CHAPTER 3 SUMMARY (THE THOUSAND AND ONE BOTTLE)
The luggage of the stranger man arrived at the inn. It comprised of six trunks and big, fat books, of which some were in unreadable writing. There were crates and cases containing objects packed in straw. The cart driver, Fearenside and Mr Hall were talking when the stranger came running for his luggage. Suddenly, Fearenside’s dog jumped at the stranger. The dog tore off the glove and the trousers of the stranger. The stranger ran inside. Mr Hall went after the guest to ask if he was fine. He entered the stranger’s room without knocking. The room was dim. The next thing he knew was being struck violently in the chest, hurled back and the door slammed in his face. Mr Hall was stunned. Soon the stranger came down once again. He had changed his trousers and gloves. Fearenside apologised for his dog, but the stranger assured him that he was not hurt. As soon as the first box was bought into the parlour, the stranger began to unpack. There were bottles of all shapes and sizes in all the crates. The stranger was engrossed in his work. The fire was out and the straw was scattered all over.
He was so busy that he didn’t hear Mrs Hall knocking or even coming in. When she put down the tray, he turned to look at her, but immediately looked away. Mrs Hall thought that his eye sockets were hollow. The stranger complained that he did not like being disturbed. All afternoon he worked silently. When she came again with his dinner, she found a broken glass in the corner. She complained and received the response that she could put the expenses of the damage and the mess in his bill. Fearenside and Teddy later discussed the stranger when Fearenside remarked that the man was probably a piebald since his leg was black but his nose was pink.
Q1. Describe the arrival of the stranger’s luggage and the behaviour of Fearenside’s dog. Why did Fearenside think that the stranger was piebald?
Ans. Fearenside, the cart-driver brought the stranger’s luggage, which included boxes of glass bottles from Bramblehurst railway station when the stranger came running down to help in unloading it. Just as he was about to reach the cart, Fearenside’s dog attacked him. His glove and trousers were ripped by the dog. He ran back to his room to change his clothes. When asked he said that he was not hurt. He appeared to be in a great hurry to get to his bottles and chemicals. The dog was chastised by Fearenside but he continued to grow from under the cart and appeared to be ready to attack the stranger if given a chance.
Fearenside felt that the man was probably a piebald because he had expected that his skin would be pinkish but all that he had seen was darkness through the torn trousers. So, he thought that the man was a half-breed and therefore, kept himself covered all the time.