NOW in order clearly to understand what had happened in the inn, it is necessary to go back to the moment when Mr. Marvel first came into view of Mr. Huxters window. At that precise moment Mr. Cuss and Mr. Bunting were in the parlour. They were seriously investigating the strange occurrences of the morning, and were, with Mr. Halls permission, making a thorough examination of the Invisible Mans belongings. Jaffers had partially recovered from his fall and had gone home in the charge of his sympathetic friends. The strangers scattered garments had been removed by Mrs. Hall and the room tidied up. And on the table under the window where the stranger had been wont to work, Cuss had hit almost at once on three big books in manuscript labelled Diary.
Of course, said Mr. Bunting, taking out and wiping his spectacles and feeling suddenly very uncomfortable,for he had no Greek left in his mind worth talking about; yesthe Greek, of course, may furnish a clue.
He coughed, put on his glasses, arranged them fastidiously, coughed again, 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 did happen.
All right, said the intruder, as it seemed, in a low voice curiously different from the huskiness of its first enquiry. Right you are, said the intruder in the former voice. Stand clear! and he vanished and closed the door.
One thing is indisputable, said Bunting, drawing up a chair next to that of Cuss. There certainly have been very strange things happen in Iping during the last few daysvery strange. I cannot of course believe in this absurd invisibility story
He pointed to the middle of the page. Mr. Bunting flushed slightly and brought his face nearer, apparently finding some difficulty with his glasses. Suddenly he became aware of a strange feeling at 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 chin irresistibly to the table. Dont move, little men, whispered a voice, or Ill brain you both! He looked into the face of Cuss, close to his own, and each saw a horrified reflection of his own sickly astonishment.
Listen, said the Voice. The windows are fastened and Ive taken the key out of the door. I am a fairly strong man, and I have the poker handybesides being invisible. Theres not the slightest doubt that I could kill you both and get away quite easily if I wanted todo you understand? Very well. If I let you go will you promise not to try any 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. Then the pressure on the necks relaxed, and the Doctor and the Vicar sat up, both very red in the face and wriggling their heads.
When I came into this room, continued the Invisible Man, after presenting the poker to the tip of the nose of each of his visitors, I did not 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,dont rise. I can see its gone. Now, just at present, though the days are quite warm enough for an invisible man to run about stark, the evenings are chilly. I want clothingand other accommodation; and I must also have those three books.