The Trial - Novels
by Franz Kafka
English Horror Stories
Someone must have been telling lies about Josef K., he knew he had done nothing wrong but, one morning, he was arrested. Every day at eight in the morning he was brought his breakfast by Mrs. Grubach's cook - ...Read MoreGrubach was his landlady - but today she didn't come. That had never happened before. K. waited a little while, looked from his pillow at the old woman who lived opposite and who was watching him with an inquisitiveness quite unusual for her, and finally, both hungry and disconcerted, rang the bell. There was immediately a knock at the door and a man entered. He had never seen the man in this house before. He was slim but firmly built, his clothes were black and close-fitting, with many folds and pockets, buckles and buttons and a belt, all of which gave the impression of being very practical but without making it very clear what they were actually for. "Who are you?" asked K., sitting half upright in his bed. The man, however, ignored the question as if his arrival simply had to be accepted, and merely replied, "You rang?" "Anna should have brought me my breakfast," said K. He tried to work out who the man actually was, first in silence, just through observation and by thinking about it, but the man didn't stay still to be looked at for very long.
Franz Kafka Translation Copyright (C) by David Wyllie Translator contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org Chapter One Arrest Conversation with Mrs. Grubach - Then Miss Bürstner Someone must have been telling lies about Josef K., he knew he had done nothing wrong ...Read Moreone morning, he was arrested. Every day at eight in the morning he was brought his breakfast by Mrs. Grubach's cook - Mrs. Grubach was his landlady - but today she didn't come. That had never happened before. K. waited a little while, looked from his pillow at the old woman who lived opposite and who was watching him with
Chapter Two First Cross-examination K. was informed by telephone that there would be a small hearing concerning his case the following Sunday. He was made aware that these cross examinations would follow one another regularly, perhaps not every week ...Read Morequite frequently. On the one hand it was in everyone's interest to bring proceedings quickly to their conclusion, but on the other hand every aspect of the examinations had to be carried out thoroughly without lasting too long because of the associated stress. For these reasons, it had been decided to hold a series of brief examinations following on one
Chapter Three In the empty Courtroom - The Student - The Offices Every day over the following week, K. expected another summons to arrive, he could not believe that his rejection of any more hearings had been taken literally, ...Read Morewhen the expected summons really had not come by Saturday evening he took it to mean that he was expected, without being told, to appear at the same place at the same time. So on Sunday, he set out once more in the same direction, going without hesitation up the steps and through the corridors some of the people remembered
Chapter Four Miss Bürstner's Friend For some time after this, K. found it impossible to exchange even just a few words with Miss Bürstner. He tried to reach her in many and various ways but she always found a ...Read Moreto avoid it. He would come straight home from the office, remain in her room without the light on, and sit on the sofa with nothing more to distract him than keeping watch on the empty hallway. If the maid went by and closed the door of the apparently empty room he would get up after a while and open
Chapter Five The whip-man One evening, a few days later, K. was walking along one of the corridors that separated his office from the main stairway - he was nearly the last one to leave for home that evening, ...Read Moreremained only a couple of workers in the light of a single bulb in the dispatch department - when he heard a sigh from behind a door which he had himself never opened but which he had always thought just led into a junk room. He stood in amazement and listened again to establish whether he might not be mistaken.
Chapter Six K.'s uncle - Leni One afternoon - K. was very busy at the time, getting the post ready - K.'s Uncle Karl, a small country land owner, came into the room, pushing his way between two of ...Read Morestaff who were bringing in some papers. K. had long expected his uncle to appear, but the sight of him now shocked K. far less than the prospect of it had done a long time before. His uncle was bound to come, K. had been sure of that for about a month. He already thought at the time he could
Chapter Seven Lawyer - Manufacturer - Painter One winter morning - snow was falling in the dull light outside - K. was sitting in his office, already extremely tired despite the early hour. He had told the servitor he ...Read Moreengaged in a major piece of work and none of the junior staff should be allowed in to see him, so he would not be disturbed by them at least. But instead of working he turned round in his chair, slowly moved various items around his desk, but then, without being aware of it, he lay his arm stretched out
Chapter Eight Block, the businessman - Dismissing the lawyer K. had at last made the decision to withdraw his defence from the lawyer. It was impossible to remove his doubts as to whether this was the right decision, but ...Read Morewas outweighed by his belief in its necessity. This decision, on the day he intended to go to see the lawyer, took a lot of the strength he needed for his work, he worked exceptionally slowly, he had to remain in his office a long time, and it was already past ten o'clock when he finally stood in front of
Chapter Nine In the Cathedral A very important Italian business contact of the bank had come to visit the city for the first time and K. was given the task of showing him some of its cultural sights. At ...Read Moreother time he would have seen this job as an honour but now, when he was finding it hard even to maintain his current position in the bank, he accepted it only with reluctance. Every hour that he could not be in the office was a cause of concern for him, he was no longer able to make use of
Chapter Ten End The evening before K.'s thirty-first birthday - it was about nine o'clock in the evening, the time when the streets were quiet - two men came to where he lived. In frock coats, pale and fat, ...Read Moretop hats that looked like they could not be taken off their heads. After some brief formalities at the door of the flat when they first arrived, the same formalities were repeated at greater length at K.'s door. He had not been notified they would be coming, but K. sat in a chair near the door, dressed in black as