Chapter 2

           Hewaslyingonsomethingthatfeltlikeacampbed,exceptthatitwashigheroffthegroundandthathewasfixeddowninsomewaysothathecouldnotmove. Lightthatseemedstrongerthanusualwasfallingonhisface. O’Brienwasstandingathisside,lookingdownathimintently. Attheothersideofhimstoodamaninawhitecoat,holdingahypodermicsyringe. 

           Evenafterhiseyeswereopenhetookinhissurroundingsonlygradually. Hehadtheimpressionofswimmingupintothisroomfromsomequitedifferentworld,asortofunderwaterworldfarbeneathit. Howlonghehadbeendowntherehedidnotknow. Sincethemomentwhentheyarrestedhimhehadnotseendarknessordaylight. Besides,hismemorieswerenotcontinuous. Therehadbeentimeswhenconsciousness,eventhesortofconsciousnessthatonehasinsleep,hadstoppeddeadandstartedagainafterablankinterval. Butwhethertheintervalswereofdaysorweeksoronlyseconds,therewasnowayofknowing. 

           Withthatfirstblowontheelbowthenightmarehadstarted. Laterhewastorealizethatallthatthenhappenedwasmerelyapreliminary,aroutineinterrogationtowhichnearlyallprisonersweresubjected. Therewasalongrangeofcrimesespionage,sabotage,andtheliketowhicheveryonehadtoconfessasamatterofcourse. Theconfessionwasaformality,thoughthetorturewasreal. Howmanytimeshehadbeenbeaten,howlongthebeatingshadcontinued,hecouldnotremember. Alwaystherewerefiveorsixmeninblackuniformsathimsimultaneously. Sometimesitwasfists,sometimesitwastruncheons,sometimesitwassteelrods,sometimesitwasboots. 

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