To get in out right into that silence that was the

city in ~ eight o"clock that a misty evening in November,

to put your feet upon that buckling concrete walk, to

step end grassy seams and also make your way, hands in

pockets, v the silences, that was what Mr.

You are watching: The pedestrian by ray bradbury full text

Leonard Mead most dearly love to do. That would

stand top top the edge of an intersection and also peer

down lengthy moonlit opportunities of sidewalk in four

directions, deciding which method to go, but it really

made no difference; he was alone in this world of

A.D. 2053, or as an excellent as alone, and also with a final

decision made, a path selected, he would stride off,

sending patterns of frosty air prior to him prefer the

smoke the a cigar.

Sometimes he would certainly walk for hours and

miles and also return only at midnight to his house. And

on his way he would see the cottages and also homes with

their dark windows, and it was no unequal to

walking v a graveyard where just the faintest

glimmers of firefly light showed up in flickers behind

the windows. Sudden gray phantoms seemed to

manifest top top inner room walls where a curtain was

still undrawn against the night, or over there were

whisperings and also murmurs wherein a home window in a tomblike

building was still open.

Mr. Leonard Mead would pause, dick his

head, listen, look, and march on, his feet making no

noise ~ above the lumpy walk. Because that long back he had actually wisely

changed to sneakers once strolling at night, because

the dogs in intermittent squads would certainly parallel his

journey with barkings if he wore hard heels, and

lights might click on and faces appear and also an entire

street be startled by the pass of a lone figure,

himself, in the at an early stage November evening.

On this certain evening he began his

journey in a westerly direction, toward the hidden

sea. There was a good crystal frost in the air; it cut the

nose and made the lungs blaze choose a Christmas tree

inside; you can feel the cold light going on and also off,

all the branches filled with invisible snow. He

listened come the faint push of his soft shoes through

autumn leaves through satisfaction, and whistled a cold

quiet whistle between his teeth, periodically picking

up a leaf as he passed, analyzing its bones pattern

in the infrequent lamplights as he go on, smelling

its rusty smell.

"Hello, in there," that whispered to every

house on every side as he moved. "What"s up tonight

on Channel 4, Channel 7, Channel 9? Where are the

cowboys rushing, and also do I check out the united States

Cavalry end the next hill come the rescue?"

The street to be silent and long and also empty,

with only his shadow relocating like the shadow of a

hawk in midcountry. If the closed his eyes and also stood

very still, frozen, he could imagine self upon the

center the a plain, a wintry, windless Arizona desert

with no home in a thousands miles, and also only dry river

beds, the streets, because that company.

"What is that now?" he asked the houses,

noticing his wrist watch. "Eight-thirty P.M.? Time for

a dozen assorted murders? A quiz? A revue? A

comedian falling off the stage?"

Was the a murmur that laughter from within a

moon-white house? that hesitated, however went ~ above when

nothing much more happened. He stumbled end a

particularly uneven section of sidewalk. The cement

was noodles under flowers and also grass. In ten years

of wade by night or day, for thousands of miles, he

had never met another person walking, not when in all

that time.

He concerned a cloverleaf intersection which

stood silent where two key highways overcome the

town. Throughout the work it to be a thunderous rise of

cars, the gas stations open, a great insect rustling and

a ceaseless jockeying for position as the scarabbeetles,

a faint incense puttering from your exhausts,

skimmed homeward come the far directions. But now

these highways, too, were choose streams in a dry

season, all stone and bed and moon radiance.

He turned earlier on a next street, circling

around toward his home. He was within a block that his

destination as soon as the lone automobile turned a corner quite

suddenly and also flashed a fierce white cone of light

upon him. He stood entranced, not unlike a night

moth, stunned by the illumination, and also then drawn

toward it.

A metallic voice referred to as to him:

"Stand still. Stay where you are! Don"t


He halted.

"Put up her hands!"

"But-" the said.

"Your hands up! Or we"ll Shoot!"

The police, of course, but what a rare,

incredible thing; in a city of three million, over there was

only one police car left, wasn"t the correct? Ever

since a year ago, 2052, the choice year, the force

had been cut down from 3 cars to one. Crime was

ebbing; there to be no require now for the police, save for

this one lone auto wandering and also wandering the empty


"Your name?" claimed the police car in a

metallic whisper. The couldn"t check out the guys in it for the

bright irradiate in his eyes.

