SPED 23200: Reading #4

Daniel Keyes

("Flowers for Algernon" By Daniel Keys, published in Fantasy and Science Fiction. Copyright 1959 by
Mercury Press.)

         FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON    Daniel Keyes
                                       progris riport 1-martch 5, 1965
            Dr. Strauss says I shud rite down what I think and evrey thing
         that happins to me from now on, I dont know why but he says its
         importint so they will see if they will use me. I hope they use me.
         Miss Kinnian says maybe they can make me smart. I want to be
         smart. My name is Charlie Gordon. I am 37 years old. I have
         nuthing more to rite now so I will close for today.

                                         progris riport 2-martch 6
            I had a test today. I think I faled it. And I think maybe now they
         wont use me. What happind is a nice young man was in the room
         and he had some white cards and ink spillled all over them. He sed
         Charlie what do vo see on this card. I was very skared even tho I had
         my rabits foot in my pockit because when I was a kid I always faled
         tests in school and I spillled ink to.
            I told him I saw a inkblot. He said yes and it made me feel good.
         I thot that was all but when I got up to go he said Charlie we are not
         thrn yet. Then I dont remember so good but he wantid me to say
         what was in the ink. I dint see nuthing in the ink but he said there
         was picturs there other pepul saw some picturs. I couldnt see any
         picturs. I reely tryed. I held the card close up and then far away.
         Then I said if I had my glases I coud see better I usally only ware
         my glases in the movies or TV but I said they are in the closit in the
         hall. I got them. Then I said let me see that card agen I bet Ill find it
            I tryed hard but I only saw the ink. I told him maybe I need new
         glases. He rote something down on a paper and I got skared of faling
         the test. I told him it was a very nice inkblot with littel points all
         around the edges. He looked very sad so that wasnt it. I said please
         let me try agen. Ill get it in a few minits becaus Im not so fast
         sometimes. Im a slow reeder too in Miss Kinnians class for slow
         adtilts but I'm trying very hard.
            He gave me a chance with another card that had 2 kinds of ink
         spilled on it red and blue.
            He was very nice and talked slow like Miss Kinnian does and he
         explaned it to me that it was a raw shok. He said pepul see things in
         the ink. I said show me where. He said think. I told him I think a
         inkblot but that wasn't rite eather. He said what does it remind
         you-pretend something. I closed mv eves for a long time to
         pretend. I told him I pretend a fowutan pen with ink leeking all over
         a table cloth.
            I don't think I passed the raw shok test
                                         progris riport 3-martch 7
            Dr Strauss and Dr Nemur say it dont matter about the inkblots.
         They said that maybe they will still use me. I said Miss Kinnian
         never gave me tests like that one only spelling and reading. They
         said Miss Kinnian told that I was her bestist pupil in the adult nite
         school becaus I tryed the hardist and I reely wantid to lern. They
         said how come you went to the adult nite scool all by yourself
         Charlie. How did you find it. I said I asked pepul and sum body told
         me where I shud go to lern to read and spell good. They said why
         did you want to. I told them becaus all my life I wantid to be smart
         and not dumb. But its very hard to be smart. They said you know it
         will probly be tempirery. I said yes. Miss Kinnian told me. I dont
         care if it herts.
            Later I had more crazy tests today. The nice lady who gave it to
         me told me the name and I asked her how do you spell it so I can rite
         it my progris riport. THEMATIC APPERCEPTION TEST. I dont
         know the frist 2 words but I know what test means. You got to pass it
         or you get bad marks. This test lookd easy becaus I could see the
         picturs. Only this time she dint want me to tell her the picturs. That
         mixd me up. She said make up storys about the pepul in the picturs.
            I told her how can you tell storys about pepul you never met. I
         said why shud I make up lies. I never tell lies any more becaus I
         always get caut.
            She told me this test and the other one the raw-shok was for
         getting personality. I laffed so hard. I said how can you get that
         thing from inkblots and fotos. She got sore and put her picturs away.
         I don't care. It was sily. I gess I faled that test too.
            Later some men in white coats took me to a difernt part of the
         hospitil and gave me a game to play. It was like a race with a white
         mouse. They called the mouse Algernon. Algernon was in a box with
         a lot of twists and turns like all kinds of walls and they gave me a
         pencil and a paper with lines and lots of boxes. On one side it said
         START and on the other end it said FINISH. They said it was
         amazed and that Algernon and me had the same amazed to do. I dint
         see how we could have the same amazed if Algernon had a box and I
         had a paper but I dint say' nothing. Anyway there wasnt time
         because the race started.
            One of the men had a watch he was trying to hide so I wouldnt
         see it so I tryed not to look and that made me nervus.
            Anyway that test made me feel worser than all the others
         because they' did it over 10 times with different amazeds and
         Algernon won every time. I dint know that mice were so smart,
         Maybe thats because Algernon is a white mouse. Maybe white mice
         are smarter than other mice.
                                           progris riport 4-Mar 8
            Their going to use me! Im so excited I can hardly write. Dr
         Nemur and Dr Strauss had a argament about it first. Dr Nemur was
         in the office when Dr Strauss brot me in. Dr Nemur was worryed
         about using me but Dr Strauss told him Miss Kinnian rekemmended
         me the best from all the people who she was teaching. I like Miss
         Kinnian becaus shes a very smart teacher. And she said Charlie your
         going to have a second chance. If you volunteer for this experament
         you mite get smart. They dont know if it will be perminint but theirs
         a chance. Thats why I said ok even when I was scared because she
         said it was an operashun. She said dont be scared Charlie you done
         so much with so little I think you deserv it most of all.
            So I got scaird when Dr. Nemur and Dr. Strauss argud about it.
         Dr. Strauss said I had something that was very good. He said I had a
         good motorvation. I never even knew I had that. I felt proud when
         he said that not every body with an eye-q of 68 had that thing. I dant
         know what it is or where I got it but he said Algernon had it too.
         Algernons motor-vation is the cheese they put in his box. But it cant
         be that because I didn't eat any cheese this week.
            Then he told Dr Nemur something I dint understand so while
         they were talking I wrote down some of the words.
            He said Dr. Nemur I know Charlie is not what you had in mind
         as the first of your new brede of intelek** (couldnt get the word)
         superman. But most people of his low ment** are host** and
         uncoop** they are usually dull apath** and hard to reach. He has a
         good natcher hes intristed and eager to please.
            Dr Nemur said remember he will be the first human beeng ever
         to have his intelijence tripled by surgicle meens.
            Dr. Strauss said exakly. Look at how well hes lerned to read and
         write for his low mentel age its as grate an acheve** as you and I
         lerning einstines therey of **vity without help. That shows the
         inteness motor-vation. Its comparat** a tremen** achev** I say we
         use Charlie.
