arm and hammer cat litter fragrance free
the invisible manby h.g wells chapter 1the strange man's arrival the stranger came early in february, one wintryday, through a biting wind and a driving snow, the last snowfall of the year, over the down,walking from bramblehurst railway station, and carrying a little black portmanteau inhis thickly gloved hand. he was wrapped up
arm and hammer cat litter fragrance free, from head to foot, and the brim of his softfelt hat hid every inch of his face but the shiny tip of his nose; the snow had pileditself against his shoulders and chest, and added a white crest to the burden he carried.he staggered into the "coach and horses" more dead than alive, and flung his portmanteaudown.
"a fire," he cried, "in the name of humancharity! a room and a fire!" he stamped and shook the snow from off himself in the bar,and followed mrs. hall into her guest parlour to strike his bargain. and with that muchintroduction, that and a couple of sovereigns flung upon the table, he took up his quartersin the inn. mrs. hall lit the fire and left him there while she went to prepare him ameal with her own hands. a guest to stop at i ping in the wintertime was an unheard-ofpiece of luck, let alone a guest who was no "haggler," and she was resolved to show herselfworthy of her good fortune. as soon as the bacon was well under way, andmillie, her lymphatic aid, had been brisked up a bit by a few deftly chosen expressionsof contempt, she carried the cloth, plates,
and glasses into the parlour and began tolay them with the utmost _eclat_. although the fire was burning up briskly, she was surprisedto see that her visitor still wore his hat and coat, standing with his back to her andstaring out of the window at the falling snow in the yard. his gloved hands were claspedbehind him, and he seemed to be lost in thought. she noticed that the melting snow that stillsprinkled his shoulders dripped upon her carpet. "can i take your hat and coat, sir?" she said,"and give them a good dry in the kitchen?""no," he said without turning. she was not sureshe had heard him, and was about to repeat her question. he turned his head and lookedat her over his shoulder. "i prefer to keep them on," he said with emphasis, and she noticedthat he wore big blue spectacles with sidelights,
and had a bush side-whisker over his coat-collarthat completely hid his cheeks and face."very well, sir," she said. "_as_ you like. in abit the room will be warmer." he made no answer, and had turned his faceaway from her again, and mrs. hall, feeling that her conversational advances were ill-timed,laid the rest of the table things in a quick staccato and whisked out of the room. whenshe returned he was still standing there, like a man of stone, his back hunched, hiscollar turned up, his dripping hat-brim turned down, hiding his face and ears completely.she put down the eggs and bacon with considerable emphasis, and called rather than said to him,"your lunch is served, sir." "thank you," he said at the same time, anddid not stir until she was closing the door.
then he swung round and approached the tablewith a certain eager quickness. as she went behind the bar to the kitchen she heard asound repeated at regular intervals. chirk, chirk, chirk, it went, the sound of a spoonbeing rapidly whisked round a basin. "that girl!" she said. "there! i clean forgot it.it's her being so long!" and while she herself finished mixing the mustard, she gave milliea few verbal stabs for her excessive slowness. she had cooked the ham and eggs, laid thetable, and done everything, while millie (help indeed!) had only succeeded in delaying themustard. and him a new guest and wanting to stay! thenshe filled the mustard pot, and, putting it with a certain stateliness upon a gold andblack tea-tray, carried it into the parlour.
she rapped and entered promptly. as she didso her visitor moved quickly, so that she got but a glimpse of a white object disappearingbehind the table. it would seem he was picking something from the floor. she rapped downthe mustard pot on the table, and then she noticed the overcoat and hat had been takenoff and put over a chair in front of the fire, and a pair of wet boots threatened rust toher steel fender. she went to these things resolutely."i suppose i may have them to dry now," she said in a voice that brooked no denial."leavethe hat," said her visitor, in a muffled voice, and turning she saw he had raised his headand was sitting and looking at her.for a moment she stood gaping at him, too surprised tospeak.he held a white cloth--it was a serviette
he had brought with him--over the lower partof his face, so that his mouth and jaws were completely hidden, and that was the reasonof his muffled voice. but it was not that which startled mrs. hall. it was the factthat all his forehead above his blue glasses was covered by a white bandage, and that anothercovered his ears, leaving not a scrap of his face exposed excepting only his pink, peakednose. it was bright, pink, and shiny just as ithad been at first. he wore a dark-brown velvet jacket with a high, black, linen-lined collarturned up about his neck. the thick black hair, escaping as it could below and betweenthe cross bandages, projected in curious tails and horns, giving him the strangest appearanceconceivable. this muffled and bandaged head
was so unlike what she had anticipated, thatfor a moment she was rigid.he did not remove the serviette, but remained holding it, asshe saw now, with a brown gloved hand, and regarding her with his inscrutable blue glasses."leave the hat," he said, speaking very distinctly through the white cloth.her nerves began to recover from the shock they had received. she placed the hat on thechair again by the fire. "i didn't know, sir," she began, "that--" and she stopped embarrassed."thank you," he said drily, glancing from her to the door and thenat her again. "i'llhave them nicely dried, sir, at once," she said, and carried his clothes out of the room.she glanced at his white-swathed head and blue goggles again as she was going out ofthe door; but his napkin was still in front
of his face. she shivered a little as sheclosed the door behind her, and her face was eloquent of her surpriseand perplexity. "i _never_," she whispered. "there!" she went quite softly to the kitchen,and was too preoccupied to ask millie what she was messing about with _now_, when shegot there.the visitor sat and listened to her retreating feet.he glanced inquiringlyat the window before he removed his serviette, and resumed his meal. he took a mouthful,glanced suspiciously at the window, took another mouthful, then rose and, taking the serviettein his hand, walked across the room and pulled the blind down to the top of the white muslinthat obscured the lower panes. this left the room in a twilight. this done, he returnedwith an easier air to the table and his meal.
"the poor soul's had an accident or an op'rationor somethin'," said mrs. hall. "what a turn them bandages did give me, to be sure!" sheput on some more coal, unfolded the clothes-horse, and extended the traveller's coat upon this."and they goggles! why, he looked more like a divin' helmet than a human man!" she hunghis muffler on a corner of the horse. "and holding that handkerchief over his mouth allthe time. talkin' through it! ... perhaps his mouth was hurt too--maybe."she turnedround, as one who suddenly remembers. "bless my soul alive!" she said, going off at a tangent;"ain't you done them taters _yet_, millie?" when mrs. hall went to clear away the stranger'slunch, her ideathat his mouth must also have been cut or disfigured in the accident shesupposed him to have suffered, was confirmed,
for he was smoking a pipe, and all the timethat she was in the room he never loosened the silk muffler he had wrapped round thelower part of his face to put the mouthpiece to his lips. yet it was not forgetfulness,for she saw he glanced at it as it smouldered out. he sat in the corner with his back tothe window-blind and spoke now, having eaten and drunk and being comfortably warmed through,with less aggressive brevity than before. the reflection of the fire lent a kind ofred animation to his big spectacles they had lacked hitherto."i have some luggage," he said, "at bramblehurst station," and he asked her how he could haveit sent. he bowed his bandaged head quite politely in acknowledgment of her explanation."to-morrow?" he said. "there is no speedier
delivery?" and seemed quite disappointed whenshe answered, "no." was she quite sure? no man with a trap who would go over?mrs. hall,nothing loath, answered his questions and developed a conversation. "it's a steep roadby the down, sir," she said in answer to the question about a trap; and then, snatchingat an opening, said, "it was there a carriage was upsettled, a year ago and more. a gentlemankilled, besides his coachman. accidents, sir, happen in a moment, don't they?"but the visitor was not to be drawn so easily. "they do," he said through his muffler, eyeingher quietly through his impenetrable glasses. "but they take long enough to get well, don'tthey? ... there was my sister's son, tom, jest cut his arm with a scythe, tumbled onit in the 'ayfield, and, bless me! he was
three months tied up sir. you'd hardly believeit. it's regular given me a dread of a scythe, sir." "i can quite understand that," saidthe visitor."he was afraid, one time, that he'd have to have an op'rationâ€”he was thatbad, sir."the visitor laughed abruptly, a bark of a laugh that he seemed to bite andkill in his mouth. "_was_ he?" he said. "he was, sir. and no laughing matter to themas had the doing for him, as i had--my sister being took up with her little ones so much.there was bandages to do, sir, and bandages to undo. so that if i may make so bold asto say it, sir--""will you get me some matches?" said the visitor, quite abruptly. "my pipeis out."mrs. hall was pulled up suddenly. it was certainly rude of him ,after tellinghim all she had done. she gasped at him for
a moment ,and remembered the two sovereigns.she went for the matches. "thanks," he said concisely, as she put them down, and turnedhis shoulder upon her and stared out of the window again. it was altogether too discouraging.evidently he was sensitive on the topic of operations and bandages. she did not "makeso bold as to say," however, after all. but his snubbing way had irritated her, andmillie had a hot time of it that afternoon.the visitor remained in the parlour until fouro'clock, without giving the ghost of an excuse for an intrusion. for the most part he wasquite still during that time; it would seem he sat in the growing darkness smoking inthe firelight--perhaps dozing. once or twice a curious listener might have heard him atthe coals, and for the space of five minutes
he was audible pacing the room. he seemedto be talking to himself. then the armchair creaked as he sat down again.ï‚— chapter 2 mr. teddy henfrey's first impressionsat four o'clock, when it was fairly dark and mrs. hall was screwing up her courage to goin and ask her visitor if he would take some tea, teddy henfrey, the clock-jobber, cameinto the bar. "my sakes! mrs. hall," said he, "but this is terrible weather for thinboots!" the snow outside was falling faster. mrs. hall agreed, and then noticed he hadhis bag with him. "now you're here, mr. teddy," said she, "i'd be glad if you'd give th' oldclock in the parlour a bit of a look six. " and leading the way, she went across tothe parlour door and rapped and entered.
her visitor, she saw as she opened the door,was seated in the armchair before the fire, dozing it would seem, with his bandaged headdrooping on one side. the only light in the room was the red glow from the fire--whichlit his eyes like adverse railway signals,but left his downcast face in darkness--and thescanty vestiges of the day that came in through the open door. everything was ruddy,shadowy,and indistinct to her, the more so since she had just been lighting the bar lamp, and hereyes were dazzled. but for a second it seemed to her that the man she looked at had an enormousmouth wide open--a vast and incredible mouth that swallowed the whole of the lower portionof his face. it was the sensation of a moment: the white-boundhead, the monstrous goggle eyes, and this
huge yawn below it. then he stirred, startedup in his chair, put up his hand. she opened the door wide, so that the room was lighter,and she saw him more clearly, with the muffler held up to his face just as she had seen himhold the serviette before. the shadows, she fancied, had tricked her. "would you mind,sir, this man a-coming to look at the clock, sir?" she said, recovering from the momentaryshock. "look at the clock?" he said, staring round in a drowsy manner, and speaking overhis hand, and then, getting more fully awake, "certainly."mrs. hall went away to get a lamp, and he rose and stretched himself. then came thelight, and mr. teddy henfrey, entering, was confronted by this bandaged person. he was,he says, "taken aback." "good afternoon,"
said the stranger, regarding him--as mr. henfreysays, with a vivid sense of the dark spectacles--"like a lobster." "i hope," said mr. henfrey, "thatit's no intrusion." "none whatever," said the stranger. "though, i understand," he saidturning to mrs. hall, "that this room is really to be mine for my own private use.""i thought,sir," said mrs. hall, "you'd prefer the clock--""certainly," said the stranger, "certainly--but, as a rule,i like to be alone and undisturbed. "but i'm really glad to have the clock seento," he said, seeing a certain hesitation in mr. henfrey's manner. "very glad." mr.henfrey had intended to apologise and withdraw, but this anticipation reassured him. the strangerturned round with his back to the fireplace and put his hands behind his back. "and presently,"he said, "when the clock-mending is over,
i think i should like to have some tea. butnot till the clock-mending is over."mrs. hall was about to leave the room--she made no conversationaladvances this time, because she did not want to be snubbed in front of mr. henfrey--whenher visitor asked her if she had made any arrangements about his boxes at bramblehurst.she told him she had mentioned the matter to the postman, and that the carrier couldbring them over on the morrow. "you are certain that is the earliest?" he said. she was certain,with a marked coldness."i should explain," he added, "what i was really too cold andfatigued to do before, that i am an experimental investigator." "indeed, sir," said mrs. hall,much impressed."and my baggage contains apparatus and appliances.""very useful things indeedthey are, sir," said mrs. hall."and i'm very
naturally anxious to get on with my inquiries.""ofcourse, sir." "my reason for coming to iping," he proceeded,with a certain deliberation of manner, "was ... a desire for solitude. i do not wish tobe disturbed in my work. in addition to my work, an accident--" "i thought as much,"said mrs. hall to herself."--necessitates a certain retirement. my eyes--are sometimesso weak and painful that i have to shut myself up in the dark for hours together. lock myselfup. sometimes--now and then. not at present, certainly. at such times the slightest disturbance,the entry of a stranger into the room, is a source of excruciating annoyance to me--itis well these things should be understood." "certainly, sir," said mrs. hall. "and ifi might make so bold as to ask--" "that i
think, is all," said the stranger, with thatquietly irresistible air of finality he could assume at will. mrs. hall reserved her questionand sympathy for a better occasion. after mrs. hall had left the room, he remained standingin front of the fire, glaring, so mr. henfrey puts it, at the clock-mending. mr. henfreynot only took off the hands of the clock, and the face, but extracted the works; andhe tried to work in as slow and quiet and unassuming a manner as possible. he workedwith the lamp close to him, and the green shade threw a brilliant light upon his hands,and upon the frame and wheels, and left the rest of the room shadowy. when he looked up,coloured patches swam in his eyes. being constitutionally of a curious nature,he had removed the works--a quite unnecessary
proceeding--with the idea of delaying hisdeparture and perhaps falling into conversation with the stranger. but the stranger stoodthere, perfectly silent and still. so still, it got on henfrey's nerves. he felt alonein the room and looked up, and there, grey and dim, was the bandaged head and huge bluelenses staring fixedly, with a mist of green spots drifting in front of them. it was souncanny to henfrey that for a minute they remained staring blankly at one another. thenhenfrey looked down again. very uncomfortable position! one would like to say something.should he remark that the weather was very cold for the time of year?he looked up as if to take aim with that introductory shot. "the weather--" he began. "why don'tyou finish and go?" said the rigid figure,
evidently in a state of painfully suppressedrage. "all you've got to do is to fix the hour-hand on its axle. you're simply humbugging--""certainly,sir--one minute more. i overlooked--" and mr. henfrey finished and went. but he wentfeeling excessively annoyed. "damn it!" said mr. henfrey to himself, trudging down thevillage through the thawing snow; "a man must do a clock at times, sure-ly." and again "can'ta man look at you?--ugly!" and yet again, "seemingly not. if the police was wantingyou you couldn't be more wropped and bandaged."at gleeson's corner he saw hall, who had recently married the stranger's hostess at the "coachand horses," and who now drove the iping conveyance, when occasional people required it, to sidderbridgejunction, coming towards him on his return
from that place. hall had evidently been "stoppinga bit" at sidderbridge, to judge by his driving. "'ow do, teddy?" he said, passing. "you gota rum un up home!" said teddy. hall very sociably pulled up. "what's that?" he asked. "rum-lookingcustomer stopping at the 'coach and horses,'" said teddy. "my sakes!"and he proceeded togive hall a vivid description of his grotesque guest. "looks a bit like a disguise, don'tit? i'd like to see a man's face if i had him stopping in _my_ place," said henfrey."but women are that trustful--where strangers are concerned. he's took your rooms and heain't even given a name, hall." "you don't say so!" said hall, who was a man of sluggishapprehension. "yes," said teddy. "by the week. whatever he is, you can't get rid of him underthe week. and he's got a lot of luggage coming
to-morrow, so he says. let's hope it won'tbe stones in boxes, hall." he told hall how his aunt at hastings had been swindled bya stranger with empty portmanteaux. altogether he left hall vaguely suspicious. "get up,old girl," said hall. "i s'pose i must see 'bout this." teddy trudged on his way withhis mind considerably relieved. instead of "seeing 'bout it," however, hallon his return was severely rated by his wife on the length of time he had spent in sidderbridge,and his mild inquiries were answered snappishly and in a manner not to the point. but theseed of suspicion teddy had sown germinated in the mind of mr. hall in spite of thesediscouragements. "you wim' don't know everything," said mr. hall,resolved to ascertain more aboutthe personality of his guest at the earliest
possible opportunity. and after the strangerhad gone to bed, which he did about half-past nine, mr. hall went very aggressively intothe parlour and looked very hard at his wife's furniture, just to show that the strangerwasn't master there, and scrutinised closely and a little contemptuously a sheet of mathematicalcomputations the stranger had left. when retiring for the night he instructedmrs. hall to look very closely at the stranger's luggage when it came next day."you mind youown business, hall," said mrs. hall, "and i'll mind mine." she was all the more inclinedto snap at hall because the stranger was undoubtedly an unusually strange sort of stranger, andshe was by no means assured about him in her own mind. in the middle of the night she wokeup dreaming of huge white heads like turnips,
that came trailing after her, at the end ofinterminable necks, and with vast black eyes. but being a sensible woman, she subdued herterrors and turned over and went to sleep again.ï‚— chapter 3 the thousand and one bottlesso it was that on the twenty-ninth day of february, at the beginning of the thaw, thissingular person fell out of infinity into iping village. next day his luggage arrivedthrough the slush--and very remarkable luggage it was. there were a couple of trunks indeed,such as a rational man might need, but in addition there were a box of books--big, fatbooks, of which some were just in an incomprehensible handwriting--and a dozen or more crates, boxes,and cases, containing objects packed in straw,
as it seemed to hall, tugging with a casualcuriosity at the straw--glass bottles. the stranger, muffled in hat, coat, gloves,and wrapper, came out impatiently to meet fearenside's cart, while hall was having aword or so of gossip preparatory to helping being them in. out he came, not noticing fearenside'sdog, who was sniffing in a _dilettante_ spirit at hall's legs. "come along with those boxes,"he said. "i've been waiting long enough." and he came down the steps towards the tailof the cart as if to lay hands on the smaller crate. no sooner had fearenside's dog caughtsight of him, however, than it began to bristle and growl savagely, and when he rushed downthe steps it gave an undecided hop, and then sprang straight at his hand."whup!" cried hall, jumping back, for he was
no hero with dogs, and fearenside howled,"lie down!" and snatched his whip. they saw the dog's teeth had slipped the hand, hearda kick, saw the dog execute a flanking jump and get home on the stranger's leg, and heardthe rip of his trousering. then the finer end of fearenside's whip reached his property,and the dog, yelping with dismay, retreated under the wheels of the waggon. it was allthe business of a swift half-minute. no one spoke, everyone shouted. the stranger glancedswiftly at his torn glove and at his leg, made as if he would stoop to the latter, thenturned and rushed swiftly up the steps into the inn.they heard him go headlong across the passage and up the uncarpeted stairs to his bedroom."youbrute, you!" said fearenside, climbing off
the waggon with his whip in his hand, whilethe dog watched him through the wheel. "come here," said fearenside--"you'd better." hallhad stood gaping. "he wuz bit," said hall. "i'd better go and see to en," and he trottedafter the stranger. he met mrs. hall in the passage. "carrier's darg," he said "bit en."he went straight upstairs, and the stranger's door being ajar, he pushed it open and wasentering without any ceremony, being of a naturally sympathetic turn of mind.the blind was down and the room dim. he caught a glimpse of a most singular thing, what seemeda handless arm waving towards him, and a face of three huge indeterminate spots on white,very like the face of a pale pansy. then he was struck violently in the chest, hurledback, and the door slammed in his face and
locked. it was so rapid that it gave him notime to observe. a waving of indecipherable shapes, a blow, and a concussion. there hestood on the dark little landing, wondering what it might be that he had seen. a coupleof minutes after, he rejoined the little group that had formed outside the "coach and horses." there was fearenside telling about it all over again for the second time; there wasmrs. hall saying his dog didn't have no business to bite her guests; there was huxter, thegeneral dealer from over the road, interrogative; and sandy wadgers from the forge, judicial;besides women and children, all of them saying fatuities: "wouldn't let en bite _me_, i knows";"'tasn't right _have_ such dargs"; "whad _'e_ bite 'n for, than?" and so forth. mr. hall,staring at them from the steps and listening,
found it incredible that he had seen anythingso very remarkable happen upstairs. besides, his vocabulary was altogether too limitedto express his impressions. "he don't want no help, he says," he saidin answer to his wife's inquiry. "we'd better be a-takin' of his luggage in." "he oughtto have it cauterised at once," said mr. huxter; "especially if it's at all inflamed." "i'dshoot en, that's what i'd do," said a lady in the group. suddenly the dog began growlingagain. "come along," cried an angry voice in the doorway, and there stood the muffledstranger with his collar turned up, and his hat-brim bent down. "the sooner you get thosethings in the better i'll be pleased." it is stated by an anonymous bystander that histrousers and gloves had been changed.
"was you hurt, sir?" said fearenside. "i'mrare sorry the darg--" "not a bit," said the stranger. "never broke the skin. hurry upwith those things." he then swore to himself, so mr. hall asserts. directly the first cratewas, in accordance with his directions, carried into the parlour, the stranger flung himselfupon it with extraordinary eagerness, and began to unpack it, scattering the straw withan utter disregard of mrs. hall's carpet. and from it he began to produce bottles--littlefat bottles containing powders, small and slender bottles containing coloured and whitefluids, fluted blue bottles labeled poison, bottles with round bodies and slender necks,large green-glass bottles, large white-glass bottles,bottles with glass stoppers and frosted labels,
bottles with fine corks, bottles with bungs,bottles with wooden caps, wine bottles, salad-oil bottles--putting them in rows on the chiffonnier,on the mantel, on the table under the window, round the floor, on the bookshelf--everywhere.the chemist's shop in bramblehurst could not boast half so many. quite a sight it was.crate after crate yielded bottles, until all six were empty and the table high with straw;the only things that came out of these crates besides the bottles were a number of test-tubesand a carefully packed balance. and directly the crates were unpacked, the stranger wentto the window and set to work, not troubling in the least about the litter of straw, thefire which had gone out, the box of books outside, nor for the trunks and other luggagethat had gone upstairs.
when mrs. hall took his dinner in to him,he was already so absorbed in his work, pouring little drops out of the bottles into test-tubes,that he did not hear her until she had swept away the bulk of the straw and put the trayon the table, with some little emphasis perhaps, seeing the state that the floor was in. thenhe half turned his head and immediately turned it away again. but she saw he had removedhis glasses; they were beside him on the table, and it seemed to her that his eye socketswere extraordinarily hollow. he put on his spectacles again, and then turned and facedher. she was about to complain of the straw on the floor when he anticipated her."i wish you wouldn't come in without knocking," he said in the tone of abnormal exasperationthat seemed so characteristic of him. "i knocked,
but seemingly--" "perhaps you did. but inmy investigations--my really very urgent and necessary investigations--the slightest disturbance,the jar of a door--i must ask you--""certainly, sir. you can turn the lock if you're likethat, you know. any time." "a very good idea," said the stranger. "this stror, sir, if imight make so bold as to remark--""don't. if the straw makes trouble put it down inthe bill." and he mumbled at her--words suspiciously like curses.he was so odd, standing there, so aggressive and explosive,bottle in one hand and test-tubein the other, that mrs. hall was quite alarmed. but she was a resolute woman. "in which case,i should like to know, sir, what you consider--" "a shilling--put down a shilling. surely ashilling's enough?" "so be it," said mrs.
hall, taking up the table-cloth and beginningto spread it over the table. "if you're satisfied, of course--" he turned and sat down, withhis coat-collar toward her. all the afternoon he worked with the door locked and, as mrs.hall testifies, for the most part in silence. but once there was a concussion and a soundof bottles ringing together as though the table had been hit, and the smash of a bottleflung violently down, and then a rapid pacing athwart the room.fearing "something was the matter," she went to the door and listened, not caring to knock."ican't go on," he was raving. "i _can't_ go on. three hundred thousand, four hundred thousand!the huge multitude! cheated! all my life it may take me! ... patience! patience indeed!... fool! fool!" there was a noise of hobnails
on the bricks in the bar, and mrs. hall hadvery reluctantly to leave the rest of his soliloquy. when she returned the room wassilent again, save for the faint crepitation of his chair and the occasional clink of abottle. it was all over; the stranger had resumed work. when she took in his tea shesaw broken glass in the corner of the room under the concave mirror, and a golden stainthat had been carelessly wiped. she called attention to it."put it down in the bill," snapped her visitor. "for god's sake don't worry me. if there'sdamage done, put it down in the bill," and he went on ticking a list in the exercisebook before him. "i'll tell you something," said fearenside, mysteriously. it was latein the afternoon, and they were in the little
beer-shop of iping hanger."well?" said teddyhenfrey. "this chap you're speaking of, what my dog bit. well--he's black. leastways, hislegs are. i seed through the tear of his trousers and the tear of his glove.you'd have expected a sort of pinky to show, wouldn't you? well--there wasn't none. justblackness. i tell you, he's as black as my hat." "my sakes!" said henfrey. "it's a rummycase altogether. why, his nose is as pink as paint! ""that's true," said fearenside."i knows that. and i tell 'ee what i'm thinking. that marn's a piebald, teddy. black here andwhite there--in patches. and he's ashamed of it. he's a kind of half-breed, and thecolour's come off patchy instead of mixing. i've heard of such things before. and it'sthe common way with horses, as any one can
see."ï‚— chapter 4 mr. cuss interviews the strangeri have told the circumstances of the stranger's arrival in iping with a certain fulness ofdetail, in order that the curious impression he created may be understood by the reader.but excepting two odd incidents, the circumstances of his stay until the extraordinary day ofthe club festival may be passed over very cursorily. there were a number of skirmisheswith mrs. hall on matters of domestic discipline, but in every case until late april, when thefirst signs of penury began, he over-rode her by the easy expedient of an extra payment.hall did not like him, and whenever he dared he talked of the advisability of getting ridof him; but he showed his dislike chiefly
by concealing it ostentatiously, and avoidinghis visitor as much as possible. "wait till the summer," said mrs. hall sagely,"when the artisks are beginning to come. then we'll see. he may be a bit overbearing, butbills settled punctual is bills settled punctual, whatever you'd like to say." the strangerdid not go to church, and indeed made no difference between sunday and the irreligious days, evenin costume. he worked, as mrs. hall thought, very fitfully. some days he would come downearly and be continuously busy. on others he would rise late, pace his room, frettingaudibly for hours together, smoke, sleep in the armchair by the fire. communication withthe world beyond the village he had none. his temper continued very uncertain; for themost part his manner was that of a man suffering
under almost unendurable provocation, andonce or twice things were snapped, torn, crushed, or broken in spasmodic gusts of violence.he seemed under a chronic irritation of the greatest intensity. his habit of talking tohimself in a low voice grew steadily upon him, but though mrs. hall listened conscientiouslyshe could make neither head nor tail of what she heard.he rarely went abroad by daylight,but at twilight he would go out muffled up invisibly, whether the weather were cold ornot, and he chose the loneliest paths and those most overshadowed by trees and banks.his goggling spectacles and ghastly bandaged face under the penthouse of his hat, camewith a disagreeable suddenness out of the darkness upon one or two home-going labourers,and teddy henfrey, tumbling out of the "scarlet
coat" one night, at half-past nine, was scaredshamefully by the stranger's skull-like head (he was walking hat in hand) lit by the suddenlight of the opened inn door. such children as saw him at nightfall dreamt of bogies,and it seemed doubtful whether he disliked boys more than they disliked him, or the reverse;but there was certainly a vivid enough dislike on either side.it was inevitable that a person of so remarkable an appearance and bearing should form a frequenttopic in such a village as iping. opinion was greatly divided about his occupation.mrs. hall was sensitive on the point. when questioned, she explained very carefully thathe was an "experimental investigator," going gingerly over the syllables as one who dreadspitfalls. when asked what an experimental
investigator was, she would say with a touchof superiority that most educated people knew such things as that, and would thus explainthat he "discovered things." " her visitor had had an accident, she said,which temporarily discoloured his face and hands, and being of a sensitive disposition,he was averse to any public notice of the fact. out of her hearing there was a viewlargely entertained that he was a criminal trying to escape from justice by wrappinghimself up so as to conceal himself altogether from the eye of the police. this idea sprangfrom the brain of mr. teddy henfrey. no crime of any magnitude dating from the middle orend of february was known to have occurred. elaborated in the imagination of mr. gould,the probationary assistant in the national
school, this theory took the form that thestranger was an anarchist in disguise, preparing explosives, and he resolved to undertake suchdetective operations as his time permitted. these consisted for the most part in lookingvery hard at the stranger whenever they met, or in asking people who had never seen thestranger, leading questions about him. but he detected nothing. another school of opinionfollowed mr. fearenside, and either accepted the piebald view or some modification of it;as, for instance, silas durgan, who was heard to assert that "if he choses to show enselfat fairs he'd make his fortune in no time," and being a bit of a theologian, comparedthe stranger to the man with the one talent. yet another view explained the entire matterby regarding the stranger as a harmless lunatic.
