Chapter 6 Outside the Hospital
Merrick had a lo of friends now, but he was more like a child than a man. He could read about things, and talk to his visitors, but he could not go out of the hospital by himself. He thought and played like a child.
After Christmas, he wanted to go to the theatre. This was very difficult, because I did not want the people in the theatre to see him. But a kind lady from the theatre—Mrs Kendal—helped us. We bought tickets for a box at the side of the theatre We went to the theatre in a cab with dark windows, and we went into the theatre by a door at the back—the Queen's door. Nobody saw us.
Three nurses sat at the front of the box, and Merrick and I sat in the dark behind them. Nobody in the theatre could see us, but we could see the play.
It was a children's Christmas play. Merrick loved it. It was a most wonderful, exciting story. Often he laughed, and sometimes he tried to sing like the children in the theatre. He was like a child. For him, everything in the story was true.
Once he was very afraid, because the bad man in the play was angry and had a knife. At first Merrick wanted to leave the theatre, but I stopped him. Then he was very angry with this bad man in the play. He hit his hand on his chair, and stood up and talked to the man. But nobody heard him. When 42the bad man went to prison, Merrick laughed.
Merrick thought the beautiful young lady in the play was wonderful. He wanted to talk to her too. At the end of the play he was very happy because she married a good young man.
He remembered this play for a long time, and he talked a lot about the people in it. 'What do you think they did after we left？'he asked me. 'Where do the young lady and the young man live？ What are they doing now？'
'I don't know, I said. 'Perhaps they live in the country. '
Merrick thought about this for a long time. Then he said：'Dr Treves, can I go to the country, please？I saw the country once from a train, but I never went there. I often read about it in books. It's very beautiful, isn't it？I would like to see it. '