            I dint get all the words but it sounded like Dr Strauss was on my
         side and like the other one wasnt.
            Then Dr Nemur nodded he said all right maybe your right. We
         will use Charlie. When he said that I got so exited I jumped up and
         shook his hand for being so good to me. I told him thank you doc
         you wont be sorry for giving me a second chance. And I mean it like
         I told him. After the operashun Im gonna try to be smart. Im gonna
         try awful hard.
                                          progris riport 5-Mar 10
            Im skared. Lots of the nurses and the people who gave me the
         tests came to bring me candy and wish me luck. I hope I have luck. I
         got my rabits foot and my lucky penny. Only a black cat crossed me
         when I was comming to the hospitil. Dr Strauss says dont be
         supersitis Charlie this is science. Anyway Im keeping my rabits foot
         with me.
            I asked Dr Strauss if Ill beat Algernon in the race after the
         operashun and he said maybe. If the operashun works Ill show that
         mouse I can be as smart as he is. Maybe smarter. Then Ill be abel to
         read better and spell the words good and know lots of things and be
         like other people. I want to be smart like other people. If it works
         perminint they will make everybody smart all over the wurld.
            They dint give me anything to eat this morning. I dont know
         what that eating has to do with getting smart. Im very hungry and
         Dr. Nemur took away my box of candy. That Dr Nemur is a grouch.
         Dr Strauss says I can have it back after the operashun. You cant eat
         befor a operashun....
                                          progress report 6-Mar 15
            The operashun dint hurt. He did it while I was sleeping. They
         took off the bandijis from my head today so I can make a PROG-
         RESS REPORT. Dr. Nemur who looked at some of my other ones
         says I spell PROGRESS wrong and told me how to spell it and
         REPORT too. I got to try and remember that.
            I have a very bad memary for spelling. Dr Strauss says its ok to
         tell about all the things that happin to me but he says I should tell
         more about what I feel and what I think. When I told him I dont
         know how to think he said try. All the time when the bandijis were
         on my eyes I tryed to think. Nothing happened. I dont know what to
         think about. Maybe if I ask him he will tell me how I can think now
         that Im supposed to get smart. What do smart people think about.
         Fancy things I suppose. I wish I knew some fancy things alredy.
                                          progress report 7-mar 19
            Nothing is happining. I had lots of tests and different kinds of
         races with Algernon. I hate that mouse. He always beats me. Dr.
         Strauss said I got to play those games. And he said some time I got to
         take those tests over again. Those inkblots are stupid. And those
         pictures are stupid too. I like to draw a picture of a man and a
         woman but I wont make up lies about people.
            I got a headache from trying to think so much. I thot Dr Strauss
         was my frend but he dont help me. He dont tell me what to think or
         when Ill get smart. Miss Kinnian dint come to see me. I think
         writing these progress reports are stupid too.
                                          progress report 8-Mar 23
            Im going back to work at the factory. They said it was better I
         shud go back to work but I cant tell anyone what the operashun was
         for and I have to come to the hospitil for an hour evry night after
         work. They are gonna pay me mony every month for learning to be
            Im glad Im going back to work because I miss my job and all
         my frends and all the fun we have there.
            Dr Strauss say's I shud keep writing things down but I dont
         have to do it every day just when I think of something or something
         speshul happins. He says dont get discoridged because it takes time
         and it happins slow. He say's it took a long time with Algernon
         before he got 3 times smarter than he was before. Thats why
         Algernon beats me all the time because he had that operashun too.
         That makes me feel better. I coud probly do that amazed faster than
         a reglar mouse. Maybe some day Ill beat him. That would be
         something. So far Algernon looks smart perminent.
         Mar 25 (I dont have to write PROGRESS REPORT on top any
         more just when I hand it in once a week for Dr Nemur. I just have to
         put the date on. That saves time)
            We had a lot of fun at the factory today. Joe Carp said hey look
         where Charlie had his operashun what did they do Charlie put some
         brains in. I was going to tell him but I remembered Dr Strauss said
         no. Then Frank Reilly said what did you do Charlie forget your key
         and open your door the hard way. That made me laff. Their really
         my friends and they like me.
            Sometimes somebody will say hey look at Joe or Frank or
         George he really pulled a Charlie Gordon. I dont know why they say
         that but they always laff. This morning Amos Borg who is the 4 man
         at Donnegans used my name when he shouted at Ernie the office
         boy. Ernie lost a packige. He said Ernie for godsake what are you
         trying to be a Charlie Gordon. I dont understand why he said that.
         Mar 28 Dr Strauss came to my room tonight to see why I dint come
         in like I was suppose to. I told him I dont like to race with Algernon
         any more. He said I dont have to for a while but I shud come in. He
         had a present for me. I thot it was a little television but it wasnt. He
         said I got to turn it on when I go to sleep. I said your kidding why
         shud I turn it on when Im going to sleep. Who ever herd of a thing
         like that. But he said if I want to get smart I got to do what he says. I
         told him I dint think I was going to get smart and he puts his hand
         on my sholder and said Charlie you dont know it yet but your
         getting smarter all the time. You wont notice for a while. I think he
         was just being nice to make me feel good because I dont look any
            Oh yes I almost forgot. I asked him when I can go back to the
         class at Miss Kinnians school. He said I wont go their. He said that
         soon Miss Kinnian will come to the hospitil to start and teach me
         Mar 29 That crazy TV kept up all night. How can I sleep with
         something yelling crazy things all night in my ears. And the nutty
         pictures. Wow. I don't know what it says when Im up so how am I
         going to know when Im sleeping.
            Dr Strauss says its ok. He says my brains are lerning when I
         sleep and that will help me when Miss Kinnian starts my lessons in
         the hospitl (only I found out it isn't a hospitil its a labatory.) I think
         its all crazy. If you can get smart when your sleeping why do people
         go to school. That thing I don't think will work. I use to watch the
         late show and the late late show on TV all the time and it never made
         me smart. Maybe you have to sleep while you watch it.
                                          progress report 9-April 3
            Dr Strauss showed me how to keep the TV turned low so now I
         can sleep. I don't hear a thing. And I still dont understand what it
         says. A few times I play it over in the morning to find out what I
         lerned when I was sleeping and I don't think so. Miss Kinnian says
         Maybe its another langwidge. But most times it sound american. It
         talks faster then even Miss Gold who was my teacher in 6 grade.
            I told Dr. Strauss what good is it to get smart in my sleep. I want
         to be smart when Im awake. He says its the same thing and I have
         two minds. Theres the subconscious and the conscious (thats how
         you spell it). And one dont tell the other one what its doing. They
         dont even talk to each other. Thats why I dream. And boy have I
         been having crazy dreams. Wow. Ever since that night TV. The late
         late late show.
