Origin: Библиотека "Артефакт"--http://artefact.cns.ru/library/
Энтони Берджес. Механический апельсин (engl)
Anthony Burgess was born in Manchester in 1917 and is a graduate of the
University there. After six years in the Army he worked as an instructor for
the Central Advisory Council for Forces Education, as a lecturer in
Phonetics and as a grammar school master. From 1954 till 1960 he was an
education officer in the Colonial Service, stationed in Malaya and Brunei.
He became a full-time writer in 1960, though his first novel had been
published four years earlier. A late starter in the art of fiction, he had
spent his creative energy previously on music, and he has composed many
full-scale works for orchestra and other media.
Anthony Burgess maintains his old interest in music and in linguistics,
and these have conditioned the style and content of the novels he writes.
Though he and his wife no longer live abroad, foreign travel remains a great
source of inspiration. He has, to date, published many novels, a book on
linguistics, and various critical works.
His other books in Penguin are `Inside Mr Enderby,' `Tremor of Intent'
and `Nothing Like the Sun,' a story of Shakespeare's love-life.
Fifteen-year-old Alex and his three friends start an evening's mayhem
by hitting an old man, tearing up his books and stripping him of money and
Or rather Alex and his three droogs tolchock an old veck, razrez his
books, pull off his outer platties and take a malenky bit of cutter.
For Alex's confessions are written in `nadsat'--the teenage argot of a
Because of his delinquent excesses, Alex is jailed and made subject to
`Ludovico's Technique,' a chilling experiment in Reclamation Treatment...
Horror farce? Social prophecy? Penetrating study of human choice
between good and evil? A Clockwork Orange is all three, dazzling proof of
Anthony Burgess's vast talents.
"What's it going to be then, eh?"
There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie,
and Dim. Dim being really dim, and we sat in the Korova Milkbar making up
our rassoodocks what to do with the evening, a flip dark chill winter
bastard though dry. The Korova Milkbar was a milk-plus mesto, and you may, O
my brothers, have forgotten what these mestos were like, things changing so
skorry these days and everybody very quick to forget, newspapers not being
read much neither. Well, what they sold there was milk plus something else.
They had no licence for selling liquor, but there was no law yet against
prodding some of the new veshches which they used to put into the old
moloko, so you could peet it with vellocet or synthemesc or drencrom or one
or two other veshches which would give you a nice quiet horrorshow fifteen
minutes admiring Bog And All His Holy Angels and Saints in your left shoe
with lights bursting all over your mozg. Or you could peet milk with knives
in it, as we used to say, and this would sharpen you up and make you ready
for a bit of dirty twenty-to-one, and that was what we were peeting this
evening I'm starting off the story with.
Our pockets were full of deng, so there was no real need from the point
of view of crasting any more pretty polly to tolchock some old veck in an
alley and viddy him swim in his blood while we counted the takings and
divided by four, nor to do the ultra-violent on some shivering starry
grey-haired ptitsa in a shop and go smecking off with the till's guts. But,
as they say, money isn't everything.
The four of us were dressed in the height of fashion, which in those
days was a pair of black very tight tights with the old jelly mould, as we
called it, fitting on the crotch underneath the tights, this being to
protect and also a sort of a design you could viddy clear enough in a
certain light, so that I had one in the shape of a spider, Pete had a rooker
(a hand, that is), Georgie had a very fancy one of a flower, and poor old
Dim had a very hound-and-horny one of a clown's litso (face, that is). Dim
not ever having much of an idea of things and being, beyond all shadow of a
doubting thomas, the dimmest of we four. Then we wore waisty jackets without
lapels but with these very big built-up shoulders (`pletchoes' we called
them) which were a kind of a mockery of having real shoulders like that.
Then, my brothers, we had these off-white cravats which looked like
whipped-up kartoffel or spud with a sort of a design made on it with a fork.
We wore our hair not too long and we had flip horrorshow boots for kicking.
"What's it going to be then, eh?"
There were three devotchkas sitting at the counter all together, but
there were four of us malchicks and it was usually like one for all and all
for one. These sharps were dressed in the heighth of fashion too, with
purple and green and orange wigs on their gullivers, each one not costing
less than three or four weeks of those sharps' wages, I should reckon, and
make-up to match (rainbows round the glazzies, that is, and the rot painted
very wide). Then they had long black very straight dresses, and on the
groody part of them they had little badges of like silver with different
malchicks' names on them--Joe and Mike and suchlike. These were supposed to
be the names of the different malchicks they'd spatted with before they were
fourteen. They kept looking our way and I nearly felt like saying the three
of us (out of the corner of my rot, that is) should go off for a bit of pol
and leave poor old Dim behind, because it would be just a matter of
kupetting Dim a demi-litre of white but this time with a dollop of
synthemesc in it, but that wouldn't really have been playing like the game.
Dim was very very ugly and like his name, but he was a horrorshow filthy
fighter and very handy with the boot.
"What's it going to be then, eh?"
The chelloveck sitting next to me, there being this long big plushy
seat that ran round three walls, was well away with his glazzies glazed and
sort of burbling slovos like "Aristotle wishy washy works outing cyclamen
get forficulate smartish." He was in the land all right, well away, in
orbit, and I knew what it was like, having tried it like everybody else had
done, but at this time I'd got to thinking it was a cowardly sort of a
veshch, O my brothers. You'd lay there after you'd drunk the old moloko and
then you got the messel that everything all round you was sort of in the
past. You could viddy it all right, all of it, very clear--tables, the
stereo, the lights, the sharps and the malchicks--but it was like some
veshch that used to be there but was not there not no more. And you were
sort of hypnotized by your boot or shoe or a finger-nail as it might be, and
at the same time you were sort of picked up by the old scruff and shook like
you might be a cat. You got shook and shook till there was nothing left. You
lost your name and your body and your self and you just didn't care, and you
waited until your boot or finger-nail got yellow, then yellower and yellower
all the time. Then the lights started cracking like atomics and the boot or
finger-nail or, as it might be, a bit of dirt on your trouser-bottom turned
into a big big big mesto, bigger than the whole world, and you were just
going to get introduced to old Bog or God when it was all over. You came
back to here and now whimpering sort of, with your rot all squaring up for a
boohoohoo. Now that's very nice but very cowardly. You were not put on this
earth just to get in touch with God. That sort of thing could sap all the
strength and the goodness out of a chelloveck.
"What's it going to be then, eh?"
The stereo was on and you got the idea that the singer's goloss was
moving from one part of the bar to another, flying up to the ceiling and
then swooping down again and whizzing from wall to wall. It was Berti Laski
rasping a real starry oldie called `You Blister My Paint.' One of the three
ptitsas at the counter, the one with the green wig, kept pushing her belly
out and pulling it in in time to what they called the music. I could feel
the knives in the old moloko starting to prick, and now I was ready for a
bit of twenty-to-one. So I yelped: "Out out out out!" like a doggie, and
then I cracked this veck who was sitting next to me and well away and
burbling a horrorshow crack on the ooko or earhole, but he didn't feel it
and went on with his "Telephonic hardware and when the farfarculule gets
rubadubdub." He'd feel it all right when he came to, out of the land.
"Where out?" said Georgie.
"Oh, just to keep walking," I said, "and viddy what turns up, O my
So we scatted out into the big winter nochy and walked down Marghanita
Boulevard and then turned into Boothby Avenue, and there we found what we
were pretty well looking for, a malenky jest to start off the evening with.
There was a doddery starry schoolmaster type veck, glasses on and his rot
open to the cold nochy air. He had books under his arm and a crappy umbrella
and was coming round the corner from the Public Biblio, which not many
lewdies used these days. You never really saw many of the older bourgeois
type out after nightfall those days, what with the shortage of police and we
fine young malchickiwicks about, and this prof type chelloveck was the only
one walking in the whole of the street. So we goolied up to him, very
polite, and I said: "Pardon me, brother."
He looked a malenky bit poogly when he viddied the four of us like
that, coming up so quiet and polite and smiling, but he said: "Yes? What is
it?" in a very loud teacher-type goloss, as if he was trying to show us he
wasn't poogly. I said:
"I see you have books under your arm, brother. It is indeed a rare
pleasure these days to come across somebody that still reads, brother."
"Oh," he said, all shaky. "Is it? Oh, I see." And he kept looking from
one to the other of we four, finding himself now like in the middle of a
very smiling and polite square.
"Yes," I said. "It would interest me greatly, brother, if you would
kindly allow me to see what books those are that you have under your arm. I
like nothing better in this world than a good clean book, brother."
"Clean," he said. "Clean, eh?" And then Pete skvatted these three books
from him and handed them round real skorry.
Being three, we all had one each to viddy at except for Dim. The one I
had was called `Elementary Crystallography,' so I opened it up and said:
"Excellent, really first-class," keeping turning the pages. Then I said in a
very shocked type goloss: "But what is this here? What is this filthy slovo?
I blush to look at this word. You disappoint me, brother, you do really."
"But," he tried, "but, but."
"Now," said Georgie, "here is what I should call real dirt. There's one
slovo beginning with an f and another with a c." He had a book called `The
Miracle of the Snowflake.'
"Oh," said poor old Dim, smotting over Pete's shoulder and going too
far, like he always did, "it says here what he done to her, and there's a
picture and all. Why," he said, "you're nothing but a filthy-minded old
"An old man of your age, brother," I said, and I started to rip up the
book I'd got, and the others did the same with the ones they had. Dim and
Pete doing a tug-of-war with `The Rhombohedral System.' The starry prof type
began to creech: "But those are not mine, those are the property of the
municipality, this is sheer wantonness and vandal work," or some such
slovos. And he tried to sort of wrest the books back off of us, which was
like pathetic. "You deserve to be taught a lesson, brother," I said, "that
you do." This crystal book I had was very tough-bound and hard to razrez to
bits, being real starry and made in days when things were made to last like,
but I managed to rip the pages up and chuck them in handfuls of like
snowflakes, though big, all over this creeching old veck, and then the
others did the same with theirs, old Dim just dancing about like the clown
he was. "There you are," said Pete. "There's the mackerel of the cornflake
for you, you dirty reader of filth and nastiness."
"You naughty old veck, you," I said, and then we began to filly about
with him. Pete held his rookers and Georgie sort of hooked his rot wide open
for him and Dim yanked out his false zoobies, upper and lower. He threw
these down on the pavement and then I treated them to the old boot-crush,
though they were hard bastards like, being made of some new horrorshow
plastic stuff. The old veck began to make sort of chumbling shooms--"wuf waf
wof"--so Georgie let go of holding his goobers apart and just let him have
one in the toothless rot with his ringy fist, and that made the old veck
start moaning a lot then, then out comes the blood, my brothers, real
beautiful. So all we did then was to pull his outer platties off, stripping
him down to his vest and long underpants (very starry; Dim smecked his head
off near), and then Pete kicks him lovely in his pot, and we let him go. He
went sort of staggering off, it not having been too hard of a tolchock
really, going "Oh oh oh," not knowing where or what was what really, and we
had a snigger at him and then riffled through his pockets, Dim dancing round
with his crappy umbrella meanwhile, but there wasn't much in them.
There were a few starry letters, some of them dating right back to 1960
with "My dearest dearest" in them and all that chepooka, and a keyring and a
starry leaky pen. Old Dim gave up his umbrella dance and of course had to
start reading one of the letters out loud, like to show the empty street he
could read. "My darling one," he recited, in this very high type goloss, "I
shall be thinking of you while you are away and hope you will remember to
wrap up warm when you go out at night." Then he let out a very shoomny
smeck--"Ho ho ho"--pretending to start wiping his yahma with it. "All
right," I said. "Let it go, O my brothers." In the trousers of this starry
veck there was only a malenky bit of cutter (money, that is)--not more than
three gollies--so we gave all his messy little coin the scatter treatment,
it being hen-korm to the amount of pretty polly we had on us already. Then
we smashed the umbrella and razrezzed his platties and gave them to the
blowing winds, my brothers, and then we'd finished with the starry teacher
type veck. We hadn't done much, I know, but that was only like the start of
the evening and I make no appy polly loggies to thee or thine for that. The
knives in the milk plus were stabbing away nice and horrorshow now.
The next thing was to do the sammy act, which was one way to unload
some of our cutter so we'd have more of an incentive like for some
shop-crasting, as well as it being a way of buying an alibi in advance, so
we went into the Duke of New York on Amis Avenue and sure enough in the snug
there were three or four old baboochkas peeting their black and suds on SA
(State Aid). Now we were the very good malchicks, smiling good evensong to
one and all, though these wrinkled old lighters started to get all shook,
their veiny old rookers all trembling round their glasses, and making the
suds spill on the table. "Leave us be, lads," said one of them, her face all
mappy with being a thousand years old, "we're only poor old women." But we
just made with the zoobies, flash flash flash, sat down, rang the bell, and
waited for the boy to come. When he came, all nervous and rubbing his
rookers on his grazzy apron, we ordered us four veterans--a veteran being
rum and cherry brandy mixed, which was popular just then, some liking a dash
of lime in it, that being the Canadian variation. Then I said to the boy:
"Give these poor old baboochkas over there a nourishing something.
Large Scotchmen all round and something to take away." And I poured my
pocket of deng all over the table, and the other three did likewise, O my
brothers. So double firegolds were bought in for the scared starry lighters,
and they knew not what to do or say. One of them got out "Thanks, lads," but
you could see they thought there was something dirty like coming. Anyway,
they were each given a bottle of Yank General, cognac that is, to take away,
and I gave money for them to be delivered each a dozen of black and suds
that following morning, they to leave their stinking old cheenas' addresses
at the counter. Then with the cutter that was left over we did purchase, my
brothers, all the meat pies, pretzels, cheese-snacks, crisps and chocbars in
that mesto, and those too were for the old sharps. Then we said: "Back in a
minoota," and the old ptitsas were still saying: "Thanks, lads," and "God
bless you, boys," and we were going out without one cent of cutter in our
"Makes you feel real dobby, that does," said Pete. You could viddy that
poor old Dim the dim didn't quite pony all that, but he said nothing for
fear of being called gloopy and a domeless wonderboy. Well, we went off now
round the corner to Attlee Avenue, and there was this sweets and cancers
shop still open. We'd left them alone near three months now and the whole
district had been very quiet on the whole, so the armed millicents or rozz
patrols weren't round there much, being more north of the river these days.
We put our maskies on--new jobs these were, real horrorshow, wonderfully
done really; they were like faces of historical personalities (they gave you
the names when you bought) and I had Disraeli, Pete had Elvis Presley,
Georgie had Henry VIII and poor old Dim had a poet veck called Peebee
Shelley; they were a real like disguise, hair and all, and they were some
very special plastic veshch so you could roll it up when you'd done with it
and hide it in your boot--then three of us went in.
Pete keeping chasso without, not that there was anything to worry about
out there. As soon as we launched on the shop we went for Slouse who ran it,
a big portwine jelly of a veck who viddied at once what was coming and made
straight for the inside where the telephone was and perhaps his well-oiled
pooshka, complete with six dirty rounds. Dim was round that counter skorry
as a bird, sending packets of snoutie flying and cracking over a big cut-out
showing a sharp with all her zoobies going flash at the customers and her
groodies near hanging out to advertise some new brand of cancers. What you
could viddy then was a sort of a big ball rolling into the inside of the
shop behind the curtain, this being old Dim and Slouse sort of locked in a
death struggle. Then you could slooshy panting and snoring and kicking
behind the curtain and veshches falling over and swearing and then glass
going smash smash smash. Mother Slouse, the wife, was sort of froze behind
the counter. We could tell she would creech murder given one chance, so I
was round that counter very skorry and had a hold of her, and a horrorshow
big lump she was too, all nuking of scent and with flipflop big bobbing
groodies on her. I'd got my rooker round her rot to stop her belting out
death and destruction to the four winds of heaven, but this lady doggie gave
me a large foul big bite on it and it was me that did the creeching, and
then she opened up beautiful with a flip yell for the millicents. Well, then
she had to be tolchocked proper with one of the weights for the scales, and
then a fair tap with a crowbar they had for opening cases, and that brought
the red out like an old friend. So we had her down on the floor and a rip of
her platties for fun and a gentle bit of the boot to stop her moaning. And,
viddying her lying there with her groodies on show, I wondered should I or
not, but that was for later on in the evening. Then we cleaned the till, and
there was flip horrorshow takings that nochy, and we had a few packs of the
very best top cancers apiece, then off we went, my brothers.
"A real big heavy great bastard he was," Dim kept saying. I didn't like
the look of Dim: he looked dirty and untidy, like a veck who'd been in a
fight, which he had been, of course, but you should never look as though you
have been. His cravat was like someone had trampled on it, his maskie had
been pulled off and he had floor-dirt on his litso, so we got him in an
alleyway and tidied him up a malenky bit, soaking our tashtooks in spit to
cheest the dirt off. The things we did for old Dim. We were back in the Duke
of New York very skorry and I reckoned by my watch we hadn't been more than
ten minutes away. The starry old baboochkas were still there on the black
and suds and Scotchmen we'd bought them, and we said: "Hallo there, girlies,
what's it going to be?" They started on the old "Very kind, lads, God bless
you, boys," and so we rang the collocol and brought a different waiter in
this time and we ordered beers with rum in, being sore athirst, my brothers,
and whatever the old ptitsas wanted. Then I said to the old baboochkas: "We
haven't been out of here, have we? Been here all the time, haven't we?" They
all caught on real skorry and said:
"That's right, lads. Not been out of our sight, you haven't. God bless
you, boys," drinking.
Not that it mattered much, really. About half an hour went by before
there was any sign of life among the millicents, and then it was only two
very young rozzes that came in, very pink under their big copper's
shlemmies. One said:
"You lot know anything about the happenings at Slouse's shop this
"Us?" I said, innocent. "Why, what happened?"
"Stealing and roughing. Two hospitalizations. Where've you lot been
"I don't go for that nasty tone," I said. "I don't care much for these
nasty insinuations. A very suspicious nature all this betokeneth, my little
"They've been in here all night, lads," the old sharps started to
creech out. "God bless them, there's no better lot of boys living for
kindness and generosity. Been here all the time they have. Not seen them
move we haven't."
"We're only asking," said the other young millicent. "We've got our job
to do like anyone else." But they gave us the nasty warning look before they
went out. As they were going out we handed them a bit of lip-music:
brrrrzzzzrrrr. But, myself, I couldn't help a bit of disappointment at
things as they were those days. Nothing to fight against really. Everything
as easy as kiss-my-sharries. Still, the night was still very young.
When we got outside of the Duke of New York we viddied by the main
bar's long lighted window, a burbling old pyahnitsa or drunkie, howling away
at the filthy songs of his fathers and going blerp blerp in between as
though it might be a filthy old orchestra in his stinking rotten guts. One
veshch I could never stand was that. I could never stand to see a moodge all
filthy and rolling and burping and drunk, whatever his age might be, but
more especially when he was real starry like this one was. He was sort of
flattened to the wall and his platties were a disgrace, all creased and
untidy and covered in cal and mud and filth and stuff. So we got hold of him
and cracked him with a few good horrorshow tolchoks, but he still went on
singing. The song went:
And I will go back to my darling, my darling,
When you, my darling, are gone.
But when Dim fisted him a few times on his filthy drunkard's rot he
shut up singing and started to creech: "Go on, do me in, you bastard
cowards, I don't want to live anyway, not in a stinking world like this
one." I told Dim to lay off a bit then, because it used to interest me
sometimes to slooshy what some of these starry decreps had to say about life
and the world. I said: "Oh. And what's stinking about it?"
He cried out: "It's a stinking world because it lets the young get on
to the old like you done, and there's no law nor order no more." He was
creeching out loud and waving his rookers and making real horrorshow with
the slovos, only the odd blurp blurp coming from his keeshkas, like
something was orbiting within, or like some very rude interrupting sort of a
moodge making a shoom, so that this old veck kept sort of threatening it
with his fists, shouting: "It's no world for any old man any longer, and
that means that I'm not one bit scared of you, my boyos, because I'm too
drunk to feel the pain if you hit me, and if you kill me I'll be glad to be
We smecked and then grinned but said nothing, and then he said: "What
sort of a world is it at all? Men on the moon and men spinning round the
earth like it might be midges round a lamp, and there's not more attention
paid to earthly law nor order no more. So your worst you may do, you filthy
cowardly hooligans." Then he gave us some lip-music--"Prrrrzzzzrrrr"--like
we'd done to those young millicents, and then he started singing again:
Oh dear dear land, I fought for thee
And brought thee peace and victory--
So we cracked into him lovely, grinning all over our litsos, but he
still went on singing. Then we tripped him so he laid down flat and heavy
and a bucketload of beer-vomit came whooshing out. That was disgusting so we
gave him the boot, one go each, and then it was blood, not song nor vomit,
that came out of his filthy old rot. Then we went on our way.
It was round by the Municipal Power Plant that we came across Billyboy
and his five droogs. Now in those days, my brothers, the teaming up was
mostly by fours or fives, these being like auto-teams, four being a comfy
number for an auto, and six being the outside limit for gang-size. Sometimes
gangs would gang up so as to make like malenky armies for big night-war, but
mostly it was best to roam in these like small numbers. Billyboy was
something that made me want to sick just to viddy his fat grinning litso,
and he always had this von of very stale oil that's been used for frying
over and over, even when he was dressed in his best platties, like now. They
viddied us just as we viddied them, and there was like a very quit kind of
watching each other now. This would be real, this would be proper, this
would be the nozh, the oozy, the britva, not just fisties and boots.
Billyboy and his droogs stopped what they were doing, which was just getting
ready to perform something on a weepy young devotchka they had there, not
more than ten, she creeching away but with her platties still on. Billyboy
holding her by one rooker and his number-one, Leo, holding the other. They'd
probably just been doing the dirty slovo part of the act before getting down
to a malenky bit of ultra-violence. When they viddied us a-coming they let
go of this boo-hooing little ptitsa, there being plenty more where she came
from, and she ran with her thin white legs flashing through the dark, still
going "Oh oh oh." I said, smiling very wide and droogie: "Well, if it isn't
fat stinking billygoat Billyboy in poison. How art thou, thou globby bottle
of cheap stinking chip-oil? Come and get one in the yarbles, if you have any
yarbles, you eunuch jelly, thou." And then we started.
There were four of us to six of them, like I have already indicated,
but poor old Dim, for all his dimness, was worth three of the others in
sheer madness and dirty fighting. Dim had a real horrorshow length of oozy
or chain round his waist, twice wound round, and he unwound this and began
to swing it beautiful in the eyes or glazzies. Pete and Georgie had good
sharp nozhes, but I for my own part had a fine starry horrorshow cut-throat
britva which, at that time, I could flash and shine artistic. So there we
were dratsing away in the dark, the old Luna with men on it just coming up,
the stars stabbing away as it might be knives anxious to join in the
dratsing. With my britva I managed to slit right down the front of one of
Billyboy's droog's platties, very very neat and not even touching the plott
under the cloth. Then in the dratsing this droog of Billyboy's suddenly
found himself all opened up like a peapod, with his belly bare and his poor
old yarbles showing, and then he got very razdraz, waving and screaming and
losing his guard and letting in old Dim with his chain snaking
whisssssshhhhhhhhh, so that old Dim chained him right in the glazzies, and
this droog of Billyboy's went tottering off and howling his heart out. We
were doing very horrorshow, and soon we had Billyboy's number-one down
underfoot, blinded with old Dim's chain and crawling and howling about like
an animal, but with one fair boot on the gulliver he was out and out and
Of the four of us Dim, as usual, came out the worst in point of looks,
that is to say his litso was all bloodied and his platties a dirty mess, but
the others of us were still cool and whole. It was stinking fatty Billyboy I
wanted now, and there I was dancing about with my britva like I might be a
barber on board a ship on a very rough sea, trying to get in at him with a
few fair slashes on his unclean oily litso. Billyboy had a nozh, a long
flick-type, but he was a malenky bit too slow and heavy in his movements to
vred anyone really bad. And, my brothers, it was real satisfaction to me to
waltz--left two three, right two three--and carve left cheeky and right
cheeky, so that like two curtains of blood seemed to pour out at the same
time, one on either side of his fat filthy oily snout in the winter
starlight. Down this blood poured in like red curtains, but you could viddy
Billyboy felt not a thing, and he went lumbering on like a filthy fatty
bear, poking at me with his nozh.
Then we slooshied the sirens and knew the millicents were coming with
pooshkas pushing out of the police-auto-windows at the ready. That weepy
little devotchka had told them, no doubt, there being a box for calling the
rozzes not too far behind the Muni Power Plant. "Get you soon, fear not," I
called, "stinking billygoat. I'll have your yarbles off lovely." Then off
they ran, slow and panting, except for Number One Leo out snoring on the
ground, away north towards the river, and we went the other way. Just round
the next turning was an alley, dark and empty and open at both ends, and we
rested there, panting fast then slower, then breathing like normal. It was
like resting between the feet of two terrific and very enormous mountains,
these being the flatblocks, and in the windows of all the flats you could
viddy like blue dancing light. This would be the telly. Tonight was what thy
called a worldcast, meaning that the same programme was being viddied by
everybody in the world that wanted to, that being mostly the middle-aged
middle-class lewdies. There would be some big famous stupid comic chelloveck
or black singer, and it was all being bounced off the special telly
satellites in outer space, my brothers. We waited panting, and we could
slooshy the sirening millicents going east, so we knew we were all right
now. But poor old Dim kept looking up at the stars and planets and the Luna
with his rot wide open like a kid who'd never viddied any such things
before, and he said:
"What's on them, I wonder. What would be up there on things like that?"
I nudged him hard, saying: "Come, gloopy bastard as thou art. Think
thou not on them. There'll be life like down here most likely, with some
getting knifed and others doing the knifing. And now, with the nochy still
molodoy, let us be on our way, O my brothers." The others smecked at this,
but poor old Dim looked at me serious, then up again at the stars and the
Luna. So we went on our way down the alley, with the worldcast blueing on on
either side. What we needed now was an auto, so we turned left coming out of
the alley, knowing right away we were in Priestly Place as soon as we
viddied the big bronze statue of some starry poet with an apey upper lip and
a pipe stuck in a droopy old rot. Going north we came to the filthy old
Filmdrome, peeling and dropping to bits through nobody going there much
except malchicks like me and my droogs, and then only for a yell or a razrez
or a bit of in-out-in-out in the dark. We could viddy from the poster on the
Filmdrome's face, a couple of fly-dirtied spots trained on it, that there
was the usual cowboy riot, with the archangels on the side of the US marshal
six-shooting at the rustlers out of hell's fighting legions, the kind of
hound-and-horny veshch put out by Statefilm in those days. The autos parked
by the sinny weren't all that horrorshow, crappy starry veshches most of
them, but there was a newish Durango 95 that I thought might do. Georgie had
one of these polyclefs, as they called them, on his keyring, so we were soon
aboard--Dim and Pete at the back, puffing away lordly at their cancers--and
I turned on the ignition and started her up and she grumbled away real
horrorshow, a nice warm vibraty feeling grumbling all through your
guttiwuts. Then I made with the noga, and we backed out lovely, and nobody
viddied us take off.
We fillied round what was called the backtown for a bit, scaring old
vecks and cheenas that were crossing the roads and zigzagging after cats and
that. Then we took the road west. There wasn't much traffic about, so I kept
pushing the old noga through the floorboards near, and the Durango 95 ate up
the road like spaghetti. Soon it was winter trees and dark, my brothers,
with a country dark, and at one place I ran over something big with a
snarling toothy rot in the head-lamps, then it screamed and squelched under
and old Dim at the back near laughed his gulliver off--"Ho ho ho"--at that.
Then we saw one young malchick with his sharp, lubbilubbing under a
tree, so we stopped and cheered at them, then we bashed into them both with
a couple of half-hearted tolchocks, making them cry, and on we went. What we
were after now was the old surprise visit. That was a real kick and good for
smecks and lashings of the ultra-violent. We came at last to a sort of
village, and just outside this village was a small sort of a cottage on its
own with a bit of garden. The Luna was well up now, and we could viddy this
cottage fine and clear as I eased up and put the brake on, the other three
giggling like bezoomny, and we could viddy the name on the gate of this
cottage veshch was HOME, a gloomy sort of a name. I got out of the auto,
ordering my droogs to shush their giggles and act like serious, and I opened
this malenky gate and walked up to the front door. I knocked nice and gentle
and nobody came, so I knocked a bit more and this time I could slooshy
somebody coming, then a bolt drawn, then the door inched open an inch or so,
then I could viddy this one glazz looking out at me and the door was on a
chain. "Yes? Who is it?" It was a sharp's goloss, a youngish devotchka by
her sound, so I said in a very refined manner of speech, a real gentleman's
"Pardon, madam, most sorry to disturb you, but my friend and me were
out for a walk, and my friend has taken bad all of a sudden with a very
troublesome turn, and he is out there on the road dead out and groaning.
Would you have the goodness to let me use your telephone to telephone for an
"We haven't a telephone," said this devotchka. "I'm sorry, but we
haven't. You'll have to go somewhere else." From inside this malenky cottage
I could slooshy the clack clack clacky clack clack clackity clackclack of
some veck typing away, and then the typing stopped and there was this
chelloveck's goloss calling: "What is it, dear?"
"Well," I said, "could you of your goodness please let him have a cup
of water? It's like a faint, you see. It seems as though he's passed out in
a sort of a fainting fit."
The devotchka sort of hesitated and then said: "Wait." Then she went
off, and my three droogs had got out of the auto quiet and crept up
horrorshow stealthy, putting their maskies on now, then I put mine on, then
it was only a matter of me putting in the old rooker and undoing the chain,
me having softened up this devotchka with my gent's goloss, so that she
hadn't shut the door like she should have done, us being strangers of the
night. The four of us then went roaring in, old Dim playing the shoot as
usual with his jumping up and down and singing out dirty slovos, and it was
a nice malenky cottage, I'll say that. We all went smecking into the room
with a light on, and there was this devotchka sort of cowering, a young
pretty bit of sharp with real horrorshow groodies on her, and with her was
this chelloveck who was her moodge, youngish too with horn-rimmed otchkies
on him, and on a table was a typewriter and all papers scattered everywhere,
but there was one little pile of paper like that must have been what he'd
already typed, so here was another intelligent type bookman type like that
we'd fillied with some hours back, but this one was a writer not a reader.
Anyway, he said:
"What is this? Who are you? How dare you enter my house without
permission." And all the time his goloss was trembling and his rookers too.
So I said:
"Never fear. If fear thou hast in thy heart, O brother, pray banish it
forthwith." Then Georgie and Pete went out to find the kitchen, while old
Dim waited for orders, standing next to me with his rot wide open. "What is
this, then?" I said, picking up the pile like of typing from off of the
table, and the horn-rimmed moodge said, dithering:
"That's just what I want to know. What is this? What do you want? Get
out at once before I throw you out." So poor old Dim, masked like Peebee
Shelley, had a good loud smeck at that, roaring like some animal.
