The Pale Man

the pale manThis short horror story by little known Julius Long (1907-1935) is about a man suffering from nerves. He is told to spend a long holiday somewhere quiet, and checks into a hotel in a small town. But the hotel is a little too quiet, and he is puzzled by a tall, pale man staying in another room who has some very strange ways.

Pre-Intermediate Vocabulary Help

The words and expressions in our Pre-Intermediate level Simplified English story which are not in our 1200 word list are: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and .

There are also three words that are in our Pre-Intermediate word list but have a meaning in the story which is different to the one most commonly used:

  • We are told that the hotel is three stories high. Here the word means a group of rooms that forms one floor level of a building.
  • Later the narrator complains: “If there is a friendly person in this sad little town, he has escaped my notice.” In this case the word means to fail to be remembered or noticed by someone.
  • Toward the end of the story, the narrator speaks sharply as he asks the room clerk about the man in Room 202. To speak or ask about something ly means to do it in an angry or unpleasant way.

Intermediate Vocabulary Help

The words and expressions in our Intermediate level Simplified English story which are not in our 1800 word list are: , , , bellboy, check in, clerk, , , , corridor, , , , , funeral, go to the devil, graduate, , nerves, nod, pale, , professor, , , , , , , and .

There are two further words in our Intermediate level story that are in our word list but have a meaning which is different to the one most commonly used:

  • At one point the narrator says: “I am curious to hear his voice. I like to imagine that he speaks the strange tongue of some far-away country.” The word here means a language.
  • When the narrator has to pay the doctor ten dollars for his visit, he says: “As I directed him (the doctor), he fished it out of my coat pocket.” Here the word means to use your hand to try to find something.

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author(n: author pl authors) The person who has written something; someone who writes books or stories, especially a person who has written many books or stories. I enjoyed the book, but I can't remember the name of its author. 3000

assistant(n: assistant pl assistants) 1. A person who helps someone, especially a person whose job is to help another person to do work A magician's assistant. 2. A person whose job is to help the customers in a store. A sales/shop assistant.
(adj: assistant) Having the job of helping someone to do work. An assistant manager. 2000

bellman(n: bellboy pl bellboys; also bellman, bellhop) A boy or man who takes hotel guests to their rooms, carries their bags, etc.

check in(phrasal verb: check in) 1. To report to someone when you arrive at a place (such as an airport, conference, etc.) to let them know you are there. 2. To arrive at and be given a room in a hotel, etc. 3. (informal) To talk with someone in order to report or find out new information. I'm just checking in to see how you are.

clerk(n: clerk pl clerks) A person who works at a desk whose job is to keep track of records and documents for a business or office. 2000

complain(v: complain, complains, complained, complaining) To say or write that you that you are unhappy or not satisfied with something or are sick, uncomfortable, etc. 2000
(n: complaint pl complaints) A statement that you are unhappy or not satisfied with something. 2000

conversation(n: conversation pl conversations) Talk between people. 1000

corridor(n: corridor pl corridors) A long, narrow passage inside a building with doors that lead to rooms on each side; also called a hall or hallway. 3000

doubt(n: doubt pl doubts) A feeling of being uncertain or unsure about something. There is some doubt as to who caused the accident. 1000
(idiom: no doubt pl no doubts) Used when saying something that you think is certainly or almost certainly true. There is no doubt that he caused the accident.

exact(adj: exact) 1. Very careful and accurate. Please make sure it is the exact size we need. 2. Fully and completely correct or accurate. Those were his exact words.
(adv: exactly) In an exact way or manner. 1000

funeral(n: funeral pl funerals) The ceremony held for a dead person before their body is put in the ground [buried] or burned [cremated]. (งานศพ) 3000

devil(v: go to the devil) [idiom] Used to forcefully and rudely tell someone to go away and leave you alone. She angrily told him to go to the devil.
(n: devil pl devils) The most powerful spirit of evil; The ruler of Hell; Satan. (ซาตาน) 3000

graduate(v: graduate, graduates, graduated, graduating) To earn a degree or diploma from a school, college, or university. He graduated from college last June. (ได้รับปริญญา)
(n: graduate pl graduates) A person who has earned a degree or diploma. A college graduate. (ผู้สำเร็จการศึกษา)
(adj: graduate) Of or relating to a course of studies taken after earning a first degree or diploma. He is a graduate student at the university. 4000

guest(n: guest pl guests) 1. A visitor who stays in a hotel etc. We have accommodation for 500 guests. A person that you have invited to your house or to a particular event that you are paying for. We are having guests for dinner. Also an adjective: A guest bedroom. (ผู้มาเยือน) 3000

