“Are you going to see that?” No.9 asked casually
stirring his tea.
“I beg your pardon?” No.4 said glancing up from The Tally Ho and across the café patio.
“Are you going?”
“There, to the Recreation Hall.”
“Do I look like a theatre goer?” No.4 said returning to the broadsheet.
“It helps pass the time.”
“Amateur dramatics, not my thing.”
“The month before last, they produced A Midsummer Nights Dream, it was very good. 99’s Bottom was the talk of the village.”
“Really” No.4 said sounding completely uninterested from behind his Tally Ho “Its going to be interesting to see how you’re going to make No.4 become involved with this” the officer of the watch-No.28 remarked.
He stood with No.2 watching No.4 pay for his coffee and walk away from the café via the wall screen.
“What the play you mean? That’s easy.
I had two complimentary tickets sent to him this morning.”
No.28 turned to look at No.2 “Two tickets?”
he can take a friend, what could be easier?” No.2 explained.
“Nothing, except he doesn’t have any friends” the officer of the watch replied turning his attention back to the wall screen “and he’s not a theatre goer, he said that much himself.”
“Well no plan is perfect, if it was easy everyone would be doing my job” No.2 said smiling “that’s why I engaged the services of Number 9. Watch, just watch.”
“That’s what I do!” No.28 said.
“Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde” 9 said as
though to herself “a psychological drama exploring the two distinct sides of
“That’s a bit deep for a Monday afternoon”
No.4 said from behind his broadsheet “I wonder how he’ll do it?”
“Who, and do what?”
“Whoever is playing Jekyll, how he’ll manage the physical transformation into Hyde.”
“But surely Jekyll and Hyde are the same man, there’s no physical change, how could there be?” 9 asked.
No.4 put down his Tally Ho “But isn’t that why he takes the cocktail of potions, to achieve physical change?”
“Its more about the psychology of two sides of the personality surely. It’s the personality of Jekyll that is affected, there is no physical change.”
“Not even for visual effect? The actor as the good doctor Henry Jekyll having drunk the potion then slinks down behind the sofa in order to undergo a quick change, then to reappear as the evil Edward Hyde. If not how are we to know who is who?”
“It takes a real actor to play both parts
of his personality looking as the same man” No.9 said.
“Well we’ll see” said No.4 with a smile.
“Does this mean you’re going to see the performance?”
“Why not” 4 said “I’ve no other engagements for that evening. Besides two tickets for the performance were mysteriously delivered in the post this morning.”
“Two tickets?” No.9 asked “that means you can take a friend.”
“I don’t have any friends, well not in this place!”
“I could be a friend.”
“You want me to take you to the theatre?” he asked
“Yes. You have a spare ticket.”
He finally relented “Oh alright.”
No.9 a dark haired, bright young woman dressed in a light blue jersey and grey slacks jumped out of her seat and planted a kiss on 4’s cheek.
“See!” said No.2 with confidence.
“Not really, no” No.28 said.
“We’re going to bring Number 4 out of himself, to reveal the 4 within. Going to the theatre is but a stage in the process, I want him interested in the psychology of the personality. To look at himself in the mirror and wonder who he is. Now I’m going to the hospital to check on Number 56’s progress” 2 said crossing the floor to the steel steps of the gantry “call me a taxi will you.”
The officer of the watch thought about it for a moment, then picked up the receiver of the grey telephone “Have a taxi waiting outside the Town Hall to take Number 2 to the hospital.”
No.2, the old college scarf about his neck
and shoulders, eventually emerged from the Town Hall, to see a white Mini-Moke
waiting at the bottom of the steps. The female taxi driver in red and white
striped jersey and cream slacks was busy cleaning the windscreen.
“When you’re ready” No.2 told the driver as
he descended the steps.
The driver quickly climbed in behind the
steering wheel, the cloth thrown in the glove compartment, as No.2 climbed into
a back seat and resting his shooting stick against the other.
“The hospital Number 2?” asked the driver.
“Yes, but don’t take the scenic route, time is short” he told the driver.
