THE OUTLAWS FETCH THE HOLLY 203
Then he slipped the book back into his pocket and said:
" But the intrepid explorer must be weary. We do not know what dangers he has faced to reach us, only we may be sure that the way was not easy. We must take him home for rest and refreshment. I will beckon to him. Doubtless he will understand the sign."
He beckoned, accompanying the gesture by a smile of invitation, and then turned to go along a narrow path through the wood that led by a short cut to his house. Every few minutes he turned and repeated his beckoning gesture and inviting smile. The Martian, wearing an inscrutable and slightly forbidding expression, followed, his long robe trailing about him. The amazed girls brought up the rear.
On reaching his house, the Professor led his protege through the French windows into his study and there, still smiling reassuringly, invited him to take an armchair. The Martian, still retaining his inscrutable and forbidding expression, and preserving complete silence, took it. The Professor immediately brought out his little book again and wrote:'' Chairs and furniture similar to ours evidently found in Mars. Visitor expressed no surprise at seeing them. Action of sitting upon chair performed as if familiar one."
He then rang the bell and ordered an astounded housemaid to bring refreshment. Meantime, the reassuring and apologetic smile much in evidence, he examined his visitor from a polite distance, wrote in his notebook and expounded his views to the still speechless girls.
" It's what I've always said," he said, " the main features of life art the same as ours. The material from which his robe is made," he touched it, glancing up at its wearer with the reassuring and apologetic smile, " is, I should guess, made by a process roughly similar to the process by which we make such materials