Footprints without Feet, Explanation, Line by Line, Meaning of Difficult Words, English CBSE Class 10 NCERT Footprints without Feet Chapter 5
FOOTPRINTS WITHOUT FEET
(Explanation and Meaning of difficult words)
Author – H G Wells
Two boys looked with surprise at impression of a pair of naked feet. These images were made of fresh mud. The boys thought what a person without shoes was doing at the steps of a house. That too in the middle of London city. They wondered where the man was. Because they saw image of feet only. They did not see any man.
While they were looking at those footprints, they saw an extraordinary scene. One more footmark appeared from nowhere.
|Fainter||Become more dull|
More footprints appeared one by one. These were coming down from steps. These were moving in the street away from the boys. The boys were attracted by these footmarks and followed footmarks of mud till the marks became very dull. Finally footmarks could not be seen.
The explanation for this puzzle was very simple. The surprised boys were following a scientist. That scientist had discovered a method to make human body transparent. [Therefore his body was not visible to anyone]
|Invisible||That cannot be seen|
Name of that scientist is Griffin. He had carried out many experiments to prove that a human body can be made invisible.
|Swallowed||Took without chewing|
He took some uncommon medicines. His body became as transparent as glass. But his body was still a solid mass like a glass.
|Lawless||Not following law or rules|
|Eject||To throw out, To vacate|
Griffin was a brilliant scientist. But he did not follow the law or rules. His landlord did not like him. He asked Griffin to vacate his house. Griffin burnt that house to take revenge from the landlord.
|To get away||Escape|
To escape without being seen, Griffin had to remove his clothes. Hence he became a traveller without home, without clothes and without money. Nobody could see him. But one day he stepped into the mud. The mud made his footprints while he was walking.
|By no means||Not at all, Certainly not|
|Wander||To move, To roam|
Griffin easily escaped from the two boys who were following his footprints in London. But his experience and troubles were certainly not over. He had selected wrong time of year to travel in London without clothes. [Because it was cold season]
|Slip into||Go into|
The season was middle of winter. The air was extremely cold. He could not tolerate such cold without clothes. Instead of walking in the streets, he decided to go into a big store of London city to get some warmth.
|Without regard to||Without bothering about|
After some time, the store was closed. As soon as doors of the store were closed, Griffin started wearing clothes and eating food. It gave him comfort and he enjoyed it. He did not need to pay anybody for his clothes and food.
He opened a box. Then he removed wrappers of clothes. He wore warm clothes that fitted him correctly. He also wore shoes, an over coat and a broad hat. Now he was fully dressed. He became visible because of his dress.
He went to kitchen of the restaurant. He ate cold meat and coffee. After taking his food, he ate sweets and drank some wine. Finally, he slept on a stack of quilts.
|As it was||It so happened, Actually|
If Griffin had woken up early, everything would have been good. It so happened that he woke up only after workers had started arriving in the store.
|Chase||Pursue, Run after|
When Griffin saw some of the workers were coming towards him, he was afraid and he started running away. Workers started running after him to catch him.
Finally, he was able to escape by quickly removing his clothes. Now once more he was invisible but naked in the extreme winter season of January.
|Theatrical company||Drama company|
This time he decided to try clothes from a drama company. He was hopeful that he would find clothes and something to hide his face. His face without clothes looked like an empty space above his shoulders.
He was shivering because of cold. He quickly went to Drury Lane. On this street there were many theatres and shops. Very soon he found a suitable shop.
|Made his way||He went|
|Dark glasses||Dark goggles|
|Side-whiskers||Hair on side of face|
He was invisible. He climbed stairs and went to next floor. After sometime time he came out of the floor wearing a bandage around his forehead, dark goggles, a false nose, a big and thick hair on sides of his face and a big hat.
|Callously||Cruelly, Without mercy|
He wanted to escape from the shop without anyone noticing him. So he hit the shopkeeper without any mercy from behind. [Probably the shopkeeper became unconscious]. He took all the money of the shopkeeper.
He had a strong desire to move away from a crowded place like London. He took a train and went to a village Iping. He booked two rooms for him in a small hotel at Iping.
|In any case||Certainly|
|Set all tongues wagging||People started making guesses|
Arrival of a guest in the inn during winter was certainly an unusual event. Because of his peculiar appearance people started making different guesses about him. They talked about him.
|Friendly||To be kind, To talk nicely|
|Besides||Additionally, In addition to|
The wife of landlord, Mrs. Hall tried many times to talk to him. But Griffin did not want to talk. He told Mrs. Hall that he had come to Iping because he wanted to be alone. I do not want any disturbance in my work. Additionally, my face has become ugly in an accident.
|Eccentric||Strange, Unusual. Mad|
|Irritable temper||Bad or annoying behaviour|
Mrs. Hall realised that the guest was a strange scientist. He had paid the rent in advance. Therefore Mrs. Hall was ready to neglect his strange habits and bad behaviour.
