فصل 10

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فصل 10

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  • زمان مطالعه 5 دقیقه
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CHAPTER TEN

The Invisible Man Loses His Temper

While these things were going on in the parlour, and while Mr Huxter was watching Mr Marvel as he leaned smoking his pipe against the gate, Mr Hall and Teddy Henfrey stood talking nearby.

Suddenly there came a loud knock on the door of the parlour, a cry, and then - silence.

‘Hel-lo!’ said Teddy Henfrey. ‘Hel-lo!’ from the bar. Mr Hall and Teddy looked at the door. ‘Something’s wrong,’ said Hall.

For a long time they listened. Strange noises were coming from behind the closed door, as if something was falling about. Then a sharp cry.

‘No! No, you don’t.’ Then silence.

‘What’s that?’ exclaimed Henfrey in a low voice.

‘Is everything all right there?’ called Hall.

‘Quite ri-ight,’ came Mr Bunting’s voice, ‘qui-ite! Don’t come in!’

They stood listening.

‘I can’t’, they heard Mr Bunting say. ‘I tell you, sir, I will not.’

‘Who’s that speaking now?’ asked Henfrey.

‘Mr Cuss, I suppose,’ said Hall. ‘Can you hear anything?’

Silence.

‘Someone is throwing the table around,’ said Hall.

Mrs Hall appeared behind the bar. When they told her, she would not believe anything strange was happening. Perhaps they were moving the chairs and table.

‘Didn’t I hear the window?’ said Henfrey.

‘What window?’ asked Mrs Hall.

‘The parlour window,’ said Henfrey.

Everyone stood listening. Mrs Hall, looking straight in front of her, saw, without seeing, the bright shape of the inn door, the white road, and Huxter’s shop-front shining in the June sun. Suddenly Huxter’s door opened, and Huxter appeared, his eyes staring with excitement, his arms waving in the air.

‘Stop thief!’ cried Huxter, and he ran towards the yard gates and disappeared.

At the same time a noise came from the parlour, and there was the sound of windows being closed.

Hall, Henfrey, and everyone in the bar rushed out into the street. They saw someone run round the corner towards the hill road, and Mr Huxter jump into the air and fall on his face and shoulder. Hall and two workmen ran down the street and saw Mr Marvel disappearing past the church wall.

But Hall had hardly run 12 yards when he gave a loud shout and fell on his side, pulling one of the workmen with him. The second workman came up, and he too was knocked down. They came the rush of the village crowd. The first man was surprised to see Huxter and Hall on the ground. Suddenly something happened to his feet, and he was lying on his back, the crowd was falling over him, and he was being sworn at by a number of angry people.

When Hall, Henfrey and the workmen ran out of the house Mrs Hall had remained in the bar. Suddenly the parlour door was opened, Mr Cuss appeared and, without looking at her, rushed down the steps towards the corner of the street.

‘Hold him!’ he cried. ‘Don’t let him drop those books and clothes! You can see him so long as he holds them.’

He knew nothing of Marvel; for the Invisible Man had handed over the books and clothes to him in the yard. The face of Mr Cuss was angry and determined, but there was something wrong with his clothes: he was wearing a tablecloth.

‘Hold him!’ he shouted. ‘He’s got my trousers - and all the vicar’s clothes!’

Coming round the corner to join the crowd, he was knocked off his feet and lay kicking on the ground. Somebody stepped on his finger. He struggled to his feet, something knocked against him and threw him on his knees again, and he saw that everyone was running back to the village. He rose again, and was hit behind the ear. He set off straight back to the village inn as fast as he could run, and on his way jumped over the body of Huxter, who was now sitting up.

Behind him, as he was halfway up the inn steps, he heard a sudden cry of anger above the noise, and the sound of someone being struck in the face. He knew the voice as that of the Invisible Man.

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, trying to dress himself in the curtains and a newspaper.

‘Who’s coming?’ he said, so surprised that his dress nearly fell off him.

‘The Invisible Man!’ said Cuss, and rushed to the window. ‘We’d better move - quick. He’s fighting like a madman!’ In another moment he was out in the yard.

Mr Bunting heard a frightful struggle in the passage of the inn, and decided to leave. He climbed out of the window, and ran up the village street as fast as his fat little legs could carry him.

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