that had the advantage of accounting for everythingstraight away. between these main groups there were waverers and compromisers. sussex folkhave few superstitions, and it was only after the events of early april that the thoughtof the supernatural was first whispered in the village. even then it was only creditedamong the women folk. but whatever they thought of him, people in iping, on the whole, agreedin disliking him. his irritability, though it might have been comprehensible to an urbanbrain-worker, was an amazing thing to these quiet sussex villagers.the frantic gesticulations they surprised now and then, the headlong pace after nightfallthat swept him upon them round quiet corners, the inhuman bludgeoning of all tentative advancesof curiosity, the taste for twilight that
led to the closing of doors, the pulling downof blinds, the extinction of candles and lamps--who could agree with such goings on? they drewaside as he passed down the village, and when he had gone by, young humourists would upwith coat-collars and down with hat-brims, and go pacing nervously after him in imitationof his occult bearing. there was a song popular at that time called"the bogey man". miss statchell sang it at the schoolroom concert (in aid of the churchlamps), and thereafter whenever one or two of the villagers were gathered together andthe stranger appeared, a bar or so of this tune, more or less sharp or flat, was whistledin the midst of them. also belated little children would call "bogey man!" after him,and make off tremulously elated. cuss, the
general practitioner, was devoured by curiosity.the bandages excited his professional interest, the report of the thousand and one bottlesaroused his jealous regard. all through april and may he coveted an opportunityof talking to the stranger, and at last, towards whitsuntide, he could stand it no longer,but hit upon the subscription-list for a village nurse as an excuse. he was surprised to findthat mr. hall did not know his guest's name. "he give a name," said mrs. hall--an assertionwhich was quite unfounded--"but i didn't rightly hear it." she thought it seemed so silly notto know the man's name. cuss rapped at the parlour door and entered. there was a fairlyaudible imprecation from within. "pardon my intrusion," said cuss, and then the door closedand cut mrs. hall off from the rest of the
conversation.she could hear the murmur of voices for the next ten minutes, then a cry of surprise,a stirring of feet, a chair flung aside, a bark of laughter, quick steps to the door,and cuss appeared, his face white, his eyes staring over his shoulder. he left the dooropen behind him, and without looking at her strode across the hall and went down the steps,and she heard his feet hurrying along the road. he carried his hat in his hand. shestood behind the door, looking at the open door of the parlour. then she heard the strangerlaughing quietly, and then his footsteps came across the room.she could not see his face where she stood. the parlour door slammed, and the place wassilent again. cuss went straight up the village
to bunting the vicar. "am i mad?" cuss beganabruptly, as he entered the shabby little study. "do ilook like an insane person? ""what'shappened?" said the vicar, putting the ammonite on the loose sheets of his forth-coming sermon."thatchap at the inn--""well?""give me something to drink," said cuss, and he sat down.whenhis nerves had been steadied by a glass of cheap sherryâ€”the only drink the good vicarhad available--he told him of theinterview he had just had."went in," he gasped, "and began to demand a subscription for that nurse fund. he'd stuckhis hands in his pockets as i came in, and he sat down lumpily in his chair. sniffed.i told him i'd heard he took an interest in scientific things. he said yes. sniffed again.kept on sniffing all the time; evidently recently
caught an infernal cold. no wonder, wrappedup like that! i developed the nurse idea, and all the while kept my eyes open. bottles--chemicals--everywhere.balance, test-tubes in stands, and a smell of--evening primrose. would he subscribe?said he'd consider it. asked him, point-blank, was he researching. said he was. a long research?got quite cross. 'a damnable long research,' said he, blowingthe cork out, so to speak. 'oh,' said i. and out came the grievance. the man was just onthe boil, and my question boiled him over. he had been given a prescription, most valuableprescription--what for he wouldn't say. was it medical? 'damn you! what are you fishingafter?' i apologised. dignified sniff and cough. he resumed. he'd read it. five ingredients.put it down; turned his head. draught of air
from window lifted the paper. swish, rustle.he was working in a room with an open fireplace, he said. saw a flicker, and there was theprescription burning and lifting chimneyward. rushed towards it just as it whisked up thechimney. so! just at that point, to illustrate his story, out came his arm.""well?" "no hand--justan empty sleeve. lord! i thought, _that's_ a deformity! got a cork arm, i suppose, andhas taken it off. then, ithought, there's something odd in that. what the devil keepsthat sleeve up and open, if there's nothing in it? there was nothing in it, i tell you.nothing down it, right down to the joint. i could see right down it to the elbow, andthere was a glimmer of light shining through a tear of the cloth. 'good god!' i said. thenhe stopped. stared at me with those black
goggles of his, and then at his sleeve.""well?" "that's all. he never said a word; just glared, and put his sleeve back in hispocket quickly. 'i was saying,' said he, 'that there was the prescription burning, wasn'ti?' interrogative cough. 'how the devil,' said i, 'can you move an empty sleeve likethat?' 'empty sleeve?' 'yes,' said i, 'an empty sleeve.' "'it's an empty sleeve, isit? you saw it was an empty sleeve?' he stood up right away. i stood up too. he came towardsme in three very slow steps, and stood quite close. sniffed venomously. i didn't flinch,though i'm hanged if that bandaged knob of his, and those blinkers, aren't enough tounnerve any one, coming quietly up to you. "'you said it was an empty sleeve?' he said.'certainly,' i said. at staring and saying
nothing a barefaced man, unspectacled, startsscratch. then very quietly he pulled his sleeve out of his pocket again, and raised his armtowards me as though he would show it to me again. he did it very, very slowly. i lookedat it. seemed an age. 'well?' said i, clearing my throat, 'there's nothing in it.' "had tosay something. i was beginning to feel frightened. i could see right down it. he extended itstraight towards me, slowly, slowly--just like that--until the cuff was six inches frommy face. queer thing to see an empty sleeve come at you like that! and then--""well?" "something--exactly like a finger and thumb it felt--nipped my nose."buntingbegan to laugh. "there wasn't anything there!" said cuss, his voice running up into a shriekat the "there." "it's all very well for you
to laugh, but i tell you i was so startled,i hit his cuff hard, and turned around, and cut out of the room--i left him-"cuss stopped.there was no mistaking the sincerity of his panic. he turned round in a helpless way andtook a second glass of the excellent vicar's very inferior sherry. "when i hit his cuff,"said cuss, "i tell you, it felt exactly like hitting an arm. and there wasn't an arm! therewasn't the ghost of an arm!" mr. bunting thought it over. he looked suspiciously at cuss. "it'sa most remarkable story," he said. he looked very wise and grave indeed. "it's really,"said mr. bunting with judicial emphasis, "a most remarkable story."ï‚— chapter 5 the burglary at the vicaragethe facts of the burglary at the vicarage
came to us chieflythrough the medium of thevicar and his wife. it occurred in the small hours of whit monday, the day devoted in ipingto the club festivities. mrs. bunting, it seems, woke up suddenly in the stillness thatcomes before the dawn, with the strong impression that the door of their bedroom had openedand closed. she did not arouse her husband at first, but sat up in bed listening. shethen distinctly heard the pad, pad, pad of bare feet coming out of the adjoining dressing-roomand walking along the passage towards the staircase.as soon as she felt assured of this, she aroused the rev. mr. bunting as quietly as possible.he did not strike a light, but putting on his spectacles, her dressing-gown and hisbath slippers, he went out on the landing
to listen. he heard quite distinctly a fumblinggoing on at his study desk down-stairs, and then a violent sneeze. at that he returnedto his bedroom, armed himself with the most obvious weapon, the poker, and descended thestaircase as noiselessly as possible. mrs. bunting came out on the landing. the hourwas about four, and the ultimate darkness of the night was past. there was a faint shimmerof light in the hall, but the study doorway yawned impenetrably black. everything wasstill except the faint creaking of the stairs under mr. bunting's tread, and the slightmovements in the study. then something snapped, the drawer was opened,and there was a rustle of papers. then came animprecation, and a match was struck andthe study was flooded with yellow light. mr.
bunting was now in the hall, and through thecrack of the door he could see the desk and the open drawer and a candle burning on thedesk. but the robber he could not see. he stood there in the hall undecided what todo, and mrs. bunting, her face white and intent, crept slowly downstairs after him. one thingkept mr. bunting's courage; the persuasion that this burglar was a resident in the village.they heard the chink of money, and realised that the robber had found the housekeepingreserve of gold--two pounds ten in half sovereigns altogether. at that sound mr. bunting wasnerved to abrupt action. gripping the poker firmly, he rushed into the room, closely followedby mrs. bunting. "surrender!" cried mr. bunting, fiercely, and then stooped amazed. apparentlythe room was perfectly empty. yet their conviction
that they had, that very moment, heard somebodymoving in the room had amounted to a certainty. for half a minute, perhaps, they stood gaping,then mrs. bunting went across the room and looked behind the screen, while mr. bunting,by a kindred impulse, peered under the desk. then mrs. bunting turned back the window-curtains,and mr. bunting looked up the chimney and probed it with the poker. then mrs. buntingscrutinised the waste-paper basket and mr. bunting opened the lid of the coal-scuttle.then they came to a stop and stood with eyes interrogating each other. "i could have sworn--"said mr. bunting. "the candle!" said mr. bunting. "who lit the candle?" "the drawer!" said mrs.bunting. "and the money's gone!" she went hastily to the doorway. "of all the strangeoccurrences--"there was a violent sneeze in
the passage. they rushed out, and as theydid so the kitchen door slammed. "bring the candle," said mr. bunting, and led the way.they both heard a sound of bolts being hastily shot back.as he opened the kitchen door he saw through the scullery that the back door was just opening,and the faint light of early dawn displayed the dark masses of the garden beyond. he iscertain that nothing went out of the door. it opened, stood open for a moment, and thenclosed with a slam. as it did so, the candle mrs. bunting was carrying from the study flickeredand flared. it was a minute or more before they entered the kitchen. the place was empty.they refastened the back door, examined the kitchen, pantry, and scullery thoroughly,and at last went down into the cellar. there
was not a soul to be found in the house, searchas they would. daylight found the vicar and his wife, a quaintly-costumed little couple,still marvelling about on their own ground floor by the unnecessary light of a gutteringcandle. ï‚— chapter 6 the furniture that went madnow it happened that in the early hours of whit monday, before millie was hunted outfor the day, mr. hall and mrs. hall both rose and went noiselessly down into the cellar.their business there was of a private nature, and had something to do with the specificgravity of their beer. they had hardly entered the cellar when mrs. hall found she had forgottento bring down a bottle of sarsaparilla from
their joint-room. as she was the expert andprincipal operator in this affair, hall very properly went upstairs for it. on the landinghe was surprised to see that the stranger's door was ajar. he went on into his own roomand found the bottle as he had been directed. but returning with the bottle, he noticedthat the bolts of the front door had been shot back, that the door was in fact simplyon the latch. and with a flash of inspiration he connected this with the stranger's roomupstairs and the suggestions of mr. teddy henfrey. he distinctly remembered holdingthe candle while mrs. hall shot these bolts overnight. at the sight he stopped, gaping,then with the bottle still in his hand went upstairs again. he rapped at the stranger'sdoor. there was no answer. he rapped again;
then pushed the door wide open and entered.it was as he expected. the bed, the room also, was empty. and what was stranger, even tohis heavy intelligence, on the bedroom chair and along the rail of the bed were scatteredthe garments, the only garments so far as he knew, and the bandages of their guest.his big slouch hat even was cocked jauntily over the bed-post.as hall stood there he heardhis wife's voice coming out of the depth of the cellar, with that rapid telescoping ofthe syllables and interrogative cocking up of the final words to a high note, by whichthe west sussex villager is wont to indicate a brisk impatience. "george! you gart whada wand?" at that he turned and hurried down to her."janny," he said, over the rail of the cellar
steps, "'tas the truth what henfrey sez. 'e'snot in uz room, 'e en't. and the front door's on bolted." at first mrs. hall did not understand,and as soon as she did she resolved to see the empty room for herself. hall, still holdingthe bottle, went first. "if 'e en't there," he said, "'is close are. and what's 'e doin''ithout 'is close, then? 'tas a most curious business."as they came up the cellar stepsthey both, it was afterwards ascertained, fancied they heard the front door open andshut, but seeing it closed and nothing there, neither said a word to the other about itat the time. mrs. hall passed her husband in the passageand ran on first upstairs. someone sneezed on the staircase. hall, following six stepsbehind, thought that he heard her sneeze.
she, going on first, was under the impressionthat hall was sneezing. she flung open the door and stood regarding the room. "of allthe curious!" she said. she heard a sniff close behind her head as it seemed, and turning,was surprised to see hall a dozen feet off on the topmost stair. but in another momenthe was beside her. she bent forward and put her hand on the pillow and then under theclothes."cold," she said. "he's been up this hour or more." as she did so, a most extraordinarything happened. the bed-clothes gathered themselves together, leapt up suddenly into a sort ofpeak, and then jumped headlong over the bottom rail. it was exactly as if a hand had clutchedthem in the centre and flung them aside. immediately after, the stranger's hat hoppedoff the bed-post, described a whirling flight
in the air through the better part of a circle,and then dashed straight at mrs. hall's face. then as swiftly came the sponge from the washstand;and then the chair, flinging the stranger's coat and trousers carelessly aside, and laughingdrily in a voice singularly like the stranger's, turned itself up with its four legs at mrs.hall, seemed to take aim at her for a moment, and charged at her. she screamed and turned,and then the chair legs came gently but firmly against her back and impelled her and hallout of the room. the door slammed violently and was locked.the chair and bed seemed to be executing a dance of triumph for a moment, and then abruptlyeverything was still. mrs. hall was left almost in a fainting condition in mr. hall's armson the landing. it was with the greatest difficulty
that mr. hall and millie, who had been rousedby her scream of alarm, succeeded in getting her downstairs, and applying the restorativescustomary in such cases."'tas sperits," said mrs. hall. "i know 'tas sperits. i've readin papers of en. tables and chairs leaping and dancing...""take a drop more, janny,"said hall. "'twill steady ye.""lock him out," said mrs. hall. "don't let him come in again.ihalf guessed--i might ha' known. with them goggling eyes and bandaged head,and never going to church of a sunday. and all they bottles--more'n it's right for anyone to have. he's put the sperits into the furniture.... my good old furniture! 'twasin that very chair my poor dear mother used to sit when i was a little girl. to thinkit should rise up against me now!" "just a
drop more, janny," said hall. "your nervesis all upset."they sent millie across the street through the golden five o'clock sunshineto rouse up mr. sandy wadgers, the blacksmith. mr. hall's compliments and the furniture upstairswas behaving most extraordinary. would mr. wadgers come round? he was a knowing man,was mr. wadgers, and very resourceful. he took quite a grave view of the case."arm darmed if thet ent witchcraft," was the view of mr. sandy wadgers. "you warnt horseshoesfor such gentry as he." he came round greatly concerned. they wanted him to lead the wayupstairs to the room, but he didn't seem to be in any hurry. he preferred to talk in thepassage. over the way huxter's apprentice came out and began taking down the shuttersof the tobacco window. he was called over
to join the discussion. mr. huxter naturallyfollowed over in the course of a few minutes. the anglo-saxon genius for parliamentary governmentasserted itself; there was a great deal of talk and no decisive action. "let's have thefacts first," insisted mr. sandy wadgers. "let's be sure we'd be acting perfectly rightin bustin' that there door open. a door onbust is always open to bustin', but ye can't onbusta door once you've busted en."and suddenly and most wonderfully the door of the roomupstairs opened of its own accord, and as they looked up in amazement, they saw descendingthe stairs the muffled figure of the stranger staring more blackly and blankly than everwith those unreasonably large blue glass eyes of his. he came down stiffly and slowly, staringall the time; he walked across the passage
staring, then stopped."look there!" he said, and their eyes followed the direction of hisgloved finger and sawa bottle of sarsaparilla hard by the cellar door. then he entered the parlour, and suddenly,swiftly, viciously, slammed the door in their faces. not a word was spoken until the lastechoes of the slam had died away. they stared at one another. "well, if that don't lickeverything!" said mr. wadgers, and left the alternative unsaid. "i'd go in and ask'n 'boutit," said wadgers, to mr. hall. "i'd d'mand an explanation." it took some time to bringthe landlady's husband up to that pitch. at last he rapped, opened the door, and got asfar as, "excuse me--" "go to the devil!" said the stranger in a tremendous voice, and "shutthat door after you." so that brief interview
terminated.ï‚— chapter 7 the unveiling of the strangerthe stranger went into the little parlour of the "coach and horses" about half-pastfive in the morning, and there he remained until near midday, the blinds down, the doorshut, and none, after hall's repulse, venturing near him. all that time he must have fasted.thrice he rang his bell, the third time furiously and continuously, but no one answered him."him and his 'go to the devil' indeed!" said mrs. hall. presently came an imperfect rumourof the burglary at the vicarage, and two and two were put together. hall, assisted by wadgers,went off to find mr. shuckleforth, the magistrate, and take his advice. no one ventured upstairs.how the stranger occupied himself is unknown.
now and then he would stride violently upand down, and twice came an outburst of curses, a tearing of paper, and a violent smashingof bottles. the little group of scared but curious people increased. mrs. huxter cameover; some gay young fellows resplendent in black ready-made jackets and _pique_ paperties--for it was whit mondayâ€”joined the group with confused interrogations. youngarchie harker distinguished himself by going up the yard and trying to peep under the window-blinds.he could see nothing, but gave reason for supposing that he did, and others of the ipingyouth presently joined him. it was the finest of all possible whit mondays,and down the village street stood a row of nearly a dozen booths, a shooting gallery,and on the grass by the forge were three yellow
and chocolate waggons and some picturesquestrangers of both sexes putting up a cocoanut shy. the gentlemen wore blue jerseys, theladies white aprons and quite fashionable hats with heavy plumes. wodger, of the "purplefawn," and mr. jaggers, the cobbler, who also sold old second-hand ordinary bicycles, werestretching a string of union-jacks and royal ensigns (which had originally celebrated thefirst victorian jubilee) across the road. and inside, in the artificial darkness ofthe parlour, into which only one thin jet of sunlight penetrated, the stranger, hungrywe must suppose, and fearful, hidden in his uncomfortable hot wrappings, pored throughhis dark glasses upon his paper or chinked his dirty little bottles, and occasionallyswore savagely at the boys, audible if invisible,
outside the windows. in the corner by thefireplace lay the fragments of half a dozen smashed bottles, and a pungent twang of chlorinetainted the air. so much we know from what was heard at the time and from what was subsequentlyseen in the room. about noon he suddenly opened his parlourdoor and stood glaring fixedly at the three or four people in the bar. "mrs. hall," hesaid. somebody went sheepishly and called for mrs. hall. mrs. hall appeared after aninterval, a little short of breath, but all the fiercer for that. hall was still out.she had deliberated over this scene, and she came holding a little tray with an unsettledbill upon it. "is it your bill you're wanting, sir?" she said. "why wasn't my breakfast laid?why haven't you prepared my meals and answered
my bell? do you think i live without eating?""why isn't my bill paid?" said mrs. hall. "that's what i want to know.""i told you threedays ago i was awaiting a remittance--" "i told you two days ago i wasn't going toawait no remittances. you can't grumble if your breakfast waits a bit, if my bill's beenwaiting these five days, can you?" the stranger swore briefly but vividly. "nar, nar!" fromthe bar. "and i'd thank you kindly, sir, if you'd keep your swearing to yourself, sir,"said mrs. hall. the stranger stood looking more like an angry diving-helmet than ever.it was universally felt in the bar that mrs. hall had the better of him. his next wordsshowed as much. "look here, my good woman--" he began."don't 'good woman' _me_," said mrs.hall."i've told you my remittance hasn't come."
"remittance indeed!" said mrs. hall. "still,i daresay in my pocket--" "you told me three days ago that you hadn't anything but a sovereign'sworth of silver upon you." "well, i've found some more--" "'ul-lo!" from the bar. "i wonderwhere you found it," said mrs. hall. that seemed to annoy the stranger very much. hestamped his foot. "what do you mean?" he said."that i wonder where you found it," said mrs. hall."and before i take any bills or get any breakfasts, or do any such things whatsoever, you gotto tell me one or two things i don't understand, and what nobody don't understand, and whateverybody is very anxious to understand. i want to know what you been doing t'my chairupstairs, and i want to know how 'tis your room was empty, and how you got in again.them as stops in this house comes in by the
doors--that's the rule of the house, and thatyou _didn't_ do, and what i want to know is how you _did_ come in. and i want to know--"suddenly the stranger raised his gloved hands clenched, stamped his foot, and said, "stop!"with such extraordinary violence that he silenced her instantly. "you don't understand," hesaid, "who i am or what i am. i'll show you. by heaven! i'll show you." then he put hisopen palm over his face and withdrew it. the centre of his face became a black cavity."here,"he said. he stepped forward and handed mrs. hall somethingwhich she, staring at his metamorphosed face, accepted automatically. then, when she sawwhat it was, she screamed loudly, dropped it, and staggered back. the nose--it was thestranger's nose! pink and shining--rolled
on the floor.then he removed his spectacles,and everyone in the bar gasped. he took off his hat, and with a violent gesture tore athis whiskers and bandages. for a moment they resisted him. a flash of horrible anticipationpassed through the bar. "oh, my gard!" said some one. then off they came.it was worsethan anything. mrs. hall, standing open-mouthed and horror-struck, shrieked at what she saw,and made for the door of the house. everyone began to move. they were preparedfor scars, disfigurements, tangible horrors, but nothing! the bandages and false hair flewacross the passage into the bar, making a hobbledehoy jump to avoid them. everyone tumbledon everyone else down the steps. for the man who stood there shouting some incoherent explanation,was a solid gesticulating figure up to the
coat-collar of him, and then--nothingness,no visible thing at all! people down the village heard shouts and shrieks, and looking up thestreet saw the "coach and horses" violently firing out its humanity.they saw mrs. hall fall down and mr. teddy henfrey jump to avoid tumbling over her, andthen they heard the frightful screams of millie, who, emerging suddenly from the kitchen atthe noise of the tumult, had come upon the headless stranger from behind. these increasedsuddenly. forthwith everyone all down the street, the sweetstuff seller,cocoanut shyproprietor and his assistant, the swing man, little boys and girls, rustic dandies, smartwenches, smocked elders and aproned gipsies--began running towards the inn, and in a miraculouslyshort space of time a crowd of perhaps forty
people, and rapidly increasing, swayed andhooted and inquired and exclaimed and suggested, in front of mrs. hall's establishment.everyoneseemed eager to talk at once, and the result was babel.a small group supported mrs. hall, who was picked up in a state of collapse. there wasa conference, and the incredible evidence of a vociferous eye-witness. "o bogey!" "what'she been doin', then?" "ain't hurt the girl, 'as 'e?" "run at en with a knife, i believe.""no 'ed, i tell ye. i don't mean no manner of speaking. i mean _marn 'ithout a 'ed_!""narnsense! 'tis some conjuring trick." "fetchedoff 'is wrapping, 'e did--"in its struggles tosee in through the open door, the crowd formed itself into a straggling wedge, with the moreadventurous apex nearest the inn.
"he stood for a moment, i heerd the gal scream,and he turned. i saw her skirts whisk, and he went after her. didn't take ten seconds.back he comes with a knife in uz hand and a loaf; stood just as if he was staring. nota moment ago. went in that there door. i tell 'e, 'e ain't gart no 'ed at all. you justmissed en--"there was a disturbance behind, and the speaker stopped to step aside fora little procession that was marching very resolutely towards the house; first mr. hall,very red and determined, thenmr. bobby jaffers, the village constable, and then the wary mr.wadgers.they had come now armed with a warrant. people shouted conflicting information ofthe recent circumstances. "'ed or no 'ed," said jaffers, "i got to 'rest en, and 'resten i_will_." mr. hall marched up the steps,
marched straight to the door of the parlourand flung it open. "constable," he said, "do your duty." jaffers marched in. hall next,wadgers last. they saw in the dim light the headless figure facing them, with a gnawedcrust of bread in one gloved hand and a chunk of cheese in the other."that's him!" saidhall."what the devil's this?" came in a tone of angry expostulation from above the collarof the figure. "you're a damned rum customer, mister," said mr. jaffers. "but 'ed or no'ed, the warrant says 'body,' and duty's duty--""keep off!" said the figure, starting back.abruptly he whipped down the bread and cheese, and mr. hall just grasped the knife on thetable in time to save it. off came the stranger's left glove and was slapped in jaffers' face.in another moment jaffers, cutting short some
statement concerning a warrant, had grippedhim by the handless wrist and caught his invisible throat. he got a sounding kick on the shinthat made him shout, but he kept his grip. hall sent the knife sliding along the tableto wadgers, who acted as goal-keeper for the offensive, so to speak, and then stepped forwardas jaffers and the stranger swayed and staggered towards him, clutching and hitting in. a chairstood in the way, and went aside with a crash as they came down together."get the feet," said jaffers between his teeth. mr. hall, endeavouring to act on instructions,received a sounding kick in the ribs that disposed of him for a moment, and mr. wadgers,seeing the decapitated stranger had rolled over and got the upper side of jaffers, retreatedtowards the door, knife in hand, and so collided
with mr. huxter and the sidderbridge cartercoming to the rescue of law and order. at the same moment down came three or four bottlesfrom the chiffonnier and shot a web of pungency into the air of the room."i'll surrender," cried the stranger, though he had jaffers down, and in another momenthe stood up panting, a strange figure, headless and handless--for he had pulled off his rightglove now as well as his left. "it's no good," he said, as if sobbing for breath. it wasthe strangest thing in the world to hear that voice coming as if out of empty space, butthe sussex peasants are perhaps the most matter-of-fact people under the sun. jaffers got up alsoand produced a pair of handcuffs. then he stared."i say!" said jaffers, brought up shortby a dim realization of theincongruity of
the whole business, "darn it! can't use 'emas i can see." the stranger ran his arm down his waistcoat,and as if by a miracle the buttons to which his empty sleeve pointed became undone. thenhe said something about his shin, and stooped down. he seemed to be fumbling with his shoesand socks. "why!" said huxter, suddenly, "that's not a man at all. it's just empty clothes.look! you can see down his collar and the linings of his clothes. i could put my arm--"he extended his hand; it seemed to meet something in mid-air, and he drew it back with a sharpexclamation. "i wish you'd keep your fingers out of my eye," said the aerial voice, ina tone of savage expostulation. "the fact is, i'm all here--head, hands, legs, and allthe rest of it, but it happens i'm invisible.
it's a confounded nuisance, but i am. that'sno reason why i should be poked to pieces by every stupid bumpkin in iping, is it?"the suit of clothes, now all unbuttoned and hanging loosely upon its unseen supports,stood up, arms akimbo. several other of the men folks had now entered the room, so thatit was closely crowded. "invisible, eh?" said huxter, ignoring the stranger's abuse. "whoever heard the likes of that?" "it's strange, perhaps, but it's not a crime. why am i assaultedby a policeman in this fashion?""ah! that's a different matter," said jaffers. "no doubtyou are a bit difficult to see in this light, but i got a warrant and it's all correct.what i'm after ain't no invisibility,--it's burglary. there's a house been broke intoand money took."
