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CHAPTER 13. MR. MARVEL DISCUSSES HIS RESIGNATION
When the dusk was gathering and Iping was just beginning to peep timorously forth again upon the shattered wreckage of its Bank Holiday, a short, thick-set man in a shabby silk hat was marching painfully through the twilight behind the beechwoods on the road to Bramblehurst. He carried three books bound together by some sort of ornamental elastic ligature, and a bundle wrapped in a blue table-cloth. His rubicund face expressed consternation and fatigue; he appeared to be in a spasmodic sort of hurry. He was accompanied by a voice other than his own, and ever and again he winced under the touch of unseen hands.
"If you give me the slip again," said the Voice, "if you attempt to give me the slip again--"
"Lord!" said Mr. Marvel. "That shoulder's a mass of bruises as it is."
"On my honour," said the Voice, "I will kill you."
"I didn't try to give you the slip," said Marvel, in a voice that was not far remote from tears. "I swear I didn't. I didn't know the blessed turning, that was all! How the devil was I to know the blessed turning? As it is, I've been knocked about--"
"You'll get knocked about a great deal more if you don't mind," said the Voice, and Mr. Marvel abruptly became silent. He blew out his cheeks, and his eyes were eloquent of despair.
"It's bad enough to let these floundering yokels explode my little secret, without your cutting off with my books. It's lucky for some of them they cut and ran when they did! Here am I ... No one knew I was invisible! And now what am I to do?"
"What am I to do?" asked Marvel, sotto voce.
"It's all about. It will be in the papers! Everybody will be looking for me; everyone on their guard--" The Voice broke off into vivid curses and ceased.
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