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chapter 1 the creature in the shop my

name is dr. Frederick Treves I am a

doctor at the London hospital one day in

1884 I saw a picture in the window of a

shop near the hospital

I stopped in front of the shop and

looked at the picture at first I felt

interested then I felt angry there

afraid it was a horrible ugly picture

there was a man in the picture but he

did not look like you and me he did not

look like a man he looked like an


I read the writing under the picture it

said come in and see the Elephant Man 2

pence I opened the door and went in

there was a man in the shop he was a

dirty man in an old coat with a

cigarette in his mouth what do you want

he asked I'd like to see the Elephant

Man please I said the man looked at me

angrily well you can't

he said the shops closing now you can

come back tomorrow I'm sorry I said but

I would like to see him now

I have no time tomorrow I have a lot of

work to do but I can give you more than

two pence the man looked at me carefully

then he took the cigarette out of his

mouth and smiled with his yellow teeth

all right sir he said give me twelve

pence then I gave him the money

and he opened a door at the back of the

shop we went into a little room the room

was cold

and dark and there was a horrible smell

in it a creature sat on a chair behind a

table I say a creature because it was

not a man or a woman like you or me the

creature did not move or look at us

it sat very quietly on the chair in the

cold dark dirty room and looked at the

table the creature had a cloth over its

head because of the cold on the table in

front of it there was a dead flower

stand up said the shopkeeper loudly the

creature stood up slowly it took the old

cloth of its head and put it on the

chair I looked at the creature and felt

sad I am a doctor so I know a lot about

accidents and ill people I see horrible

ugly things every day but this creature

this thing was the worst of all there

were no men or women in the hospital

like him he wore some old trousers but

no shirt coat or shoes so I could see

his body very well his head was the most

interesting thing it was very very big

like an enormous bag with a lot of books

in it the head did not have much hair

and there was another bag of brown dirty

skin at the back of it this skin came

down below his neck I could not see one

of his eyes very well because a lot of

skin came down in front of his face to

an enormous red tooth came out of his

mouth under his nose it looked like an

elephant's tooth

the mouth and nose were like holes in

the face the face could not smile or

laugh or look angry or sad because the

skin could not move it was dead like an

elephant's face there were more bags of

dirty skin on the front and back of the

creatures body these bags came down to

his legs the right arm was enormous and

there were bags of skin on it too the

right hand was like a man's foot but the

left hand the left arm and the left hand

were beautiful the left arm had

wonderful skin and the fingers of the

left hand were long and beautiful it was

like a young woman's hand walk Merrick

said the shopkeeper angrily come on

quickly move he hid the creature with

his hand slowly the creature walked

across the room but he could not walk

well his legs were very big and fat and

he had a bad back he could not walk far

without a stick all right thank you I

said let him sit down I don't want to

see any more I felt ill and the smell in

the room was very bad yes sir said the

shopkeeper sit down Merrick we went out

of the room and closed the door the

shopkeeper smiled at me with his yellow

teeth wonderful sir isn't it he said the

best Elephant Man in England

hundreds of people come to see him you

know hundreds I take him all over the

country I do yes very interesting I said

can I sit down yes sir of course

here's a chair he looked at me smiling

would you like a glass of water sir yes


I said then I looked at the things in

the dirty shop there were two or three

bad apples and some old black bananas

that was all uh no no thank you I'm all

right I said did you did you call the

creature Marik that's right sir Joseph

Merrick the best Elephant Man in England

I take him all over the country you know

lots of people want to see him yes I see

do you get a lot of money well sometimes

we do sir yes but it's difficult you see

Sir because of the police the police

don't like us you see Sir so we can't

stay in a town very long we usually move

every week yes

I see well anyway mr. Silcox Sir Simon

Silcock yes well mr. Silcock I'm a

doctor at the London hospital my name is

dr. Treves

I think this this man Joseph Merrick is

very interesting and I would like to see

him at the hospital I want to look at

him more carefully you see yes sir I see

but how can he get to the hospital it's

going to be difficult why man

the hospitals not far from here well yes

sir I know but you see Merrick can't

walk very well he needs help

you can come with him do you want more