"well?" "and circumstances certainly point--""stuff and nonsense!" said the invisible man. "i hope so, sir; but i've got my instructions.""well," said the stranger, "i'll come. i'll _come_. but no handcuffs." "it's the regularthing," said jaffers."no handcuffs," stipulated the stranger. "pardon me," said jaffers. abruptlythe figure sat down, and before any one could realise was was being done, the slippers,socks, and trousers had been kicked off under the table. then he sprang up again and flungoff his coat."here, stop that," said jaffers, suddenly realising what was happening. hegripped at the waistcoat; it struggled, and the shirt slipped out of it and left it limplyand empty in his hand. "hold him!" said jaffers, loudly. "once he gets the things off--""hold him!" cried everyone, and there was
a rush at the fluttering white shirt whichwas now all that was visible of the stranger. the shirt-sleeve planted a shrewd blow inhall's face that stopped his open-armed advance, and sent him backward into old toothsome thesexton, and in another moment the garment was lifted up and became convulsed and vacantlyflapping about the arms, even as a shirt that is being thrust over a man's head. jaffersclutched at it, and only helped to pull it off; he was struck in the mouth out of theair, and incontinently threw his truncheon and smote teddy henfrey savagely upon thecrown of his head. "look out!" said everybody, fencing at randomand hitting at nothing. "hold him! shut the door! don't let him loose! i got something!here he is!" a perfect babel of noises they
made. everybody, it seemed, was being hitall at once, and sandy wadgers, knowing as ever and his wits sharpened by a frightfulblow in the nose, reopened the door and led the rout. the others, following incontinently,were jammed for a moment in the corner by the doorway. the hitting continued. phipps,the unitarian, had a front tooth broken, and henfrey was injured in the cartilage of hisear. jaffers was struck under the jaw, and, turning,caught at something that intervened between him and huxter in the melee, and preventedtheir coming together. he felt a muscular chest, and in another moment the whole massof struggling, excited men shot out into the crowded hall. "i got him!" shouted jaffers,choking and reeling through them all, and
wrestling with purple face and swelling veinsagainst his unseen enemy.men staggered right and left as the extraordinary conflict swayedswiftly towards the house door, and went spinning down the half-dozen steps of the inn. jafferscried in a strangled voice--holding tight, nevertheless, and making play with his knee--spunaround, and fell heavily undermost with his head on the gravel. only then did his fingersrelax. there were excited cries of "hold him!" "invisible!"and so forth, and a young fellow, a stranger in the place whose name did not come to light,rushed in at once, caught something, missed his hold, and fell over the constable's prostratebody. half-way across the road a woman screamed as something pushed by her; a dog, kickedapparently, yelped and ran howling into huxter's
yard, and with that the transit of the invisibleman was accomplished. for a space people stood amazed and gesticulating, and then came panic,and scattered them abroad through the village as a gust scatters dead leaves. but jafferslay quite still, face upward and knees bent, at the foot of the steps of the inn.ï‚— chapter 8 in transitthe eighth chapter is exceedingly brief, and relates that gibbons, the amateur naturalistof the district, while lying out on the spacious open downs without a soul within a coupleof miles of him, as he thought, and almost dozing, heard close to him the sound as ofa man coughing, sneezing, and then swearing savagely to himself; and looking, beheld nothing.yet the voice was indisputable. it continued
to swear with that breadth and variety thatdistinguishes the swearing of a cultivated man.it grew to a climax, diminished again, and died away in the distance, going as it seemedto him in the direction of adderdean. it lifted to a spasmodic sneeze and ended. gibbons hadheard nothing of the morning's occurrences, but the phenomenon was so striking and disturbingthat his philosophicaltranquillity vanished; he got up hastily, and hurried down the steepnessof the hill towards the village, as fast as he could go.ï‚— chapter 9 mr. thomas marvelyou must picture mr. thomas marvel as a person of copious, flexible visage, a nose of cylindricalprotrusion, a liquorish, ample, fluctuating
mouth, and a beard of bristling eccentricity.his figure inclined to embonpoint; his short limbs accentuated this inclination. he worea furry silk hat, and the frequent substitution of twine and shoe-laces for buttons, apparentat critical points of his costume, marked a man essentially bachelor. mr. thomas marvelwas sitting with his feet in a ditch by the roadside over the down towards adderdean,about a mile and a half out of iping. his feet, save for socks of irregular open-work,were bare, his big toes were broad, and pricked like the ears of a watchful dog. in a leisurelymanner--he did everything in a leisurely manner--he was contemplating trying on a pair of boots.they were the soundest boots he had come across for a long time, but too large for him; whereasthe ones he had were, in dry weather, a very
comfortable fit, but too thin-soled for damp.mr. thomas marvel hated roomy shoes, but then he hated damp. he had never properly thoughtout which he hated most, and it was a pleasant day, and there was nothing better to do.so he put the four shoes in a graceful group on the turf and looked at them. and seeingthem there among the grass and springing agrimony, it suddenly occurred to him that both pairswere exceedingly ugly to see. he was not at all startled by a voice behind him. "they'reboots, anyhow," said the voice. "they are--charity boots," said mr. thomas marvel, with his headon one side regarding them distastefully; "and which is the ugliest pair in the wholeblessed universe, i'm darned if i know!""h'm," said the voice."i've worn worse--in fact, i've worn none.
but none so owdacious ugly--if you'll allowthe expression. i've been cadging bootsâ€”in particular--for days. because i was sick of_them_. they're sound enough, of course. but a gentleman on tramp sees such a thunderinglot of his boots. and if you'll believe me, i've raised nothing in the whole blessed country,try as i would, but _them_. look at 'em! and a good country for boots, too, in a generalway. but it's just my promiscuous luck. i've got my boots in this country ten years ormore. and then they treat you like this." "it's a beast of a country," said the voice."and pigs for people." "ain't it?" said mr. thomas marvel. "lord! but them boots! it beatsit." he turned his head over his shoulder to the right, to look at the boots of hisinterlocutor with a view to comparisons, and
lo! where the boots of his interlocutor shouldhave been were neither legs nor boots. he was irradiated by the dawn of a great amazement."where _are_ yer?" said mr. thomas marvel over his shoulder and coming on all fours.he saw a stretch of empty downs with the wind swaying the remote green-pointed furze bushes."am i drunk?" said mr. marvel. "have i had visions? was i talking to myself? what the--""don't be alarmed," said a voice."none of your ventriloquising _me_," said mr. thomasmarvel, rising sharply to his feet. "where _are_ yer? alarmed, indeed!" "don't be alarmed,"repeated the voice."_you'll_ be alarmed in a minute, you silly fool," said mr. thomasmarvel. "where _are_ yer? lemme get my mark on yer... "are yer _buried_?" said mr. thomasmarvel, after an interval.there was no answer.
mr. thomas marvel stood bootless and amazed,his jacket nearly thrown off."peewit," said a peewit, very remote."peewit, indeed!" said mr. thomas marvel. "this ain't no time for foolery." the downwas desolate, east and west, north and south; the road with its shallow ditches and whitebordering stakes, ran smooth and empty north and south, and, save for that peewit, theblue sky was empty too. "so help me," said mr. thomas marvel, shuffling his coat on tohis shoulders again. "it's the drink! i might ha' known." "it's not the drink," said thevoice. "you keep your nerves steady." "ow!" said mr. marvel, and his face grew whiteamidst its patches. "it's the drink!" his lips repeated noiselessly. he remained staringabout him, rotating slowly backwards. "i could
have _swore_ i heard a voice," he whispered."of course you did." "it's there again," said mr. marvel, closing his eyes and claspinghis hand on his brow with a tragic gesture. he was suddenly taken by the collar and shakenviolently, and left more dazed than ever. "don't be a fool," said the voice."i'm--off--my--blooming--chump,"said mr. marvel. "it's no good. it's fretting about them blarsted boots. i'm off my blessedblooming chump. or it's spirits.""neither one thing nor the other," said the voice."listen!" "chump," said mr. marvel. "one minute," saidthe voice, penetratingly, tremulous with self-control. "well?" said mr. thomas marvel, with a strangefeeling of having been dug in the chest by a finger. "you think i'm just imagination?just imagination?""what else _can_ you be?"
said mr. thomas marvel, rubbing the back ofhis neck."very well," said the voice, in a tone of relief. "then i'm going to throw flintsat you till you think differently." "but where _are_ yer?" the voice made no answer. whizzcame a flint, apparently out of the air, and missed mr. marvel's shoulder by a hair's-breadth.mr. marvel, turning, saw a flint jerk up into the air, trace a complicated path, hang fora moment, and then fling at his feet with almost invisible rapidity. he was too amazedto dodge. whizz it came, and ricochetted from a bare toe into the ditch. mr. thomas marveljumped a foot and howled aloud. then he started to run, tripped over an unseen obstacle, andcame head over heels into a sitting position. "_now_," said the voice, as a third stonecurved upward and hung in the air above the
tramp. "am i imagination?"mr. marvel by way of reply struggled to his feet, and was immediately rolled over again.he lay quiet for a moment. "if you struggle any more," said the voice, "i shall throwthe flint at your head.""it's a fair do," said mr. thomas marvel, sitting up, takinghis wounded toe in hand and fixing his eye on the third missile. "i don't understandit. stones flinging themselves. stones talking. put yourself down. rot away. i'm done." thethird flint fell."it's very simple," said the voice. "i'm an invisible man.""tell us something i don't know," said mr. marvel, gasping with pain. "where you've hid--howyou do it--i _don't_ know. i'm beat." "that's all," said the voice. "i'm invisible. that'swhat i want you to understand." "anyone could
see that. there is no need for you to be soconfounded impatient, mister. _now_ then. give us a notion. how are you hid?" "i'm invisible.that's the great point. and what i want you to understand is this--""but whereabouts?"interrupted mr. marvel."here! six yards in front of you.""oh, _come_! i ain't blind.you'll be telling me next you're just thin air. i'm not one of your ignorant tramps--""yes,i am--thin air. you're looking through me." "what! ain't there any stuff to you. _voxet_--what is it?--jabber. is it that?" "i am just a human being--solid, needing foodand drink, needing covering too--but i'm invisible. you see? invisible. simple idea. invisible.""what, real like?" "yes, real.""let's have a hand of you," said marvel, "if you _are_real. it won't be so darn out-of-the-way like,
then--_lord_!" he said, "how you made me jump!--grippingme like that!"he felt the hand that had closed round his wrist with his disengaged fingers,and his fingers went timorously up the arm, patted a muscular chest, and explored a beardedface. marvel's face was astonishment. "i'm dashed!" he said. "if this don't beatcock-fighting! most remarkable!--and there i can see a rabbit clean through you, 'arfa mile away! not a bit of you visible--except--" he scrutinised the apparently empty spacekeenly. "you 'aven't been eatin' bread and cheese?" he asked, holding the invisible arm."you're quite right, and it's not quite assimilated into the system." "ah!" said mr. marvel. "sortof ghostly, though." "of course, all this isn't half so wonderful as you think.""it'squite wonderful enough for _my_ modest wants,"
said mr. thomas marvel. "howjer manage it!how the dooce is it done?" "it's too long a story. and besides--""i tell you, the wholebusiness fairly beats me," said mr. marvel. "what i want to say at present is this: ineed help. i have come to that--i came upon you suddenly. i was wandering, mad with rage,naked, impotent. i could have murdered. and i saw you--" "_lord_!" said mr. marvel. "icame up behind you--hesitated--went on--" mr. marvel's expression was eloquent. "--thenstopped. 'here,' i said, 'is an outcast like myself. this is the man for me.' so i turnedback and came to you--you. and--" "_lord_!" said mr. marvel. "but i'm all in a tizzy.may i askâ€”how is it? and what you may be requiring in the way of help?--invisible!""i want you to help me get clothes--and shelter--and
then, with other things. i've left them longenough. if you won't--well! but you _will--must_." "look here," said mr. marvel. "i'm too flabbergasted.don't knock me about any more. and leave me go. i must get steady a bit. and you've prettynear broken my toe. it's all so unreasonable. empty downs, empty sky. nothing visible formiles except the bosom of nature. and then comes a voice. a voice out of heaven! andstones! and a fist--lord!" "pull yourself together," said the voice, "for you have todo the job i've chosen for you."mr. marvel blew out his cheeks, and his eyes were round."i've chosen you," said the voice. "you are the only man except some of those fools downthere, who knows there is such a thing as an invisible man. you have to be my helper.help me--and i will do great things for you.
an invisible man is a man of power." he stoppedfor a moment to sneeze violently. "but if you betray me," he said, "if you fail to doas i direct you--" he paused and tapped mr. marvel's shoulder smartly. mr. marvel gavea yelp of terror at the touch. "i don't want to betray you," said mr. marvel, edging awayfrom the direction of the fingers. "don't you go a-thinking that, whatever you do. alli want to do is to help you--just tell me what i got to do. (lord!) whatever you wantdone, that i'm most willing to do." ï‚— chapter 10mr. marvel's visit to iping after the first gusty panic had spent itselfiping became argumentative. scepticism suddenly reared its head--rather nervous scepticism,not at all assured of its back, but scepticism
nevertheless. it is so much easier not tobelieve in an invisible man; and those who had actually seen him dissolve into air, orfelt the strength of his arm, could be counted on the fingers of two hands. and of thesewitnesses mr. wadgers was presently missing, having retired impregnably behind the boltsand bars of his own house, and jaffers was lying stunned in the parlour of the "coachand horses. " great and strange ideas transcending experienceoften have less effect upon men and women than smaller, more tangible considerations.iping was gay with bunting, and everybody was in gala dress. whit monday had been lookedforward to for a month or more. by the afternoon even those who believed in the unseen werebeginning to resume their little amusements
in a tentative fashion, on the suppositionthat he had quite gone away, and with the sceptics he was already a jest. but people,sceptics and believers alike, were remarkably sociable all that day.hays man's meadow was gay with a tent, in which mrs. bunting and other ladies were preparingtea, while, without, the sunday-school children ran races and played games under the noisyguidance of the curate and the misses cuss and sackbut. no doubt there was a slight uneasinessin the air, but people for the most part had the sense to conceal whatever imaginativequalms they experienced. on the village green an inclined strong roped down which, clingingthe while to a pulley-swung handle, one could be hurled violently against a sack at theother end, came in for considerable favour
among the adolescent, as also did the swingsand the cocoanut shies. there was also promenading, and the steamorgan attached to a small roundabout filled the air with a pungent flavour of oil andwith equally pungent music. members of the club, who had attended church in the morning,were splendid in badges of pink and green, and some of the gayer-minded had also adornedtheir bowler hats with brilliant-coloured favours of ribbon. old fletcher, whose conceptionsof holiday-making were severe, was visible through the jasmine about his window or throughthe open door (whichever way you chose to look), poised delicately on a plank supportedon two chairs, and white washing the ceiling of his front room.about four o'clock a stranger entered the
village from the direction of the downs. hewas a short, stout person in an extraordinarily shabby top hat, and he appeared to be verymuch out of breath. his cheeks were alternately limp and tightly puffed. his mottled facewas apprehensive, and he moved with a sort of reluctant alacrity. he turned the cornerof the church, and directed his way to the "coach and horses." among others old fletcherremembers seeing him, and indeed the old gentleman was so struck by his peculiar agitation thathe inadvertently allowed a quantity of white wash to run down the brush into the sleeveof his coat while regarding him. this stranger, to the perceptions of the proprietorof the cocoanut shy, appeared to be talking to himself, and mr. huxter remarked the samething. he stopped at the foot of the "coach
and horses" steps, and, according to mr. huxter,appeared to undergo a severe internal struggle before he could induce himself to enter thehouse. finally he marched up the steps, and was seen by mr. huxter to turn to the leftand open the door of the parlour. mr. huxter heard voices from within the room and fromthe bar apprising the man of his error. "that room's private!" said hall, and the strangershut the door clumsily and went into the bar. in the course of a few minutes he reappeared,wiping his lips with the back of his hand with an air of quiet satisfaction that somehowimpressed mr. huxter as assumed. he stood looking about him for some moments, and thenmr. huxter saw him walk in an oddly furtive manner towards the gates of the yard, uponwhich the parlour window opened. the stranger,
after some hesitation, leant against one ofthe gate-posts, produced a short clay pipe, and prepared to fill it. his fingers trembledwhile doing so. he lit it clumsily, and folding his arms began to smoke in a languid attitude,an attitude which his occasional glances up the yard altogether belied.all this mr. huxter saw over the canisters of the tobacco window, and the singularityof the man's behaviour prompted him to maintain his observation. presently the stranger stoodup abruptly and put his pipe in his pocket. then he vanished into the yard. forthwithmr. huxter, conceiving he was witness of some petty larceny, leapt round his counter andran out into the road to intercept the thief. as he did so, mr. marvel reappeared, his hataskew, a big bundle in a blue table-cloth
in one hand, and three books tied together--asit proved afterwards with the vicar's braces--in the other. directly he saw huxter he gavea sort of gasp, and turning sharply to the left, began to run."stop, thief!" cried huxter, and set off after him. mr. huxter's sensations were vivid butbrief. he saw the man just before him and spurting briskly for the church corner andthe hill road. he saw the village flags and festivities beyond, and a face or so turnedtowards him. he bawled, "stop!" again. he had hardly gone ten strides before his shinwas caught in some mysterious fashion, and he was no longer running, but flying withinconceivable rapidity through the air. he saw the ground suddenly close to his face.the world seemed to splash into a million
whirling specks of light, andsubsequent proceedings interested him no more. ï‚— chapter 11in the "coach and horses" now in order clearly to understand what hadhappened in the inn, it is necessary to go back to the moment when mr. marvel first cameinto view of mr. huxter's window. at that precise moment mr. cuss and mr. bunting werein the parlour. they were seriously investigating the strange occurrences of the morning, andwere, with mr. hall's permission, making a thorough examination of the invisible man'sbelongings. jaffers had partially recovered from his fall and had gone home in the chargeof his sympathetic friends. the stranger's scattered garments had been removed by mrs.hall and the room tidied up.
and on the table under the window where thestranger had been wont to work, cuss had hit almost at once on three big books in manuscriptlabelled "diary." "diary!" said cuss, putting the three books on the table. "now, at anyrate, we shall learn something." the vicar stood with his hands on the table. "diary,"repeated cuss, sitting down, putting two volumes to support the third, and opening it. "h'm--noname on the fly-leaf. bother!--cypher. and figures." the vicar came round to look overhis shoulder. cuss turned the pages over with a face suddenly disappointed. "i'm--dear me!it's all cypher, bunting." "there are no diagrams?" asked mr. bunting. "no illustrations throwinglight--" "see for yourself," said mr. cuss. "some ofit's mathematical and some of it's russian
or some such language (to judge by the letters),and some of it's greek. now the greek i thought _you_--" "of course," said mr. bunting, takingout and wiping his spectacles and feeling suddenly very uncomfortable--for he had nogreek left in his mind worth talking about; "yes--the greek, of course, may furnish aclue.""i'll find you a place." "i'd rather glance through the volumes first," said mr.bunting, still wiping. "a general impression first, cuss, and _then_, you know, we cango looking for clues." he coughed, put on his glasses, arranged them fastidiously, coughedagain, and wished something would happen to avert the seemingly inevitable exposure.then he took the volume cuss handed him in a leisurely manner. and then something didhappen. the door opened suddenly. both gentlemen
started violently, looked round, and wererelieved to see a sporadically rosy face beneath a furry silk hat. "tap?" asked the face, andstood staring. "no," said both gentlemen at once."over the other side, my man," said mr.bunting. and "please shut that door," said mr. cuss, irritably. "all right," said theintruder, as it seemed in a low voice curiously different from the huskiness of its firstinquiry. "right you are," said the intruder in the former voice. "stand clear!" and hevanished and closed the door. "a sailor, i should judge," said mr. bunting. "amusingfellows, they are. stand clear! indeed. a nautical term, referring to his getting backout of the room, i suppose." "i daresay so," said cuss. "my nerves areall loose to-day. it quite made me jump--the
door opening like that." mr. bunting smiledas if he had not jumped. "and now," he said with a sigh, "these books." someone sniffedas he did so. "one thing is indisputable," said bunting, drawing up a chair next to thatof cuss. "there certainly have been very strange things happen in iping during the last fewdays--very strange. i cannot of course believe in this absurd invisibility story--" "it'sincredible," said cuss--"incredible. but the fact remains that i saw--i certainly saw rightdown his sleeve--" "but did you--are you sure? suppose a mirror, for instance-- hallucinationsare so easily produced. i don't know if you have ever seen a really good conjuror--""i won't argue again," said cuss. "we've thrashed that out, bunting. and just now there's thesebooks--ah! here's some of what i take to be
greek! greek letters certainly." he pointedto the middle of the page. mr. bunting flushed slightly and brought his face nearer, apparentlyfinding some difficulty with his glasses. suddenly he became aware of a strange feelingat the nape of his neck. he tried to raise his head, and encountered an immovable resistance.the feeling was a curious pressure, the grip of a heavy, firm hand, and it bore his chinirresistibly to the table. "don't move, little men," whispered a voice, "or i'll brain youboth!" he looked into the face of cuss, close to his own, and each saw a horrified reflectionof his own sickly astonishment. "i'm sorry to handle you so roughly," saidthe voice, "but it's unavoidable." "since when did you learn to pry into an investigator'sprivate memoranda," said the voice; and two
chins struck the table simultaneously, andtwo sets of teeth rattled. "since when did you learn to invade the private rooms of aman in misfortune?" and the concussion was repeated. "where have they put my clothes?""listen," said the voice. "the windows are fastened and i've taken the key out of thedoor. i am a fairly strong man, and i have the poker handy--besides being invisible.there's not the slightest doubt that i could kill you both and get away quite easily ifi wanted to--do you understand? very well. if i let you go will you promise not to tryany nonsense and do what i tell you?" the vicar and the doctor looked at one another,and the doctor pulled a face. "yes," said mr. bunting, and the doctor repeated it. thenthe pressure on the necks relaxed, and the
doctor and the vicar sat up, both very redin the face and wriggling their heads. "please keep sitting where you are," said the invisibleman. "here's the poker, you see." "when i came into this room," continued the invisibleman, after presenting the poker to the tip of the nose of each of his visitors, "i didnot expect to find it occupied, and i expected to find, in addition to my books of memoranda,an outfit of clothing. where is it? no--don't rise. i can see it's gone. now, just at present,though the days are quite warm enough for an invisible man to run about stark, the eveningsare quite chilly. i want clothingâ€”and other accommodation; and i must also have thosethree books." ï‚— chapter 12the invisible man loses his temper
it is unavoidable that at this point the narrativeshould break off again, for a certain very painful reason that will presently be apparent.while these things were going on in the parlour, and while mr. huxter was watching mr. marvelsmoking his pipe against the gate, not a dozen yards away were mr. hall and teddy henfreydiscussing in a state of cloudy puzzlement the one iping topic. suddenly there came aviolent thud against the door of the parlour, a sharp cry, and then--silence. "hul-lo!"said teddy henfrey. "hul-lo!" from the tap.mr. hall took things in slowly but surely. "thatain't right," he said, and came round from behind the bar towards the parlour door.he and teddy approached the door together, with intent faces. their eyes considered."summat wrong," said hall, and henfrey nodded
agreement. whiffs of an unpleasant chemicalodour met them, and there was a muffled sound of conversation, very rapid and subdued. "youall right thur?" asked hall, rapping. the muttered conversation ceased abruptly, fora moment silence,then the conversation was resumed, in hissing whispers, then a sharpcry of "no! no, you don't!" there came a sudden motion and the oversetting of a chair, a briefstruggle. silence again. "what the dooce?" exclaimed henfrey, _sotto voce_. "you--all--rightthur?" asked mr. hall, sharply, again.the vicar's voice answered with a curious jerkingintonation:"quite ri-right. please don't--interrupt." "odd!" said mr. henfrey. "odd!" said mr. hall."says,'don't interrupt,'" said henfrey. "i heerd'n," said hall. "and a sniff," said henfrey. theyremained listening. the conversation was rapid
and subdued. "i _can't_," said mr. bunting,his voice rising; "i tell you, sir i _will_ not." "what was that?" asked henfrey."sayshe wi' nart," said hall. "warn't speaking to us, wuz he?""disgraceful!" said mr. bunting,within. "'disgraceful,'" said mr. henfrey. "i heard it--distinct.""who's that speakingnow?" asked henfrey."mr. cuss, i s'pose," said hall. "can you hear--anything?"silence.the sounds within indistinct and perplexing. "sounds like throwing the table-cloth about,"said hall. mrs. hall appeared behind the bar. hall made gestures of silence and invitation.this aroused mrs. hall's wifely opposition. "what yer listenin' there for, hall?" sheasked. "ain't you nothin' better to do--busy day like this?" hall tried to convey everythingby grimaces and dumb show, but mrs. hall was
obdurate. she raised her voice. so hall andhenfrey, rather crestfallen, tiptoed back to the bar, gesticulating to explain to her.at first she refused to see anything in what they had heard at all. then she insisted onhall keeping silence, while henfrey told her his story. she was inclined to think the wholebusiness nonsense--perhaps they were just moving the furniture about. "i heerd'n say'disgraceful'; _that_ i did," said hall. "_i_ heerd that, mrs. hall," said henfrey."like as not--" began mrs. hall. "hsh!" said mr. teddy henfrey. "didn't i hear the window?""what window?" asked mrs. hall. "parlour window," said henfrey. everyone stood listening intently.mrs. hall's eyes, directed straight before her, saw without seeing the brilliant oblongof the inn door, the road white and vivid,
and huxter's shop-front blistering in thejune sun. abruptly huxter's door opened and huxter appeared, eyes staring with excitement,arms gesticulating. "yap!" cried huxter. "stop thief!" and he ran obliquely across the oblongtowards the yard gates, and vanished. simultaneously came a tumult from the parlour, and a soundof windows being closed. hall, henfrey, and the human contents of thetap rushed out at once pell-mell into the street. they saw someone whisk round the cornertowards the road, and mr. huxter executing a complicated leap in the air that ended onhis face and shoulder. down the street people were standing astonished or running towardsthem. mr. huxter was stunned. henfrey stopped to discover this, but hall and the two labourersfrom the tap rushed at once to the corner,
shouting incoherent things, and saw mr. marvelvanishing by the corner of the church wall. they appear to have jumped to the impossibleconclusion that this was the invisible man suddenly become visible, and set off at oncealong the lane in pursuit. but hall had hardly run a dozen yards beforehe gave a loud shout of astonishment and went flying headlong sideways, clutching one ofthe labourers and bringing him to the ground. he had been charged just as one charges aman at football. the second labourer came round in a circle, stared, and conceivingthat hall had tumbled over of his own accord, turned to resume the pursuit, only to be trippedby the ankle just as huxter had been. then, as the first labourer struggled to his feet,he was kicked sideways by a blow that might
have felled an ox.as he went down, the rush from the direction of the village green came round the corner.the first to appear was the proprietor of the cocoanut shy, a burly man in a blue jersey.he was astonished to see the lane empty save for three men sprawling absurdly on the ground.and then something happened to his rear-most foot, and he went headlong and rolled sidewaysjust in time to graze the feet of his brother and partner, following headlong. the two werethen kicked, knelt on, fallen over, and cursed by quite a number of over-hasty people.now when hall and henfrey and the labourers ran out of the house, mrs. hall, who had beendisciplined by years of experience, remained in the bar next the till. and suddenly theparlour doorwas opened, and mr. cuss appeared,
and without glancing at her rushed at oncedown the steps toward the corner. "hold him!" he cried. "don't let him drop that parcel."he knew nothing of the existence of marvel. for the invisible man had handed over thebooks and bundle in the yard. the face of mr. cuss was angry and resolute, but his costumewas defective, a sort of limp white kilt that could only have passed muster in greece. "holdhim!" he bawled. "he's got my trousers! and every stitch of the vicar's clothes!""'tend to him in a minute!" he cried to henfrey as he passed the prostrate huxter, and, cominground the corner to join the tumult, was promptly knocked off his feet into an indecorous sprawl.somebody in full flight trod heavily on his finger. he yelled, struggled to regain hisfeet, was knocked against and thrown on all
fours again, and became aware that he wasinvolved not in a capture, but a rout. everyone was running back to the village. he rose againand was hit severely behind the ear. he staggered and set off back to the "coach and horses"forthwith, leaping over the deserted huxter, who was now sitting up, on his way.behind him as he was halfway up the inn steps he heard a sudden yell of rage, rising sharplyout of the confusion of cries, and a sounding smack in someone's face. he recognised thevoice as that of the invisible man, and the note was that of a man suddenly infuriatedby a painful blow. in another moment mr. cuss was back in the parlour. "he's coming back,bunting!" he said, rushing in. "save yourself!"mr. bunting was standing in the window engagedin an attempt to clothe himself in the hearth-rug
and a _west surrey gazette_. "who's coming?"he said, so startled that his costume narrowly escaped disintegration."invisible man," said cuss, and rushed on to the window. "we'd better clear out fromhere! he's fighting mad! mad!" in another moment he was out in the yard. "good heavens!"said mr. bunting, hesitating between two horrible alternatives. he heard a frightful strugglein the passage of the inn, and his decision was made. he clambered out of the window,adjusted his costume hastily, and fled up the village as fast as his fat little legswould carry him. from the moment when the invisible man screamed with rage and mr. buntingmade his memorable flight up the village, it became impossible to give a consecutiveaccount of affairs in iping. possibly the
invisible man's original intention was simplyto cover marvel's retreat with the clothes and books.but his temper, at no time very good, seems to have gone completely at some chance blow,and forthwith he set to smiting and overthrowing, for the mere satisfaction of hurting. youmust figure the street full of running figures, of doors slamming and fights for hiding-places.you must figure the tumult suddenly striking on the unstable equilibrium of old fletcher'splanks and two chairs--with cataclysmic results. you must figure an appalled couple caughtdismally in a swing. and then the whole tumultuous rush has passed and the iping street withits gauds and flags is deserted save for the still raging unseen, and littered with cocoanuts,overthrown canvas screens, and the scattered
stock in trade of a sweet stuff stall.everywhere there is a sound of closing shutters and shoving bolts, and the only visible humanityis an occasional flitting eye under a raised eyebrow in the corner of a window pane.theinvisible man amused himself for a little while by breaking all the windows in the "coachand horses," and then he thrust a street lamp through the parlour window of mrs. gribble.he it must have been who cut the telegraph wire to adderdean just beyond higgins' cottageon the adderdean road. and after that, as his peculiar qualities allowed, he passedout of human perceptions altogether, and he was neither heard, seen, nor felt in ipingany more. he vanished absolutely. but it was the best part of two hours before any humanbeing ventured out again into the desolation
of iping street.ï‚— chapter 13 mr. marvel discusses his resignationwhen the dusk was gathering and iping was just beginning to peep timorously forth againupon the shattered wreckage of its bank holiday, a short, thick-set man in a shabby silk hatwas marching painfully through the twilight behind the beech woods on the road to bramblehurst.he carried three books bound together by some sort of ornamental elastic ligature, and abundle wrapped in a blue table-cloth. his rubicund face expressed consternation andfatigue; he appeared to be in a spasmodic sort of hurry. he was accompanied by a voiceother than his own, and ever and again he winced under the touch of unseen hands."if you give me the slip again," said the
voice, "if you attempt to give me the slipagain--" "lord!" said mr. marvel. "that shoulder's a mass of bruises as it is.""on my honour,"said the voice, "i will kill you." "i didn't try to give you the slip," said marvel, ina voice that was not far remote from tears. "i swear i didn't. i didn't know the blessedturning, that was all! how the devil was i to know the blessed turning? as it is, i'vebeen knocked about--" "you'll get knocked about a great deal more if you don't mind,"said the voice, and mr. marvel abruptly became silent. he blew out his cheeks, and his eyeswere eloquent of despair. "it's bad enough to let these flounderingyokels explode my little secret, without _your_ cutting off with my books. it's lucky forsome of them they cut and ran when they did!
