The narrator remarks that the Time Traveller is too clever (unlike Filby) for people to entirely trust him.
The narrator meets the Medical Man at the Linnaean Society in the city. The Medical Man thinks the Time Machine thing was a trick, but he can't figure out how the Time Traveller did it.
The narrator goes back the following week for the Time Traveller's weekly dinner party.
The Time Traveller isn't there, but there are a bunch of people waiting for him: the Medical Man, the Psychologist, the Editor, the Journalist, and the Silent Man. The Time Traveller has left a note telling them to start dinner without him.
The Editor is happy to start dinner without their host.
The Time Traveller appears in the middle of dinner, looking like hell. (Or, as they would say back then, "He was in an amazing plight" [2.7].) His clothes are dirty, he has a half-healed cut on his chin, and he's limping.
The others are curious, but he refuses to tell his story until he cleans himself and eats some meat. He really wants meat. How much? When he gets some he exclaims, "What a treat it is to stick a fork into meat again!" (2.14).
The Journalist and the Editor make jokes about how the future must have no way to clean clothes, ha ha ha. The Journalist tries to tell a story, but no one cares.
After eating his meat, the Time Traveller leads everyone into the smoking room and begins to tell his story. But first, he makes them promise that they won't interrupt him.