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1. The Invisible Man H.G.WELLS Level 5 Retold by T. S. Gregory Series Editors: Andy Hopkins and Jocelyn Potter 2. Pearson Education Limited Edinburgh Gate, Harlow, Essex…
  • 1. The Invisible Man H.G.WELLS Level 5 Retold by T. S. Gregory Series Editors: Andy Hopkins and Jocelyn Potter
  • 2. Pearson Education Limited Edinburgh Gate, Harlow, Essex CM20 2JE, England and Associated Companies throughout the world. ISBN-13: 978-0-582-41930-8 ISBN-10: 0-582-41930-1 Contents page iv Introduction Chapter 4 Mr Cuss Talks to the Stranger 13 Chapter 5 The Robbery at the Vicarage 16 Chapter 6 The Furniture That Went Mad 18 Chapter 7 The Stranger Shows His Face 21 On the Road 27 Chapter 9 In the Coach and Horses 31 Chapter 10 The Invisible Man Loses His Temper 33 Chapter 11 Mr Marvel Tries to Say No 36 Chapter 12 At Port Stowe 37 The Man in a Hurry 39 Chapter 14 In the Happy Cricketers 40 Dr Kemp's Visitor 43 How to Become Invisible 49 The Experiment 51 The Plan That Failed 53 The Hunt for the Invisible Man 56 Chapter 20 For a complete list of titles available in the Penguin Readers series, please write to your local Pearson Education office or to: Penguin Readers Marketing Department, Pearson Education, Edinburgh Gate, Harlow, Essex CM20 2JE. 9 Chapter 19 Published by Pearson Education Limited in association with Penguin Books Ltd, both companies being subsidiaries of Pearson Plc The Thousand and One Bottles Chapter 18 All rights reserved; no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the Publishers. Chapter 3 Chapter 17 Set in ll/14pt Bembo Printed in China SWTC/06 5 Chapter 16 This edition copyright © Penguin Books Ltd 1999 Cover design by Bender Richardson White Mr Henfrey Has a Shock Chapter 15 7 9 10 8 6 Chapter 2 Chapter 13 NEW EDITION 1 Chapter 8 First published in the Longman Simplified English Series 1936 This adaptation first published by Addison Wesley Longman Limited in the Longman Fiction Series 1996 Second impression 1997 This edition first published 1999 The Strange Man's Arrival The Wicksteed Murder 58 Chapter 21 The Attack on Kemp's House 60 Chapter 22 The Hunter Hunted 66 Chapter Activities 1 69
  • 3. Introduction Herbert George Wells was born in 1866 in Bromley, England into a family where there was little money to spare; his father ran a small shop and played cricket professionally and his mother worked as a housekeeper. The family's financial situation meant that Wells had to work from the age of fourteen to support himself through education. His success at school won him a free place to study at a college of science in London, after which he became a science teacher. His poor health made life difficult, though, and he struggled to keep his full-time job while trying to write in his spare time. He married twice. His first wife was Isabel Mary Wells, but the marriage was not a success. Three years later he left her for Amy Catherine Robbins, a former pupil. Wells often criticised the institution of marriage, and he had relationships with several other women, the most important being the writer Rebecca West. By 1895 Wells had become a full-time writer and lived comfortably from his work. He travelled a lot and kept homes in the south of France and in London, where he died in 1946. Wells wrote about 40 works of fiction and collections of stories; many books and shorter works on political, social and historical matters; three books for children, and one about his own life. His most important early works established him as the father of science fiction and it is for these books that he is remembered. Best known are The Time Machine (1895), The Invisible Man (1897), The War of the Worlds (1898) and The First Men in the Moon (1901). In all these works he shows a remarkable imagination. He seemed to have the ability to make intelligent guesses about future scientific developments; he described travel underwater and by air, for example, at a time when such journeys seemed to be pure fiction. Wells began to realise that his science fiction, although highly successful, was not about the lives of real people, and the subject matter of his later works of fiction is rooted in a world of which he had personal experience. Love and Mr Lewisham (1900) tells the story of a struggling teacher. The History of Mr Polly (1910) describes the adventures of a shopkeeper who frees himself from his work by burning down his own shop and running away to start a new life. In these and other books he shows a sympathetic interest in, and understanding for, the lives of ordinary people that were rarely present in fiction at the time. One of Wells's most successful works is Tono-Bungay (1909), a story of dishonesty and greed involving the production and sale of