04.Chapter 4

04.Chapter 4


  In my laboratory I made a body. I bought or stole all the pieces of human body that I needed, and slowly and carefully, I put them all together.

  I did not let anybody enter my laboratory or my flat while I was doing this awful work. I was afraid to tell anybody my terrible secret.

  I had wanted to make a beautiful man, but the face of the creature was horrible. Its skin was thin and yellow, and its eyes were as yellow as its skin. Its long black hair and white teeth were almost beautiful, but the rest of the face was very ugly.

  Its legs and arms were the right shape, but they were huge.I had to use big pieces because it was too difficult to join small pieces together. My creature was two and a half metres tall.

  For a year I had worked to make this creature, but now it looked terrible and frightening. I almost decided to destroy it.But I could not. I had to know if I could put life into it.

  I joined the body to the wires from my machine. More wires joined the machine to the mast. I was sure that my machine could use electricity from lightning to give life to the body. I watched and waited.Two days later I saw dark clouds in the sky, and I knew that a storm was coming. At about one o'clock in the morning the lightning came.My mast began to do its work immediately, and the electricity from the lightning travelled down the mast to my machine. Would the machine work?

  At first nothing happened. But after a few minutes I saw the creature's body begin to move.Slowly, terribly, the body came alive. His arms and legs began to move, and slowly he sat up.

  The dead body had been an ugly thing, but alive, he was much more horrible. Suddenly I wanted to escape from him. I ran out of the laboratory, and locked the door. I was filled with fear at what I had done.

  For hours I walked up and down in my flat. At last I lay down on my bed, and fell asleep. But my sleep was full of terrible dreams, and I woke up suddenly. The horrible thing that I had created was standing by my bed. His yellow eyes were looking at me; his mouth opened and he made strange sounds at me. On his yellow face there was an awful smile. One of his huge hands reached towards me…

  Before he could touch me, I jumped off the bed and ran downstairs into the garden. I stayed there all night, but I could not think clearly.I was afraid. And when morning came, I went out into the town and began to walk about.

  I did not notice where I was walking, but soon I came to the station. A train from Geneva had just arrived, and the passengers were leaving the station. One of them ran towards me when he saw me. It was my dear friend Henry Clerval.

  He was very pleased to see me. He took my hand and shook it warmly.

  ‘My dear Victor!’ he said.‘What a lucky chance that you are here at the station. Your father, and Elizabeth and the others, are very worried about you, because you have not visited them for a long time. They ask me to make sure that you are well. And I have very good news. My father has agreed to let me study at the university, so we shall be able to spend a lot of time together.’

  I was very happy to hear this news, and for a moment I for-got my fears.I took Henry back to my flat and asked him to wait outside while I went in to look. I was afraid that the creature was still there. But he had disappeared.At that time I did not think of other people, and what the creature could do to them.I took Henry into the flat and cooked a meal for us.But Henry noticed how thin I was,and that I was laughing too much and could not sit still.

  Suddenly he said:‘My dear Victor, what is the matter with you?Are you ill? Has something awful happened?’

  ‘Don't ask me that,’ I cried. I put my hands over my eyes.I thought I could see the horrible creature there in front of me. I pointed wildly across the room, and shouted:‘He can tell you. Save me! Save me!’ I tried to fight the creature,but there was nothing there. Then I fainted and fell to the floor.

  Poor Henry! I do not know what he thought. He called a doctor and they put me to bed. I was very ill for two months,and Henry stayed and looked after me. His loving care saved me from death.

  I wanted to go home and see my family as soon as possible.When I was well enough,I packed my clothes and books.All my luggage was ready, and I was feeling very happy when the postman arrived with some letters.One of the letters ended my short time of happiness.