"Leonard Mead," that said.

"Speak up!"

"Leonard Mead!"

"Business or profession?"

"I guess you"d contact me a writer."

"No profession," said the police car, as if



talking to itself. The light organized him fixed, choose a

museum specimen, needle thrust through chest.

"You can say that, " stated Mr. Mead. He

hadn"t created in years. Magazines and books didn"t

sell any kind of more. Every little thing went on in the tomblike

houses at night now, he thought, proceeding his fancy.

The tombs, ill-lit by tv light, whereby the people

sat favor the dead, the gray or multicolored lights

touching their faces, but never really touching them.

"No profession," said the phonograph voice,

hissing. "What are you act out?"

"Walking," said Leonard Mead.


"Just walking," he stated simply, yet his face

felt cold.

"Walking, simply walking, walking?"

"Yes, sir."

"Walking where? for what?"

"Walking because that air. Walking come see."

"Your address!"

"Eleven south Saint James Street."

"And there is air in her house, you have an

air conditioner, Mr. Mead?"


"And you have actually a viewing screen in your

house to check out with?"


"No?" There was a crackling quiet that in

itself to be an accusation.

"Are girlfriend married, Mr. Mead?"


"Not married," said the police voice behind

the fiery beam, The moon was high and clear among

the stars and the residences were gray and silent.

"Nobody want me," stated Leonard Mead

with a smile.

"Don"t speak uneven you"re talked to!"

Leonard Mead waited in the cold night.

"Just walking, Mr. Mead?"


"But girlfriend haven"t explained for what


"I explained; because that air, and to see, and just to


"Have you done this often?"

"Every night because that years."

The police automobile sat in the center of the street

with its radio neck faintly humming.

"Well, Mr. Mead," it said.

"Is the all?" he asked politely.

"Yes," said the voice. "Here." There was a

sigh, a pop. The ago door the the police car sprang

wide. "Get in."

"Wait a minute, ns haven"t excellent anything!"

"Get in."

"I protest!"

"Mr. Mead."

He walked choose a guy suddenly drunk. Together he

passed the front home window of the automobile he looked in. As

he had actually expected, there was no one in the prior seat, no

one in the automobile at all.

"Get in."

He put his hand come the door and peered into

the back seat, which was a little cell, a small black jail

with bars. It smelled of riveted steel. The smelled of

harsh antiseptic; it smelled as well clean and also hard and

metallic. There to be nothing soft there.

"Now if you had actually a mam to give you one alibi,"

said the stole voice. "But-"

"Where room you acquisition me?"

The vehicle hesitated, or rather provided a faint

whirring click, together if information, somewhere, was

dropping card by punch-slotted map under electric

eyes. "To the Psychiatric facility for study on

Regressive Tendencies."

He gained in. The door shut v a soft thud.

The police automobile rolled v the night avenues,

flashing that is dim lights ahead.

They pass one house on one street a

moment later, one home in an entire city of houses

that to be dark, however this one specific house had all of

its electric lights brightly lit, every home window a loud

yellow illumination, square and warm in the cool


"That"s my house," said Leonard Mead.

No one answered him.

The car moved under the empty river-bed

streets and off away, leave the empty highways with

the north side-walks, and also no sound and also no motion all

the remainder of the cool November night.

Bradbury, ray (1920- ), is an American

author finest known because that his fantasy stories and also science

fiction. Bradbury"s finest writing efficiently combines

a lively imagination with a poetic style.

See more: What Is The Square Root Of 980 In Simplest Radical Form? Information And Calculator

Collections of Bradbury"s stories include

The Martian Chronicles (1950), The shown Man

(1951), The October country (1955), i Sing the Body

Electric! (1969), quicker Than the Eye (1996), and

One an ext for the road (2002). His novel Fahrenheit

451 (1953) describes a society that bans the

ownership the books. His various other novels include

Dandelion wine (1957), a poetic story that a boy"s

summer in one Illinois town in 1928; and also Something

Wicked This way Comes (1962), a suspenseful

fantasy about a black magic carnival that concerns a

small Midwestern town. That has additionally written poetry,

screenplays, and also stage plays.