The Pale Man

the pale manThis short horror story by little known author 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.

English Learner 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.



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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]. 3000

devil(idiom: go to the devil) 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. 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.
(n: graduate pl graduates) A person who has earned a degree or diploma. A college graduate.
(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. 2. 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.
(adj: guest) Describes something kept specially for a guest.
guest bedroom/towels, etc. 3000

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

manner(n: manner pl manners) 1. The way that something is done or happens. She greeted me in a friendly manner. 2. The way in which a person normally behaves, speaks etc. I don't like her manner.
(n: manners, 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. 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.
(adj: mysterious) Used to describe something difficult to understand or explain. 3000

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

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

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

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