            I forgot to ask him if it was only me or if everybody had those
         two minds.
            (I just looked up the word in the dictionary Dr Strauss gave me.
         The word is subconscious. adj. Of the nature of mental operations
         yet not present in consciousness; as, subconscious conflict of de-
         sires.) There's more but I still dont know what it means. This isnt a
         very good dictionary for dumb people like me.
            Anyway the headache is from the party. My friends from the
         factery Joe Carp and Frank Reilly invited me to go to Muggsys
         Saloon for some drinks. I don't like to drink but they said we will
         have lots of fun. I had a good time.
            Joe Carp said I shoud show the girls how I mop out the toilet in
         the factory and he got me a mop. I showed them and everyone laffed
         when I told that Mr. Donnegan said I was the best janiter he ever
         had because I like my job and do it good and never miss a day except
         for my operashun.
            I said Miss Kinnian always said Charlie be proud of your job
         because you do it good.
            Everybody laffed and we had a good time and they gave me lots
         of drinks and Joe said Charlie is a card when hes potted. I dont
         know what that means but everybody likes me and we have fun. I
         cant wait to be smart like my best friends Joe Carp and Frank Reilly.
            I dont remember how the party was over but I think I went out
         to buy a newspaper and coffe for Joe and Frank and when I came
         back there was no one their. I looked for them all over till late. Then
         I dont remember so good but I think I got sleepy or sick. A nice cop
         brot me back home Thats what my landlady Mrs Flynn says.
            But I got a headache and a big lump on my head. I think maybe
         I fell but Joe Carp says it was the cop they beat up drunks some
         times. I don't think so. Miss Kinnian says cops are to help people.
         Anyway I got a bad headache and Im sick and hurt all over. I dont
         think Ill drink anymore.
         April 6 I beat Algernon! I dint even know I beat him until Burt the
         tester told me. Then the second time I lost because I got so exited I
         fell off the chair before I finished. But after that I beat him 8 more
         times. I must be getting smart to beat a smart mouse like Algernon.
         But I dont feel smarter.
            I wanted to race Algernon some more but Burt said thats
         enough for one day. They let me hold him for a minit. Hes not so
         bad. Hes soft like a ball of cotton. He blinks and when he opens his
         eyes their black and pink on the eges.
            I said can I feed him because I felt bad to beat him and I wanted
         to be nice and make friends. Burt said no Algernon is a very
         specshul mouse with an operashun like mine, and he was the first of
         all the animals to stay smart so long. He told me Algernon is so smart
         that every day he has to solve a test to get his food. Its a thing like a
         lock on a door that changes every time Algernon goes in to eat so he
         has to lern something new to get his food. That made me sad
         because if he couldnt lern he woud be hungry.
            I don't think its right to make you pass a test to eat. How woud
         Dr Nemur like it to have to pass a test every time he wants to eat. I
         think Ill be friends with Algernon.
         April 9 Tonight after work Miss Kinnian was at the laboratory. She
         looked like she was glad to see me but scared. I told her dont worry
         Miss Kinnian Im not smart yet and she laffed. She said I have
         confidence in you Charlie the way you struggled so hard to read and
         right better than all the others. At werst you will have it for a littel
         wile and your doing something for science.
            We are reading a very hard book. Its called Robinson Crusoe
         about a man who gets merooned on a dessert Iland. Hes smart and
         figers out all kinds of things so he can have a house and food and hes
         a good swimmer. Only I feel sorry because hes all alone and has no
         frends. But I think their must be somebody else on the iland because
         theres a picture with his funny umbrella looking at footprints. I
         hope he gets a frend and not be lonly.
         April 10 Miss Kinnian teaches me to spell better. She says look at a
         word and close your eyes and say it over and over until you
         remember. I have lots of truble with through that you say threw and
         enough and tough that you dont say enew and tew. You got to say
         enuff and tuff. Thats how I use to write it before I started to get
         smart. Im confused but Miss Kinnian says theres no reason in
         Apr 14 Finished Robinson Crusoe. I want to find out more about
         what happens to him but Miss Kinnian says thats all there is. Why.

         Apr 15 Miss Kinnian says Im lerning fast. She read some of the
         Progress Reports and she looked at me kind of funny. She says Im a
         fine person and Ill show them all. I asked her why. She said never
         mind but I shouldnt feel bad if I find out everybody isnt nice like I
         think. She said for a person who god gave so little to you done more
         then a lot of people with brains they never even used. I said all my
         friends are smart people but there good. They like me and they
         never did anything that wasnt nice. Then she got something in her
         eye and she had to run out to the ladys room.
         Apr 16 Today, I lerned, the comma, this is a comma (,) a period,
         with a tail, Miss Kinnian, says its importent, because, it makes
         writing, better, she said, somebody, coud lose, a lot of money, if a
         comma, isnt, in the, right place, I dont have, any money, and I dont
         see, how a comma, keeps you, from losing it.
         Apr 17 1 used the comma wrong. Its punctuation. Miss Kinnian
         told me to look up long words in the dictionary to lern to spell them.
         I said whats the difference if you can read it anyway. She said its
         part of your education so now on Ill look up all the words Im not
         sure how to spell. It takes a long time to write that way but I only
         have to look up once and after that I get it right.
            You got to mix them up, she showed? me" how to mix! them
         (and now; I can! mix up all kinds" of punctuation, in! my writing?
         There, are lots! of rules? to lern; but Im gettin'g them in my head.
            One thing I like about, Dear Miss Kinnian: (thats the way it
         goes in a business letter if I ever go into business) is she, always
         gives me' a reason" when--I ask. She's a gen'ius! I wish I cou'd be
         smart" like, her;
            (Punctuation, is; fun!)
         Apr 18 What a dope I am! I didn't even understand what she was
         talking about. I read the grammar book last night and it explanes the
         whole thing. Then I saw it was the same way as Miss Kinnian was
         trying to tell me, but I didn't get it.
            Miss Kinnian said that the TV working in my sleep helped out.
         She and I reached a plateau. Thats a flat hill.
            After I figured out how punctuation worked, I read over all my
         old Progress Reports from the beginning. Boy, did I have crazy
         spelling and punctuation! I told Miss Kinnian I ought to go over the
         pages and fix all the mistakes but she said, "No, Charlie, Dr. Nemur
         wants them just as they are. That's why he let you keep them after
         they were photostated, to see your own progress. You're coming
         along fast, Charlie."
            That made me feel good. After the lesson I went down and
         played with Algernon. We don't race any more.
         April 20 I feel sick inside. Not sick like for a doctor, but inside my
         chest it feels empty like getting punched and a heartburn at the same
         time. I wasn't going to write about it, but I guess I got to, because its
         important. Today was the first time I ever stayed home from work.
