Eventually I went round to ‘6 Private,’ surprisingly the door was locked! I peered in through a window but could see no-one inside. I was perplexed, where was No.6? Was it possible he had finally managed to escape The Village? Surely one person would know, No.2.
It was with a sense of trepidation that I climbed the steps up to the Green Dome. Pulling on the wrought iron bell pull, a deep sounding bell rang out. The door to No.2’s residence opened and there in the foyer stood the bald-headed butler in black tails. “I’m here to see Number Two” I informed him. The butler bid me to enter and led me through the foyer. Through a pair of French doors, and a pair of blast proof steel doors slid open, and I was shown into No.2’s office. No.2 asked me what I wanted. I told her that No.6 doesn’t appear to be in The Village, and asked her where he was. She told me that it would be better not to go about asking questions about No.6. that he is none of my concern, and that it would be healthier for me if I minded my own business, if I knew what was good for me. Informing me that the whereabouts of No.6, was not in the public interest.
Then one morning after I had been to collect my Harlequin costume for Carnival, I met with No.6. He appeared quiet and morose. I asked him where he had been all this time. “Been?” I said that he had not been about, “Not about, no” he replied. The story he eventually told me was one of high adventure. That one morning he woke up to find the Village deserted. I asked him when this was, as I had no memory of such an occurrence. He was rather vague in his reply, but told that he had escaped The Village and spent twenty-five days as sea aboard an open raft. That eventually he returned home to London, only to find a woman living in his house and driving his car. Eventually he went to see some old friends, and during a de-briefing session he had told them all about The Village. And that he wanted answers, and if he couldn’t get the answers from these old friends, he would get them elsewhere. I put it to No.6 that he had come back, did he expect to find the answers here in The Village? He told me that he had been brought back, there’s a difference. He told me that he had risked his life to get back home because he thought it was different, it wasn't different. In some ways, he told me, he was just as much an outcast in London as he was here in The Village. There he had become nothing more than a penniless down and out, a nameless vagrant who had no job, no home, no friends. There was no-one who could help him, and no-one he could trust any more. To them he was simply Number 6!
But looking on the bright side No.6 had arrived in The Village on the morning of Carnival, it’s one of The Village’s traditions. Having missed The Village Festival of a month or so ago, at least No.6 can feel free to enjoy carnival. There’s fancy dress, and a Ball in the evening, and No.2 informed me that there is to be a cabaret. At least in the joyous atmosphere of The Village at Carnival time, there would nothing to vex or intrigue No.6, nothing he would find to shock him. And just as long as he doesn’t go poking his nose into things that do not concern him, he’ll be alright!
Be seeing you
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