is that it

well yes I do

but you see people are afraid of him too

in the road little boys always run after

him and hit him then the police get

angry because people are afraid

sometimes they take us to prison I see I

said well how can he come to the

hospital then bring her cab sir said

Silcock you can take him to the hospital

in a cab chapter 2 the card so next day

at seven o'clock I came to the shop in a

cab there were not very many people in

the road because it was early in the

morning in November it is dark at seven

o'clock in the morning and I could not

see the shop very well I waited five

minutes a postman walked past then the

door of the shop opened and the creature

Merrick came out I could not see his

face or his body he had an enormous

black hat on his head like a big box a

grey cloth came down from the Hat in

front of his face there was a hole in

the cloth in front of his eyes he could

see out of the hole but I could not see

in he wore a long black coat to the coat

began at his neck and ended at his feet

so I could not see his arms his body or

his legs on his feet he wore big shoes

like old bags he had a stick in his left


and he walked very slowly I opened the

door of the cab and got out good morning

mr. Merrick I said can you get in my


oops he said I'm sorry I said I don't

understand for a minute he stood by the

door of the cab and said nothing then he

hit the cab with his stick steps he said

loudly help me up the steps then I

understood there were three steps up

into the cab and he could not get up

them yes I see I'm sorry I said let me

help you

I took his left hand and began to help

him my right hand was behind his back I

felt very strange his left hand was like

a young woman's but his back under the

coat was horrible I could feel the bags

of old skin on his back under the coat

he put one enormous foot on the first

step and then he stopped after a minute

he moved his second foot slowly then he

stopped and waited again hello sir

can I help you I looked behind me it was

the postman and behind him I could see

three young boys one of the boys laughed

the postman smiled is the gentleman in

he asked I thought quickly yes but this

is a lady not a gentleman I'm a doctor

and she's ill take her hand so I can

help her better

the postman took merrick's left hand and

I helped him with two hands from behind

slowly very slowly merrick went up the

steps and into the cab one boy was very

near the cab

called to his friends come and say this


a fat lady in a black coat and look at

that enormous hat the boys laughed they

were very near the cab - now I closed

the door quickly thank you

I said to the postman that's alright sir

he said she's a strange lady sir isn't

she she's ill that's all I said quickly

we're games at the hospital goodbye and

thank you the cab drove down the road to

the hospital I looked at Merrick that

was difficult wasn't it I said at first

he said nothing but then he spoke his

voice was very strange but I listened to

him carefully and I could understand him

the steps were very difficult he said

but most things are difficult for me yes

I said nothing is easy for you is it no

he said he was very quiet for a minute

then he said who are you sure Who am I

oh I'm sorry my name is dr. Treves here

this is my card I gave him a card with

my name on then I thought that was no

good this man can't read but Merrick

took the card and looked at it very

carefully then he put it in his trousers

pocket I did not talk to him very much

at the hospital I looked at his head and

arms and legs and

body very carefully then I wrote the

important things about him in a little

book a nurse helped me Marek looked at

her sometimes but she did not smile at

him or talk to him I think she was

afraid of him I think Marek was afraid

too because he was very quiet at 4

o'clock I took him back to the shop in a

cab the next day I looked in the shop

window again

but the picture was not there chapter 3

a letter to the times

I did not see Marek again for two years

then one day the police found him he had

my card in his hand so they brought him

to the London Hospital

he was very tired hungry and dirty so I

put him to bed in a quiet little room

but he could not stay at the hospital he

was not ill and of course the beds in

the hospital offer ill people we have no

beds for hungry people or ugly people I

told the hospital chairman Mr Carr Gomm

about Marek he listened carefully and

then he wrote a letter to the editor of

The Times newspaper from The Times

December the 4th 1886 a letter to the

editor dear sir I am writing to you

about a man in our Hospital he needs

your help

his name is joseph merrick and he is 27

years old he is

Hill but he cannot go out of the

hospital because he is very very ugly

nobody likes to look at him and some

people are afraid of him we call him the

Elephant Man two years ago

Merrick lived in a shop near the London

hospital for two pence people could see

him and laugh at him one day dr.