lonely(adj: lonely, lonelier, loneliest) 1. Sad from being apart from others. He felt lonely without his wife and children. (หงอยเหงา) 2. Not visited by or traveled on by many people. A lonely country road. (ไม่มีคนอยู่)
(n: loneliness, noncount) The quality or state of feeling lonely. (ความเหงา) 3000

manner(n: manner pl manners) 1. The way that something is done or happens. She greeted me in a friendly manner. (รูปแบบ) 2. The way in which a person normally behaves, speaks etc. I don't like her manner. (วิธีการ) 3. (plural) Behavior while with other people; knowledge of how to behave politely while with other people. His children have excellent manners. Some people have no manners. (มารยาท) 3000

mystery(n: mystery pl mysteries) 1. Something that is not known or is difficult to understand or explain. The cause of the illness remains a mystery to doctors. 2. Something that cannot be, or has not been, explained. How the universe was formed remains a mystery. (ความลึกลับ) 3000
(adj: mysterious) Used to describe something difficult to understand or explain. (ลี้ลับ)

nerves(n: nerves, noncount) The medical condition known today as Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GDA), characterized by uncontrollable and often unnecessary worry about common occurrences and situations. (ความเครียด) 2000

nervous(adj: nervous) Having or showing feelings of being worried and afraid about what might happen. (กระวนกระวาย; เครียด)
(adv: nervously) In a nervous way. (อย่าง ประหม่า) 3000

nod(v: nod, nods, nodded, nodding) 1. To move your head up and down as a way of answering 'yes' or of showing agreement, understanding, or approval. 2. To move your head up and down as a signal to someone or as a way of saying hello or goodbye to someone. (พยักหน้า) 3000

pale(adj: pale, paler, palest) Having a skin color that is closer to white than is usual or normal, either because it is your natural color or you are sick or scared at the time. (ซีด) 3000

professor(n: professor pl professors) 1. A teacher at a college or university. (U.S.A.) 2. A university teacher who is the head of a department. (U.K. and most other English speaking countries) 3. A university teacher of the highest rank. (Thailand and some other countries) (ศาสดาจารย์) 4000

secret(adj: secret) Kept hidden from others; known to only a few people. (ความลับ)
(n: secret pl secrets) A fact or piece of information that is kept hidden from other people. Their marriage is a secret. (เก็บเป็นความลับ) 2000

thief(n: thief pl thieves) Someone who takes (something) from the owner in a way that is wrong or against the law; a robber. The thief got away with all my money. (ขโมย) 3000

wicked(adj: wicked) 1. Morally bad; evil; sinful. A wicked witch. (ชั่วร้าย) 2. (informal) Having or showing slightly bad thoughts in a way that is funny or not serious. She wore a wicked smile after beating me at tennis. 3. (informal) Very bad or unpleasant. She had a wicked case of food poisoning. 4. (informal) Very good. He is a wicked dancer. 3000

(n: story pl stories) 1. A description of real or imaginary events. A news story. A story-book. (เรื่องราว) 2. A lie that someone tells. Don't tell stories! (การพูดปด) 3. A group of rooms or an area that forms a floor level of a building. She lives on the second floor of a five-story building. (ชั้นของอาคาร) 1000

story-book building stories

escape(v: escape, escapes, escaped, escaping) 1. To get away from where you are being held or kept. He escaped from prison. 2. To get away from or avoid a dangerous situation. The crew escaped the sinking boat. 3. To come out from somewhere; to leak out. Gas is escaping from the tank. 4. To not be remembered or noticed by someone. His name escaped me. 2000

sharp(adj: sharp, sharper, sharpest) 1. Having a thin edge that is able to cut things or a fine point that is able to make a hole in things. (แหลมคม) 2. [of changes in direction] Sudden and quick. A sharp turn. (ทันทีทันใด) 3. [of speaking] In an angry or unpleasant way. A sharp voice. (รุนแรง) 4. [of a sound] Loud, short, and sudden. (เสียดแทง) 2000

ambiguous(adj: ambiguous) Able to be understood in more than one way; having more than one possible meaning. We were confused by the ambiguous wording of the message. He looked at her with an ambiguous smile. 2. Not expressed or understood clearly; uncertain. He felt that his role in the company was becoming more ambiguous. 5000

assertive(v: assert, asserts, asserted, asserting) 1. To state (something) in a strong and definite way. She asserted that she had not borrowed his book. 2. To demand that other people accept or respect (something). He should assert his independence.
(adj: assertive) Confident in manner, speaking up strongly for what one wants or believes. 4000

bachelor(n: bachelor pl bachelors) 1. A man who is not married, especially one who has never been married. 2. A person who has received a bachelor's degree. A Bachelor of Arts (BA). 6000