“Yes sir” said the driver starting the engine, and engaging reverse gear released the handbrake, released the clutch and pressed down on the accelerator. The engine whined as the driver, with one hand on the steering wheel and the other on the front passenger seat and looking over her left shoulder, reversed the taxi back up the street. Causing pedestrians to step lively to the side of the road, and cyclists to get out of the way. Then at the top of the street a sudden handbrake turn, and the taxi shot forward through the white and yellow arch and along the road winding its way through the woods. The taxi driver, having taken the shortest route, finally turned left onto a gravelled forecourt passing two workmen who were busy erecting two brand new signposts. One pointed the way to the hospital, and a second inviting people to “walk on the grass!”
The hospital occupied what appeared to be an old grey stone walled castle, a rectangular building with one hexagonal tower on one corner and a large square tower, and high parapets. The castle is set outside the village, and its age questionable. The taxi came to a stop, No.2 alighted not stirred, but certainly shaken up by the rapid driving of No.10, who offered to wait. But he said there was no need, saying it
nice day and the walk back to the village would do him a power of good.
Entering the hospital he reported to
reception, from where he was directed to a laboratory. He wandered along a
corridor wondering just how many citizens were actually treated there for everyday
illness, and how many were brought to the hospital for special treatment. He
paused at a door marked ‘Aversion Therapy,’ and looked into the room through a
round observation window. The room was empty, he walked on. Medical staff
appeared to be very busy. A nurse hurried along carrying a kidney dish
containing cotton wool and a syringe. Two orderlies wheeled patients along on trolleys.
And a doctor in a white coat hurried along with a stethoscope about his neck.
At the end of the corridor No.2 turned right and ahead of him were a pair of
double doors, a single word etched in black LABORATORY. The doors opened and he
was greeted by a tall middle aged woman wearing a white coat. She wore her
brown hair up which gave her a severe appearance. The badge pinned to the lapel
of her coat denoted the number 56.
“Come in Number 2” the doctor’s attitude was as business-like as her hair.
No.2 entered the laboratory “I trust the development of your drug goes well?”
“I am almost ready.” she replied returning to the work bench.
“At last, now you will have the opportunity to use your drug.”
“This is not just one drug, but a cocktail of psychoactive chemicals which are based on opium, cocaine, LSD, and methylphenidate all combine to make a very powerful hallucinogenic drug” the doctor explained.
“Dependency drugs” No.2 concluded.
“Yes, but they will bring the patient out of himself.”
“I don’t want to turn the man into a drug addict, I merely want to bring about a change in his character, his personality, to bring out his inner self” No.2 explained.
“A few months ago the patient was in
“Who told you he had been in
No.2 held up a file “I have photographic evidence.”
“And what cannot speak cannot lie, yet he continues to deny the evidence even when faced with it.”
“Photographs can be faked, manipulated” the doctor told him.
“Yeeesss, that’s what he said!”
“When am I to begin the experiment?”
“I’ll tell you when, but it will not be long now.”
There was something on No.4’s mind, he came to the conclusion that only one man could help him with it. And so it was early one morning he found himself walking up the steps to the Green Dome.
under the arch his hand on the black wrought iron bell pull, he suddenly felt
rather stupid. After all two tickets for the theatre arriving anonymously in
the post, what had that to do with No.2? He took his hand off the bell pull and
was about to walk away when the door opened. The butler bowed and gestured No.4
to enter. Instead of walking into No.2’s somewhat dowdy office, he stood in a
foyer. A fireplace with a brown leather armchair beside it, pictures of sailing
ships decorated the walls, and in the middle a round table. In previous life
the table’s use was to hold farm leases and the payment of quarterly rents. The
butler opened a pair of French doors and led the way up a ramp to a pair of steel
doors which slid open revealing a large domed chamber.
“Ah a visitor, well don’t just stand there on ceremony come in come in” No.2 gestured climbing out of his black globe chair.
No.4 stepped forward and down the ramp taking in his surroundings with quiet disbelief.
“You’ve had the decorators in I see.”
“Yes, a little ostentatious perhaps.”
“Yes, its futuristic looking, minimalist.”
No.2 pressed a button on the control panel of his desk, and a black leather chair rose up though a hole in the floor “Please, do sit down.”
