Chapter 5 An Important Visitor
I did not want Merrick to live by himself, like a man in a lighthouse. He read his books, and talked to me, but I wanted him to talk to more people. And I wanted him to talk to women.
Merrick read about women in his books, but he did not often talk to women. He met the nurses every day, but they did not talk to him very much. For them, he was always a creature, not a man.
One day, one of my friends, a beautiful young woman, came to the hospital. I told her about Merrick, and took her to his room. She opened the door, and smiled at him. 'Good morning, Mr Merrick, 'she said. Then she shook his hand.
Merrick looked at her for a minute with his mouth open. Then he sat down on his bed, with his head in his hand, and cried. He cried for nearly five minutes. The tears ran down his face, between his fingers, and onto the floor.
My friend sat on the bed beside him and put her hand on his arm. She said nothing, but she smiled at him and shookhis hand again before she left.
'Dr Treves, 'he said to me that night. 'That lady was wonderful! My mother smiled at me once, many years ago, but no women smile at me now. But this lady smiled at me too, and she shook my hand! A beautiful lady smiled at me and shook my hand! '
My young lady friend came again the next week, and talked to Merrick for half an hour. The week after that, she came again with a friend. They gave him some books, and had a cup of tea with him. It was wonderful for him. For the first time in his life, he had some friends. He was a very happy man. He sat in his room, and read his books, and said no more about living on a lighthouse.
People began to read about Merrick in the newspapers, sohe had a lot of visitors. Everybody wanted to see him. A lot of important ladies and gentlemen visited him. They smiled at him, shook his hand, and gave him books. Merrick liked talk-ing to these people, and he began to forget about his uglybody. His visitors never laughed at him. He began to feel like a man, not a creature.