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Tuesday, 26 July 2011

The Prisoner Takes It All In His Stride!

    There he is, having woken up in what appears to be a deserted Village. No.6 makes a search of the Village, even tolls the bell in the Bell Tower in order to attract someone, anyone's attention, but there is no-one! So the Prisoner sets about leaving the Village. The mountains appear to be impassable, so the only way out is by sea. The Prisoner starts felling trees, empties a number of oil dums, and contructs himself a Kon-Tiki style sea-going raft - collects his provisions from the General Store, which has been convieniently left unlocked. Then having taken a camera, the Prisoner takes photographic evidence of the Village before setting sail.
    Once at sea, the Prisoner sets about making himself a compass, comprising of a magnatised needle, an old Village cooking oil jar half filled with sea water. A piece of rounded cork marked with the four points of the compass. String, and two pieces of marked wood. He pits his skill against a cruel sea, and keeps his log on the back of a copy of The Tally Ho, and sleeps only four hours out of each twenty-four, and survives on water, tinned baked beans and corned beef. But sleep deprevation eventually overtakes the Prisoner, and he collapses into unconciousness through exhaustion. The raft is spotted by two so called 'gun runners,' who take what they can from the raft, and dump the unconscious body on the raft into the water. This act brings the Prisoner round, and he manages to get aboard the gun runners boat before it gets underway. The Prisoner then sets about taking on the two gun runners, who do not appear to have any food of their own, judging by the way they start tucking into the Prisoner provisions of tinned baked beans and corned beef! Having over powered the two gun runners, the Prisoner takes command of their cabin cruiser, and sets sail for a light in the distance. But the two gun runners gain their freedom, having been tied up and locked in their cabin, and attack the Prisoner from two sides. The Prisoner puts up a valiant fight, but has to quickly abandon ship when one of the gun runners open fires on the Prisoner with a hand gun.
    Having swum for a few miles, the Prisoner is washed up on a beach at the foot of chalky cliffs, and there is a Lighthouse not far off shore. Seeing as the only way is up, the Prisoner scales the chalk cliffs at a place where a large piece of cliff errosion has recently taken place, and there he scrambles up the cliff like a wee mountain goat!
    Somewhere in the countryside, not far from the cliffs, the Prisoner encounters a gypsy, who he follows to a gypsy camp. There are three gypsies, one of them a young woman, who shows an act of kindness towards the Prisoner by offering him a cup of hot tea, soup, or broth. He asks her where there is a road 'Don dunderon doi doi' the girl responds, or words to that effect and spelling, and points to where there is a road.
    The Prisoner finds the road, but there is a police road block, and a British Police car together with good old Birtish Bobbies should tell the Prisoner that he's back home in England. But his sense tells him that what he may see may not yet be trusted. and so he works his way round the Police road block through the undergrowth, then finally, seeing a large van pulling away from the road block, he runs and jumps aboard into the back of the van, where he can eventually settle down for some much needed sleep.
    Suddenly the sound of traffic and a Police siren - the Prisoner wakes up, panics, and jumps out of the back of the van - into the road and path of busy London traffic! What the devil did he want to do that for? To risk his life in escaping the Village, only to leap out of the back of a van, to possibly lose it under a London bus or taxi just when he had reached his goal, seems the act sheer folly to me. But the Prisoner didn't, more by luck than judgement, and eventually he made his way across London to his home in Buckingham Place.
     Having reached his home, the Prisoner walks up the steps to the front door, and using the door knocker raps upon that door. Just a minute, just a minute. If this is the Prisoner's home, and I do realise he doesn't have the key to his front door on his person, who by knocking on the door, did the Prisoner think would open the front door for him?
   But the front door is opened for him, by Martha, an officious housemaid, who looks down her nose upon the raggedy figure of the Prisoner with disdain, shares a few words with him, and then closes the door in the Prisoner's face! But worse is to come.....within moments of that closing door, the Prisoner's ears recognise the roar of an old friend, his Lotus Seven which comes towards him, from the other end of Buckingham Place, with a woman behind the wheel!
    The Prisoner intrigues Mrs Butterworth enough so as to invite him in. But even in this familar environment, having crossed London to get home, the Prisoner still looks for reassurances, by looking out of the window, listening to the dialling tone of the telephone, and explaining to Mrs Butterworth about the damp patch behind the desk which he had made good about twelve months ago, and the fact that the hot and cold taps of the shower had been put on the wrong way round, and that the bathroom door slides to the left. They exchanged explanations, the Prisoner gives a false name, Peter Smith, he tells Mrs Butterworth his story, and she gives the Prisoner tea. The lease of the house, which had six moths to run, is now in Mrs Butterworth's name, she has also taken possession of his Lotus Seven, which she kindly lends to the Prisoner just as long as he promises to come back, having fed, washed, and clothed the raggedy man. What's more and she'll bake him a birthday cake.
    For the second time the Prisoner goes running back to his ex-colleagues, and spins them a tale which Hans Christain Anderson would reject as a fairy tale! But the Prisoner convinces the Colonel, if not Thorpe, that every detail of their ex-colleagues report should be checked out, which leaves the cards heavily stacked in the Prisoner's favour.
   A search area is calculated via the log the Prisoner kept on his sea voyage. An aircraft is requsitioned, the Group Captain is the pilot, the Prisoner the navigator, and clearence has been given for refuelling at Gibraltar. But there is just one teeny weeny problem on the horizon..............the Milkman!
    And so the search goes on again tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow........No.6 is a stubborn fellow. And then there is it, the reconnaissance flight has discovered the whereabout of the Village! But to no avail.....the pilot lifts the visor of his helmet, turns to look over his shoulder........'Be seeing you!' and pulls the ejector seat leaver, effectively returning the Prisoner to what is to all intents and purposes, a deserted Village.
    The Prisoner slowly returns to the only place he can ever go, his cottage of '6 Private.' Suddenly the water is turned back on, along with the electicity, the light comes on, the coffee perculator is boiling, and the front door to the cottage opens and in walks Mrs Butterworth-the new No.2 bearing a cake with 6 candles lighted upon it, and a smarmy smile upon her face. Outside the good citizens are parading around the pool and fountain of the central Piazza, and the Prisoner, well he calmy takes all this in his stride. Having put himself through so much to escape the Village, it's as though he'd never been away................many happy returns No.6!  
Be seeing you

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