Frederick Treves a hospital doctor saw

merrick brought him to this hospital and

looked at him carefully dr treves could

not help merrick but he gave him his

card then the shopkeeper Silcock took

merrick to belgium a lot of people in

belgium wanted to see him and so after a

year Merrick had fifty pounds but then

Silcock took merrick's fifty pounds left

merrick in belgium and went back to

London Merrick came back to London by

himself everyone on the train and the

ship looked at him and laughed at him in

London the police put him in prison but

then they saw dr treves his card and

brought merrick to the london hospital

this man has no money and he cannot work

his face and body are very very ugly so

of course many people are afraid of him

but he is a very interesting man he can

read and write and he thinks a lot he is

a good quiet man sometimes he makes

things with his hands and gives them to

the nurses because they are kind to him

he remembers his mother and he has a

picture of her she was beautiful and

kind he says but he never sees her now

she gave him to Silcock a long time ago

can the readers of The Times help us

this man is not ill but he needs a home

we can give him a room at the hospital

but we need some money please write to

me at the London hospital yours

faithfully FC carr gomm chairman of the

london hospital the readers of the times

are very kind people they gave us a lot

of money after one week we had 50,000

pounds so merrick could live in the

hospital for all his life we could give

him a home chapter for Marik's first

home we gave merrick two rooms at the

back of the hospital one room was a

bathroom so he could have a bath every

day soon his skin was much better and

there was no horrible smell the second

room had a bed table and chairs I

visited him every day and talked to him

he loved reading and talking about books

at first he did not know many books the

Bible and one or two newspapers that's

all but I gave him some books of love

stories and he liked them very much he

read them again and again and talked

about them often for him

the men and women in these books were

alive like you and me he was very happy

but sometimes it was difficult for him

at first one or two people in the

hospital laughed at merrick because he

was ugly sometimes they brought their

friends to look at him one day a new

nurse came to the hospital and nobody

told her about merrick she took his food

to his room and opened the door then she

saw him she screamed dropped the food on

the floor and ran out of the room I was

very angry with the nurse and went to

see merrick he was not happy about it

but he was not very angry I think he

felt sorry for the girl people don't

like looking at me i know that dr treves

he said they usually laugh or scream

well I don't want nurses to laugh at you


I said angrily I want them to help you

thank you doctor he said in his strange

slow voice but it's not important

everyone laughs at me I understand that

I looked at him sadly in his one good

hand his left hand he had the little

picture of his mother he looked at the

picture for a minute and then put it by

a flower on the table a tear ran out of

his eye and down the skin of his

enormous ugly face door

the Treves he said slowly you and the

nurses are very kind and I'm very happy

here thank you very much but I know I

can't stay here long and I would like to

live in a lighthouse after the hospital

please a lighthouse or a home for blind

people I think those are the best places

for me what do you mean I asked why he

did not look at me

he put the flower on the picture and

looked at it carefully lighthouses have

sea all around them don't they

he said nobody could look at me in a

lighthouse so I would be happy there and

blind people can see nothing so they

couldn't see me

could they but Joseph I said this is

your home you live here now you aren't

going to leave the hospital not today

perhaps he said but soon you are a kind

man dr. Treves but I can't stay here

very long I have no money I smiled

Joseph I said this is your home now

don't you understand you can stay here

all your life very carefully I told him

about the letter to the times and the

money I don't think he understood at

first so I told him again he was very

quiet for a minute then he stood up and

walked up and down the room very quickly

a strange sound came from him like

laughing chapter five an important


I did not want Marik to live by himself

like a man in the lighthouse he read his

books and talked to me but I wanted him

to talk to more people and I wanted him

to talk to women

Merrick read about women in his books

but he did not often talk to women he

met the nurses every day but they did

not talk to him very much but them he

was always a creature not a man one day

one of my friends a beautiful young

woman came to the hospital I told her

about Merrick and took her to his room

she opened the door and smiled at him

good morning mr. Merrick she said then

she shook his hand

