Study Guide

The Invention of Hugo Cabret Part 2, Chapter 9

By Brian Selznick

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Part 2, Chapter 9

The Ghost in the Station

  • Text
  • Hugo rushes back to the train station, excited to grab the automaton and get back to Papa Georges. As he passes the café, he grabs a bottle of milk, listening as the newspaper vendor gossips with the café owner.
  • They talk about how they heard that the police fond a body of a man who drowned in the river a long time ago—and that the man was the old timekeeper, Hugo’s uncle. They decide that the station must be haunted, since the clocks just kept running (when really it was Hugo this whole time).
  • When he hears that, Hugo accidentally drops the bottle of milk. Boom. He’s caught red handed.
  • He runs through the crowds and makes his way to his apartment, but someone bursts through the door.
  • It’s the Station Inspector, along with the café owner and the newspaper vendor. Basically Hugo's worst nightmare.
  • The Station Inspector grabs Hugo and demands to know what is going on, but Hugo manages to wriggle free.
  • Illustration
  • Hugo disappears down a tunnel, followed by a very angry Station Inspector.
  • Hugo’s feet are running as fast as they can, but the Station Inspector's feet are close behind.
  • Hugo looks over his shoulder as he runs. Everything around him is a blur.
  • In the next image, Hugo looks like he’s flying up a flight of stairs, his mouth open.
  • The Station Inspector goes up the stairs, too, pointing his finger and looking angry.
  • Looking exhausted, Hugo leans against the wall. But he'd better not pause for too long because there's a shadowy figure coming around the corner.
  • The Station Inspector's hand rests on the edge of the wall.
  • Again the chase is on! Hugo runs as the Station Inspector follows close behind.
  • A foot disappears up a metal ladder.
  • Hugo crouches by the big glass clock. We can see the lit-up city outside.
  • Then, the tall shadow of the Station Inspector stands in front of the clock.
  • Not so fast. Hugo runs for his life, and the Station Inspector emerges from the ladder behind him.
  • Hugo’s foot disappears through one of those fancy train station grates.
  • Trying to blend in, Hugo dives into the crowd.
  • The Station Inspector emerges from the same grate. He has a very official looking belt buckle.
  • His pale, bony hand reaches through the crowd for Hugo’s foot. He sure does have a creepy-looking hand. No wonder Hugo has nightmares about it.
  • And finally, we get a close-up of Hugo’s eye, which happens to be very wide and scared.
  • Text
  • Hugo crashes into someone, which gives the Station Inspector just the opportunity he's been looking for. He nabs the boy, and when Hugo tries to get away, the Inspector tells him he's going to throw him in jail.

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