a medicine that, for a time, brings wealth and respect to its inventor. , For centuries storytellers have been interested in the idea of invisible beings, with all the related possibilities and dangers. Wells's interest in the subject is from a scientific rather than a magical point of view, and he uses the main character in The Invisible Man to put across his message that scientific progress can be dangerous in the wrong hands. Apart from the idea of invisibility, the rest of the book is very realistic. It is set in a real place known to Wells; the characters are ordinary and believable. All of this makes the less believable central idea easier to accept. Much of the book is written with a light, humorous touch, but it becomes more serious as the story develops. The story begins on a snowy winter's day in the village of Iping. A mysterious stranger arrives at the Coach and Horses Inn, wrapped up from head to foot so that no part of his body is visible. The lady of the inn, Mrs Hall, is pleased to have a guest at this time of year, but her pleasure turns to doubt and finally to fear as she discovers her strange visitor's secret. When he begins to make trips out of the inn, the people of the village and surrounding area are affected by the appearance and behaviour of the Invisible Man and they connect his presence with robberies IV v
  • 4. and strange events in the area. It is the scientist, Dr Kemp, who the Invisible Man turns to for help and understanding, and who learns the secret of the strange man's invisibility. When the Invisible Man finds that he was wrong to have trusted Kemp, his actions become wilder and more violent and it is clear that the story will not end happily. Chapter 1 The Strange Man's Arrival The stranger came early one winter's day in February, through a biting wind and the last snowfall of the year. He walked over the hill from Bramblehurst Station, and carried a little black bag in his thickly gloved hand. He was wrapped up from head to foot, and the edge of his soft grey hat hid every part of his face except the shiny point of his nose; the snow had piled itself against his shoulders and chest. He almost fell into the Coach and Horses, more dead than alive, and threw his bag down. 'A fire,' he cried, 'in the name of human kindness! A room and a fire!' He stamped his feet, shook the snow from his coat and followed Mrs Hall, the innkeeper's wife, into her parlour. There he arranged to take a room in the inn and gave her two pounds. Mrs Hall lit the fire and left him there while she went to prepare him a meal with her own hands. To have a guest at Iping in the winter time was an unusual piece of good fortune, and she was determined to show that she deserved it. She put some meat on the fire to cook, told Millie, the servant, to get the room ready for the stranger, and carried the cloth, plates and glasses into the parlour, and began to lay the table. Although the fire was burning brightly, she was surprised to see that her visitor still wore his hat and coat, and stood with his back to her, looking out of the window at the falling snow in the yard. His gloved hands were held behind him, and he seemed to be thinking deeply. She noticed that some melted snow was falling onto the floor from his shoulders. 'Can I take your hat and coat, sir,' she said, 'and dry them in the kitchen?' 'No,' he replied, without turning. VI 1
  • 5. She was not sure that she had heard him, and was about to repeat the question. He turned his head and looked at her over his shoulder. 'I would rather keep them on,' he said firmly; and she noticed that he wore big blue glasses, and had a bushy beard over his coat collar that almost hid his face. 'Very well, sir,' she said. 'As you like. Very soon the room will be warmer.' He made no answer, and turned his face away from her again, and Mrs Hall, feeling that her talk was unwelcome, finished laying the table quickly, and hurried out of the room. When she returned he was still standing there like a man of stone, his collar turned up, the edge of his hat turned down, almost hiding his face and ears. She put down the eggs and meat noisily, and called rather than said to him: He held his napkin over the lower part of his face, so that his mouth and jaws were completely hidden. But it was not that which surprised Mrs Hall. It was the fact that the top of his head above his blue glasses was covered by a white bandage, and that another covered his ears, leaving nothing of his face to be seen except his pink, pointed nose. It was bright pink, and shining, just as it had been at first. He wore a dark brown jacket, with a high black collar turned up about his neck. His thick black hair stuck out below and between the bandages. This bandaged head was so unlike what she had expected that for a moment she stood staring at it. 