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Henley Telegraph: What's Who?

 

"What's Who?" is a short story written by Alfred Hitchcock and originally published in the Henley Telegraph, December 1920.

WHAT'S WHO?

"Now," said Jim, "the proposal I have to put forward is a novel one!"

We yawned.

Jim was the producer of our local amateur theatricals, you see, and beyond that description it is not in my power to make further comment. Jim is twice my size.

"In the next show each of you three," he continued, "will impersonate each other!"

I gasped.

"Now you, Bill," he said to me, "will be him" — pointing to Sid; "and Sid will be Tom, and Tom you. Then when..."

"Wait a minute," interposed Tom, "let's get this clear. Now I'm Sid..."

"No, you're not, you're me!"

"Well, who's you?"

"You are, you fool!"

"You're all getting into a muddle. Let me explain further," said Jim.

"Doesn't need any explanation," I replied, "it's all as clear as Tom..."

"What do you mean?" interrupted he. "If you're going to get personal about it, I'll chuck up being you before we start."

"All right then, you be Sid, and I'll be you."

"But!" yelled Sid, "you said you were me!"

"Well, so I am."

"You're not, you're him!"

"Look here," broke in Tom, "let him be you, and you be me, and I'll be him."

"Shut up!" screamed Jim above the din. "Why don't you all stick to my first arrangement?"

"All right, then," commenced Tom, "I'll be Sid."

"No, you won't. I'll be Sid."

"But just now you said you were me."

"Shut up, he's you."

"Well, who's me?"

"I don't know."

"Why, Sid is, of course," put in Jim. "Now let's start."

"When..."

"Wait," said Tom, "I can't be him; he's bandy."

"Who's bandy?"

"You are, you fool!"

"I'll punch your nose!"

"Don't start scrap..."

"Well, he..."

"Look at what..."

I'm not, you idiot..." Jim fainted.