his arrival in the village it didn’t take the prisoner long to try and escape.
He quickly made for the woods and the mountains beyond, but finding himself in
open ground on the far side of the woods, Post 10 shot the prisoner in the leg
using a high powered rifle. After a couple of days in hospital he was
eventually discharged and was given a free ride home. As the taxi made its way
through the village, the prisoner took it in his head to kick the driver out of
the moving vehicle which veered to the side of the road until the prisoner
leaned over grabbing the wheel, and then in the driver’s seat took control of
the Mini-Moke. He drove at speed down the hill passed the Town Hall, round the
hairpin bend, and then down the slipway onto the beach, and away along the
beach leaving the village far behind.
In the control room the supervisor was watching the prisoner’s progress on the large wall screen and it looked as though he was going to get away with it. But no, “Orange alert, orange alert, prisoner escaping in our vehicle, now approaching outer zone.
In the distance there was a white sphere moving across the beach towards the speeding Mini-Moke, the driver gazed at the curious thing that was fast approaching, he pulled hard on the steering wheel and the vehicle swerved to avoid a collision, and continued on its way. But the Guardian was not to be beaten; it floated through the air emitting a sound like Gregorian chant crossed with the sound of a bicycle pump, and someone breathing through an aqua lung as it pursued the Mini-Moke. The Prisoner glanced over his shoulder as the white sphere maintained its pursuit, then turned the steering wheel first to the left then to the right and in weaving this way and that set up a kind of zig-zag pattern. The intention was to stop swerving and drive off in the direction the Mini-Moke was pointing in an attempt to shake off the sphere. But then he pulled on the steering wheel too hard and the Mini-Moke suddenly flipped over, throwing the prisoner out and onto the sand. He lay there for a few seconds the wind having been knocked out of him. Then he slowly got to his feet only to be confronted by the white amorphous sphere, its blood curdling roar filling his ears as its membrane covered his face, cutting off the air. He screamed and screamed, his lungs burned for lack of oxygen, until he fell to the sand in dead faint.
“Whatever did you think you were doing 19?”
The prisoner had woken to find he was lying in a hospital bed, and there were two men by his bedside. The man sat in the chair wore a badge which donated the number 2. A tall, fair-haired man in a grey blazer with dark blue piping stood at the end of the bed, there was something menacing about this Number 14.
“I asked you what you thought you were doing” No.2 said helping himself to a few grapes from a dish on the bedside table.
“I….I wanted to escape” the Prisoner said.
“That much is obvious” 14 said.
“Why did you want to escape 19, don’t you like it here?”
“Not really” and with this he threw back the sheets, jumped out of bed, raced to the end of the ward and threw himself out of the open window!
Numbers 2 and 14 looked at each other in astonishment, and then went to look out of the window. The prisoner had survived the fall and had climbed over a fence and was hobbling away across the pasture towards the woods.
After No.19’s recapture he was put under the closest possible surveillance. And yet that did not deter him from attempting further escapes, because no surveillance is ever 100 percent foolproof. The Prisoner discovered there was a blind spot in his cottage, and soon began digging his way out. However mathematics was not his strong point, as he miscalculated the distance of his tunnel. He had had the very devil of a job hiding the earth he had excavated within the confines of his cottage, but never once did he think he would find himself filling in the very tunnel he had spent three months digging. Because his tunnel ended one hundred feet short of his objective! The gardener got the fright of his life when the ground in the flower bed began to move, then a head popped up out of a hole. The gardener called out to two passing guardians who helped No.19 out of his tunnel and frogmarched him to the Green Dome.
Two days later No.19 stole a speedboat, and was approaching the mouth of the estuary when he encountered that amorphous white sphere once more. He pulled hard on the helm, first to port, then to starboard setting a zig-zag course so to avoid a collision. But then at the last second he steered straight for the Guardian and it bounded off the bow of the speedboat sending it high into the air as the speedboat made for the open sea. The Guardian did not pursue the craft, but continued across water towards the village. In the control room an operator sat on one end of the steel see-saw device took control of the helm of the speedboat by remote control, turning the craft round and bringing it safely back to shore where two guardians stood waiting to take No.19 into charge!
No.19 persisted in his escape attempts, two weeks later he hid in a dustbin in order to have himself thrown out of the village with the rubbish. However he gave himself up when the dustcart tipped him out at the village waste dump!
Two days later he hid himself in the bushes near the lawn by the sea wall. He watched as the pilot returned the silver grey Alouette helicopter. The engine started, the rotor blades began to turn, and just as the helicopter was about to take off No.19 sprang from the bushes, ran across the lawn and leapt onto one of the grey floats and clung to the steel framework of the helicopter as it flew out across the estuary towards the direction of the landing stage. As he clung to the helicopter he looked down and saw a motor ship moored at the far and of the pier. The helicopter began to descend and just before it landed he jumped down and ran for the cover of nearby bushes. The pilot left the helicopter and walked towards a wooden building and went inside. From his advantage point he could see no-one about and decided to break cover. He ran across the open ground and leapt into the water, swimming to the stern of the boat he managed to haul himself aboard and stow himself away. But M. S. Polotska is their ship, and at sea during a night-time patrol the two man crew proved difficult to over power. And even then the helm of the little ship had been locked, then operated by remote control M. S. Polotska was sailed safely to the village.
No.19 never stopped making his bid for freedom, in fact the ingenuity of his plans had became a constant challenge for No.2, the Supervisor, Observers, guardians, and the security of the village. Then one day No.19 made his final escape attempt, a funeral was held which No.2 attended. And yet as the coffin was slowly lowered into the sand No.2 gave the order for the coffin to be raised and ordered two Top Hat officials to remove the lid. The coffin was found to have been weighted down by three bags of sand! The exasperated expression on No.2’s face said it all!
Be seeing you