"It's a book," I said. "It's a book what you are writing." I made the
old goloss very coarse. "I have always had the strongest admiration for them
as can write books." Then I looked at its top sheet, and there was the
name--A C L O C K W O R K O R A N G E--and I said: "That's a fair gloopy
title. Who ever heard of a clockwork orange?" Then I read a malenky bit out
loud in a sort of very high type preaching goloss: "--The attempt to impose
upon man, a creature of growth and capable of sweetness, to ooze juicily at
the last round the bearded lips of God, to attempt to impose, I say, laws
and conditions appropriate to a mechanical creation, against this I raise my
sword-pen--" Dim made the old lip-music at that and I had to smeck myself.
Then I started to tear up the sheets and scatter the bits over the floor,
and this writer moodge went sort of bezoomny and made for me with his
zoobies clenched and showing yellow and his nails ready for me like claws.
So that was old Dim's cue and he went grinning and going er er and a a a for
this veck's dithering rot, crack crack, first left fistie then right, so
that our dear old droog the red--red vino on tap and the same in all places,
like it's put out by the same big firm--started to pour and spot the nice
clean carpet and the bits of this book that I was still ripping away at,
razrez razrez. All this time this devotchka, his loving and faithful wife,
just stood like froze by the fireplace, and then she started letting out
little malenky creeches, like in time to the like music of old Dim's fisty
work. Then Georgie and Pete came in from the kitchen, both munching away,
though with their maskies on, you could do that with them on and no trouble.
Georgie with like a cold leg of something in one rooker and half a loaf of
kleb with a big dollop of maslo on it in the other, and Pete with a bottle
of beer frothing its gulliver off and a horrorshow rookerful of like plum
cake. They went haw haw haw, viddying old Dim dancing round and fisting the
writer veck so that the writer veck started to platch like his life's work
was ruined, going boo hoo hoo with a very square bloody rot, but it was haw
haw haw in a muffled eater's way and you could see bits of what they were
eating. I didn't like that, it being dirty and slobbery, so I said:
"Drop that mounch. I gave no permission. Grab hold of this veck here so
he can viddy all and not get away." So they put down their fatty pishcha on
the table among all the flying paper and they clopped over to the writer
veck whose horn-rimmed otchkies were cracked but still hanging on, with old
Dim still dancing round and making ornaments shake on the mantelpiece (I
swept them all off then and they couldn't shake no more, little brothers)
while he fillied with the author of `A Clockwork Orange,' making his litso
all purple and dripping away like some very special sort of a juicy fruit.
"All right, Dim," I said. "Now for the other veshch, Bog help us all." So he
did the strong-man on the devotchka, who was still creech creech creeching
away in very horrorshow four-in-a-bar, locking her rookers from the back,
while I ripped away at this and that and the other, the others going haw haw
haw still, and real good horrorshow groodies they were that then exhibited
their pink glazzies, O my brothers, while I untrussed and got ready for the
plunge. Plunging, I could slooshy cries of agony and this writer bleeding
veck that Georgie and Pete held on to nearly got loose howling bezoomny with
the filthiest of slovos that I already knew and others he was making up.
Then after me it was right old Dim should have his turn, which he did
in a beasty snorty howly sort of a way with his Peebee Shelley maskie taking
no notice, while I held on to her. Then there was a changeover, Dim and me
grabbing the slobbering writer veck who was past struggling really, only
just coming out with slack sort of slovos like he was in the land in a
milk-plus bar, and Pete and Georgie had theirs. Then there was like quiet
and we were full of like hate, so smashed what was left to be
smashed--typewriter, lamp, chairs--and Dim, it was typical of old Dim,
watered the fire out and was going to dung on the carpet, there being plenty
of paper, but I said no. "Out out out out," I howled. The writer veck and
his zheena were not really there, bloody and torn and making noises. But
So we got into the waiting auto and I left it to Georgie to take the
wheel, me feeling that malenky bit shagged, and we went back to town,
running over odd squealing things on the way.
We yeckated back townwards, my brothers, but just outside, not far from
what they called the Industrial Canal, we viddied the fuel needle had like
collapsed, like our own ha ha ha needles had, and the auto was coughing
kashl kashl kashl. Not to worry overmuch, though, because a rail station
kept flashing blue--on off on off--just near. The point was whether to leave
the auto to be sobiratted by the rozzes or, us feeling like in a hate and
murder mood, to give it a fair tolchock into the starry watersfor a nice
heavy loud plesk before the death of the evening. This latter we decided on,
so we got out and, the brakes off, all four tolchocked it to the edge of the
filthy water that was like treacle mixed with human hole products, then one
good horrorshow tolchock and in she went. We had to dash back for fear of
the filth splashing on our platties, but splussshhhh and glolp she went,
down and lovely. "Farewell, old droog," called Georgie, and Dim obliged with
a clowny great guff--"Huh huh huh huh."
Then we made for the station to ride the one stop to Center, as the
middle of the town was called. We paid our fares nice and polite and waited
gentlemanly and quiet on the platform, old Dim fillying with the slot
machines, his carmans being full of small malenky coin, and ready if need be
to distribute chocbars to the poor and starving, though there was none such
about, and then the old espresso rapido came lumbering in and we climbed
aboard, the train looking to be near empty. To pass the three-minute ride we
fillied about with what they called the upholstery, doing some nice
horrorshow tearing-out of the seats' guts and old Dim chaining the okno till
the glass cracked and sparkled in the winter air, but we were all feeling
that bit shagged and fagged and fashed, it having been an evening of some
small energy expenditure, my brothers, only Dim, like the clowny animal he
was, full of the joys-of, but looking all dirtied over and too much von of
sweat on him, which was one thing I had against old Dim.
We got out at Center and walked slow back to the Korova Milkbar, all
going yawwwww a malenky bit and exhibiting to moon and star and lamplight
our back fillings, because we were still only growing malchicks and had
school in the daytime, and when we got into the Korova we found it fuller
than when we'd left earlier on. But the chelloveck that had been burbling
away, in the land, on white and synthemesc or whatever, was still on at it,
going: "Urchins of deadcast in the way-ho-hay glill platonic time
weatherborn." It was probable that this was his third or fourth lot that
evening, for he had that pale inhuman look, like he'd become a `thing,' and
like his litso was really a piece of chalk carved. Really, if he wanted to
spend so long in the land, he should have gone into one of the private
cubies at the back and not stayed in the big mesto, because here some of the
malchickies would filly about with him a malenky bit, though not too much
because there were powerful bruiseboys hidden away in the old Korova who
could stop any riot. Anyway, Dim squeezed in next to this veck and, with his
big clown's yawp that showed his hanging grape, he stabbed this veck's foot
with his own large filthy sabog. But the veck, my brothers, heard nought,
being now all above the body.
It was nadsats milking and coking and fillying around (nadsats were
what we used to call the teens), but there were a few of the more starry
ones, vecks and cheenas alike (but not of the bourgeois, never them)
laughing and govoreeting at the bar. You could tell them from their
barberings and loose platties (big stringy sweaters mostly) that they'd been
on rehearsals at the TV studios around the corner. The devotchkas among them
had these very lively litsos and wide big rots, very red, showing a lot of
teeth, and smecking away and not caring about the wicked world one whit. And
then the disc on the stereo twanged off and out (it was Johnny Zhivago, a
Russky koshka, singing `Only Every Other Day'), and in the like interval,
the short silence before the next one came on, one of these devotchkas--very
fair and with a big smiling red rot and in her late thirties I'd
say--suddenly came with a burst of singing, only a bar and a half and as
though she was like giving an example of something they'd all been
govoreeting about, and it was like for a moment, O my brothers, some great
bird had flown into the milkbar, and I felt all the little malenky hairs on
my plott standing endwise and the shivers crawling up like slow malenky
lizards and then down again. Because I knew what she sang. It was from an
opera by Friedrich Gitterfenster called `Das Bettzeug,' and it was the bit
where she's snuffing it with her throat cut, and the slovos are `Better like
this maybe.' Anyway, I shivered.
But old Dim, as soon as he'd slooshied this dollop of song like a
lomtick of redhot meat plonked on your plate, let off one of his
vulgarities, which in this case was a lip-trump followed by a dog-howl
followed by two fingers pronging twice at the air followed by a clowny
guffaw. I felt myself all of a fever and like drowning in redhot blood,
slooshying and viddying Dim's vulgarity, and I said: "Bastard. Filthy
drooling mannerless bastard." Then I leaned across Georgie, who was between
me and horrible Dim, and fisted Dim skorry on the rot. Dim looked very
surprised, his rot open, wiping the krovvy off of his goober with his rook
and in turn looking surprised at the red flowing krovvy and at me. "What for
did you do that for?" he said in his ignorant way. Not many viddied what I'd
done, and those that viddied cared not. The stereo was on again and was
playing a very sick electronic guitar veshch. I said:
"For being a bastard with no manners and not the dook of an idea how to
comport yourself publicwise, O my brother."
Dim put on a hound-and-horny look of evil, saying: "I don't like you
should do what you done then. And I'm not your brother no more and wouldn't
want to be." He'd taken a big snotty tashtook from his pocket and was
mopping the red flow puzzled, keeping on looking at it frowning as if he
thought that blood was for other vecks and not for him. It was like he was
singing blood to make up for his vulgarity when that devotchka was singing
music. But that devotchka was smecking away ha ha ha now with her droogs at
the bar, her red rot working and her zoobies ashine, not having noticed
Dim's filthy vulgarity. It was me really Dim had done wrong to. I said:
"If you don't like this and you wouldn't want that, then you know what
to do, little brother." Georgie said, in a sharp way that made me look:
"All right. Let's not be starting."
"That's clean up to Dim," I said. "Dim can't go on all his jeezny being
as a little child." And I looked sharp at Georgie.
Dim said, and the red krovvy was easing its flow now:
"What natural right does he have to think he can give the orders and
tolchock me whenever he likes? Yarbles is what I say to him, and I'd chain
his glazzies out as soon as look."
"Watch that," I said, as quiet as I could with the stereo bouncing all
over the walls and ceiling and the in-the-land veck beyond Dim getting loud
now with his "Spark nearer, ultoptimate," I said: "Do watch that, O Dim, if
to continue to be on live thou dost wish."
"Yarbles," said Dim, sneering, "great bolshy yarblockos to you. What
you done then you had no right. I'll meet you with chain or nozh or britva
any time, not having you aiming tolchocks at me reasonless, it stands to
reason I won't have it."
"A nozh scrap any time you say," I snarled back. Pete said:
"Oh now, don't, both of you malchicks. Droogs, aren't we? It isn't
right droogs should behave thiswise. See, there are some loose-lipped
malchicks over there smecking at us, leering like. We mustn't let ourselves
"Dim," I said, "has got to learn his place. Right?"
"Wait," said Georgie. "What is all this about place? This is the first
I ever hear about lewdies learning their place."
Pete said: "If the truth is known, Alex, you shouldn't have given old
Dim that uncalled-for tolchock. I'll say it once and no more. I say it with
all respect, but if it had been me you'd given it to you'd have to answer. I
say no more." And he drowned his litso in his milk-glass.
I could feel myself getting all razdraz inside, but I tried to cover
it, saying calm: "There has to be a leader. Discipline there has to be.
Right?" None of them skazatted a word or nodded even. I got more razdraz
inside, calmer out. "I," I said, "have been in charge long now. We are all
droogs, but somebody has to be in charge. Right? Right?" They all like
nodded, wary like. Dim was osooshing the last of the krovvy off. It was Dim
who said now:
"Right, right. Doobidoob. A bit tired, maybe, everybody is. Best not to
say more." I was surprised and just that malenky bit poogly to sloosh Dim
govoreeting that wise. Dim said:
"Bedways is rightways now, so best we go homeways. Right?" I was very
surprised. The other two nodded, going right right right. I said:
"You understand about that tolchock on the rot, Dim. It was the music,
see. I get all bezoomny when any veck interferes with a ptitsa singing, as
it might be. Like that then."
"Best we go off homeways and get a bit of spatchka," said Dim. "A long
night for growing malchicks. Right?" Right right nodded the other two. I
"I think it best we go home now. Dim has made a real horrorshow
suggestion. If we don't meet day-wise, O my brothers, well then--same time
same place tomorrow?"
"Oh yes," said Georgie. "I think that can be arranged."
"I might," said Dim, "be just that malenky bit late. But same place and
near same time tomorrow surely." He was still wiping at his goober, though
no krovvy flowed any longer now. "And," he said, "it is to be hoped there
won't be no more of them singing ptitsas in here." Then he gave his old Dim
guff, a clowny big hohohohoho. It seemed like he was too dim to take much
So off we went our several ways, me belching arrrrgh on the cold coke
I'd peeted. I had my cut-throat britva handy in case any of Billyboy's
droogs should be around near the flat-block waiting, or for that matter any
of the other bandas or gruppas or shaikas that from time to time were at war
with one. Where I lived was with my dadda and mum in the flats of Municipal
Flatblock 18A, between Kingsley Avenue and Wilsonsway. I got to the big main
door with no trouble, though I did pass one young malchick sprawling and
creeching and moaning in the gutter, all cut about lovely, and saw in the
lamplight also streaks of blood here and there like signatures, my brothers,
of the night's fillying. And too I saw just by 18A a pair of devotchka's
neezhnies doubtless rudely wrenched off in the heat of the moment, O my
brothers. And so in. In the hallway was the good old municipal painting on
the walls--vecks and ptitsas very well developed, stern in the dignity of
labour, at workbench and machine with not one stitch of platties on their
well-developed plotts. But of course some of the malchicks living in 18A
had, as was to be expected, embellished and decorated the said big painting
with handy pencil and ballpoint, adding hair and stiff rods and dirty
ballooning slovos out of the dignified rots of these nagoy (bare, that is)
cheenas and vecks. I went to the lift, but there was no need to press the
electric knopka to see if it was working or not, because it had been
tolchocked real horrorshow this night, the metal doors all buckled, some
feat of rare strength indeed, so I had to walk the ten floors up. I cursed
and panted climbing, being tired in plott if not so much in brain. I wanted
music very bad this evening, that singing devotchka in the Korova having
perhaps started me off. I wanted like a big feast of it before getting my
passport stamped, my brothers, at sleep's frontier and the stripy shest
lifted to let me through.
I opened the door of 10-8 with my own little klootch, and inside our
malenky quarters all was quiet, the pee and em both being in sleepland, and
mum had laid out on the table on malenky bit of supper--a couple of lomticks
of tinned sponge-meat with a shive or so of kleb and butter, a glass of the
old cold moloko. Hohoho, the old moloko, with no knives or synthemesc or
drencrom in it. How wicked, my brothers, innocent milk must always seem to
me now. Still I drank and ate growling, being more hungry than I thought at
first, and I got fruit-pie from the larder and tore chunks off it to stuff
into my greedy rot. Then I tooth-cleaned and clicked, cleaning out the old
rot with my yahzick or tongue, then I went into my own little room or den,
easing off my platties as I did so. Here was my bed and my stereo, pride of
my jeezny, and my discs in their cupboard, and banners and flags on the
wall, these being like remembrances of my corrective school life since I was
eleven, O my brothers, each one shining and blazoned with name or number:
SOUTH 4; METRO CORSKOL BLUE DIVISION; THE BOYS OF ALPHA.
The little speakers of my stereo were all arranged round the room, on
ceiling, walls, floor, so, lying on my bed slooshying the music, I was like
netted and meshed in the orchestra. Now what I fancied first tonight was
this new violin concerto by the American Geoffrey Plautus, played by
Odysseus Choerilos with the Macon (Georgia) Philharmonic, so I slid it from
where it was neatly filed and switched on and waited.
Then, brothers, it came. Oh, bliss, bliss and heaven. I lay all nagoy
to the ceiling, my gulliver on my rookers on the pillow, glazzies closed,
rot open in bliss, slooshying the sluice of lovely sounds. Oh, it was
gorgeousness and gorgeosity made flesh. The trombones crunched redgold under
my bed, and behind my gulliver the trumpets three-wise silverflamed, and
there by the door the timps rolling through my guts and out again crunched
like candy thunder. Oh, it was wonder of wonders. And then, a bird of like
rarest spun heavenmetal, or like silvery wine flowing in a spaceship,
gravity all nonsense now, came the violin solo above all the other strings,
and those strings were like a cage of silk around my bed. Then flute and
oboe bored, like worms of like platinum, into the thick thick toffee gold
and silver. I was in such bliss, my brothers.
Pee and em in their bedroom next door had learnt now not to knock on
the wall with complaints of what they called noise. I had taught them. Now
they would take sleep-pills. Perhaps, knowing the joy I had in my night
music, they had already taken them. As I slooshied, my glazzies tight shut
to shut in the bliss that was better than any synthemesc Bog or God, I knew
such lovely pictures. There were vecks and ptitsas, both young and starry,
lying on the ground screaming for mercy, and I was smecking all over my rot
and grinding my boot in their litsos. And there were devotchkas ripped and
creeching against walls and I plunging like a shlaga into them, and indeed
when the music, which was one movement only, rose to the top of its big
highest tower, then, lying there on my bed with glazzies tight shut and
rookers behind my gulliver, I broke and spattered and cried aaaaaaah with
the bliss of it. And so the lovely music glided to its glowing close.
After that I had lovely Mozart, the Jupiter, and there were new
pictures of different litsos to be ground and splashed, and it was after
this that I thought I would have just one last disc only before crossing the
border, and I wanted something starry and strong and very firm, so it was J.
S. Bach I had, the Brandenburg Concerto just for middle and lower strings.
And, slooshying with different bliss than before, I viddied again this name
on the paper I'd razrezzed that night, a long time ago it seemed, in that
cottage called HOME. The name was about a clockwork orange. Listening to the
J. S. Bach, I began to pony better what that meant now, and I thought,
slooshying away to the brown gorgeousness of the starry German master, that
I would like to have tolchecked them both harder and ripped them to ribbons
on their own floor.
The next morning I woke up at oh eight oh oh hours, my brothers, and as
I still felt shagged and fagged and fashed and bashed and my glazzies were
stuck together real horrorshow with sleepglue, I thought I would not go to
school. I thought how I would have a malenky bit longer in the bed, an hour
or two say, and then get dressed nice and easy, perhaps even having a splosh
about in the bath, make toast for myself and slooshy the radio or read the
gazetta, all on my oddy knocky. And then in the afterlunch I might perhaps,
if I still felt like it, itty off to the old skolliwoll and see what was
vareeting in the great seat of gloopy useless learning, O my brothers. I
heard my papapa grumbling and trampling and then ittying off to the dyeworks
where he rabbited, and then my mum called in in a very respectful goloss as
she did now I was growing up big and strong:
"It's gone eight, son. You don't want to be late again."
So I called back: "A bit of pain in my gulliver. Leave us be and I'll
try to sleep it off and then I'll be right as dodgers for this after." I
slooshied her give a sort of a sigh and she said:
"I'll put your breakfast in the oven then, son. I've got to be off
myself now." Which was true, there being this law for everybody not a child
nor with child nor ill to go out rabbiting. My mum worked at one of the
Statemarts, as they called them, filling up the shelves with tinned soup and
beans and all that cal. So I slooshied her clank a plate in the gas-oven
like and then she was putting her shoes on and then getting her coat from
behind the door and then sighing again, then she said: "I'm off now, son."
But I let on to be back in sleepland and then I did doze off real
horrorshow, and I had a queer and very real like sneety, dreaming for some
reason of my droog Georgie. In this sneety he'd got like very much older and
very sharp and hard and was govoreeting about discipline and obedience and
how all the malchicks under his control had to jump hard at it and throw up
the old salute like being in the army, and there was me in line like the
rest saying yes sir and no sir, and the I viddied clear that Georgie had
these stars on his pletchoes and he was like a general. And then he brought
in old Dim with a whip, and Dim was a lot more starry and grey and had a few
zoobies missing as you could see when he let out a smeck, viddying me, and
then my droog Georgie said, pointing like at me: "That man has filth and cal
all over his platties," and it was true. Then I creeched:
"Don't hit, please don't, brothers," and started to run. And I was
running in like circles and Dim was after me, smecking his gulliver off,
cracking with the old whip, and each time I got a real horrorshow tolchock
with this whip there was like a very loud electric bell ringringring, and
this bell was like a sort of a pain too.
Then I woke up real skorry, my heart going bap bap bap, and of course
there was really a bell going brrrrr, and it was our front-door bell. I let
on that nobody was at home, but this brrrrr still ittied on, and then I
heard a goloss shouting through the door: "Come on then, get out of it, I
know you're in bed." I recognized the goloss right away. It was the goloss
of P. R. Deltoid (a real gloopy nazz, that one) what they called my
Post-Corrective Adviser, an overworked veck with hundreds on his books. I
shouted right right right, in a goloss of like pain, and I got out of bed
and attired myself, O my brothers, in a very lovely over-gown of like silk,
with designs of like great cities all over this over-gown. Then I put my
nogas into very comfy wooly toofles, combed my luscious glory, and was ready
for P. R. Deltoid. When I opened up he came shambling in looking shagged, a
battered old shlapa on his gulliver, his raincoat filthy. "Ah, Alex boy," he
said to me. "I met your mother, yes. She said something about a pain
somewhere. Hence not at schol, yes."
"A rather intolerable pain in the head, brother, sir," I said in my
gentleman's goloss. "I think it should clear by this afternoon."
"Or certainly by this evening, yes," said P. R. Deltoid. "The evening
is the great time, isn't it, Alex boy? Sit," he said, "sit, sit," as though
this was his domy and me his guest. And he sat in this starry rocking-chair
of my dad's and began rocking, as if that was all he had come for. I said:
"A cup of the old chai, sir? Tea, I mean."
"No time," he said. And he rocked, giving me the old glint under
frowning brows, as if with all the time in the world. "No time, yes," he
said, gloopy. So I put the kettle on. Then I said:
"To what do I owe the extreme pleasure? Is anything wrong, sir?"
"Wrong?" he said, very skorry and sly, sort of hunched looking at me
but still rocking away. Then he caught sight of an advert in the gazetta,
which was on the table--a lovely smecking young ptitsa with her groodies
hanging out to advertise, my brothers, the Glories of the Jugoslav Beaches.
Then, after sort of eating her up in two swallows, he said:
"Why should you think in terms of there being anything wrong? Have you
been doing something you shouldn't, yes?"
"Just a manner of speech," I said, "sir."
"Well," said P. R. Deltoid, "it's just a manner of speech from me to
you that you watch out, little Alex, because next time, as you very well
know, it's not going to be the corrective school any more. Next time it's
going to be the barry place and all my work ruined. If you have no
consideration for your horrible self you at least might have some for me,
who have sweated over you. A big black mark, I tell you in confidence, for
every one we don't reclaim, a confession of failure for every one of you
that ends up in the stripy hole."
"I've been doing nothing I shouldn't, sir," I said. "The millicents
have nothing on me, brother, sir I mean."
"Cut out this clever talk about millicents," said P. R. Deltoid very
weary, but still rocking. "Just because the police have not picked you up
lately doesn't, as you very well know, mean you've not been up to some
nastiness. There was a bit of a fight last night, wasn't there? There was a
bit of shuffling with nozhes and bike-chains and the like. One of a certain
fat boy's friends was ambulanced off late from near the Power Plant and
hospitalized, cut about very unpleasantly, yes. Your name was mentioned. The
word has got through to me by the usual channels. Certain friends of yours
were named also. There seems to have been a fair amount of assorted
nastiness last night. Oh, nobody can prove anything about anybody, as usual.
But I'm warning you, little Alex, being a good friend to you as always, the
one man in this sick and sore community who wants to save you from
"I appreciate all that, sir," I said, "very sincerely."
"Yes, you do, don't you?" he sort of sneered. "Just watch it, that's
all, yes. We know more than you think, little Alex."
Then he said, in a goloss of great suffering, but still rocking away:
"What gets into you all? We study the problem and we've been studying it for
damn well near a century, yes, but we get no further with our studies.
You've got a good home here, good loving parents, you've got not too bad of
a brain. Is it some devil that crawls inside you?"
"Nobody's got anything on me, sir," I said. "I've been out of the
rookers of the millicents for a long time now."
"That's just what worries me," sighed P. R. Deltoid. "A bit too long of
a time to be healthy. You're about due now by my reckoning. That's why I'm
warning you, little Alex, to keep your handsome young proboscis out of the
dirt, yes. Do I make myself clear?"
"As an unmuddied lake, sir," I said. "Clear as an azure sky of deepest
summer. You can rely on me, sir." And I gave him a nice zooby smile.
But when he'd ookadeeted and I was making this very strong pot of chai,
I grinned to myself over this veshch that P. R. Deltoid and his droogs
worried about. All right, I do bad, what with crasting and tolchocks and
carves with the britva and the old in-out-in-out, and if I get loveted,
well, too bad for me, O my little brothers, and you can't run a country with
every chelloveck comporting himself in my manner of the night. So if I get
loveted and it's three months in this mesto and another six in that, and
the, as P. R. Deltoid so kindly warns, next time, in spite of the great
tenderness of my summers, brothers, it's the great unearthly zoo itself,
well, I say: "Fair, but a pity, my lords, because I just cannot bear to be
shut in. My endeavour shall be, in such future as stretches out its snowy
and lilywhite arms to me before the nozh overtakes or the blood spatters its
final chorus in twisted metal and smashed glass on the highroad, to not get
loveted again." Which is fair speeching. But, brothers, this biting of their
toe-nails over what is the cause of badness is what turns me into a fine
laughing malchick. They don't go into the cause of goodness, so why the
other shop? If lewdies are good that's because they like it, and I wouldn't
ever interfere with their pleasures, and so of the other shop. And I was
patronizing the other shop. More, badness is of the self, the one, the you
or me on our oddy knockies, and that self is made by old Bog or God and is
his great pride and radosty. But the not-self cannot have the bad, meaning
they of the government and the judges and the schools cannot allow the bad
because they cannot allow the self. And is not our modern history, my
brothers, the story of brave malenky selves fighting these big machines? I
am serious with you, brothers, over this. But what I do I do because I like
So now, this smiling winter morning, I drink this very strong chai with
moloko and spoon after spoon after spoon of sugar, me having a sladky tooth,
and I dragged out of the oven the breakfast my poor old mum had cooked for
me. It was an egg fried, that and no more, but I made toast and ate egg and
toast and jam, smacking away at it while I read the gazetta. The gazetta was
the usual about ultra-violence and bank robberies and strikes and
footballers making everybody paralytic with fright by threatening to not
play next Saturday if they did not get higher wages, naughty malchickiwicks
as they were. Also there were more space-trips and bigger stereo TV screens
and offers of free packets of soapflakes in exchange for the labels on
soup-tins, amazing offer for one week only, which made me smeck. And there
was a bolshy big article on Modern Youth (meaning me, so I gave the old bow,
grinning like bezoomny) by some very clever bald chelloveck.
I read this with care, my brothers, slurping away at the old chai, cup
after tass after chasha, crunching my lomticks of black toast dipped in
jammiwam and eggiweg. This learned veck said the usual veshches, about no
parental discipline, as he called it, and the shortage of real horrorshow
teachers who would lambast bloody beggary out of their innocent poops and
make them go boohoohoo for mercy. All this was gloopy and made me smeck, but
it was like nice to go on knowing one was making the news all the time, O my
brothers. Every day there was something about Modern Youth, but the best
veshch they ever had in the old gazetta was by some starry pop in a doggy
collar who said that in his considered opinion and he was govoreeting as a
man of Bog IT WAS THE DEVIL THAT WAS ABROAD and was like ferreting his way
into like young innocent flesh, and it was the adult world that could take
the responsibility for this with their wars and bombs and nonsense. So that
was all right. So he knew what he talked of, being a Godman. So we young
innocent malchicks could take no blame. Right right right.
When I'd gone erk erk a couple of razzes on my full innocent stomach, I
started to get out day platties from my wardrobe, turning the radio on.
There was music playing, a very nice malenky string quartet, my brothers, by
Claudius Birdman, one that I knew well. I had to have a smeck, though,
thinking of what I'd viddied once in one of these like articles on Modern
Youth, about how Modern Youth would be better off if A Lively Appreciation
Of The Arts could be like encouraged. Great Music, it said, and Great Poetry
would like quieten Modern Youth down and make Modern Youth more Civilized.
Civilized my syphilised yarbles. Music always sort of sharpened me up, O my
brothers, and made me feel like old Bog himself, ready to make with the old
donner and blitzen and have vecks and ptitsas creeching away in my ha ha
power. And when I'd cheested up my litso and rookers a bit and done dressing
(my day platties were like student-wear: the old blue pantalonies with
sweater with A for Alex) I thought here at last was time to itty off to the
disc-bootick (and cutter too, my pockets being full of pretty polly) to see
about this long-promised and long-ordered stereo Beethoven Number Nine (the
Choral Symphony, that is), recorded on Masterstroke by the Esh Sham Sinfonia
under L. Muhaiwir. So out I went, brothers.
The day was very different from the night. The night belonged to me and
my droogs and all the rest of the nadsats, and the starry bourgeois lurked
indoors drinking in the gloopy worldcasts, but the day was for the starry
ones, and there always seemed to be more rozzes or millicents about during
the day, too. I got the autobus from the corner and rode to Center, and then
I walked back to Taylor Place, and there was the disc-bootick I favoured
with my inestimable custom, O my brothers. It had the gloopy name of
MELODIA, but it was a real horrorshow mesto and skorry, most times, at
getting the new recordings. I walked in and the only other customers were
two young ptitsas sucking away at ice-sticks (and this, mark, was dead cold
winter and sort of shuffling through the new pop-discs--Johnny Burnaway,
Stash Kroh, The Mixers, Lay Quit Awhile With Ed And Id Molotov, and all the
rest of that cal). These two ptitsas couldn't have been more than ten, and
they too, like me, it seemed, evidently, had decided to take the morning off
from the old skolliwoll. They saw themselves, you could see, as real
grown-up devotchkas already, what with the old hip-swing when they saw your
Faithful Narrator, brothers, and padded groodies and red all ploshed on
their goobers. I went up to the counter, making with the polite zooby smile
at old Andy behind it (always polite himself, always helpful, a real
horrorshow type of a veck, though bald and very very thin). He said:
"Aha. I know what you want, I think. Good news, good news. It has
arrived." And with like big conductor's rookers beating time he went to get
it. The two young ptitsas started giggling, as they will at that age, and I
gave them a like cold glazzy. Andy was back real skorry, waving the great
shiny white sleeve of the Ninth, which had on it, brothers, the frowning
beetled like thunderbolted litso of Ludwig van himself. "Here," said Andy.
