After his initial surprise, Kemp settles, gives Griffin his word he will not betray him, and gives him food and clothes. His better judgment, however, makes him write a letter to Colonel Adye, in Port Burdock. On the next day, listens in complete astonishment to Griffin’s story. It is a long one: how Griffin made himself invisible, after experimenting on a cat, and the trouble he got himself into as a result. Towards the end of Griffin’s long recount, the reader senses that Kemp gives dry answers. Doubt has entered his mind about his old college acquaintance’s sanity. He agrees cursorily with Griffin’s suggestions, but he is somehow unconvinced and not as reassuring as the previous day. The doctor shows his uncertainty to Griffin:
Kemp is now certain that Griffin is insane. Trying to lock Griffin up is unsuccessful, and Kemp is beaten up just as Colonel Adye, the chief of police, arrives to see him being tossed about as if by some invisible force.
Why did Kemp betray his friend, and break his promise that he would not let him down? In the days that this book was written, an Englishman’s word was his bond. Personal morals and standards were high, and nothing short of death would get a man to betray a friend to whom he had given his word. This betrayal of Kemp’s must be seen in the context of this ethic. In normal circumstances nothing would have persuaded Kemp to inform on Griffin. The doctor, however, had deliberated over the situation for a long time, smoking three cigars. The situation was anything but normal, and Griffin was not sounding very rational to him. His morning recount of killing animals, robbing stores, and taking a man’s gold was enough for Kemp to be glad he had sent to note off to Adye. Griffin was a danger to himself and others. He was talking of going off to Algiers, where people did not know to look out for a swaddled man. His desire was to start a reign of terror. This was enough for