“I feel sorry for Seventy-three.”
“Because she cuts a tragic figure. She should never have
been brought here!”
“It was a necessity that could not be avoided.”
“She has already tried to commit suicide by slashing her
wrists. It would not take much to tip her over the edge.”
“The trouble with you Fourteen is, you’re too soft. Where
would we be if we all took that stance? I have been given the task of finding
out from Seventy-three where her husband is.”
“We know where he is.”
“How do you make that out?”
“We know that he went to the woman Mariah’s hotel, we have
the photograph of them together. It’s the simplest thing on Earth just to have
men keep the hotel under surveillance and wait for Seventy-three’s husband to
“I should have thought that by this time you would have
learned that we do not do things the simplest way. Besides we tried that. The
woman Mariah and the hotel were both kept under the closest possible
“So what happened?”
“Nothing, he never turned up!”
“So the only link to him is his wife Seventy-three?”
“Yes, she must know where her husband is. I’m going to the
hospital in half an hour to have it out with her.”
“What if she’s telling the truth, that she doesn’t know
where her husband is?”
“I’ll get the truth out of her.”
“We could try the Truth Test.”
“Or perhaps one of the doctors might………”
“Yes the doctor
might, but that would take too long.”
“Too long, don’t tell me you’re running out of time?”
“Of course not, its just that that kind of thing amounts to
too much of a palaver. What we need here is simplicity and some good old
fashioned brute force!”
“I thought you said we don’t go in for simplicity Number
“Order me a taxi to take me to the
hospital in half an hour.”
“Yes Number Two.”
The taxi arrives and takes Number 2
to the hospital.
“Why did you slash your wrists
Seventy-three. Aren’t you happy here?”
73 shakes her head. She is not
being very helpful. That’s because there’s nothing she can tell Number 2. But
Number 2 persists, he wants her to tell him where her husband is.
“He’s still over there.”
“Oh somewhere there…………he had some
work to finish.”
Number 2 brings into question 73’s
husbands devotion to her.
“He is devoted to me.”
Number 2 produces a photograph from a
black leather document case, of 73’s husband together with the woman Mariah.
“They look quite at home together.
Would you like to know the date, place?”
73 closes her eyes tight shut,
refusing to look at the photograph lying on the bed. It would seem that 73 had
tested enough of his patience…………
Number 6 hears a scream and goes
running off to the hospital, bursting into the hospital room. 73 sees 6, and jumps
out of bed, and out through the open window to her death.
“You’ll pay for this” says Number 2,
seeing Number 6’s intrusion being the cause of 73’s suicide.
“No, you will” replies Number 6.
Did the sight of Number 6 cause 73’s
suicide? Perhaps she thought 6 was 2’s assistant. Because up until Number 6
went bursting into the room, Number 2 hadn’t actually laid a hand on the woman!
Be seeing you