"Shall we give it the trial spin?" But I wanted it back home on my stereo to
slooshy on my oddy knocky, greedy as hell. I fumbled out the deng to pay and
one of the little ptitsas said:
"Who you getten, bratty? What biggy, what only?" These young devotchkas
had their own like way of govoreeting.
"The Heaven Seventeen? Luke Sterne? Goggly Gogol?" And both giggled,
rocking and hippy. Then an idea hit me and made me near fall over with the
anguish and ecstasy of it, O my brothers, so I could not breathe for near
ten seconds. I recovered and made with my new-clean zoobies and said:
"What you got back home, little sisters, to play your fuzzy warbles
on?" Because I could viddy the discs they were buying were these teeny pop
veshches. "I bet you got little save tiny portable like picnic spinners."
And they sort of pushed their lower lips out at that. "Come with uncle," I
said, "and hear all proper. Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones. You are
invited." And I like bowed. They giggled again and one said:
"Oh, but we're so hungry. Oh, but we could so eat." The other said:
"Yah, she can say that, can't she just." So I said:
"Eat with uncle. Name your place."
Then they viddied themselves as real sophistoes, which was like
pathetic, and started talking in big-lady golosses about the Ritz and the
Bristol and the Hilton and Il Ristorante Granturco. But I stopped that with
"Follow uncle," and I led them to the Pasta Parlour just round the corner
and let them fill their innocent young litsos on spaghetti and sausages and
cream-puffs and banana-splits and hot choc-sauce, till I near sicked with
the sight of it, I, brothers, lunching but frugally off a cold ham-slice and
a growling dollop of chilli. These two young ptitsas were much alike, though
not sisters. They had the same ideas or lack of, and the same colour hair--a
like dyed strawy. Well, they would grow up real today. Today I would make a
day of it. No school this afterlunch, but education certain, Alex as
teacher. Their names, they said, were Marty and Sonietta, bezoomny enough
and in the heighth of their childish fashion, so I said:
"Righty right, Marty and Sonietta. Time for the big spin. Come." When
we were outside on the cold street they thought they would not go by
autobus, oh no, but by taxi, so I gave them the humour, though with a real
horrorshow in-grin, and I called a taxi from the rank near Center. The
driver, a starry whiskery veck in very stained platties, said:
"No tearing up, now. No nonsense with them seats. Just re-upholstered
they are." I quieted his gloopy fears and off we spun to Municipal Flatblock
18A, these two bold little ptitsas giggling and whispering. So, to cut all
short, we arrived, O my brothers, and I led the way up to 10-8, and they
panted and smecked away the way up, and then they were thirsty, they said,
so I unlocked the treasure-chest in my room and gave these ten-year-young
devotchkas a real horrorshow Scotchman apiece, though well filled with
sneezy pins-and-needles soda. They sat on my bed (yet unmade) and leg-swung,
smecking and peeting their highballs, while I spun their like pathetic
malenky discs through my stereo. Like peeting some sweet scented kid's
drink, that was, in like very beautiful and lovely and costly gold goblets.
But they went oh oh oh and said, "Swoony" and "Hilly" and other weird slovos
that were the heighth of fashion in that youth group. While I spun this cal
for them I encouraged them to drink and have another, and they were nothing
loath, O my brothers. So by the time their pathetic pop-discs had been twice
spun each (there were two: `Honey Nose,' sung by Ike Yard, and `Night After
Day After Night,' moaned by two horrible yarbleless like eunuchs whose names
I forget) they were getting near the pitch of like young ptitsa's hysterics,
what with jumping all over my bed and me in the room with them.
What was actually done that afternoon there is no need to describe,
brothers, as you may easily guess all. Those two were unplattied and
smecking fit to crack in no time at all, and they thought it the bolshiest
fun to viddy old Uncle Alex standing there all nagoy and pan-handled,
squirting the hypodermic like some bare doctor, then giving myself the old
jab of growling jungle-cat secretion in the rooker. Then I pulled the lovely
Ninth out of its sleeve, so that Ludwig van was now nagoy too, and I set the
needle hissing on to the last movement, which was all bliss. There it was
then, the bass strings like govoreeting away from under my bed at the rest
of the orchestra, and then the male human goloss coming in and telling them
all to be joyful, and then the lovely blissful tune all about Joy being a
glorious spark like of heaven, and then I felt the old tigers leap in me and
then I leapt on these two young ptitsas. This time they thought nothing fun
and stopped creeching with high mirth, and had to submit to the strange and
weird desires of Alexander the Large which, what with the Ninth and the hypo
jab, were choodessny and zammechat and very demanding, O my brothers. But
they were both very very drunken and could hardly feel very much.
When the last movement had gone round for the second time with all the
banging and creeching about Joy Joy Joy Joy, then these two young ptitsas
were not acting the big lady sophisto no more. They were like waking up to
what was being done to their malenky persons and saying that they wanted to
go home and like I was a wild beast. They looked like they had been in some
big bitva, as indeed they had, and were all bruised and pouty. Well, if they
would not go to school they must stil have their education. And education
they had had. They were creeching and going ow ow ow as they put their
platties on, and they were like punchipunching me with their teeny fists as
I lay there dirty and nagoy and fair shagged and fagged on the bed. This
young Sonietta was creeching: "Beast and hateful animal. Filthy horror." So
I let them get their things together and get out, which they did, talking
about how the rozzes should be got on to me and all that cal. Then they were
going down the stairs and I dropped off to sleep, still with the old Joy Joy
Joy Joy crashing and howling away.
What happened, though, was that I woke up late (near seven-thirty by my
watch) and, as it turned out, that was not so clever. You can viddy that
everything in this wicked world counts. You can pony that one thing always
leads to another. Right right right. My stereo was no longer on about Joy
and I Embrace Ye O Ye Millions, so some veck had dealt it the off, and that
would be either pee or em, both of them now being quite clear to the
slooshying in the living-room and, from the clink clink of plates and slurp
slurp of peeting tea from cups, at their tired meal after the day's
rabbiting in factory the one, store the other. The poor old. The pitiable
starry. I put on my over-gown and looked out, in guise of loving only son,
"Hi hi hi, there. A lot better after the day's rest. Ready now for
evening work to earn that little bit." For that's what they said they
believed I did these days. "Yum, yum, mum. Any of that for me?" It was like
some frozen pie that she'd unfroze and then warmed up and it looked not so
very appetitish, but I had to say what I said. Dad looked at me with a
not-so-pleased suspicious like look but said nothing, knowing he dared not,
and mum gave me a tired like little smeck, to thee fruit of my womb my only
son sort of. I danced to the bathroom and had a real skorry cheest all over,
feeling dirty and gluey, then back to my den for the evening's platties.
Then, shining, combed, brushed and gorgeous, I sat to my lomtick of pie.
"Not that I want to pry, son, but where exactly is it you go to work of
"Oh," I chewed, "it's mostly odd things, helping like. Here and there,
as it might be." I gave him a straight dirty glazzy, as to say to mind his
own and I'd mind mine. "I never ask for money, do I? Not money for clothes
or for pleasures? All right, then, why ask?"
My dad was like humble mumble chumble. "Sorry, son," he said. "But I
get worried sometimes. Sometimes I have dreams. You can laugh if you like,
but there's a lot in dreams. Last night I had this dream with you in it and
I didn't like it one bit."
"Oh?" He had gotten me interessovatted now, dreaming of me like that. I
had like a feeling I had had a dream, too, but I could not remember proper
what. "Yes?" I said, stopping chewing my gluey pie.
"It was vivid," said my dad. "I saw you lying on the street and you had
been beaten by other boys. These boys were like the boys you used to go
around with before you were sent to that last Corrective School."
"Oh?" I had an in-grin at that, papapa believing I had really reformed
or believing he believed. And then I remembered my own dream, which was a
dream of that morning, of Georgie giving his general's orders and old Dim
smecking around toothless as he wielded the whip. But dreams go by opposites
I was once told. "Never worry about thine only son and heir, O my father," I
said. "Fear not. He canst taketh care of himself, verily."
"And," said my dad, "you were like helpless in your blood and you
couldn't fight back." That was real opposites, so I had another quiet
malenky grin within and then I took all the deng out of my carmans and
tinkled it on the saucy table-cloth. I said:
"Here, dad, it's not much. It's what I earned last night. But perhaps
for the odd peet of Scotchman in the snug somewhere for you and mum."
"Thanks, son," he said. "But we don't go out much now. We daren't go
out much, the streets being what they are. Young hooligans and so on. Still,
thanks. I'll bring her home a bottle of something tomorrow." And he scooped
this ill-gotten pretty into his trouser carmans, mum being at the cheesting
of the dishes in the kitchen. And I went out with loving smiles all round.
When I got to the bottom of the stairs of the flatblock I was somewhat
surprised. I was more than that. I opened my rot like wide in the old stony
gapes. They had come to meet me. They were waiting by the all scrawled-over
municipal wall-painting of the nagoy dignity of labour, bare vecks and
cheenas stern at the wheels of industry, like I said, with all this dirt
pencilled from their rots by naughty malchicks. Dim had a big thick stick of
black greasepaint and was tracing filthy slovos real big over our municipal
painting and doing the old Dim guff--wuh huh huh--while he did it. But he
turned round when Georgie and Pete gave me the well hello, showing their
shining droogy zoobies, and he horned out: "He are here, he have arrived,
hooray," and did a clumsy turnitoe bit of dancing.
"We got worried," said Georgie. "There we were awaiting and peeting
away at the old knify moloko, and you might have been like offended by some
veshch or other, so round we come to your abode. That's right, Pete, right?"
"Oh, yes, right," said Pete.
"Appy polly loggies," I said careful. "I had something of a pain in the
gulliver so had to sleep. I was not wakened when I gave orders for wakening.
Still, here we all are, ready for what the old nochy offers, yes?" I seemed
to have picked up that yes? from P. R. Deltoid, my Post-Corrective Adviser.
"Sorry about the pain," said Georgie, like very concerned.
"Using the gulliver too much like, maybe. Giving orders and discipline
and such, perhaps. Sure the pain is gone? Sure you'll not be happier going
back to the bed?" And they all had a bit of a malenky grin.
"Wait," I said. "Let's get things nice and sparkling clear. This
sarcasm, if I may call it such, does not become you, O my little friends.
Perhaps you have been having a bit of a quiet govoreet behind my back,
making your own little jokes and such-like. As I am your droog and leader,
surely I am entitled to know what goes on, eh? Now then, Dim, what does that
great big horsy gape of a grin portend?" For Dim had his rot open in a sort
of bezoomny soundless smeck. Georgie got in very skorry with:
"All right, no more picking on Dim, brother. That's part of the new
"New way?" I said. "What's this about a new way? There's been some very
large talk behind my sleeping back and no error. Let me slooshy more." And I
sort of folded my rookers and leaned comfortable to listen against the
broken banister-rail, me being still higher than them, droogs as they called
themselves, on the third stair.
"No offence, Alex," said Pete, "but we wanted to have things more
democratic like. Not like you like saying what to do and what not all the
time. But no offence."
George said: "Offence is neither here nor elsewhere. It's the matter of
who has ideas. What ideas has he had?" And he kept his very bold glazzies
turned full on me. "It's all the small stuff, malenky veshches like last
night. We're growing up, brothers."
"More," I said, not moving. "Let me slooshy more."
"Well," said Georgie, "if you must have it, have it then. We itty
round, shop-crasting and the like, coming out with a pitiful rookerful of
cutter each. And there's Will the English in the Muscleman coffee mesto
saying he can fence anything that any malchick cares to try to crast. The
shiny stuff, the ice," he said, still with these like cold glazzies on me.
"The big big big money is available is what Will the English says."
"So," I said, very comfortable out but real razdraz within.
"Since when have you been consorting and comporting with Will the
"Now and again," said Georgie, "I get around all on my oddy knocky.
Like last Sabbath for instance. I can live my own jeezny, droogy, right?"
I didn't care for any of this, my brothers. "And what will you do," I
said, "with the big big big deng or money as you so highfaluting call it?
Have you not every veshch you need? If you need an auto you pluck it from
the trees. If you need pretty polly you take it. Yes? Why this sudden
shilarny for being the big bloated capitalist?"
"Ah," said Georgie, "you think and govoreet sometimes like a little
child." Dim went huh huh huh at that. "Tonight," said Georgie, "we pull a
So my dream had told truth, then. Georgie the general saying what we
should do and what not do, Dim with the whip as mindless grinning bulldog.
But I played with care, with great care, the greatest, saying, smiling:
"Good. Real horrorshow. Initiative comes to them as wait. I have taught you
much, little droogie. Now tell me what you have in mind, Georgie-boy."
"Oh," said Georgie, cunning and crafty in his grin, "the old
moloko-plus first, would you not say? Something to sharpen us up, boy, but
you especially, we having the start on you."
"You have govoreeted my thoughts for me," I smiled away. "I was about
to suggest the dear old Korova. Good good good. Lead, little Georgie." And I
made with a like deep bow, smiling like bezoomny but thinking all the time.
But when we got into the street I viddied that thinking is for the gloopy
ones and that the oomny ones use like inspiration and what Bog sends. For
now it was lovely music that came to my aid. There was an auto ittying by
and it had its radio on, and I could just slooshy a bar or so of Ludwig van
(it was the Violin Concerto, last movement), and I viddied right at once
what to do. I said, in like a thick deep goloss: "Right, Georgie, now," and
I whisked out my cut-throat britva. Georgie said: "Uh?" but he was skorry
enough with his nozh, the blade coming sloosh out of the handle, and we were
on to each other. Old Dim said: "Oh no, not right that isn't, and made to
uncoil the chain round his tally, but Pete said, putting his rooker firm on
old Dim: "Leave them. It's right like that." So then Georgie and Your Humble
did the old quiet cat-stalk, looking for openings, knowing each other's
style a bit too horrorshow really. Georgie now and then going lurch lurch
with his shining nozh but not no wise connecting. And all the time lewdies
passed by and viddied all this but minded their own, it being perhaps a
common street-sight. But then I counted odin dva tree and went ak ak ak with
the britva, though not at litso or glazzies but at Georgie's nozh-holding
rooker and, my little brothers, he dropped. He did. He dropped his nozh with
a tinkle tankle on the hard winter sidewalk. I had just ticklewickled his
fingers with my britva, and there he was looking at the malenky dribble of
krovvy that was redding out in the lamplight. "Now," I said, and it was me
that was starting, because Pete had given old Dim the soviet not to uncoil
the oozy from round his tally and Dim had taken it, "now, Dim, let's thou
and me have all this now, shall us?" Dim went, "Aaaaaaarhgh," like some
bolshy bezoomny animal, and snaked out the chain from his waist real
horrorshow and skorry, so you had to admire. Now the right style for me here
was to keep low like in frog-dancing to protect litso and glazzies, and this
I did, brothers, so that poor old Dim was a malenky bit surprised, him being
accustomed to the straight face-on lash lash lash. Now I will say that he
whished me horrible on the back so that it stung like bezoomny, but that
pain told me to dig in skorry once and for all and be done with old Dim. So
I swished with the britva at his left noga in its very tight tight and I
slashed two inches of cloth and drew a malenky drop of krovvy to make Dim
real bezoomny. Then while he went hauwwww hauwww hauwww like a doggie I
tried the same style as for Georgie, banking all on one move--up, cross,
cut--and I felt the britva go just deep enough in the meat of old Dim's
wrist and he dropped his snaking oozy yelping like a little child. Then he
tried to drink in all the blood from his wrist and howl at the same time,
and there was too much krovvy to drink and he went bubble bubble bubble, the
red like fountaining out lovely, but not for very long. I said:
"Right, my droogies, now we should know. Yes, Pete?"
"I never said anything," said Pete. "I never govoreeted one slovo.
Look, old Dim's bleeding to death."
"Never," I said. "One can die but once. Dim died before he was born.
That red red krovvy will soon stop." Because I had not cut into the like
main cables. And I myself took a clean tashtook from my carman to wrap round
poor old dying Dim's rooker, howling and moaning as he was, and the krovvy
stopped like I said it would, O my brothers. So they knew now who was master
and leader, sheep, thought I.
It did not take long to quieten these two wounded soldiers down in the
snug of the Duke of New York, what with large brandies (bought with their
own cutter, me having given all to my dad, and a wipe with tashtooks dipped
in the water-jug. The old ptitsas we'd been so horrorshow to last night were
there again, going, "Thanks, lads" and "God bless you, boys" like they
couldn't stop, though we had not repeated the old sammy act with them. But
Pete said: "What's it to be, girls?" and bought black and suds for them, him
seeming to have a fair amount of pretty polly in his carmans, so they were
on louder than ever with their "God bless and keep you all, lads" and "We'd
never split on you, boys" and "The best lads breathing, that's what you
are." At last I said to Georgie:
"Now we're back to where we were, yes? Just like before and all
"Right right right," said Georgie. But old Dim still looked a bit dazed
and he even said: "I could have got that big bastard, see, with my oozy,
only some veck got in the way," as though he'd been dratsing not with me but
with some other malchick. I said:
"Well, Georgieboy, what did you have in mind?"
"Oh," said Georgie, "not tonight. Not this nochy, please."
"You're a big strong chelloveck," I said, "like us all. We're not
little children, are we, Georgieboy? What, then, didst thou in thy mind
"I could have chained his glazzies real horrorshow," said Dim, and the
old baboochkas were stil on with their "Thanks, lads."
"It was this house, see," said Georgie. "The one with the two lamps
outside. The one with the gloopy name like."
"What gloopy name?"
"The Mansion or the Manse or some such piece of gloop. Where this very
starry ptitsa lives with her cats and all these very starry valuable
"Gold and silver and like jewels. It was Will the English who like
"I viddy," I said. "I viddy horrorshow." I knew where he
meant--Oldtown, just beyond Victoria Flatblock. Well, the real horrorshow
leader knows always when like to give and show generous to his like unders.
"Very good, Georgie," I said. "A good thought, and one to be followed. Let
us at once itty."
And as we were going out the old baboochkas said: "We'll say nothing,
lads. Been here all the time you have, boys." So I said: "Good old girls.
Back to buy more in ten minutes." And so I led my three droogs out to my
Just past the Duke of New York going east was offices and then there
was the starry beat-up biblio and then was the bolshy flatblock called
Victoria Flatblock after some victory or other, and then you came to the
like starry type houses of the town in what was called Oldtown. You got some
of the real horrorshow ancient domies here, my brothers, with starry lewdies
living in them, thin old barking like colonels with sticks and old ptitsas
who were widows and deaf starry damas with cats who, my brothers, had felt
not the touch of any chelloveck in the whole of their pure like jeeznies.
And here, true, there were starry veshches that would fetch their share of
cutter on the tourist market--like pictures and jewels and other starry
pre-plastic cal of that type. So we came nice and quiet to this domy called
the Manse, and there were globe lights outside on iron stalks, like guarding
the front door on each side, and there was a light like dim on in one of the
rooms on the ground level, and we went to a nice patch of street dark to
watch through the window what was ittying on. This window had iron bars in
front of it, like the house was a prison, but we could viddy nice and clear
what was ittying on.
What was ittying on was that this starry ptitsa, very grey in the
voloss and with a very liny like litso, was pouring the old moloko from a
milk-bottle into saucers and then setting these saucers down on the floor,
so you could tell there were plenty of mewing kots and koshkas writhing
about down there. And we could viddy one or two, great fat scoteenas,
jumping up on to the table with their rots open going mare mare mare. And
you could viddy this old baboochka talking back to them, govoreeting in like
scoldy language to her pussies. In the room you could viddy a lot of old
pictures on the walls and starry very elaborate clocks, also some like vases
and ornaments that looked starry and dorogoy. Georgie whispered: "Real
horrorshow deng to be gotten for them, brothers. Will the English is real
anxious." Pete said: "How in?"
Now it was up to me, and skorry, before Georgie started telling us how.
"First veshch," I whispered, "is to try the regular way, the front. I will
go very polite and say that one of my droogs has had a like funny fainting
turn on the street. Georgie can be ready to show, when she opens, thatwise.
Then to ask for water or to phone the doc. Then in easy." Georgie said:
"She may not open." I said:
"We'll try it, yes?" And he sort of shrugged his pletchoes, making with
a frog's rot. So I said to Pete and old Dim: "You two droogies get either
side of the door. Right?" They nodded in the dark right right right. "So," I
said to Georgie, and I made bold straight for the front door. There was a
bellpush and I pushed, and brrrrrrr brrrrr sounded down the hall inside.
Alike sense of slooshying followed, as though the ptitsa and her koshkas all
had their ears back at the brrrrrr brrrrrr, wondering. So I pushed the old
zvonock a malenky bit more urgent. I then bent down to the letter-slit and
called through in a refined like goloss: "Help, madam, please. My friend has
just had a funny turn on the street. Let me phone a doctor, please." Then I
could viddy a light being put on in the hall, and then I could hear the old
baboochka's nogas going flip flap in flip-flap slippers to nearer the front
door, and I got the idea, I don't know why, that she had a big fat pussycat
under each arm. Then she called out in a very surprising deep like goloss:
"Go away. Go away or I shoot." Georgie heard that and wanted to giggle.
I said, with like suffering and urgency in my gentleman's goloss:
"Oh, please help, madam. My friend's very ill."
"Go away," she called. "I know your dirty tricks, making me open the
door and then buy things I don't want. Go away. I tell you." That was real
lovely innocence, that was. "Go away," she said again, "or I'll set my cats
on to you." A malenky bit bezoomny she was, you could tell that, through
spending her jeezny all on her oddy knocky. Then I looked up and I viddied
that there was a sash-window above the front door and that it would be a lot
more skorry to just do the old pletcho climb and get in that way. Else
there'd be this argument all the long nochy. So I said:
"Very well, madam. If you won't help I must take my suffering friend
elsewhere." And I winked my droogies all away quiet, only me crying out:
"All right, old friend, you will surely meet some good samaritan some place
other. This old lady perhaps cannot be blamed for being suspicious with so
many scoundrels and rogues of the night about. No, indeed not."
Then we waited again in the dark and I whispered: "Right. Return to the
door. Me stand on Dim's pletchoes. Open that window and me enter, droogies.
Then to shut up that old ptitsa and open up for all. No trouble." For I was
like showing who was leader and the chelloveck with the ideas. "See," I
said. "Real horrorshow bit of stonework over that door, a nice hold for my
nogas." They viddied all that, admiring perhaps I thought, and said and
nodded Right right right in the dark.
So back tiptoe to the door. Dim was our heavy strong malchick and Pete
and Georgie like heaved me up on to Dim's bolshy manly pletchoes. All this
time, O thanks to worldcasts on the gloopy TV and, more, lewdies' night-fear
through lack of night-police, dead lay the street. Up there on Dim's
pletchoes I viddied that this stonework above the door would take my boots
lovely. I kneed up, brothers, and there I was.
The window, as I had expected, was closed, but I outed with my britva
and cracked the glass of the window smart with the bony handle thereof. All
the time below my droogies were hard breathing. So I put in my rooker
through the crack and made the lower half of the window sail up open
silver-smooth and lovely. And I was, like getting into the bath, in. And
there were my sheep down below, their rots open as they looked up, O
I was in bumpy darkness, with beds and cupboards and bolshy heavy
stoolies and piles of boxes and books about. But I strode manful towards the
door of the room I was in, seeing a like crack of light under it. The door
went squeeeeeeeeeeak and then I was on a dusty corridor with other doors.
All this waste, brothers, meaning all these rooms and but one starry sharp
and her pussies, but perhaps the kots and koshkas had like separate
bedrooms, living on cream and fish-heads like royal queens and princes. I
could hear the like muffled goloss of this old ptitsa down below saying:
"Yes yes yes, that's it," but she would be govoreeting to these mewing
sidlers going maaaaaaa for more moloko.
Then I saw the stairs going down to the hall and I thought to myself
that I would show these fickle and worthless droogs of mine that I was worth
the whole three of them and more. I would do all on my oddy knocky. I would
perform the old ultra-violence on the starry ptitsa and on her pusspots if
need be, then I would take fair rookerfuls of what looked like real polezny
stuff and go waltzing to the front door and open up showering gold and
silver on my waiting droogs. They must learn all about leadership.
So down I ittied, slow and gentle, admiring in the stairwell grahzny
pictures of old time--devotchkas with long hair and high collars, the like
country with trees and horses, the holy bearded veck all nagoy hanging on a
cross. There was a real musty von of pussies and pussy-fish and starry dust
in this domy, different from the flatblocks. And then I was downstairs and I
could viddy the light in this front room where she had been doling moloko to
the kots and koshkas. More, I could viddy these great overstuffed scoteenas
going in and out with their tails waving and like rubbing themselves on the
door-bottom. On a like big wooden chest in the dark hall I could viddy a
nice malenky statue that shone in the light of the room, so I crasted this
for my own self, it being like a young thin devotchka standing on one noga
with her rookers out, and I could see this was made of silver. So I had this
when I ittied into the lit-up room, saying: "Hi hi hi. At last we meet. Our
brief govoreet through the letter-hole was not, shall we say, satisfactory,
yes? Let us admit not, oh verily not, you stinking starry old sharp." And I
like blinked in the light at this room and the old ptitsa in it. It was full
of kots and koshkas all crawling to and fro over the carpet, with bits of
fur floating in the lower air, and these fat scoteenas were all different
shapes and colours, black, white, tabby, ginger, tortoise-shell, and of all
ages, too, so that there were kittens fillying about with each other and
there were pussies full-grown and there were real dribbling starry ones very
bad-tempered. Their mistress, this old ptitsa, looked at me fierce like a
man and said:
"How did you get in? Keep your distance, you villainous young toad, or
I shall be forced to strike you."
I had a real horrorshow smeck at that, viddying that she had in her
veiny rooker a crappy wood walking-stick which she raised at me threatening.
So, making with my shiny zoobies, I ittied a bit nearer to her, taking my
time, and on the way I saw on a like sideboard a lovely little veshch, the
loveliest malenky veshch any malchick fond of music like myself could ever
hope to viddy with his own two glazzies, for it was like the gulliver and
pletchoes of Ludwig van himself, what they call a bust, a like stone veshch
with stone long hair and blind glazzies and the big flowing cravat. I was
off for that right away, saying: "Well, how lovely and all for me." But
ittying towards it with my glazzies like full on it and my greedy rooker
held out, I did not see the milk saucers on the floor and into one I went
and sort of lost balance. "Whoops," I said, trying to steady, but this old
ptitsa had come up behind me very sly and with great skorriness for her age
and then she went crack crack on my gulliver with her bit of a stick. So I
found myself on my rookers and knees trying to get up and saying: "Naughty,
naughty naughty." And then she was going crack crack crack again, saying:
"Wretched little slummy bedbug, breaking into real people's houses." I
didn't like this crack crack eegra, so I grasped hold of one end of her
stick as it came down again and then she lost her balance and was trying to
steady herself against the table, but then the table-cloth came off with a
milk-jug and a milk-bottle going all drunk then scattering white splosh in
all directions, then she was down on the floor, grunting, going: "Blast you,
boy, you shall suffer." Now all the cats were getting spoogy and running and
jumping in a like cat-panic, and some were blaming each other, hitting out
cat-tolchocks with the old lapa and ptaaaaa and grrrrr and kraaaaark. I got
up on to my nogas, and there was this nasty vindictive starry forella with
her wattles ashake and grunting as she like tried to lever herself up from
the floor, so I gave her a malenky fair kick in the litso, and she didn't
like that, crying: "Waaaaah," and you could viddy her veiny mottled litso
going purplewurple where I'd landed the old noga.
As I stepped back from the kick I must have like trod on the tail of
one of these dratsing creeching pusspots, because I slooshied a gromky
yauuuuuuuuw and found that like fur and teeth and claws had like fastened
themselves around my leg, and there I was cursing away and trying to shake
it off holding this silver malenky statue in one rooker and trying to climb
over this old ptitsa on the floor to reach lovely Ludwig van in frowning
like stone. And then I was into another saucer brimful of creamy moloko and
near went flying again, the whole veshch really a very humorous one if you
could imagine it sloochatting to some other veck and not to Your Humble
Narrator. And then the starry ptitsa on the floor reached over all the
dratsing yowling pusscats and grabbed at my noga, still going "Waaaaah" at
me, and, my balance being a bit gone, I went really crash this time, on to
sploshing moloko and skriking koshkas, and the old forella started to fist
me on the litso, both of us being on the floor, creeching: "Thrash him, beat
him, pull out his finger-nails, the poisonous young beetle," addressing her
pusscats only, and then, as if like obeying the starry old ptitsa, a couple
of koshkas got on to me and started scratching like bezoomny. So then I got
real bezoomny myself, brothers, and hit out at them, but this baboochka
said: "Toad, don't touch my kitties," and like scratched my litso. So then I
screeched: "You filthy old soomka," and upped with the little malenky like
silver statue and cracked her a fine fair tolchock on the gulliver and that
shut her up real horrorshow and lovely.
Now as I got up from the floor among all the crarking kots and koshkas
what should I slooshy but the shoom of the old police-auto siren in the
distance, and it dawned on me skorry that the old forella of the pusscats
had been on the phone to the millicents when I thought she'd been
govoreeting to the mewlers and mowlers, her having got her suspicions skorry
on the boil when I'd rung the old zvonock pretending for help. So now,
slooshying this fearful shoom of the rozz-van, I belted for the front door
and had a rabbiting time undoing all the locks and chains and bolts and
other protective veshches. Then I got it open, and who should be on the
doorstep but old Dim, me just being able to viddy the other two of my
so-called droogs belting off. "Away," I creeched to Dim. "The rozzes are
coming." Dim said: "You stay to meet them huh huh huh," and then I viddied
that he had his oozy out, and then he upped with it and it snaked whishhh
and he chained me gentle and artistic like on the glazlids, me just closing
them up in time. Then I was howling around trying to viddy with this howling
great pain, and Dim said: "I don't like you should do what you done, old
droogy. Not right it wasn't to get on to me like the way you done, brat."
And then I could slooshy his bolshy lumpy boots beating off, him going huh
huh huh into the darkmans, and it was only about seven seconds after that I
slooshied the millicent-van draw up with a filthy great dropping siren-howl,
like some bezoomny animal snuffing it. I was howling too and like yawing
about and I banged my gulliver smack on the hall-wall, my glazzies being
tight shut and the juice astream from them, very agonizing. So there I was
like groping in the hallway as the millicents arrived. I couldn't viddy
them, of course, but I could slooshy and damn near smell the von of the
bastards, and soon I could feel the bastards as they got rough and did the
old twist-arm act, carrying me out. I could also slooshy one millicent
goloss saying from like the room I'd come out of with all the kots and
koshkas in it: "She's been nastily knocked but she's breathing," and there
was loud mewing all the time.
