On the day of his arrival, the Prisoner is treated to two tours of The Village. The first by taxi, although that was not the Prisoner’s original intention, but it might well have been the intention of the Oriental taxi driver. She asked him where to, and he asked to be taken to the nearest town. But unfortunately the taxi is a local service only, so the Prisoner asked the taxi driver to take him as far as she could. So he was taken on a sight-seeing tour of The Village. No particular buildings were pointed out along the way, but the new arrival saw everything that there was to see. Whether or not he actually took it all in is another matter. The taxi was driven long some roads twice, then back along the other way, winding this way and that, round the statue of Hercules, along narrow lanes, until the Prisoner eventually arrived back where he started!
But where did the taxi spring from in the first place? The
new arrival was about to press the number 1 button on the electronic Free
Information board. The taxi pulled up as though the driver was in a hurry,
perhaps she was. Perhaps to distract the Prisoner from pressing that number 1
button on the panel!
Later that day, the new arrival was treated to a more
glamorous aerial tour of The Village, by helicopter. Number 2 pointed out the
most prominent buildings in The Village to the new arrival, telling him that
they have their own little newspaper, a broadsheet, and their own graveyard.
The mention of the graveyard was used as a threat. The new arrival made a
little joke when he said to Number 2 about the newspaper that he must send him
a copy. Number 2 may well have been jesting also when he suggested that the new
arrival might be given a position of authority, that may have been put across
as a bribe. If the Prisoner comes across with the information, and settles down
then he could be rewarded. But that won’t happen just yet, not until its time
for the local elections!
After the helicopter lands on the triangular lawn by the sea
wall, it’s a short tour on foot to the Old People’s Home, and the folly known
as the Stone Boat. But if you manage to look more closely, you will observe
that the folly has a name, Amis Reunis, which means “friends reunited.”
And then a taxi is called and it’s a brief ride up the hill to
stop outside The Town Hall, where the Prisoner and Number 2 part. Number 2 goes
one way, and the Prisoner continues the tour on foot. The Brass Band, the
statue of Hercules, not Atlas. Atlas was away at the time, Hercules stood in
for Atlas, carrying the World upon his shoulders. Then a curious sign post
“Walk On The Grass,” usually its don’t walk on the grass! And then the Piazza,
together with the pool and fountain containing what appears to be “Fee Sea!” Or possibly meaning to use the pool
is free, the sign post is rather ambiguous.
And all this leads to a demonstration of power, the
Guardian. Step out of line, attempt to escape, disobey the rules, and look what
happens, suffocation, and possible oblivion. How could anyone not like The
Village, and not to want to leave for the world?!
Be seeing you