Amah disappeared today, did not return from her breakfast. She’s been singing and humming last year’s love ballads all working hours and getting herself into a state for an Easter orgy. Yesterday was payday and, being Wednesday, her afternoon off. She was to return to spend the night at 7:00 p.m. But, afraid of the lovelorn look in her eyes, I asked her before her departure, in a bright green slack suit, if she planned to be back. “Yes ma’m,” she replied, “at 7:00 P.M.” She appeared at 8:00 o’clock this morning, saying she had had an attack of appendicitis yesterday during her time off and could not return. She said also that she thought she could not sleep upstairs with me and the children any longer. It was no surprise when she failed to reappear after breakfast. Some servants here are undependable and not worth even the small salaries paid. whether we’d get better service and more honesty with higher wages, I don’t know. But people who have been here many years say that these people do not comprehend our ideas of loyalty, integrity, and dependability.
Due to a shortage of diesel fuel the motor running the electric plant for the Central is cut off from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. So there are no electric lights after 10:00 p.m. At least once each night, often three times, it is necessary to get up with Clay to take him to the bathroom, and sometimes to change his bed. The flashlight is dim but I will not change batteries until the light goes out. There have been no batteries on the jsland—in the commissary—for many months. I have six, enough for three changes, that I have to keep locked up as if they were pure gold.