  I learned later that the feast of St Nicholas, which is the children’s feast on the 5th December, had on the occasion, probably with a view to economy I should imagine, been combined with the Christmas festival.  St Nicholas is the counterpart of our Santa Claus but it is honoured by the Dutch, and probably by other continental countries as well, with a special feast day on the 5th December each year when, just as Santa Claus does with us on Christmas Eve, he bring presents to the children.  St Nicholas is always accompanied by a black faced attendant, known as Black Peter, who carries a birch in one hand and a large sack over his shoulder.  Black Peter is an object of much apprehension to the very young as it is his ascribed duty to wield the birch and even to bear away in the sack any reported bad boy or girl who is so refractory as not to promise St Nicholas to mend his or her ways in the future.  I have attended many St Nicholas parties arranged for the children of members of the Concordia Club in Bandung where the good Saint and Black Peter were wont to appear in person and it was a delightful sight to see a few hundred mites in their party best regarding St Nicholas and Black Peter with eyes big and round with mingled awe and apprehension.  This feast, in the home particularly, provides an opportunity for members of the family to play tricks on each other in the form of fake parcels purporting to contain something of actual value but yielding, when opened, some trifle or other, together with a screed of poetry, ridiculing or poking individual fun at one or other characteristic of the recipient.  On this particular night, St Nicolas did not, of course, appear but the parcels were legion.  The manager had four children – there were no other on the Estate at that time – and, apart from real presents (such as mine) the other thousand and one parcels had reference only to the FV family.  The accompanying poems were in some cases pages in length and what with the reading of these and the opening of parcels themselves, which were prepared mostly in Chinese puzzle fashion, each parcel revealing a small one when opened and so on, six solid hours were spent in this (to me, at any rate) highly unedifying amusement.  I might have enjoyed the proceedings more had I understood Dutch, but I doubt it.  At 2 am we adjourned to the dining room where we were regaled with a very indifferent dinner accompanied by red and white wines – one bottle of each only.  I feel sure, I was really so sleepy by this time that to eat anything at all cost quite an effort and the rest of the company could have been in no better state.  I will not be  so uncharitable as to suggest that the serving of the meal was timed to this end, but it is a fact that what was not eaten on that occasion was quite sufficient to provide meals in the manager’s house for a few days after.  However, let it pass and haste on to the climax which provided me with a shock compared with which the previous one was but a slight start of surprise.  This was given me at the beginning of January in the form of a debit note for 7.60 guilders, being my share of the Christmas dinner, yes, even unto the Christmas tree itself and the decoration thereof.  I am glad to record that my first impressions of the Dutch, thanks to this experience, have for many years now been utterly removed but it will be appreciated that from such a wound my recovery was slow and followed a long period of convalescence.


Rumour was correct.  Out from 1.30 to 2.45 pm to witness a handball match between us and the convicts.  We got a bad beating 13-8 being the final score.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

