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October 22, 1944

I talked with Jerry about June and his own slow decline and how I wished they could quit corn. He said, simply, “‘I know, Pete, but nothing can be done about it. We must eat corn when there is nothing else from camp. I haven’t the energy nor the supplies to correct it.” It was the first time we admitted aloud what each of us had faced and knew full well—the gradual but more and more accelerating decline of each individual making up camp as a whole. The symptoms seem to come in cycles, more pronounced each time, then a brief respite before the next one. There are spells of actual cheer. The children are all right tonight but Jerry is miserable; sleepy, exhausted, with a swollen hand and a temperature from his boil, internally churning from infection, pain and low vitality. He had not been to the garden all week.

Suda performed “Kenbu,” the sword dance, and Betty talked on her travels. Miss McKim translated for Suda. He sent Liz a bunch of bananas by Carl, “so sorry” she was sick and could not see the dance in which she had expressed interest. Mac and Jerry sat on their heels, by now an accustomed posture in this era of no chairs or comforts.

The garden spots were full of coffee parties. Suda was taking pictures of some of the young people. Then he and Oura talked, squatting on the ground, drawing plans in dirt with sticks.

Gibbie’s tiny black kitten, clean but mangy from deficiencies. crept into my lap and cuddled off to sleep. It is a small derelict that dragged itself into camp. Jerry said it made him feel homesick for it looked so much like our darling Pippy who died in my hands just before bombs fell. He said he never felt about any kitten as he did this one for it was so joyous. I remember trying to warm it as it grew cold, not able to believe that in two short hours such leaping life could be stilled. I wept over it until Jerry said I mustn’t and we went out to bury it together. I felt then it was only the beginning of what we were to see and it was true. We buried our past gay life In the little grave with Pippy. Shortly afterward everything was lost or changed and we became one of many families pushed about, terrorized. helpless.

I wonder how Nida is feeding her little girls with her husband in a labor battalion.

Father Sheridan has asked Jerry to serve on a sort of District Attorney investigating committee. Jerry agreed. Another case is developing around two who take community food. This has to be tracked down, watched, and
wild rumors verified or discarded. They laugh about the Ouija and say they will have to use it in court. Jerry seems interested and is not taking it too heavily. It is odd that he should get into law again through internment conflicts. The police department is to work with them. Jerry says he is really doing it to take some of the load off Carl’s and the Committee’s shoulders for they have more than they can handle, with such petty details.