lay in a hospital bed on ward ‘A’, sitting up he appeared to be the only
patient. He threw back the sheets and swung his legs out of bed.
“And where do we think we are going?” he heard a voice ask.
“We are not going anywhere, I’m getting out of bed, and I want to go home” he said grabbing the dressing gown at the end of the bed.
“Now get back into bed, you’ll have to wait for the doctor” the Sister ordered.
“Why, there’s nothing wrong with me” No.4 insisted putting on the dressing gown.
“I think the doctor will be the best judge of that!” the Sister informed him.
“Where are my clothes?” he demanded.
Two burly set orderlies in white coats appeared on the scene and taking hold of the Prisoner forced him down on the bed. A nurse in a plain white dress appeared carrying a kidney dish containing a syringe The Sister quickly took the syringe and injected a strong sedative into the patient’s left arm.
It might be thought that at some point No.4
would regain consciousness in his hospital bed, and in normal circumstances
that would be correct. Certainly he was still dressed in pyjamas and brown
dressing gown, yet he was sat upright, and his arms and were restrained by thick
leather straps round his wrists and ankles. He looked about him, he was no
longer in the hospital that much was evident, but in an orange walled domed
chamber. A few feet away a stainless steel trolley laid out with medical
instruments. The pair of steel doors opened and a tall gaunt man in a white
coat entered the chamber, the doors sliding shut behind him.
“How is it with you man?” a Scottish voice asked.
“Oh just hunky-dory” was the reply as 4 turned his head to look at his companion.
“You don’t look very comfortable” the man in a white coat said.
“You’ll no doubt be pleased to learn I’m not” he said struggling against the leather restraints.
The man in the white coat approached the chair “Don’t struggle that man, you’re cutting your wrists!” was the doctor’s advice.
“What do you care?”
“I don’t want you to hurt yourself, that’s why I’m here. Shall we begin?”
“I am going to ask you a series of questions, and you are going to
“Does Number 2 know about this?”
“If we wait for him we’ll never get anything done. Now, who sent you here?”
“It’s not a difficult question” he repeated it “who sent you here?”
“No-one sent me here, I was brought here, but I’ll go away as soon as you like.”
“You mean leave?”
“Leave the village?”
The man in the white coat laughed “Leave, I wouldn’t have you leave for the world. Now Number 4 time is pressing so we had better get on.”
“So you know who I am, now do you mind telling me who are you?”
“I could be a friend!” the doctor said.
“You don’t seem very friendly if you don’t mind my saying.”
The doctor approached No.4 taking a scalpel
from the breast pocket of his white coat and inched it closer to No.4’s eye “Then
if not a friend man, who am I?”
“That’s right laddie.”
“Well just as long as we know where we stand.”
The Prisoner rubbed his wrists against the
leather restraints chafing and abrasing the skin and causing them to bleed. The
idea being the one pain cancels out the other.
“You’re hurting yourself again laddie, stop it, that’s my job.”
The Prisoner did it all the more, and the more it hurt the more he liked it. The doctor prepared a syringe and cut open a sleeve of No.4’s pyjama top injecting him with a serum, and then waited for a few moments for the drug to begin to take effect. Then a second drug was administered, the effect of cocktail of drugs on the Prisoner made his head swirl, he began to perspire, he felt sick inside. The drugs were having an effect on his mind conjuring up fearful images. His eyes widened he struggled even more against his restraints, he began to see things, demons, burning fire, there was a wall and beyond the wall a city lay in ruins. He closed his eyes tight shut but the visions remained in his head, he was here, then he was there in a deserted street in
“Open your eyes laddie.”
The Prisoner kept his eyes tight shut, living with the pain from his wrists and the memory of Elsa. The doctor slapped him hard across the face and Elsa was gone.
“Open your eyes and look at
The Prisoner slowly opened his eyes, he saw a face, a face so
to him it could have been his own……it was his own but like looking into a mirror!
“What do you see?”
“I….I see me, that’s me, you’re me” he rubbed his wrists against the leather straps “You’re not me, I’m me.”
“You” said the doctor “are your own worst enemy, otherwise you wouldn’t be here” he removed the mirror “we’ll have to do something about those writs if you refuse to cooperate!”
The doctor turned to the trolley and
selected another syringe filled with a dark red liquid “Now….what were you
“I was never in
“That is a lie, but I won’t hold it against you because I like a challenge, there’s no fun in it if my subjects talk too soon. But you will tell me, in the end you’ll want to tell me”
A third injection as the needle entered the
Prisoner’s upper arm, the plunger depressed.
“It doesn’t hurt any more the Prisoner said.”
“No” he said and his lips formed a smile, and a happy look came over his face “I’m high.”
“I’m higher than you.”
“You don’t say.”
“I do say.”
“Then tell me about Klaussmann?”
“You heard the question. Did Klaussman give you anything?”
“I don’t know any Klaussman.”
“I’ve never been there.”
“Where, where haven’t you been?”
“You’re a funny man, I like you.”
“Did Klaussmann give you the formula?”
“Funfair, you went to the funfair, Spreepark is that where you went?”
“Ferris wheels, roundabouts…..do you like candy floss, I like candy floss.”
“You went the Spreepark funfair, Klaussmann passed something to you.”
The Prisoner struggled to suppress old memories; he worked his wrists against the blood soaked leather restraints.
“Did Klaussmann give you a book?”
“Why are you doing this?”
“I’m not, you are. Do yourself a favour, tell me what I want to know
“You’re funny, I haven’t the faintest idea what you’re talking about” the Prisoner laughed.
“Then I’m sorry for you” the doctor said, the pain of a small scratch as the needle of the syringe was pushed into his arm and the plunger pushed.
“About three minutes is usual” the doctor said.
“Three minutes?” the Prisoner asked.
