The Signal-Man Questions and Answers
by Charles Dickens

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What does the narrator find unusual about the signal-man's behavior?

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The narrator for some reason calls down to a railroad signal-man as the story opens. The narrator finds it odd that instead of looking up in the direction from which his voice is coming, the signal-man looks down the empty track. It seems very unlikely that someone would be walking up the middle of the tracks. A little later, after a train passes, the signal-man still looks down the track expectantly, as if waiting for someone, which causes the narrator to say

I stopped a moment, wondering at it.

As the narrator talks with the signal-man, he learns that the man's strange behavior arises from his conviction that he has seen a "spectre" on the railway tracks and also emerging from the railway tunnel. The signal-man tells the narrator that each time the spectre, or ghost, appears, it means a terrible train accident will follow.

This explains the signal-man's...

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