No.4 ignored both the chair and the offer, but walked round the purple walled chamber.
“It’s nice to receive visitors, but what have I done to deserve your coming to see me?”
“I’m wondering why you should send me two tickets to the theatre.”
“I’m sorry, you’re here to ask why I should
send you two tickets to the theatre.”
“Yes” said No.4 looking at the large wall screen “what’s that?”
“Its said to be relaxing if you sit looking at it long enough.”
“The effect on the screen is the same as in the two Astro Lamps in my cottage.”
“If you see me as your anonymous benefactor then I can tell you, you are mistaken.”
“Mistaken, about you? No, and I have never seen you as being my benefactor.”
“But it does mean you can take a friend.”
“I don’t have any friends!” he said tossing one of the tickets onto the desk.
“What’s that?” he asked leaning forward and looking at the square card lying on his desk.
“A ticket to the theatre, I thought we could go together.”
No.4 left the Green Dome and returned to his cottage. No.2 picked up the receiver of the yellow telephone “Put me through to the hospital, the doctor Number 56……Number 56 we must bring the
forward………I can’t help that, he knows, he just brought
ticket to the theatre…….tonight!”
The maid closed the curtains, turned down
the bed, and then busied herself in the kitchen making No.4 his nightcap of hot
He emerged from the bathroom to see the maid come out of the bedroom, having
placed a cup and saucer on the bedside table.
“Goodnight sir” she greeted him.
“Goodnight” he replied and went through into the bedroom as the maid left his cottage.
He sat on the edge of the bed drinking his nightcap, he had taken a book from the library ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,’ as a boy it had been a story which had fascinated him. Picking up the book he climbed into bed and began to read.
“Mr. Utterson the lawyer was a man of a
rugged countenance, that was never lighted by a smile; cold, scanty and
embarrassed in discourse; backward in sentiment; lean, long, dusty, dreary, and
yet somehow lovable. At friendly meetings, and when the wine was to his taste,
something eminently human beaconed from his eye; something indeed which never
found its way into his talk, but which spoke not only in these silent symbols
of the after-dinner face, but more often and loudly in the acts of his life. He
was austere with himself; drank gin when he was alone, to mortify a taste for
vintages; and though he enjoyed the theatre, had not crossed the doors of one
for twenty years. But he had an approved tolerance for others; sometimes
wondering, almost with envy, at the high pressure of spirits involved in their
misdeeds; and in any extremity inclined to help rather than to reprove.
“I incline to, Cain’s heresy,” he used to
say. “I let my brother go to the devil in his quaintly: “own way.” In this
character, it was frequently his fortune to be the last reputable acquaintance
and the last good influence in the lives of down-going men. And to such as
these, so long as they came about his chambers, he never marked a shade of
change in his demeanour.
No doubt the feat was easy to Mr. Utterson;
for he was undemonstrative at the best, and even his friendship seemed to be
founded in a similar catholicity of good-nature. It is the mark of a modest man
to accept his friendly circle ready-made from the hands of opportunity; and
that was the lawyer’s way. His friends were those of his own blood or those
whom he had known the longest; his affections, like ivy, were the growth of
time, they implied no aptness in the object. Hence, no doubt, the bond that
united him to Mr. Richard Enfield, his distant kinsman, the well-known man
Two medical orderlies entered the cottage of 4 Private, between them they carried a stretcher. Laying it upon the floor the two turned their attention to the slumbering figure in the bed. The book had slipped from his hand and now lay upon the floor. One of them picked
and marking the page placed it upon the bedside table, while the other checked
the cup making sure its contents had been drunk. The subject’s pulse was checked,
an eyelid raised, and then placed on the stretcher and taken to a waiting
In the laboratory No.2 and the doctor-No.56
waited the arrival of the subject.
“Our friend should be with us any minute” said No.2 casually “You have the drug to the exact proportions?”
“Of course, but the reaction might not be
the one you are expecting.”
“How do you mean?”
“How do you find the subject’s character?”
“He has been uncooperative, stubborn, and single-minded in refusing to give away the smallest detail.”
“And his general demeanour?”
“Has been calm, calculating, un-bothersome.”