"A real pleasure this is," I heard another millicent goloss say as I
was tolchocked very rough and skorry into the auto. "Little Alex all to our
own selves." I creeched out:
"I'm blind, Bog bust and bleed you, you grahzny bastards."
"Language, language," like smecked a goloss, and then I got a like
backhand tolchock with some ringy rooker or other full on the rot. I said:
"Bog murder you, you vonny stinking bratchnies. Where are the others?
Where are my stinking traitorous droogs? One of my cursed grahzny bratties
chained me on the glazzies. Get them before they get away. It was all their
idea, brothers. They like forced me to do it. I'm innocent, Bog butcher
By this time they were all having like a good smeck at me with the
heighth of like callousness, and they'd tolchocked me into the back of the
auto, but I still kept on about these so-called droogs of mine and then I
viddied it would be no good, because they'd all be back now in the snug of
the Duke of New York forcing black and suds and double Scotchmen down the
unprotesting gorloes of those stinking starry ptitsas and they saying:
"Thanks, lads. God bless you, boys. Been here all the time you have, lads.
Not been out of our sight you haven't."
All the time we were sirening off to the rozz-shop, me being wedged
between two millicents and being given the odd thump and malenky tolchock by
these smecking bullies. Then I found I could open up my glazlids a malenky
bit and viddy like through all tears a kind of steamy city going by, all the
lights like having run into one another. I could viddy now through smarting
glazzies these two smecking millicents at the back with me and the
thin-necked driver and the fat-necked bastard next to him, this one having a
sarky like govoreet at me, saying: "Well, Alex boy, we all look forward to a
pleasant evening together, don't we not?" I said:
"How do you know my name, you stinking vonny bully? May Bog blast you
to hell, grahzny bratchny as you are, you sod." So they all had a smeck at
that and I had my ooko like twisted by one of these stinking millicents at
the back with me. The fat-necked not-driver said:
"Everybody knows little Alex and his droogs. Quite a famous young boy
our Alex has become."
"It's those others," I creeched. "Georgie and Dim and Pete. No droogs
of mine, the bastards."
"Well," said the fat-neck, "you've got the evening in front of you to
tell the whole story of the daring exploits of those young gentlemen and how
they led poor little innocent Alex astray." Then there was the shoom of
another like police siren passing this auto but going the other way.
"Is that for those bastards?" I said. "Are they being picked up by you
"That," said fat-neck, "is an ambulance. Doubtless for your old lady
victim, you ghastly wretched scoundrel."
"It was all their fault," I creeched, blinking my smarting glazzies.
"The bastards will be peeting away in the Duke of New York. Pick them up
blast you, you vonny sods." And then there was more smecking and another
malenky tolchock, O my brothers, on my poor smarting rot. And then we
arrived at the stinking rozz-shop and they helped me get out of the auto
with kicks and pulls and they tolchocked me up the steps and I knew I was
going to get nothing like fair play from these stinky grahzny bratchnies,
Bog blast them.
They dragged me into this very bright-lit whitewashed cantora, and it
had a strong von that was a mixture of like sick and lavatories and beery
rots and disinfectant, all coming from the barry places near by. You could
hear some of the plennies in their cells cursing and singing and I fancied I
could slooshy one belting out:
`And I will go back to my darling, my darling,
When you, my darling, are gone.'
But there were the golosses of millicents telling them to shut it and
you could even slooshy the zvook of like somebody being tolchocked real
horrorshow and going owwwwwwwww, and it was like the goloss of a drunken
starry ptitsa, not a man. With me in this cantora were four millicents, all
having a good loud peet of chai, a big pot of it being on the table and they
sucking and belching away over their dirty bolshy mugs. They didn't offer me
any. All that they gave me, my brothers, was a crappy starry mirror to look
into, and indeed I was not your handsome young Narrator any longer but a
real strack of a sight, my rot swollen and my glazzies all red and my nose
bumped a bit also. They all had a real horrorshow smeck when they viddied my
like dismay, and one of them said: "Love's young nightmare like." And then a
top millicent came in with like stars on his pletchoes to show he was high
high high, and he viddied me and said: "Hm." So then they started. I said:
"I won't say one single solitary slovo unless I have my lawyer here. I
know the law, you bastards." Of course they all had a good gromky smeck at
that and then the stellar top millicent said:
"Righty right, boys, we'll start off by showing him that we know the
law, too, but that knowing the law isn't everything." He had a like
gentleman's goloss and spoke in a very weary sort of a way, and he nodded
with a like droogy smile at one very big fat bastard. This big fat bastard
took off his tunic and you could viddy he had a real big starry pot on him,
then he came up to me not too skorry and I could get the von of the milky
chai he'd been peeting when he opened his rot in a like very tired leery
grin at me. He was not too well shaved for a rozz and you could viddy like
patches of dried sweat on his shirt under the arms, and you could get this
von of like earwax from him as he came close. Then he clenched his stinking
red rooker and let me have it right in the belly, which was unfair, and all
the other millicents smecked their gullivers off at that, except the top one
and he kept on with this weary like bored grin. I had to lean against the
white-washed wall so that all the white got on to my platties, trying to
drag the old breath back and in great agony, and then I wanted to sick up
the gluey pie I'd had before the start of the evening. But I couldn't stand
that sort of veshch, sicking all over the floor, so I held it back. Then I
saw that this fatty bruiseboy was turning to his millicent droogs to have a
real horrorshow smeck at what he'd done, so I raised my right noga and
before they could creech at him to watch out I'd kicked him smart and lovely
on the shin. And he creeched murder, hopping around.
But after that they all had a turn, bouncing me from one to the other
like some very weary bloody ball, O my brothers, and fisting me in the
yarbles and the rot and the belly and dealing out kicks, and then at last I
had to sick up on the floor and, like some real bezoomny veck, I evan said:
"Sorry, brothers, that was not the right thing at all. Sorry sorry sorry."
But they handed me starry bits of gazetta and made me wipe it, and then they
made me make with the sawdust. And then they said, almost like dear old
droogs, that I was to sit down and we'd all have a quiet like govoreet. And
then P. R. Deltoid came in to have a viddy, his office being in the same
building, looking very tired and grahzny, to say: "So it's happened, Alex
boy, yes? Just as I thought it would. Dear dear dear, yes."
Then he turned to the millicents to say: "Evening, inspector. Evening,
sergeant. Evening, evening, all. Well, this is the end of the line for me,
yes. Dear dear, this boy does look messy, doesn't he? Just look at the state
"Violence makes violence," said the top millicent in a very holy type
goloss. "He resisted his lawful arresters."
"End of the line, yes," said P. R. Deltoid again. He looked at me with
very cold glazzies like I had become a thing and was no more a bleeding very
tired battered chelloveck. "I suppose I'll have to be in court tomorrow."
"It wasn't me, brother, sir," I said, a malenky bit weepy. "Speak up
for me, sir, for I'm not so bad. I was led on by the treachery of the
"Sings like a linnet," said the top rozz, sneery. "Sings the roof off
lovely, he does that."
"I'll speak," said cold P. R. Deltoid. "I'll be there tomorrow, don't
"If you'd like to give him a bash in the chops, sir," said the top
millicent, "don't mind us. We'll hold him down. He must be another great
disappointment to you."
P. R. Deltoid then did something I never thought any man like him who
was supposed to turn us baddiwads into real horrorshow malchicks would do,
especially with all those rozzes around. He came a bit nearer and he spat.
He spat. He spat full in my litso and then wiped his wet spitty rot with the
back of his rooker. And I wiped and wiped and wiped my spat-on litso with my
bloody tashtook, saying "Thank you, sir, thank you very much, sir, that was
very kind of you, sir, thank you." And then P. R. Deltoid walked out without
The millicents now got down to making this long statement for me to
sign, and I thought to myself, Hell and blast you all, if all you bastards
are on the side of the Good then I'm glad I belong to the other shop. "All
right," I said to them, "you grahzny bratchnies as you are, you vonny sods.
Take it, take the lot. I'm not going to crawl around on my brooko any more,
you merzky gets. Where do you want it taking from, you cally vonning
animals? From my last corrective? Horrorshow, horrorshow, here it is, then."
So I gave it to them, and I had this shorthand milicent, a very quiet and
scared type chelloveck, no real rozz at all, covering page after page after
page after. I gave them the ultra-violence, the crasting, the dratsing, the
old in-out-in-out, the lot, right up to this night's veshch with the bugatty
starry ptitsa with the mewing kots and koshkas. And I made sure my so-called
droogs were in it, right up to the shiyah. When I'd got through the lot the
shorthand millicent looked a bit faint, poor old veck. The top rozz said to
him, in a kind type goloss:
"Right, son, you go off and get a nice cup of chai for yourself and
then type all that filth and rottenness out with a clothes-peg on your nose,
three copies. Then they can be brought to our handsome young friend here for
signature. And you," he said to me, "can now be shown to your bridal suite
with running water and all conveniences. All right," in this weary goloss to
two of the real tough rozzes, "take him away."
So I was kicked and punched and bullied off to the cells and put in
with about ten or twelve other plennies, a lot of them drunk. There were
real oozhassny animal type vecks among them, one with his nose all ate away
and his rot open like a big black hole, one that was lying on the floor
snoring away and all like slime dribbling all the time out of his rot, and
one that had like done all cal in his pantalonies. Then there were two like
queer ones who both took a fancy to me, and one of them made a jump onto my
back, and I had a real nasty bit of dratsing with him and the von on him,
like of meth and cheap scent, made me want to sick again, only my belly was
empty now, O my brothers. Then the other queer one started putting his
rookers on to me, and then there was a snarling bit of dratsing between
these two, both of them wanting to get at my plott. The shoom became very
loud, so that a couple of millicents came along and cracked into these two
with like truncheons, so that both sat quiet then, looking like into space,
and there was the old krovvy going drip drip drip down the litso of one of
them. There were bunks in this cell, but all filled. I climbed up to the top
one of one tier of bunks, there being four in a tier, and there was a starry
drunken veck snoring away, most probably heaved up there to the top by the
millicents. Anyway, I heaved him down again, him not being all that heavy,
and he collapsed on top of a fat drunk chelloveck on the floor, and both
woke and started creeching and punching pathetic at each other. So I lay
down on this vonny bed, my brothers, and went to very tired and exhausted
and hurt sleep. But it was not really like sleep, it was like passing out to
another better world. And in this other better world, O my brothers, I was
in like a big field with all flowers and trees, and there was a like goat
with a man's litso playing away on a like flute. And there rose like the sun
Ludwig van himself with thundery litso and cravat and wild windy voloss, and
then I heard the Ninth, last movement, with the slovos all a bit mixed-up
like they knew themselves they had to be mixed-up, this being a dream:
Boy, thou uproarious shark of heaven,
Slaughter of Elysium,
Hearts on fire, aroused, enraptured,
We will tolchock you on the rot and kick
your grahzny vonny bum.
But the tune was right, as I knew when I was being woke up two or ten
minutes or twenty hours or days or years later, my watch having been taken
away. There was a millicent like miles and miles down below and he was
prodding at me with a long stick with a spike on the end, saying:
"Wake up, son. Wake up, my beauty. Wake to real trouble."
"Why? Who? Where? What is it?" And the tune of the Joy ode in the Ninth
was singing away real lovely and horrorshow within, The millicent said:
"Come down and find out. There's some real lovely news for you, my
son." So I scrambled down, very stiff and sore and not like real awake, and
this rozz, who had a strong von of cheese and onions on him, pushed me out
of the filthy snoring cell, and then along corridors, and all the time the
old tune Joy Thou Glorious Spark Of Heaven was sparking away within. Then we
came to a very neat like cantora with typewriters and flowers on the desks,
and at the like chief desk the top millicent was sitting, looking very
serious and fixing a like very cold glazzy on my sleepy litso. I said:
"Well well well. What makes, bratty. What gives, this fine bright
middle of the nochy?" He said:
"I'll give you just ten seconds to wipe that stupid grin off of your
face. Then I want you to listen."
"Well, what?" I said, smecking. "Are you not satisfied with beating me
near to death and having me spat upon and making me confess to crimes for
hours on end and then shoving me among bezoomnies and vonny perverts in that
grahzny cell? Have you some new torture for me, you bratchny?"
"It'll be your own torture," he said, serious. "I hope to God it'll
torture you to madness."
And then, before he told me, I knew what it was. The old ptitsa who had
all the kots and koshkas had passed on to a better world in one of the city
hospitals. I'd cracked her a bit too hard, like. Well, well, that was
everything. I thought of all those kots and koshkas mewling for moloko and
getting none, not any more from their starry forella of a mistress. That was
everything. I'd done the lot, now and me still only fifteen.
"What's it going to be then, eh?"
I take it up now, and this is the real weepy and like tragic part of
the story beginning, my brothers and only friends, in Staja (State Jail,
that is) Number 84F. You will have little desire to slooshy all the cally
and horrible raskazz of the shock that sent my dad beating his bruised and
krovvy rockers against unfair like Bog in his Heaven, and my mum squaring
her rot for owwwww owwwww owwwww in her mother's grief at her only child and
son of her bosom like letting everybody down real horrorshow. Then there was
the starry very grim magistrate in the lower court govoreeting some very
hard slovos against your Friend and Humble Narrator, after all the cally and
grahzny slander spat forth by P. R. Deltoid and the rozzes, Bog blast them.
Then there was being remanded in filthy custody among vonny perverts and
prestoopnicks. Then there was the trial in the higher court with judges and
a jury, and some very very nasty slovos indeed govoreeted in a very like
solemn way, and then Guilty and my mum boohoohooing when they said Fourteen
Years, O my brothers. So here I was now, two years just to the day of being
kicked and clanged into Staja 84F, dressed in the heighth of prison fashion,
which was a one-piece suit of a very filthy like cal colour, and the number
sewn on the groody part just above the old tick-tocker and on the back as
well, so that going and coming I was 6655321 and not your little droog Alex
not no longer.
"What's it going to be then, eh?"
It had not been like edifying, indeed it had not, being in this grahzny
hellhole and like human zoo for two years, being kicked and tolchocked by
brutal bully warders and meeting vonny leering like criminals, some of them
real perverts and ready to dribble all over a luscious young malchick like
your story-teller. And there was having to rabbit in the workshop at making
matchboxes and itty round and round and round the yard for like exercise,
and in the evenings sometimes some starry prof type veck would give a talk
on beetles or the Milky Way or the Glorious Wonders of the Snowflake, and I
had a good smeck at this last one, because it reminded me of that time of
the tolchocking and Sheer Vandalism with that ded coming from the public
biblio on a winter's night when my droogs were stil not traitors and I was
like happy and free. Of those droogs I had slooshied but one thing, and that
was one day when my pee and em came to visit and I was told that Georgie was
dead. Yes, dead, my brothers. Dead as a bit of dog-cal on the road. Georgie
had led the other two into a like very rich chelloveck's house, and there
they had kicked and tolchocked the owner on the floor, and then Georgie had
started to razrez the cushions and curtains, and then old Dim had cracked at
some very precious ornaments, like statues and so on, and this rich beat-up
chelloveck had raged like real bezoomny and gone for them all with a very
heavy iron bar. His being all razdraz had given him some gigantic strength,
and Dim and Pete had got out through the window, but Georgie had tripped on
the carpet and then brought this terrible swinging iron bar crack and
splodge on the gulliver, and that was the end of traitorous Georgie. The
starry murderer had got off with Self Defence, as was really right and
proper. Georgie being killed, though it was more than one year after me
being caught by the millicents, it all seemed right and proper and like
"What's it going to be then, eh?"
I was in the Wing Chapel, it being Sunday morning, and the prison
charlie was govoreeting the Word of the Lord. It was my rabbit to play the
starry stereo, putting on solemn music before and after and in the middle
too when hymns were sung. I was at the back of the Wing Chapel (there were
four along here in Staja 84F) near where the warders or chassos were
standing with their rifles and their dirty bolshy blue brutal jowls, and I
could viddy all the plennies sitting down slooshying the Slovo of the Lord
in their horrible cal-coloured prison platties, and a sort of filthy von
rose from them, not like real unwashed, not grazzy, but like a special real
stinking von which you only got with the criminal types, my brothers, a like
dusty, greasy, hopeless sort of a von. And I was thinking that perhaps I had
this von too, having become a real plenny myself, though still very young.
So it was important to me, O my brothers, to get out of this stinking
grahzny zoo as soon as I could. And, as you will viddy if you keep reading
on, it was not long before I did.
"What's it going to be then, eh?" said the prison charlie for the third
raz. "Is it going to be in and out and in and out of institutions, like
this, though more in than out for most of you, or are you going to attend to
the Divine Word and realize the punishments that await the unrepentant
sinner in the next world, as well as in this? A lot of blasted idiots you
are, most of you, selling your birthright for a saucer of cold porridge. The
thrill of theft, or violence, the urge to live easy--is it worth it when we
have undeniable proof, yes yes, incontrovertible evidence that hell exists?
I know, I know, my friends, I have been informed in visions that there is a
place, darker than any prison, hotter than any flame of human fire, where
souls of unrepentant criminal sinners like yourselves--and don't leer at me,
damn you, don't laugh--like yourselves, I say, scream in endless and
intolerable agony, their noses choked with the smell of filth, their mouths
crammed with burning ordure, their skin peeling and rotting, a fireball
spinning in their screaming guts. Yes, yes, yes, I know."
At this point, brothers, a plenny somewhere or other near the back row
let out a shoom of lip-music--`Prrrrrp'--and then the brutal chassos were on
the job right away, rushing real skorry to what they thought was the scene
of the schoom, then hitting out nasty and delivering tolchocks, left and
right. Then they picked out one poor trembling plenny, very thin and malenky
and starry too, and dragged him off, but all the time he kept creeching: "It
wasn't me, it was him, see," but that made no difference. He was tolchocked
real nasty and then dragged out of the Wing Chapel creeching his gulliver
"Now," said the prison charlie, "listen to the Word of the Lord." Then
he picked up the big book and flipped over the pages, keeping on wetting his
fingers to do this by licking them splurge splurge. He was a bolshy great
burly bastard with a very red litso, but he was very fond of myself, me
being young and also now very interested in the big book. It had been
arranged as part of my like further education to read in the book and even
have music on the chapel stereo while I was reading, O my brothers. And that
was real horrorshow.
They would like lock me in and let me slooshy holy music by J. S. Bach
and G. F. Handel, and I would read of these starry yahoodies tolchocking
each other and then peeting their Hebrew vino and getting on to the bed with
their wives' like hand-maidens, real horrorshow. That kept me going,
brothers. I didn't so much kopat the later part of the book, which is more
like all preachy govoreeting than fighting and the old in-out. But one day
the charles said to me, squeezing me like tight with his bolshy beefy
rooker: "Ah, 6655321, think on the divine suffering. Meditate on that, my
boy." And all the time he had this rich manny von of Scotch on him, and then
he went off to his little cantora to peet some more. So I read all about the
scourging and the crowning with thorns and then the cross veshch and all
that cal, and I viddied better that there was something in it. While the
stereo played bits of lovely Bach I closed my glazzies and viddied myself
helping in and even taking charge of the tolchocking and the nailing in,
being dressed in a like toga that was the heighth of Roman fashion. So being
in Staja 84F was not all that wasted, and the Governor himself was very
pleased to hear that I had taken to like Religion, and that was where I had
This Sunday morning the charlie read out from the book about
chellovecks who slooshied the slovo and didn't take a blind bit being like a
domy built upon sand, and then the rain came splash and the old boomaboom
cracked the sky and that was the end of that domy. But I thought that only a
very dim veck would have built his domy upon sand, and a right lot of real
sneering droogs and nasty neighbours a veck like that would have, them not
telling him how dim he was doing that sort of building. Then the charles
creeched: "Right, you lot. We'll end with Hymn Number 435 in the Prisoners'
Hymnal." Then there was a crash and plop and a whish whish while the
plennies picked up and dropped and lickturned the pages of their grazzy
malenky hymnbooks, and the bully fierce warders creeched: "Stop talking
there, bastards. I'm watching you, 920537." Of course I had the disc ready
on the stereo, and then I let the simple music for organ only come belting
out with a growwwwowwwwowwww. Then the plennies started to sing real
Weak tea are we, new brewed
But stirring make all strong.
We eat no angel's food,
Our times of trial are long.
They sort of howled and wept these stupid slovos with the charlie like
whipping them on with "Louder, damn you, sing up," and the warders
creeching: "Just you wait, 7749222", and "One on the turnip coming up for
you, filth." Then it was all over and the charlie said: "May the Holy
Trinity keep you always and make you good, amen," and the shamble out began
to a nice choice bit of Symphony No. 2 by Adrian Schweigselber, chosen by
your Humble Narrator, O my brothers. What a lot they were, I thought, as I
stood there by the starry chapel stereo, viddying them all shuffle out going
marrrrre and baaaaaa like animals and up-your-piping with their grahzny
fingers at me, because it looked like I was very special favoured. When the
last one had slouched out, his rookers hanging like an ape and the one
warder left giving him a fair loud tolchock on the back of the gulliver, and
when I had turned off the stereo, the charlie came up to me, puffing away at
a cancer, still in his starry bogman's platties, all lacy and white like a
devotchka's. He said:
"Thank you as always, little 6655321. And what news have you got for me
today?" The idea was, I knew, that this charlie was after becoming a very
great holy chelloveck in the world of Prison Religion, and he wanted a real
horrorshow testimonial from the Governor, so he would go and govoreet
quietly to the Governor now and then about what dark plots were brewing
among the plennies, and he would get a lot of this cal from me. A lot of it
would be all like made up, but some of it would be true, like for instance
the time it had come through to our cell on the waterpipes knock knock
knockiknockiknock knockiknock that big Harriman was going to break. He was
going to tolchock the warder at slop-time and get out in the warder's
platties. Then there was going to be a big throwing about of the horrible
pishcha we got in the dining-hall, and I knew about that and told. Then the
charlie passed it on and was complimented like by the Governor for his
Public Spirit and Keen Ear. So this time I said, and this was not true:
"Well, sir, it has come through on the pipes that a consignment of
cocaine has arrived by irregular means and that a cell somewhere along Tier
5 is to be the centre of distribution." I made all that up as I went along,
like I made up so many of these stories, but the prison charlie was very
grateful, saying: "Good, good, good. I shall pass that on to Himself," this
being what he called the Governor. Then I said:
"Sir, I have done my best, have I not?" I always used my very polite
gentleman's goloss govoreeting with those at the top. "I've tried, sir,
"I think," said the charlie, "that on the whole you have, 6655321.
You've been very helpful and, I consider, shown a genuine desire to reform.
You will, if you continue in this manner, earn your remission with no
trouble at all."
"But sir," I said, "how about this new thing they're talking about? How
about this new like treatment that gets you out of prison in no time at all
and makes sure that you never get back in again?"
"Oh," he said, very like wary. "Where did you hear this? Who's been
telling you these things?"
"These things get around, sir," I said. "Two warders talk, as it might
be, and somebody can't help hearing what they say. And then somebody picks
up a scrap of newspaper in the workshops and the newspaper says all about
it. How about you putting me in for this thing, sir, if I may make so bold
as to make the suggestion?"
You could viddy him thinking about that while he puffed away at his
cancer, wondering how much to say to me about what he knew about this veshch
I'd mentioned. Then he said:
"I take it you're referring to Ludovico's Technique." He was still very
"I don't know what it's called, sir," I said. "All I know is that it
gets you out quickly and makes sure that you don't get in again."
"That is so," he said, his eyebrows like all beetling while he looked
down at me. "That is quite so, 6655321. Of course, it's only in the
experimental stage at the moment. It's very simple but very drastic."
"But it's being used here, isn't it, sir?" I said. "Those new like
white buildings by the South wall, sir. We've watched those being built,
sir, when we've been doing our exercise."
"It's not been used yet," he said, "not in this prison, 6655321.
Himself has grave doubts about it. I must confess I share those doubts. The
question is whether such a technique can really make a man good. Goodness
comes from within, 6655321. Goodness is something chosen. When a man cannot
choose he ceases to be a man." He would have gone on with a lot more of this
cal, but we could slooshy the next lot of plennies marching clank clank down
the iron stairs to come for their bit of Religion. He said: "We'll have a
little chat about this some other time. Now you'd better start the
voluntary." So I went over to the starry stereo and put on J. S. Bach's
`Wachet Auf' Choral Prelude and in these grahzny vonny bastard criminals and
perverts came shambling like a lot of broke-down apes, the warders or
chassos like barking at them and lashing them. And soon the prison charlie
was asking them: "What's it going to be then, eh?" And that's where you came
We had four of these lomticks of like Prison Religion that morning, but
the charles said no more to me about this Ludovico's Technique, whatever it
was, O my brothers. When I'd finished my rabbit with the stereo he just
govoreeted a few slovos of thanks and then I was privodeeted back to the
cell on Tier 6 which was my very vonny and crammed home. The chasso was not
really too bad of a veck and he did not tolchock or kick me in when he'd
opened up, he just said: "Here we are, sonny, back to the old waterhole."
And there I was with my new type droogs, all very criminal but, Bog be
praised, not given to perversions of the body. There was Zophar on his bunk,
a very thin and brown veck who went on and on and on in his like cancery
goloss, so that nobody bothered to slooshy. What he was saying now like to
nobody was "And at that time you couldn't get hold of a poggy" (whatever
that was, brothers), "not if you was to hand over ten million archibalds, so
what do I do, eh, I goes down to Turkey's and says I've got this sproog on
that morrow, see, and what can he do?" It was all this very old-time real
criminal's slang he spoke. Also there was Wall, who had only one glazzy, and
he was tearing bits of his toe-nails off in honour of Sunday. Also there was
Big Jew, a very fat sweaty veck lying flat on his bunk like dead. In
addition there was Jojohn and The Doctor. Jojohn was very mean and keen and
wiry and had specialized in like Sexual Assault, and The Doctor had
pretended to be able to cure syph and gon and gleet but he had only injected
water, also he had killed off two devotchkas instead, like he had promised,
of getting rid of their unwanted loads for them. They were a terrible
grahzny lot really, and I didn't enjoy being with them, O my brothers, any
more than you do now, but it won't be for much longer.
Now what I want you to know is that this cell was intended for only
three when it was built, but there were six of us there, all jammed together
sweaty and tight. And that was the state of all the cells in all the prisons
in those days, brothers, and a dirty cally disgrace it was, there not being
decent room for a chelloveck to stretch his limbs. And you will hardly
believe what I say now, which is that on this Sunday they brosatted in
another plenny. Yes, we had had our horrible pishcha of dumplings and vonny
stew and were smoking a quiet cancer each on our bunks when this veck was
thrown into our midst.
He was a chinny starry veck and it was him who started creeching
complaints before we even had a chance to viddy the position. He tried to
like shake the bars, creeching: "I demand my sodding rights, this one's
full-up, it's a bleeding imposition, that's what it is." But one of the
chassos came back to say that he had to make the best of it and share a bunk
with whoever would let him, otherwise it would have to be the floor. "And,"
said the warder, "it's going to get worse, not better. A right dirty
criminal world you lot are trying to build."
Well, it was the letting-in of this new chelloveck that was really the
start of my getting out of the old Staja, for he was such a nasty
quarrelsome type of plenny, with a very dirty mind and filthy intentions,
that trouble nachinatted that very same day. He was also very boastful and
started to make with a very sneery litso at us all and a loud proud goloss.
He made out that he was the only real horrorshow prestoopnick in the whole
zoo, going on that he'd done this and done the other and killed ten rozzes
with one crack of his rooker and all that cal. But nobody was very
impressed, O my brothers. So then he started on me, me being the youngest
there, trying to say that as the youngest I ought to be the one to zasnoot
on the floor and not him. But all the others were for me, creeching: "Leave
him alone, you grahzny bratchny," and then he began the old whine about how
nobody loved him. So that same nochy I woke up to find this horrible plenny
actually lying with me on my bunk, which was on the bottom of the three-tier
and also very narrow, and he was govoreeting dirty like love-slovos and
stroke stroke stroking away. So then I got real bezoomny and lashed out,
though I could not viddy all that horrorshow, there being only this malenky
little red light outside on the landing. But I knew it was this one, the
vonny bastard, and then when the trouble really got under way and the lights
were turned on I could viddy his horrible litso with all krovvy dripping
from his rot where I'd hit out with my clawing rooker.
What sloochatted then, of course, was that me cell-mates woke up and
started to join in, tolchocking a bit wild in the near-dark, and the shoom
seemed to wake up the whole tier, so that you could slooshy a lot of
creeching and banging about with tin mugs on the wall, as though all the
plennies in all the cells thought a big break was about to commence, O my
brothers. So then the lights came on and the chassos came along in their
shirts and trousers and caps, waving big sticks. We could viddy each other's
flushed litsos and the shaking of fisty rookers, and there was a lot of
creeching and cursing.
Then I put in my complaint and every chasso said it was probably your
Humble Narrator, brothers, that started it all anyway, me having no mark of
a scratch on me but this horrible plenny dipping red red krovvy from the rot
where I'd got him with my clawing rooker. That made me real bezoomny. I said
I would not sleep another nochy in that cell if the Prison Authorities were
going to allow horrible vonny stinking perverted prestoopnicks to leap on my
plott when I was in no position to defend myself, being asleep. "Wait till
the morning," they said. "Is it a private room with bath and television that
your honour requires? Well, all that will be seen to in the morning. But for
the present, little droog, get your bleeding gulliver down on your
straw-filled podooshka and let's have no more trouble from anyone. Right
right right?" Then off they went with stern warnings for all, then soon
after the lights went out, and then I said I would sit up all the rest of
the nochy, saying first to this horrible prestoopnick: "Go on, get on my
bunk if you wish it. I fancy it no longer. You have made it filthy and cally
with your horrible vonny plott lying on it already." But then the others
joined in. Big Jew said, still sweating from the bit of a bitva we'd had in
"Not having that we're not, brotherth. Don't give in to the thquirt."