here am i ... no one knew i was invisible!and now what am i to do?" "what am _i_ to do?" asked marvel, _sotto voce_. "it's allabout. it will be in the papers! everybody will be looking for me; everyone on theirguard--" the voice broke off into vivid curses and ceased. the despair of mr. marvel's facedeepened, and his pace slackened. "go on!" said the voice. mr. marvel's face assumeda greyish tint between the ruddier patches. "don't drop those books, stupid," said thevoice, sharplyâ€”overtaking him. "the fact is," said the voice, "i shall haveto make use of you.... you're a poor tool, but i must." "i'm a _miserable_ tool," saidmarvel. "you are," said the voice. "i'm the worst possible tool you could have," saidmarvel. "i'm not strong," he said after a
discouraging silence. "i'm not over strong,"he repeated. "no?" "and my heart's weak. that little business--i pulled it through, of course--butbless you! i could have dropped." "well?" "i haven't the nerve and strength for thesort of thing you want." "_i'll_ stimulate you." "i wish you wouldn't. i wouldn't liketo mess up your plans, you know. but i might--out of sheer funk and misery.""you'd better not," said the voice, with quiet emphasis. "i wish i was dead," said marvel."it ain't justice," he said; "you must admit.... it seems to me i've a perfect right--" "_get_on!" said the voice. mr. marvel mended his pace, and for a time they went in silenceagain."it's devilish hard," said mr. marvel. this was quite ineffectual. he tried anothertack. "what do i make by it?" he began again
in a tone of unendurable wrong."oh! _shutup_!" said the voice, with sudden amazing vigour. "i'll see to you all right. you dowhat you're told. you'll do it all right. you're a fool and all that, but you'll do--""i tell you, sir, i'm not the man for it. respectfullyâ€”but it _is_ so--""if you don'tshut up i shall twist your wrist again," said the invisible man. "i want to think."presently two oblongs of yellow light appeared through the trees, and the square tower ofa church loomed through the gloaming. "i shall keep my hand on your shoulder," said the voice,"all through the village. go straight through and try no foolery. it will be the worse foryou if you do." "i know that," sighed mr. marvel, "i know all that." the unhappy-lookingfigure in the obsolete silk hat passed up
the street of the little village with hisburdens, and vanished into the gathering darkness beyond the lights of the windows.ï‚— chapter 14 at port stoweten o'clock the next morning found mr. marvel, unshaven, dirty, and travel-stained, sittingwith the books beside him and his hands deep in his pockets, looking very weary, nervous,and uncomfortable, and inflating his cheeks at infrequent intervals, on the bench outsidea little inn on the outskirts of port stowe. beside him were the books, but now they weretied with string. the bundle had been abandoned in the pine-woods beyond bramblehurst, inaccordance with a change in the plans of the invisible man. mr. marvel sat on the bench,and although no one took the slightest notice
of him, his agitation remained at fever heat.his hands would go ever and again to his various pockets with a curious nervous fumbling.when he had been sitting for the best part of an hour, however, an elderly mariner, carryinga newspaper, came out of the inn and sat down beside him. "pleasant day," said the mariner.mr. marvel glanced about him with something very like terror. "very," he said. "just seasonableweather for the time of year," said the mariner, taking no denial. "quite," said mr. marvel.themariner produced a toothpick, and (saving his regard) was engrossed thereby for someminutes. his eyes meanwhile were at liberty to examine mr. marvel's dusty figure, andthe books beside him. as he had approached mr. marvel he had heard a sound like the droppingof coins into a pocket. he was struck by the
contrast of mr. marvel's appearance with thissuggestion of opulence. thence his mind wandered back again to a topic that had taken a curiouslyfirm hold of his imagination. "books?" he said suddenly, noisily finishingwith the toothpick. mr. marvel started and looked at them. "oh, yes," he said. "yes,they're books." "there's some extra-ordinary things in books," said the mariner. "i believeyou," said mr. marvel. "and some extra-ordinary things out of 'em," said the mariner. "truelikewise," said mr. marvel. he eyed his interlocutor, and then glanced about him. "there's someextra-ordinary things in newspapers, for example,"said the mariner. "there are." "in _this_ newspaper,"said the mariner. "ah!" said mr. marvel "there's a story," said the mariner, fixing mr. marvelwith an eye that was firm and deliberate;
"there's a story about an invisible man, forinstance." mr. marvel pulled his mouth askew and scratchedhis cheek and felt his ears glowing. "what will they be writing next?" he asked faintly."ostria, or america?" "neither," said the mariner. "_here_." "lord!" said mr. marvel,starting. "when i say _here_," said the mariner, to mr. marvel's intense relief, "i don't ofcourse mean here in this place, i mean hereabouts." "an invisible man!" said mr. marvel. "andwhat's _he_ been up to?" "everything," said the mariner, controlling marvel with his eye,andthen amplifying, "every--blessed--thing." "i ain't seen a paper these four days," saidmarvel. "iping's the place he started at," said the mariner. "in-_deed_!" said mr. marvel."he started there. and where he came from,
nobody don't seem to know. here it is: 'pe-culiarstory from iping.' and it says in this paper that the evidence is extra-ordinary strong--extra-ordinary."lord!" said mr. marvel. "but then, it's an extra-ordinary story. there is a clergymanand a medical gent witnesses--saw 'im all right and proper--or leastways didn't see'im. he was staying, it says, at the 'coach an' horses,' and no one don't seem to havebeen aware of his misfortune, it says, aware of his misfortune, until in an altercationin the inn, it says, his bandages on his head was torn off. it was then ob-served that hishead was invisible. attempts were at once made to secure him, but casting off his garments,it says, he succeeded in escaping, but not until after a desperate struggle, in whichhe had inflicted serious injuries, it says,
on our worthy and able constable, mr. j. a.jaffers. pretty straight story, eh? names and everything.""lord!" said mr. marvel, looking nervously about him, trying to count the money in hispockets by his unaided sense of touch, and full of a strange and novel idea. "it soundsmost astonishing." "don't it? extra-ordinary, _i_ call it. never heard tell of invisiblemen before, i haven't, but nowadays one hears such a lot of extra-ordinary things--that--""that all he did?" asked marvel, trying to seem at his ease. "it's enough, ain't it?"said the mariner. "didn't go back by any chance?" asked marvel. "just escaped and that's all,eh?""all!" said the mariner. "why!--ain't it enough?" "quite enough," said marvel. "ishould think it was enough," said the mariner.
"i should think it was enough." "he didn'thave any pals--it don't say he had any pals, does it?"asked mr. marvel, anxious. "ain'tone of a sort enough for you?" asked the mariner. "no, thank heaven, as one might say, he didn't."he nodded his head slowly. "it makes me regular uncomfortable, the bare thought of that chaprunning about the country! he is at present at large, and from certain evidence it issupposed that he has--taken--_took_, i suppose they mean--the road to port stowe. you seewe're right _in_ it! none of your american wonders, this time. and just think of thethings he might do! where'd you be, if he took a drop over and above, and had a fancyto go for you? suppose he wants to rob--who can prevent him? he can trespass, he can burgle,hecould walk through a cordon of policemen as
easy as me or you could give the slip to ablind man! easier! for these here blind chaps hear uncommon sharp, i'm told. and whereverthere was liquor he fancied--""he's got a tremenjous advantage, certainly," said mr. marvel. "and--well..." "you're right,"said the mariner. "he _has_." all this time mr. marvel had been glancing about him intently,listening for faint footfalls, trying to detect imperceptible movements. he seemed on thepoint of some great resolution. he coughed behind his hand. he looked about him again,listened, bent towards the mariner, and lowered his voice: "the fact of it is--i happen--toknow just a thing or two about this invisible man. from private sources." "oh!" said themariner, interested. "_you_?""yes," said mr.
marvel. "me." "indeed!" said the mariner."and may i ask--" "you'll be astonished," said mr. marvel behind his hand. "it's tremenjous.""indeed!"said the mariner. "the fact is," began mr. marvel eagerly ina confidential undertone. suddenly his expression changed marvellously. "ow!" he said. he rosestiffly in his seat. his face was eloquent of physical suffering. "wow!" he said."what'sup?" said the mariner, concerned. "toothache," said mr. marvel, and put his hand to his ear.he caught hold of his books. "i must be getting on, i think," he said. he edged in a curiousway along the seat away from his interlocutor. "but you was just a-going to tell me aboutthis here invisible man!" protested the mariner. mr. marvel seemed to consult with himself."hoax," said a voice. "it's a hoax," said
mr. marvel."but it's in the paper," said themariner. "hoax all the same," said marvel. "i know the chap that started the lie. thereain't no invisible man whatsoever--blimey." "but how 'bout this paper? d'you mean to say--?""not a word of it," said marvel, stoutly. the mariner stared, paper in hand. mr. marveljerkily faced about. "wait a bit," said the mariner, rising and speaking slowly, "d'youmean to say--?""i do," said mr. marvel. "then why did you let me go on and tell you allthis blarsted stuff, then? what d'yer mean by letting a man make a fool of himself likethat for? eh?"mr. marvel blew out his cheeks. the mariner was suddenly very red indeed;he clenched his hands. "i been talking here this ten minutes," he said; "and you, youlittle pot-bellied, leathery-faced son of
an old boot, couldn't have the elementarymanners--" "don't you come bandying words with _me_," said mr. marvel. "bandying words!i'm a jolly good mind--" "come up," said a voice, and mr. marvel was suddenly whirledabout and started marching off in a curious spasmodic manner."you'd better move on," said the mariner. "who's moving on?" said mr. marvel. he wasreceding obliquely with a curious hurrying gait, with occasional violent jerks forward.some way along the road he began a muttered monologue, protests and recriminations. "sillydevil!" said the mariner, legs wide apart, elbows akimbo, watching the receding figure."i'll show you, you silly assâ€”hoaxing _me_! it's here--on the paper!" mr. marvel retortedincoherently and, receding, was hidden by
a bend in the road, but the mariner stillstood magnificent in the midst of the way, until the approach of a butcher's cart dislodgedhim. then he turned himself towards port stowe. "full of extra-ordinary asses," he said softlyto himself. "just to take me down a bit--that was his silly game--it's on the paper!"and there was another extraordinary thing he was presently to hear, that had happenedquite close to him. and that was a vision of a "fist full of money" (no less) travellingwithout visible agency, along by the wall at the corner of st. michael's lane. a brothermariner had seen this wonderful sight that very morning. he had snatched at the moneyforthwith and had been knocked headlong, and when he had got to his feet the butterflymoney had vanished. our mariner was in the
mood to believe anything, he declared, butthat was a bit _too_ stiff. afterwards, however, he began to think things over.the story of the flying money was true. and all about that neighbourhood, even from theaugust london and country banking company, from the tills of shops and inns--doors standingthat sunny weather entirely open--money had been quietly and dexterously making off thatday in handfuls and rouleaux, floating quietly along by walls and shady places, dodging quicklyfrom the approaching eyes of men. and it had, though no man had traced it, invariably endedits mysterious flight in the pocket of that agitated gentleman in the obsolete silk hat,sitting outside the little inn on the outskirts of port stowe. it was ten days after--andindeed only when the burdock story was already
old--that the mariner collated these factsand began to understand how near he had been to the wonderful invisible man.ï‚— chapter 15 the man who was runningin the early evening time dr. kemp was sitting in his study in the belvedere on the hilloverlooking burdock. it was a pleasant little room, with three windows--north, west, andsouth--and bookshelves covered with books and scientific publications, and a broad writing-table,and, under the north window, a microscope, glass slips, minute instruments, some cultures,and scattered bottles of reagents. dr. kemp's solar lamp was lit, albeit the sky was stillbright with the sunset light, and his blinds were up because there was no offence of peeringoutsiders to require them pulled down.
dr. kemp was a tall and slender young man,with flaxen hair and a moustache almost white, and the work he was upon would earn him, hehoped, the fellowship of the royal society, so highly did he think of it. and his eye,presently wandering from his work, caught the sunset blazing at the back of the hillthat is over against his own. for a minute perhaps he sat, pen in mouth, admiring therich golden colour above the crest, and then his attention was attracted by the littlefigure of a man, inky black, running over the hill-brow towards him. he was a shortishlittle man, and he wore a high hat, and he was running so fast that his legs verily twinkled."another of those fools," said dr. kemp. "like that ass who ran into me this morning rounda corner, with the ''visible man a-coming,
sir!' i can't imagine what possess people.one might think we were in the thirteenth century." he got up, went to the window, andstared at the dusky hillside, and the dark little figure tearing down it. "he seems ina confounded hurry," said dr. kemp, "but he doesn't seem to be getting on. if his pocketswere full of lead, he couldn't run heavier." "spurted, sir," said dr. kemp. in anothermoment the higher of the villas that had clambered up the hill from burdock had occulted therunning figure. he was visible again for a moment, and again, and then again, three timesbetween the three detached houses that came next, and then the terrace hid him."asses!" said dr. kemp, swinging round on his heel and walking back to his writing-table.but those who saw the fugitive nearer, and
perceived the abject terror on his perspiringface, being themselves in the open roadway, did not share in the doctor's contempt. bythe man pounded, and as he ran he chinked like a well-filled purse that is tossed toand fro. he looked neither to the right nor the left, but his dilated eyes stared straightdownhill to where the lamps were being lit, and the people were crowded in the street.and his ill-shaped mouth fell apart, and a glairy foam lay on his lips, and his breathcame hoarse and noisy. all he passed stopped and began staring up the road and down, andinterrogating one another with an inkling of discomfort for the reason of his haste.and then presently, far up the hill, a dog playing in the road yelped and ran under agate, and as they still wondered something--a
wind--a pad, pad, pad,--a sound like a pantingbreathing, rushed by. people screamed. people sprang off the pavement: it passed in shouts,it passed by instinct down the hill. they were shouting in the street before marvelwas halfway there. they were bolting into houses and slamming the doors behind them,with the news. he heard it and made one last desperate spurt. fear came striding by, rushedahead of him, and in a moment had seized the town. "the invisible man is coming! the invisibleman!" ï‚— chapter 16in the "jolly cricketers" the "jolly cricketers" is just at the bottomof the hill, where the tram-lines begin. the barman leant his fat red arms on the counterand talked of horses with an anaemic cabman,
while a black-bearded man in grey snappedup biscuit and cheese, drank burton, and conversed in american with a policeman off duty. "what'sthe shouting about!" said the anaemic cabman, going off at a tangent, trying to see up thehill over the dirty yellow blind in the low window of the inn. somebody ran by outside."fire, perhaps," said the barman. footsteps approached, running heavily, thedoor was pushed open violently, and marvel, weeping and dishevelled, his hat gone, theneck of his coat torn open, rushed in, made a convulsive turn, and attempted to shut thedoor. it was held half open by a strap. "coming!" he bawled, his voice shrieking with terror."he's coming. the 'visible man! after me! for gawd's sake! 'elp! 'elp! 'elp!" "shutthe doors," said the policeman. "who's coming?
what's the row?" he went to the door, releasedthe strap, and it slammed. the american closed the other door. "lemme go inside," said marvel,staggering and weeping, but still clutching the books. "lemme go inside. lock me in--somewhere.i tell you he's after me. i give him the slip. he said he'd kill me and he will.""_you're_ safe," said the man with the black beard. "the door's shut. what's it all about?""lemme go inside," said marvel, and shrieked aloud as a blow suddenly made the fasteneddoor shiver and was followed by a hurried rapping and a shouting outside. "hullo," criedthe policeman, "who's there?" mr. marvel began to make frantic dives at panels that lookedlike doors. "he'll kill me--he's got a knife or something. for gawd's sake--!" "here youare," said the barman. "come in here." and
he held up the flap of the bar. mr. marvelrushed behind the bar as the summons outside was repeated. "don't open the door," he screamed."_please_ don't open the door. _where_ shall i hide?""this, this invisible man, then?" asked the man with the black beard, with one hand behindhim. "i guess it's about time we saw him." the window of the inn was suddenly smashedin, and there was a screaming and running to and fro in the street. the policeman hadbeen standing on the settee staring out, craning to see who was at the door. he got down withraised eyebrows. "it's that," he said. the barman stood in front of the bar-parlour doorwhich was now locked on mr. marvel, stared at the smashed window, and came round to thetwo other men. everything was suddenly quiet.
"i wish i had my truncheon," said the policeman,going irresolutely to the door. "once we open, in he comes. there's no stopping him.""don't you be in too much hurry about that door," said the anaemic cabman, anxiously."draw the bolts," said the man with the black beard, "and if he comes--" he showed a revolverin his hand."that won't do," said the policeman; "that's murder." "i know what country i'min," said the man with the beard. "i'm going to let off at his legs. draw the bolts." "notwith that blinking thing going off behind me," said the barman, craning over the blind."very well," said the man with the black beard, and stooping down, revolver ready, drew themhimself. barman, cabman, and policeman faced about."come in," said the bearded man in an undertone,
standing back and facing the unbolted doorswith his pistol behind him. no one came in, the door remained closed. five minutes afterwardswhen a second cabman pushed his head in cautiously, they were still waiting, and an anxious facepeered out of the bar-parlour and supplied information. "are all the doors of the houseshut?" asked marvel. "he's going round--prowling round. he's as artful as the devil." "goodlord!" said the burly barman. "there's the back! just watch them doors! i say--!" helooked about him helplessly. the bar-parlour door slammed and they heard the key turn."there's the yard door and the private door. the yard door--"he rushed out of the bar.in a minute he reappeared with a carving-knife in his hand. "the yard door was open!" hesaid, and his fat underlip dropped. "he may
be in the house now!" said the first cabman."he's not in the kitchen," said the barman. "there's two women there, and i've stabbedevery inch of it with this little beef slicer. and they don't think he's come in. they haven'tnoticed--" "have you fastened it?" asked the first cabman."i'm out of frocks," said thebarman. the man with the beard replaced his revolver. and even as he did so the flap ofthe bar was shut down and the bolt clicked, and then with a tremendous thud the catchof the door snapped and the bar-parlour door burst open.they heard marvel squeal like a caught leveret, and forthwith they were clambering over thebar to his rescue. the bearded man's revolver cracked and the looking-glass at the backof the parlour starred and came smashing and
tinkling down. as the barman entered the roomhe saw marvel, curiously crumpled up and struggling against the door that led to the yard andkitchen.the door flew open while the barman hesitated, and marvel was dragged into thekitchen. there was a scream and a clatter of pans. marvel, head down, and lugging backobstinately, was forced to the kitchen door, and the bolts were drawn.then the policeman, who had been trying to pass the barman, rushed in, followed by oneof the cabmen, gripped the wrist of the invisible hand that collared marvel, was hit in theface and went reeling back. the door opened, and marvel made a frantic effort to obtaina lodgment behind it. then the cabman collared something. "i got him," said the cabman. thebarman's red hands came clawing at the unseen.
"here he is!" said the barman.mr. marvel,released, suddenly dropped to the ground and made an attempt to crawl behind the legs ofthe fighting men. the struggle blundered round the edge of the door.the voice of the invisible man was heard for the first time, yelling out sharply, as thepoliceman trod on his foot. then he cried out passionately and his fists flew roundlike flails. the cabman suddenly whooped and doubled up, kicked under the diaphragm. thedoor into the bar-parlour from the kitchen slammed and covered mr. marvel's retreat.the men in the kitchen found themselves clutching at and struggling with empty air. "where'she gone?" cried the man with the beard. "out?" "this way," said the policeman, stepping intothe yard and stopping. a piece of tile whizzed
by his head and smashed among the crockeryon the kitchen table. "i'll show him," shouted the man with theblack beard, and suddenlya steel barrel shone over the policeman's shoulder, and five bulletshad followed one another into the twilight whence the missile had come. as he fired,the man with the beard moved his hand in a horizontal curve, so that his shots radiatedout into the narrow yard like spokes from a wheel. a silence followed. "five cartridges,"said the man with the black beard. "that's the best of all. four aces and a joker. geta lantern, someone, and come and feel about for his body."ï‚— chapter 17 dr. kemp's visitordr. kemp had continued writing in his study
until the shots aroused him. crack, crack,crack, they came one after the other. "hullo!" said dr. kemp, putting his pen into his mouthagain and listening. "who's letting off revolvers in burdock? what are the asses at now?" hewent to the south window, threw it up, and leaning out stared down on the network ofwindows, beaded gas-lamps and shops, with its black interstices of roof and yard thatmade up the town at night. "looks like a crowd down the hill," he said, "by 'the cricketers,'"and remained watching. thence his eyes wandered over the town to far away where the ships'lights shone, and the pier glowed--a little illuminated, facetted pavilion like a gemof yellow light. the moon in its first quarter hung over thewestward hill, and the stars were clear and
almost tropically bright.after five minutes,during which his mind had travelled into a remote speculation of social conditions ofthe future, and lost itself at last over the time dimension, dr. kemp roused himself witha sigh, pulled down the window again, and returned to his writing desk. it must havebeen about an hour after this that the front-door bell rang. he had been writing slackly, andwith intervals of abstraction, since the shots. he sat listening. he heard the servant answerthe door, and waited for her feet on the staircase, but she did not come. "wonder what that was,"said dr. kemp. he tried to resume his work, failed, got up,went downstairs from his study to the landing, rang, and called over the balustrade to thehousemaid as she appeared in the hall below.