“He doesn’t go poking his nose in business which is none of his concern, nor has he tried to escape.”
“And you find something wrong in that?”
No.2 thought for a moment “He’s clever, but he knows his limitations. He will attempt to escape only when the conditions are right. He’s not one to expend energy uselessly.”
“And you want to draw out his inner self; I think you’re asking for trouble!” the doctor said checking a syringe.
“What do you mean by that?”
Before the doctor could expand upon what she had said the pair of doors to the laboratory opened and the two male orderlies wheeled No.4 in on a trolley.
“Ah good” said No.2 “we can begin.”
“Place him in the chair” the doctor ordered “then you can go.”
“Is this going to take all-night?” No.2 asked.
The doctor was busy restraining the subject in the chair.
“Is that necessary?”
“The subject may become violent, its always best to take precautions” pulling up the pyjama sleeve of the subject’s left arm took the syringe and injected her cocktail of drugs “Now we wait” she said.
They did not have to wait long for a
reaction. The subject’s body began to shake violently and he strained against
the restraints, a sudden change came over the subject and he spoke in anger.
“What in Hades is this shite all about, why am I all trussed up ready for the oven?” a whole mouthful of obscenities issued forth from this foul creature’s mouth “When I get out of this chair I’ll snap your neck like a twig you spineless cretin. As for you gorgeous I’m going to enjoy you!” he strained violently against the restraints, which looked fit to bust at any moment.
“This isn’t the reaction I expected” No.2
said stepping well back.
“Of course it isn’t sweet cheeks, now let me out of this chair. You, missie untie me, untie me now or I’ll do indescribable things to you. I’ll bash your face in, I’ll hurt you bad. I’ll tear out your guts and spread them all over the place. I’ll eat your liver and kidneys…….I’ll aggghhhhh what have you given me?”
The doctor prepared a hypodermic “And you thought you could deal with his other self!”
“What, what’s that?” said the subject.
“Nothing more than a strong sedative” said the doctor holding a syringe in readiness.
“No, no you can’t do that. You let me out, and if you think you’re putting me back…..”
No.2 took a step or two forward “Give me some information and we’ll not put you back.”
“What, you dare to make a deal with me sugar, who are you to make deals with me? Why if I wasn’t trussed up like this I’d rip your gizzard out and feed it to the pigs!”
“Tell me what you were doing in
No.2 repeated the question “What were you doing in
“Was I in
“Just answer the question.”
“Why should I answer your sodding question?”
“Alright, put him back, sedate him” No.2 ordered turning his back on the subject.
The doctor stepped forward at that moment a wrist restraint gave way under the pressure, and a hand reached for 56’s throat as the needle entered his arm, the doctor managed to pull herself away. The subject’s free hand tore at the other restraint, he felt the buckle at his midriff and started to undo it. Then the sedative began to take effect, the hand fell limp.
“Klaussmann” was the single word that passed No.4’s lips before he fell into black oblivion
“Klausmann, get him back” No.2 ordered “I must have him back, another does of the drug!”
it was too late. No.2 stared at the doctor in disbelief “I was sure I could
have made a deal with him.”
“Well now you know differently, don’t you?”
“We can try again, tomorrow” No.2 urged the doctor.
“I think once was quite enough, don’t you?”
“You could lesson the strength of the drug.”
“You wanted me to bring the subject out of himself, I did, did you like what we ended up with?”
“But he has things to tell me” 2 demanded.
The doctor opened the laboratory door, and beckoned the two orderlies in “Take this man back to his cottage and put him to bed.”
The next morning No.4 woke, his head
aching, and there was a nasty taste in his mouth, his wrists were red a raw, as
were his ankles. Now how had he received those? Climbing out of bed he went
through to the bathroom. Turning on the shower he held his head in the cold
water to help revive himself. With a towel he dried his hair, and looking in
the mirror he looked at his face, and poked out his tongue it wasn’t a pretty
After a cold shower, he dressed and found an
appendage pinned on the left lapel of his blazer, a black badge. Etched upon it
was a white Penny Farthing bicycle with the addition of a canopy, and the white
number 4. For breakfast he made coffee and toast, then went out into the
village. He was greeted by a clear blue sky and sunshine. He walked along the road,
a taxi warned him of its approach and drove passed. A cyclist rang his bell in
“Shove that bell up your arse!”
