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I THINK THAT at that time none of us quite believed in the Time

The fact is, the Time Traveller was one of those men who are too
clever to be believed: you never felt that you saw all round him;
you always suspected some subtle reserve, some ingenuity in
ambush, behind his lucid frankness. Had Filby shown the model
and explained the matter in the Time Traveller’s words, we should
have shown him far less scepticism. For we should have perceived
his motives; a pork butcher could understand Filby. But the Time
Traveller had more than a touch of whim among his elements, and
we distrusted him. Things that would have made the fame of a less
clever man seemed tricks in his hands. It is a mistake to do things
too easily. The serious people who took him seriously never felt
quite sure of his deportment; they were somehow aware that
trusting their reputations for judgment with him was like
furnishing a nursery with egg-shell china. So I don’t think any of
us said very much about time travelling in the interval between
that Thursday and the next, though its odd potentialities ran, no
doubt, in most of our minds: its plausibility, that is, its practical
incredibleness, the curious possibilities of anachronism and of utter
confusion it suggested. For my own part, I was particularly
preoccupied with the trick of the model. That I remember
discussing with the Medical Man, whom I met on Friday at the
Linnaean. He said he had seen a similar thing at Tubingen, and
laid considerable stress on the blowing out of the candle. But how
the trick was done he could not explain.

The next Thursday I went again to Richmond-I suppose I was one
of the Time Traveller’s most constant guests-and, arriving late,
found four or five men already assembled in his drawing-room.
The Medical Man was standing before the fire with a sheet of
paper in one hand and his watch in the other. I looked round for
the Time Traveller, and-‘It’s half-past seven now,’ said the Medical
Man. ‘I suppose we’d better have dinner?’ ‘Where’s-?’ said I,
naming our host.

‘You’ve just come? It’s rather odd. He’s unavoidably detained. He
asks me in this note to lead off with dinner at seven if he’s not
back. Says he’ll explain when he comes.’ ‘It seems a pity to let the
dinner spoil,’ said the Editor of a well-known daily paper; and
thereupon the Doctor rang the bell.

The Psychologist was the only person besides the Doctor and
myself who had attended the previous dinner. The other men were
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