BOOK TWO: THE EARTH UNDER THE MARTIANS
CHAPTER 4: THE DEATH OF THE CURATE
I seized the opportunity of slightly shifting my position,
which had become cramped, and then listened. I whispered
passionate prayers for safety.
Then I heard the slow, deliberate sound creeping towards
me again. Slowly, slowly it drew near, scratching against the
walls and tapping the furniture.
While I was still doubtful, it rapped smartly against the
cellar door and closed it. I heard it go into the pantry, and
the biscuit-tins rattled and a bottle smashed, and then came
a heavy bump against the cellar door. Then silence that
passed into an infinity of suspense.
Had it gone?
At last I decided that it had.
It came into the scullery no more; but I lay all the tenth
day in the close darkness, buried among coals and firewood,
not daring even to crawl out for the drink for which I craved.
It was the eleventh day before I ventured so far from my