Now why had he shouted that out?
No.32 looked in shock at No.4 as she walked passed.
“What are you looking at you hatched faced old crone?”
He had shocked himself, that wasn’t like him at all. He shook the feeling off and continued on his walk.
Crossing the lawn he walked up the steps into the Piazza where citizens in their brightly coloured clothes were promenading, a taxi drove slowly passed. In the middle of the Piazza was a pool and fountain, a signpost indicated “
“Stupid damned thing” he shouted “free sea, what the clucking hell do they mean by that?”
People began to laugh “Did he say clucking hell?”
“Yes we all know what he meant to say, but couldn’t bring himself to say it!”
“What is he, too much the social convert that he can’t bring himself to swear?”
No.4 stared at the young man in a grey blazer and stepped lively towards him “You laughing at me?”
“You laughing at me, you’re all laughing at me, well I couldn’t give a damn. You’re all scum, scum, sum” and with that he pushed No.128 into the
“I’ll report you for this, you see if I don’t” said the man standing
in the water.
“Oh go and boil your head, think I’m scared of Number 2, well I aint, I aint scared of no-one.”
A little old lady sat on a bench looking at what was going on “You’ll die in your bed alone you will” she told him.
“Is that what I’ll do, well so long as I don’t wake up one morning lying next to you, you old bag!” he shouted.
In the Control Room a Watcher reported a disturbance in the Piazza.
“Put up camera 23” ordered the officer of the watch and stood watching the disturbance on the wall screen.
“That’s not like him” No.60, the officer of the watch’s assistant remarked.
“It’s certainly out of character to cause trouble for troubles sake” he picked up the receiver of the yellow telephone “Get me Number 2.”
“Number 2…….yes officer of the watch…….is
he, well certainly that’s not like him……just a minute” he covered the mouth
piece of the receiver and pressed a button on the control panel of his desk
“Doctor….yes….Number 4…..what about him?........How long does it take for that
drug of yours to wear off?.........It should have done long before now,
why?.......It hasn’t!......I don’t understand?....Mister Hyde is alive and
well, and living in the village!” No.2 pressed a second button and the
communication was ended, he returned to the phone “Officer of the watch, have
Number 4 picked up by security and brought to my office.”
Within minutes a high pitched wine of a siren could be heard as a white Mini-Moke sped through the village. Two figures sat in the vehicle, both dressed in grey overalls, wearing white helmets and gloves.
“There he is” said No.256.
The Mini-Moke pulled to the side of the road and the two security men, truncheons drawn, jumped out of the taxi and approached No.4.
“Now we’re not looking for trouble” 234 said.
“Well you’ve certainly gone out of your way to find it” No.4 said preparing himself for the oncoming attack.
“Are you going to come along quietly?” asked 256.
“Piss-off you poor excuse for crushers” *
When the attack came the two security men brandishing their truncheons laid in hard on No.4, who gave as good as he got, better as he defended blow after blow, kicking and punching back. Then relieving one of the security guards of his truncheon it helped No.4 batter and bruise the two “snowdrops” who were left lying unconscious in the road.
No.4 dropped the blooded truncheon, looked at the taxi and climbed in behind the wheel, starting the engine, engaging first gear and drove off at speed.
The turquoise telephone on No.2’s desk
began to bleep, picking up the receiver he announced himself “What!” he cried
sitting back in his chair unable to believe what he was being told.
The officer of the watch continued with his report “He’s driving like a madman, terrifying the citizens with his dangerous and erratic driving, he’ll run someone down if he’s not stopped!”
“Yes I hear what you say. Yellow alert, if he comes close to any of the Posts they are cleared to shoot the tyres of the Mini-Moke” No.2 instructed.
“Yes Number 2” said the officer of the watch pressing the cradle of the telephone “attention all Posts yellow alert, yellow alert. You are clear to shoot out the tyres of the Moke.”