|Did not last long||Got over soon|
But the money he had stolen from the shop got over very soon. Now Griffin had to accept to Mrs. Hall that he did not have money with him. He bluffed that a cheque for him would be coming very soon.
|Creep||To move slowly and carefully|
|Chink||Sound of coins|
Very soon after that a strange incident happened. Very early in the morning, a priest and his wife woke up because of noise in their study room. Carefully they came to the lower floor of their house. They heard sound of their money being taken away from desk of the priest.
|Poker||An iron rod|
|Flung open||Open suddenly|
The priest tightly held an iron rod in his hand. Without making any noise he suddenly opened the door and shouted – surrender.
|Housekeeping money||Money for routine expenses|
He was surprised to see that the room was empty. He and his wife looked everywhere in the room. But there was nobody in the room. In spite of that the desk had been opened and the money kept for their daily expenses was not there.
The priest kept saying for the remaining day that it was an extraordinary incident. But later during the day another more extraordinary incident happened. The furniture of Mrs. Hall started behaving [moving] in a peculiar manner.
|Were up very early||Woke up very early in the morning|
The landlord [Mr. Hall] and his wife [Mrs. Hall] had woken up very early in the morning. They were surprised to see that the door of scientist’s room was fully open. Normally that door used to remain closed and locked. He would become very angry if anyone entered his room.
|Investigate||To find out, Inspect|
They [Mr. and Mrs. Hall] thought that it was an excellent opportunity to go into the room. They did not want to miss this chance. They peeped through the open door. There was nobody in the room. So they decided to enter the room to find out more about the scientist.
The clothes of the bed [bedsheet] were cold. Meaning that the scientist had been not in the bed for some time. The clothes and bandage that the scientist was always wearing were spread in the room. They found this very strange.
|Sniff||Sound of cough or sneeze|
|Dashed||Struck, Crashed, Moved quickly|
Suddenly Mrs. Hall heard sound of a sniff near her ear. Immediately after that the hat that was hanging on the post of the bed jumped. The hat struck on the face of Mrs. Hall.
|Charged||Rushed, Came quickly|
Then chair of the bed room started moving. The chair jumped in the air and it rushed directly towards Mrs. Hall. Legs of chair were pointed towards Mrs. Hall.
|Slam||Put or strike violently|
Mrs. Hall and her husband were afraid and moved away from the chair. The unusual chair pushed both of them out of the room. Then chair was put down violently on the floor. The door was locked after they had come out of the room.
|Hysterics||Extreme anger or fear|
|Haunted||A place visited by ghosts|
Mrs. Hall almost fell down the stairs due to her extreme anger. She became sure that there were ghosts in the room. The stranger had done something to enter those ghosts into her furniture.
|Moaned||Spoke painfully, Groaned|
She spoke painfully that her mother used to sit on that chair. Mrs. Hall cannot even think that that chair could ever try to attack her.
|Had a hand in it||Was involved|
The neighbours thought that the problem of moving furniture was created by magic. People came to know about theft in house of the priest. People had a doubt that the stranger was involved in the theft.
Their doubt became stronger when the stranger suddenly paid the rent in cash to Mrs. Hall. Because somedays ago the stranger had accepted that he did not have money.
|Mysteriously||Secretly, Not known,|
The police constable of the village was secretly called. But Mrs. Hall did not wait for his arrival. She went to the scientist. It seemed to her that the scientist had appeared from the empty bedroom. [She did not see him coming from outside]
She asked him that she wanted to know what had he done to his chairs. She wanted to know how he had come out of the empty room. She also wanted to know how he entered the room when the door was locked.
|Quick tempered||Easily become angry|
The scientist would always become angry easily. But now he was very angry. He shouted that she did not know who he was. He said now he would show her what he was.
|Horrified||Afraid, Shocked due to fear|
Suddenly he removed his bandage, whiskers, goggles and also the nose. He did that in less than one minute. The people of the bar got afraid. They were looking at a person who did not have a head.
|Warrant||A legal order|
The constable, Mr Jaffers, reached there at that time. He was surprised to note that he was supposed to arrest a headless person. But Jaffers did not stop in performing his duty. He thought that if the order of the magistrate asked to arrest a person, that person had to be arrested. It does not matter if the person has a head or does not have a head.
|Get hold of||Catch, Arrest|
Now people saw a strange scene. A policeman was trying to arrest a person who was becoming more and more invisible. The person was removing clothes from his body one by one.
Finally the scientist removed his shirt and threw it in the air. The constable was fighting with a person whom he could not see. Some people tried to help him. But they were hit by blows. They could not see from where these blows were coming.
|Knocked||Hit, Fell down|
Jaffers made his last attempt to catch the invisible scientist. In the end, Jaffers became unconscious and he fell down.
|Shaken himself free||He became free|
|To lay hands on||To arrest|
People nervously started shouting -‘hold him’, so that somebody will catch the scientist. But it was easy to say such words but difficult to actually catch him. Griffin had become free from the hold of Jaffers. Nobody knew how to arrest him.