Merrick had a lo of friends now, but he was more like a child than a man. He could read about things, and talk to his visitors, but he could not go out of the hospital by himself. He thought and played like a child. After Christmas, he wanted to go to the theatre. This was very difficult, because I did not want the people in the theatre to see him. But a kind lady from the theatre—Mrs Kendal—helped us. We bought tickets for a box at the side of the theatre We went to the theatre in a cab with dark windows, and we went into the theatre by a door at the back—the Queen's door. Nobody saw us. Three nurses sat at the front of the box, and Merrick and I sat in the dark behind them. Nobody in the theatre could see us, but we could see the play. It was a children's Christmas play. Merrick loved it. It was a most wonderful, exciting story. Often he laughed, and sometimes he tried to sing like the children in the theatre. He was like a child. For him, everything in the story was true. Once he was very afraid, because the bad man in the play was angry and had a knife. At first Merrick wanted to leave the theatre, but I stopped him. Then he was very angry with this bad man in the play. He hit his hand on his chair, and stood up and talked to the man. But nobody heard him. When 42the bad man went to prison, Merrick laughed. Merrick thought the beautiful young lady in the play was wonderful. He wanted to talk to her too. At the end of the play he was very happy because she married a good young man. He remembered this play for a long time, and he talked a lot about the people in it. 'What do you think they did after we left?’he asked me. 'Where do the young lady and the young man live? What are they doing now?’ 'I don't know, I said. 'Perhaps they live in the country.' Merrick thought about this for a long time. Then he said:'Dr Treves, can I go to the country, please?I saw the country once from a train, but I never went there. I often read about it in books. It's very beautiful, isn't it?I would like to see it.' 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 Merrick 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 everyday, but no people came near it. I stayed with him that night. At night, it was very dark 44and 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 Merrick stayed there for six weeks. He was wonderfully happy. Every week, he wrote me a letter. Apple Tree House, West Wickham, Berkshire. 21st 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, too. 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 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, too. 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, too.