9 Nov 1918: POW Graudenz

Saturday. Nov 9th.     Saw a comic chimney sweep yesterday.  He walked along the dividing line between the two slopes of the roof as carelessly and as quickly as an acrobat.  Once he made as though he had lost his balance just to amuse us down below.  He must have been very gratified by the howl of laughter we sent up.

Rumours of the Kaiser having abdicated.

This monumental treatise on the life of a [Kriegsgefangener] would not be complete without a reference to Boarding.  This unique method of punishment, invented by Room 80, is designed for the castigation of any member of the room by the will of the majority.  For instance our Scotch friend Miller delivers himself thus ‹I wish some of you silly asses would learn to clean up the table after you›  Those whose consciences are by sin accused wax indignant at the appellation.  The fiat goes forth ‹Board him›  Two seize him; he is borne howling and violently struggling, to a bed.  One sits on his head, another on the rest of him.  The other members of the room pile themselves one above one until the bed rocks.  The topmost member has the duty of leaping into the air and crashing down on to the wriggling pile shrieking ‹All aboard›

It is better to be at the top than at the bottom. (Bright thoughts for Today)

Today I was boarded twice.

So many pieces of good news and improbable exciting rumours are coming in now that the place is full of unrest.  We simply cannot work or concentrate in any way.