Griffin explains his first attempts to get clothing and render his situation more tolerable. He had gone into the Omniums, a large apartment type store where one could buy everything from groceries to clothing. He made his way to an area of bedsteads and mattresses, hoping that once the store closed for the night, he would be able to sleep on the mattresses and steal some clothes with which to mask his condition.
In the night he procured a complete set of clothes for himself, helped himself to food in a refreshment department, and then slept in a pile of down quilts. He failed to awaken before the morning crew had entered, however, and was unable to escape as long as they could see him. Thus he was forced to shed the clothing and run, naked, back out into the cold.
Notes - Griffin was preoccupied with getting his food and clothes by illicit means. His plans are continually evil even as the reactions of other people are consistently behaviors of suspicion and rejection. At no point does he consider trying to get anyone to understand his situation. His imagination drives him only toward evil, as if the grotesque and the evil are natural partners.
Griffin’s peril increased daily. He had no clothes or shelter and dared not eat. Also, he soon realized that walking through the streets of London was going to result in an accumulation of dirt on his skin- which would make him visible in a grotesque way.
He made his way into a costume shop, hoping to make way with some clothes and dark glasses after the proprietor had gone to bed. In the shopkeeper’s room, he had to stand and watch the man eat his breakfast. Furthermore, the man had exceptionally acute hearing and nearly discovered Griffin several times. When evening came, he was finally able to explore the house and found a pile of old clothes. In his excitement, he forgot about the noise he was making and was nearly caught when the shopkeeper investigated the noise. Unable to see the source, but positive someone was in the house, the proprietor went about locking all the doors in the house and pocketing the keys. In desperation, Griffin struck the old man on the head, then gagged and tied him with a sheet. Then he put together a costume of old clothes, stole all the money he could find and went out into the street.
Believing his troubles were over, Griffin went into a restaurant and ordered a meal, but soon realized he couldn’t eat it without exposing his invisible face. He ordered the lunch and left, telling the proprietor that he would be back in ten minutes.
Griffin went to “another place” (which happens to be the Coach & Horses Inn) and demanded a private room, explaining that he was “badly disfigured.” Thus he had set himself up at Iping, hoping to find a way to reverse the process of invisibility. Here he was finally discovered.
Notes - This chapter brings us current with events in the first chapter of the book.
Griffin tells how his original plan, after being discovered by the people of Iping, had been to get his books and get out of the country, but that plan had changed upon meeting Kemp. He thinks that Kemp can work with him. Together they can set up a “reign of terror” to take full advantage of the Invisibility. Griffin does not realize that Kemp has already betrayed him and is only trying to keep him talking until the police arrive. Kemp stands in front of the window to keep Griffin from seeing the police, but Griffin soon hears them on the stairs and realizes he has been deceived.
Griffin quickly begins to disrobe even as Kemp springs to the door and attempts to lock him in. A dropped key spoils the effort as the now invisible Griffin shoves him aside, then hurls his weight at Colonel Adye, the chief of the Burdock Police who is approaching on the stairs. Griffin escapes past two more policemen in the hall; they hear the front door of the house slam violently.
Notes - In assuming that he can make demands and others will simply capitulate to him, Griffin has misjudged Kemp. Kemp is self-centered, but is not a murderer. As for Griffin himself, he appears to have abandoned any intention of searching for an antidote and is only interested in trying to terrorize as much of the country as he can. He wants to set himself up as a vindictive god with Kemp as his personal henchman.