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 chello-vecks 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 chello-vecks 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 ptitsa said:
"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 to say:
"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 horror-show 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 cruel."
"Terrible," I said. "Really terrible. And where is the poor boy now?"
"Owwwww," boohooed my mum. "Gone back owww-wwwme."
"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 well."
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 her: "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 be-zoomny 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 horrorshow."
"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 these vecks. "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 hor-rorshow 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 visitor. "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 growing again. "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 said: "Well well well well well. What giveth then, old droogie?" Nobody seemed to quite pony that, but somebody said in a like harsh goloss:
"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 him away."
"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 helping us."
"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 chelloveck. "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.