"was that a letter?" he asked. "only a runawayring, sir," she answered. "i'm restless to-night," he said to himself. he went back to his study,and this time attacked his work resolutely. in a little while he was hard at work again,and the only sounds in the room were the ticking of the clock and the subdued shrillness ofhis quill, hurrying in the very centre of the circle of light his lampshade threw onhis table. it was two o'clock before dr. kemp had finishedhis work for the night. he rose, yawned, and went downstairs to bed. he had already removedhis coat and vest, when he noticed that he was thirsty. he took a candle and went downto the dining-room in search of a syphon and whiskey. dr. kemp's scientific pursuits havemade him a very observant man, and as he recrossed
the hall, he noticed a dark spot on the linoleumnear the mat at the foot of the stairs. he went on upstairs, and then it suddenly occurredto him to ask himself what the spot on the linoleum might be. apparently some subconsciouselement was at work. at any rate, he turned with his burden, went back to the hall, putdown the syphon and whiskey, and bending down, touched the spot.without any great surprise he found it had the stickiness and colour of drying blood.he took up his burden again, and returned upstairs, looking about him and trying toaccount for the blood-spot. on the landing he saw something and stopped astonished. thedoor-handle of his own room was blood-stained. he looked at his own hand. it was quite clean,and then he remembered that the door of his
room had been open when he came down fromhis study, and that consequently he had not touched the handle at all. he went straightinto his room, his face quite calmâ€”perhaps a trifle more resolute than usual. his glance,wandering inquisitively, fell on the bed. on the counterpane was a mess of blood, andthe sheet had been torn. he had not noticed this before because he had walked straightto the dressing-table. on the further side the bedclothes were depressedas if someone had been recently sitting there. then he had an odd impression that he hadheard a low voice say, "good heavens!--kemp!" but dr. kemp was no believer in voices. hestood staring at the tumbled sheets. was that really a voice? he looked about again, butnoticed nothing further than the disordered
and blood-stained bed. then he distinctlyheard a movement across the room, near the wash-hand stand. all men, however highly educated,retain some superstitious inklings. the feeling that is called "eerie" came upon him. he closedthe door of the room, came forward to the dressing-table, and put down his burdens.suddenly, with a start, he perceived a coiled and blood-stained bandage of linen rag hangingin mid-air, between him and the wash-hand stand. he stared at this in amazement. itwas an empty bandage, a bandage properly tied but quite empty. he would have advanced tograsp it, but a touch arrested him, and a voice speaking quite close to him. "kemp!"said the voice. "eh?" said kemp, with his mouth open. "keep your nerve," said the voice."i'm an invisible man." kemp made no answer
for a space, simply stared at the bandage."invisible man," he said. "i am an invisible man," repeated the voice. the story he hadbeen active to ridicule only that morning rushed through kemp's brain. he does not appearto have been either very much frightened or very greatly surprised at the moment. realisationcame later. "i thought it was all a lie," he said. thethought uppermost in his mind was the reiterated arguments of the morning. "have you a bandageon?" he asked. "yes," said the invisible man. "oh!" said kemp, and then roused himself."i say!" he said. "but this is nonsense. it's some trick." he stepped forward suddenly,and his hand, extended towards the bandage, met invisible fingers. he recoiled at thetouch and his colour changed. "keep steady,
kemp, for god's sake! i want help badly. stop!"the hand gripped his arm. he struck at it. "kemp!" cried the voice. "kemp! keep steady!"and the grip tightened. a frantic desire to free himself took possessionof kemp. the hand of the bandaged arm gripped his shoulder, and he was suddenly trippedand flung backwards upon the bed. he opened his mouth to shout, and the corner of thesheet was thrust between his teeth. the invisible man had him down grimly, but his arms werefree and he struck and tried to kick savagely. "listen to reason, will you?" said the invisibleman, sticking to him in spite of a pounding in the ribs. "by heaven! you'll madden mein a minute! "lie still, you fool!" bawled the invisible man in kemp's ear. kemp struggledfor another moment and then lay still. "if
you shout, i'll smash your face," said theinvisible man, relieving his mouth. "i'm an invisible man. it's no foolishness,and no magic. i really am an invisible man. and i want your help. i don't want to hurtyou, but if you behave like a frantic rustic, i must. don't you remember me, kemp? griffin,of university college?" "let me get up," said kemp. "i'll stop where i am. and let me sitquiet for a minute." he sat up and felt his neck. "i am griffin, of university college,and i have made myself invisible. i am just an ordinary man--a man you have knownâ€”madeinvisible." "griffin?" said kemp. "griffin," answered the voice. a younger student thanyou were, almost an albino, six feet high, and broad, with a pink and white face andred eyes, who won the medal for chemistry."
"i am confused," said kemp. "my brain is rioting.what has this to do with griffin?" "i _am_ griffin." kemp thought. "it's horrible," hesaid. "but what devilry must happen to make a man invisible?" "it's no devilry. it's aprocess, sane and intelligible enough--" "it's horrible!" said kemp. "how on earth--?" "it'shorrible enough. but i'm wounded and in pain, and tired ... great god! kemp, you are a man.take it steady. give me some food and drink, and let me sit down here."kemp stared at thebandage as it moved across the room, then saw a basket chair dragged across the floorand come to rest near the bed.it creaked, and the seat was depressed the quarter ofan inch or so. he rubbed his eyes and felt his neck again. "this beats ghosts," he said,and laughed stupidly.
"that's better. thank heaven, you're gettingsensible!" "or silly," said kemp, and knuckled his eyes. "give me some whiskey. i'm neardead." "it didn't feel so. where are you? if i get up shall i run into you? _there_!all right. whiskey? here. where shall i give it to you?" the chair creaked and kemp feltthe glass drawn away from him. he let go by an effort; his instinct was all against it.it came to rest poised twenty inches above the front edge of the seat of the chair. hestared at it in infinite perplexity. "this isâ€”this must be- hypnotism. you have suggestedyou are invisible." "nonsense," said the voice. "it's frantic." "listen to me." "i demonstratedconclusively this morning," began kemp, "that invisibility--" "never mind what you've demonstrated!--i'mstarving," said the voice, "and the night
is chilly to a man without clothes." "food?"said kemp. the tumbler of whiskey tilted itself. "yes,"said the invisible man rapping it down. "have you a dressing-gown?" kemp made some exclamationin an undertone. he walked to a wardrobe and produced a robe of dingy scarlet. "this do?"he asked. it was taken from him. it hung limp for a moment in mid-air, fluttered weirdly,stood full and decorous buttoning itself, and sat down in his chair. "drawers, socks,slippers would be a comfort," said the unseen, curtly. "and food.""anything. but this isthe insanest thing i ever was in, in my life!" he turned out his drawers for the articles,and then went downstairs to ransack his larder. he came back with some cold cutlets and bread,pulled up a light table, and placed them before
his guest. "never mind knives," said his visitor,and a cutlet hung in mid-air, with a sound of gnawing. "invisible!" said kemp, and satdown on a bedroom chair."i always like to get something about me before i eat," saidthe invisible man, with a full mouth, eating greedily. "queer fancy!" "i suppose that wristis all right," said kemp. "trust me," said the invisible man."of all the strange andwonderful--" "exactly. but it's odd i should blunder into_your_ house to get my bandaging. my first stroke of luck! anyhow i meant to sleep inthis house to-night. you must stand that! it's a filthy nuisance, my blood showing,isn't it? quite a clot over there. gets visible as it coagulates, i see. it's only the livingtissue i've changed, and only for as long
as i'm alive.... i've been in the house threehours." "but how's it done?" began kemp, in a tone of exasperation. "confound it! thewhole business--it's unreasonable from beginning to end.""quite reasonable," said the invisibleman. "perfectly reasonable." he reached over and secured the whiskey bottle.kemp stared at the devouring dressing gown. a ray of candle-light penetrating a torn patchin the right shoulder, made a triangle of light under the left ribs. "what were theshots?" he asked. "how did the shooting begin?" "there was a real fool of a man--a sort ofconfederate of mine--curse him!--who tried to steal my money. _has_ done so.""is _he_invisible too?" "no." "well?" "can't i have some more to eat before i tell you all that?i'm hungry--in pain. and you want me to tell
stories!"kemp got up. "_you_ didn't do anyshooting?" he asked. "not me," said his visitor. "some fool i'd never seen fired at random.a lot of them got scared. they all got scared at me. curse them!--i say--i want more toeat than this, kemp." "i'll see what there is to eat downstairs,"said kemp. "not much, i'm afraid." after he had done eating, and he made a heavy meal,the invisible man demanded a cigar. he bit the end savagely before kemp could find aknife, and cursed when the outer leaf loosened. it was strange to see him smoking; his mouth,and throat, pharynx and nares, became visible as a sort of whirling smoke cast."this blessedgift of smoking!" he said, and puffed vigorously. "i'm lucky to have fallen upon you, kemp.you must help me. fancy tumbling on you just
now! i'm in a devilish scrape--i've been mad,i think. the things i have been through! but we will do things yet.let me tell you--"he helped himself to more whiskey and soda. kemp got up, looked about him, and fetcheda glass from his spare room. "it's wildâ€”but i suppose i may drink." "you haven't changedmuch, kemp, these dozen years. you fair men don't. cool and methodical--after the firstcollapse. i must tell you. we will work together!" "but how was it all done?" said kemp, "andhow did you get like this?""for god's sake, let me smoke in peace for a little while!and then i will begin to tell you." but the story was not told that night. the invisibleman's wrist was growing painful; he was feverish, exhausted, and his mind came round to broodupon his chase down the hill and the struggle
about the inn. he spoke in fragments of marvel,he smoked faster, his voice grew angry. kemp tried to gather what he could."he was afraid of me, i could see that he was afraid of me," said the invisible manmany times over. "he meant to give me the slipâ€”he was always casting about! what afool i was! "the cur! "i should have killed him!" "where did you get the money?" askedkemp, abruptly. the invisible man was silent for a space. "i can't tell youto-night," hesaid. he groaned suddenly and leant forward, supporting his invisible head on invisiblehands. "kemp," he said, "i've had no sleep fornear three days, except a couple of dozesof an hour or so. i must sleep soon.""well, have my room--have this room.""but how can i sleep? if i sleep--he will
get away. ugh! what does it matter?" "what'sthe shot wound?" asked kemp, abruptly."nothing--scratch and blood. oh, god! how i want sleep!" "whynot?" the invisible man appeared to be regarding kemp. "because i've a particular objectionto being caught by my fellow-men," he said slowly. kemp started. "fool that i am!" saidthe invisible man, striking the table smartly. "i've put the idea into your head."ï‚— chapter 18 the invisible man sleepsexhausted and wounded as the invisible man was, he refused to accept kemp's word thathis freedom should be respected. he examined the two windows of the bedroom, drew up theblinds and opened the sashes, to confirm kemp's statement that a retreat by them would bepossible. outside the night was very quiet
and still, and the new moon was setting overthe down. then he examined the keys of the bedroom and the two dressing-room doors, tosatisfy himself that these also could be made an assurance of freedom. finally he expressedhimself satisfied. he stood on the hearth rug and kemp heard the sound of a yawn."i'm sorry," said the invisible man, "if i cannot tell you all that i have done to-night.but i am worn out. it's grotesque, no doubt. it's horrible! but believe me, kemp, in spiteof your arguments of this morning, it is quite a possible thing. i have made a discovery.i meant to keep it to myself. i can't. i must have a partner. and you.... we can do suchthings ... but to-morrow. now, kemp, i feel as though i must sleep or perish." kemp stoodin the middle of the room staring at the headless
garment. "i suppose i must leave you," hesaid. "it's--incredible. three things happening like this, overturning all my preconceptionsâ€”wouldmake me insane. but it's real! is there anything more that i can get you?""only bid me good-night," said griffin. "good-night," said kemp, and shook an invisible hand. hewalked sideways to the door. suddenly the dressing-gown walked quickly towards him."understand me!" said the dressing-gown. "no attempts to hamper me, or capture me! or--"kemp's face changed a little. "i thought i gave you my word," he said. kemp closed thedoor softly behind him, and the key was turned upon him forthwith. then, as he stood withan expression of passive amazement on his face, the rapid feet came to the door of thedressing-room and that too was locked. kemp
slapped his brow with his hand. "am i dreaming?has the world gone mad--or have i?" he laughed, and put his hand to the lockeddoor. "barred out of my own bedroom, by a flagrant absurdity!" he said. he walked tothe head of the staircase, turned, and stared at the locked doors. "it's fact," he said.he put his fingers to his slightly bruised neck. "undeniable fact! "but--" he shook hishead hopelessly, turned, and went downstairs.he lit the dining-room lamp, got out a cigar,and began pacing the room, ejaculating. now and then he would argue with himself. "invisible!"he said. "is there such a thing as an invisible animal? ... in the sea, yes.thousands--millions.all the larvae, all the little nauplii and tornarias, all the microscopic things, thejelly-fish.
in the sea there are more things invisiblethan visible! i never thought of that before. and in the ponds too! all those little pond-lifethings--specks of colourless translucent jelly! but in air? no! "it can't be. "but after all--whynot? "if a man was made of glass he would still be visible." his meditation became profound.the bulk of three cigars had passed into the invisible or diffused as a white ash overthe carpet before he spoke again. then it was merely an exclamation. he turned aside,walked out of the room, and went into his little consulting-room and lit the gas there.it was a little room, because dr. kemp did not live by practice, and in it were the day'snewspapers. the morning's paper lay carelessly opened and thrown aside.he caught it up, turned it over, and read
the account of a "strange story from iping"that the mariner at port stowe had spelt over so painfully to mr. marvel. kemp read it swiftly."wrapped up!" said kemp. "disguised! hiding it! 'no one seems to have been aware of hismisfortune.' what the devil _is_ his game?" he dropped the paper, and his eye went seeking."ah!" he said, and caught up the _st. james' gazette_, lying folded up as it arrived. "nowwe shall get at the truth," said dr. kemp. he rent the paper open; a couple of columnsconfronted him. "an entire village in sussex goes mad" was the heading."good heavens!" said kemp, reading eagerly an incredulous account of the events in iping,of the previous afternoon, that have already been described. over the leaf the report inthe morning paper had been reprinted. he re-read
it. "ran through the streets striking rightand left. jaffers insensible. mr. huxter in great pain--still unable to describe whathe saw. painful humiliation--vicar. woman ill with terror! windows smashed. this extraordinarystory probably a fabrication. too good not to print--_cum grano_!"he dropped the paperand stared blankly in front of him. "probably a fabrication!"he caught up the paper again, and re-read the whole business. "but when does the trampcome in? why the deuce was he chasing a tramp?" he sat down abruptly on the surgical bench."he's not only invisible," he said, "but he's mad! homicidal!" when dawn came to mingleits pallor with the lamp-light and cigar smoke of the dining-room, kemp was still pacingup and down, trying to grasp the incredible.
he was altogether too excited to sleep. hisservants, descending sleepily, discovered him, and were inclined to think that over-studyhad worked this ill on him. he gave them extraordinary but quite explicit instructions to lay breakfastfor two in the belvedere study--and then to confine themselves to the basement and ground-floor.then he continued to pace the dining-room until the morning's paper came. that had muchto say and little to tell, beyond the confirmation of the evening before, and a very badly writtenaccount of another remarkable tale from port burdock. this gave kemp the essence of thehappenings at the "jolly cricketers," and the name of marvel. "he has made me keep withhim twenty-four hours," marvel testified. certain minor facts were added to them ipingstory, notably the cutting of the village
telegraph-wire. but there was nothing to throwlight on the connexion between the invisible man and the tramp; for mr. marvel had suppliedno information about the three books, or the money with which he was lined.the incredulous tone had vanished and a shoal of reporters and inquirers were already atwork elaborating the matter. kemp read every scrap of the report and sent his housemaidout to get everyone of the morning papers she could. these also he devoured. "he isinvisible!" he said. "and it reads like rage growing to mania! the things he may do! thethings he may do! and he's upstairs free as the air. what on earth ought i to do?" "forinstance, would it be a breach of faith if--? no." he went to a little untidy desk in thecorner, and began a note. he tore this up
half written, and wrote another.he read it over and considered it. then he took an envelope and addressed it to "coloneladye, port burdock." the invisible man awoke even as kemp was doing this. he awoke in anevil temper, and kemp, alert for every sound, heard his pattering feet rush suddenly acrossthe bedroom overhead. then a chair was flung over and the wash-hand stand tumbler smashed.kemp hurried upstairs and rapped eagerly. ï‚— chapter 19 certain first principles"what's the matter?" asked kemp, when the invisible man admitted him. "nothing," wasthe answer. "but, confound it! the smash?" "fit of temper," said the invisible man. "forgotthis arm; and it's sore." "you're rather liable
to that sort of thing." "i am." kemp walkedacross the room and picked up the fragments of broken glass. "all the facts are out aboutyou," said kemp, standing up with the glass in his hand; "all that happened in iping,and downthe hill. the world has become aware of its invisible citizen. but no one knowsyou are here." the invisible man swore."the secret's out. i gather it was a secret. idon't know what your plans are, but of course i'm anxious to help you."the invisible man sat down on the bed. "there's breakfast upstairs," said kemp, speaking aseasily as possible, and he was delighted to find his strange guest rose willingly. kempled the way up the narrow staircase to the belvedere. "before we can do anything else,"said kemp, "i must understand a little more
about this invisibility of yours." he hadsat down, after one nervous glance out of the window, with the air of a man who hastalking to do. his doubts of the sanity of the entire business flashed and vanished againas he looked across to where griffin sat at the breakfast-table--a headless, handlessdressing-gown, wiping unseen lips on a miraculously held serviette. "it's simple enough--and credibleenough," said griffin, putting the serviette aside and leaning the invisible head on aninvisible hand. "no doubt, to you, but--" kemp laughed."well, yes; to me it seemed wonderful at first, no doubt. but now, great god! ... but we willdo great things yet! i came on the stufffirst at chesilstowe." "chesilstowe?""i went thereafter i left london. you know i dropped medicine
and took up physics? no; well, i did. _light_fascinated me." "ah!" "optical density! the whole subject is a network of riddlesâ€”anetwork with solutions glimmering elusively through. and being but two-and-twenty andfull of enthusiasm, i said, 'i will devote my life to this. this is worth while.' youknow what fools we are at two-and twenty?" "fools then or fools now," said kemp. "asthough knowing could be any satisfaction to a man! "but i went to work--like a slave.and i had hardly worked and thought about the matter six months before light came throughone of the meshes suddenly--blindingly! i found a general principle of pigments andrefraction--a formula, a geometrical expression involving four dimensions. fools, common men,even common mathematicians, do not know anything
of what some general expression may mean tothe student of molecular physics. in the booksâ€”the books that tramp has hidden--there are marvels,miracles! but this was not a method, it was an idea, that might lead to a method by whichit would be possible, without changing any other property of matter--except, in someinstances colours--to lower the refractive index of a substance, solid or liquid, tothat of air--so far as all practical purposes are concerned.""phew!" said kemp. "that's odd! but still i don't see quite ... i can understand thatthereby you could spoil a valuable stone, but personal invisibility is a far cry." "precisely,"said griffin. "but consider, visibility depends on the action of the visible bodies on light.either a body absorbs light, or it reflects
or refracts it, or does all these things.if it neither reflects nor refracts nor absorbs light, it cannot of itself be visible. yousee an opaque red box, for instance, because the colour absorbs some of the light and reflectsthe rest, all the red part of the light, to you. if it did not absorb any particular partof the light, but reflected it all, then it would be a shining white box.silver! a diamond box would neither absorb much of the light nor reflect much from thegeneral surface, but just here and there where the surfaces were favourable the light wouldbe reflected and refracted, so that you would get a brilliant appearance of flashing reflectionsand translucencies--a sort of skeleton of light. a glass box would not be so brilliant,not so clearly visible, as a diamond box,
because there would be less refraction andreflection. see that? from certain points of view you would see quite clearly throughit. some kinds of glass would be more visible than others, a box of flint glass would bebrighter than a box of ordinary window glass. a box of very thin common glass would be hardto see in a bad light, because it would absorb hardly any light and refract and reflect verylittle. and if you put a sheet of common white glass in water, still more if you put it insome denser liquid than water, it would vanish almost altogether, because light passing fromwater to glass is only slightly refracted or reflected or indeed affected in any way.it is almost as invisible as a jet of coal gas or hydrogen is in air. and for preciselythe same reason!""yes," said kemp, "that is
pretty plain sailing.""and here is another fact you will know to be true. if a sheet of glass is smashed, kemp,and beaten into a powder, it becomes much more visible while it is in the air; it becomesat last an opaque white powder. this is because the powdering multiplies the surfaces of theglass at which refraction and reflection occur. in the sheet of glass there are only two surfaces;in the powder the light is reflected or refracted by each grain it passes through, and verylittle gets right through the powder. but if the white powdered glass is put into water,it forthwith vanishes. the powdered glass and water have much the same refractive index;that is, the light undergoes very little refraction or reflection in passing from one to the other."you make the glass invisible by putting it
into a liquid of nearly the same refractiveindex; a transparent thing becomes invisible if it is put in any medium of almost the samerefractive index. and if you will consider only a second, you will see also that thepowder of glass might be made to vanish in air, if its refractive index could be madethe same as that of air; for then there would be no refraction or reflection as the lightpassed from glass to air." "yes, yes," said kemp. "but a man's not powdered glass!""no,"said griffin. "he's more transparent!""nonsense!" that from a doctor! how one forgets! haveyou already forgotten your physics, in ten years? just think of all the things that aretransparent and seem not to be so. paper, for instance, is made up of transparent fibres,and it is white and opaque only for the same
reason that a powder of glass is white andopaque. oil white paper, fill up the interstices between the particles with oil so that thereis no longer refraction or reflection except at the surfaces, and it becomes as transparentas glass. and not only paper, but cotton fibre, linen fibre, wool fibre, woody fibre, and_bone_, kemp, _flesh_, kemp, _hair_, kemp, _nails_ and _nerves_, kemp, in fact the wholefabric of a man except the red of his blood and the black pigment of hair, are all madeup of transparent, colourless tissue. so little suffices to make us visible oneto the other. for the most part the fibres of a living creature are no more opaque thanwater." "great heavens!" cried kemp. "of course, of course! i was thinking only last nightof the sea larvae and all jelly-fish!" "_now_
you have me! and all that i knew and had inmind a year after i left london--six years ago. but i kept it to myself. i had to domy work under frightful disadvantages. oliver, my professor, was a scientific bounder, ajournalist by instinct, a thief of ideasâ€”he was always prying! and you know the knavishsystem of the scientific world. i simply would not publish, and let him share my credit.i went on working; i got nearer and nearer making my formula into an experiment, a reality.i told no living soul, because i meant to flash my work upon the world with crushingeffect and become famous at a blow. i took up the question of pigments to fill up certaingaps. and suddenly, not by design but by accident, i made a discovery in physiology." "yes?""you know the red colouring matter of blood;
it can be made white--colourless--and remainwith all the functions it has now!" kemp gave a cry of incredulous amazement. the invisibleman rose and began pacing the little study. "you may well exclaim. i remember that night.it was late at night--in the daytime one was bothered with the gaping, silly students--andiworked then sometimes till dawn. it came suddenly, splendid and complete in my mind.i was alone; the laboratory was still, with the tall lights burning brightly and silently.in all my great moments i have been alone. 'one could make an animal--a tissue--transparent!one could make it invisible! all except the pigments--i could be invisible!' i said, suddenlyrealising what it meant to be an albino with such knowledge. it was overwhelming. i leftthe filtering i was doing, and went and stared
out of the great window at the stars. 'i couldbe invisible!' i repeated. "to do such a thing would be to transcend magic. and i beheld,unclouded by doubt, a magnificent vision of all that invisibility might mean to a man--themystery, the power, the freedom. drawbacks i saw none. you have only to think! and i,a shabby, poverty-struck, hemmed-in demonstrator, teaching fools in a provincial college, mightsuddenly become--this. i ask you, kemp if _you_ ... anyone, i tellyou, would have flung himself upon that research. and i worked three years, and every mountainof difficulty i toiled over showed another from its summit. the infinite details! andthe exasperation! a professor, a provincial professor, always prying. 'when are you goingto publish this work of yours?' was his everlasting
question. and the students, the cramped means!three years i had of it-- "and after three years of secrecy and exasperation, i foundthat to complete it was impossible--impossible. how?" asked kemp. "money," said the invisibleman, and went again to stare out of the window. he turned around abruptly. "i robbed the oldman--robbed my father.the money was not his, and he shot himself."ï‚— chapter 20 at the house in great portland streetfor a moment kemp sat in silence, staring at the back of the headless figure at thewindow. then he started, struck by a thought, rose, took the invisible man's arm, and turnedhim away from the outlook. "you are tired," he said, "and while i sit, you walk about.have my chair." he placed himself between
griffin and the nearest window. for a spacegriffin sat silent, and then he resumed abruptly: "i had left the chesilstowe cottage already,"he said, "when that happened. it was last december. i had taken a room in london, alarge unfurnished room in a big ill-managed lodging-house in a slum near great portlandstreet. the room was soon full of the appliances ihad bought with his money; the work was going on steadily, successfully, drawing near anend. i was like a man emerging from a thicket, and suddenly coming on some unmeaning tragedy.i went to bury him. my mind was still on this research, and i did not lift a finger to savehis character. i remember the funeral, the cheap hearse, the scant ceremony, the windyfrost-bitten hillside, and the old college
friend of his who read the service over him--ashabby, black, bent old man with a snivelling cold. "i remember walking back to the emptyhouse, through the place that had once been a village and was now patched and tinkeredby the jerry builders into the ugly likeness of a town.every way the roads ran out at last into the desecrated fields and ended in rubble heapsand rank wet weeds. i remember myself as a gaunt black figure, going along the slippery,shiny pavement, and the strange sense of detachment i felt from the squalid respectability, thesordid commercialism of the place. "i did not feel a bit sorry for my father. he seemedto me to be the victim of his own foolish sentimentality. the current cant requiredmy attendance at his funeral, but it was really
not my affair. "but going along the high street,my old life came back to me for a space, for i met the girl i had known ten years since.our eyes met. "something moved me to turn back and talk to her. she was a very ordinaryperson. "it was all like a dream, that visit to theold places. i did not feel then that i was lonely, that i had come out from the worldinto a desolate place. i appreciated my loss of sympathy, but i put it down to the generalinanity of things. re-entering my room seemed like the recovery of reality. there were thethings i knew and loved. there stood the apparatus, the experiments arranged and waiting. andnow there was scarcely a difficulty left, beyond the planning of details. "i will tellyou, kemp, sooner or later, all the complicated
processes. we need not go into that now. forthe most part, saving certain gaps i chose to remember, they are written in cypher inthose books that tramp has hidden. we must hunt him down. we must get those booksagain. but the essential phase was to place the transparent object whose refractive indexwas to be lowered between two radiating centres of a sort of ethereal vibration, of whichi will tell you more fully later. no, not those roentgen vibrationsâ€”i don't know thatthese others of mine have been described. yet they are obvious enough. i needed twolittle dynamos, and these i worked with a cheap gas engine. my first experiment waswith a bit of white wool fabric. it was the strangest thing in the world to see it inthe flicker of the flashes soft and white,
and then to watch it fade like a wreath ofsmoke and vanish. "i could scarcely believe i had done it. iput my hand into the emptiness, and there was the thing as solid as ever. i felt itawkwardly, and threw it on the floor. i had a little trouble finding it again. "and thencame a curious experience. i heard a miaow behind me, and turning, saw a lean white cat,very dirty, on the cistern cover outside the window. a thought came into my head. 'everythingready for you,' i said, and went to the window, opened it, and called softly. she came in,purring--the poor beast was starvingâ€”and i gave her some milk. all my food was in acupboard in the corner of the room. after that she went smelling round the room, evidentlywith the idea of making herself at home.