So this new one said:
"Crash your dermott, yid," meaning to shut up, but it was very
insulting. So then Big Jew got ready to launch a tolchock. The Doctor said:
"Come on, gentlemen, we donэt want any trouble, do we?" in his very
high-class goloss, but this new prestoopnick was really asking for it. You
could viddy that he thought he was a very big bolshy veck and it was beneath
his dignity to be sharing a cell with six and having to sleep on the floor
till I made this gesture at him. In his sneery way he tried to take off The
"Owwww, yew wahnt noo moor trouble, is that it, Archiballs?" So Jojohn,
mean and keen and wiry, said:
"If we can't have sleep let's have some education. Our new friend here
had better be taught a lesson." Although he like specialized in Sexual
Assault he had a nice way of govoreeting, quiet and like precise. So the new
"Kish and kosh and koosh, you little terror." So then it all really
started, but in a queer like gentle way, with nobody raising his goloss
much. The new plenny creeched a malenky bit at first, but the Wall fisted
his rot while Big Jew held him up against the bars so that he could be
viddied in the malenky red light from the landing, and he just went oh oh
oh. He was not a very strong type of veck, being very feeble in his trying
to tolchock back, and I suppose he made up for this by being shoomny in the
goloss and very boastful. Anyway, seeing the old krovvy flow red in the red
light, I felt the old joy like rising up in my keeshkas and I said:
"Leave him to me, go on, let me have him now, brothers." So Big Jew
"Yeth, yeth, boyth, that'th fair. Thlosh him then, Alekth." So they all
stood around while I cracked at this prestoopnick in the near dark. I fisted
him all over, dancing about with my boots on though unlaced, and then I
tripped him and he went crash crash on to the floor. I gave him one real
horrorshow kick on the gulliver and he went ohhhh, then he sort of snorted
off to like sleep, and The Doctor said:
"Very well, I think that wil be enough of a lesson," squinting to viddy
this downed and beaten-up veck on the floor. "Let him dream perhaps about
being a better boy in the future." So we all climbed back into our bunks,
being very tired now.
What I dreamt of, O my brothers, was of being in some very big
orchestra, hundreds and hundreds strong, and the conductor was a like
mixture of Ludwig van and G. F. Handel, looking very deaf and blind and
weary of the world. I was with the wind instruments, but what I was playing
was like a white pinky bassoon made of flesh and growing out of my plott,
right in the middle of my belly, and when I blew into it I had to smeck ha
ha ha very loud because it like tickled, and then Ludwig van G. F. got very
razdraz and bezoomny. Then he came right up to my litso and creeched loud in
my ooko, and then I woke up like sweating. Of course, what the loud shoom
really was was the prison buzzer going brrrrr brrrrr brrrrr. It was winter
morning and my glazzies were all cally with sleepglue, and when I opened up
they were very sore in the electric light that had been switched on all over
the zoo. Then I looked down and viddied this new prestoopnick lying on the
floor, very bloody and bruisy and still out out out. Then I remembered about
last night and that made me smeck a bit.
But when I got off the bunk and moved him with my bare noga, there was
a feel of like stiff coldness, so I went over to The Doctor's bunk and shook
him, him always being very slow at waking up in the morning. But he was off
his bunk skorry enough this time, and so were the others, except for Wall
who slept like dead meat. "Very unfortunate," The Doctor said. "A heart
attack, that's what it must have been."
Then he said, looking round at us all: "You really shouldn't have gone
for him like that. It was most ill-advised really."
"Come come, doc, you weren't all that backward yourself in giving him a
sly bit of fist." Then Big Jew turned on me, saying:
"Alekth, you were too impetuouth. That latht kick wath a very very
nathty one." I began to get razdraz about this and said:
"Who started it, eh? I only got in at the end, didn't I?" I pointed at
Jojohn and said: "It was your idea." Wall snored a bit loud, so I said:
"Wake that vonny bratchny up. It was him that kept on at his rot while Big
Jew here had him up against the bars." The Doctor said:
"Nobody will deny having a little hit at the man, to teach him a lesson
so to speak, but it's apparent that you, my dear boy, with the forcefulness
and, shall I say, heedlessness of youth, dealt him the coo de gras. It's a
"Traitors," I said. "Traitors and liars," because I could viddy it was
all like before, two years before, when my so-called droogs had left me to
the brutal rookers of the millicents. There was no trust anywhere in the
world, O my brothers, the way I could see it. And Jojohn went and woke up
Wall, and Wall was only too ready to swear that it was Your Humble Narrator
that had done the real dirty tolchocking and brutality. When the chassos
came along, and then the Chief Chasso, and then the Governor himself, all
these cell-droogs of mine were very shoomny with tales of what I'd done to
oobivat this worthless pervert whose krovvy-covered plott lay sacklike on
That was a very queer day, O my brothers. The dead plott was carried
off, and then everybody in the whole prison had to stay locked up until
further orders, and there was no pishcha given out, not even a mug of hot
chai. We just all sat there, and the warders or chassos sort of strode up
and down the tier, now and then creeching "Shut it" or "Close that hole"
whenever they slooshied even a whisper from any of the cells.
Then about eleven o'clock in the morning there was a sort of like
stiffening and excitement and like the von of fear spreading from outside
the cell, and then we could viddy the Governor and the Chief Chasso and some
very bolshy important-looking chellovecks walking by real skorry,
govoreeting like bezoomny. They seemed to walk right to the end of the tier,
then they could be slooshied walking back again, more slow this time, and
you could slooshy the Governor, a very sweaty fatty fair-haired veck, saying
slovos like "But, sir--" and "Well, what can be done, sir?" and so on. Then
the whole lot stopped at our cell and the Chief Chasso opened up. You could
viddy who was the real important veck right away, very tall and with blue
glazzies and with real horrorshow platties on him, the most lovely suit,
brothers, I have ever viddied, absolutely in the heighth of fashion. He just
sort of looked right through us poor plennies, saying, in a very beautiful
real educated goloss: "The Government cannot be concerned any longer with
outmoded penological theories. Cram criminals together and see what happens.
You get concentrated criminality, crime in the midst of punishment. Soon we
may be needing all our prison space for political offenders." I didn't pony
this at all, brothers, but after all he was not govoreeting to me. Then he
said: "Common criminals like this unsavoury crowd"--(that meant me,
brothers, as well as the others, who were real prestoopnicks and treacherous
with it)--"can best be dealt with on a purely curative basis. Kill the
criminal reflex, that's all. Full implementation in a year's time.
Punishment means nothing to them, you can see that. They enjoy their
so-called punishment. They start murdering each other." And he turned his
stern blue glazzies on me. So I said, bold:
"With respect, sir, I object very strongly to what you said then. I am
not a common criminal, sir, and I am not unsavoury. The others may be
unsavoury but I am not." The Chief Chasso went all purple and creeched:
"You shut your bleeding hole, you. Don't you know who this is?"
"All right, all right," said this big veck. Then he turned to the
Governor and said: "You can use him as a trail-blazer. He's young, bold,
vicious. Brodsky will deal with him tomorrow and you can sit in and watch
Brodsky. It works all right, don't worry about that. This vicious young
hoodlum will be transformed out of all recognition."
And those hard slovos, brothers, were like the beginning of my freedom.
That very same evening I was dragged down nice and gentle by brutal
tolchocking chassos to viddy the Governor in his holy of holies holy office.
The Governor looked very weary at me and said: "I don't suppose you know who
that was this morning, do you, 6655321?" And without waiting for me to say
no he said: "That was no less a personage than the Minister of the Interior,
the new Minister of the Interior and what they call a very new broom. Well,
these new ridiculous ideas have come at last and orders are orders, though I
may say to you in confidence that I do not approve. I most emphatically do
not approve. An eye for an eye, I say. If someone hits you you hit back, do
you not? Why then should not the State, very severely hit by you brutal
hooligans, not hit back also? But the new view is to say no. The new view is
that we turn the bad into the good. All of which seems to me grossly unjust.
So I said, trying to be like respectful and accomodating:
"Sir." And then the Chief Chasso, who was standing all red and burly
behind the Governor's chair, creeched:
"Shut your filthy hole, you scum."
"All right, all right," said the like tired and fagged-out Governor.
"You, 6655321, are to be reformed. Tomorrow you go to this man Brodsky. It
is believed that you will be able to leave State Custody in a little over a
fortnight. In a little over a fortnight you will be out again in the big
free world, no longer a number. I suppose," and he snorted a bit here, "that
prospect pleases you?" I said nothing so the Chief Chasso creeched:
"Answer, you filthy young swine, when the Governor asks you a
question." So I said:
"Oh, yes, sir. Thank you very much, sir. I've done my best here, really
I have. I'm very grateful to all concerned."
"Don't be," like sighed the Governor. "This is not a reward. This is
far from being a reward. Now, there is a form here to be signed. It says
that you are wiling to have the residue of your sentence commuted to
submission to what is called here, ridiculous expression, Reclamation
Treatment. Will you sign?"
"Most certainly I will sign," I said, "sir. And very many thanks." So I
was given an ink-pencil and I signed my name nice and flowy. The Governor
"Right. That's the lot, I think." The Chief Chasso said:
"The Prison Chaplain would like a word with him, sir." So I was marched
out and off down the corridor towards the Wing Chapel, tolchocked on the
back and the gulliver all the way by one of the chassos, but in a very like
yawny and bored manner. And I was marched across the Wing Chapel to the
little cantora of the charles and then made to go in. The charles was
sitting at his desk, smelling loud and clear of a fine manny von of
expensive cancers and Scotch. He said:
"Ah, little 6655321, be seated." And to the chassos: "Wait outside,
eh?" Which they did. Then he spoke in a very like earnest way to me, saying:
"One thing I want you to understand, boy, is that this is nothing to do with
me. Were it expedient, I would protest about it, but it is not expedient.
There is the question of my own career, there is the question of the
weakness of my own voice when set against the shout of certain more powerful
elements in the polity. Do I make myself clear?" He didn't, brothers, but I
nodded that he did. "Very hard ethical questions are involved," he went on.
"You are to be made into a good boy, 6655321. Never again will you have the
desire to commit acts of violence or to offend in any way whatsoever against
the State's Peace. I hope you take all that in. I hope you are absolutely
clear in your own mind about that." I said:
"Oh, it will be nice to be good, sir." But I had a real horrorshow
smeck at that inside, brothers. He said:
"It may not be nice to be good, little 6655321. It may be horrible to
be good. And when I say that to you I realize how self-contradictory that
sounds. I know I shall have many sleepless nights about this. What does God
want? Does God want woodness or the choice of goodness? Is a man who chooses
the bad perhaps in some ways better than a man who has the good imposed upon
him? Deep and hard questions, little 6655321. But all I want to say to you
now is this: if at any time in the future you look back to these times and
remember me, the lowest and humblest of all God's servitors, do not, I pray,
think evil of me in your heart, thinking me in any way involved in what is
now about to happen to you. And now, talking of praying, I realize sadly
that there will be little point in praying for you. You are passing now to a
region where you will be beyond the reach of the power of prayer. A terrible
terrible thing to consider. And yet, in a sense, in choosing to be deprive
of the ability to make an ethical choice, you have in a sense really chosen
the good. So I shall like to think. So, God help us all, 6655321, I shall
like to think." And then he began to cry. But I didn't really take much
notice of that, brothers only having a bit of a quiet smeck inside, because
you could viddy that he had been peeting away at the old whisky, and now he
took a bottle from a cupboard in his desk and started to pour himself a real
horrorshow bolshy slog into a very greasy and grahzny glass. He downed it
and the said: "All may be well, who knows? God works in a mysterious way."
Then he began to sing away at a hymn in a real loud rich goloss. Then the
door opened and the chassos came in to tolchock me back to my vonny cell,
but the old charles still went on singing this hymn.
Well, the next morning I had to say good-bye to the old Staja, and I
felt a malenky bit sad as you always will when you have to leave a place
you've like got used to. But I didn't go very far, O my brothers. I was
punched and kicked along to the new white building just beyond the yard
where we used to do our bit of exercise. This was a very new building and it
had a new cold like sizy smell which gave you a bit of the shivers. I stood
there in the horrible bolshy bare hall and I got new vons, sniffing away
there with my like very sensitive morder or sniffer. These were like
hospital vons, and the chelloveck the chassos handed me over to had a white
coat on, as he might be a hospital man. He signed for me, and one of the
brutal chassos who had brought me said: "You watch this one, sir. A right
brutal bastard he has been and will be again, in spite of all his sucking up
to the Prison Chaplain and reading the Bible." But this new chelloveck had
real horrorshow blue glazzies which like smiled when he govoreeted. He said:
"Oh, we don't anticipate any trouble. We're going to be friends, aren't
we?" And he smiled with his glazzies and his fine big rot which was full of
shining white zoobies and I sort of took to this veck right away. Anyway, he
passed me on to a like lesser veck in a white coat, and this one was very
nice too, and I was led off to a very nice white clean bedroom with curtains
and a bedside lamp, and just the one bed in it, all for Your Humble
Narrator. So I had a real horrorshow inner smeck at that, thinking I was
really a very lucky young malchickiwick. I was told to take off my horrible
prison platties and I was given a really beautiful set of pyjamas, O my
brothers, in plain green, the heighth of bedwear fashion. And I was given a
nice warm dressing-gown too and lovely toofles to put my bare nogas in, and
I thought: "Well, Alex boy, little 6655321 as was, you have copped it lucky
and no mistake. You are really going to enjoy it here."
After I had been given a nice chasha of real horrorshow coffee and some
old gazettas and mags to look at while peeting it, this first veck in white
came in, the one who had like signed for me, and he said: "Aha, there you
are," a silly sort of a veshch to say but it didn't sound silly, this veck
being so like nice. "My name," he said, "is Dr. Branom. I'm Dr. Brodsky's
assistant. With your permission, I'll just give you the usual brief overall
examination." And he took the old stetho out of his right carman. "We must
make sure you're quite fit, mustn't we? Yes indeed, we must." So while I lay
there with my pyjama top off and he did this, that and the other, I said:
"What exactly is it, sir, that you're going to do?"
"Oh," said Dr. Branom, his cold stetho going all down my back, "it's
quite simple, really. We just show you some films."
"Films?" I said. I could hardly believe my ookos, brothers, as you may
well understand. "You mean," I said, "it will be just like going to the
"They'll be special films," said Dr. Branom. "Very special films.
You'll be having the first session this afternoon. Yes," he said, getting up
from bending over me, "you seem to be quite a fit young boy. A bit
under-nourished perhaps. That will be the fault of the prison food. Put your
pyjama top back on. After every meal," he said, sitting on the edge of the
bed, "we shall be giving you a shot in the arm. That should help." I felt
really grateful to this very nice Dr. Branom. I said:
"Vitamins, sir, will it be?"
"Something like that," he said, smiling real horrorshow and friendly,
"just a jab in the arm after every meal." Then he went out. I lay on the bed
thinking this was like real heaven, and I read some of the mags they'd given
me--`Worldsport,' `Sinny' (this being a film mag) and `Goal.' Then I lay
back on the bed and shut my glazzies and thought how nice it was going to be
out there again, Alex with perhaps a nice easy job during the day, me being
now too old for the old skolliwoll, and then perhaps getting a new like gang
together for the nochy, and the first rabbit would be to get old Dim and
Pete, if they had not been got already by the millicents. This time I would
be very careful not to get loveted. They were giving another like chance, me
having done murder and all, and it would not be like fair to get loveted
again, after going to all this trouble to show me films that were going to
make me a real good malchick. I had a real horrorshow smeck at everybody's
like innocence, and I was smecking my gulliver off when they brought in my
lunch on a tray. The veck who brought it was the one who'd led me to this
malenky bedroom when I came into the mesto, and he said:
"It's nice to know somebody's happy." It was really a very nice
appetizing bit of pishcha they'd laid out on the tray--two or three lomticks
of like hot roastbeef with mashed kartoffel and vedge, then there was also
ice-cream and a nice hot chasha of chai. And there was even a cancer to
smoke and a matchbox with one match in. So this looked like it was the life,
O my brothers. Then, about half an hour after while I was lying a bit sleepy
on the bed, a woman nurse came in, a real nice young devotchka with real
horrorshow groodies (I had not seen such for two years) and she had a tray
and a hypodermic. I said:
"Ah, the old vitamins, eh?" And I clickclicked at her but she took no
notice. All she did was to slam the needle into my left arm, and then
swishhhh in went the vitamin stuff. Then she went out again, clack clack on
her high-heeled nogas. Then the white-coated veck who was like a male nurse
came in with a wheelchair. I was a malenky bit surprised to viddy that. I
"What giveth then, brother? I can walk, surely, to wherever we have to
itty to." But he said:
"Best I push you there." And indeed, O my brothers, when I got off the
bed I found myself a malenky bit weak. It was the under-nourishment like Dr.
Branom had said, all that horrible prison pishcha. But the vitamins in the
after-meal injection would put me right. No doubt at all about that, I
Where I was wheeled to, brothers, was like no sinny I had ever viddied
before. True enough, one wall was all covered with silver screen, and direct
opposite was a wall with square holes in for the projector to project
through, and there were stereo speakers stuck all over the mesto. But
against the right-hand one of the other walls was a bank of all like little
meters, and in the middle of the floor facing the screen was like a
dentist's chair with all lengths of wire running from it, and I had to like
crawl from the wheelchair to this, being given some help by another like
male nurse veck in a white coat. Then I noticed that underneath the
projection holes was like all frosted glass and I thought I viddied shadows
of like people moving behind it and I thought I slooshied somebody cough
kashl kashl kashl. But then all I could like notice was how weak I seemed to
be, and I put that down to changing over from prison pishcha to this new
rich pishcha and the vitamins injected into me. "Right," said the
wheelchair-wheeling veck, "now I'll leave you. The show will commence as
soon as Dr. Brodsky arrives. Hope you enjoy it." To be truthful, brothers, I
did not really feel that I wanted to viddy any film-show this afternoon. I
was just not in the mood. I would have liked much better to have a nice
quiet spatchka on the bed, nice and quiet and all on my oddy knocky. I felt
What happened now was that one white-coated veck strapped my gulliver
to a like head-rest, singing to himself all the time some vonny cally
pop-song. "What's this for?" I said. And this veck replied, interrupting his
like song an instant, that it was to keep my gulliver still and make me look
at the screen. "But," I said, "I want to look at the screen. I've been
brought here to viddy films and viddy films I shall." And then the other
white-coat veck (there were three altogether, one of them a devotchka who
was like sitting at the bank of meters and twiddling with knobs) had a bit
of a smeck at that.
"You never know. Oh, you never know. Trust us, friend. It's better this
way." And then I found they were strapping my rookers to the chair-arms and
my nogas were like stuck to a foot-rest. It seemed a bit bezoomny to me but
I let them get on with what they wanted to get on with. If I was to be a
free young malchick again in a fortnight's time I would put up with much in
the meantime, O my brothers. One veshch I did not like, though, was when
they put like clips on the skin of my forehead, so that my top glazz-lids
were pulled up and up and up and I could not shut my glazzies no matter how
I tried. I tried to smeck and said: "This must be a real horrorshow film if
you're so keen on my viddying it." And one of the white-coat vecks said,
"Horrorshow is right, friend. A real show of horrors." And then I had
like a cap stuck on my gulliver and I could viddy all wires running away
from it, and they stuck a like suction pad on my belly and one on the old
tick-tocker, and I could just about viddy wires running away from those.
Then there was the shoom of a door opening and you could tell some very
important chelloveck was coming in by the way the white-coated under-vecks
went all stiff. And then I viddied this Dr. Brodsky. He was a malenky veck,
very fat, with all curly hair curling all over his gulliver, and on his
spuddy nose he had very thick ochkies. I could just viddy that he had a real
horrorshow suit on, absolutely the heighth of fashion, and he had a like
very delicate and subtle von of operating-theatres coming from him. With him
was Dr. Branom, all smiling like as though to give me confidence.
"Everything ready?" said Dr. Brodsky in a very breathy goloss. Then I could
slooshy voices saying Right right right from like a distance, then nearer
to, then there was a quiet like humming shoom as though things had been
switched on. And then the lights went out and there was Your Humble Narrator
And Friend sitting alone in the dark, all on his frightened oddy knocky, not
able to move nor shut his glazzies nor anything. And then, O my brothers,
the film-show started off with some very gromky atmosphere music coming from
the speakers, very fierce and full of discord. And then on the screen the
picture came on, but there was no title and no credits. What came on was a
street, as it might have been any street in any town, and it was a real dark
nochy and the lamps were lit. It was a very good like professional piece of
sinny, and there were none of these flickers and blobs you get, say, when
you viddy one of these dirty films in somebody's house in a back street. All
the time the music bumped out, very like sinister. And then you could viddy
an old man coming down the street, very starry, and then there leaped out on
this starry veck two malchicks dressed in the heighth of fashion, as it was
at this time (still thin trousers but no like cravat any more, more of a
real tie), and then they started to filly with him. You could slooshy the
screams and moans, very realistic, and you could even get the like heavy
breathing and panting of the two tolchocking malchicks. They made a real
pudding out of this starry veck, going crack crack crack at him with the
fisty rookers, tearing his platties off and then finishing up by booting his
nagoy plott (this lay all krovvy-red in the grahzny mud of the gutter) and
then running off very skorry. Then there was the close-up gulliver of this
beaten-up starry veck, and the krovvy flowed beautiful red. It's funny how
the colours of the like real world only seem really real when you viddy them
on the screen.
Now all the time I was watching this I was beginning to get very aware
of a like not feeling all that well, and this I put down to the
under-nourishment and my stomach not quite ready for tthe rich pishcha and
vitamins I was getting here. But I tried to forget this, concentrating on
the next film which came on at once, brothers, without any break at all.
This time the film jumped right away on a young devotchka who was being
given the old in-out by first one malchick then another then another then
another, she creeching away very gromky through the speakers and like very
pathetic and tragic music going on at the same time. This was real, very
real, though if you thought about it properly you couldn't imagine lewdies
actually agreeing to having all this done to them in a film, and if these
films were made by the Good or the State you couldn't imagine them being
allowed to take these films without like interfering with what was going on.
So it must have been very clever what they call cutting or editing or some
such veshch. For it was very real. And when it came to the sixth or seventh
malchick leering and smecking and then going into it and the devotchka
creeching on the sound-track like bezoomny, then I began to feel sick. I had
like pains all over and felt I could sick up and at the same time not sick
up, and I began to feel like in distress, O my brothers, being fixed rigid
too on this chair. When this bit of film was over I could slooshy the goloss
of this Dr. Brodsky from over by the switchboard saying: "Reaction about
twelve point five? Promising, promising."
Then we shot straight into another lomtick of film, and this time it
was of just a human litso, a very like pale human face held still and having
different nasty veshches done to it. I was sweating a malenky bit with the
pain in my guts and a horrible thirst and my gulliver going throb throb
throb, and it seemed to me that if I could not viddy this bit of film I
would perhaps be not so sick. But I could not shut my glazzies, and even if
I tried to move my glaz-balls about I still could not get like out of the
line of fire of this picture. So I had to go on viddying what was being done
and hearing the most ghastly creechings coming from this litso. I knew it
could not really be real, but that made no difference. I was heaving away
but could not sick, viddying first a britva cut out an eye, then slice down
the cheek, then go rip rip rip all over, while red krovvy shot on to the
camera lens. Then all the teeth were like wrenched out with a pair of
pliers, and the creeching and the blood were terrific. Then I slooshied this
very pleased goloss of Dr. Brodsky going: "Excellent, excellent, excellent."
The next lomtick of film was of an old woman who kept a shop being
kicked about amid very gromky laughter by a lot of malchicks, and these
malchicks broke up the shop and then set fire to it. You could viddy this
poor starry ptitsa trying to crawl out of the flames, screaming and
creeching, but having had her leg broke by these malchicks kicking her she
could not move. So then all the flames went roaring round her, and you could
viddy her agonized litso like appealing through the flames and the
disappearing in the flames, and then you could slooshy the most gromky and
agonized and agonizing screams that ever came from a human goloss. So this
time I knew I had to sick up, so I creeched:
"I want to be sick. Please let me be sick. Please bring something for
me to be sick into." But this Dr. Brodsky called back:
"Imagination only. You've nothing to worry about. Next film coming up."
That was perhaps meant to be a joke, for I heard a like smeck coming from
the dark. And then I was forced to viddy a most nasty film about Japanese
torture. It was the 1939-45 War, and there were soldiers being fixed to
trees with nails and having fires lit under them and having their yarbles
cut off, and you even viddied a gulliver being sliced off a soldier with a
sword, and then with his head rolling about and the rot and glazzies looking
alive still, the plott of this soldier actually ran about, krovvying like a
fountain out of the neck, and then it dropped, and all the time there was
very very loud laughter from the Japanese. The pains I felt now in my belly
and the headache and the thirst were terrible, and they all seemed to be
coming out of the screen. So I creeched:
"Stop the film! Please, please stop it! I can't stand any more." And
then the goloss of this Dr. Brodsky said:
"Stop it? Stop it, did you say? Why, we've hardly started." And he and
the others smecked quite loud.
I do not wish to describe, brothers, what other horrible veshches I was
like forced to viddy that afternoon. The like minds of this Dr. Brodsky and
Dr. Branom and the others in white coats, and remember there was this
devotchka twiddling with the knobs and watching the meters, they must have
been more cally and filthy than any prestoopnick in the Staja itself.
Because I did not think it was possible for any veck to even think of making
films of what I was forced to viddy, all tied to this chair and my glazzies
made to be wide open. All I could do was to creech very gromky for them to
turn it off, turn it off, and that like part drowned the noise of dratsing
and fillying and also the music that went with it all. You can imagine it
was like a terrible relief when I'd viddied the last bit of film, and this
Dr. Brodsky said, in a very yawny and bored like goloss: "I think that
should be enough for Day One, don't you, Branom?" And there I was with the
lights switched on, my gulliver throbbing like a bolshy big engine that
makes pain, and my rot all dry and cally inside, and feeling I could like
sick up every bit of pishcha I had ever eaten, O my brothers, since the day
I was like weaned. "All right," said this Dr. Brodsky, "he can be taken back
to his bed." Then he like patted me on the pletcho and said: "Good, good. A
very promising start," grinning all over his litso, then he like waddled
out, Dr. Branom after him, but Dr. Branom gave me a like very droogy and
sympathetic type smile as though he had nothing to do with all this veshch
but was like forced into it as I was.
Anyhow, they freed my plott from the chair and they let go the skin
above my glazzies so that I could open and shut them again, and I shut them,
O my brothers, with the pain and throb in my gulliver, and then I was like
carried to the old wheel-chair and taken back to my malenky bedroom, the
under-veck who wheeled me singing away at some hound-and-horny popsong so
that I like snarled: "Shut it, thou," but he only smecked and said: "Never
mind, friend," and then sang louder. So I was put into the bed and still
felt bolnoy but could not sleep, but soon I started to feel that soon I
might start to feel that I might soon start feeling just a malenky bit
better, and then I was brought some nice hot chai with plenty of moloko and
sakar and, peeting that, I knew that that like horrible nightmare was in the
past and all over. And then Dr. Branom came in, all nice and smiling. He
"Well, by my calculations you should be starting to feel all right
"Sir," I said, like wary. I did not quite kopat what he was getting at
govoreeting about calculations, seeing that getting better from feeling
bolnoy is like your own affair and nothing to do with calculations. He sat
down, all nice and droogy, on the bed's edge and said:
"Dr. Brodsky is pleased with you. You had a very positive response.
Tomorrow, of course, there'll be two sessions, morning and afternoon, and I
should imagine that you'll be feeling a bit limp at the end of the day. But
we have to be hard on you, you have to be cured." I said:
"You mean I have to sit through--? You mean I have to look at--? Oh,
no," I said. "It was horrible."
"Of course it was horrible," smiled Dr. Branom. "Violence is a very
horrible thing. That's what you're learning now. Your body is learning it."
"But," I said, "I don't understand. I don't understand about feeling
sick like I did. I never used to feel sick before. I used to feel like very
the opposite. I mean, doing it or watching it I used to feel real
horrorshow. I just don't understand why or how or what--"
"Life is a very wonderful thing," said Dr. Branom in a like very holy
goloss. "The processes of life, the make-up of the human organism, who can
fully understand these miracles? Dr. Brodsky is, of course, a remarkable
man. What is happening to you now is what should happen to any normal
healthy human organism contemplating the actions of the forces of evil, the
workings of the principle of destruction. You are being made sane, you are
being made healthy."
"That I will not have," I said, "nor can understand at all. What you've
been doing is to make me feel very ill."
"Do you feel ill now?" he said, still with the old droogy smile on his
litso. "Drinking tea, resting, having a quiet chat with a friend--surely
you're not feeling anything but well?"
I like listened and felt for pain and sickness in my gulliver and
plott, in a like cautious way, but it was true, brothers, that I felt real
horrorshow and even wanting my dinner. "I don't get it," I said. "You must
be doing something to me to make me feel ill." And I sort of frowned about
"You felt ill this afternoon," he said, "because you're getting better.
When we're healthy we respond to the presence of the hateful with fear and
nausea. You're becoming healthy, that's all. You'll be healthier still this
time tomorrow." Then he patted me on the noga and went out, and I tried to
puzzle the whole veshch out as best I could. What it seemed to me was that
the wire and other veshches that were fixed to my plott perhaps were making
me feel ill, and that it was all a trick really. I was still puzzling out
all this and wondering whether I should refuse to be strapped down to this
chair tomorrow and start a real bit of dratsing with them all, because I had
my rights, when another chelloveck came in to see me. He was a like smiling
starry veck who said he was what he called the Discharge Officer, and he
carried a lot of bits of paper with him. He said:
"Where will you go when you leave here?" I hadn't really thought about
that sort of veshch at all, and it only now really began to dawn on me that
I'd be a fine free malchick very soon, and then I viddied that would only be
if I played it everybody's way and did not start any dratsing and creeching
and refusing and so on. I said:
"Oh, I shall go home. Back to my pee and em."
"Your--?" He didn't get nadsat-talk at all, so I said:
"To my parents in the dear old flatblock."
"I see," he said. "And when did you last have a visit from your
"A month," I said, "very near. They like suspended visiting-day for a
bit because of one prestoopnick getting some blasting-powder smuggled in
across the wires from his ptitsa. A real cally trick to play on the
innocent, like punishing them as well. So it's near a month since I had a
"I see," said this veck. "And have your parents been informed of your
transfer and impending release?" That had a real lovely zvook that did, that
slovo `release.' I said:
"No." Then I said: "It will be a nice surprise for them, that, won't
it? Me just walking in through the door and saying: `Here I am, back, a free
veck again.' Yes, real horrorshow."
"Right," said the Discharge Officer veck, "we'll leave it at that. So
long as you have somewhere to live. Now, there's the question of your having
a job, isn't there?" And he showed me this long list of jobs I could have,
but I thought, well, there would be time enough for that. A nice malenky
holiday first. I could do a crasting job soon as I got out and fill the old
carmans with pretty polly, but I would have to be very careful and I would
have to do the job all on my oddy knocky. I did not trust so-called droogs
any more. So I told this veck to leave it a bit and we would govoreet about
it again. He said right right right, then got ready to leave. He showed
himself to be a very queer sort of a veck, because what he did now was to
like giggle and then say: "Would you like to punch me in the face before I
go?" I did not think I could possibly have slooshied that right, so I said:
"Would you," he giggled, "like to punch me in the face before I go?" I
frowned like at that, very puzzled, and said:
"Oh," he said, "just to see how you're getting on." And he brought his
litso real near, a fat grin all over his rot. So I fisted up and went smack
at this litso, but he pulled himself away real skorry, grinning still, and
my rooker just punched air. Very puzzling, this was, and I frowned as he
left, smecking his gulliver off. And then, my brothers, I felt real sick
again, just like in the afternoon, just for a couple of minootas. It then
passed off skorry, and when they brought my dinner in I found I had a fair
appetite and was ready to crunk away at the roast chicken. But it was funny
that starry chelloveck asking for a tolchock in the litso. And it was funny
feeling sick like that.
