Conscientious and fluent examiner

Click to follow
In October, by contrast, Casement's diaries are markedly different in tone: conscientious, fluent passages of prose, with no sexual content, and about his investigation of the treatment of slaves - 'labourers' as he describes them.

October 1. The Commission off to see the actual method of tapping rubber trees by the 'labourers' . . . They took Rodriguez, Torrico, Acosta to guide them . . . They found two Indian rubber tappers, the only labourers and seemed surprised] We were simply in a pirate camp, nothing more. The Indians the absolute slaves of the pirates.

I stayed home and interviewed Stanley Sealy, both on his own acts and then on the Commission. On one of the latter . . . he was eyewitness of three awful and hellish acts committed by that monster. I took down his statement almost word for word and I shall never forget the effect it produced on me. It was told with a simple truthfulness, and even grace and simplicity, that would have convinced anyone in the English- speaking world of the man's absolute good faith and scrupulous exactitude, and all with appropriate gesture and restraint of gesture too. Wrote memorandum on the stations and their personnel. The others returned 1pm and all did nothing till dinner, and then bridge.

October 2nd. . . . 5 miles through forest to rubber workers . . . saw four of them loading rubber, all bore evidence of flogging . . . In hut there were 11 Indians, they had all been flogged they said. Back on foot, boating launch with Gielgud . . . bed early, very tired.'