'Your lunch is served, sir.' 'Thank you,' he answered. He did not move until she was closing the door. Then he turned round and walked eagerly up to the table. Mrs Hall filled the butter dish in the kitchen, and took it to the parlour. She knocked and entered at once. As she did so her visitor moved quickly, so that she only saw something white disappearing behind the table. He seemed to be picking up something from the floor. She put down the butter dish on the table, and noticed that the visitor's hat and coat were hanging over a chair in front of the fire. 'I suppose I may have them to dry now?' she said, in a voice that could not be refused. 'Leave the hat,' said her visitor, and turning, she saw he had raised his head and was looking at her. For a moment she stood looking at him, too surprised to speak. He did not remove the napkin, but remained holding it, as she saw now, with a brown-gloved hand, and looking at her from behind his dark glasses. 'Leave the hat,' he said, through the white cloth. She began to feel less afraid. She put the hat on the chair again by the fire. 'I didn't know, sir,' she began,'that—'And she stopped. 'Thank you,' he said shortly, looking from her to the door, and then at her again. 'I'll have it nicely dried, sir, at once,' she said, and carried his coat out of the room. She looked at his bandaged head and dark glasses again as she was going out of the door; but he was still holding his napkin in front of his face. She was shaking a little as she closed the door behind her. 'My goodness!' she whispered. She went straight to the kitchen, and did not even think of asking Millie what she was doing now. The visitor sat and listened to her footsteps. He looked out of the window before he removed his napkin from his face and began his meal again. He took a mouthful, looked again at the window, then rose and, taking the napkin in his hand, walked across the room and pulled down the blind. This darkened the room. He returned more happily to the table and his meal. 2 3
  • 6. 'The poor man's had an accident, or an operation or something,' said Mrs Hall. 'What a shock those bandages gave me.' She put some more coal on the fire, and hung the traveller's coat to dry. 'And the glasses! Why, he doesn't look human at all. And holding that napkin over his mouth all the time. Talking through it! . . . Perhaps his mouth was hurt too.' She turned round, suddenly remembering something. 'Oh dear!' she said, 'Haven't you done those potatoes yet, Millie?' When Mrs Hall went to clear away the stranger's lunch, her idea that his mouth must also have been damaged in an accident was strengthened, for though he was smoking a pipe, all the time that she was in the room he kept the lower part of his face covered. He sat in the corner with his back to the window, and spoke now, having eaten and drunk and being comfortably warmed through, less impatiently than before. The light of the fire shone red in his glasses. 'I have some boxes,' he said, 'at Bramblehurst Station. How can they be brought here?' Mrs Hall answered his question, and then said,'It's a steep road by the hill, sir. That's where a carriage was turned over, a year ago and more. A gentleman was killed. Accidents, sir, happen in a moment, don't they?' 'They do.' 'But people take long enough to get well, sir, don't they? There was my sister's son, Tom, who cut his arm with a scythe he fell on it out in the fields. He was three months tied up, sir. You'd hardly believe it. I've been afraid of scythes ever since, sir.' 'I can quite understand that,' said the visitor. 'We were afraid that he'd have to have an operation, he was so bad, sir.' The visitor laughed suddenly. 'Was he?' , 4 'He was, sir. And it wasn't funny for those who had to nurse him as I did, my sister being so busy with her little ones. There were bandages to do, sir, and bandages to undo. So that if I may say, sir-' 'Will you get me some matches?' said the visitor quite suddenly. 'My pipe is out.' Mrs Hall stopped. It was certainly rude of him after she had told him so much. But she remembered the two pounds, and went for the matches. 'Thanks,' he said shortly, as she put them down, and turned his back upon her and looked out of the window again. Clearly he did not like talking about bandages. The visitor remained in the room until four o'clock, without giving Mrs Hall an excuse for a visit. He was very quiet during that time: perhaps he sat in the growing darkness smoking by the firelight — perhaps he slept. Once or twice a listener might have heard him: for five minutes he could be heard walking up and down the room. He seemed to be talking to himself. Then he sat down again in the armchair. Chapter 2 Mr Henfrey Has a Shock At four o'clock, when it was fairly dark, and Mrs Hall was trying to find the courage to go in and ask her visitor if he would like some tea, Teddy Henfrey, the clock-mender, came into the bar. 'Good evening, Mrs Hall,' said he, 'this is terrible snowy weather for thin boots!' Mrs Hall agreed, and then noticed he had his bag with him. 'Now you're here, Mr Teddy' said she,'I'd be glad if you'd look at the old clock. It's going, and it strikes loud and clear, but the hour hand does nothing except point to six.' 5