“Until the drug takes effect, what shall we do in that time?”
“We could have a cup of tea.” The Prisoner said sarcastically.
“With biscuits perhaps.”
“Elevenses” the Prisoner said with a smile.
“No biscuits” the doctor told him.
“Then it’s after three in the afternoon” No.4 announced enjoying his small victory.
“Oh very clever, it is the afternoon, but what day do you think it is. How many days have you been in this chamber?”
“Well come on clever laddie, how many days have you been in this chamber?”
“One…….two….no, no just half a day, I was in the hospital. Half a day no more.”
“You are wrong, three days you have been in this chamber, restrained in that chair, that is how long we have been deliberating this, this is the third day” the doctor pronounced.
“Three days, surely not, I, I, I, I Like
you very much,
“You like singing Number 4, you are going to sing a wee tale, you are in East Germany at the funfair, on the morning you have a meeting with Kalussmann, at the café…”
“No, no there was no meeting.”
“You met, the Colonel told me you met Kalussmann at the café…..”
“Ich hätte gerne einen Kaffee.”
“Kaffee, sir?” asked the waiter.
“No, not coffee, it’s not safe.”
“The coffee isn’t safe, what wrong with the coffee?
“Not at the café, it’s no longer safe.”
“The café was no longer safe, why not safe?” the doctor asked.
“He took a picture using his cigarette lighter!”
“Who took a photograph?”
“Der Mann mit dem schwarzen Hut” the Prisoner said.
“Of you and with Klaussmann together.”
“She never turned up!”
“She! Aber Klaussmann ist ein Mann” the doctor said.
“Nein ist sie eine Frau” the Prisoner replied.
“Und das Buch, was ist mit dem schwarzen Buch? the doctor asked.
“Ich habe ein blak Buch” the Prisoner said
with a wry smile on his face.
“Tell me about your black book” the doctor asked.
“It’s full of numbers.”
“Numbers, what number?”
“Telephone numbers” the Prisoner said.
“Ah, and they make up the code?”
The doctor pressed the Prisoner for further information knowing the drug effects would soon be wearing off.
“The codes, tell me about the codes.”
“International dialling codes………. Greyfriers 24681.”
“What are these codes, are they prefixes to the master code?”
“Telephone, I want to make a telephone call to Greyfriers 24681, prefix 02477.”
The steel doors suddenly opened and framed in the open doorway stood the figure of No.2 who stepped forward into the chamber. He was accompanied by two men in striped jerseys.
“And just what do you think you are doing doctor?” No.2 asked approaching the chair.
“I was interrogating the subject” the doctor replied.
“This man was in the hospital” No.2 said.
“I had him transferred.”
“On whose instructions?”
“I used my own initiative” the doctor replied.
No.2 motioned the two men to release the Prisoner “Take him back to the hospital.”
Instantly the two men stepped forward and released the leather restraints, and helping No.4 out of the chair they placed him on a stretcher, and carried out through the opening doors and into a waiting ambulance.
“You have overstepped your authority doctor” No.2 told him.
“I was only doing what you should have, interrogating the prisoner. And after only a few hours I have gained valuable information” the doctor announce proudly “and if given only a little more time……”
“He was making a fool of you. Who told you about Kalussmann?”
“It’s in his file” the doctor replied sternly.
“Maybe, who told you Klaussmann is a woman?”
“Get back to your hospital doctor and tend to your patients” was No.2’s instruction “as for Number 4 he’s off limits for the time being. Oh and doctor remove this equipment, I have a committee meeting in half an hour.”
No.4 was allowed to recuperate for a couple of days in the hospital, given a medical and eventually discharged, and sent home. He accepted the free ride home in a taxi, but instead of going straight
he called in at the Green Dome.
Pulling on the wrought iron bell pull a bell sounded from somewhere, there was another sound one of an electronic mechanism, and he was taken aback when the white door opened of its own accord. The diminutive butler in black tails bowed, and indicated him to step inside.
“Ah Number 4, sorry about the mess. I’m
actually moving out for a few days” Number 2 announced.
“Mind your back mate” said one of the two men in overalls lifting the oak desk between them, and carrying it out through the front door.
“They’re giving my office an upgrade.”
“What like the front door?” Number 4 asked.
“Yes, it’s a bit ostentatious really.”
Two men in overalls and white hard hats brushed passed carrying pieces of scaffolding.
“Look lets step outside, I think we’re in the way here” No.2 suggested.
“Good morning, good morning one and all. It’s another beautiful day. The spell of recent good weather is set to continue for at least another two weeks. For those of a sporting disposition a croquet court is now being set up on the lawn. Ice cream is now on sale, the flavour of the day is vanilla.”
“I don’t suppose you play croquet?” No.2
asked leaning on the balcony balustrade “they seem to be a player short.”
“I’m not a team player” No.4 replied.
“Yes I realize that. What did you want me
“I’ve just been discharged from hospital” No.4 told him.
“Yes I know” No.2 said with reluctance in his voice.
“Oh I should have known, nothing happens in this place without your knowing about it. But I suppose I should thank you.”
“There’s no need, the doctor was operating without instruction from me.”
“It was a timely intervention nevertheless” No.4 told him.
“You would have talked?”
“Everyone talks on the third day, if they have something to say.”
“It’s been more than three days” No.2 informed him “so why don’t you tell me?”
“Because I’ve nothing to say.”
“You should try and settle down, join in. We could find you some useful employment” No.2 suggested.
“Work for you, that day will never happen.”
“You could be useful, your contacts in
“You’ve got the wrong man, I’ve told you before I’ve never been to
No.2 unzipped the black document case he was carrying and removed a photograph, and showed it to No.4.
“How did you…?”
“What can’t talk Number 4 can’t lie.”