the invisible rag upset her a bit; you shouldhave seen her spit at it! but i made her comfortable on the pillow of my truckle-bed. and i gaveher butter to get her to wash.and you processed her?" "i processed her. but giving drugs toa cat is no joke, kemp! and the process failed."failed!" "in two particulars. these were the clawsand the pigment stuff, what is it?--at the back of the eye in a cat. you know?" "_tapetum_.""yes, the _tapetum_. it didn't go. after i'd given the stuff to bleach the blood and donecertain other things to her, i gave the beast opium, and put her and the pillow she wassleeping on, on the apparatus. and after all the rest had faded and vanished, there remainedtwo little ghosts of her eyes." "odd!" "i can't explain it. she was bandagedand clamped, of courseâ€”so i had her safe;
but she woke while she was still misty, andmiaowed dismally, and someone came knocking. it was an old woman from downstairs, who suspectedme of vivisecting--a drink-sodden old creature, with only a white cat to care for in all theworld. i whipped out some chloroform, applied it, and answered the door. 'did i hear a cat?'she asked. 'my cat?' 'not here,' said i, very politely. she was a little doubtful and triedto peer past me into the room; strange enough to her no doubt--bare walls, uncurtained windows,truckle-bed, with the gas engine vibrating, and the seethe of the radiant points, andthat faint ghastly stinging of chloroform in the air. she had to be satisfied at lastand went away again." "how long did it take?" asked kemp. "threeor four hours--the cat. the bones and sinews
and the fat were the last to go, and the tipsof the coloured hairs. and, as i say, the back part of the eye, tough, iridescent stuffit is, wouldn't go at all. "it was night outside long before the business was over, and nothingwas to be seen but the dim eyes and the claws. i stopped the gas engine, felt for and strokedthe beast, which was still insensible, and then, being tired, left it sleeping on theinvisible pillow and went to bed. i found it hard to sleep. i lay awake thinking weakaimless stuff, going over the experiment over and over again, or dreaming feverishly ofthings growing misty and vanishing about me, until everything, the ground i stood on, vanished,and so i came to that sickly falling nightmare one gets.about two, the cat began miaowing about the
room. i tried to hush it by talking to it,and then i decided to turn it out. i remember the shock i had when striking a light--therewere just the round eyes shining greenâ€”and nothing round them. i would have given itmilk, but i hadn't any. it wouldn't be quiet, it just sat down and miaowed at the door.i tried to catch it, with an idea of putting it out of the window, but it wouldn't be caught,it vanished. then it began miaowing in different parts of the room. at last i opened the windowand made a bustle. i suppose it went out at last. i never saw any more of it."then--heaven knows why--i fell thinking of my father's funeral again, and the dismalwindy hillside, until the day had come. i found sleeping was hopeless, and, lockingmy door after me, wandered out into the morning
streets." "you don't mean to say there's aninvisible cat at large!" said kemp. "if it hasn't been killed," said the invisible man."why not?" "why not?" said kemp. "i didn't mean to interrupt." "it's very probably beenkilled," said the invisible man. "it was alive four days after, i know, and down a gratingin great titchfield street; because i saw a crowd round the place, trying to see whencethe miaowing came." he was silent for the best part of a minute. then he resumed abruptly:"i remember that morning before the change very vividly. i must have gone up great portlandstreet. i remember the barracks in albany street, and the horse soldiers coming out,and at last i found the summit of primrose hill. it was a sunny day in january--one ofthose sunny, frosty days that came before
the snow this year. my weary brain tried toformulate the position, to plot out a plan of action. "i was surprised to find, now thatmy prize was within my grasp, how inconclusive its attainment seemed. as a matter of facti was worked out; the intense stress of nearly four years' continuous work left me incapableof any strength of feeling. i was apathetic, and i tried in vain to recoverthe enthusiasm of my first inquiries,the passion of discovery that had enabled me to compasseven the downfall of my father's grey hairs. nothing seemed to matter. i saw pretty clearlythis was a transient mood, due to overwork and want of sleep, and that either by drugsor rest it would be possible to recover my energies. "all i could think clearly was thatthe thing had to be carried through; the fixed
idea still ruled me. and soon, for the moneyi had was almost exhausted. i looked about me at the hillside, with children playingand girls watching them, and tried to think of all the fantastic advantages an invisibleman would have in the world. after a time i crawled home, took some foodand a strong dose of strychnine, and went to sleep in my clothes on my unmade bed. strychnineis a grand tonic, kemp, to take the flabbiness out of a man." "it's the devil," said kemp."it's the palaeolithic in a bottle." "i awoke vastly invigorated and rather irritable. youknow?" "i know the stuff." "and there was someone rapping at the door. it was my landlordwith threats and inquiries, an old polish jew in a long grey coat and greasy slippers.i had been tormenting a cat in the night,
he was sure--the old woman's tongue had beenbusy. he insisted on knowing all about it. the laws in this country against vivisectionwere very severe--he might be liable. i denied the cat. then the vibration of the littlegas engine could be felt all over the house, he said. that was true, certainly. he edgedround me into the room, peering about over his german-silver spectacles, and a suddendread came into my mind that he might carry away something of my secret. i tried to keepbetween him and the concentrating apparatus i had arranged, and that only made him morecurious. what was i doing? why was i always alone and secretive? was it legal? was itdangerous? i paid nothing but the usual rent. his had always been a most respectable house--ina disreputable neighbourhood. suddenly my
temper gave way. i told him to get out. hebegan to protest, to jabber of his right of entry. in a moment i had him by the collar;something ripped, and he went spinning out into his own passage. i slammed and lockedthe door and sat down quivering. "he made a fuss outside, which i disregarded, and aftera time he went away. "but this brought matters to a crisis. i did not know what he woulddo, nor even what he had the power to do. to move to fresh apartments would have meantdelay; altogether i had barely twenty pounds left in the world, for the most part in abank--and i could not afford that. vanish! it was irresistible. then there would be aninquiry, the sacking of my room. "at the thought of the possibility of my workbeing exposed or interrupted at its very climax,
i became very angry and active. i hurriedout with my three books of notes, my cheque-book--the tramp has them now--and directed them fromthe nearest post office to a house of call for letters and parcels in great portlandstreet. i tried to go out noiselessly. coming in, i found my landlord going quietly upstairs;he had heard the door close, i suppose. you would have laughed to see him jump aside onthe landing as i came tearing after him. he glared at me as i went by him, and i madethe house quiver with the slamming of my door. i heard him come shuffling up to my floor,hesitate, and go down. i set to work upon my preparations forthwith."it was all done that evening and night. while i was still sitting under the sickly, drowsyinfluence of the drugs that decolourise blood,
there came a repeated knocking at the door.it ceased, footsteps went away and returned, and the knocking was resumed. there was anattempt to push something under the door--a blue paper. then in a fit of irritation irose and went and flung the door wide open. 'now then?' said i. "it was my landlord, witha notice of ejectment or something. he held it out to me, saw something odd about my hands,i expect, and lifted his eyes to my face. "for a moment he gaped. then he gave a sortof inarticulate cry, dropped candle and writ together, and went blundering down the darkpassage to the stairs. i shut the door, locked it, and went to the looking-glass. then iunderstood his terror.... my face was white--like white stone. "but it was all horrible. i hadnot expected the suffering. a night of racking
anguish, sickness and fainting. i set my teeth,though my skin was presently afire, all my body afire; but i lay there like grim death.i understood now how it was the cat had howled until i chloroformed it. lucky it was i livedalone and untended in my room. there were times when i sobbed and groaned and talked.but i stuck to it.... i became insensible and woke languid in the darkness."the pain had passed. i thought i was killing myself and i did not care. i shall never forgetthat dawn, and the strange horror of seeing that my hands had become as clouded glass,and watching them grow clearer and thinner as the day went by, until at last i couldsee the sickly disorder of my room through them, though i closed my transparent eyelids.my limbs became glassy, the bones and arteries
faded, vanished, and the little white nerveswent last. i gritted my teeth and stayed there to the end. at last only the dead tips ofthe fingernails remained, pallid and white, and the brown stain of some acid upon my fingers."i struggled up. at first i was as incapable as a swathed infant-- with limbs i could notsee. i was weak and very hungry. i went and stared at nothing in my shaving-glass, atnothing save where an attenuated pigment still remained behind the retina of my eyes, fainterthan mist. i had to hang on to the table and press my forehead against the glass. "it wasonly by a frantic effort of will that i dragged myself back to the apparatus and completedthe process. "i slept during the forenoon, pulling the sheet over my eyes to shut outthe light, and about midday i was awakened
again by a knocking.my strength had returned. i sat up and listened and heard awhispering. i sprang to my feetand as noiselessly as possible began to detach the connections of my apparatus, and to distributeit about the room, so as to destroy the suggestions of its arrangement. presently the knockingwas renewed and voices called, first my landlord's, and then two others. to gain time i answeredthem. the invisible rag and pillow came to hand and i opened the window and pitched themout on to the cistern cover. as the window opened, a heavy crash came at the door. someonehad charged it with the idea of smashing the lock. but the stout bolts i had screwed upsome days before stopped him. that startled me, made me angry. i began to tremble anddo things hurriedly.
"i tossed together some loose paper, straw,packing paper and so forth, in the middle of the room, and turned on the gas. heavyblows began to rain upon the door. i could not find the matches. i beat my hands on thewall with rage. i turned down the gas again, stepped out of the window on the cistern cover,very softly lowered the sash, and sat down, secure and invisible, but quivering with anger,to watch events. they split a panel, i saw, and in another moment they had broken awaythe staples of the bolts and stood in the open doorway. it was the landlord and histwo step-sons, sturdy young men of three or four and twenty. behind them fluttered theold hag of a woman from downstairs. "you may imagine their astonishment to findthe room empty. one of the younger men rushed
to the window at once, flung it up and staredout. his staring eyes and thick-lipped bearded face came a foot from my face. i was halfminded to hit his silly countenance, but i arrested my doubled fist. he stared rightthrough me. so did the others as they joined him. the old man went and peered under thebed, and then they all made a rush for the cupboard. they had to argue about it at lengthin yiddish and cockney english. they concluded i had not answered them, that their imaginationhad deceived them. a feeling of extraordinary elation took the place of my anger as i satoutside the window and watched these four people--for the old lady came in, glancingsuspiciously about her like a cat, trying to understand the riddle of my behaviour."the old man, so far as i could understand
his _patois_, agreed with the old lady thati was a vivisectionist. the sons protested in garbled english that i was an electrician,and appealed to the dynamos and radiators. they were all nervous about my arrival, althoughi found subsequently that they had bolted the front door. the old lady peered into thecupboard and under the bed, and one of the young men pushed up the register and staredup the chimney. one of my fellow lodgers, a coster-monger who shared the opposite roomwith a butcher, appeared on the landing, and he was called in and told incoherent things."it occurred to me that the radiators, if they fell into the hands of some acute well-educatedperson, would give me away too much, and watching my opportunity, i came into the room and tiltedone of the little dynamos off its fellow on
which it was standing, and smashed both apparatus.then, while they were trying to explain the smash, i dodged out of the room and went softlydownstairs. "i went into one of the sitting-rooms and waited until they came down, still speculatingand argumentative, all a little disappointed at finding no 'horrors,' and all a littlepuzzled how they stood legally towards me. then i slipped up again with a box of matches,fired my heap of paper and rubbish, put the chairs and bedding thereby, led the gas tothe affair, by means of an india-rubber tube, and waving a farewell to the room left itfor the last time." "you fired the house!" exclaimed kemp. "fired the house. it was theonly way to cover my trail--and no doubt it was insured. i slipped the bolts of the frontdoor quietly and went out into the street.
i was invisible, and i was only just beginningto realise the extraordinary advantage my invisibility gave me. my head was alreadyteeming with plans of all the wild and wonderful things i had now impunity to do."ï‚— chapter 21 in oxford street"in going downstairs the first time i found an unexpected difficulty because i could notsee my feet; indeed i stumbled twice, and there was an unaccustomed clumsiness in grippingthe bolt. by not looking down, however, i managed to walk on the level passably well."my mood, i say, was one of exaltation. i felt as a seeing man might do, with paddedfeet and noiseless clothes, in a city of the blind. i experienced a wild impulse to jest,to startle people, to clap men on the back,
fling people's hats astray, and generallyrevel in my extraordinary advantage. "but hardly had i emerged upon great portlandstreet, however (my lodging was close to the big draper's shop there), when i heard a clashingconcussion and was hit violently behind, and turning saw a man carrying a basket of soda-watersyphons, and looking in amazement at his burden. although the blow had really hurt me, i foundsomething so irresistible in his astonishment that i laughed aloud. 'the devil's in thebasket,' i said, and suddenly twisted it out of his hand. he let go incontinently, andi swung the whole weight into the air. "but a fool of a cabman, standing outside a publichouse, made a sudden rush for this, and his extending fingers took me with excruciatingviolence under the ear.
i let the whole down with a smash on the cabman,and then, with shouts and the clatter of feet about me, people coming out of shops, vehiclespulling up, i realised what i had done for myself, and cursing my folly, backed againsta shop window and prepared to dodge out of the confusion. in a moment i should be wedgedinto a crowd and inevitably discovered. i pushed by a butcher boy, who luckily did notturn to see the nothingness that shoved him aside, and dodged behind the cab-man's four-wheeler.i do not know how they settled the business, i hurried straight across the road, whichwas happily clear, and hardly heeding which way i went, in the fright of detection theincident had given me, plunged into the afternoon throng of oxford street."i tried to get into the stream of people,
but they were too thick for me, and in a momentmy heels were being trodden upon. i took to the gutter, the roughness of which i foundpainful to my feet, and forthwith the shaft of a crawling hansom dug me forcibly underthe shoulder blade, reminding me that i was already bruised severely. i staggered outof the way of the cab, avoided a perambulator by a convulsive movement, and found myselfbehind the hansom. a happy thought saved me, and as this drove slowly along i followedin its immediate wake, trembling and astonished at the turn of my adventure. and not onlytrembling, but shivering. it was a bright day in january and i was starknaked and the thin slime of mud that covered the road was freezing. foolish as it seemsto me now, i had not reckoned that, transparent
or not, i was still amenable to the weatherand all its consequences. "then suddenly a bright idea came into my head. i ran roundand got into the cab. and so, shivering, scared, and sniffing with the first intimations ofa cold, and with the bruises in the small of my back growing upon my attention, i droveslowly along oxford street and past tottenham court road. my mood was as different fromthat in which i had sallied forth ten minutes ago as it is possible to imagine. this invisibilityindeed! the one thought that possessed me was--how was i to get out of the scrape iwas in. "we crawled past mudie's, and there a tallwoman with five or six yellow-labelled books hailed my cab, and i sprang out just in timeto escape her, shaving a railway van narrowly
in my flight. i made off up the roadway tobloomsbury square, intending to strike north past the museum and so get into the quietdistrict. i was now cruelly chilled, and the strangeness of my situation so unnerved methat i whimpered as i ran. at the northward corner of the square a little white dog ranout of the pharmaceutical society's offices and incontinently made for me, nose down."i had never realised it before, but the nose is to the mind of a dog what the eye is tothe mind of a seeing man. dogs perceive the scent of a man moving as men perceive hisvision. this brute began barking and leaping, showing, as it seemed to me, only too plainlythat he was aware of me. i crossed great russell street, glancing over my shoulder as i didso, and went some way along montague street
before i realised what i was running towards."then i became aware of a blare of music, and looking along the street saw a numberof people advancing out of russell square, red shirts, and the banner of the salvationarmy to the fore. such a crowd, chanting in the roadway andscoffing on the pavement, i could not hope to penetrate, and dreading to go back andfarther from home again, and deciding on the spur of the moment, i ran up the white stepsof a house facing the museum railings, and stood there until the crowd should have passed.happily the dog stopped at the noise of the band too, hesitated, and turned tail, runningback to bloomsbury square again. "on came the band, bawling with unconscious irony somehymn about 'when shall we see his face?' and
it seemed an interminable time to me beforethe tide of the crowd washed along the pavement by me. thud, thud, thud, came the drum witha vibrating resonance, and for the moment i did not notice two urchins stopping at therailings by me. 'see 'em,' said one. 'see what?' said theother. 'whyâ€”them footmarks--bare. like what you makes in mud.' "i looked down and sawthe youngsters had stopped and were gaping at the muddy footmarks i had left behind meup the newly whitened steps. the passing people elbowed and jostled them, but their confoundedintelligence was arrested. 'thud, thud, thud, when, thud, shall we see, thud, his face,thud, thud.' 'there's a barefoot man gone up them steps, or i don't know nothing,' saidone. 'and he ain't never come down again.
and his foot was a-bleeding.'"the thick of the crowd had already passed. 'looky there, ted,' quoth the younger of thedetectives, with the sharpness of surprise in his voice, and pointed straight to my feet.i looked down and saw at once the dim suggestion of their outline sketched in splashes of mud.for a moment i was paralysed. "'why, that's rum,' said the elder. 'dashed rum! it's justlike the ghost of a foot, ain't it?' he hesitated and advanced with outstretched hand. a manpulled up short to see what he was catching, and then a girl. in another moment he wouldhave touched me. then i saw what to do. i made a step, the boy started back with anexclamation, and with a rapid movement i swung myself over into the portico of the next house.but the smaller boy was sharp-eyed enough
to follow the movement, and before i was welldown the steps and upon the pavement, he had recovered from his momentary astonishmentand was shouting out that the feet had gone over the wall. "they rushed round and sawmy new footmarks flash into being on the lower step and upon the pavement. 'what's up?' askedsomeone. 'feet! look! feet running!' "everybody in the road, except my three pursuers, waspouring along after the salvation army, and this blow not only impeded me but them. therewas an eddy of surprise and interrogation. at the cost of bowling over one young fellowi got through, and in another moment i was rushing headlong round the circuit of russellsquare, with six or seven astonished people following my footmarks. there was no timefor explanation, or else the whole host would
have been after me."twice i doubled roundcorners, thrice i crossed the road and came back upon my tracks, and then, as my feetgrew hot and dry, the damp impressions began to fade. at last i had a breathing space andrubbed my feet clean with my hands, and so got away altogether. the last i saw of thechase was a little group of a dozen people perhaps, studying with infinite perplexitya slowly drying footprint that had resulted from a puddle in tavistock square, a footprintas isolated and incomprehensible to them as crusoe's solitary discovery."this running warmed me to a certain extent, and i went on with a better courage throughthe maze of less frequented roads that runs hereabouts. my back had now become very stiffand sore, my tonsils were painful from the
cabman's fingers, and the skin of my neckhad been scratched by his nails; my feet hurt exceedingly and i was lame from a little cuton one foot. i saw in time a blind man approaching me, and fled limping, for i feared his subtleintuitions. once or twice accidental collisions occurred and i left people amazed, with unaccountablecurses ringing in their ears. then came something silent and quiet against my face, and acrossthe square fell a thin veil of slowly falling flakes of snow.i had caught a cold, and do as i would i could not avoid an occasional sneeze. and everydog that came in sight, with its pointing nose and curious sniffing, was a terror tome. "then came men and boys running, first one and then others, and shouting as theyran. it was a fire. they ran in the direction
of my lodging, and looking back down a streeti saw a mass of black smoke streaming up above the roofs and telephone wires. it was my lodgingburning; my clothes, my apparatus, all my resources indeed, except my cheque-book andthe three volumes of memoranda that awaited me in great portland street, were there. burning!i had burnt my boats--if ever a man did! the place was blazing." the invisible man pausedand thought. kemp glanced nervously out of the window. "yes?" he said. "go on."ï‚— chapter 22 in the emporium"so last january, with the beginning of a snowstorm in the air about me--and if it settledon me it would betray me!--weary, cold, painful, inexpressibly wretched, and still but halfconvinced of my invisible quality, i began
this new life to which i am committed. i hadno refuge, no appliances, no human being in the world in whom i could confide. to havetold my secret would have given me away--made a mere show and rarity of me. nevertheless,i was half-minded to accost some passer-by and throw myself upon his mercy. but i knewtoo clearly the terror and brutal cruelty my advances would evoke. i made no plans inthe street. my sole object was to get shelter from thesnow, to get myself covered and warm; then i might hope to plan. but even to me, an invisibleman, the rows of london houses stood latched, barred, and bolted impregnably. "only onething could i see clearly before me--the cold exposure and misery of the snowstorm and thenight. "and then i had a brilliant idea. i
turned down one of the roads leading fromgower street to tottenham court road, and found myself outside omniums, the big establishmentwhere everything is to be bought--you know the place: meat, grocery, linen, furniture,clothing, oil paintings even--a huge meandering collection of shops rather than a shop.i had thought i should find the doors open, but they were closed, and as i stood in thewide entrance a carriage stopped outside, and a man in uniform--you know the kind ofpersonage with 'omnium' on his cap--flung open the door. i contrived to enter, and walkingdown the shop--it was a department where they were selling ribbons and gloves and stockingsand that kind of thing--came to a more spacious region devoted to picnic baskets and wickerfurniture. "i did not feel safe there, however;
people were going to and fro, and i prowledrestlessly about until i came upon a huge section in an upper floor containing multitudesof bedsteads, and over these i clambered, and found a resting-place at last among ahuge pile of folded flock mattresses. the place was already lit up and agreeablywarm, and i decided to remain where i was, keeping a cautious eye on the two or threesets of shopmen and customers who were meandering through the place, until closing time came.then i should be able, i thought, to rob the place for food and clothing, and disguised,prowl through it and examine its resources, perhaps sleep on some of the bedding. thatseemed an acceptable plan. my idea was to procure clothing to make myself a muffledbut acceptable figure, to get money, and then
to recover my books and parcels where theyawaited me, take a lodging somewhere and elaborate plans for the complete realisation of theadvantages my invisibility gave me (as i still imagined) over my fellow-men."closing time arrived quickly enough. it could not have been mo rethan an hour after i tookup my position on the mattresses before i noticed the blinds of the windows being drawn,and customers being marched doorward. and then a number of brisk young men began withremarkable alacrity to tidy up the goods that remained disturbed. i left my lair as thecrowds diminished, and prowled cautiously out into the less desolate parts of the shop.i was really surprised to observe how rapidly the young men and women whipped away the goodsdisplayed for sale during the day.
all the boxes of goods, the hanging fabrics,the festoons of lace, the boxes of sweets in the grocery section, the displays of thisand that, were being whipped down, folded up, slapped into tidy receptacles, and everythingthat could not be taken down and put away had sheets of some coarse stuff like sackingflung over them. finally all the chairs were turned up on to the counters, leaving thefloor clear. directly each of these young people had done, he or she made promptly forthe door with such an expression of animation as i have rarely observed in a shop assistantbefore. then came a lot of youngsters scattering sawdust and carrying pails and brooms.i had to dodge to get out of the way, and as it was, my ankle got stung with the sawdust.for some time, wandering through the swathed
and darkened departments, i could hear thebrooms at work. and at last a good hour or more after the shop had been closed, camea noise of locking doors. silence came upon the place, and i found myself wandering throughthe vast and intricate shops, galleries, show-rooms of the place, alone. it was very still; inone place i remember passing near one of the tottenham court road entrances and listeningto the tapping of boot heels of the passers-by."my first visit was to the place where i had seenstockings and gloves for sale. it was dark, and i had the devil of a huntafter matches, which i found at last in the drawer of the little cash desk. then i hadto get a candle. i had to tear down wrappings and ransack a number of boxes and drawers,but at last i managed to turn out what i sought;
the box label called them lambswool pants,and lambswool vests. then socks, a thick comforter, and then i went to the clothing place andgot trousers, a lounge jacket, an overcoat and a slouch hat--a clerical sort of hat withthe brim turned down. i began to feel a human being again, and my next thought was food."upstairs was a refreshment department, and there i got cold meat. there was coffee stillin the urn, and i lit the gas and warmed it up again, and altogether i did not do badly.afterwards, prowling through the place in search of blankets--i had to put up at lastwith a heap of down quilts--i came upon a grocery section with a lot of chocolate andcandied fruits, more than was good for me indeed--and some white burgundy. and nearthat was a toy department, and i had a brilliant
idea. i found some artificial nosesâ€”dummynoses, you know, and i thought of dark spectacles. but omniums had no optical department. mynose had been a difficulty indeed--i had thought of paint.but the discovery set my mind running on wigs and masks and the like. finally i went tosleep in a heap of down quilts, very warm and comfortable. "my last thoughts beforesleeping were the most agreeable i had had since the change. i was in a state of physicalserenity, and that was reflected in my mind. i thought that i should be able to slip outunobserved in the morning with my clothes upon me, muffling my face with a white wrapperi had taken, purchase, with the money i had taken, spectacles and so forth, and so completemy disguise. i lapsed into disorderly dreams
of all the fantastic things that had happenedduring the last few days. i saw the ugly little jew of a landlord vociferating in his rooms;i saw his two sons marvelling, and the wrinkled old woman's gnarled face as she asked forher cat. i experienced again the strange sensationof seeing the cloth disappear, and so i came round to the windy hillside and the sniffingold clergyman mumbling 'earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust,' at my father's opengrave. "'you also,' said a voice, and suddenly i was being forced towards the grave. i struggled,shouted, appealed to the mourners, but they continued stonily following the service; theold clergyman, too, never faltered droning and sniffing through the ritual. i realisedi was invisible and inaudible, that overwhelming
forces had their grip on me. i struggled invain, i was forced over the brink, the coffin rang hollow as i fell upon it, and the gravelcame flying after me in spadefuls. nobody heeded me, nobody was aware of me. i madeconvulsive struggles and awoke. "the pale london dawn had come, the placewas full of a chilly grey light that filtered round the edges of the window blinds. i satup, and for a time i could not think where this ample apartment, with its counters, itspiles of rolled stuff, its heap of quilts and cushions, its iron pillars, might be.then, as recollection came back to me, i heard voices in conversation. "then far down theplace, in the brighter light of some department which had already raised its blinds, i sawtwo men approaching. i scrambled to my feet,
looking about me for some way of escape, andeven as i did so the sound of my movement made them aware of me. i suppose they sawmerely a figure moving quietly and quickly away.'who's that?' cried one, and 'stop there!' shouted the other. i dashed around a cornerand came full tilt--a faceless figure, mind you!--on a lanky lad of fifteen. he yelledand i bowled him over, rushed past him, turned another corner, and by a happy inspirationthrew myself behind a counter. in another moment feet went running past and i heardvoices shouting, 'all hands to the doors!' asking what was 'up,' and giving one anotheradvice how to catch me. "lying on the ground, i felt scared out of my wits. but--odd asit may seem--it did not occur to me at the
moment to take off my clothes as i shouldhave done. i had made up my mind, i suppose, to get away in them, and that ruled me. andthen down the vista of the counters came a bawling of 'here he is!'"i sprang to my feet, whipped a chair off the counter, and sent it whirling at the foolwho had shouted, turned, came into another round a corner, sent him spinning, and rushedup the stairs. he kept his footing, gave a view hallo, and came up the staircase hotafter me. up the staircase were piled a multitude of those bright-coloured pot things--whatare they?" "art pots," suggested kemp. "that's it! art pots. well, i turned at the top stepand swung round, plucked one out of a pile and smashed it on his silly head as he cameat me. the whole pile of pots went headlong,
and i heard shouting and footsteps runningfrom all parts. i made a mad rush for the refreshment place, and there was a man inwhite like a man cook, who took up the chase. i made one last desperate turn and found myselfamong lamps and ironmongery. i went behind the counter of this, and waitedfor my cook, and as he bolted in at the head of the chase, i doubled him up with a lamp.down he went, and i crouched down behind the counter and began whipping off my clothesas fast as i could. coat, jacket, trousers, shoes were all right, but a lambswool vestfits a man like a skin. i heard more men coming, my cook was lying quiet on the other sideof the counter, stunned or scared speechless, and i had to make another dash for it, likea rabbit hunted out of a wood-pile. "'this
way, policeman!' i heard someone shouting.i found myself in my bedstead storeroom again, and at the end of a wilderness of wardrobes.i rushed among them, went flat, got rid of my vest after infinite wriggling, and stooda free man again, panting and scared, as the policeman and three of the shopmen came roundthe corner. they made a rush for the vest and pants, andcollared the trousers. 'he's dropping his plunder,' said one of the young men. 'he _must_be somewhere here.' "but they did not find me all the same. "i stood watching them huntfor me for a time, and cursing my ill-luck in losing the clothes. then i went into therefreshment-room, drank a little milk i found there, and sat down by the fire to considermy position. "in a little while two assistants
came in and began to talk over the businessvery excitedly and like the fools they were. i heard a magnified account of my depredations,and other speculations as to my whereabouts. then i fell to scheming again.the insurmountable difficulty of the place, especially now it was alarmed, was to getany plunder out of it. i went down into the warehouse to see if there was any chance ofpacking and addressing a parcel, but i could not understand the system of checking. abouteleven o'clock, the snow having thawed as it fell, and the day being finer and a littlewarmer than the previous one, i decided that the emporium was hopeless, and went out again,exasperated at my want of success, with only the vaguest plans of action in my mind."ï‚— chapter 23
in drury lane"but you begin now to realise," said the invisible man, "the full disadvantage of my condition.i had no shelter--no coveringâ€”to get clothing was to forego all my advantage, to make myselfa strange and terrible thing. i was fasting; for to eat, to fill myself with unassimilatedmatter, would be to become grotesquely visible again." "i never thought of that," said kemp."nor had i. and the snow had warned me of other dangers. i could not go abroad in snow--itwould settle on me and expose me. rain, too, would make me a watery outline, a glisteningsurface of a manâ€”a bubble. and fog--i should be like a fainter bubble in a fog, a surface,a greasy glimmer of humanity. moreover, as i went abroad--in the london air--i gathereddirt about my ankles, floating smuts and dust
upon my skin. i did not know how long it wouldbe before i should become visible from that cause also. but i saw clearly it could notbe for long. "not in london at any rate."i went into theslums towards great portland street, and found myself at the end of the street in which ihad lodged. i did not go that way, because of the crowd halfway down it opposite to thestill smoking ruins of the house i had fired. my most immediate problem was to get clothing.what to do with my face puzzled me. then i saw in one of those little miscellaneous shops--news,sweets, toys, stationery, belated christmas tomfoolery, and so forth--an array of masksand noses. i realised that problem was solved. in a flash i saw my course. i turned about,no longer aimless, and went--circuitously
in order to avoid the busy ways, towards theback streets north of the strand; for i remembered, though not very distinctly where, that sometheatrical costumiers had shops in that district. "the day was cold, with a nipping wind downthe northward running streets. i walked fast to avoid being overtaken. every crossing wasa danger, every passenger a thing to watch alertly. one man as i was about to pass himat the top of bedford street, turned upon me abruptly and came into me, sending me intothe road and almost under the wheel of a passing hansom. the verdict of the cab-rank was thathe had had some sort of stroke. i was so unnerved by this encounter that i went into coventgarden market and sat down for some time in a quiet corner by a stall of violets, pantingand trembling. i found i had caught a fresh
cold, and had to turn out after a time lestmy sneezes should attract attention. "at last i reached the object of my quest,a dirty, fly-blown little shop in a by-way near drury lane, with a window full of tinselrobes, sham jewels, wigs, slippers, dominoes and theatrical photographs. the shop was old-fashionedand low and dark, and the house rose above it for four storeys, dark and dismal. i peeredthrough the window and, seeing no one within, entered. the opening of the door set a clankingbell ringing. i left it open, and walked round a bare costume stand, into a corner behinda cheval glass. for a minute or so no one came. then i heard heavy feet striding acrossa room, and a man appeared down the shop. "my plans were now perfectly definite. i proposedto make my way into the house, secrete myself
upstairs, watch my opportunity, and when everythingwas quiet, rummage out a wig, mask, spectacles, and costume, and go into the world, perhapsa grotesque but still a credible figure. and incidentally of course i could rob the houseof any available money. "the man who had just entered the shop was a short, slight, hunched,beetle-browed man, with long arms and very short bandy legs. apparently i had interrupteda meal. he stared about the shop with an expression of expectation. this gave way to surprise,and then to anger, as he saw the shop empty. 'damn the boys!' he said. he went to stareup and down the street. he came in again in a minute, kicked the door to with his footspitefully, and went muttering back to the house door."i came forward to follow him, and at the
noise of my movement he stopped dead. i didso too, startled by his quickness of ear. he slammed the house door in my face. "i stoodhesitating. suddenly i heard his quick footsteps returning, and the door reopened. he stoodlooking about the shop like one who was still not satisfied. then, murmuring to himself,he examined the back of the counter and peered behind some fixtures. then he stood doubtful.he had left the house door open and i slipped into the inner room. "it was a queer littleroom, poorly furnished and with a number of big masks in the corner. on the table washis belated breakfast, and it was a confoundedly exasperating thing for me, kemp, to have tosniff his coffee and stand watching while he came in and resumed his meal. and his tablemanners were irritating.
