Chapter 3 A Letter to‘The Times’
I did not see Merrick 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 are for ill people. We have no beds for hungry people, or ugly people.
I told the Hospital Chairman, Mr Cars Gomm, about Merrick. He listened carefully, and then he wrote a letter to the editor of The Times newspaper.
From The Times, December 4th, 1886
A Letter to the Editor.
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 not ill, 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 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——sawMerrick, 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 ￡50. But then Silcock took Merrick's ￡50, 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 DrTreves's 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.
F. C. 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, so Merrick could live in the Hospital for all his life. We could give him a home.