            Last night Joe Carp and Frank Reilly invited me to a party.
         There were lots of girls and some men from the factory. I remem-
         bered how sick I got last time I drank too much, so I told Joe I didn't
         want anything to drink. He gave me a plain coke instead.
            We had a lot of fun for a while. Joe said I should dance with
         Ellen and she would teach me the steps. I fell a few times and I
         couldn't understand why because no one else was dancing besides
         Ellen and me. And all the time I was tripping because somebody's
         foot was always sticking out.
            Then when I got up I saw the look on Joe's face and it gave me a
         funny feeling in my stomack. "He's a scream," one of the girls said.
         Everybody was laughing.
            "Look at him. He's blushing. Charlie is blushing."
            "Hey, Ellen, what'd you do to Charlie? I never saw him act like
         that before."
            I didn't know what to do or where to turn. Everyone was
         looking at me and laughing and I felt naked. I wanted to hide. I ran
         outside and I threw up. Then I walked home. It's a funny thing I
         never knew that Joe and Frank and the others liked to have me
         around all the time to make fun of me.
            Now I know what it means when they say "to pull a Charlie
            I'm ashamed.
                                             progress report 11
         April 21 Still didn't go into the factory. I told Mrs. Flynn my
         landlady to call and tell Mr. Donnegan I was sick. Mrs. Flynn looks
         at me very funny lately like she's scared.
            I think it's a good thing about finding out how everybody
         laughs at me. I thought about it a lot. It's because I'm so dumb and I
         don't even know when I'm doing something dumb. People think it's
         funny when a dumb person can't do things the same way they can.
            Anyway, now I know I'm getting smarter every day. I know
         punctuation and I can spell good. I like to look up all the hard words
         in the dictionary and I remember them. I'm reading a lot now, and
         Miss Kinnian says I read very fast. Sometimes I even understand
         what I'm reading about, and it stays in my mind. There are times
         when I can close my eyes and think of a page and it all comes back
         like a picture.
            Besides history, geography and arithmetic, Miss Kinnian said I
         should start to learn foreign languages. Dr. Strauss gave me some
         more tapes to play while I sleep. I still don't understand how that
         conscious and unconscious mind works, but Dr. Strauss says not to
         worry yet. He asked me to promise that when I start learning college
         subjects next week I wouldn't read any books on psychology-that
         is, until he gives me permission.
            I feel a lot better today, but I guess I'm still a little angry that all
         the time people were laughing and making fun of me because I
         wasn't so smart. When I become intelligent like Dr. Strauss says,
         with three times my I.Q. of 68, then maybe I'll be like everyone else
         and people will like me.
            I'm not sure what an I.Q. is, Dr. Nemur said it was something
         that measured how intelligent you were--like a scale in the drug-
         store weighs pounds. But Dr. Strauss had a big argument with him
         and said an I.Q. didn't weigh intelligence at all. He said an I.Q.
         showed how much intelligence you could get, like the numbers on
         the outside of a measuring cup. You still had to fill the cup up with
            Then when I asked Burt, who gives me my intelligence tests
         and works with Algernon, he said that both of them were wrong
         (only I had to promise not to tell them he said so). Burt says that the
         I.Q. measures a lot of different things including some of the things
         you learned already, and it really isn't any good at all.
            So I still don't know what I.Q. is except that mine is going to be
         over 200 soon. I didn't want to say anything, but I don't see how if
         they don't know what it is, or where it is--I don't see how they know
         how much of it you've got.
            Dr. Nemur says I have to take a Rorshach Test tomorrow. I
         wonder what that is.

         April 22 I found out what a Rorshach is. It's the test I took before
         the operation--the one with the inkblots on the pieces of cardboard.
            I was scared to death of those inkblots. I knew the man was
         going to ask me to find the pictures and I knew I couldn't. I was
         thinking to myself, if only there was some way of knowing what
         kind of pictures were hidden there. Maybe there weren't any
         pictures at all. Maybe it was just a trick to see if I was dumb enough
         to look for something that wasn't there. Just thinking about that
         made me sore at him.
            "All right, Charlie," he said, "you've seen these cards before.
            "Of course I remember."
            The way I said it, he knew I was angry, and he looked surprised.
         "Yes, of course. Now I want you to look at this. What might this be?
         What do you see on this card? People see all sorts of things in these
         inkblots. Tell me what it might be for you-what it makes you think
            I was shocked. That wasn't what I had expected him to say.
         "You mean there are no pictures hidden in those inkblots?"
            He frowned and took off his glasses. "What?"
            "Pictures. Hidden in the inkblots. Last time you told me
         everyone could see them and you wanted me to find them too."
            He explained to me that the last time he had used almost the
         exact same words he was using now. I didn't believe it, and I still
         have the suspicion that he misled me at the time just for the fun of it.
         Unless--I don't know any more--could I have been that feeble-
            We went through the cards slowly. One looked like a pair of
         bats tugging at something. Another one looked like two men fencing
         with swords. I imagined all sorts of things. I guess I got carried
         away. But I didn't trust him any more, and I kept turning them
         around, even looking on the back to see if there was anything there I
         was supposed to catch. While he was making his notes, I peeked out
         of the corner of my eye to read it. But it was all in code that looked
         like this:

                 WF+A    DdF-Ad orig.  WF-A
                          SF + obj
            The test still doesn't make sense to me. It seems to me that
         anyone could make up lies about things that they didn't really
         imagine? Maybe I'll understand it when Dr. Strauss lets me read up
         on psychology.
         April 25 I figured out a new way to line up the machines in the
         factory, and Mr. Donnegan says it will save him ten thousand
         dollars a year in labor and increased production. He gave me a $25
            I wanted to take Joe Carp and Frank Reilly out to lunch to
         celebrate, but Joe said he had to buy some things for his wife, and
         Frank said he was meeting his cousin for lunch. I guess it'll take a
         little time for them to get used to the changes in me. Everybody
         seems to be frightened of me. When I went over to Amos Borg and
         tapped him, he jumped up in the air.
            People don't talk to me much any more or kid around the way
         they used to. It makes the job kind of lonely.
         April 27 I got up the nerve today to ask Miss Kinnian to have
         dinner with me tomorrow night to celebrate my bonus.
            At first she wasn't sure it was right, but I asked Dr. Strauss and
         he said it was okay. Dr. Strauss and Dr. Nemur don't seem to be
         getting along so well. They're arguing all the time. This evening I
         heard them shouting. Dr. Nemur was saying that it was his experi-
         ment and his research, and Dr. Strauss shouted back that he
         contributed just as much, because he found me through Miss
         Kinnian and he performed the operation. Dr. Strauss said that
         someday thousands of neuro-surgeons might be using his technique
         all over the world.
