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 is it?"
"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 of pain."
"That's right, sir," I said, smoking one of this kind man's cork-tipped cancers.
"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 mean."
"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 vid-dying 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 poor girl."