Located at various points, both near and far, are a number of “Posts,” armed guards who help to protect the village and put a stop to any escaping Prisoners. In this case No.4 in a Mini-Moke, driving passed the Town Hall, down the hill towards the Old People’s Home, round the hairpin bend, down the slipway and out across the sand of the estuary.
In the Control Room No.28 had been watching No.4’s progress on the wall screen, he picked up the receiver of the yellow telephone “Attention Post 5, approaching now, Number 4 escaping in our vehicle, I repeat Number 4.”
Atop of the cliffs Post 5 had already observed the approaching vehicle through his binoculars when he received the message from the Control Room. Putting the binoculars down he took up his rifle, the butt wedged against his shoulder as he took aim on the approaching vehicle through the telescopic sight. It would be easy for him to take out the driver through the windscreen, but Post 5 lowered his sight on the front off-side wheel. From the cliff top there was a sudden glint in the sunlight and No.4 saw it. He pulled hard on the steering wheel, the Mini-Moke veered away. A shot rang out and a tyre suddenly burst causing the driver to lose control. No.4 was thrown from the vehicle as it hit something in the sand causing it to flip and rolled over. He lay there, there was a noise in his head just before he collapsed into unconsciousness. A siren grew louder as the ambulance towing a two wheeled Red Cross trailer raced across the sand to the site of the accident.
A nurse with syringe in hand, and male orderly, jumped out of the ambulance and ran across the sand to the unconscious body lying there. A sleeve was rolled up and No.4’s wild looking eyes opened.
“No you don’t!” 4 shouted, his hands reaching for the nurse’s throat.
The male orderly took a firm grip on No.4 and pinned him down, the nurse stabbed the patient with the hypodermic, and pressed down hard on the plunger. No.4’s body collapsed, and Post 5, who had
the scene play out in his sites stood down, placing the rifle by his side he
opened the flask and poured hot coffee into a cup.
No.2 was not in the best frame of mind when
he called to see No.21 at the
“So doctor, what went wrong?”
“I don’t understand” the doctor said “the
affect of the cocktail of drugs should have worn off in his sleep. There was a
book he had been reading.”
“Book, what book?”
“The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, it was lying on his bed.”
“What’s that to do with anything?”
“It’s suggestive….don’t you think?”
“You mean Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was the last thing on his mind before you injected the drug, and his mind took on the persona of Mr. Hyde?”
“The effect of drug did last longer than I had estimated….or on the other hand. Do you wish to try again?”
“No doctor, I can’t have Number 4 running riot again. The fact of the matter is you are at fault for this” No.2 said accusingly.
“I am at fault, I like that!” the doctor replied in indignation.
“So how is the patient?”
“I’ve sedated him.”
“You can’t possibly leave him in that condition on a permanent basis. What do you intend to do doctor?”
“I shall administer a reflux to cleanse his system.”
In the theatre at the Recreation Hall the
performance of ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was well attended.
“It is well,” replied Hyde “Lanyon, you
remember your vows, what follows is under the seal of our profession. And now,
you who have so long been bound to the most narrow and material views, you who
have denied the virtue of transcendental medicine, you who have derided your
“Hyde put the glass to his lips and drank
at one gulp. A cry followed; he reeled, staggered, clutched at the table and
held on, staring with injected eyes, gasping with open mouth; and as I looked
there came, I thought, a change, he seemed to swell, his face became suddenly
black and the features seemed to melt and alter, and the next moment. Lanyon
sprang to his feet and leaped back against the wall, his arms raised to shield
me from that prodigy, my mind submerged in terror.”
“O God!” he screamed, “O God!” again and again, for there before his eyes, pale and shaken, and half fainting, and groping before him with his hands, like a man restored from death, there stood Henry Jekyll!”
It was a few days later when No.4 was
eventually discharged from the hospital, on his way home he was met by No.2.
“Ah Number 4 we are well met.”
“If you think so, then I’m happy for you.”
“You seem more your old self again. What about our trip to the theatre Number 4?”
“Strange as it may seem, but I no longer care for it!”
There was a parting of the ways as No.4 returned to his cottage.
* UK Victorian era slang term for a police officer. From the slang term beetle crushers, in reference to the heavy boots they wore in the era