The 8th of August 1943 – My new cell was number 217. Right outside my window, so close I could have spat on its roof had I so wished, was the guillotine. On Sunday’s and Thursday’s they piled up the dumpy little black coffins under the arch. On Monday mornings they labelled them, took in the trough and bags of sawdust, and in the afternoon the slaughter-house was in full swing. Three minutes per head and the full coffins piled up outside ready for the hearse and the crematorium. Then there was half an hour of cleaning up with hoses and brooms. And when, as was the case at least once a fortnight, the drainage pipe got blocked, then up spouted the blood through the drain in the middle of the yard, making a nice little duck-pond, dark vermilion in the centre, paling out to orangy-yellow near the shallows of the circumference where water mingled with the gore.