            Dr. Nemur wanted to publish the results of the experiment at
         the end of the month. Dr. Strauss wanted to wait a while to be sure.
         Dr. Strauss said Dr. Nemur was more interested in the Chair of
         Psychology at Princeton than he was in the experiment. Dr. Nemur
         said Dr. Strauss was nothing but an opportunist trying to ride to
         glory on his coattails.
            When I left afterwards, I found myself trembling. I don't know
         why for sure, but it was as if I'd seen both men clearly for the first
         time. I remember hearing Burt say Dr. Nemur had a shrew of a wife
         who was pushing him all the time to get things published so he
         could become famous. Burt said that the dream of her life was to
         have a big shot husband.
         April 28 I don't understand why I never noticed how beautiful
         Miss Kinnian really is. She has brown eyes and feathery brown hair
         that comes to the top of her neck. She's only thirty-four! I think from
         the beginning I had the feeling that she was an unreachable
         genius--and very, very old. Now, every time I see her she grows
         younger and more lovely.
            We had dinner and a long talk. When she said I was coming
         along so fast I'd be leaving her behind, I laughed.
            "It's true, Charlie. You're already a better reader than I am. You
         can read a whole page at a glance while I can take in only a few lines
         at a time. And you remember every single thing you read. I'm lucky
         if I can recall the main thoughts and the general meaning."
            "I don't feel intelligent. There are so many things I don't
            She took out a cigarette and I lit it for her. "You've got to be a
         little patient. You're accomplishing in days and weeks what it takes
         normal people to do in a lifetime. That's what makes it so amazing.
         You're like a giant sponge now, soaking things in. Facts, figures,
         general knowledge. And soon you'll begin to connect them, too.
         You'll see how different branches of learning are related. There are
         many levels, Charlie, like steps on a giant ladder that take you tip
         higher and higher to see more and more of the world around yoti.
            "I can see only a little bit of that, Charlie, and I won't go much
         higher than I am now, but you'll keep climbing up and up, and see
         more and more, and each step will open new worlds that you never
         even knew existed." She frowned. "I hope . . . I just hope to God--"
            "Never mind, Charles. I just hope I wasn't wrong to advise you
         to go into this in the first place."
            I laughed. "How could that be? It worked, didn't it? Even
         Algernon is still smart."
            We sat there silently for a while and I knew what she was
         thinking about as she watched me toying with the chain of my
         rabbit's foot and my keys. I didn't want to think of that possibility
         any more than elderly people want to think of death. I knew that this
         was only the beginning. I knew what she meant about levels
         because I'd seen some of them already. The thought of leaving her
         behind made me sad.
            I'm in love with Miss Kinnian.
                                             progress report 12
         April 30 I've quit my job with Donnegan's Plastic Box Company.
         Mr. Donnegan insisted it would be better for all concerned if I left.
         What did I do to make them hate me so?
            The first I knew of it was when Mr. Donnegan showed me the
         petition. Eight hundred names, everyone in the factory, except
         Fanny Girden. Scanning the list quickly, I saw at once that hers was
         the only missing name. All the rest demanded that I be fired.
            Joe Carp and Frank Reilly wouldn't talk to me about it. No one
         else would either, except Fanny. She was one of the few people I'd
         known who set her mind to something and believed it no matter
         what the rest of the world proved, said or did-and Fanny did not
         believe that I should have been fired. She had been against the
         petition on principle and despite the pressure and threats she'd held
            "Which don't mean to say," she remarked, "that I don't think
         there's something mighty strange about you, Charlie. Them chang-
         es. I don't know. You used to be a good, dependable, ordinary
         man--not too bright maybe, but honest. Who knows what you done
         to yourself to get so smart all of a sudden. Like everybody around
         here's been saying, Charlie, it's not right."
            "But how can you say that, Fanny? What's wrong with a man
         becoming intelligent and wanting to acquire knowledge and under-
         standing of the world around him?"
            She stared down at her work and I turned to leave. Without
         looking at me, she said: "It was evil when Eve listened to the snake
         and ate from the tree of knowledge. It was evil when she saw that
         she was naked. If not for that none of us would ever have to grow
         old and sick, and die."
            Once again, now, I have the feeling of shame burning inside
         me. This intelligence has driven a wedge between me and all the
         people I once knew and loved. Before, they laughed at me and
         despised me for my ignorance and dullness; now, they hate me for
         my knowledge and understanding. What in God's name do they
         want of me?
            They've driven me out of the factory. Now I'm more alone than
         ever before. .
         May' 15 Dr. Strauss is very angry at me for not having written any
         progress reports in two weeks. He's justified because the lab is now
         paying me a regular salary. I told him I was too busy thinking and
         reading. When I pointed out that writing was such a slow process
         that it makes me impatient with my poor handwriting, he suggested I
         learn to type. It's much easier to write now because I can type
         seventy-five words a minute. Dr. Strauss continually reminds me of
         the need to speak and write simply so people will be able to
         understand me.
            I'll try to review all the things that happened to me during the
         last two weeks. Algernon and I were presented to the American
         Psychological Association sitting in convention with the World
         Psychological Association. We created quite a sensation. Dr. Nemur
         and Dr. Strauss were proud of us.
            I suspect that Dr. Nemur, who is sixty--ten years older than Dr.
         Strauss--finds it necessary to see tangible results of his work.
         Undoubtedly the result of pressure by Mrs. Nemur.
            Contrary to my earlier impressions of him, I realize that Dr.
         Nemur is not at all a genius. He has a very good mind, but it
         struggles tinder the spectre of self-doubt. He wants people to take
         him for a genius. Therefore, it is important for him to feel that his
         work is accepted by the world. I believe that Dr. Nemur was afraid
         of further delay because he worried that someone else might make a
         discovery along these lines and take the credit from him.
            Dr. Strauss on the other hand might be called a genius, although
         I feel that his areas of knowledge are too limited. He was educated
         in the tradition of narrow specialization; the broader aspects of
         background were neglected far more than necessary-even for a
            I was shocked to learn that the only ancient languages he could
         read were Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and that he knows almost
         nothing of mathematics beyond the elementary levels of the calcu-
         lus of variations. When he admitted this to me, I found myself
         almost annoyed. It was as if he'd hidden this part of himself in order
         to deceive me, pretending--as do many people I've discovered--to
         be what he is not. No one I've ever known is what he appears to be
         on the surface.
            Dr. Nemur appears to be uncomfortable around me. Sometimes
         when I try to talk to him, he just looks at me strangely and turns
         away. I was angry at first when Dr. Strauss told me I was giving Dr.
         Nemur an inferiority complex. I thought he was mocking me and
         I'm oversensitive at being made fun of.
