In How is the tablecloth getting covered in blood in LXG? I was wondering why blood suddenly appeared on the tablecloth in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, vol. 2, before realising it was there all along (see the other question for more details).

If the blood was there all along, how come Nemo did not notice the dampness of it while eating dinner?


Given proper English etiquette of the time, during a meal the tablecloth would not be touched with hands (one keeps one's elbows off the table, only touching utensils, etc.). Also, when the diners first sat to dinner, it is reasonable that the tablecloth wasn't instantly soaked through. Since Griffin is on the floor above the dining room (note the placement of the stairs that Nemo climbs when he finds Griffin's body) he may well have been dripping blood through the ceiling onto the tablecloth throughout dinner, causing it to be slowly saturated. Nemo is only shown to touch the plate at first, resting his hand on it slightly, and only places his loosely clasped fist on the table after the blood begins to show. With no one touching the tablecloth, its dampness could go unnoticed.

Another possibility has to do with perception. Touch is a little vague sometimes; we often don't perceive pain immediately until we see our wound, and sometimes heat and cold can be confused for each other if they are intense. In the absence of visual verification, a feeling of wetness may have been interpreted merely as cold fingers. The smell of blood, similarly, might have been masked by the scent of dinner. It is safe to say that Hyde as a dinner companion is riveting enough to distract from such subtle signs.

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