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By Courier

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By Courier

by O. Henry

Genre: Comedy
Setting:
Format of Original Source: Short Story
Recommended Adaptation Length:

Candidate for Adaptation? Promising

EXCERPT:

“Give that letter to the lady,” he said, “and ask her to read it. Tell her that it should explain the situation. Tell her that, if she had mingled a little trust with her conception of the ideal, much heartache might have been avoided. Tell her that the loyalty she prizes so much has never wavered. Tell her I am waiting for an answer.”

The messenger stood before the lady.

“De gent says he’s had de ski-bunk put on him widout no cause. He says he’s no bum guy; and, lady, yer read dat letter, and I’ll bet yer he’s a white sport, all right.”



COMMENTS:

A one-joke story, but it’s a good joke. A couple is literally not on speaking terms, and they hire a courier to communicate their huffy conversation. The courier’s language is filled with slang and colorful paraphrasing, which is the point of the story, and a lot of fun. After a few (two?) translations, we get the gist, and the joke wears off. Perhaps there’s a trio or quartet of couples/translators you could create, representing various decades or cultures, and run the same story several times over in an evening?


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