            How was I to know that a highly respected psychoexperimen-
         talist like Nemur was unacquainted with Hindustani and Chinese?
         It's absurd when you consider the work that is being done in India
         and China today in the very field of his study.
            I asked Dr. Strauss how Nemur could refute Rahajamati's attack
         on his method and results if Nemur couldn't even read them in the
         first place. That strange look on Dr. Strauss' face can mean only one
         of two things. Either he doesn't want to tell Nemur what they're
         saying in India, or else--and this worries me--Dr. Strauss doesn't
         know either. I must be careful to speak and write clearly and simply
         so that people won't laugh.
         May 18 I am very disturbed. I saw Miss Kinn ian last night for the
         first time in over a week. I tried to avoid all discussions of
         intellectual concepts and to keep the conversation on a simple,
         everyday level, but she just stared at me blankly and asked me what
         I meant about the mathematical variance equivalent in Dorber-
         mann s Fifth Concerto.
            When I tried to explain she stopped me and laughed. I guess I
         got angry, but I suspect I'm approaching her on the wrong level. No
         matter what I try to discuss with her, I am unable to communicate. I
         must review Vrostadt's equations on Levels of Semantic Progres-
         sion. I find that I don't communicate with people much any more.
         Thank God for books and music and things I can think about. I am
         alone in my apartment at Mrs. Flynn's boardinghouse most of the
         time and seldom speak to anyone.
         May 20 I would not have noticed the new dishwasher, a boy. of
         about sixteen, at the corner diner where I take my evening meals if
         not for the incident of the broken dishes.
             They crashed to the floor, shattering and sending bits of white
         china under the tables. The boy stood there, dazed and frightened,
         holding the empty tray in his hand. The whistles and catcalls from
         the customers (the cries of "hey, there go the profits!" .
         "Mazeltov!". . . and "well, he didn't work here very long
         which invariably seem to follow the breaking of glass or dishware in
         a public restaurant) all seemed to confuse him.
             When the owner came to see what the excitement was about, the
         boy cowered as if he expected to be struck and threw up his arms as
         if to ward off the blow.
             "All right! All right, you dope," shouted the owner, "don't just
         stand there! Get the broom and sweep that mess up. A broom . . . a
         broom, you idiot! It's in the kitchen. Sweep up all the pieces."
             The boy saw that he was not going to be punished. His
         frightened expression disappeared and he smiled and hummed as he
         came back with the broom to sweep the floor. A few of the rowdier
         customers kept up the remarks, amusing themselves at his expense.
             "Here, sonny, over here there's a nice piece behind you...."
             "C'mon, do it again."
             "He's  not so dumb.  It's easier to break'em than to
         wash'em. . ."
            As his vacant eyes moved across the crowd of amused onlook-
         ers, he slowly mirrored their smiles and finally broke into an
         uncertain grin at the joke which he obviously did not understand.
            I felt sick inside as I looked at his dull, vacuous smile, the wide,
         bright eyes of a child, uncertain but eager to please. They were
         laughing at him because he was mentally retarded.
            And I had been laughing at him too.
            Suddenly, I was furious at myself and all those who were
         smirking at him. I jumped up and shouted, "Shut up! Leave him
         alone! It's not his fault he can't understand. He can't help what lie
         is! But for God's sake . . . he's still a human being!"
             The room grew silent. I cursed myself for losing control and
         creating a scene. I tried not to look at the boy as I paid my check and
         walked out without touching my food. I felt ashamed for both of us.
             How strange it is that people of honest feelings and sensibility,
         who would not take advantage of a man born without arms or legs or
         eyes--how such people think nothing of abusing a man born with
         low intelligence. It infuriated me to think that not too long ago, I
         like this boy, had foolishly played the clown.
            And I had almost forgotten.
            I'd hidden the picture of the old Charlie Gordon from myself
         because now that I was intelligent it was something that had to be
         pushed out of my mind. But today in looking at that boy, for the first
         time I saw what I had been. I was just like him!
             Only a short time ago, I learned that people laughed at me. Now
         I can see that unknowingly I joined with them in laughing at myself.
         That hurts most of all.
             I have often reread my progress reports and seen the illiteracy,
         the childish naivete, the mind of low intelligence peering from a
         dark room, through the keyhole, at the dazzling light outside. I see
         that even in my dullness I knew that I was inferior, and that other
         people had something I lacked-something denied me. In my
         mental blindness, I thought that it was somehow connected with the
         ability to read and write, and I was sure that if I could get those
         skills I would automatically have intelligence too.
            Even a feeble-minded man wants to be like other men.
            A child may not know how to feed itself, or what to eat, yet it
         knows of hunger.
            This then is what I was like, I never knew. Even with my gift of
         intellectual awareness, I never really knew.
            This day was good for me. Seeing the past more clearly, I have
         decided to use my knowledge and skills to work in the field of
         increasing human intelligence levels. Who is better equipped for
         this work? Who else has lived in both worlds? These are my people.
         Let me use my gift to do something for them.
            Tomorrow, I will discuss with Dr. Strauss the manner in which
         I can work in this area. I may be able to help him work out the
         problems of widespread use of the technique which was used on
         me. I have several good ideas of my own.
            There is so much that might be done with this technique. If I
         could be made into a genius, what about thousands of others like
         myself? What fantastic levels might be achieved by using this
         technique on normal people? Or geniuses?
            There are so many doors to open. I am impatient to begin.
                                             progress report 13
         May 23 It happened today. Algernon bit me. I visited the lab to see
         him as I do occasionally, and when I took him out of his cage, he
         snapped at my hand. I put him back and watched him for a while.
         He was unusually disturbed and vicious.
         May 24 Burt, who is in charge of the experimental animals, tells
         me that Algernon is changing. He is less co-operative; he refuses to
         run the maze any more; general motivation has decreased. And he
         hasn't been eating. Everyone is upset about what this may mean.
         May 25 They've been feeding Algernon, who now refuses to work
         the shifting-lock problem. Everyone identifies me with Algernon. in
         a way we're both the first of our kind. They're all pretending that
         Algernon's behavior is not necessarily significant for me. But it's
         hard to hide the fact that some of the other animals who were used
         in this experiment are showing strange behavior.
            Dr. Strauss and Dr. Nemur have asked me not to come to the lab
         any more. I know what they're thinking but I can't accept it. I am
         going ahead with my plans to carry their research forward. With all
         due respect to both of these fine scientists, l am well aware of their
         limitations. If there is an answer, I'll have to find it out for myself.
         Suddenly, time has become very important to me.
         May 29 I have been given a lab of my own and permission to go
         ahead with the research. I'm on to something. Working day and
         night. I've had a cot moved into the lab. Most of my writing time is
         spent on the notes which I keep in a separate folder, but from time to
         time I feel it necessary to put down my moods and my thoughts out
         of sheer habit.