  • 7. 'Would you mind, sir, if this man came to look at the clock, sir?' she said. 'Look at the clock?' he said, staring round sleepily and speaking over his hand; and then, more fully awake,'Certainly.' Mrs Hall went away to get a lamp, and he rose and stretched himself. Then came the light, and at the door Mr Teddy Henfrey was met by this bandaged person. He was, he said later, 'quite shocked'. 'Good afternoon,' said the stranger, staring at him — as Mr Henfrey said — 'like a fish'. 'I hope,' said Mr Henfrey, 'that you don't mind.' 'Not at all,' said the stranger. 'Though I understood,' he said, turning to Mrs Hall, 'that this room was to be mine for my own use.' 'I thought, sir,' said Mrs Hall, 'you'd like the clock—' 'Certainly,' said the stranger, 'certainly; but at other times I would like to be left alone.' He turned round with his back to the fireplace, and put his hands behind his back. 'And soon,' he said, 'when the clock is mended, I think I should like to have some tea. But not until then.' Mrs Hall was about to leave the room — she did not try to talk this time — when her visitor asked her if she had done anything about his boxes at Bramblehurst. She told him that the carrier could bring them over the next day. 'You are certain that is the earliest?' he asked. She was quite sure. 'I should explain,' he added,'but I was really too cold and tired to do so before, that I am a scientist.' 'Indeed, sir,' said Mrs Hall, respectfully. 'And I need things from the boxes for my work.' 'Of course, sir.' 'My reason for coming to Iping,' he went on slowly, 'was a desire to be alone. I do not wish to be disturbed in my work. Besides my work, an accident—' 'I thought so,' said Mrs Hall to herself. '—makes it necessary for me to be quiet. My eyes are sometimes so weak and painful that I have to shut myself up in the dark for several hours and lock myself in. Sometimes — now and then. Not at present, certainly. At such times the least thing, even a stranger coming into the room, gives me great pain. It's important that this should be understood.' 'Certainly, sir,' said Mrs Hall. 'And if I might ask—' 'That, I think, is all,' said the stranger quietly. Mrs Hall said no more. After Mrs Hall had left the room, he remained standing in front of the fire and watched the clock being mended. Mr Henfrey worked with the lamp close to him, and the green shade threw a bright light onto his hands and onto the frame and wheels, and left the rest of the room in shadow. He took longer than he needed to remove the works, hoping to have some talk with the stranger. But the stranger stood there, perfectly silent 6 7 And, leading the way, she went across to the parlour door and knocked. As she opened the door, she saw her visitor seated in the armchair in front of the fire, asleep, it seemed, with his bandaged head leaning on one side. The only light in the room was from the fire. Everything seemed hidden in shadows. But for a second it seemed to her that the man she was looking at had a great, wide-open mouth, a mouth that swallowed the whole of the lower part of his face. It was too ugly to believe, the white head, the staring glasses — and then a great hole. He moved, sat up straight and put up his hand. She opened the door wide, so that the room was lighter, and she saw him more clearly, with the napkin held to his face, just as she had seen him hold it before. The shadows, she thought, had tricked her.
  • 8. and still. So still that it frightened Henfrey. He felt alone in the room and looked up, and there, grey and shadowy, were the bandaged head and large dark glasses staring straight in front of them. It was so strange to Henfrey that for a minute they stood staring at each other. Then Henfrey looked down again. He would have liked to say something. Should he say that the weather was very cold for the time of the year? hard at the furniture, just to show that the stranger wasn't master there. When he went to bed, he told Mrs Hall to look very closely at the stranger's boxes when they came next day.. 'You mind your own business, Hall,' said Mrs Hall, 'and I'll mind mine.' But in the middle of the night she woke up dreaming of great whit
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