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by HC Bunner

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

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Reviewed


It was such a quiet old home, so comfortably covered with wistaria from basement to chimney-tops, and it stood on the corner of two such quiet, old-fashioned streets on the East side of New York that you would never have imagined that it held six of the most agitated and perturbed women in the great city. But the three Miss Pellicoes, their maid, their waitress and their cook, could not have been more troubled in their feminine minds had they been six exceptionally attractive Sabines with the Roman soldiery in full cry.

For twenty years-ever since the death of old Mr. Pellicoe-these six women had lived in mortal fear of the marauding man, and the Man had come at last. That very evening, at a quarter past eight o’clock, a creature who called himself a book-agent had rung the front door bell. Honora, the waitress, had opened the door a couple of inches, inquired the stranger’s business, learned it, told him to depart, tried to close the door, and discovered that the man had inserted his toe in the opening. She had closed the door violently, and the man had emitted a single oath of deep and sincere profanity. He had then kicked the door and departed, with a marked limp.

At least this was the story as Honora first related it. But as she stood before the assembled household and recounted it for the seventh time, it had assumed proportions that left no room for the charitable hypothesis that an innocent vendor of literature had been the hapless victim of his own carelessness or clumsiness.

“And whin he had the half of his big ugly body in the crack o’ th’ dure,” she said, in excited tones and with fine dramatic action, “and him yellin’ an’ swearin’ and cussin’ iv’ry holy name he could lay his black tongue to, and me six years cook in a convent, and I t’rew th’ whole weight o’ me on th’ dure, an’-“


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