            I find the calculus of intelligence to be a fascinating study. Here
         is the place for the application of all the knowledge I have acquired.
         In a sense it's the problem I've been concerned with all my life.
         May 31 Dr. Strauss thinks I'm working too hard. Dr. Nemur says
         I'm trying to cram a lifetime of research and thought into a few
         weeks. I know I should rest, but I'm driven on by something inside
         that won't let me stop. I've got to find the reason for the sharp
         regression in Algernon. I've got to know if and when it will happen
         to me.
         June 4
            LETTER TO DR. STRAUSS (copy)
            Dear Dr. Strauss:
               Under separate cover I am sending you a copy of my report
            entitled, "The Algernon-Gordon Effect: A Study of Structure
            and Function of Increased Intelligence," which I would like to
            have you read and have published.
              As you see, my experiments are completed. I have included
            in my report all of my formulae, as well as mathematical
            analysis in the appendix. Of course, these should be verified.
              Because of its importance to both you and Dr. Nemur (and
            need I say to myself, too?) I have checked and rechecked my
            results a dozen times in the hope of finding an error. I am sorry
            to say the results must stand. Yet for the sake of science, I am
            grateful for the little bit that I here add to the knowledge of the
            function of the human mind and of the laws governing the
            artificial increase of human intelligence.
               I recall your once saying to me that an experimental failure
            or the disproving of a theory was as important to the advance-
            ment of learning as a success would be. I know now that this is
            true. I am sorry, however, that my own contribution to the field
            must rest upon the ashes of the work of two men I regard so
                                            Yours truly,
                                          Charles Gordon
         June 5 I must not become emotional. The facts and the results of
         my experiments are clear, and the more sensational aspects of my
         own rapid climb cannot obscure the fact that the tripling of
         intelligence by the surgical technique developed by Drs. Strauss
         and Nemur must be viewed as having little or no practical applica-
         bility (at the present time) to the increase of human intelligence.
            As I review the records and data on Algernon, I see that
         although he is still in his physical infancy, he has regressed
         mentally. Motor activity is impaired; there is a general reduction of
         glandular activity; there is an accelerated loss of co-ordination.
            There are also strong indications of progressive amnesia.
            As will be seen by my report, these and other physical and
         mental deterioration syndromes can be predicted with statistically
         significant results by the application of my formula.
            The surgical stimulus to which we were both subjected has
         resulted in an intensification and acceleration of all mental pro-
         cesses. The unforeseen development, which I have taken the liberty
         of calling the Algernon-Gordon Effect, is the logical extension of the
         entire intelligence speed-up. The hypothesis here proven may be
         described simply in the following terms: Artificially increased
         intelligence deteriorates at a rate of time directly proportional to the
         quantity of the increase.
            I feel that this, in itself, is an important discovery.
            As long as I am able to write, I will continue to record my
         thoughts in these progress reports. It is one of my few pleasures.
         However, by all indications, my own mental deterioration will be
         very rapid.
            I have already begun to notice signs of emotional instability
         and forgetfulness, the first symptoms of the burnout.

         June 10 Deterioration progressing. I have become absentminded.
         Algernon died two days ago. Dissection shows my predictions were
         right. His brain had decreased in weight and there was a general
         smoothing out of cerebral convolutions as well as a deepening and
         broadening of brain fissures.
            I guess the same thing is or will soon be happening to me. Now
         that it's definite, I don't want it to happen.
            I put Algernon's body in a cheese box and buried him in the
         back yard. I cried.
         June 15 Dr. Strauss came to see me again. I wouldn't open the door
         and I told him to go away. I want to be left to myself. I have become
         touchy and irritable. I feel the darkness closing in. It's hard to throw
         off thoughts of suicide. I keep telling myself how important this
         introspective journal will be.
            It's a strange sensation to pick up a book that you've read and
         enjoyed just a few months ago and discover that you don't remember
         it. I remembered how great I thought John Milton was, but when I
         picked up Paradise Lost I couldn't understand it at all. I got so
         angry I threw the book across the room.
            I've got to try to hold on to some of it. Some of the things I've
         learned. Oh, God, please don't take it all away.
         June 19 Sometimes, at night, I go out for a walk. Last night I
         couldn't remember where I lived. A policeman took me home. I
         have the strange feeling that this has all happened to me before--a
         long time ago. I keep telling myself I'm the only person in the world
         who can describe what's happening to me.
         June 21 Why can't I remember? I've got to fight. I lie in bed for
         days and I don't know who or where I am. Then it all comes back to
         me in a flash. Fugues of amnesia. Symptoms of senility--second
         childhood. I can watch them coming on. It's so cruelly logical. I
         learned so much and so fast. Now my mind is deteriorating rapidly.
         I won't let it happen. I'll fight it. I can't help thinking of the boy in
         the restaurant, the blank expression, the silly smile, the people
         laughing at him. No--please--not that again. . .

         June 22 I'm forgetting things that I learned recently. It seems to be
         following the classic pattern--the last things learned are the first
         things forgotten. Or is that the pattern? I'd better look it up
            I reread my paper on the Algemon-Gordon Effect and I get the
         strange feeling that it was written by someone else. There are parts I
         don't even understand.
            Motor activity impaired. I keep tripping over things, and it
         becomes increasingly difficult to type.
         June 23 I've given up using the typewriter completely. My co-
         ordination is bad. I feel that I'm moving slower and slower. Had a
         terrible shock today. I picked up a copy of an article I used in my
         research, Krueger's Uber Psychische Ganzheit, to see if it would
         help me understand what I had done. First I thought there was
         something wrong with my eyes. Then I realized I could no longer
         read German. I tested myself in other languages. All gone.
         June 30 A week since I dared to write again. It's slipping away like
         sand through my fingers. Most of the books I have are too hard for
         me now. I get angry with them because I know that I read and
         understood them just a few weeks ago.
            I keep telling myself I must keep writing these reports so that
         somebody will know what is happening to me. But it gets harder to
         form the words and remember spellings. I have to look up even
         simple words in the dictionary now and it makes me impatient with
            Dr. Strauss comes around almost every day, but I told him I
         wouldn't see or speak to anybody. He feels guilty. They all do. But I
         don't blame anyone. I knew what might happen. But how it hurts.
         July 7 1 don't know where the week went. Todays Sunday I know
         because I can see through my window people going to church. I
         think I stayed in bed all week but I remember Mrs. Flynn bringing
         food to me a few times. I keep saying over and over Ive got to do
         something but then I forget or maybe its just easier not to do what I
         say Im going to do.
