Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"The Monkey's Paw." WW Jacobs.

One-minute review: A soldier returns from India and visits his old friend, his wife and their son. He tells them about a monkey’s paw that grants three wishes, but the consequences of using the wishes are disastrous. He throws the paw on the fire, but his host rescues it. The soldier leaves to catch his train, and warns his host to burn the paw on the fire.

The family is lighthearted as they talk about the monkey’s paw. Finally, the father lifts it up in his right hand and wishes for two hundred pounds. Nothing happens. The father mentions that his friend the soldier said the wishes were granted almost naturally. They go to bed and the next day the son goes off to work.

A representative from the company where his son works comes to the house, tells them that their son has been mangled in a machine and, to recompense the couple for their loss, gives them two hundred pounds.

The couple mourn and then the wife remembers the monkey’s paw and demands that her husband wish that her son were alive again. Reluctantly he does, but nothing happens—until several hours later—the time needed for the remains to arrive from the cemetery. They hear a knock at the door. The husband believes that what is at the door is the mangled remains of their son and does not want them to be admitted. The wife demands that they let whatever it is in, but just as the door is about to open, the husband grasps the talisman and makes the third wish. The knocking stops.

Famous Ghost Stories. Ed. Bennett Cerf. New York: The Modern Library. Random House, inc. 1944.

No comments:

Post a Comment