three doors opened into the little room, onegoing upstairs and one down, but they were all shut. i could not get out of the roomwhile he was there; i could scarcely move because of his alertness, and there was adraught down my back. twice i strangled a sneeze just in time. "the spectacular qualityof my sensations was curious and novel, but for all that i was heartily tired and angrylong before he had done his eating. but at last he made an end and putting his beggarlycrockery on the black tin tray upon which he had had his teapot, and gathering all thecrumbs up on the mustard stained cloth, he took the whole lot of things after him. hisburden prevented his shutting the door behind him--as he would have done; i never saw sucha man for shutting doors--and i followed him
into a very dirty underground kitchen andscullery. i had the pleasure of seeing him begin towash up, and then, finding no good in keeping down there, and the brick floor being coldon my feet, i returned upstairs and sat in his chair by the fire. it was burning low,and scarcely thinking, i put on a little coal. the noise of this brought him up at once,and he stood a glare. he peered about the room and was within an ace of touching me.even after that examination, he scarcely seemed satisfied. he stopped in the doorway and tooka final inspection before he went down. "i waited in the little parlour for an age, andat last he came up and opened the upstairs door. i just managed to get by him. "on thestaircase he stopped suddenly, so that i very
nearly blundered into him. he stood lookingback right into my face and listening. 'i could have sworn,' he said. his long hairyhand pulled at his lower lip. his eye went up and down the staircase. then he gruntedand went on up again."his hand was on the handle of a door, and then he stopped againwith the same puzzled anger on his face. he was becoming aware of the faint sounds ofmy movements about him. the man must have had diabolically acute hearing. he suddenlyflashed into rage. 'if there's anyone in this house--' he cried with an oath, and left thethreat unfinished. he put his hand in his pocket, failed to find what he wanted, andrushing past me went blundering noisily and pugnaciously downstairs. but i did not followhim. i sat on the head of the staircase until
his return. "presently he came up again, stillmuttering. he opened the door of the room, and before i could enter, slammed it in myface. "i resolved to explore the house, and spentsome time in doing so as noiselessly as possible. the house was very old and tumble-down, dampso that the paper in the attics was peeling from the walls, and rat infested. some ofthe door handles were stiff and i was afraid to turn them. several rooms i did inspectwere unfurnished, and others were littered with theatrical lumber, bought second-hand,i judged, from its appearance. in one room next to his i found a lot of old clothes.i began routing among these, and in my eagerness forgot again the evident sharpness of hisears. i heard a stealthy footstep and, looking
up just in time, saw him peering in at thetumbled heap and holding an old-fashioned revolver in his hand.i stood perfectly still while he stared about open-mouthed and suspicious. 'it must havebeen her,' he said slowly. 'damn her!' "he shut the door quietly, and immediately i heardthe key turn in the lock. then his footsteps retreated. i realised abruptly that i waslocked in. for a minute i did not know what to do. i walked from door to window and back,and stood perplexed. a gust of anger came upon me. but i decided to inspect the clothesbefore i did anything further, and my first attempt brought down a pile from an uppershelf. this brought him back, more sinister than ever. that time he actually touched me,jumped back with amazement and stood astonished
in the middle of the room."presently he calmed a little. 'rats,' he said in an undertone, fingers on lips. hewas evidently a little scared. i edged quietly out of the room, but a plank creaked. thenthe infernal little brute started going all over the house, revolver in hand and lockingdoor after door and pocketing the keys. when i realised what he was up to i had a fit ofrage--i could hardly control myself sufficiently to watch my opportunity. by this time i knewhe was alone in the house, and so i made no more ado, but knocked him on the head." "knockedhim on the head?" exclaimed kemp. "yes--stunned him--as he was going downstairs. hit him frombehind with a stool that stood on the landing. he went downstairs like a bag of old boots.""but--i say! the common conventions of humanity--"
"are all very well for common people. butthe point was, kemp, that i had to get out of that house in a disguise without his seeingme. i couldn't think of any other way of doing it. and then i gagged him with a louis quatorzevest and tied him up in a sheet." "tied him up in a sheet!" "made a sort of bag of it.it was rather a good idea to keep the idiot scared and quiet, and a devilish hard thingto get out of--head away from the string. my dear kemp, it's no good your sitting glaringas though i was a murderer. it had to be done. he had his revolver. if once he saw me hewould be able to describe me--" "but still," said kemp, "in england--to-day.and the man was in his own house, and you were--well, robbing." "robbing! confound it!you'll call me a thief next! surely, kemp,
you're not fool enough to dance on the oldstrings. can't you see my position?" "and his too," said kemp. the invisible man stoodup sharply. "what do you mean to say?" kemp's face grew a trifle hard. he was about to speakand checked himself. "i suppose, after all," he said with a sudden change of manner, "thething had to be done. you were in a fix. but still--" "of course i was in a fix--an infernalfix. and he made me wild too--hunting me about the house, fooling about with his revolver,locking and unlocking doors. he was simply exasperating. you don't blame me, do you?you don't blame me?" "i never blame anyone," said kemp. "it's quiteout of fashion. what did you do next?" "i was hungry. downstairs i found a loaf andsome rank cheeseâ€”more than sufficient to
satisfy my hunger. i took some brandy andwater, and then went up past my impromptu bag--he was lying quite still--to the roomcontaining the old clothes. this looked out upon the street, two lace curtains brown withdirt guarding the window. i went and peered out through their interstices. outside theday was bright--by contrast with the brown shadows of the dismal house in which i foundmyself, dazzlingly bright. a brisk traffic was going by, fruit carts, a hansom, a four-wheelerwith a pile of boxes, a fishmonger's cart. i turned with spots of colour swimming beforemy eyes to the shadowy fixtures behind me. my excitement was giving place to a clearapprehension of my position again. the room was full of a faint scent of benzoline, used,i suppose, in cleaning the garments. "i began
a systematic search of the place. i shouldjudge the hunchback had been alone in the house for some time. he was a curious person.everything that could possibly be of service to me i collected in the clothes storeroom,and then i made a deliberate selection. i found a handbag i thought a suitable possession,and some powder, rouge, and sticking-plaster. "i had thought of painting and powdering myface and all that there was to show of me, in order to render myself visible, but thedisadvantage of this lay in the fact that i should require turpentine and other appliancesand a considerable amount of time before i could vanish again.finally i chose a mask of the better type, slightly grotesque but not more so than manyhuman beings, dark glasses, greyish whiskers,
and a wig. i could find no underclothing,but that i could buy subsequently, and for the time i swathed myself in calico dominoesand some white cashmere scarfs. i could find no socks, but the hunchback's boots were rathera loose fit and sufficed. in a desk in the shop were three sovereigns and about thirtyshillings' worth of silver, and in a locked cupboard i burst in the inner room were eightpounds in gold. i could go forth into the world again, equipped."then came a curious hesitation. was my appearance really credible? i tried myself with a littlebedroom looking-glass, inspecting myself from every point of view to discover any forgottenchink, but it all seemed sound. i was grotesque to the theatrical pitch, a stage miser, buti was certainly not a physical impossibility.
gathering confidence, i took my looking-glassdown into the shop, pulled down the shop blinds, and surveyed myself from every point of viewwith the help of the cheval glass in the corner. "i spent some minutes screwing up my courageand then unlocked the shop door and marched out into the street, leaving the little manto get out of his sheet again when he liked. in five minutes a dozen turnings intervenedbetween me and the costumier's shop. no one appeared to notice me very pointedly. my lastdifficulty seemed overcome." he stopped again. "and you troubled no moreabout the hunchback?" said kemp. "no," said the invisible man. "nor have i heard whatbecame of him. i suppose he untied himself or kicked himself out. the knots were prettytight."he became silent and went to the window
and stared out. "what happened when you wentout into the strand?" "oh!--disillusionment again. i thought my troubles were over. practicallyi thought i had impunity to do whatever i chose, everything--save to give away my secret.so i thought. whatever i did, whatever the consequences might be, was nothing to me.i had merely to fling aside my garments and vanish. no person could hold me. i could takemy money where i found it. i decided to treat myself to a sumptuous feast, and then putup at a good hotel, and accumulate a new outfit of property. i felt amazingly confident; it'snot particularly pleasant recalling that i was an ass.i went into a place and was already ordering lunch, when it occurred to me that i couldnot eat unless i exposed my invisible face.
i finished ordering the lunch, told the mani should be back in ten minutes, and went out exasperated. i don't know if you haveever been disappointed in your appetite." "not quite so badly," said kemp, "but i canimagine it." "i could have smashed the silly devils. at last, faint with the desire fortasteful food, i went into another place and demanded a private room. 'i am disfigured,'i said. 'badly.' they looked at me curiously, but of course it was not their affair--andso at last i got my lunch. it was not particularly well served, but it sufficed; and when i hadhad it, i sat over a cigar, trying to plan my line of action. and outside a snowstormwas beginning. "the more i thought it over, kemp, the morei realised what a helpless absurdity an invisible
man was--in a cold and dirty climate and acrowded civilised city. before i made this mad experiment i had dreamt of a thousandadvantages. that afternoon it seemed all disappointment. i went over the heads of the things a manreckons desirable. no doubt invisibility made it possible to get them, but it made it impossibleto enjoy them when they are got. ambition--what is the good of pride of place when you cannotappear there? what is the good of the love of woman when her name must needs be delilah?i have no taste for politics, for the black guardisms of fame, for philanthropy, for sport.what was i to do? and for this i had become a wrapped-up mystery, a swathed and bandagedcaricature of a man!" he paused, and his attitude suggested a roving glance at the window. "buthow did you get to iping?" said kemp, anxious
to keep his guest busy talking. "i went thereto work. i had one hope. it was a half idea! i have it still. it is a full blown idea now.a way of getting back! of restoring what i have done. when i choose. when i have doneall i mean to do invisibly. and that is what i chiefly want to talk to you about now.""you went straight to iping?" "yes. i had simply to get my three volumes of memorandaand my cheque-book, my luggage and underclothing, order a quantity of chemicals to work outthis idea of mine--i will show you the calculations as soon as i get my books--and then i started.jove! i remember the snowstorm now, and the accursed bother it was to keep the snow fromdamping my pasteboard nose." "at the end," said kemp, "the day before yesterday,when they found you out, you rather--to judge
by the papers--" "i did. rather. did i killthat fool of a constable?" "no," said kemp. "he's expected to recover." "that's his luck,then. i clean lost my temper, the fools! why couldn't they leave me alone? and that grocerlout?" "there are no deaths expected," said kemp. "i don't know about that tramp of mine,"said the invisible man, with an unpleasant laugh."by heaven, kemp, you don't know whatrage _is_! ... to have worked for years, to have planned and plotted, and then to getsome fumbling purblind idiot messing across your course! ... every conceivable sort ofsilly creature that has ever been created has been sent to cross me. "if i have muchmore of it, i shall go wild--i shall start mowing 'em. "as it is, they've made thingsa thousand times more difficult." "no doubt
it's exasperating," said kemp, drily.ï‚— chapter 24 the plan that failed"but now," said kemp, with a side glance out of the window, "what are we to do?" he movednearer his guest as he spoke in such a manner as to prevent the possibility of a suddenglimpse of the three men who were advancing up the hill road--with an intolerable slowness,as it seemed to kemp. "what were you planning to do when you were heading for port burdock?_had_ you any plan?" "i was going to clear out of the country. but i have altered thatplan rather since seeing you. i thought it would be wise, now the weather is hot andinvisibility possible, to make for the south. especially as my secret was known, and everyonewould be on the lookout for a masked and muffled
man. you have a line of steamers from hereto france. my idea was to get aboard one and run therisks of the passage. thence i could go by train into spain, or else get to algiers.it would not be difficult. there a man might always be invisible--and yet live. and dothings. i was using that tramp as a money box and luggage carrier, until i decided howto get my books and things sent over to meet me." "that's clear." "and then the filthybrute must needs try and rob me! he _has_ hidden my books, kemp. hidden my books! ifi can lay my hands on him!" "best plan to get the books out of him first." "but whereis he? do you know?" "he's in the town police station, locked up, by his own request, inthe strongest cell in the place." "cur!" said
the invisible man."but that hangs up yourplans a little." "we must get those books; those books are vital.""certainly," said kemp, a little nervously, wondering if he heard footsteps outside. "certainlywe must get those books. but that won't be difficult, if he doesn't know they're foryou." "no," said the invisible man, and thought.kemp tried to think of something to keep the talkgoing, but the invisible man resumed of his own accord. "blundering into your house, kemp,"he said, "changes all my plans. for you are a man that can understand. in spite of allthat has happened, in spite of this publicity, of the loss of my books, of what i have suffered,there still remain great possibilities, huge possibilities--" "you have told no one i amhere?" he asked abruptly. kemp hesitated.
"that was implied," he said. "no one?" insistedgriffin. "not a soul." "ah! now--" the invisible man stood up, andsticking his arms akimbo began to pace the study. "i made a mistake, kemp, a huge mistake,in carrying this thing through alone. i have wasted strength, time, opportunities. aloneâ€”itis wonderful how little a man can do alone! to rob a little, to hurt a little, and thereis the end. "what i want, kemp, is a goal-keeper, a helper, and a hiding-place, an arrangementwhereby i can sleep and eat and rest in peace, and unsuspected. i must have a confederate.with a confederate, with food and rest--a thousand things are possible. "hitherto ihave gone on vague lines. we have to consider all that invisibility means, all that it doesnot mean. it means little advantage for eavesdropping
and so forth--one makes sounds.it's of little help--a little help perhaps--in housebreaking and so forth. once you've caughtme you could easily imprison me. but on the other hand i am hard to catch. this invisibility,in fact, is only good in two cases: it's useful in getting away, it's useful in approaching.it's particularly useful, therefore, in killing. i can walk round a man, whatever weapon hehas, choose my point, strike as i like. dodge as i like. escape as i like." kemp's handwent to his moustache. was that a movement downstairs? "and it is killing we must do,kemp.""it is killing we must do," repeated kemp. "i'm listening to your plan, griffin,but i'm not agreeing, mind. _why_ killing?" "not wanton killing, but a judicious slaying.the point is, they know there is an invisible
man--as well as we know there is an invisibleman. and that invisible man, kemp, must now establish a reign of terror. yes; no doubtit's startling. but i mean it. a reign of terror. he must take some town like your burdockand terrify and dominate it. he must issue his orders. he can do that in a thousand ways--scrapsof paper thrust under doors would suffice. and all who disobey his orders he must kill,and kill all who would defend them." "humph!" said kemp, no longer listening to griffinbut to the sound of his front door opening and closing."it seems to me, griffin," he said, to cover his wandering attention, "that your confederatewould be in a difficult position.""no one would know he was a confederate," said theinvisible man, eagerly. and then suddenly,
"hush! what's that downstairs?" "nothing,"said kemp, and suddenly began to speak loud and fast. "i don't agree to this, griffin,"he said. "understand me, i don't agree to this. why dream of playing a game againstthe race? how can you hope to gain happiness? don't be a lone wolf. publish your results;take the world--take the nation at least--into your confidence. think what you might do witha million helpers--" the invisible man interrupted--arm extended."there are footsteps coming upstairs," he said in a low voice. "nonsense," said kemp."let me see," said the invisible man, and advanced, arm extended, to the door. and thenthings happened very swiftly. kemp hesitated for a second and then moved to intercept him.the invisible man started and stood still.
"traitor!" cried the voice, and suddenly thedressing-gown opened, and sitting down the unseen began to disrobe. kemp made three swiftsteps to the door, and forthwith the invisible manâ€”his legs had vanished--sprang to hisfeet with a shout. kemp flung the door open.as it opened, there came a sound of hurryingfeet downstairs and voices. with a quick movement kemp thrust the invisibleman back, sprang aside, and slammed the door. the key was outside and ready. in anothermoment griffin would have been alone in the belvedere study, a prisoner. save for onelittle thing. the key had been slipped in hastily that morning. as kemp slammed thedoor it fell noisily upon the carpet. kemp's face became white. he tried to grip the doorhandle with both hands. for a moment he stood
lugging. then the door gave six inches. buthe got it closed again. the second time it was jerked a foot wide, and the dressing-gowncame wedging itself into the opening. his throat was gripped by invisible fingers, andhe left his hold on the handle to defend himself. he was forced back, tripped and pitched heavilyinto the corner of the landing. the empty dressing-gown was flung on the top of him.halfway up the staircase was colonel adye, the recipient of kemp's letter, the chiefof the burdock police. he was staring aghast at the sudden appearance of kemp, followedby the extraordinary sight of clothing tossing empty in the air. he saw kemp felled, andstruggling to his feet. he saw him rush forward, and go down again, felled like an ox. thensuddenly he was struck violently. by nothing!
a vast weight, it seemed, leapt upon him,and he was hurled headlong down the staircase, with a grip on his throat and a knee in hisgroin. an invisible foot trod on his back, a ghostlypatter passed downstairs, he heard the two police officers in the hall shout and run,and the front door of the house slammed violently. he rolled over and sat up staring. he saw,staggering down the staircase, kemp, dusty and disheveled, one side of his face whitefrom a blow, his lip bleeding, and a pink dressing-gown and some underclothing heldin his arms."my god!" cried kemp, "the game's up! he's gone!"ï‚— chapter 25 the hunting of the invisible manfor a space kemp was too inarticulate to make
adye understand the swift things that hadjust happened. they stood on the landing, kemp speaking swiftly, the grotesque swathingsof griffin still on his arm. but presently adye began to grasp something of the situation."he is mad," said kemp; "inhuman. he is pure selfishness. he thinks of nothing but hisown advantage, his own safety. i have listened to such a story this morning of brutal self-seeking....he has wounded men. he will kill them unless we can prevent him. he will create apanic.nothing can stop him. he is going out now--furious!" "he must be caught," said adye. "that is certain."but how?" cried kemp, and suddenly became full of ideas. "you must begin at once. youmust set every available man to work; you must prevent his leaving this district. oncehe gets away, he may go through the countryside
as he wills, killing and maiming. he dreamsof a reign of terror! a reign of terror, i tell you. you must set a watch on trains androads and shipping. the garrison must help. you must wire for help. the only thing thatmay keep him here is the thought of recovering some books of notes he counts of value. iwill tell you of that! there is a man in your police station--marvel." "i know," said adye,"i know. those books--yes. but the tramp...." "says he hasn't them. but he thinks the tramphas. and you must prevent him from eating or sleeping; day and night the country mustbe astir for him. food must be locked up and secured, all food, so that he will have tobreak his way to it. the houses everywhere must be barred against him. heaven send uscold nights and rain! the whole country-side
must begin hunting and keep hunting. i tellyou, adye, he is a danger, a disaster; unless he is pinned and secured, it is frightfulto think of the things that may happen." "what else can we do?" said adye. "i must go downat once and begin organising. but why not come? yes--you come too! come, and we musthold a sort of council of war--get hopps to help--and the railway managers. by jove! it'surgent. come along--tell me as we go. what else is there we can do? put that stuff down."in another moment adye was leading the way downstairs. they found the front door openand the policemen standing outside staring at empty air. "he's got away, sir," said one."we must go to the central station at once," said adye. "one of you go on down and geta cab to come up and meet us--quickly. and
now, kemp, what else?" "dogs," said kemp."get dogs. they don't see him, but they wind him. get dogs." "good," said adye. "it's notgenerally known, but the prison officials over at halstead know a man with bloodhounds.dogs. what else?""bear in mind," said kemp, "his food shows. after eating, his food showsuntil it is assimilated. so that he has to hide after eating. you must keep on beating.every thicket, every quiet corner. and put all weapons--all implements that mightbe weapons, away. he can't carry such things for long. and what he can snatch up and strikemen with must be hidden away.""good again," said adye. "we shall have him yet!" "and onthe roads," said kemp, and hesitated. "yes?" said adye. "powdered glass," said kemp. "it'scruel, i know. but think of what he may do!"
adye drew the air in sharply between his teeth."it's unsportsmanlike. i don't know. but i'll have powdered glass got ready. if he goestoo far...." "the man's become inhuman, i tell you," said kemp. "i am as sure he willestablish a reign of terror--so soon as he has got over the emotions of this escape--asi am sure i am talking to you. our only chance is to be ahead. he has cut himself off fromhis kind.his blood be upon his own head." ï‚— chapter 26the wicksteed murder the invisible man seems to have rushed outof kemp's house in a state of blind fury. a little child playing near kemp's gatewaywas violently caught up and thrown aside, so that its ankle was broken, and thereafterfor some hours the invisible man passed out
of human perceptions. no one knows where hewent nor what he did. but one can imagine him hurrying through the hot june forenoon,up the hill and on to the open downland behind port burdock, raging and despairing at hisintolerable fate, and sheltering at last, heated and weary, amid the thickets of hintondean,to piece together again his shattered schemes against his species.that seems to most probable refuge for him, for there it was he re-asserted himself ina grimly tragical manner about two in the afternoon. one wonders what his state of mindmay have been during that time, and what plans he devised. no doubt he was almost ecstaticallyexasperated by kemp's treachery, and though we may be able to understand the motives thatled to that deceit, we may still imagine and
even sympathise a little with the fury theattempted surprise must have occasioned. perhaps something of the stunned astonishment of hisoxford street experiences may have returned to him, for he had evidently counted on kemp'sco-operation in his brutal dream of a terrorised world.at any rate he vanished from human ken about midday, and no living witness can tell whathe did until about half-past two. it was a fortunate thing, perhaps, for humanity, butfor him it was a fatal inaction. during that time a growing multitude of men scatteredover the countryside were busy. in the morning he had still been simply a legend, a terror;in the afternoon, by virtue chiefly of kemp's drily worded proclamation, he was presentedas a tangible antagonist, to be wounded, captured,
or overcome, and the countryside began organisingitself with inconceivable rapidity. by two o'clock even he might still have removed himselfout of the district by getting aboard a train, but after two that became impossible.every passenger train along the lines on a great parallelogram between southampton, manchester,brighton and horsham, travelled with locked doors, and the goods traffic was almost entirelysuspended. and in a great circle of twenty miles round port burdock, men armed with gunsand bludgeons were presently setting out in groups of three and four, with dogs, to beatthe roads and fields. mounted policemen rode along the country lanes, stopping at everycottage and warning the people to lock up their houses, and keep indoors unless theywere armed, and all the elementary schools
had broken up by three o'clock, and the children,scared and keeping together in groups, were hurrying home. kemp's proclamationâ€”signedindeed by adye--was posted over almost the whole district by four or five o'clock inthe afternoon. it gave briefly but clearly all the conditionsof the struggle, the necessity of keeping the invisible man from food and sleep, thenecessity for incessant watchfulness and for a prompt attention to any evidence of hismovements. and so swift and decided was the action of the authorities, so prompt and universalwas the belief in this strange being, that before nightfall an area of several hundredsquare miles was in a stringent state of siege. and before nightfall, too, a thrill of horrorwent through the whole watching nervous countryside.
going from whispering mouth to mouth, swiftand certain over the length and breadth of the country, passed the story of the murderof mr. wicksteed. if our supposition that the invisible man'srefuge was the hinton dean thickets, then we must suppose that in the early afternoonhe sallied out again bent upon some project that involved the use of a weapon. we cannotknow what the project was, but the evidence that he had the iron rod in hand before hemet wicksteed is to me at least overwhelming. of course we can know nothing of the detailsof that encounter. it occurred on the edge of a gravel pit, not two hundred yards fromlord burdock's lodge gate. everything points to a desperate struggle--the trampled ground,the numerous wounds mr. wicksteed received,
his splintered walking-stick; but why theattack was made, save in a murderous frenzy, it is impossible to imagine. indeed the theoryof madness is almost unavoidable. mr. wicksteed was a man of forty-five or forty-six,steward to lord burdock, of inoffensive habits and appearance, the very last person in theworld to provoke such a terrible antagonist. against him it would seem the invisible manused an iron rod dragged from a broken piece of fence. he stopped this quiet man, goingquietly home to his midday meal, attacked him, beat down his feeble defences, brokehis arm, felled him, and smashed his head to a jelly. of course, he must have draggedthis rod out of the fencing before he met his victim--he must have been carrying itready in his hand. only two details beyond
what has already been stated seem to bearon the matter. one is the circumstance that the gravel pit was not in mr. wicksteed'sdirect path home, but nearly a couple of hundred yards out of his way.the other is the assertion of a little girl to the effect that, going to her afternoonschool, she saw the murdered man "trotting" in a peculiar manner across a field towardsthe gravel pit. her pantomime of his action suggests a man pursuing something on the groundbefore him and striking at it ever and again with his walking-stick. she was the last personto see him alive. he passed out of her sight to his death, the struggle being hidden fromher only by a clump of beech trees and a slight depression in the ground. now this, to thepresent writer's mind at least, lifts the
murder out of the realm of the absolutelywanton. we may imagine that griffin had taken the rod as a weapon indeed, but without anydeliberate intention of using it in murder. wicksteed may then have come by and noticedthis rod inexplicably moving through the air. without any thought of the invisible man--forport burdock is ten miles away--he may have pursued it. it is quite conceivable that hemay not even have heard of the invisible man. one can then imagine the invisible man makingoff--quietly in order to avoid discovering his presence in the neighbourhood, and wicksteed,excited and curious, pursuing this unaccountably locomotive object--finally striking at it.no doubt the invisible man could easily have distanced his middle-aged pursuer under ordinarycircumstances, but the position in which wicksteed's
body was found suggests that he had the illluck to drive his quarry into a corner between a drift of stinging nettles and the gravelpit. to those who appreciate the extraordinary irascibility of the invisible man, the restof the encounter will be easy to imagine. but this is pure hypothesis. the only undeniablefacts--for stories of children are often unreliable--are the discovery of wicksteed's body, done todeath, and of the blood-stained iron rod flung among the nettles. the abandonment of therod by griffin, suggests that in the emotional excitement of the affair, the purpose forwhich he took it--if he had a purpose--was abandoned. he was certainly an intensely egotisticaland unfeeling man, but the sight of his victim, his first victim, bloody and pitiful at hisfeet, may have released some long pent fountain
of remorse which for a time may have floodedwhatever scheme of action he had contrived. after the murder of mr. wicksteed, he wouldseem to have struck across the country towards the downland. there is a story of a voiceheard about sunset by a couple of men in a field near fern bottom. it was wailing andlaughing, sobbing and groaning, and ever and again it shouted. it must have been queerhearing. it drove up across the middle of a clover field and died away towards the hills.that afternoon the invisible man must have learnt something of the rapid use kemp hadmade of his confidences. he must have found houses locked and secured; he may have loiteredabout railway stations and prowled about inns, and no doubt he read the proclamations andrealised something of the nature of the campaign
against him.and as the evening advanced, the fields became dotted here and there with groups of threeor four men, and noisy with the yelping of dogs. these men-hunters had particular instructionsin the case of an encounter as to the way they should support one another. but he avoidedthem all. we may understand something of his exasperation, and it could have been nonethe less because he himself had supplied the information that was being used so remorselesslyagainst him. for that day at least he lost heart; for nearly twenty-four hours, savewhen he turned on wicksteed, he was a hunted man. in the night, he must have eaten andslept; for in the morning he was himself again, active, powerful, angry, and malignant, preparedfor his last great struggle against the world.
