Review: The spinster of the title is a now motherless teen ager living with men—her father and brother in the house. She has to learn to live with masculinity—the worst trait of which is drunkenness. Mr. Speed is a drunken neighbor who staggers past her house two or three times a week. He symbolizes what is wrong with the masculine character. She slowly begins to learn her power to cause harm and she usurps the authority of the men in her life.
Mr. Speed, the representative of masculinity’s worst trait, drunkenness, one night drunkenly enters the house, curses at the black maid, stumbles and falls on the porch as he leaves, collapses and falls down the steps. She calls the police a course of action of which her father disapproves. The police come and take Mr. Speed away in the paddy wagon. She has expelled the symbol of evil masculinity from her house. I guess.
Rating of this short story: * out of *****.
Short Story Masterpieces. Ed. RP Warren and A Erskine. New York: Dell Books. 1954.