In the Saki’s short story the open widow Mr. Nuttel, a man of poor nerve and highly reserved, following his sister’s suggestions, tried to pay several visits to some nice people strongly recommended by his sister, hoping those visits could help the never cure he was supposed to be undergoing; however, it was on his visit to Mr. Sappleton that his semi-normal never was totally crushed by a story from a girl only aged 15 years old.
The first half of story was casted by the shadow of mystery and gloom, but the ending turned out to be unexpected delight, humor and irony, showing SAKI’ distinguished writing skill. The first character revealed into readers’ eyes was a niece of Mrs. Sappleton, aged 15 years old but unlike other childe, she was, as Saki described, “self-possessed”. It was this superficial character that deceived Mr. Nuttel’s eyes and his poor verve so well that he thought this visit to Mr. Sappleton may come into a ‘nice division’.
Skeptical and incredulous as he was by keeping “wondering” and “doubting”, he did not notice the girl’s such words as “you must try and put up with me”. Self-possessed a girl she appeared and behaved so well that naughtiness and mischief could not be his nature. So why she said “try and put up with me”, Mr. Nuttle failed to consider about this ,since the notion he had perceived that she was not mischievous, but tried to say “the correct something which should duly flatter the niece of the moment without unduly discounting the aunt that was to come. Such a foreshadow SAKI casted here, at the beginning of the story, revealing a little about the wisdom or cunning of a little girl and skeptical and unsocial character of Mr. Nuttle. Yes, the girl was a little mature for her age who was not only able to judge the silent situation but could break the ice by asking some questions to discover this guest’s character as well as his knowledge of the family he was visiting.
Therefore, conversation was conducted between a sophisticated girl with agenda and an unsocial man with skeptical and reserved character. Do you know many of people here? ” “Hardly a soul” “Then you know practically nothing about my aunt” “Only her name and address” Since knowing the guest’s complete ignorance of anything about her aunt, this little mischievous girl but full of imagination, by Staring at that large French window that opened on an October afternoon, started to make up her story, seriously, vividly and emotionally. Losing its self-possessed note and becoming falteringly human along with sometimes braking off with a little shudder, she told Mr. Nuttle three years ago to a day when he visited, Mr. Sappleton, her husband, who used to cover his arm by white waterproof and her two young brothers, the youngest of whom used to say “Berit, why do you bound” to tease her and the little brown loyal spaniel dog, went out for hunting but unfortunately drowned in a treacherous piece of bog and never came back; however her poor aunt, Mr. Sappleton, still could not accept the fact but believed that one day they would surely come back as before by walking in through that open window.
Skeptical as Mr. Nuttle was, he trusted every word of this little self-possessed girl as if he was charmed by her without considering why the room suggests masculine habitation due to his preconception that she was a serious girl. The horror added to Mr. Nuttle by the appearance of Mr. Sappleton, because she was not as self-possessed as her little niece, in Mr. Nuttel’s eyes, by “bustling into the room with a whirl of apologies”. The comparison was made here between the two hostesses made Mr. Nuttle sure who was more normal and who might suffer mental disorder, of course, only through his eyes and their behaviors.
One of the hostess’ mental disorder is attested by her rattling on cheerfully about the shooting and her husband and two brothers, who, however, in Mr. Nuttle’s preconception had been in heaven for three years. In order to relieve the horror and calm down his fragile never, this unsocial gentleman made his desperate effort to turn the talk to another topic, but partially successfully, for his topic about his disease was far less interesting and relevant to the hostess whose world was revolving around his husband. Her eyes were constantly straying past him to the open window and the lawn beyond” showed her impatience and boredom for her guest’s talking and her anxiety for her husband’s coming, which, however in Mr. Nuttle’s eyes, is totally unreasonable and abnormal, since the preconception was planted in his mind so deeply that her husband was dead and never came back. The story reached its climax when Mrs. Sampleton brightened into alert attention “Here they are at last! ” Mr. Nuttel was frightened but not that much, for in his eyes, this woman was little short of insane. So he just “shivered” perhaps not due to his fear but Mrs. Sappleton’s exalted voice, and then turned to the niece with a look intended to convey sympathetic comprehension that you indeed had such a poor aunt. While, the little girl’s expression did confuse and also frighten him by “staring out through the window with a dazed horror” and sent a chill shock of nameless fear to him which hit him in the top head and ran down to the soles of his feet.
Looking in the same direction, what he saw was three figures and one dog, in the deepening twilight, walking across the lawn towards the window. Their behaves and clothes were the same as the three person who drowned in bog and never came back the girl told him before and with the same greeting “Berit, why do you bound? ” Yes, poor Mr. Nuttle, with poor never and entrenched perception in his mind, was totally astounded, frightened, horrified and devastated by what he saw.
He “grabbed wildly” at his stick and hat, dashed out of this spooky place. He was such an unsocial guest who dashed out off without a word of goodbye, making his hostess very unpleasant. Thanks to this little girl’s explanation that he may be afraid of dogs. The open window may mean possibilities, which tells the readers not to come into a conclusion by preconceptions and not to judge the person greatly by their behaviors. Keeping your eyes and heart open, no preconceptions and no prejudice may help you drop a better conclusion.