Text and mp3 of Saki's famous short story, "The Open Window." Framton Nuttel, a nervous man, has come to stay in the country for his health. His sister, who thinks he should socialize while he is there, has given him letters of introduction to families in the neighborhood whom she got to know when she was staying there a few years previously. Framton goes to visit Mrs Sappleton and, while he is waiting for her to come down, is entertained by her fifteen-year-old, witty niece. The niece tells him that the French window is kept open, even though it is October, because Mrs Sappleton believes that her husband and her brothers, who were drowned in a bog three years before, will come back one day. When Mrs Sappleton comes down she talks about her husband and her brothers, and how they are going to come back from shooting soon, and Framton, believing that she is deranged, tries to distract her by talking about his health. Then, to his horror, Mrs Sappleton points out that her husband and her brothers are coming, and he sees them walking towards the window with their dog. He thinks he is seeing ghosts and runs away. Mrs Sappleton cannot understand why he has run away and, when her husband and her brothers come in, she tells them about the odd man who has just left. The niece explains that Framton Nuttel ran away because of the spaniel: he is afraid of dogs since he was hunted by a pack of stray dogs in India and had to spend a night in the newly dug grave with creatures grinning and foaming just above him. The last line summarizes the story, saying of the niece, "Romance at short notice was her speciality."
Also of interest:
The Open Window by Saki Text and Mp3
The Byzantine Omelette Story by Saki
Reginald in Russia by Saki
Reginald by Saki
Saki’s Tales of Reginald