The Invisible Man HTML version
Doctor Kemp's Visitor
Doctor Kemp had continued writing in his study until the shots aroused him. Crack,
crack, crack, they came one after the other.
"Hullo!" said Doctor Kemp, putting his pen into his mouth again and listening. "Who's
letting off revolvers in Burdock? What are the asses at now?"
He went to the south window, threw it up, and leaning out stared down on the network
of windows, beaded gas-lamps and shops, with its black interstices of roofs that made 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 faceted pavilion like a gem of
yellow light. The moon in its first quarter hung over the western 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 of the future, and lost itself at last over the time dimension, Doctor
Kemp roused himself with a sigh, pulled down the window again, and returned to his
It must have been about an hour after this that the front-door bell rang. He had been
writing slackly, and with intervals of abstraction, since the shots. He sat listening. He
heard the servant answer the door, and waited for her feet on the staircase, but she did not
come. "Wonder what that was," said Doctor 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 the housemaid as she appeared in the hall
below. "Was that a letter?" he asked.
"Only a runaway ring, 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 of his quill,
hurrying in the very centre of the circle of light his lampshade threw on his table.
It was two o'clock before Doctor Kemp had finished his work for the night. He rose,
yawned, and went downstairs to bed. He had already removed his coat and vest, when he
noticed that he was thirsty. He took a candle and went down to the dining-room in search
of a syphon and whiskey.
Doctor Kemp's scientific pursuits have made him a very observant man, and as he
recrossed the hall, he noticed a dark spot on the linoleum near the mat at the foot of the
stairs. He went on upstairs, and then it suddenly occurred to him to ask himself what the