Merrick looked at her for a minute with

his mouth open then he sat down on his

bed with his head in his hand and cried

he cried for nearly five minutes the

tears ran down his face between his

fingers and onto the floor

friend sat on the bed beside him and put

her hand on his arm she said nothing but

she smiled at him and shook his hand

again before she left dr. Treves he said

to me that night that lady was wonderful

my mother smiled at me once many years

ago but no women smile at me now but

this lady smiled at me too and she shook

my hand

her beautiful lady smiled at me and

shook my hand my young lady friend came

again the next week and talked to

merrick for half an hour the week after

that she came again with a friend they

gave him some books and had a cup of tea

with him it was wonderful for him for

the first time in his life he had some

friends he was a very happy man he sat

in his room and read his books and said

no more about living on a lighthouse

people began to read about merrick in

the newspapers so he had a lot of

visitors everybody wanted to see him a

lot of important ladies and gentlemen

visited him they smiled at him shook his

hand and gave him books merrick liked

talking to these people and he began to

forget about his ugly body his visitors

never laughed at him he began to feel

like a man not a creature one

wonderful day a very important lady came

to the hospital to visit him

I met the lady and took her to his room

then I opened the door and smiled at him

good morning Joseph

I said there is a new visitor to see you


a very famous lady Merrick stood up

beside his table he did not smile

because his face could not smile but his

eyes looked happy that's good he said

who is it I moved away from the door

and the visitor walked in your majesty

this is Joseph Merrick

I said Joseph this is Her Majesty Queen

Alexandra the Queen of England Queen

Alexandra smiled at him how do you do

mr. Merrick she said I'm very pleased to

meet you then she shook his hand

Merrick did not move for nearly half a

minute he stood and looked at her with

his mouth open then he spoke in his

strange slow voice how how do you do

your majesty he said but I don't think

the Queen understood him because he

tried to get down on his knees at the

same time it was very difficult for him

because of his enormous legs no please

mr. Merrick do get up said the Queen I

would like to talk to you can we sit at

your table

yes yes of course

he said they sat at the table she took

his left hand the good hand in hers she

looked at the hand carefully and then

smiled at merrick again I often read

about you in the newspapers she said you

are a very interesting man mr. Merrick

you have a very difficult life but

people say you're happy is it true are

you happy now

oh yes your majesty

yes said Merrick I'm a very happy man I

have a home here now and friends and my

books I'm happy every hour of the day

what a wonderful story

she said I'm very pleased to hear it

now tell me about your reading I see you

have a lot of books here oh yes your


I love my books said Merrick and for

nearly half an hour they sat and talked

about books the Queen gave him a little

book and some red flowers before she

left after her visit Merrick began to

sing he could not sing easily of course

because of his mouth but all that day

there was a strange happy noise in his

room he looked at the flowers carefully

and put them on his table he had men

visits from the Queen and at Christmas

she sent him a Christmas card Windsor

Castle the 20th of December 1888 dear

Joseph here is a small Christmas present

for you I think it looks like me doesn't


I do like visiting you very much and I

am going to come to the hospital again

in the new year

happy Christmas your friend Alexandra

the present was a picture of Queen

Alexandra with her name on it

Marek cried over it and put it carefully

by the bed in his room then he sat down

and wrote a letter to the Queen it was

the first letter of his life the London

hospital 23rd of December 1888 my dear

Queen thank you very very much for your

wonderful card and the beautiful picture

it is the best thing in my room the very

best the most beautiful thing I have

this is the first Christmas in my life

and my first Christmas present perhaps I

had a Christmas with my mother once but

I do not remember it I have my mother's

picture too

and she is beautiful like you but now I

know many famous ladies and kind people

like dr. Treves and I am a very happy


I am happy to because I am going to see

you in the New Year happy Christmas to

you my dear friend with all my love

joseph merrick chapter 6 outside the


Marik had a lot of friends now but he

was more like a child than a man he

could read about things and talk to his

visitors but he could not go out of the

hospital by himself he thought and

played like a child after Christmas he

wanted to go to the theatre this was

very difficult because I did not want

the people in the theatre to see him but

a kind lady from the theatre mrs.