What was even funnier was when I went to sleep that night, O my
brothers, I had a nightmare, and, as you might expect, it was one of those
bits of film I'd viddied in the afternoon. A dream or nightmare is really
only like a film inside your gulliver, except that it is as though you could
walk into it and be part of it. And this is what happened to me. It was a
nightmare of one of the bits of film they showed me near the end of the
afternoon like session, all of smecking malchicks doing the ultra-violent on
a young ptitsa who was creeching away in her red red krovvy, her platties
all razrezzed real horrorshow. I was in this fillying about, smecking away
and being like the ring-leader, dressed in the heighth of nadsat fashion.
And then at the heighth of all this dratsing and tolchocking I felt like
paralysed and wanting to be very sick, and all the other malchicks had a
real gromky smeck at me. Then I was dratsing my way back to being awake all
through my own krovvy, pints and quarts and gallons of it, and then I found
myself in my bed in this room. I wanted to be sick, so I got out of the bed
all trembly so as to go off down the corridor to the old vaysay. But,
behold, brothers, the door was locked. And turning round I viddied for like
the first raz that there were bars on the window. And so, as I reached for
the like pot in the malenky cupboard beside the bed, I viddied that there
would be no escaping from any of all this. Worse, I did not dare to go back
into my own sleeping gulliver. I soon found I did not want to be sick after
all, but then I was poogly of getting back into bed to sleep. But soon I
fell smack into sleep and did not dream any more.
"Stop it, stop it, stop it," I kept on creeching out. "Turn it off you
grahzny bastards, for I can stand no more." It was the next day, brothers,
and I had truly done my best morning and afternoon to play it their way and
sit like a horrorshow smiling cooperative malchick in their chair of torture
while they flashed nasty bits of ultra-violence on the screen, my glazzies
clipped open to viddy all, my plott and rookers and nogas fixed to the chair
so I could not get away. What I was being made to viddy now was not really a
veshch I would have thought to be too bad before, it being only three or
four malchicks crasting in a shop and filling their carmans with cutter, at
the same time fillying about with the creeching starry ptitsa running the
shop, tolchocking her and letting the red red krovvy flow. But the throb and
like crash crash crash in my gulliver and the wanting to be sick and the
terrible dry rasping thirstiness in my rot, all were worse than yesterday.
"Oh. I've had enough" I cried. "It's not fair, you vonny sods," and I tried
to struggle out of the chair but it was not possible me being as good as
stuck to it.
"First-class," creeched out this Dr. Brodsky. "You're doing really
well. Just one more and then we're finished."
What it was now was the starry 1939-45 War again, and it was a very
blobby and liny and crackly film you could viddy had been made by the
Germans. It opened with German eagles and the Nazi flag with that like
crooked cross that all malchicks at school love to draw, and then there were
very haughty and nadmenny like German officers walking through streets that
were all dust and bomb-holes and broken buildings. Then you were allowed to
viddy lewdies being shot against walls, officers giving the orders, and also
horrible nagoy plotts left lying in gutters, all like cages of bare ribs and
white thin nogas. Then there were lewdies being dragged off creeching though
not on the sound-track, my brothers, the only sound being music, and being
tolchocked while they were dragged off. Then I noticed, in all my pain and
sickness, what music it was that like crackled and boomed on the
sound-track, and it was Ludwig van, the last movement of the Fifth Symphony,
and I creeched like bezoomny at that. "Stop!" I creeched. "Stop, you grahzny
disgusting sods. It's a sin, that's what it is, a filthy unforgivable sin,
you bratchnies!" They didn't stop right away, because there was only a
minute or two more to go--lewdies being beaten up and all krovvy, then more
firing squads, then the old Nazi flag and THE END. But when the lights came
on this Dr. Brodsky and also Dr. Branom were standing in front of me, and
Dr. Brodsky said:
"What's all this about sin, eh?"
"That," I said, very sick. "Using Ludwig van like that. He did no harm
to anyone. Beethoven just wrote music." And then I was really sick and they
had to bring a bowl that was in the shape of like a kidney.
"Music," said Dr. Brodsky, like musing. "So you're keen on music. I
know nothing about it myself. It's a useful emotional heightener, that's all
I know. Well, well. What do you think about that, eh, Branom?"
"It can't be helped," said Dr. Branom. "Each man kills the thing he
loves, as the poet-prisoner said. Here's the punishment element, perhaps.
The Governor ought to be pleased."
"Give me a drink," I said, "for Bog's sake."
"Loosen him," ordered Dr. Brodsky. "Fetch him a carafe of ice-cold
water." So then these under-vecks got to work and soon I was peeting gallons
and gallons of water and it was like heaven, O my brothers. Dr. Brodsky
"You seem a sufficiently intelligent young man. You seem, too, to be
not without taste. You've just got this violence thing, haven't you?
Violence and theft, theft being an aspect of violence." I didn't govoreet a
single slovo, brothers, I was still feeling sick, though getting a malenky
bit better now. But it had been a terrible day. "Now then," said Dr.
Brodsky, "how do you think this is done? Tell me, what do you think we're
doing to you?"
"You're making me feel ill. I'm ill when I look at those filthy pervert
films of yours. But it's not really the films that's doing it. But I feel
that if you'll stop these films I'll stop feeling ill."
"Right," said Dr. Brodsky. "It's association, the oldest educational
method in the world. And what really causes you to feel ill?"
"These grahzny sodding veshches that come out of my gulliver and my
plott," I said, "that's what it is."
"Quaint," said Dr. Brodsky, like smiling, "the dialect of the tribe. Do
you know anything of its provenance, Branom?"
"Odd bits of old rhyming slang," said Dr. Branom, who did not look
quite so much like a friend any more. "A bit of gipsy talk, too. But most of
the roots are Slav. Propaganda. Subliminal penetration."
"All right, all right, all right," said Dr. Brodsky, like impatient and
not interested any more. "Well," he said to me, "it isn't the wires. It's
nothing to do with what's fastened to you. Those are just for measuring your
reactions. What is it, then?"
I viddied then, of course, what a bezoomny shoot I was not to notice
that it was the hypodermic shots in the rooker.
"Oh," I creeched, "oh, I viddy all now. A filthy cally vonny trick. An
act of treachery, sod you, and you won't do it again."
"I'm glad you've raised your objections now," said Dr. Brodsky. "Now we
can be perfectly clear about it. We can get this stuff of Ludovico's into
your system in many different ways. Orally, for instance. But the
subcutaneous method is the best. Don't fight against it, please. There's no
point in your fighting. You can't get the better of us."
"Grahzny bratchnies," I said, like snivelling. Then I said: "I don't
mind about the ultra-violence and all that cal. I put up with that. But it's
not fair on the music. It's not fair I should feel ill when I'm slooshying
lovely Ludwig van and G. F. Handel and others. All that shows you're an evil
lot of bastards and I shall never forgive you, sods."
They both looked a bit like thoughtful. Then Dr. Brodsky said:
"Delimitation is always difficult. The world is one, life is one. The
sweetest and most heavenly of activities partake in some measure of
violence--the act of love, for instance; music, for instance. You must take
your chance, boy. The choice has been all yours." I didn't understand all
these slovos, but now I said:
"You needn't take it any further, sir." I'd changed my tune a malenky
bit in my cunning way. "You've proved to me that all this dratsing and
ultra-violence and killing is wrong wrong and terribly wrong. I've learned
my lesson, sirs. I see now what I've never seen before. I'm cured, praise
God." And I raised my glazzies in a like holy way to the ceiling. But both
these doctors shook their gullivers like sadly and Dr. Brodsky said:
"You're not cured yet. There's still a lot to be done. Only when your
body reacts promptly and violently to violence, as to a snake, without
further help from us, without medication, only then--" I said:
"But, sir, sirs, I see that it's wrong. It's wrong because it's against
like society, it's wrong because every veck on earth has the right to live
and be happy without being beaten and tolchocked and knifed. I've learned a
lot, oh really I have."
But Dr. Brodsky had a loud long smeck at that, showing all his white
zoobies, and said:
"The heresy of an age of reason," or some such slovos. "I see what is
right and approve, but I do what is wrong. No, no, my boy, you must leave it
all to us. But be cheerful about it. It will soon be all over. In less than
a fortnight now you'll be a free man." Then he patted me on the pletcho.
Less than a fortnight, O my brothers and friends, it was like an age.
It was like from the beginning of the world to the end of it. To finish the
fourteen years without remission in the Staja would have been nothing to it.
Every day it was the same. When the devotchka with the hypodermic came
round, though, four days after this govoreeting with Dr. Brodsky and Dr.
Branom, I said: "Oh, no you won't," and tolchocked her on the rooker, and
the syringe went tinkle clatter on to the floor. That was like to viddy what
they would do. What they did was to get four or five real bolshy
white-coated bastards of under-vecks to hold me down on the bed, tolchocking
me with grinny litsos close to mine, and then this nurse ptitsa said: "You
wicked naughty little devil, you," while she jabbed my rooker with another
syringe and squirted this stuff in real brutal and nasty. And then I was
wheeled off exhausted to this like hell sinny as before.
Every day, my brothers, these films were like the same, all kicking and
tolchocking and red red krovvy dripping off of litsos and plotts and
spattering all over the camera lenses. It was usually grinning and smecking
malchicks in the heighth of nadsat fashion, or else teeheeheeing Jap
torturers or brutal Nazi kickers and shooters. And each day the feeling of
wanting to die with the sickness and gulliver pains and aches in the zoobies
and horrible horrible thirst grew really worse. Until one morning I tried to
defeat the bastards by crash crash crashing my gulliver against the wall so
that I should tolchock myself unconscious, but all that happened was I felt
sick with viddying that this kind of violence was like the violence in the
films, so I was just exhausted and was given the injection and was wheeled
off like before.
And then there came a morning when I woke up and had my breakfast of
eggs and toast and jam and very hot milky chai, and then I thought: "It
can't be much longer now. Now must be very near the end of the time. I have
suffered to the heighths and cannot suffer any more." And I waited and
waited, brothers, for this nurse ptitsa to bring in the syringe, but she did
not come. And then the white-coated under-veck came and said:
"Today, old friend, we are letting you walk."
"Walk?" I said. "Where?"
"To the usual place," he said. "Yes, yes, look not so astonished. You
are to walk to the films, me with you of course. You are no longer to be
carried in a wheelchair."
"But," I said, "how about my horrible morning injection?"
For I was really surprised at this, brothers, they being so keen on
pushing this Ludovico veshch into me, as they said. "Don't I get that
horrible sicky stuff rammed into my poor suffering rooker any more?"
"All over," like smecked this veck. "For ever and ever amen. You're on
your own now, boy. Walking and all to the chamber of horrors. But you're
still to be strapped down and made to see. Come on then, my little tiger."
And I had to put my over-gown and toofles on and walk down the corridor to
the like sinny mesto.
Now this time, O my brothers, I was not only very sick but very
puzzled. There it was again, all the old ultra-violence and vecks with their
gullivers smashed and torn krovvy-dripping ptitsas creeching for mercy, the
like private and individual fillying and nastiness. Then there were the
prison-camps and the Jews and the grey like foreign streets full of tanks
and uniforms and vecks going down in withering rifle-fire, this being the
public side of it. And this time I could blame nothing for me feeling sick
and thirsty and full of aches except what I was forced to viddy, my glazzies
still being clipped open and my nogas and plott fixed to the chair but this
set of wires and other veshches no longer coming out of my plott and
gulliver. So what could it be but the films I was viddying that were doing
this to me? Except, of course, brothers, that this Ludovico stuff was like a
vaccination and there it was cruising about in my krovvy, so that I would be
sick always for ever and ever amen whenever I viddied any of this
ultra-violence. So now I squared my rot and went boo hoo hoo, and the tears
like blotted out what I was forced to viddy in like all blessed runny
silvery dewdrops. But these white-coat bratchnies were skorry with their
tashtooks to wipe the tears away, saying: "There there, wazzums all
weepy-weepy den." And there it was again all clear before my glazzies, these
Germans prodding like beseeching and weeping Jews--vecks and cheenas and
malchicks and devotchkas--into mestos where they would all snuff it of
poison gas. Boo hoo hoo I had to go again, and along they came to wipe the
tears off, very skorry, so I should not miss one solitary veshch of what
they were showing. It was a terrible and horrible day, O my brothers and
I was lying on the bed all alone that nochy after my dinner of fat
thick mutton stew and fruit-pie and ice-cream, and I thought to myself:
"Hell hell hell, there might be a chance for me if I get out now." I had no
weapon, though. I was allowed no britva here, and I had been shaved every
other day by a fat bald-headed veck who came to my bed before breakfast, two
white-coated bratchnies standing by to viddy I was a good non-violent
malchick. The nails on my rookers had been scissored and filed real short so
I could not scratch. But I was still skorry on the attack, though they had
weakened me down, brothers, to a like shadow of what I had been in the old
free days. So now I got off the bed and went to the locked door and began to
fist it real horrorshow and hard, creeching at the same time: "Oh, help
help. I'm sick, I'm dying. Doctor doctor doctor, quick. Please. Oh, I'll
die, I shall. Help." My gorlo was real dry and sore before anyone came. Then
I heard nogas coming down the corridor and a like grumbling goloss, and then
I recognized the goloss of the white-coated veck who brought me pishcha and
like escorted me to my daily doom.
He like grumbled:
"What is it? What goes on? What's your little nasty game in there?"
"Oh, I'm dying," I like moaned. "Oh, I have a ghastly pain in my side.
Appendicitis, it is. Ooooooh."
"Appendy shitehouse," grumbled this veck, and then to my joy, brothers,
I could slooshy the like clank of keys. "If you're trying it little friend,
my friends and me will beat and kick you all through the night." Then he
opened up and brought in like the sweet air of the promise of my freedom.
Now I was like behind the door when he pushed it open, and I could viddy him
in the corridor light looking round for me puzzled. Then I raised my two
fisties to tolchock him on the neck nasty, and then, I swear, as I viddied
him in advance lying moaning or out out out and felt the like joy rise in my
guts, it was then that this sickness rose in me as it might be a wave and I
felt a horrible fear as if I was really going to die. I like tottered over
to the bed going urgh urgh urgh, and the veck, who was not in his white coat
but an over-gown, viddied clear enough what I had in mind for he said:
"Well, everything's a lesson, isn't it? Learning all the time, as you
could say. Come on, little friend, get up from that bed and hit me. I want
you to, yes, really. A real good crack across the jaw. Oh, I'm dying for it,
really I am." But all I could do, brothers, was to just lay there sobbing
boo hoo hoo. "Scum," like sneered this veck now. "Filth." And he pulled me
up by like the scruff of my pyjama-top, me being very weak and limp, and he
raised and swung his right rooker so that I got a fair old tolchock clean on
the litso. "That," he said, "is for getting me out of my bed, you young
dirt." And he wiped his rookers against each other swish swish and went out.
Crunch crunch went the key in the lock.
And what, brothers, I had to escape into sleep from then was the
horrible and wrong feeling that it was better to get the hit than give it.
If that veck had stayed I might even have like presented the other cheek.
I could not believe, brothers, what I was told. It seemed that I had
been in that vonny mesto for near ever and would be there for near ever
more. But it had always been a fortnight and now they said the fortnight was
near up. They said:
"Tomorrow, little friend, out out out." And they made with the old
thumb, like pointing to freedom. And then the white-coated veck who had
tolchocked me and who had still brought me my trays of pishcha and like
escorted me to my everyday torture said: "But you still have one real big
day in front of you. It's to be your passing-out day," and he had a leery
smeck at that.
I expected this morning that I would be ittying as usual to the sinny
mesto in my pyjamas and toofles and over-gown. But no. This morning I was
given my shirt and underveshches and my platties of the night and my
horrorshow kick-boots, all lovely and washed or ironed and polished. And I
was even given my cut-throat britva that I had used in those old happy days
for fillying and dratsing. So I gave with the puzzled frown at this as I got
dressed, but the white-coated under-veck just like grinned and would
govoreet nothing, O my brothers.
I was led quite kindly to the same old mesto, but there were changes
there. Curtains had been drawn in front of the sinny screen and the frosted
glass under the projection holes was no longer there, it having perhaps been
pushed up or folded to the sides like blinds or shutters. And where there
had been just the noise of coughing kashl kashl kashl and like shadows of
the lewdies was now a real audience, and in this audience there were litsos
I knew. There was the Staja Governor and the holy man, the charlie or
charles as he was called, and the Chief Chasso and this very important and
well-dressed chelloveck who was the Minister of the Interior or Inferior.
All the rest I did not know. Dr. Brodsky and Dr. Branom were there, though
not now white-coated, instead they were dressed as doctors would dress who
were big enough to want to dress in the heighth of fashion. Dr. Branom just
stood, but Dr. Brodsky stood and govoreeted in a like learned manner to all
the lewdies assembled. When he viddied me coming in he said:
"Aha. At this stage, gentlemen, we introduce the subject himself. He
is, as you will percieve, fit and well nourished. He comes straight from a
night's sleep and a good breakfast, undrugged, unhypnotized. Tomorrow we
send him with confidence out into the world again, as decent a lad as you
would meet on a May morning, inclined to the kindly word and the helpful
act. What a change is here, gentlemen, from the wretched hoodlum the State
committed to unprofitable punishment some two years ago, unchanged after two
years. Unchanged, do I say? Not quite. Prison taught him the false smile,
the rubbed hands of hypocrisy, the fawning greased obsequious leer. Other
vices it taught him, as well as confirming him in those he had long
practised before. But gentlemen, enough of words. Actions speak louder than.
Action now. Observe, all."
I was a bit dazed by all this govoreeting and I was trying to grasp in
my mind that like all this was about me. Then all the lights went out and
then there came on two like spotlights shining from the projection-squares,
and one of them was full on Your Humble and Suffering Narrator. And into the
other spotlight there walked a bolshy big chelloveck I had never viddied
before. He had a lardy like litso and a moustache and like strips of hair
pasted over his near-bald gulliver. He was about thirty or forty or fifty,
some old age like that, starry. He ittied up to me and the spotlight ittied
with him, and soon the two spotlights had made like one big pool. He said to
me, very sneery: "Hello, heap of dirt. Pooh, you don't wash much, judging
from the horrible smell." Then, as if he was like dancing, he stamped on my
nogas, left, right, then he gave me a finger-nail flick on the nose that
hurt like bezoomny and brought the old tears to my glazzies then he twisted
at my left ooko like it was a radio dial. I could slooshy titters and a
couple of real horrorshow hawhawhaws coming from like the audience. My nose
and nogas and ear-hole stung and pained like bezoomny, so I said:
"What do you do that to me for? I've never done wrong to you, brother."
"Oh," this veck said, "I do this"--flickedflicked nose again--"and
that"--twisted smarting ear-hole--"and the other"--stamped nasty on right
noga--"because I don't care for your horrible type. And if you want to do
anything about it, start, start, please do." Now I knew that I'd have to be
real skorry and get my cut-throat britva out before this horrible killing
sickness whooshed up and turned the like joy of battle into feeling I was
going to snuff it. But, O brothers, as my rooker reached for the britva in
my inside carman I got this like picture in my mind's glazzy of this
insulting chelloveck howling for mercy with the red red krovvy all streaming
out of his rot, and hot after this picture the sickness and dryness and
pains were rushing to overtake, and I viddied that I'd have to change the
way I felt about this rotten veck very very skorry indeed, so I felt in my
carmans for cigarettes or for pretty polly, and, O my brothers, there was
not either of these veshches, I said, like all howly and blubbery:
"I'd like to give you a cigarette, brother, but I don't seem to have
any." This veck went:
"Wah wah. Boohoohoo. Cry, baby." Then he flickflickflicked with his
bolshy horny nail at my nose again, and I could slooshy very loud smecks of
like mirth coming from the dark audience. I said, real desperate, trying to
be nice to this insulting and hurtful veck to stop the pains and sickness
"Please let me do something for you, please." And I felt in my carmans
but could find only my cut-throat britva, so I took this out and handed it
to him and said: "Please take this, please. A little present. Please have
it." But he said: "Keep your stinking bribes to yourself. You can't get
round me that way." And he banged at my rooker and my cut-throat britva fell
on the floor. So I said:
"Please, I must do something. Shall I clean your boots? Look, I'll get
down and lick them." And, my brothers, believe it or kiss my sharries, I got
down on my knees and pushed my red yahzick out a mile and half to lick his
grahzny vonny boots. But all this veck did was to kick me not too hard on
the rot. So then it seemed to me that it would not bring on the sickness and
pain if I just gripped his ankles with my rookers tight round them and
brought this grashzny bratchny down to the floor. So I did this and he got a
real bolshy surprise, coming down crack amid loud laughter from the vonny
audience. But viddying him on the floor I could feel the whole horrible
feeling coming over me, so I gave him my rooker to lift him up skorry and up
he came. Then just as he was going to give me a real nasty and earnest
tolchock on the litso Dr. Brodsky said:
"All right, that will do very well." Then this horrible veck sort of
bowed and danced off like an actor while the lights came up on me blinking
and with my rot square for howling. Dr. Brodsky said to the audience: "Our
subject is, you see, impelled towards the good by, paradoxically, being
impelled towards evil. The intention to act violently is accompanied by
strong feelings of physical distress. To counter these the subject has to
switch to a diametrically opposed attitude. Any questions?"
"Choice," rumbled a rich deep goloss. I viddied it belonged to the
prison charlie. "He has no real choice, has he? Self-interest, fear of
physical pain, drove him to that grotesque act of self-abasement. Its
insincerity was clearly to be seen. He ceases to be a wrongdoer. He ceases
also to be a creature capable of moral choice."
"These are subtleties," like smiled Dr. Brodsky. "We are not concerned
with motive, with the higher ethics. We are concerned only with cutting down
"And," chipped in this bolshy well-dressed Minister, "with relieving
the ghastly congestion in our prisons."
"Hear hear," said somebody.
There was a lot of govoreeting and arguing then and I just stood there,
brothers, like completely ignored by all these ignorant bratchnies, so I
"Me, me, me. How about me? Where do I come into all this? Am I just
some animal or dog?" And that started them off govoreeting real loud and
throwing slovos at me. So I creeched louder, still creeching: "Am I just to
be like a clockwork orange?" I didn't know what made me use those slovos,
brothers, which just came like without asking into my gulliver. And that
shut all those vecks up for some reason for a minoota or two. Then one very
thin starry professor type chelloveck stood up, his neck like all cables
carrying like power from his gulliver to his plott, and he said:
"You have no cause to grumble, boy. You made your choice and all this
is a consequence of your choice. Whatever now ensues is what you yourself
have chosen." And the prison charlie creeched out:
"Oh, if only I could believe that." And you could viddy the Governor
give him a look like meaning that he would not climb so high in like Prison
Religion as he thought he would. Then loud arguing started again, and then I
could slooshy the slovo Love being thrown around, the prison charles himself
creeching as loud as any about Perfect Love Casteth Out Fear and all that
cal. And now Dr. Brodsky said, smiling all over his litso:
"I am glad, gentlemen, this question of Love has been raised. Now we
shall see in action a manner of Love that was thought to be dead with the
Middle Ages." And then the lights went down and the spotlights came on
again, one on your poor and suffering Friend and Narrator, and into the
other there like rolled or sidled the most lovely young devotchka you could
ever hope in all your jeezny, O my brothers, to viddy. That is to say, she
had real horrorshow groodies all of which you could like viddy, she having
on platties which came down down down off her pletchoes. And her nogas were
like Bog in His Heaven, and she walked like to make you groan in your
keeshkas, and yet her litso was a sweet smiling young like innocent litso.
She came up towards me with the light like it was the like light of heavenly
grace and all that cal coming with her, and the first thing that flashed
into my gulliver was that I would like to have her right down there on the
floor with the old in-out real savage, but skorry as a shot came the
sickness, like a like detective that had been watching round a corner and
now followed to make his grahzny arrest. And now the von of lovely perfume
that came off her made me want to think of starting to heave in my keeshkas,
so I knew I had to think of some new like way of thinking about her before
all the pain and thirstiness and horrible sickness come over me real
horrorshow and proper. So I creeched out:
"O most beautiful and beauteous of devotchkas, I throw like my heart at
your feet for you to like trample all over. If I had a rose I would give it
to you. If it was all rainy and cally now on the ground you could have my
platties to walk on so as not to cover your dainty nogas with filth and
cal." And as I was saying all this, O my brothers, I could feel the sickness
like slinking back. "Let me," I creeched out, "worship you and be like your
helper and protector from the wicked like world." Then I thought of the
right slovo and felt better for it, saying: "Let me be like your true
knight," and down I went again on the old knees, bowing and like scraping.
And then I felt real shooty and dim, it having been like an act again,
for this devotchka smiled and bowed to the audience and like danced off, the
lights coming up to a bit of applause. And the glazzies of some of these
starry vecks in the audience were like popping out at this young devotchka
with dirty and like unholy desire, O my brothers.
"He will be your true Christian," Dr. Brodsky was creeching out, "ready
to turn the other cheek, ready to be crucified rather than crucify, sick to
the very heart at the thought even of killing a fly." And that was right,
brothers, because when he said that I thought of killing a fly and felt just
that tiny bit sick, but I pushed the sickness and pain back by thinking of
the fly being fed with bits of sugar and looked after like a bleeding pet
and all that cal. "Reclamation," he creeched. "Joy before the Angels of
"The point is," this Minister of the Inferior was saying real gromky,
"that it works."
"Oh," the prison charlie said, like sighing, "it works all right, God
help the lot of us."
"What's it going to be then, eh?"
That, my brothers, was me asking myself the next morning, standing
outside this white building that was like tacked on to the old Staja, in my
platties of the night of two years back in the grey light of dawn, with a
malenky bit of a bag with my few personal veshches in and a bit of cutter
kindly donated by the vonny Authorities to like start me off in my new life.
The rest of the day before had been very tiring, what with interviews
to go on tape for the telenews and photographs being took flash flash flash
and more like demonstrations of me folding up in the face of ultra-violence
and all that embarrassing cal. And then I had like fallen into the bed and
then, as it looked to me, been waked up to be told to get off out, to itty
off home, they did not want to viddy Your Humble Narrator never not no more,
O my brothers. So there I was, very very early in the morning, with just
this bit of pretty polly in my left carman, jingle-jangling it and
"What's it going to be then, eh?"
Some breakfast some mesto, I thought, me not having eaten at all that
morning, every veck being so anxious to tolchock me off out to freedom. A
chasha of chai only I had peeted. This Staja was in a very like gloomy part
of the town, but there were malenky workers' caffs all around and I soon
found one of these, my brothers. It was very cally and vonny, with one bulb
in the ceiling with fly-dirt like obscuring its bit of light, and there were
early rabbiters slurping away at chai and horrible-looking sausages and
slices of kleb which they like wolfed, going wolf wolf wolf and then
creeching for more. They were served by a very cally devotchka but with very
bolshy groodies on her, and some of the eating vecks tried to grab her,
going haw haw haw while she went he he he, and the sight of them near made
me want to sick, brothers. But I asked for some toast and jam and chai very
politely and with my gentleman's goloss, then I sat in a dark corner to eat
While I was doing this, a malenky little dwarf of a veck ittied in,
selling the morning's gazettas, a twisted and grahzny prestoopnick type with
thick glasses on with steel rims, his platties like the colour of very
starry decaying currant pudding. I kupetted a gazetta, my idea being to get
ready for plunging back into normal jeezny again by viddying what was
ittying on in the world. This gazetta I had seemed to be like a Government
gazetta, for the only news that was on the front page was about the need for
every veck to make sure he put the Government back in again on the next
General Election, which seemed to be about two or three weeks off. There
were very boastful slovos about what the Government had done, brothers, in
the last year or so, what with increased exports and a real horrorshow
foreign policy and improved social services and all that cal. But what the
Government was really most boastful about was the way in which they reckoned
the streets had been made safer for all peace-loving night-walking lewdies
in the last six months, what with better pay for the police and the police
getting like tougher with young hooligans and perverts and burglars and all
that cal. Which interessovatted Your Humble Narrator some deal. And on the
second page of the gazetta there was a blurry like photograph of somebody
who looked very familiar, and it turned out to be none other than me me me.
I looked very gloomy and like scared, but that was really with the
flashbulbs going pop pop all the time. What it said undrneath my picture was
that here was the first graduate from the new State Institute for
Reclamation of Criminal Types, cured of his criminal instincts in a
fortnight only, now a good law-fearing citizen and all that cal. Then I
viddied there was a very boastful article about this Ludovico's Technique
and how clever the Government was and all that cal. Then there was another
picture of some veck I thought I knew, and it was this Minister of the
Inferior or Interior. It seemed that he had been doing a bit of boasting,
looking forward to a nice crime-free era in which there would be no more
fear of cowardly attacks from young hooligans and perverts and burglars and
all that cal. So I went arghhhhhh and threw this gazetta on the floor, so
that it covered up stains of spilled chai and horrible spat gobs from the
cally animals that used thus caff.
"What's it going to be then, eh?"
What it was going to be now, brothers, was homeways and a nice surprise
for dadada and mum, their only son and heir back in the family bosom. Then I
could lay back on the bed in my own malenky den and slooshy some lovely
music, and at the same time I could think over what to do now with my
jeezny. The Discharge Officer had given me a long list the day before of
jobs I could try for, and he had telephoned to different vecks about me, but
I had no intention, my brothers, of going off to rabbit right away. A
malenky bit of a rest first, yes, and a quiet think on the bed to the sound
of lovely music.
And so the autobus to Center, and then the autobus to Kingsley Avenue,
the flats of Flatblock 18A being just near. You will believe me, my
brothers, when I say that my heart was going clopclopclop with the like
excitement. All was very quiet, it still being early winter morning, and
when I ittied into the vestibule of the flatblock there was no veck about,
only the nagoy vecks and cheenas of the Dignity of Labour. What surprised
me, brothers, was the way that had been cleaned up, there being no longer
any dirty ballooning slovos from the rots of the Dignified Labourers, not
any dirty parts of the body added to their naked plotts by dirty-minded
pencilling malchicks. And what also surprised me was that the lift was
working. It came purring down when I pressed the electric knopka, and when I
got in I was surprised again to viddy all was clean inside the like cage.