confidence(n: confidence, noncount) 1. A feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something; self-confidence. 2. A feeling or belief that someone or something is good or has the ability to succeed at something. 3. The feeling of being certain that something will happen or that something is true. 2000

conscious(adj: conscious) Awake and able to understand what is happening around you.
(adj: unconscious) Not awake and able to understand what is happening around you, especially because of an injury, drug, etc. 2000

convenient(adj: convenient) 1. Allowing you to do something easily or without trouble. When is a convenient time for you to meet? 2. Located in a place that is nearby and easy to reach or get to. Schools, churches, and stores are all convenient from here. 3. Easy to use, run etc. The house was a convenient size.
(adv: conveniently) In a convenient way. 3000

crazy(adj: crazy, crazier, craziest) 1. Mentally ill; affected with madness or insanity. 2. Very foolish or unreasonable. 3000

curious(adj: curious) 1. Interested and wanting to learn or know more about something or someone. I'm curious to find out whether he passed his exams. 2. Strange, unusual, or unexpected. She found a curious old clock in the attic. 3000

exclaim(v: exclaim, exclaims, exclaimed, exclaiming) 1. To say (something) in an enthusiastic or forceful way. “I won!” she exclaimed. 2. To cry out or speak suddenly or with strong feeling. She exclaimed in delight when she saw the Christmas tree. 6000

exhaust(v: exhaust, exhausts, exhausted, exhausting) 1. To be very tired; to use up all of someone's mental or physical energy. She was exhausted by her long walk. 2. To use up all of something. We have exhausted our supplies. 3000
(n: exhaustion; noncount) A state of being very tired or having no mental or physical energy. 8000

grim(adj: grim, grimmer, grimmest) 1. Horrible; very unpleasant or shocking to see or think about. The soldiers had a grim task looking for bodies. (ร้ายกาจ) 2. Fierce-looking; having a serious appearance or manner. His face looked grim, and we knew his news wouldn't be good. (ดุร้าย) 3. Feeling strongly about something and unlikely to give up. The soldiers fought with grim determination. (ไม่ยืดหยุ่น) 6000

pickpocket(n: pickpocket pl pickpockets) A thief who steals money and other things from people's pockets and purses.(นักล้วงกระเป๋า) 13000

puzzle(v: puzzle, puzzles, puzzled, puzzling) To confuse or be hard to understand. The question puzzled me. (ทำให้งง) 2. To think long and carefully about a problem. I puzzled over what to do for hours. (คิดอย่างรอบคอบ)
(n: puzzle pl puzzles) 1. A question or problem that requires thought, skill, or cleverness to be answered or solved. (ปัญหาหรือสถานการณ์ที่ยากลำบาก) 2. A kind of game or toy to test one's thinking, knowledge or skill. (เกมส์ไขปัญหา) 3000

shut up(phrasal verb: shut up) 1. (informal) To stop talking, laughing, etc., often used as a rude way to tell someone to stop talking. He won't shut up about how he won the game. Shut up, I'm trying to watch TV. 2. (informal) To cause (someone) to stop talking, laughing, etc. Nothing shuts her up. (หุบปาก)

stare(v: stare, stares, stared, staring) To look at someone or something directly for a long time without moving your eyes, often with eyes wide open. She was staring out the window. (จ้องมอง) 3000
To 'stare' can suggest looking at someone or something in a rude way because you think they are strange or shocking. Don't stare at people, it's not polite. A word with a similar meaning, 'gaze' suggests looking steadily at someone or something while being deep in thought. She gazed lovingly into his eyes.

stubborn(adj: stubborn) Refusing to change your ideas or to stop doing something; unwilling to listen to advice; inflexible. (ดื้อรั้น) 6000

tomb(n: tomb pl tombs) A building or chamber (above or below the ground) where a dead body is kept. (หลุมฝังศพ) 7000

triumph(n: triumph pl triumphs) 1. A great victory or success. (ชัยชนะ) 2. The very happy and joyful feeling that comes from victory or success. (ความยินดีจากชัยชนะ) 5000

vacation(n: vacation pl vacations) A period of time that a person spends away from home, school, or business usually in order to relax or travel; a holiday. We had a restful vacation at the beach. (วันหยุด) 7000

tongue(n: tongue pl tongues) 1. The soft, movable part in the mouth that is used for tasting and eating food and in human beings for speaking. (ลิ้น) 2. A language. English is his mother/native tongue. He speaks with a foreign tongue. (ภาษา) 3000

fish(n: fish pl fish or fishes) 1. A cold-blooded animal that lives in water, breathes with gills, and usually has fins and scales. 2. The meat of a fish eaten as food. 1000

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