Detailed explanation of “Footprints without Feet”, including definitions of difficult words. In addition, the explanation is followed by a lesson summary. Also, NCERT Question and Answers are also provided to help students understand this Chapter and do well in their exams.
The story is an extract from the novel named “The invisible man”. This story is about a scientist who discovered how to make himself invisible. As he was afraid of being discovered in London, where he had committed some crimes, he ran away to a remote village. However, he ran out of money and resorted to robbery, using his advantage of invisibility.
Two boys on a street in London were surprised to see fresh muddy footprints of bare feet on the steps of a house. As they were still gazing (looking carefully), fresh footmark appeared. This fascinated the boys as they couldn’t find the person making them and they followed the footmarks. However, the footprints s0on
The footprints had been made by Griffin, an eccentric (strange) scientist who had discovered how to make his body invisible or transparent. He had conducted many experiments to prove that the human body could become invisible. Finally, he swallowed some drugs that made his body transparent and solid as a sheet of glass.
Griffin was a great scientist, but a lawless person. His landlord did not like him and tried to evict (throw out) him from the house. So, Griffin set fire to his landlord’s house. To escape from this situation, Griffin removed his clothes and became invisible. Later, he became a homeless wanderer in London without any clothes and money.
Griffin managed to escape from the observation of the two keen boys. As the weather was bitterly cold in London, Griffin decided to slip into a big London store for warmth. The store was closed at night, Griffin wore some warm clothes, shoes, an overcoat and a hat. He ate cold meat and drank some coffee from the kitchen of the restaurant. He even had some sweets and wine from the grocery store and then went to sleep on a pile of quiles (blankets).
When Griffin woke up next morning, the shop assistants had already started to arrive at the shop. On being seen, Griffin panicked and started running. As he was being chased, he again took off his newly found clothes. Consequently, he found himself invisible and naked in the chill again. Griffin decided to try the goods of a theatrical company. So, he reached Drury Lane and entered into a shop that sold theatrical items.
A little later, he came out wearing bandages, dark glasses, a false nose, big bushy whiskers and a large hat. Then, he attacked the shopkeeper and also robbed his money. After robbing the shopkeeper, Griffin left London and took a train to the village of Iping. Here, he booked two rooms in an inn belonging to Mr. Hall.
Mrs Hall (the landlord’s wife) tried to be friendly with Griffin. However, Griffin told her that he had an accident and did not want to be disturbed. Mrs Hall excused his strange behaviour as he had paid her in advance.
Soon the money that Griffin had stolen from theatrical company was finished. So he robbed a clergyman’s house. Very early in the morning the clergyman and his wife were disturbed by some sounds. They heard the chink (a sound) of money being taken away from the desk. The clergyman silently opened the door and warned the thief to surrender. However, he was shocked to find that nobody was there and the money was missing.
On the same day, when Mrs Hall found Griffin’s room open, with his bandages and clothes lying around, she and her husband entered the room. Suddenly, Mrs Hall heard sniff and the hat near the bedpost was thrown on her face, Then, the bedroom chair was thrown at her legs. Both the landlord and his wife were pushed out of the room. Mrs Hall felt that the furniture was haunted by spirits (ghosts), as she could not see Griffin.
Mrs Hall blamed Griffin for the strange events while the neighbours blamed witchcraft (black magic). Soon, the news of burglary at clergyman’s house was spread. Most people in the village felt that the strange scientist was involved in it, because he paid his due rent, whereas earlier he was not able to do so. As a result, the village police constable Mr Jaffers was called.
Mrs Hall went to Griffin and enquired what he had been doing with her chair in the room. She also enquired that how did he came out of an empty room and entered a locked room. Griffin lost his temper and decided to show her everything. He threw off his bandages, spectacles, whiskers and his nose. People who had gathered were horrified to see the headless man.
When constable Jaffers had arrived, he was surprised to know that he had to arrest a man without a head. Yet, he tried to catch him. Griffin removed all that he was wearing to become invisible. The constable was trying to catch a man he couldn’t see. Some people tried to help Jaffers but were hit by a blow they could not see. Soon Jaffers was knocked unconscious and Griffin ran away.
|imprints||marks due to pressure|
|rare drugs||chemicals/medicines not easily available|
|by no means||not yet|
|pile||objects positioned one on
top of another
|sniff||sound made by nose
drawing in air
|bedpost||an upright support of a bed|
|witchcraft||the practice of magic,
especially for evil purposes
|quick-tempered||losing temper quickly|
|blows||powerful hits with the hands|
|set all tongues wagging||to do something that people will talk or guess
about your private life
|chink||high pitched ringing sound|
|flung open||suddenly opened|
|hysterics||a wildly emotional reaction|
|knocked||to hit forcefully and cause to
move or fall