26 August 1942

The terms of my contract, which I do not think I have yet enumerated were as follows:  Commencing salary 250 guilders per month rising by annual increments of 25 to 350 per month in the fifth year.  Six months European furlough on full salary at the expiry of 5 years service, passage, 2nd class, free to Europe and back again to Java in the event of the contract being renewed for a further period of 5 years.  Free house, fire and light.  Free medical attendance (excluding dental treatment and illness caused by misconduct), free Personal Tax and an allowance of 12 guilders per month for a garden coolie.  Also an allowance of 40 guilders and four days local leave every 3 months.  The most important item, however, was the bonus to which every employee was entitled and which was based on the profits made by the Company in the course of a year.  In the golden days of planting bonuses were often of such proportions as to ensure an employee being in a position to retire for life at the end of his first contract.  These days had gone for ever by 1926 but there were still reasonable prospects of being able to double one’s nominal salary.  Alas for my expectations.  Rubber began to slump in 1927 and by 1931 the bottom had fallen out of the market altogether.  My first year’s bonus was 760 guilders, and the next year’s 1200, and for the next three, what will all allowances cancelled and salary cut, I might claim that the company paid themselves back for the bonuses, I had received.  This wonderful contract, for all its lovely seals and flourishing signatures, although it protected the company against my leaving their service within the 5 year on pain of the payment of £100 plus so called ascertained damages, was, as far as my rights were concerned, only so much waste paper when the company’s results began to evidence themselves in the red figures.  In my fifth year, I was much worse off than when I started, receiving only 240 guilders a month and no extras whatever except hours, fire and light.  The Personal Tax I have mentioned is a Poll, or Head Tax imposed by the Dutch authorities in addition to usual Income Tax and is based on house rent and the possession of motorcars, cycles and horses.  The four days leave every 3 months were according to the contract, to be spent at one or other resort in the mountains for health’s sake but on occasion I have been  9 months at a stretch at Langen without any such break and sometimes simply because it did not suit the convenience of the manager, Fits Verploegh who was a big built, red faced  man of about 37 who has been planting since his 18th year.  He had an air of great authority and owed his position, I suspect to this more than to actual ability.  Although there was not a soul on Langen, who by reason of his position could dispute his title as manager, he always insisted in signing himself on all correspondence and reports as ‘Head Manager’. His policy was to keep his assistants as far as was possible from adding to their planting knowledge anything more than he himself chose to impart to them in somewhat patronising fashion.  He even went as far in this matter as to take great pains to prevent the circulation of any agricultural periodical which might reach him in his official capacity.  Practically every other manager I have known was insisted on his employees reading such papers in order that they might keep abreast of the latest methods and up to date as to experiments being carried out in their particular field.  Fitz Verploegh had an efficient secret service system recruited from the native overseers on every Division, by means of which, he kept himself informed of the state of work and of everything else on the Estate without being under the necessity of exerting himself in any way whatsoever.  I have known him not to stir from his house for a whole month on end and yet, to my amazement, at the end of that period, to send me his monthly report of sometimes 12 foolscap pages to translate and type and that report consisting of a wealth of detail which one would have sworn was impossible except by personal observation and inspection.  His spying proclivities extended on occasion even to pirate correspondence and quite frequently Fenton and I, at least, have had our letters from home passed on to us days after they arrived on the Estate and displaying obvious sings of having been tampered with.  This was on account of the fact that the Estate mail was fetched from Banjdar, the nearest village and post office, every day by a native postman specially employed for that purpose.  Letters etc were collected by an agent in Bandjar and locked in a post box carried by the postman and the duplicate key of which was held by the manager.  So all letters, no matter to whom addressed, were first delivered to the Big House and thereafter, often very much at leisure, further distribution took place.  We knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that our letters were held up at the Big House from the date stamp of Bandjar post office.  While efforts were being made to form a Planters Union, we had ample proof that all letters and literature sent to each assistant individually on Langen by that body were suppressed.  It was a long established rule on Langen that each assistant should have one Sunday free every two weeks but this privilege was on most occasions torpedoed by the manager, who, making one of his rare appearances, would stroll along to the office resplendent in white ducks and topi on Saturday afternoons when wages were being paid out to the work people and say, ‘Well, gentlemen, what about a spot of hunting tomorrow?’  That meant getting up the next morning at the usual time and walking and running through the jungle from sometimes 7 am to 3 pm, more fatiguing than an ordinary day’s work.  To refuse would have been to bring upon one’s self the managerial displeasure and only one who has actually been employed on an Estate can appreciate the manifold ways and means which can be employed in the expression of that sentiment.  Fitz Verploegh has been known to confine an assistant who had offended him within the boundaries of his own Division.  It was an understood thing that even on a free Sunday we were not supposed to go beyond the Estate boundaries without first obtaining his august permission.  He was a perfect survival of the type, formerly very common, but fortunately even then almost extinct, which in the early days of planting considered itself absolute monarch of all it surveyed and whose power stopped not very far short of life and death over those under it.


Out from 2.45 to 4.30 pm.  No run or jerks.  One ballgame.  New command specs.   Rutherford Greeuw arrived.  Perry day before yesterday.  Cell inspection and search after lunch today, looking for razors and other sharp objects apparently.  My searches greatly taken up with Ineke’s photo on my table.  Took it up and pressed it against my mouth on leaving, smiling broadly.  Search very perfunctory – just looked into cupboard and did not even open suitcase – majority not so lucky.