ï‚— chapter 27 the siege of kemp's housekemp read a strange missive, written in pencil on a greasy sheet of paper. "you have beenamazingly energetic and clever," this letter ran, "though what you stand to gain by iti cannot imagine. you are against me. for a whole day you have chased me; you have triedto rob me of a night's rest. but i have had food in spite of you, i have slept in spiteof you, and the game is only beginning. the game is only beginning. there is nothing forit, but to start the terror. this announces the first day of the terror. port burdockis no longer under the queen, tell your colonel of police, and the rest of them; it is underme--the terror! this is day one of year one
of the new epoch--the epoch of the invisibleman. i am invisible man the first. to begin withthe rule will be easy. the first day there will be one execution for the sake of exampleâ€”aman named kemp. death starts for him to-day. he may lock himself away, hide himself away,get guards about him, put on armour if he likes--death, the unseen death, is coming.let him take precautions; it will impress my people. death starts from the pillar boxby midday. the letter will fall in as the postman comes along, then off! the game begins.death starts. help him not, my people, lest death fall upon you also. to-day kemp is todie." kemp read this letter twice, "it's no hoax," he said. "that's his voice! and hemeans it." he turned the folded sheet over
and saw on the addressed side of it the postmarkhintondean, and the prosaic detail "2d. to pay."he got up slowly, leaving his lunch unfinished--the letter had come by the one o'clock post--andwent into his study. he rang for his housekeeper, and told her to go round the house at once,examine all the fastenings of the windows, and close all the shutters. he closed theshutters of his study himself. from a locked drawer in his bedroom he took a little revolver,examined it carefully, and put it into the pocket of his lounge jacket. he wrote a numberof brief notes, one to colonel adye, gave them to his servant to take, with explicitinstructions as to her way of leaving the house. "there is no danger," he said, andadded a mental reservation, "to you." he remained
meditative for a space after doing this, andthen returned to his cooling lunch. he ate with gaps of thought. finally he struckthe table sharply. "we will have him!" he said; "and i am the bait. he will come toofar." he went up to the belvedere, carefully shutting every door after him. "it's a game,"he said, "an odd game--but the chances are all for me, mr. griffin, in spite of yourinvisibility. griffin _contra mundum_ ... with a vengeance." he stood at the window staringat the hot hillside. "he must get food every day--and i don't envy him. did he really sleeplast night? out in the open somewhere--secure from collisions. i wish we could get somegood cold wet weather instead of the heat. "he may be watching me now." he went closeto the window. something rapped smartly against
the brickwork over the frame, and made himstart violently back. "i'm getting nervous," said kemp. but it wasfive minutes before he went to the window again. "it must have been a sparrow," he said.presently he heard the front-door bell ringing, and hurried downstairs. he unbolted and unlockedthe door, examined the chain, put it up, and opened cautiously without showing himself.a familiar voice hailed him. it was adye. "your servant's been assaulted, kemp," hesaid round the door."what!" exclaimed kemp."had that note of yours taken away from her. he'sclose about here.let me in." kemp released the chain, and adye entered through as narrowan opening as possible. he stood in the hall, looking with infinite relief at kemp refasteningthe door. "note was snatched out of her hand.
scared her horribly. she's down at the station.hysterics.he's close here. what was it about?" kemp swore. "what a fool i was," said kemp."i might have known. it's not an hour's walk from hintondean. already?" "what's up?" saidadye. "look here!" said kemp, and led the way into his study. he handed adye the invisibleman's letter. adye read it and whistled softly. "and you--?" said adye. "proposed a trap--likea fool," said kemp, "and sent my proposal out by a maid servant. to him." adye followedkemp's profanity. "he'll clear out," said adye. "not he," said kemp. a resounding smashof glass came from upstairs. adye had a silvery glimpse of a little revolver half out of kemp'spocket. "it's a window, upstairs!" said kemp, and led the way up. there came a second smashwhile they were still on the staircase.
when they reached the study they found twoof the three windows smashed, half the room littered with splintered glass, and one bigflint lying on the writing table. the two men stopped in the doorway, contemplatingthe wreckage. kemp swore again, and as he did so the third window went with a snap likea pistol, hung starred for a moment, and collapsed in jagged, shivering triangles into the room."what's this for?" said adye. "it's a beginning," said kemp. "there's no way of climbing uphere?" "not for a cat," said kemp. "no shutters?" "not here. all the downstairs rooms--hullo!"smash, and then whack of boards hit hard came from downstairs. "confound him!" said kemp."that must be--yes--it's one of the bedrooms. he's going to do all the house. but he's afool. the shutters are up, and the glass will
fall outside. he'll cut his feet."another window proclaimed its destruction. the two men stood on the landing perplexed."i have it!" said adye. "let me have a stick or something, and i'll go down to the stationand get the bloodhounds put on. that ought to settle him! they're hard by--not ten minutes--"another window went the way of its fellows. "you haven't a revolver?" asked adye. kemp'shand went to his pocket. then he hesitated. "i haven't one--at least to spare." "i'llbring it back," said adye, "you'll be safe here."kemp, ashamed of his momentary lapsefrom truthfulness, handed him the weapon. "now for the door," said adye. as they stoodhesitating in the hall, they heard one of the first-floor bedroom windows crack andclash. kemp went to the door and began to
slip the bolts as silently as possible. hisface was a little paler than usual. "you must step straight out," said kemp. inanother moment adye was on the doorstep and the bolts were dropping back into the staples.he hesitated for a moment, feeling more comfortable with his back against the door. then he marched,upright and square, down the steps. he crossed the lawn and approached the gate. a littlebreeze seemed to ripple over the grass. something moved near him. "stop a bit," said a voice,and adye stopped dead and his hand tightened on the revolver. "well?" said adye, whiteand grim, and every nerve tense. "oblige me by going back to the house," said the voice,as tense and grim as adye's. "sorry," said adye a little hoarsely, and moistened hislips with his tongue. the voice was on his
left front, he thought. suppose he were totake his luck with a shot? "what are you going for?" said the voice,and there was a quick movement of the two, and a flash of sunlight from the open lipof adye's pocket. adye desisted and thought. "where i go," he said slowly, "is my own business."the words were still on his lips, when an arm came round his neck, his back felt a knee,and he was sprawling backward. he drew clumsily and fired absurdly, and in another momenthe was struck in the mouth and the revolver wrested from his grip. he made a vain clutchat a slippery limb, tried to struggle up and fell back. "damn!" said adye. the voice laughed."i'd kill you now if it wasn't the waste of a bullet," it said. he saw the revolver inmid-air, six feet off, covering him. "well?"
said adye, sitting up. "get up," said thevoice. adye stood up. "attention," said the voice, and then fiercely,"don't try any games. remember i can see your face if you can't see mine. you've got togo back to the house.""he won't let me in," said adye. "that's a pity," said the invisibleman. "i've got no quarrel with you.adye moistened his lips again. he glanced away from the barrelof the revolver and saw the sea far off very blue and dark under the midday sun, the smoothgreen down, the white cliff of the head, and the multitudinous town, and suddenly he knewthat life was very sweet. his eyes came back to this little metal thing hanging betweenheaven and earth, six yards away. "what am i to do?" he said sullenly. "what am _i_ todo?" asked the invisible man. "you will get
help. the only thing is for you to go back.""i will try. if he lets me in will you promise not to rush the door? "i've got no quarrelwith you," said the voice. kemp had hurried upstairs after letting adye out, and now crouchingamong the broken glass and peering cautiously over the edge of the study window sill, hesaw adye stand parleying with the unseen. "why doesn't he fire?" whispered kemp to himself.then the revolver moved a little and the glint of the sunlight flashed in kemp's eyes. heshaded his eyes and tried to see the source of the blinding beam. "surely!" he said, "adyehas given up the revolver." "promise not to rush the door," adye was saying. "don't pusha winning game too far. give a man a chance." "you go back to the house. i tell you flatlyi will not promise anything."
adye's decision seemed suddenly made. he turnedtowards the house, walking slowly with his hands behind him. kemp watched him--puzzled.the revolver vanished, flashed again into sight, vanished again, and became evidenton a closer scrutiny as a little dark object following adye. then things happened veryquickly. adye leapt backwards, swung around, clutched at this little object, missed it,threw up his hands and fell forward on his face, leaving a little puff of blue in theair. kemp did not hear the sound of the shot. adye writhed, raised himself on one arm, fellforward, and lay still.for a space kemp remained staring at the quiet carelessness of adye's attitude. the afternoonwas very hot and still, nothing seemed stirring
in all the world save a couple of yellow butterflieschasing each other through the shrubbery between the house and the road gate. adye lay on thelawn near the gate. the blinds of all the villas down the hill-road were drawn, butin one little green summer-house was a white figure, apparently an old man asleep. kempscrutinised the surroundings of the house for a glimpse of the revolver, but it hadvanished. his eyes came back to adye. the game was opening well.then came a ringing and knocking at the front door, that grew at last tumultuous, but pursuantto kemp's instructions the servants had locked themselves into their rooms. this was followedby a silence. kemp sat listening and then began peering cautiously out of the threewindows, one after another. he went to the
staircase head and stood listening uneasily.he armed himself with his bedroom poker, and went to examine the interior fastenings ofthe ground-floor windows again. everything was safe and quiet. he returned to the belvedere.adye lay motionless over the edge of the gravel just as he had fallen. coming along the roadby the villas were the housemaid and two policemen. everything was deadly still. the three peopleseemed very slow in approaching. he wondered what his antagonist was doing. he started.there was a smash from below. he hesitated and went downstairs again. suddenly the houseresounded with heavy blows and the splintering of wood. he heard a smash and the destructiveclang of the iron fastenings of the shutters. he turned the key and opened the kitchen door.as he did so, the shutters, split and splintering,
came flying inward. he stood aghast. the windowframe, save for one crossbar, was still intact, but only little teeth of glass remained inthe frame. the shutters had been driven in with an axe, and now the axe was descendingin sweeping blows upon the window frame and the iron bars defending it.then suddenly it leapt aside and vanished. he saw the revolver lying on the path outside,and then the little weapon sprang into the air. he dodged back. the revolver crackedjust too late, and a splinter from the edge of the closing door flashed over his head.he slammed and locked the door, and as he stood outside he heard griffin shouting andlaughing. then the blows of the axe with its splitting and smashing consequences, wereresumed.kemp stood in the passage trying to
think. in a moment the invisible man wouldbe in the kitchen. this door would not keep him a moment, and then-- a ringing came atthe front door again. it would be the policemen. he ran into the hall, put up the chain, anddrew the bolts. he made the girl speak before he dropped the chain, and the three peopleblundered into the house in a heap, and kemp slammed the door again."the invisible man!" said kemp. "he has a revolver, with two shots--left. he's killedadye. shot him anyhow. didn't you see him on the lawn? he's lying there." "who?" saidone of the policemen. "adye," said kemp. "we came in the back way," said the girl. "what'sthat smashing?" asked one of the policemen. "he's in the kitchen--or will be. he has foundan axe--" suddenly the house was full of the
invisible man's resounding blows on the kitchendoor. the girl stared towards the kitchen, shuddered, and retreated into the dining-room.kemp tried to explain in broken sentences. they heard the kitchen door give."this way," said kemp, starting into activity, and bundled the policemen into the dining-roomdoorway. "poker," said kemp, and rushed to the fender. he handed the poker he had carriedto the policeman and the dining-room one to the other. he suddenly flung himself backward."whup!" said one policeman, ducked, and caught the axe on his poker. the pistol snapped itspenultimate shot and ripped a valuable sidney cooper. the second policeman brought his pokerdown on the little weapon, as one might knock down a wasp, and sent it rattling to the floor.at the first clash the girl screamed, stood
screaming for a moment by the fireplace, andthen ran to open the shuttersâ€”possibly with an idea of escaping by the shattered window.the axe receded into the passage, and fell to a position about two feet from the ground.they could hear the invisible man breathing. "stand away, you two," he said. "i want thatman kemp." "we want you," said the first policeman, making a quick step forward and wiping withhis poker at the voice. the invisible man must have started back, and he blundered intothe umbrella stand. then, as the policeman staggered with the swing of the blow he hadaimed, the invisible man countered with the axe, the helmet crumpled like paper, and theblow sent the man spinning to the floor at the head of the kitchen stairs. but the secondpoliceman, aiming behind the axe with his
poker, hit something soft that snapped. therewas a sharp exclamation of pain and then the axe fell to the ground.the policeman wiped again at vacancy and hit nothing; he put his foot on the axe, and struckagain. then he stood, poker clubbed, listening intent for the slightest movement. he heardthe dining-room window open, and a quick rush of feet within. his companion rolled overand sat up, with the blood running down between his eye and ear. "where is he?" asked theman on the floor. "don't know. i've hit him. he's standing somewhere in the hall. unlesshe's slipped past you. doctor kemp--sir." pause. "doctor kemp," cried the policemanagain. the second policeman began struggling to his feet. he stood up. suddenly the faintpad of bare feet on the kitchen stairs could
be heard."yap!" cried the first policeman, and incontinently flung his poker. it smashed a little gas bracket.he made as if he would pursue the invisible man downstairs. then he thought better ofit and stepped into the dining-room. "doctor kemp--" he began, and stopped short. "doctorkemp's a hero," he said, as his companion looked over his shoulder. the dining-roomwindow was wide open, and neither housemaid nor kemp was to be seen. the second policeman'sopinion of kemp was terse and vivid. ï‚— chapter 28the hunter hunted mr. heelas, mr. kemp's nearest neighbour amongthe villa holders, was asleep in his summer house when the siege of kemp's house began.mr. heelas was one of the sturdy minority
who refused to believe "in all this nonsense"about an invisible man. his wife, however, as he was subsequently to be reminded, did.he insisted upon walking about his garden just as if nothing was the matter, and hewent to sleep in the afternoon in accordance with the custom of years. he slept throughthe smashing of the windows, and then woke up suddenly with a curious persuasion of somethingwrong. he looked across at kemp's house, rubbed his eyes and looked again.then he put his feet to the ground, and sat listening. he said he was damned, but stillthe strange thing was visible. the house looked as though it had been deserted for weeks--aftera violent riot. every window was broken, and every window, save those of the belvederestudy, was blinded by the internal shutters.
"i could have sworn it was all right"--helooked at his watch--"twenty minutes ago." he became aware of a measured concussion andthe clash of glass, far away in the distance. and then, as he sat open-mouthed, came a stillmore wonderful thing. the shutters of the drawing-room window were flung open violently,and the housemaid in her outdoor hat and garments, appeared struggling in a frantic manner tothrow up the sash. suddenly a man appeared beside her, helping her--dr. kemp!in another moment the window was open, and the housemaid was struggling out; she pitchedforward and vanished among the shrubs. mr. heelas stood up, exclaiming vaguely and vehementlyat all these wonderful things. he saw kemp stand on the sill, spring from the window,and reappear almost instantaneously running
along a path in the shrubbery and stoopingas he ran, like a man who evades observation. he vanished behind a laburnum, and appearedagain clambering over a fence that abutted on the open down. in a second he had tumbledover and was running at a tremendous pace down the slope towards mr. heelas. "lord!"cried mr. heelas, struck with an idea; "it's that invisible man brute! it's right, afterall!" with mr. heelas to think things like thatwas to act, and his cook watching him from the top window was amazed to see him comepelting towards the house at a good nine miles an hour. there was a slamming of doors, aringing of bells, and the voice of mr. heelas bellowing like a bull. "shut the doors, shutthe windows, shut everything!--the invisible
man is coming!" instantly the house was fullof screams and directions, and scurrying feet. he ran himself to shut the french windowsthat opened on the veranda; as he did so kemp's head and shoulders and knee appeared overthe edge of the garden fence. in another moment kemp had ploughed through the asparagus, andwas running across the tennis lawn to the house."you can't come in," said mr. heelas, shutting the bolts. "i'm very sorry if he's after you,but you can't come in!" kemp appeared with a face of terror close to the glass, rappingand then shaking frantically at the french window. then, seeing his efforts were useless,he ran along the veranda, vaulted the end, and went to hammer at the side door. thenhe ran round by the side gate to the front
of the house, and so into the hill-road. andmr. heelas staring from his window--a face of horror--had scarcely witnessed kemp vanish,ere the asparagus was being trampled this way and that by feet unseen. at that mr. heelasfled precipitately upstairs, and the rest of the chase is beyond his purview.but as he passed the staircase window, he heard the side gate slam. emerging into thehill-road, kemp naturally took the downward direction, and so it was he came to run inhis own person the very race he had watched with such a critical eye from the belvederestudy only four days ago. he ran it well, for a man out of training, and though hisface was white and wet, his wits were cool to the last. he ran with wide strides, andwherever a patch of rough ground intervened,
wherever there came a patch of raw flints,or a bit of broken glass shone dazzling, he crossed it and left the bare invisible feetthat followed to take what line they would. for the first time in his life kemp discoveredthat the hill-road was indescribably vast and desolate, and that the beginnings of thetown far below at the hill foot were strangely remote. never had there been a slower or morepainful method of progression than running. all the gaunt villas, sleeping in the afternoonsun, looked locked and barred; no doubt they were locked and barredâ€”by his own orders.but at any rate they might have kept a lookout for an eventuality like this! the town wasrising up now, the sea had dropped out of sight behind it, and people down below werestirring. a tram was just arriving at the
hill foot. beyond that was the police station.was that footsteps he heard behind him? spurt. the people below were staring at him, oneor two were running, and his breath was beginning to saw in his throat. the tram was quite nearnow, and the "jolly cricketers" was noisily barring its doors. beyond the tram were postsand heaps of gravel--the drainage works. he had a transitory idea of jumping into thetram and slamming the doors, and then he resolved to go for the police station. in another momenthe had passed the door of the "jolly cricketers," and was in the blistering fag end of the street,with human beings about him. the tram driver and his helperâ€”arrested by the sight ofhis furious haste--stood staring with the tram horses unhitched. further on the astonishedfeatures of navvies appeared above the mounds
of gravel.his pace broke a little, and then he heard the swift pad of his pursuer, and leapt forwardagain. "the invisible man!" he cried to the navvies, with a vague indicative gesture,and by an inspiration leapt the excavation and placed a burly group between him and thechase. then abandoning the idea of the police station he turned into a little side street,rushed by a greengrocer's cart, hesitated for the tenth of a second at the door of asweet stuff shop, and then made for the mouth of an alley that ran back into the main hillstreet again. two or three little children were playing here, and shrieked and scatteredat his apparition, and forthwith doors and windows opened and excited mothers revealedtheir hearts.
out he shot into hill street again, threehundred yards from the tram-line end, and immediately he became aware of a tumultuousvociferation and running people. he glanced up the street towards the hill. hardly a dozenyards off ran a huge navvy, cursing in fragments and slashing viciously with a spade, and hardbehind him came the tram conductor with his fists clenched. up the street others followedthese two, striking and shouting. down towards the town, men and women were running, andhe noticed clearly one man coming out of a shop-door with a stick in his hand. "spreadout! spread out!" cried some one. kemp suddenly grasped the altered condition of the chase.he stopped, and looked round, panting. "he's close here!" he cried. "form a line across--"he was hit hard under the ear, and went reeling,
trying to face round towards his unseen antagonist.he just managed to keep his feet, and he struck a vain counter in the air. then he was hitagain under the jaw, and sprawled headlong on the ground. in another moment a knee compressedhis diaphragm, and a couple of eager hands gripped his throat, but the grip of one wasweaker than the other; he grasped the wrists, heard a cry of pain from his assailant, andthen the spade of the navvy came whirling through the air above him, and struck somethingwith a dull thud. he felt a drop of moisture on his face. the grip at his throat suddenlyrelaxed, and with a convulsive effort, kemp loosed himself, grasped a limp shoulder, androlled uppermost. he gripped the unseen elbows near the ground."i've got him!" screamed kemp. "help! help--hold!
he's down! hold his feet!" in another secondthere was a simultaneous rush upon the struggle, and a stranger coming into the road suddenlymight have thought an exceptionally savage game of rugby football was in progress. andthere was no shouting after kemp's cry--only a sound of blows and feet and heavy breathing.then came a mighty effort, and the invisible man threw off a couple of his antagonistsand rose to his knees. kemp clung to him in front like a hound to a stag, and a dozenhands gripped, clutched, and tore at the unseen. the tram conductor suddenly got the neck andshoulders and lugged him back. down went the heap of struggling men againand rolled over. there was, i am afraid, some savage kicking. then suddenly a wild screamof "mercy! mercy!" that died down swiftly
to a sound like choking. "get back, you fools!"cried the muffled voice of kemp, and there was a vigorous shoving back of stalwart forms."he's hurt, i tell you. stand back!" there was a brief struggle to clear a space, andthen the circle of eager faces saw the doctor kneeling, as it seemed, fifteen inches inthe air, and holding invisible arms to the ground. behind him a constable gripped invisibleankles. "don't you leave go of en," cried the big navvy, holding a blood-stained spade;"he's shamming." "he's not shamming," said the doctor, cautiouslyraising his knee; "and i'll hold him." his face was bruised and already going red; hespoke thickly because of a bleeding lip. he released one hand and seemed to be feelingat the face. "the mouth's all wet," he said.
and then, "good god!" he stood up abruptlyand then knelt down on the ground by the side of the thing unseen. there was a pushing andshuffling, a sound of heavy feet as fresh people turned up to increase the pressureof the crowd. people now were coming out of the houses. the doors of the "jolly cricketers"stood suddenly wide open. very little was said. kemp felt about, his hand seeming topass through empty air. "he's not breathing," he said, and then, "i can't feel his heart.his side--ugh!" suddenly an old woman, peering under the armof the big navvy, screamed sharply. "looky there!" she said, and thrust out a wrinkledfinger. and looking where she pointed, everyone saw, faint and transparent as though it wasmade of glass, so that veins and arteries
and bones and nerves could be distinguished,the outline of a hand, a hand limp and prone. it grew clouded and opaque even as they stared."hullo!" cried the constable. "here's his feet a-showing!" and so, slowly, beginningat his hands and feet and creeping along his limbs to the vital centres of his body, thatstrange change continued. it was like the slow spreading of a poison. first came thelittle white nerves, a hazy grey sketch of a limb, then the glassy bones and intricatearteries, then the flesh and skin, first a faint fogginess, and then growing rapidlydense and opaque. presently they could see his crushed chestand his shoulders, and the dim outline of his drawn and battered features. when at lastthe crowd made way for kemp to stand erect,
there lay, naked and pitiful on the ground,the bruised and broken body of a young man about thirty. his hair and brow were white--notgrey with age, but white with the whiteness of albinism--and his eyes were like garnets.his hands were clenched, his eyes wide open, and his expression was one of anger and dismay."cover his face!" said a man. "for gawd's sake, cover that face!" and three little children,pushing forward through the crowd, were suddenly twisted round and sent packing off again.someone brought a sheet from the "jolly cricketers," and having covered him, they carried him intothat house. and there it was, on a shabby bed in a tawdry, ill-lighted bedroom, surroundedby a crowd of ignorant and excited people, broken and wounded, betrayed and unpitied,that griffin, the first of all men to make
himself invisible, griffin, the most giftedphysicist the world has ever seen, ended in infinite disaster his strange and terriblecareer. the epilogueso ends the story of the strange and evil experiments of the invisible man. and if youwould learn more of him you must go to a little inn near port stowe and talk to the landlord.the sign of the inn is an empty board save for a hat and boots, and the name is the titleof this story. the landlord is a short and corpulent little man with a nose of cylindricalproportions, wiry hair, and a sporadic rosiness of visage. drink generously, and he will tellyou generously of all the things that happened to him after that time, and of how the lawyerstried to do him out of the treasure found
upon him."when they found they couldn't prove who's money was which, i'm blessed," he says, "ifthey didn't try to make me out a blooming treasure trove! do i _look_ like a treasuretrove? and then a gentleman gave me a guinea a night to tell the story at the empire music'all--just to tell 'em in my own words--barring one."and if you want to cut off the flow ofhis reminiscences abruptly, can always do so by asking if there weren't three manuscriptbooks in the story. he admits there were and proceeds to explain, with asseverations thateverybody thinks _he_ has 'em! but bless you! he hasn't. "the invisible man it was took'em off to hide 'em when i cut and ran for port stowe. it's that mr. kemp put peopleon with the idea of _my_ having 'em."
and then he subsides into a pensive state,watches you furtively, bustles nervously with glasses, and presently leaves the bar. heis a bachelor man--his tastes were ever bachelor, and there are no women folk in the house.outwardly he buttons--it is expected of him--but in his more vital privacies, in the matterof braces for example, he still turns to string. he conducts his house without enterprise,but with eminent decorum. his movements are slow, and he is a great thinker. but he hasa reputation for wisdom and for a respectable parsimony in the village, and his knowledgeof the roads of the south of england would beat cobbett.and on sunday mornings, every sunday morning, all the year round, while he is closed tothe outer world, and every night after ten,
he goes into his bar parlour, bearing a glassof gin faintly tinged with water, and having placed this down, he locks the door and examinesthe blinds, and even looks under the table. and then, being satisfied of his solitude,he unlocks the cupboard and a box in the cupboard and a drawer in that box, and produces threevolumes bound in brown leather, and places them solemnly in the middle of the table.the covers are weather-worn and tinged with an algal green--for once they sojourned ina ditch and some of the pages have been washed blank by dirty water.the landlord sits down in an armchair, fills a long clay pipe slowly--gloating over thebooks the while. then he pulls one towards him and opens it, and begins to study it--turningover the leaves backwards and forwards. his
brows are knit and his lips move painfully."hex, little two up in the air, cross and a fiddle-de-dee. lord! what a one he was forintellect!" presently he relaxes and leans back, and blinks through his smoke acrossthe room at things invisible to other eyes. "full of secrets," he says. "wonderful secrets!""once i get the haul of them--_lord_!" "i wouldn't do what _he_ did; i'd just--well!"he pulls at his pipe. so he lapses into a dream, the undying wonderful dream of hislife. and though kemp has fished unceasingly, no human being save the landlord knows thosebooks are there, with the subtle secret of invisibility and a dozen other strange secretswritten therein. and none other will know of them until he dies.end of the invisible man
by h.g. wells