The Island of Doctor Moreau
The Locked Door
THE reader will perhaps understand that at first everything was so strange about me, and
my position was the outcome of such unexpected adventures, that I had no discernment
of the relative strangeness of this or that thing. I followed the llama up the beach, and was
overtaken by Montgomery, who asked me not to enter the stone enclosure. I noticed then
that the puma in its cage and the pile of packages had been placed outside the entrance to
I turned and saw that the launch had now been unloaded, run out again, and was being
beached, and the white-haired man was walking towards us. He addressed Montgomery.
"And now comes the problem of this uninvited guest. What are we to do with him?"
"He knows something of science," said Montgomery.
"I'm itching to get to work again--with this new stuff," said the white-haired man,
noddding towards the enclosure. His eyes grew brighter.
"I daresay you are," said Montgomery, in anything but a cordial tone.
"We can't send him over there, and we can't spare the time to build him a new shanty; and
we certainly can't take him into our confidence just yet."
"I'm in your hands," said I. I had no idea of what he meant by "over there."
"I've been thinking of the same things," Montgomery answered. "There's my room with
the outer door--"
"That's it," said the elder man, promptly, looking at Montgomery; and all three of us went
towards the enclosure. "I'm sorry to make a mystery, Mr. Prendick; but you'll remember
you're uninvited. Our little establishment here contains a secret or so, is a kind of Blue-
Beard's chamber, in fact. Nothing very dreadful, really, to a sane man; but just now, as
we don't know you--"
"Decidedly," said I, "I should be a fool to take offence at any want of confidence."
He twisted his heavy mouth into a faint smile--he was one of those saturnine people who
smile with the corners of the mouth down,-- and bowed his acknowledgment of my
complaisance. The main entrance to the enclosure we passed; it was a heavy wooden
gate, framed in iron and locked, with the cargo of the launch piled outside it, and at the
corner we came to a small doorway I had not previously observed. The white-haired man
produced a bundle of keys from the pocket of his greasy blue jacket, opened this door,
and entered. His keys, and the elaborate locking-up of the place even while it was still
under his eye, struck me as peculiar. I followed him, and found myself in a small