So up I went to the tenth floor, and there I saw 10-8 as it had been
before, and my rooker trembled and shook as I took out of my carman the
little klootch I had for opening up. But I very firmly fitted the klootch in
the lock and turned, then opened up then went in, and there I met three
pairs of surprised and almost frightened glazzies looking at me, and it was
pee and em having their breakfast, but it was also another veck that I had
never viddied in my jeezny before, a bolshy thick veck in his shirt and
braces, quite at home, brothers, slurping away at the milky chai and
munchmunching at his eggiweg and toast. And it was this stranger veck who
spoke first, saying:
"Who are you, friend? Where did you get hold of a key? Out, before I
push your face in. Get out there and knock. Explain your business, quick."
My dad and mum sat like petrified, and I could viddy they had not yet
read the gazetta, then I remembered that the gazetta did not arrive till
papapa had gone off to his work. But then mum said: "Oh, you've broken out.
You've escaped. Whatever shall we do? We shall have the police here, oh oh
oh. Oh, you bad and wicked boy, disgracing us all like this." And, believe
it or kiss my sharries, she started to go boo hoo. So I started to try and
explain, they could ring up the Staja if they wanted, and all the time this
stranger veck sat there like frowning and looking as if he could push my
litso in with his hairy bolshy beefy fist. So I said:
"How about you answering a few, brother? What are you doing here and
for how long? I didn't like the tone of what you said just then. Watch it.
Come on, speak up." He was a working-man type veck, very ugly, about thirty
or forty, and he sat now with his rot open at me, not govoreeting one single
slovo. Then my dad said:
"This is all a bit bewildering, son. You should have let us know you
were coming. We thought it would be at least another five or six years
before they let you out. Not," he said, and he said it very like gloomy,
"that we're not very pleased to see you again and a free man, too."
"Who is this?" I said. "Why can't he speak up? What's going on in
"This is Joe," said my mum. "He lives here now. The lodger, that's what
he is. Oh, dear dear dear," she went.
"You," said this Joe. "I've heard all about you, boy. I know what
you've done, breaking the hearts of your poor grieving parents. So you're
back, eh? Back to make life a misery for them once more, is that it? Over my
dead corpse you will, because they've let me be more like a son to them than
like a lodger." I could nearly have smecked loud at that if the old razdraz
within me hadn't started to wake up the feeling of wanting to sick, because
this veck looked about the same age as my pee and em, and there he was like
trying to put a son's protecting rooker round my crying mum, O my brothers.
"So," I said, and I near felt like collapsing in all tears myself. "So
that's it, then. Well, I give you five large minootas to clear all your
horrible cally veshches out of my room." And I made for this room, this veck
being a malenky bit too slow to stop me. When I opened the door my heart
cracked to the carpet, because I viddied it was no longer like my room at
all, brothers. All my flags had gone off the walls and this veck had put up
pictures of boxers, also like a team sitting smug with folded rookers and
silver like shield in front. And then I viddied what else was missing. My
stereo and my disc-cupboard were no longer there, nor was my locked
treasure-chest that contained bottles and drugs and two shining clean
"There's been some filthy vonny work going on here," I creeched. "What
have you done with my own personal veshches, you horrible bastard?" This was
to this Joe, but it was my dad that answered, saying:
"That was all took away, son, by the police. This new regulation, see,
about compensation for the victims."
I found it very hard not to be very ill, but my gulliver was aching
shocking and my rot was so dry that I had to take a skorry swig from the
milk-bottle on the table, so that this Joe said: "Filthy piggish manners." I
"But she died. That one died."
"It was the cats, son," said my dad like sorrowful, "that were left
with nobody to look after them till the will was read, so they had to have
somebody in to feed them. So the police sold your things, clothes and all,
to help with the looking after of them. That's the law, son. But you were
never much of a one for following the law."
I had to sit down then, and this Joe said: "Ask permission before you
sit, you mannerless young swine," so I cracked back skorry with a "Shut your
dirty big fat hole, you," feeling sick. Then I tried to be all reasonable
and smiling for my health's sake like, so I said: "Well, that's my room,
there's no denying that. This is my home also. What suggestions have you, my
pee and em, to make?" But they just looked very glum, my mum shaking a bit,
her litso all lines and wet with like tears, and then my dad said:
"All this needs thinking about, son. We can't very well just kick Joe
out, not just like that, can we? I mean, Joe's here doing a job, a contract
it is, two years, and we made like an arrangement, didn't we, Joe? I mean
son, thinking you were going to stay in prison a long time and that room
going begging." He was a bit ashamed, you could viddy that from his litso.
So I just smiled and like nodded, saying:
"I viddy all. You got used to a bit of peace and you got used to a bit
of extra pretty polly. That's the way it goes. And your son has just been
nothing but a terrible nuisance." And then, my brothers, believe me or kiss
my sharries, I started to like cry, feeling very like sorry for myself. So
my dad said:
"Well, you see, son, Joe's paid next month's rent already. I mean,
whatever we do in the future we can't say to Joe to get out, can we, Joe?"
This Joe said:
"It's you two I've got to think of, who've been like a father and
mother to me. Would it be right or fair to go off and leave you to the
tender mercies of this young monster who has been like no real son at all?
He's weeping now, but that's his craft and artfulness. Let him go off and
find a room somewhere. Let him learn the error of his ways and that a bad
boy like he's been doesn't deserve such a good mum and dad as what he's
"All right," I said, standing up in all like tears still. "I know how
things are now. Nobody wants or loves me. I've suffered and suffered and
suffered and everybody wants me to go on suffering. I know."
"You've made others suffer," said this Joe. "It's only right you should
suffer proper. I've been told everything that you've done, sitting here at
night round the family table, and pretty shocking it was to listen to. Made
me real sick a lot of it did."
"I wish," I said, "I was back in the prison. Dear old Staja as it was.
I'm ittying off now," I said. "You won't ever viddy me no more. I'll make my
own way, thank you very much. Let it lie heavy on your consciences." My dad
"Don't take it like that, son," and my mum just went boo hoo hoo, her
litso all screwed up real ugly, and this Joe put his rooker round her again,
patting her and going there there there like bezoomny. And so I just sort of
staggered to the door and went out, leaving them to their horrible guilt, O
Ittying down the street in a like aimless sort of a way brothers, in
these night platties which lewdies like stared at as I went by, cold too, it
being a bastard cold winter day, all I felt I wanted was to be away from all
this and not have to think any more about any sort of veshch at all. So I
got the autobus to Center, then walked back to Taylor Place, and there was
the disc-bootick `MELODIA'--I had used to favour with my inestimable custom,
O my brothers, and it looked much the same sort of mesto as it always had,
and walking in I expected to viddy old Andy there, that bald and very very
thin helpful little veck from whom I had kupetted discs in the old days. But
there was no Andy there now, brothers, only a scream and a creech of nadsat
(teenage, that is) malchicks and ptitsas slooshying some new horrible
popsong and dancing to it as well, and the veck behind the counter not much
more than a nadsat himself, clicking his rooker-bones and smecking like
bezoomny. So I went up and waited till he like deigned to notice me, then I
"I'd like to hear a disc of the Mozart Number Forty." I don't know why
that should have come into my gulliver, but it did.
The counter-veck said:
"Forty what, friend?"
I said: "Symphony. Symphony Number Forty in G Minor."
"Ooooh," went one of the dancing nadsats, a malchick with his hair all
over his glazzies, "seemfunnah. Don't it seem funny? He wants a seemfunnah."
I could feel myself growing all razdraz within, but I had to watch
that, so I like smiled at the veck who had taken over Andy/s place and at
all the dancing and creeching nadsats. This counter-veck said: "You go into
that listen-booth over there, friend, and I'll pipe something through."
So I went over to the malenky box where you could slooshy the discs you
wanted to buy, and then this veck put a disc on for me, but it wasn't the
Mozart Forty, it was the Mozart `Prague'--he seemingly having just picked up
any Mozart he could find on the shelf--and that should have started making
me real razdraz and I had to watch that for fear of the pain and sickness,
but what I'd forgotten was something I shouldn't have forgotten and now made
me want to snuff it. It was that these doctor bratchnies had so fixed things
that any music that was like for the emotions would make me sick just like
viddying or wanting to do violence. It was because all those violence films
had music with them. And I remembered especially that horrible Nazi film
with the Beethoven Fifth, last movement. And now here was lovely Mozart made
horrible. I dashed out of the shop with these nadsats smecking after me and
the counter-veck creeching: "Eh eh eh!" But I took no notice and went
staggering almost like blind across the road and round the corner to the
Korova Milkbar. I knew what I wanted.
The mesto was near empty, it being still morning. It looked strange
too, having been painted with all red mooing cows, and behind the counter
was no veck I knew. But when I said: "Milk plus, large," the veck with a
like lean litso very newly shaved knew what I wanted. I took the large
moloko plus to one of the little cubies that were all around this mesto,
there being like curtains to shut them off from the main mesto, and there I
sat down in the plushy chair and sipped and sipped. When I'd finished the
whole lot I began to feel that things were happening. I had my glazzies like
fixed on a malenky bit of silver paper from a cancer packet that was on the
floor, the sweeping-up of this mesto not being all that horrorshow,
brothers. This scrap of silver began to grow and grow and grow and it was so
like bright and fiery that I had to squint my glazzies at it. It got so big
that it became not only this whole cubie I was lolling in but like the whole
Korova, the whole street, the whole city. Then it was the whole world, then
it was the whole everything, brothers, and it was like a sea washing over
every veshch that had ever been made or thought of even. I could sort of
slooshy myself making special sort of shooms and govoreeting slovos like
`Dear dead idlewilds, rot not in variform guises' and all that cal. Then I
could like feel the vision beating up in all this silver, and then there
were colours like nobody had ever viddied before, and then I could viddy
like a group of statues a long long long way off that was like being pushed
nearer and nearer and nearer, all lit up by very bright light from below and
above alike, O my brothers. This group of statues was of God or Bog and all
His Holy Angels and Saints, all very bright like bronze, with beards and
bolshy great wings that waved about in a kind of wind, so that they could
not really be of stone or bronze, really, and the eyes or glazzies like
moved and were alive. These bolshy big figures came nearer and nearer and
nearer till they were like going to crush me down, and I could slooshy my
goloss going `Eeeeee.' And I felt I had got rid of everything--platties,
body, brain, name, the lot--and felt real horrorshow, like in heaven. Then
there was the shoom of like crumbling and crumpling, and Bog and the Angels
and Saints sort of shook their gullivers at me, as though to govoreet that
there wasn't quite time now but I must try again, and then everything like
leered and smecked and collapsed and the big warm light grew like cold, and
then there I was as I was before, the empty glass on the table and wanting
to cry and feeling like death was the only answer to everything.
And that was it, that was what I viddied quite clear was the thing to
do, but how to do it I did not properly know, never having thought of that
before, O my brothers. In my little bag of personal veshches I had my
cut-throat britva, but I at once felt very sick as I thought of myself going
swishhhh at myself and all my own red red krovvy flowing. What I wanted was
not something violent but something that would make me like just go off
gentle to sleep and that be the end of Your Humble Narrator, no more trouble
to anybody any more.
Perhaps, i thought, if I ittied off to the Public Biblio around the
corner I might find some book on the best way of snuffing it with no pain. I
thought of myself dead and how sorry everybody was going to be, pee and em
and that cally vonny Joe who was a like usurper, and also Dr. Brodsky and
Dr. Branom and that Inferior Interior Minister and every veck else. And the
boastful vonny Government too. So out I scatted into the winter, and it was
afternoon now, near two o'clock, as I could viddy from the bolshy Center
timepiece, so that me being in the land with the old moloko plus must have
took like longer than I thought. I walked down Marghanita Boulevard and then
turned into Boothby Avenue, then round the corner again, and there was the
It was a starry cally sort of a mesto that I could not remember going
into since I was a very very malenky malchick, no more than about six years
old, and there were two parts of it--one part to borrow books and one part
to read in, full of gazettas and mags and like the von of very starry old
men with their plotts stinking of like old age and poverty. These were
standing at the gazetta stands all round the room, sniffling and belching
and govoreeting to themselves and turning over the pages to read the news
very sadly, or else they were sitting at the tables looking at the mags or
pretending to, some of them asleep and one or two of them snoring real
gromky. I couldn't remember what it was I wanted at first, then I remembered
with a bit of a shock that I had ittied here to find out how to snuff it
without pain, so I goolied over to the shelf full of reference veshches.
There were a lot of books, but there was none with a title, brothers, that
would really do. There was a medical book that I took down, but when I
opened it it was full of drawings and photographs of horrible wounds and
diseases, and that made me want to sick just a bit. So I put that back and
took down the big book or Bible, as it was called, thinking that might give
me like comfort as it had done in the old Staja days (not so old really, but
it seemed a very very long time ago), and I staggered over to a chair to
read in it. But all I found was about smiting seventy times seven and a lot
of Jews cursing and tolchocking each other, and that made me want to sick,
too. So then I near cried, so that a very starry ragged moodge opposite me
"What is it, son? What's the trouble?"
"I want to snuff it," I said. "I've had it, that's what it is. Life's
become too much for me."
A starry reading veck next to me said: "Shhhh," without looking up from
some bezoomny mag he had full of drawings of like bolshy geometrical
veshches. That rang a bell somehow. This other moodge said:
"You're too young for that, son. Why, you've got everything in front of
"Yes," I said, bitter. "Like a pair of false groodies." This
mag-reading veck said: "Shhhh" again, looking up this time, and something
clocked for both of us. I viddied who it was. He said, real gromky:
"I never forget a shape, by God. I never forget the shape of anything.
By God, you young swine, I've got you now." Crystallography, that was it.
That was what he'd been taking away from the Biblio that time. False teeth
crunched up real horrorshow. Platties torn off. His books razrezzed, all
about Crystallography. I thought I had best get out of here real skorry,
brothers. But this starry old moodge was on his feet, creeching like
bezoomny to all the starry old coughers at the gazettas round the walls and
to them dozing over mags at the tables.
"We have him," he creeched. "The poisonous young swine who ruined the
books on Crystallography, rare books, books not to be obtained ever again,
anywhere." This had a terrible mad shoom about it, as though this old veck
was really off his gulliver. "A prize specimen of the cowardly brutal
young," he creeched. "Here in our midst and at our mercy. He and his friends
beat me and kicked me and thumped me. They stripped me and tore out my
teeth. They laughed at my blood and my moans. They kicked me off home, dazed
All this wasn't quite true, as you know, brothers. He had some platties
on, he hadn't been completely nagoy.
I creeched back: "That was over two years ago. I've been punished since
then. I've learned my lesson. See over there--my picture's in the papers."
"Punishment, eh?" said one starry like ex-soldier type. "You lot should
be exterminated. Like so many noisome pests. Punishment indeed."
"All right, all right," I said. "Everybody's entitled to his opinion.
Forgive me, all. I must go now." And I started to itty out of this mesto of
bezoomny old men. Aspirin, that was it. You could snuff it on a hundred
aspirin. Aspirin from the old drugstore. But the crystallography veck
"Don't let him go. We'll teach him all about punishment, the murderous
young pig. Get him." And, believe it, brothers, or do the other veshch, two
or three starry dodderers, about ninety years old apiece, grabbed me with
their trembly old rookers, and I was like made sick by the von of old age
and disease which came from these near-dead moodges. The crystal veck was on
to me now, starting to deal me malenky weak tolchocks on my litso, and I
tried to get away and itty out, but these starry rookers that held me were
stronger than I had thought. Then other starry vecks came hobbling from the
gazettas to have a go at Your Humble Narrator. They were creeching veshches
like: "Kill him, stamp on him, murder him, kick his teeth in," and all that
cal, and I could viddy what it was clear enough. It was old age having a go
at youth, that's what it was. But some of them were saying: "Poor old Jack,
near killed poor old Jack he did, this is the young swine" and so on, as
though it had all happened yesterday. Which to them I suppose it had. There
was now like a sea of vonny runny dirty old men trying to get at me with
their like feeble rookers and horny old claws, creeching and panting on to
me, but our crystal droog was there in front, dealing out tolchock after
tolchock. And I daren't do a solitary single veshch, O my brothers, it being
better to be hit at like that than to want to sick and feel that horrible
pain, but of course the fact that there was violence going on made me feel
that the sickness was peeping round the corner to viddy whether to come out
into the open and roar away.
Then an attendant veck came along, a youngish veck, and he creeched:
"What goes on here? Stop it at once. This is a reading room." But nobody
took any notice. So the attendant veck said: "Right, I shall phone the
police." So I creeched, and I never thought I would ever do that in all my
"Yes yes yes, do that, protect me from these old madmen." I noticed
that the attendant veck was not too anxious to join in the dratsing and
rescue me from the rage and madness of these starry vecks' claws; he just
scatted off to his like office or wherever the telephone was. Now these old
men were panting a lot now, and I felt I could just flick at them and they
would all fall over, but I just let myself be held, very patient, by these
starry rookers, my glazzies closed, and feel the feeble tolchocks on my
litso, also slooshy the panting breathy old golosses creeching: "Young
swine, young murderer, hooligan, thug, kill him." Then I got such a real
painful tolchock on the nose that I said to myself to hell to hell, and I
opened my glazzies up and started to struggle to get free, which was not
hard, brothers, and I tore off creeching to the sort of hallway outside the
reading-room. But these starry avengers still came after me, panting like
dying, with their animal claws all trembling to get at your friend and
Humble Narrator. Then I was tripped up and was on the floor and was being
kicked at, then I slooshied golosses of young vecks creeching: "All right,
all right, stop it now," and I knew the police had arrived.
I was like dazed, O my brothers, and could not viddy very clear, but I
was sure I had met these millicents some mesto before. The one who had hold
of me, going: "There there there," just by the front door of the Public
Biblio, him I did not know at all, but it seemed to me he was like very
young to be a rozz. But the other two had backs that I was sure I had
viddied before. They were lashing into these starry old vecks with great
bolshy glee and joy, swishing away with malenky whips, creeching: "There,
you naughty boys. That should teach you to stop rioting and breaking the
State's Peace, you wicked villains, you." So they drove these panting and
wheezing and near dying starry avengers back into the reading-room, then
they turned round, smecking with the fun they'd had, to viddy me. The older
one of the two said:
"Well well well well well well well. If it isn't little Alex. Very long
time no viddy, droog. How goes?" I was like dazed, the uniform and the shlem
or helmet making it hard to viddy who this was, though litso and goloss were
very familiar. Then I looked at the other one, and about him, with his
grinning bezoomny litso, there was no doubt. Then, all numb and growing
number, I looked back at the well well welling one. This one was then fatty
old Billyboy, my old enemy. The other was, of course, Dim, who had used to
be my droog and also the enemy of stinking fatty goaty Billyboy, but was now
a millicent with uniform and shlem and whip to keep order. I said:
"Surprise, eh?" And old Dim came out with the old guff I remembered so
horrorshow: "Huh huh huh."
"It's impossible," I said. "It can't be so. I don't believe it."
"Evidence of the old glazzies," grinned Billyboy. "Nothing up our
sleeves. No magic, droog. A job for two who are now of job-age. The police."
"You're too young," I said. "Much too young. They don't make rozzes of
malchicks of your age."
"Was young," went old millicent Dim. I could not get over it, brothers,
I really could not. "That's what we was, young droogie. And you it was that
was always the youngest. And here now we are."
"I still can't believe it," I said. Then Billyboy, rozz Billyboy that I
couldn't get over, said to this young millicent that was like holding on to
me and that I did not know:
"More good would be done, I think, Rex, if we doled out a bit of the
old summary. Boys will be boys, as always was. No need to go through the old
station routine. This one here has been up to his old tricks, as we can well
remember though you, of course, can't. He has been attacking the aged and
defenceless, and they have properly been retaliating. But we must have our
say in the State's name."
"What is all this?" I said, not able hardly to believe my ookos. "It
was them that went for me, brothers. You're not on their side and can't be.
You can't be, Dim. It was a veck we fillied with once in the old days trying
to get his own malenky bit of revenge after all this long time."
"Long time is right," said Dim. "I don't remember them days too
horrorshow. Don't call me Dim no more, either. Officer call me."
"Enough is remembered, though," Billyboy kept nodding. He was not so
fatty as he had been. "Naughty little malchicks handy with cut-throat
britvas--these must be kept under." And they took me in a real strong grip
and like walked me out of the Biblio. There was a millicent patrol-car
waiting outside, and this veck they called Rex was the driver. They like
tolchocked me into the back of this auto, and I couldn't help feeling it was
all really like a joke, and that Dim anyway would pull his shlem off his
gulliver and go haw haw haw. But he didn't. I said, trying to fight the
strack inside me:
"And old Pete, what happened to old Pete? It was sad about Georgie," I
said. "I slooshied all about that."
"Pete, oh yes, Pete," said Dim. "I seem to remember like the name." I
could viddy we were driving out of town. I said:
"Where are we supposed to be going?"
Billyboy turned round from the front to say: "It's light still. A
little drive into the country, all winter-bare but lonely and lovely. It is
not right, not always, for lewdies in the town to viddy too much of our
summary punishments. Streets must be kept clean in more than one way." And
he turned to the front again.
"Come," I said. "I just don't get this at all. The old days are dead
and gone days. For what I did in the past I have been punished. I have been
"That was read out to us," said Dim. "The Super read all that out to
us. He said it was a very good way."
"Read to you," I said, a malenky bit nasty. "You still too dim to read
for yourself, O brother?"
"Ah, no," said Dim, very like gentle and like regretful. "Not to speak
like that. Not no more, droogie." And he launched a bolshy tolchock right on
my cluve, so that all red red nose-krovvy started to drip drip drip.
"There was never any trust," I said, bitter, wiping off the krovvy with
my rooker. "I was always on my oddy knocky."
"This will do," said Billyboy. We were now in the country and it was
all bare trees and a few odd distant like twitters, and in the distance
there was some like farm machine making a whirring shoom. It was getting all
dusk now, this being the height of winter. There were no lewdies about, nor
no animals. There was just the four. "Get out, Alex boy," said Dim. "Just a
malenky bit of summary."
All through what they did this driver veck just sat at the wheel of the
auto, smoking a cancer, reading a malenky bit of a book. He had the light on
in the auto to viddy by. He took no notice of what Billyboy and Dim did to
your Humble Narrator. I will not go into what they did, but it was all like
panting and thudding against this like background of whirring farm engines
and the twittwittwittering in the bare or nagoy branches. You could viddy a
bit of smoky breath in the auto light, this driver turning the pages over
quite calm. And they were on to me all the time, O my brothers. Then
Billyboy or Dim, I couldn't say which one, said: "About enough, droogie. I
should think, shouldn't you?" Then they gave me one final tolchock on the
litso each and I fell over and just laid there on the grass. It was cold but
I was not feeling the cold. Then they dusted their rookers and put back on
their shlems and tunics which they had taken off, and then they got back
into the auto. "Be viddying you some more sometime, Alex," said Billyboy,
and Dim just gave one of his old clowny guffs. The driver finished the page
he was reading and put his book away, then he started the auto and they were
off townwards, my ex-droog and ex-enemy waving. But I just laid there,
fagged and shagged.
After a bit I was hurting bad, and then the rain started, all icy. I
could viddy no lewdies in sight, nor no lights of houses. Where was I to go,
who had no home and not much cutter in my carmans? I cried for myself boo
hoo hoo. Then I got up and started walking.
Home, home, home, it was home I was wanting, and it was HOME I came to,
brothers. I walked through the dark and followed not the town way but the
way where the shoom of a like farm machine had been coming from. This
brought me to a sort of village I felt I had viddied before, but was perhaps
because all villages look the same, in the dark especially. Here were houses
and there was a like drinking mesto, and right at the end of the village
there was a malenky cottage on its oddy knocky, and I could viddy its name
shining on the gate.
HOME, it said. I was all dripping wet with this icy rain, so that my
platties were no longer in the heighth of fashion but real miserable and
like pathetic, and my luscious glory was a wet tangle cally mess all spread
over my gulliver, and I was sure there were cuts and bruises all over my
litso, and a couple of my zoobies sort of joggled loose when I touched them
with my tongue or yahzick. And I was sore all over my plott and very
thirsty, so that I kept opening my rot to the cold rain, and my stomach
growled grrrrr all the time with not having had any pishcha since morning
and then not very much, O my brothers.
HOME, it said, and perhaps here would be some veck to help. I opened
the gate and sort of slithered down the path, the rain like turning to ice,
and then I knocked gentle and pathetic on the door. No veck came, so I
knocked a malenky bit longer and louder, and then I heard the shoom of nogas
coming to the door. Then the door opened and a male goloss said: "Yes, what
"Oh," I said, "please help. I've been beaten up by the police and just
left to die on the road. Oh, please give me a drink of something and a sit
by the fire, please, sir."
The door opened full then, and I could viddy like warm light and a fire
going crackle crackle within. "Come in," said this veck, "whoever you are.
God help you, you poor victim, come in and let's have a look at you." So I
like staggered in, and it was no big act I was putting on, brothers, I
really felt done and finished. This kind veck put his rookers round my
pletchoes and pulled me into this room where the fire was, and of course I
knew right away now where it was and why HOME on the gate looked so
familiar. I looked at this veck and he looked at me in a kind sort of way,
and I remembered him well now. Of course he would not remember me, for in
those carefree days I and my so-called droogs did all our bolshy dratsing
and fillying and crasting in maskies which were real horrorshow disguises.
He was a shortish veck in middle age, thirty, forty, fifty, and he had
otchkies on. "Sit down by the fire," he said, "and I'll get you some whisky
and warm water. Dear dear dear, somebody has been beating you up." And he
gave a like tender look at my gulliver and litso.
"The police," I said. "The horrible ghastly police."
"Another victim," he said, like sighing. "A victim of the modern age.
I'll go and get you that whisky and then I must clean up your wounds a
little." And off he went. I had a look round this malenky comfortable room.
It was nearly all books now and a fire and a couple of chairs, and you could
viddy somehow that there wasn't a woman living there. On the table was a
typewriter and a lot of like tumbled papers, and I remembered that this veck
was a writer veck. `A Clockwork Orange,' that had been it. It was funny that
that stuck in my mind. I must not let on, though, for I needed help and
kindness now. Those horrible grahzny bratchnies in that terrible white mesto
had done that to me, making me need help and kindness now and forcing me to
want to give help and kindness myself, if anybody would take it.
"Here we are, then," said this veck returning. He gave me this hot
stimulating glassful to peet, and it made me feel better, and then he
cleaned up these cuts on my litso. Then he said:
"You have a nice hot bath, I'll draw it for you, and then you can tell
me all about it over a nice hot supper which I'll get ready while you're
having the bath." O my brothers, I could have wept at his kindness, and I
think he must have viddied the old tears in my glazzies, for he said: "There
there there," patting me on the pletcho.
Anyway, I went up and had this hot bath, and he brought in pyjamas and
an over-gown for me to put on, all warmed by the fire, also a very worn pair
of toofles. And now, brothers, though I was aching and full of pains all
over, I felt I would soon feel a lot better. I ittied downstairs and viddied
that in the kitchen he had set the table with knives and forks and a fine
big loaf of kleb, also a bottle of PRIMA SAUCE, and soon he served out a
nice fry of eggiwegs and lomticks of ham and bursting sausages and big
bolshy mugs of hot sweet milky chai. It was nice sitting there in the warm,
eating, and I found I was very hungry, so that after the fry I had to eat
lomtick after lomtick of kleb and butter spread with strawberry jam out of a
bolshy great pot. "A lot better," I said. "How can I ever repay?"
"I think I know who you are," he said. "If you are who I think you are,
then you've come, my friend, to the right place. Wasn't that your picture in
the papers this morning? Are you the poor victim of this horrible new
technique? If so, then you have been sent here by Providence. Tortured in
prison, then thrown out to be tortured by the police. My heart goes out to
you, poor poor boy." Brothers, I could not get a slovo in, though I had my
rot wide open to answer his questions.
"You are not the first to come here in distress," he said. "The police
are fond of bringing their victims to the outskirts of this village. But it
is providential that you, who are also another kind of victim, should come
here. Perhaps, then, you have heard of me?"
I had to be very careful, brothers. I said: "I have heard of `A
Clockwork Orange.' I have not read it, but I have heard of it."
"Ah," he said, and his litso shone like the sun in its flaming morning
glory. "Now tell me about yourself."
"Little enough to tell, sir," I said, all humble. "There was a foolish
and boyish prank, my so-called friends persuading or rather forcing me to
break into the house of an old ptitsa--lady, I mean. There was no real harm
meant. Unfortunately the lady strained her good old heart in trying to throw
me out, though I was quite ready to go of my own accord, and then she died.
I was accused of being the cause of her death. So I was sent to prison,sir."
"Yes yes yes, go on."
"Then I was picked out by the Minister of the Inferior or Interior to
have this Ludovico's veshch tried out on me."
"Tell me all about it," he said, leaning forward eager, his pullover
elbows with all strawberry jam on them from the plate I'd pushed to one
side. So I told him all about it. I told him the lot, all, my brothers. He
was very eager to hear all, his glazzies like shining and his goobers apart,
while the grease on the plates grew harder harder harder. When I had
finished he got up from the table, nodding a lot and going hm hm hm, picking
up the plates and other veshches from the table and taking them to the sink
for washing up. I said:
"I will do that, sir, and gladly."
"Rest, rest, poor lad," he said, turning the tap on so that all steam
came burping out. "You've sinned, I suppose, but your punishment has been
out of all proportion. They have turned you into something other than a
human being. You have no power of choice any longer. You are committed to
socially acceptable acts, a little machine capable only of good. And I see
that clearly--that business about the marginal conditionings. Music and the
sexual act, literature and art, all must be a source now not of pleasure but
"That's right, sir," I said, smoking one of this kind man's cork-tipped
"They always bite off too much," he said, drying a plate like
absent-mindedly. "But the essential intention is the real sin. A man who
cannot choose ceases to be a man."
"That's what the charles said, sir," I said. "The prison chaplain, I
"Did he, did he? Of course he did. He'd have to, wouldn't he, being a
Christian? Well, now then," he said, still wiping the same plate he'd been
wiping ten minutes ago, "we shall have a few people in to see you tomorrow.
I think you can be used, poor boy. I think that you can help dislodge this
overbearing Government. To turn a decent young man into a piece of clockwork
should not, surely, be seen as any triumph for any government, save one that
boasts of its repressiveness." He was still wiping this same plate. I said:
"Sir, you're still wiping that same plate, I agree with you, sir, about
boasting. This Government seems to be very boastful."
"Oh," he said, like viddying this plate for the first time and then
putting it down. "I'm still not too handy," he said, "with domestic chores.
My wife used to do them all and leave me to my writing."
"Your wife, sir?" I said. "Has she gone and left you?" I really wanted
to know about his wife, remembering very well.