            I think of my mother and father a lot these days. I found a
         picture of them with me taken at a beach. My father has a big ball
         under his arm and my mother is holding me by the hand. I dont
         remember them the way they are in the picture. All I remember is
         my father drunk most of the time and arguing with mom about
            He never shaved much and he used to scratch my face when he
         hugged me. My mother said he died but Cousin Miltie said he heard
         his mom and dad say that my father ran away with another woman.
         When I asked my mother she slapped my face and said my father
         was dead. I don't think I ever found out which was true but I don't
         care much. (He said he was going to take me to see cows on a farm
         once but he never did. He never kept his promises. . .)
         July 10 My landlady Mrs Flynn is very worried about me. She says
         the way I lay around all day and dont do anything I remind her of
         her son before she threw him out of the house. She said she doesnt
         like loafers. If Im sick its one thing, but if Im a loafer thats another
         thing and she wont have it. I told her I think Im sick.
            I try to read a little bit every day, mostly stories, but sometimes I
         have to read the same thing over and over again because I dont know
         what it means. And its hard to write. I know I should look up all the
         words in the dictionary but its so hard and Im so tired all the time.
            Then I got the idea that I would only use the easy words instead
         of the long hard ones. That saves time. I put flowers on Algernons
         grave about once a week. Mrs Flynn thinks I'm crazy to put flowers
         on a mouses grave but I told her that Algernon was special.
         July 14 Its sunday again. I dont have anything to do to keep me
         busy now because my television set is broke and I dont have any
         money to get it fixed. (I think I lost this months check from the lab. I
         dont remember)
            I get awful headaches and asperin doesnt help me much. Mrs
         Flynn knows Im really sick and she feels very sorry for me. Shes a
         wonderful woman whenever someone is sick.
         July22 Mrs Flynn called a strange doctor to see me. She was afraid
         I was going to die. I told the doctor I wasnt too sick and that I only
         forget sometimes. He asked me did I have any friends or relatives
         and I said no I dont have any. I told him I had a friend called
         Algernon once but he was a mouse and we used to run races
         together. He looked at me kind of funny like he thought I was crazy.
            He smiled when I told him I used to be a genius. He talked to
         me like I was a baby and he winked at Mrs Flynn. I got mad and
         chased him out because he was making fun of me the way they all
         used to.
         July 24 I have no more money and Mrs. Flynn says I got to go to
         work somewhere and pay the rent because I havent paid for over
         two months. I dont know any work but the job I used to have at
         Donnegans Plastic Box Company. I dont want to go back there
         because they all knew me when I was smart and maybe theyll laugh
         at me. But I dont know what else to do to get money.
         July 25 I was looking at some of my old progress reports and its
         very funny but I cant read what I wrote. I can make out some of the
         words but they dont make sense.
            Miss Kinnian came to the door but I said go away I dont want to
         see you. She cried and I cried too but I wouldn't let her in because I
         didn't want her to laugh at me. I told her I didn't like her any more. I
         told her I didn't want to be smart any more. Thats not true. I still
         love her and I still want to be smart but I had to say that so shed go
         away. She gave Mrs Flynn money to pay the rent. I dont want that. I
         got to get a job.
            Please . . . please let me not forget how to read and write. .
         July 27 Mr Donnegan was very nice when I came back and asked
         him for my old job of janitor. First he was very suspicious but I told
         him what happened to me then he looked very sad and put his hand
         on my shoulder and said Charlie Gordon you got guts.
            Everybody looked at me when I came downstairs and started
         working in the toilet sweeping it out like I used to. I told myself
         Charlie if they make fun of you dont get sore because you remember
         their not so smart as you once thot they were. And besides they were
         once your friends and if they laughed at you that doesnt mean
         anything because they liked you too.
            One of the new men who came to work there after I went away
         made a nasty crack he said hey Charlie I hear your a very smart fella
         a real quiz kid. Say something intelligent. I felt bad but Joe Carp
         came over and grabbed him by the shirt and said leave him alone
         you lousy cracker or Ill break your neck. I didnt expect Joe to take
         my part so I guess hes really my friend.
            Later Frank Reilly came over and said Charlie if anybody
         bothers you or trys to take advantage you call me or Joe and we will
         set em straight. I said thanks Frank and I got choked up so I had to
         turn around and go into the supply room so he wouldnt see me cry.
         Its good to have friends.
         July 28 I did a dumb thing today I forgot I wasnt in Miss Kinnians
         class at the adult center any more like I used to be. I went in and sat
         down in my old seat in the back of the room and she looked at me
         funny and she said Charles. I dint remember she ever called me that
         before only Charlie so I said hello Miss Kinnian Im redy for my
         lesin today only I lost my reader that we was using. She startid to cry
         and run out of the room and everybody looked at me and I saw they
         wasnt the same pepul who used to be in my class.
            Then all of a sudden I remembered some things about the
         operashun and me getting smart and I said holy smoke I reely pulled
         a Charlie Gordon that time. I went away before she come back to the
            Thats why Im going away from New York for good. I dont want
         to do nothing like that agen. I dont want Miss Kinnian to feel sorry
         for me. Evry body feels sorry at the factery and I dont want that
         eather so Im going someplace where nobody knows that Charlie
         Gordon was once a genus and now he cant even reed a book or rite
            Im taking a cuple of books along and even if I cant reed them Ill
         practise hard and maybe I wont forget every thing I lerned. If I try
         reel hard maybe Ill be a littel bit smarter than I was before the
         operashun. I got my rabits foot and my luky penny and may'be they
         will help me.
            If you ever reed this Miss Kinnian dont be sorry for me Im glad
         I got a second chanse to be smart becaus I lerned a lot of things that
         I never even new were in this world and Im grateful that I saw it all
         for a little bit. I dont know why Im dumb agen or what I did wrong
         maybe its becaus I dint try hard enuff. But if I try and practis very
         hard maybe Ill get a little smarter and know what all the words are. I
         remember a littel bit how nice I had a feeling with the blue book
         that has the torn cover when I red it. Thats why Im gonna keep
         trying to get smart so I can have that feeling agen. Its a good feeling
         to know things and be smart. I wish I had it rite now if I did I would
         sit down and reed all the time. Anyway I bet Im the first dumb
         person in the world who ever found out something importent for
         sience. I remember I did something but I dont remember what. So I
         gess its like I did it for all the dumb pepul like me.
            Good-by Miss Kinnian and Dr Strauss and evreybody. And P.S.
         please tell Dr Nemur not to be such a grouch when pepul laff at him
         and he would have more frends. Its easy to make frends if you let
         pepul laff at you. Im going to have lots of frends where I go.
         P.P.S. Please if you get a chanse put some flowrs on Algernons grave
         in the bak yard....

Electronic conversion by Robert A. Zuckerman.