It is Chapter Nine that I assume you are refering to, which is when the Time Traveller and Weena, his companion, attempt to reach the Time Machine by returning to the White Sphinx. It is in this location that the protagonist believes the Morlocks are guarding the Time Machine. However, as they try to reach it, Weena and the protagonist are attacked by Morlocks, who are only deterred when the Time Traveller lights matches to scare them off. As they reach a narrow tunnel, the protagonist feels several hands clutch him and try to pull him back. He is finally able to reach the shaft, and what saves him from the Morlocks is grasping the projecting hooks, which enables him to kick back violently against the Morlocks and climb up the shaft quickly, escaping their clutches.