The Invention of Hugo Cabret Part 1, Chapter 12 Summary
Hand a’shaking, Hugo moves to put the key into the automaton, and… drumroll please… it fits!
Just as he goes to turn it, the door rattles and Isabelle bangs into the room in a true fury, launching herself at Hugo.
She accuses him of being a thief (fair enough) and asks him what’s going on. Hugo lies and says that the automaton was something that his dad was working on before he died.
Isabelle isn’t convinced, though. She wants to know why her key would fit into it. Then she tells Hugo to just turn the key, already.
Hugo doesn’t want to while she’s there, but Isabelle reaches over and does it herself.
Resigned, Hugo gives the man a little bottle of ink and watches to see if he’ll write a secret message…
We see the little man sitting at his desk with an inkpot in one hand and a pen in the other. Hugo and Isabelle are leaning forward, because they can't wait to see what he writes.
As the two kids watch, the mechanical man starts moving, making marks on the page with his pen.
We see a close-up of the mechanical man’s hand as he draws a line across the paper. If it weren’t for the gears and thingamabobs visible from underneath his sleeve, we’d be hard-pressed to say that this wasn’t a normal, human person writing.
A different angle on the hand. We see that he’s made a few scratches on the paper, though they don’t look like letters or anything.
In the next picture, we see the mechanical man from the back. He’s still making a series of odd scratches across the paper.
We see an overhead view of what the man is “writing.” Is it hieroglyphics? Chicken scratch? Whatever it is, it’s certainly not in any alphabet we've seen.
Hugo's more than a little frustrated at the nonsense flowing from the automaton's pen. All those hours fixing this thing, and it writes gibberish?
He goes off to a corner of the room to cry, while the mechanical man keeps writing.
Oh hello, man on the moon! We see a drawing of the moon with quite the human face on it, and a rocket (or something) plunged into its right eye socket.
Here the story takes an interesting turn, stepping outside of the narrative we’ve been following along with.
The narrator (who knew there was a narrator?) says that the curtains on this story are drawing to a close and it’s fading to black, but that this leads us to another story. How mysterious and, dare we say, cinematic.