Chapter 4

           Hewasmuchbetter. Hewasgrowingfatterandstrongereveryday,ifitwaspropertospeakofdays. 

           Thewhitelightandthehummingsoundwerethesameasever,butthecellwasalittlemorecomfortablethantheothershehadbeenin. Therewasapillowandamattressontheplankbed,andastooltositon. Theyhadgivenhimabath,andtheyallowedhimtowashhimselffairlyfrequentlyinatinbasin. Theyevengavehimwarmwatertowashwith. Theyhadgivenhimnewunderclothesandacleansuitofoveralls. Theyhaddressedhisvaricoseulcerwithsoothingointment. Theyhadpulledouttheremnantsofhisteethandgivenhimanewsetofdentures. 

           Weeksormonthsmusthavepassed. Itwouldhavebeenpossiblenowtokeepcountofthepassageoftime,ifhehadfeltanyinterestindoingso,sincehewasbeingfedatwhatappearedtoberegularintervals. Hewasgetting,hejudged,threemealsinthetwenty-fourhours;sometimeshewondereddimlywhetherhewasgettingthembynightorbyday. Thefoodwassurprisinglygood,withmeatateverythirdmeal. Oncetherewasevenapacketofcigarettes. Hehadnomatches,butthenever-speakingguardwhobroughthisfoodwouldgivehimalight. Thefirsttimehetriedtosmokeitmadehimsick,buthepersevered,andspunthepacketoutforalongtime,smokinghalfacigaretteaftereachmeal. 

           Theyhadgivenhimawhiteslatewithastumpofpenciltiedtothecorner. Atfirsthemadenouseofit. Evenwhenhewasawakehewascompletelytorpid. Oftenhewouldliefromonemealtothenextalmostwithoutstirring,sometimesasleep,sometimeswakingintovaguereveriesinwhichitwastoomuchtroubletoopenhiseyes. 

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