Kendall helped us we bought tickets for

a box at the side of the theatre we went

to the theatre in a cab with dark

windows and we went into the theatre by

a door at the back the Queen's door

nobody saw us three nurses sat at the

front of the box and merrick and i sat

in the dark behind them nobody in the

theatre could see us but we could see

the play it was a children's Christmas

play merrick loved it it was a most

wonderful exciting story often he

laughed and sometimes he tried to sing

like the children in the theatre he was

like a child for him everything in the

story was true once he was very afraid

because the

bad man in the play was angry and had a

knife at first Merrick wanted to leave

the theater but I stopped him then he

was very angry with this bad man in the

play he hid his hand on his chair and

stood up and talked to the man but

nobody heard him when the bad man went

to prison Merrick laughed Merrick

thought the beautiful young lady in the

play was wonderful he wanted to talk to

her too at the end of the play he was

very happy because she married a good

young man he remembered this play for a

long time and he talked a lot about the

people in it what do you think they did

after we left he asked me where do the

young lady and the young man live what

are they doing now I don't know I said

perhaps they live in the country Merrick

thought about this for a long time then

he said dr. Treves can I go to the

country please

I saw the country once from a train but

I never went there I often read about it

in books it's very beautiful isn't it

I would like to see it the visit to the

theatre was difficult but a visit to the

country was more difficult but again one

of his new friends helped us she had a

small house in the country and merrick

could stay in it for the summer she said

I took Marik to the country in a train

with dark windows so nobody could see

him then we went in a cab to the country

house there were a lot of trees near the

house but no people lived near it a

countryman brought food to the house

every day but no people came near it I

stayed with him that night at night it

was very dark and quiet in the morning

hundreds of birds sang in the trees and

everything outside the house was green

merrick walked under the big trees

looking at things happily and singing

his strange song I went back to London

but Marik stayed there for six weeks he

was wonderfully happy every week he

wrote me a letter

Apple Tree House West Wycombe Berkshire

the 21st of July 1889 dear dr. Treves I

had a wonderful day again today it was

very warm so I walked under the trees

and sat by a stream the water in the

stream made a beautiful noise like

singing did you know that I listened to

it for two hours lots of little birds

came near me one had a red body in front

and a brown back I gave it some bread

and it sat on my hand a lot of birds are

my friends now

I watched the fish in the stream - they

were very exciting because they move

very fast one minute they were there and

the next minute I couldn't see them but

I waited quietly and they always came

back I put my hand in the water but I

couldn't touch them I met a big dog

yesterday it made a very loud noise but

I was not afraid I sat down quietly and

looked at it and it came and smelt my

hand I saw it again today and gave it

some bread it likes me now I am going to

put some flowers from the country in

this letter there are hundreds of

flowers here did you know that I like

the little blue ones best but they are

all beautiful I have lots of them in my

room I give them water every morning

little flowers are very thirsty you know

I am very happy here doctor but I want

to see you again soon - with love from

your friend joseph merrick at the end of

the summer he came back to london he was

very well and his skin looked much

better he talked about the country a lot

but he was happy to see his friends and

his books again - chapter

the last letter six months later in

April 1890 I found him dead in bed he

was on his back in bed so at first I

thought he was asleep I talked to him

but he did not move then I saw that the

skin on his face was blue so I knew he

was dead he did not usually sleep on his

back his enormous head was very heavy so

he usually sat up in bed with his arms

round his legs and his head on his knees

he could sleep well like this but he

wanted to sleep on his back like you and


he tried to sleep on his back that night

but his heavy head came off the bed

and he broke his neck he died very

quickly next day the chairman of the

london hospital mr carr gomm wrote to

the editor of The Times again the times

April the 16th 1890 dear sir three and a

half years ago I wrote to you about a

man called Joseph Merrick this man was

called the Elephant Man because he was

born with a very ugly body Merrick was

not ill but he could not work and he had

no money the readers of The Times felt

sorry for him and they gave me a lot of

money for Merrick because of this money

we could give merica home in the London

Hospital it was his first good home and

for three and a half years

he lived here happily the doctors and

nurses of the hospital helped him and

many important people visited him he

read many books he went to the theater

and in the summer he stayed in the

country for six weeks because of your

readers money we could give him a happy

life last night Joseph Merrick died

quietly in his bed he was a man with a

very ugly body but he was a good kind

man and he had a lot of friends we like

to talk to him and we are all very sorry

because he is dead a lot of people are

going to remember him for a long time

there is some money left so I am going

to give it to the hospital thank you sir

for your help yours faithfully f-c carr

gomm chairman of the london hospital

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