April 19, 1944


Rats made a racetrack out of the hut last night. Kept me awake quite a long while. We moved into the Quonset huts last night, and find they are much drier than the tents. Take your choice, rats in the huts; rain, mosquitoes and ants in the tents. Haven’t yet decided which is the lesser of the two evils.

Human beings can certainly make a lot of noise, but these loud mouths at least dispel the gloomy atmosphere and the overbearing gloom of this island.1 Rain on the tin roof sounds nice. Clothes still not dry this morning.

The whole day is uneventful. Haven’t had any war news for three days. Clothes almost dried but raining now and still damp.

Poker games going on. Russell is in a Blackjack game. Ever listen to the conversation? Here is an example taken from random.

Smith: “Let’s not be so insulting! Now watch him turn a ten up!

Another: “Hit me”

Dealer: “Take another.”

Another: “OK. Why you louse, broke me!”

Dealer: “Pay 21”

Chorus: “Pay me!”

“7 and 2 is 9 and 10 is 19, pay 20.

Can’t beat the squirt out,

I’ll give you a chance,

How about this stack has shrunk.”

On and on and on. Nuts to such an intelligent conversation. All for now, so until later remain your obedient servant, W.A.G.

Notes & Commentary

1 Banika Island of the Russell Islands. When Wayne was on Guadalcanal, the Russell Islands were considered a great place to be, but without a crew assignment, he now finds them depressing.

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