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The Invisible Man

16.
The Jolly Cricketers
The jolly Cricketers is just at the bottom of the hill, where the tram-lines begin. The
barman leant his fat red arms on the counter and talked of horses with an anaemic
cabman, while a black-bearded man in grey snapped up biscuit and cheese, drank Burton,
and conversed in American with a policeman off duty.
"What's the shouting about!" said the anaemic cabman, going off at a tangent, trying
to see up the hill 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, the door was pushed open violently, and
Marvel, weeping and dishevelled, his hat gone, the neck of his coat torn open, rushed in,
made a convulsive turn, and attempted to shut the door. 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!"
"Shut the doors," said the policeman. "Who's coming? What's the row?" He went to
the door, released the 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
fastened door shiver and was followed by a hurried rapping and a shouting outside.
"Hullo," cried the policeman, "who's there?" Mr. Marvel began to make frantic dives at
panels that looked like doors. "He'll kill me -- he's got a knife or something. For Gawd's
sake!"
"Here you are," said the barman. "Come in here." And he held up the flap of the bar.
Mr. Marvel rushed 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
behind him. "I guess it's about time we saw him."
The window of the inn was suddenly smashed in, and there was a screaming and
running to and fro in the street. The policeman had been standing on the settee staring
 
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