"Yes, left me," he said, in a like loud and bitter goloss. "She died,
you see. She was brutally raped and beaten. The shock was very great. It was
in this house," his rookers were trembling, holding a wiping-up cloth, "in
that room next door. I have had to steel myself to continue to live here,
but she would have wished me to stay where her fragrant memory still
lingers. Yes yes yes. Poor little girl." I viddied all clearly, my brothers,
what had happened that far-off nochy, and viddying myself on that job, I
began to feel I wanted to sick and the pain started up in my gulliver. This
veck viddied this, because my litso felt it was all drained of red red
krovvy, very pale, and he would be able to viddy this. "You go to bed now,"
he said kindly. "I've got the spare room ready. Poor poor boy, you must have
had a terrible time. A victim of the modern age, just as she was. Poor poor
I had a real horrorshow night's sleep, brothers, with no dreams at all,
and the morning was very clear and like frosty, and there was the very
pleasant like von of breakfast frying away down below. It took me some
little time to remember where I was, as it always does, but it soon came
back to me and then I felt like warmed and protected. But, as I laid there
in the bed, waiting to be called down to breakfast, it struck me that I
ought to get to know the name of this kind protecting and like motherly
veck, so I had a pad round in my nagoy nogas looking for `A Clockwork
Orange,' which would be bound to have his eemya in, he being the author.
There was nothing in my bedroom except a bed and a chair and a light, so I
ittied next door to this veck's own room, and there I viddied his wife on
the wall, a bolshy blown-up photo, so I felt a malenky bit sick remembering.
But there were two or three shelves of books there too, and there was, as I
thought there must be, a copy of `A Clockwork Orange,' and on the back of
the book, like on the spine, was the author's eemya--F. Alexander. Good Bog,
I thought, he is another Alex. Then I leafed through, standing in his
pyjamas and bare nogas but not feeling one malenky bit cold, the cottage
being warm all through, and I could not viddy what the book was about. It
seemed written in a very bezoomny like style, full of Ah and Oh and all that
cal, but what seemed to come out of it was that all lewdies nowadays were
being turned into machines and that they were really--you and me and him and
kiss-my-sharries--more like a natural growth like a fruit. F. Alexander
seemed to think that we all like grow on what he called the world-tree in
the world-orchard that like Bog or God planted, and we were there because
Bog or God had need of us to quench his thirsty love, or some such cal. I
didn't like the shoom of this at all, O my brothers, and wondered how
bezoomny this F. Alexander really was, perhaps driven bezoomny by his wife's
snuffing it. But then he called me down in a like sane veck's goloss, full
of joy and love and all that cal, so down Your Humble Narrator went.
"You've slept long," he said, ladling out boiled eggs and pulling black
toast from under the grill. "It's nearly ten already. I've been up hours,
"Writing another book, sir?" I said.
"No no, not that now," he said, and we sat down nice and droogy to the
old crack crack crack of eggs and crackle crunch crunch of this black toast,
very milky chai standing by in bolshy great morning mugs. "No, I've been on
the phone to various people."
"I thought you didn't have a phone," I said, spooning egg in and not
watching out what I was saying.
"Why?" he said, very alert like some skorry animal with an egg-spoon in
its rooker. "Why shouldn't you think I have a phone?"
"Nothing," I said, "nothing, nothing." And I wondered, brothers, how
much he remembered of the earlier part of that distant nochy, me coming to
the door with the old tale and saying to phone the doctor and she saying no
phone. He took a very close smot at me but then went back to being like kind
and cheerful and spooning up the old eggiweg. Munching away, he said:
"Yes, I've rung up various people who will be interested in your case.
You can be a very potent weapon, you see, in ensuring that this present evil
and wicked Government is not returned in the forthcoming election. The
Government's big boast, you see, is the way it has dealt with crime these
last months." He looked at me very close again over his steaming egg, and I
wondered again if he was viddying what part I had so far played in his
jeezny. But he said: "Recruiting brutal young roughs for the police.
Proposing debilitating and will-sapping techniques of conditioning." All
these long slovos, brothers, and a like mad or bezoomny look in his
glazzies. "We've seen it all before," he said, "in other countries. The thin
end of the wedge. Before we know where we are we shall have the full
apparatus of totalitarianism." "Dear dear dear," I thought, egging away and
toast-crunching. I said:
"Where do I come into all this, sir?"
"You," he said, still with this bezoomny look, "are a living witness to
these diabolical proposals. The people, the common people must know, must
see." He got up from his breakfast and started to walk up and down the
kitchen, from the sink to the like larder, saying very gromky: "Would they
like their sons to become what you, poor victim, have become? Will not the
Government itself now decide what is and what is not crime and pump out the
life and guts and will of whoever sees fit to displeasure the Government? He
became quieter but did not go back to his egg. "I've written an article," he
said, "this morning, while you were sleeping. That will be out in a day or
so, together with your unhappy picture. You shall sign it, poor boy, a
record of what they have done to you." I said:
"And what do you get out of all this, sir? I mean, besides the pretty
polly you'll get for the article, as you call it? I mean, why are you so hot
and strong against this Government, if I may make like so bold as to ask?"
He gripped the edge of the table and said, gritting his zoobies, which
were very cally and all stained with cancer-smoke: "Some of us have to
fight. There are great traditions of liberty to defend. I am no partisan
man. Where I see the infamy I seek to erase it. Party names mean nothing.
The tradition of liberty means all. The common people will let it go, oh
yes. They will sell liberty for a quieter life. That is why they must be
prodded, prodded--" And here, brothers, he picked up a fork and stuck it two
or three razzes into the wall, so that it got all bent. Then he threw it on
the floor. Very kindly he said: "Eat well, poor boy, poor victim of the
modern world," and I could viddy quite clear he was going off his gulliver.
"Eat, eat. Eat my egg as well." But I said:
"And what do I get out of this? Do I get cured of the way I am? Do I
find myself able to slooshy the old Choral Symphony without being sick once
more? Can I live like a normal jeezny again? What, sir, happens to me?"
He looked at me, brothers, as if he hadn't thought of that before and,
anyway, it didn't matter compared with Liberty and all that cal, and he had
a look of surprise at me saying what I said, as though I was being like
selfish in wanting something for myself. Then he said: "Oh, as I say, you're
a living witness, poor boy. Eat up all your breakfast and then come and see
what I've written, for it's going into `The Weekly Trumpet' under your name,
you unfortunate victim."
Well, brothers, what he had written was a very long and very weepy
piece of writing, and as I read it I felt very sorry for the poor malchick
who was govoreeting about his sufferings and how the Government had sapped
his will and how it was up to all lewdies to not let such a rotten and evil
Government rule them again, and then of course I realized that the poor
suffering malchick was none other than Y. H. N.
"Very good," I said. "Real horrorshow. Written well thou hast, O sir."
And then he looked at me very narrow and said:
"What?" It was like he had not slooshied me before.
"Oh, that," I said, "is what we call nadsat talk. All the teens use
that, sir." So then he ittied off to the kitchen to wash up the dishes, and
I was left in these borrowed night platties and toofles, waiting to have
done to me what was going to be done to me, because I had no plans for
myself, O my brothers.
While the great F. Alexander was in the kitchen a dingalingaling came
at the door. "Ah," he creeched, coming out wiping his rookers, "it will be
these people. I'll go." So he went and let them in, a kind of rumbling
hahaha of talk and hallo and filthy weather and how are things in the
hallway, then they ittied into the room with the fire and the book and the
article about how I had suffered, viddying me and going Aaaaah as they did
it. There were three lewdies, and F. Alex gave me their eemyas. Z.Dolin was
a very wheezy smoky kind of a veck, coughing kashl kashl kashl with the end
of a cancer in his rot, spilling ash all down his platties and then brushing
it away with like very impatient rookers. He was a malenky round veck, fat,
with big thick-framed otchkies on. Then there was Something Something
Rubinstein, a very tall and polite chelloveck with a real gentleman's
goloss, very starry with a like eggy beard. And lastly there was D. B. da
Silva who was like skorry in his movements and had this strong von of scent
coming from him. They all had a real horrorshow look at me and seemed like
overjoyed with what they viddied. Z. Dolin said:
"All right, all right, eh? What a superb device he can be, this boy. If
anything, of course, he could for preference look even iller and more
zombyish than he does. Anything for the cause. No doubt we can think of
I did not like that crack about zombyish, brothers, and so I said:
"What goes on, bratties? What dost thou in mind for thy little droog have?"
And the F. Alexander swooshed in with:
"Strange, strange, that manner of voice pricks me. We've come into
contact before, I'm sure we have." And he brooded, like frowning. I would
have to watch this, O my brothers. D. B. da Silva said:
"Public meetings, mainly. To exhibit you at public meetings will be a
tremendous help. And, of course, the newspaper angle is all tied up. A
ruined life is the approach. We must inflame all hearts." He showed his
thirty-odd zoobies, very white against his dark-coloured litso, he looking a
malenky bit like some foreigner. I said:
"Nobody will tell me what I get out of all this. Tortured in jail,
thrown out of my home by my own parents and their filthy overbearing lodger,
beaten by old men and near-killed by the millicents--what is to become of
me?" The Rubinstein veck came in with:
"You will see, boy, that the Party will not be ungrateful. Oh, no. At
the end of it all there will be some very acceptable little surprise for
you. Just you wait and see."
"There's only one veshch I require," I creeched out, "and that's to be
normal and healthy as I was in the starry days, having my malenky bit of fun
with real droogs and not those who just call themselves that and are really
more like traitors. Can you do that, eh? Can any veck restore me to what I
was? That's what I want and that's what I want to know."
Kashl kashl kashl, coughed this Z. Dolin. "A martyr to the cause of
Liberty." he said. "You have your part to play and don't forget it.
Meanwhile, we shall look after you." And he began to stroke my left rooker
as if I was like an idiot, grinning in a bezoomny way. I creeched:
"Stop treating me like a thing that's like got to be just used. I'm not
an idiot you can impose on, you stupid bratchnies. Ordinary prestoopnicks
are stupid, but I'm not ordinary and nor am I dim. Do you slooshy?"
"Dim," said F. Alexander, like musing. "Dim. That was a name somewhere.
"Eh?" I said. "What's Dim got to do with it? What do you know about
Dim?" And then I said: "Oh, Bog help us." I didn't like the look in F.
Alexander's glazzies. I made for the door, wanting to go upstairs and get my
platties and then itty off.
"I could almost believe," said F. Alexander, showing his stained
zoobies, his glazzies mad. "But such things are impossible. For, by Christ,
if he were I'd tear him. I'd split him, by God, yes yes, so I would."
"There," said D. B. da Silva, stroking his chest like he was a doggie
to calm him down. "It's all in the past. It was other people altogether. We
must help this poor victim. That's what we must do now, remembering the
Future and our Cause."
"I'll just get my platties," I said, at the stair-foot, "that is to say
clothes, and then I'll be ittying off all on my oddy knocky. I mean, my
gratitude for all, but I have my own jeezny to live." Because, brothers, I
wanted to get out of here real skorry. But Z. Dolin said:
"Ah, no. We have you, friend, and we keep you. You come with us.
Everything will be all right, you'll see." And he came up to me like to grab
hold of my rooker again. Then, brothers, I thought of fight, but thinking of
fight made me like want to collapse and sick, so I just stood. And then I
saw this like madness in F. Alexander's glazzies and said:
"Whatever you say. I am in your rookers. But let's get it started and
all over, brothers." Because what I wanted now was to get out of this mesto
called HOME. I was beginning not to like the look of the glazzies of F.
Alexander one malenky bit.
"Good," said this Rubinstein. "Get dressed and let's get started."
"Dim dim dim," F. Alexander kept saying in a like low mutter. "What or
who was this Dim?" I ittied upstairs real skorry and dressed in near two
seconds flat. Then I was out with these three and into an auto, Rubinstein
one side of me and Z. Dolin coughing kashl kashl kashl the other side. D. B.
da Silva doing the driving, into the town and to a flatblock not really all
that distant from what had used to be my own flatblock or home. "Come, boy,
out," said Z. Dolin, coughing to make the cancer-end in his rot glow red
like some malenky furnace. "This is where you shall be installed." So we
ittied in, and there was like another of these Dignity of Labour veshches on
the wall of the vestibule, and we upped in the lift, brothers, and then went
into a flat like all the flats of all the flatblocks of the town. Very very
malenky, with two bedrooms and one live-eat-work-room, the table of this all
covered with books and papers and ink and bottles and all that cal. "Here is
your new home," said D. B. da Silva. "Settle here, boy. Food is in the
food-cupboard. Pyjamas are in a drawer. Rest, rest, perturbed spirit."
"Eh?" I said, not quite ponying that.
"All right," said Rubinstein, with his starry goloss. "We are now
leaving you. Work has to be done. We'll be with you later. Occupy yourself
as best you can."
"One thing," coughed Z. Dolin kashl kashl kashl. "You saw what stirred
in the tortured memory of our friend F. Alexander. Was it, by chance--? That
is to say, did you--? I think you know what I mean. We won't let it go any
"I've paid," I said. "Bog knows I've paid for what I did. I've paid not
only for like myself but for those bratchnies too that called themselves my
droogs." I felt violent so then I felt a bit sick. "I'll lay down a bit," I
said. "I've been through terrible terrible times."
"You have," said D. B. da Silva, showing all his thirty zoobies. "You
So they left me, brothers. They ittied off about their business, which
I took to be about politics and all that cal, and I was on the bed, all on
my oddy knocky with everything very very quiet. I just laid there with my
sabogs kicked off my nogas and my tie loose, like all bewildered and not
knowing what sort of a jeezny I was going to live now. And all sorts of like
pictures kept like passing through my gulliver, of the different chellovecks
I'd met at school and in the Staja, and the different veshches that had
happened to me, and how there was not one veck you could trust in the whole
bolshy world. And then I like dozed off, brothers.
When I woke up I could hear slooshy music coming out of the wall, real
gromky, and it was that that had dragged me out of my bit of like sleep. It
was a symphony that I knew real horrorshow but had not slooshied for many a
year, namely the Symphony Number Three of the Danish veck Otto Skadelig, a
very gromky and violent piece, especially in the first movement, which was
what was playing now. I slooshied for two seconds in like interest and joy,
but then it all came over me, the start of the pain and the sickness, and I
began to groan deep down in my keeshkas. And then there I was, me who had
loved music so much, crawling off the bed and going oh oh oh to myself and
then bang bang banging on the wall creching: "Stop, stop it, turn it off!"
But it went on and it seemed to be like louder. So I crashed at the wall
till my knuckles were all red red krovvy and torn skin, creeching and
creeching, but the music did not stop. Then I thought I had to get away from
it, so I lurched out of the malenky bedroom and ittied skorry to the front
door of the flat, but this had been locked from the outside and I could not
get out. And all the time the music got more and more gromky, like it was
all a deliberate torture, O my brothers. So I stuck my little fingers real
deep in my ookos, but the trombones and kettledrums blasted through gromky
enough. So I creeched again for them to stop and went hammer hammer hammer
on the wall, but it made not one malenky bit of difference. "Oh, what am I
to do?" I boohooed to myself. "Oh, Bog in Heaven help me." I was like
wandering all over the flat in pain and sickness, trying to shut out the
music and like groaning deep out of my guts, and then on top of the pile of
books and papers and all that cal that was on the tablein the living room I
viddied what I had to do and what I had wanted to do until those old men in
the Public Biblio and then Dim and Billyboy disguised as rozzes stopped me,
and that was to do myself in, to snuff it, to blast off for ever out of this
wicked and cruel world. What I viddied was the slovo DEATH on the cover of a
like pamphlet, even though it was only DEATH to THE GOVERNMENT. And like it
was Fate there was another malenky booklet which had an open window on the
cover, and it said:
"Open the window to fresh air, fresh ideas, a new way of living." And
so I knew that was like telling me to finish it all off by jumping out. One
moment of pain, perhaps, and then sleep for ever and ever and ever.
The music was still pouring in all brass and drums and the violins
miles up through the wall. The window in the room where I had laid down was
open. I ittied to it and viddied a fair drop to the autos and buses and
waiting chellovecks below. I creeched out to the world: "Good-bye, good-bye,
may Bog forgive you for a ruined life." Then I got on to the sill, the music
blasting away to my left, and I shut my glazzies and felt the cold wind on
my litso, then I jumped.
I jumped, O my brothers, and I fell on the sidewalk hard, but I did not
snuff it, oh no. If I had snuffed it I would not be here to write what I
written have. It seems that the jump was not from a big enough heighth to
kill. But I cracked my back and my wrists and nogas and felt very bolshy
pain before I passed out, brothers, with astonished and surprised litsos of
chellovecks in the streets looking at me from above. And just before I
passed out I viddied clear that not one chelloveck in the whole horrid world
was for me and that that music through the wall had all been like arranged
by those who were supposed to be my like new droogs and that it was some
veshch like this that they wanted for their horrible selfish and boastful
politics. All that was in like a million millionth part of one minoota
before I threw over the world and the sky and the litsos of the staring
chellovecks that were above me.
Where I was when I came back to jeezny after a long black black gap of
it might have been a million years was a hospital, all white and with this
von of hospitals you get, all like sour and smug and clean. These antiseptic
veshches you get in hospitals should have a real horrorshow von of like
frying onions or of flowers. I came very slow back to knowing who I was and
I was all bound up in white and I could not feel anything in my plott, pain
nor sensation nor any veshch at all. All round my gulliver was a bandage and
there were bits of stuff like stuck to my litso, and my rookers were all in
bandages and like bits of stick were like fixed to my fingers like on it
might be flowers to make them grow straight, and my poor old nogas were all
straightened out too, and it was all bandages and wire cages and into my
right rooker, near the pletcho, was red red krovvy dripping from a jar
upside down. But I could not feel anything, O my brothers. There was a nurse
sitting by my bed and she was reading some book that was all very dim print
and you could viddy it was a story because of a lot of inverted commas, and
she was like breathing hard uh uh uh over it, so it must have been a story
about the old in-out in-out. She was a real horrorshow devotchka, this
nurse, with a very red rot and like long lashes over her glazzies, and under
her like very stiff uniform you could viddy she had very horrorshow
groodies. So I said to her: "What gives, O my little sister? Come thou and
have a nice lay-down with your malenky droog in this bed." But the slovos
didn't come out horrorshow at all, it being as though my rot was all
stiffened up, and I could feel with my yahzick that some of my zoobies were
no longer there. But this nurse like jumped and dropped her book on the
floor and said:
"Oh, you've recovered consciousness."
That was like a big rotful for a malenky ptitsa like her, and I tried
to say so, but the slovos came out only like er er er. She ittied off and
left me on my oddy knocky, and I could viddy now that I was in a malenky
room of my own, not in one of these long wards like I had been in as a very
little malchick, full of coughing dying starry vecks all around to make you
want to get well and fit again. It had been like diphtheria I had had then,
O my brothers.
It was like now as though I could not hold to being conscious all that
long, because I was like asleep again almost right away, very skorry, but in
a minoota or two I was sure that this nurse ptitsa had come back and had
brought chellovecks in white coats with her and they were viddying me very
frowning and going hm hm hm at Your Humble Narrator. And with them I was
sure there was the old charles from the Staja govoreeting: "Oh my son, my
son," breathing a like very stale von of whisky on to me and then saying:
"But I would not stay, oh no. I could not in no wise subscribe to what those
bratchnies are going to do to other poor prestoopnicks. O I got out and am
preaching sermons now about it all, my little beloved son in J. C."
I woke up again later on and who should I viddy there round the bed but
the three from whose flat I had jumped out, namely D. B. da Silva and
Something Something Rubinstein and Z. Dolin. "Friend," one of these vecks
was saying, but I could not viddy, or slooshy horrorshow which one, "friend,
little friend," this goloss was saying, "the people are on fire with
indignation. You have killed those horrible boastful villains' chances of
re-election. They will go and will go for ever and ever. You have served
Liberty well." I tried to say:
"If I had died it would have been even better for you political
bratchnies, would it not, pretending and treacherous droogs as you are." But
all that came out was er er er. Then one of these three seemed to hold out a
lot of bits cut from gazettas and what I could viddy was a horrible picture
of me all krovvy on a stretcher being carried off and I seemed to like
remember a kind of a popping of lights which must have been photographer
vecks. Out of one glazz I could read like headlines which were sort of
trembling in the rooker of the chelloveck that held them, like BOY VICTIM OF
CRIMINAL REFORM SCHEME and GOVERNMENT AS MURDERER and there was like a
picture of a veck that looked familiar to me and it said OUT OUT OUT, and
that would be the Minister of the Inferior or Interior. Then the nurse
"You shouldn't be exciting him like that. You shouldn't be doing
anything that will make him upset. Now come on, let's have you out." I tried
"Out out out," but it was er er er again. Anyway, these three political
vecks went. And I went, too, only back to the land, back to all blackness
lit up by like odd dreams which I didn't know whether they were dreams or
not, O my brothers. Like for instance I had this idea of my whole plott or
body being like emptied of as it might be dirty water and then filled up
again with clean. And then there were really lovely and horrorshow dreams of
being in some veck's auto that had been crasted by me and driving up and
down the world all on my oddy knocky running lewdies down and hearing them
creech they were dying, and in me no pain and no sickness. And also there
were dreams of doing the old in-out in-out with devotchkas, forcing like
them down on the ground and making them have it and everybody standing
around claping their rookers and cheering like bezoomny. And then I woke up
again and it was my pee and em come to viddy their ill son, my em boohooing
real horrorshow. I could govoreet a lot better now and could say: "Well well
well well well, what gives? What makes you think you are like welcome?" My
papapa said, in a like ashamed way:
"You were in the papers, son. It said they had done great wrong to you.
It said how the Government drove you to try and do yourself in. And it was
our fault too, in a way, son. Your home's your home, when all's said and
done, son." And my mum kept on going boohoohoo and looking ugly as
kiss-my-sharries. So I said:
"And how beeth the new son Joe? Well and healthy and prosperous, I
trust and pray?" My mum said:
"Oh, Alex Alex. Owwwwwwww." My papapa said:
"A very awkward thing, son. He got into a bit of trouble with the
police and was done by the police."
"Really?" I said. "Really? Such a good sort of chelloveck and all.
Amazed proper I am, honest."
"Minding his own business he was," said my pee. "And the police told
him to move on. Waiting at a corner he was, son, to see a girl he was going
to meet. And they told him to move on and he said he had rights like
everybody else, and then they sort of fell on top of him and hit him about
"Terrible," I said. "Really terrible. And where is the poor boy now?"
"Owwwww," boohooed my mum. "Gone back owwwwwwme."
"Yes," said dad. "He's gone back to his own home town to get better.
They've had to give his job here to somebody else."
"So now," I said, "You're willing for me to move back in again and
things be like they were before."
"Yes, son," said my papapa. "Please, son."
"I'll consider it," I said. "I'll think about it real careful."
"Owwwww," went my mum.
"Ah, shut it," I said, "or I'll give you something proper to yowl and
creech about. Kick your zoobies in I will." And, O my brothers, saying that
made me feel a malenky bit better, as if all like fresh red red krovvy was
flowing all through my plott. That was something I had to think about. It
was like as though to get better I had had to get worse.
"That's no way to speak to your mother, son," said my papapa. "After
all, she brought you into the world."
"Yes," I said. "And a right grahzny vonny world too." I shut my
glazzies tight in like pain and said: "Go away now. I'll think about coming
back. But things will have to be very different."
"Yes, son," said my pee. "Anything you say."
"You'll have to make up your mind," I said, "who's to be boss."
"Owwwwww," my mum went on.
"Very good, son," said my papapa. "Things will be as you like. Only get
When they had gone I laid and thought a bit about different veshches,
like all different pictures passing through my gulliver, and when the nurse
ptitsa came back in and like straightened the sheets on the bed I said to
"How long is it I've been in here?"
"A week or so," she said.
"And what have they been doing to me?"
"Well," she said, "you were all broken up and bruised and had sustained
severe concussion and had lost a lot of blood. They've had to put all that
right, haven't they?"
"But," I said, "has anyone been doing anything with my gulliver? What I
mean is, have they been playing around with inside like my brain?"
"Whatever they've done," she said, "it'll all be for the best."
But a couple of days later a couple of like doctor vecks came in, both
youngish vecks with these very sladky smiles, and they had like a picture
book with them. One of them said:
"We want you to have a look at these and to tell us what you think
about them. All right?"
"What giveth, O little droogies?" I said. "What new bezoomny idea dost
thou in mind have?" So they both had a like embarrassed smeck at that and
then they sat down either side of the bed and opened up this book. On the
first page there was like a photograph of a bird-nest full of eggs.
"Yes?" one of these doctor vecks said.
"A bird-nest," I said, "full of like eggs. Very very nice."
"And what would you like to do about it?" the other one said.
"Oh," I said, "smash them. Pick up the lot and like throw them against
a wall or a cliff or something and then viddy them all smash up real
"Good good," they both said, and then the page was turned. It was like
a picture of one of these bolshy great birds called peacocks with all its
tail spread out in all colours in a very boastful way. "Yes?" said one of
"I would like," I said, "to pull out like all those feathers in its
tail and slooshy it creech blue murder. For being so like boastful."
"Good," they both said, "good good good." And they went on turning the
pages. There were like pictures of real horrorshow devotchkas, and I said I
would like to give them the old in-out in-out with lots of ultra-violence.
There were like pictures of chellovecks being given the boot straight in the
litso and all red red krovvy everywhere and I said I would like to be in on
that. And there was a picture of the old nagoy droog of the prison charlie's
carrying his cross up a hill, and I said I would like to have the old hammer
and nails. Good good good, I said:
"What is all this?"
"Deep hypnopaedia," or some such slovo, said one of these two vecks.
"You seem to be cured."
"Cured?" I said. "Me tied down to this bed like this and you say cured?
Kiss my sharries is what I say."
So I waited and, O my brothers, I got a lot better, munching away at
eggiwegs and lomticks of toast and peeting bolshy great mugs of milky chai,
and then one day they said I was going to have a very very very special
"Who?" I said, while they straightened the bed and combed my luscious
glory for me, me having the bandage off now from my gulliver and the hair
"You'll see, you'll see," they said. And I viddied all right. At
two-thirty of the afternoon there were like all photographers and men from
gazettas with noteboks and pencils and all that cal. And, brothers, they
near trumpeted a bolshy fanfare for this great and important veck who was
coming to viddy Your Humble Narrator. And in he came, and of course it was
none other than the Minister of the Interior or Inferior, dressed in the
heighth of fashion and with this very upper-class haw haw goloss. Flash
flash bang went the cameras when he put out his rooker to me to shake it. I
"Well well well well well. What giveth then, old droogie?"
Nobody seemed to quite pony that, but somebody said in a like harsh
"Be more respectful, boy, in addressing the Minister."
"Yarbles," I said, like snarling like a doggie. "Bolshy great
yarblockos to thee and thine."
"All right, all right," said the Interior Inferior one very skorry. "He
speaks to me as a friend, don't you, son?"
"I am everyone's friend," I said. "Except to my enemies."
"Well," said the Int Inf Min, sitting down by my bed. "I and the
Government of which I am a member want you to regard us as friends. Yes,
friends. We have put you right, yes? You are getting the best of treatment.
We never wished you harm, but there are some who did and do. And I think you
know who those are."
"Yes yes yes," he said. "There are certain men who wanted to use you,
yes, use you for political ends. They would have been glad, yes, glad for
you to be dead, for they thought they could then blame it all on the
Government. I think you know who those men are."
"There is a man," said the Intinfmin, "called F. Alexander, a writer of
subversive literature, who has been howling for your blood. He has been mad
with desire to stick a knife in you. But you're safe from him now. We put
"He was supposed to be like a droogie," I said. "Like a mother to me
was what he was."
"He found out that you had done wrong to him. At least," said the Min
very very skorry, "he believed you had done wrong. He formed this idea in
his mind that you had been responsible for the death of someone near and
dear to him."
"What you mean," I said, "is that he was told."
"He had this idea," said the Min. "He was a menace. We put him away for
his own protection. And also," he said, "for yours."
"Kind," I said. "Most kind of thou."
"When you leave here," said the Min, "you will have no worries. We
shall see to everything. A good job on a good salary. Because you are
"Am I?" I said.
"We always help our friends, don't we?" And then he took my rooker and
some veck creeched: "Smile!" and I smiled like bezoomny without thinking,
and then flash flash crack flash bang there were pictures being taken of me
and the Intinfmin all droogy together. "Good boy," said this great
"Good good boy. And now, see, a present."
What was brought in now, brothers, was a big shiny box, and I viddied
clear what sort of a veshch it was. It was a stereo. It was put down next to
the bed and opened up and some veck plugged its lead into the wall-socket.
"What shall it be?" asked a veck with otchkies on his nose, and he had in
his rookers lovely shiny sleeves full of music. "Mozart? Beethoven?
Schoenberg? Carl Orff?"
"The Ninth," I said. "The glorious Ninth."
And the Ninth it was, O my brothers. Everybody began to leave nice and
quiet while I laid there with my glazzies closed, slooshying the lovely
music. The Min said: "Good good boy," patting me on the pletcho, then he
ittied off. Only one veck was left, saying: "Sign here, please." I opened my
glazzies up to sign, not knowing what I was signing and not, O my brothers,
caring either. Then I was left alone with the glorious Ninth of Ludwig van.
Oh it was gorgeosity and yumyumyum. When it came to the Scherzo I could
viddy myself very clear running and running on like very light and
mysterious nogas, carving the whole litso of the creeching world with my
cut-throat britva. And there was the slow movement and the lovely last
singing movement still to come. I was cured all right.
Anthony Burgess. A Clockwork Orange
Words that do not appear to be of Russian origin are distinguished by
asterisks. (For help with the Russian, I am indebted to the kindness of my
colleague Nora Montesinos and a number of correspondents.)
*appy polly loggy--apology
chelloveck--person, man, fellow
*crack--to break up or `bust'
crast--to steal or rob; robbery
creech--to shout or scream
*filly--to play or fool with
forella - `trout'
*golly--unit of money
govoreet--to speak or talk
*horn--to cry out
lomtick, piece, bit
*pee and em--parents
pooshka - `cannon'
privodeet--to lead somewhere
ptitsa - `chick'
razrez--to rip, ripping
rook, rooker--hand, arm
scoteena - `cow'
shoom - noise
sloosh, slooshy--to hear, to listen
*snuff it--to die
sobirat--to pick up
*sod--to fornicate, fornicator
soomka - `bag'
tolchock--to hit or push; blow, beating
vareet--to `cook up'
viddy--to see or look
vred--to harm or damage
Glossary of Nadsat Language
Last-modified: Tue, 24 Dec 2002 07:32:49 GMT