In response to your request I enclose
my annual psychiatric report on the progress of your son Eustace
or Mr B.E.,
as he likes to be called,
who has been held in Buttercup Secure Ward for fifteen years, since
he was sectioned. The report has been transcribed for you into layman’s
As usual, the abiding question - as to how your son escapes from his
secure accommodation, and where he goes when absent - remains. As you
are aware, food is left in his empty cell three times daily, the closed
circuit TV tapes record nothing, and his plate and cup are found cleared
when staff collect them. I continue to be the sole person to whom he
agrees to show himself.
During my visit, Mr B.E. still insisted
on speaking in Backlatin, but he appeared extremely fit and well,
as he always
does. As ever,
he proceeded to demonstrate
to me his excellent wardrobe of Armani suits, Rolex watches and
like – and offered me two a Faberge eggs which
he asked me to send you with his fondest regards, and which I am
pleased to enclose
with this report.
He also pointed out the imminent structural
problem being caused by the weight of the gold bullion under his
bed. I was able to persuade
him, with a little effort, that it would be more expedient to place
the bars in a vault than to reinforce the floors of this elderly Victorian
asylum. Your son’s gold currently lies in safekeeping in my bank
account, awaiting your instructions.
In response to your annual request,
I of course proceeded to question him as to the origin of his
wealth, the method of his coming and going
from his room, and the matter of where he spends his days.
His delusion on this account sadly
persists. However on this occasion the details of his mind’s
unfortunate fabrications do give us a clue to the direction of
his obsessions, and for this reason I have
asked the hospital secretary to enclose herein his story, transcribed
and translated from your son’s tape-recorded Backlatin:
You always arks me that, don’ you, then you don’ listen.
I got a shed, ain’ I, and I rent it, don’ I, and people
sell space-junk in it don’ they, and I put the rent under me
bed and I spend some on nice gear and that, don’ I. Don’t
kick the po under me bed. Why do you medics always kick the po?
‘Ow do I get to me shed? Well as soon as you wipe that knowin’ grin
off your face I’ll tell you. ‘Ere you are, you
can play with them two Fabergé eggs, and maybe for once
listen. Like kids, these medics.
OK. Details. Where’s the shed? In space, innit. Sixty-two thousand,
one ‘undred and forty miles up, to be precise. In orbit, see.
It’s geostationary at that ‘ight: it ‘overs nicely
over this loony bin, dunnit, very convenient. Whatcha mean ‘ow
do I get there? That’s the easy bit, innit. I got a lift, ain’ I.
‘Ow’s it work? Oh you are full of questions today, doctor,
well at least you’re listenin’ for oncet. Got a nanotube
ribbon, ain’ I. Where’d I geddit? Out o’ that instruction
book I was readin’, just before you sectioned me. Fountains
of Paradise, it was, by this bloke Clarke. Just fell out, it did. Carbon
nanotube ribbon: three foot wide and as thin as thin. It jus’ ‘appened
to be 66,140 miles long. Reached up to me shed, it did. I keep the
bottom end of it in the wardrobe. Nice one.
Do I climb up the ribbon like a monkey?
Are you takin’ the mick?
I got mechanical lifters, ain’ I, powered by laser light. Sorted.
Punters go up the ribbon in the lift, catch the space junk going by
and flog it. You fink there’s just bits of ol’ satellites
and comets up there. That’s only the ‘alf of it. There’s
gold and diamonds. Saw a London bus once.
sell summink in me shed, do yer now? Whatcha wanna sell?
You can sell anythin’. No, Doctor, we don’ sell
grandmothers. It’s illeg - [Interview terminated]
am sorry to have to conclude from this interview that your
unfortunate condition persists, and this conclusion forms the
basis of my request to the Authorities that Mr B.E. be
sectioned for a
My regards and sympathy to you both.
I sincerely hope that my next report will contain more helpful
news. Please find attached my account for
the above private medical treatment.