The Invisible Man Ch. 25 by H.G. Wells


For a space Kemp was too inarticulate to make Adye understand the swift
things that had just happened. They stood on the landing, Kemp speaking
swiftly, the grotesque swathings of Griffin still on his arm. But
presently Adye began to grasp something of the situation.

“He is mad,” said Kemp; “inhuman. He is pure selfishness. He thinks of
nothing but his own advantage, his own safety. I have listened to such
a story this morning of brutal self-seeking…. He has wounded men. He
will kill them unless we can prevent him. He will create a panic.
Nothing can stop him. He is going out now—furious!”

“He must be caught,” said Adye. “That is certain.”

“But how?” cried Kemp, and suddenly became full of ideas. “You must
begin at once. You must set every available man to work; you must
prevent his leaving this district. Once he gets away, he may go through
the countryside as he wills, killing and maiming. He dreams of a reign
of terror! A reign of terror, I tell you. You must set a watch on
trains and roads and shipping. The garrison must help. You must wire
for help. The only thing that may keep him here is the thought of
recovering some books of notes he counts of value. I will tell you of
that! There is a man in your police station—Marvel.”

“I know,” said Adye, “I know. Those books—yes. But the tramp….”

“Says he hasn’t them. But he thinks the tramp has. And you must prevent
him from eating or sleeping; day and night the country must be astir
for him. Food must be locked up and secured, all food, so that he will
have to break his way to it. The houses everywhere must be barred
against him. Heaven send us cold nights and rain! The whole
country-side must begin hunting and keep hunting. I tell you, Adye, he
is a danger, a disaster; unless he is pinned and secured, it is
frightful to think of the things that may happen.”

“What else can we do?” said Adye. “I must go down at once and begin
organising. But why not come? Yes—you come too! Come, and we must hold
a sort of council of war—get Hopps to help—and the railway managers. By
Jove! it’s urgent. Come along—tell me as we go. What else is there we
can do? Put that stuff down.”

In another moment Adye was leading the way downstairs. They found the
front door open and the policemen standing outside staring at empty
air. “He’s got away, sir,” said one.

“We must go to the central station at once,” said Adye. “One of you go
on down and get a cab to come up and meet us—quickly. And now, Kemp,
what else?”

“Dogs,” said Kemp. “Get dogs. They don’t see him, but they wind him.
Get dogs.”

“Good,” said Adye. “It’s not generally known, but the prison officials
over at Halstead know a man with bloodhounds. Dogs. What else?”

“Bear in mind,” said Kemp, “his food shows. After eating, his food
shows until it is assimilated. So that he has to hide after eating. You
must keep on beating. Every thicket, every quiet corner. And put all
weapons—all implements that might be weapons, away. He can’t carry such
things for long. And what he can snatch up and strike men with must be
hidden away.”

“Good again,” said Adye. “We shall have him yet!”

“And on the roads,” said Kemp, and hesitated.

“Yes?” said Adye.

“Powdered glass,” said Kemp. “It’s cruel, I know. But think of what he
may do!”

Adye drew the air in sharply between his teeth. “It’s unsportsmanlike.
I don’t know. But I’ll have powdered glass got ready. If he goes too

“The man’s become inhuman, I tell you,” said Kemp. “I am as sure he
will establish a reign of terror—so soon as he has got over the
emotions of this escape—as I am sure I am talking to you. Our only
chance is to be ahead. He has cut himself off from his kind. His blood
be upon his own head.”



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