White people gaping at them mcdougal littell inc all

This preview shows page 7 - 9 out of 9 pages.

white people gaping at them.
© McDougal Littell Inc. All rights reserved. 42 Unit 5 , Chapter 17 to stand in line for lunch. They ate standing up, from army mess kits, with their backs turned against the wind. Peanut butter, white bread, canned figs, and string beans; she could taste the dust in all of it. They were given typhoid shots that first after- noon; they stood in line for them. They waited in the dust beside their luggage and then stood in line for dinner. In the evening the Imadas were assigned to Block 11, Barrack 4, and given a sixteen-by- twenty-foot room furnished with a bare lightbulb, a small Coleman oil heater, six CCC camp cots, six straw mattresses, and a dozen army blankets. Fujiko sat on the edge of a cot with cramps from the camp food and the typhoid shot gathering to a knot in her stomach. She sat with her coat on, hold- ing herself, while her daughters beat flat the straw in the mattresses and lit the oil heater. Even with the heater she shivered beneath her blankets, still fully dressed in her clothes. By midnight she couldn’t wait any longer and, with three of her daughters who were feeling distressed too, stumbled out into the darkness of the desert in the direction of the block latrine. There was, astonishingly, a long line at midnight, fifty or more women and girls in heavy coats with their backs braced against the wind. A woman up the line vomited heavily, and the smell was of the canned figs they’d all eaten. The woman apologized profusely in Japanese, and then another in the line vomited, and they were all silent again. That night dust and yellow sand blew through the knotholes in the walls and floor. By morning their blankets were covered with it. Fujiko’s pillow lay white where her head had been, but around it a layer of fine yellow grains had gathered. She felt it against her face and in her hair and on the inside of her mouth, too. It had been a cold night, and in the adjacent room a baby screamed behind a quarter- inch wall of pine board. On their second day at Manzanar they were given a mop, a broom, and a bucket. The leader of their block—a man from Los Angeles dressed in a dusty overcoat who claimed to have been an attorney in his former life but who now stood unshaven with one shoe untied and with his wire- rimmed glasses skewed on his face—showed them the outdoor water tap. Fujiko and her daughters cleaned out the dust and did laundry in a gallon- size soup tin. While they were cleaning more dust and sand blew in to settle on the newly mopped pine boards. Hatsue went out into the desert wind and returned with a few scraps of tar paper she’d found blown up against a roll of barbed wire along a firebreak. They stuffed this around the doorjamb and fixed it over the knotholes with thumbtacks borrowed from the Fujitas. There was no sense in talking to anyone about things. Everyone was in the same position. Everyone wandered like ghosts beneath the guard towers with the mountains looming on either side of them. The bitter wind came down off the moun-

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture