4 September - Later
Another change in my patient.
At five o'clock I looked in on him, and found him seemingly as happy and contented
as he used to be. He was catching flies and eating them, and was keeping note
of his capture by making nailmarks on the edge of the door between the ridges
of padding. When he saw me, he came over and apologized for his bad conduct, and
asked me in a very humble, cringing way to be led back to his own room, and to
have his notebook again. I thought it well to humour him, so he is back in his
room with the window open. He has the sugar of his tea spread out on the window
sill, and is reaping quite a harvest of flies. He is not now eating them, but
putting them into a box, as of old, and is already examining the corners of his
room to find a spider. I tried to get him to talk about the past few days, for
any clue to his thoughts would be of immense help to me, but he would not rise.
For a moment or two he looked very sad, and said in a sort of far away voice,
as though saying it rather to himself than to me.
"All over! All over!
He has deserted me. No hope for me now unless I do it myself!" Then suddenly
turning to me in a resolute way, he said, "Doctor, won't you be very good
to me and let me have a little more sugar? I think it would be very good for me."
the flies?" I said.
"Yes! The flies like it, too, and I like the
flies, therefore I like it." And there are people who know so little as to
think that madmen do not argue. I procured him a double supply, and left him as
happy a man as, I suppose, any in the world. I wish I could fathom his mind.