Migglesby Bret Harte
Format of Original Source: Short Story
Recommended Adaptation Length:
Candidate for Adaptation? Not Likely
Jim here”–she took his hand in both of hers as she spoke–“used to know me, if you didn’t, and spent a heap of money upon me. I reckon he spent all he had. And one day–it’s six years ago this winter–Jim came into my back room, sat down on my sofy, like as you see him in that chair, and never moved again without help. He was struck all of a heap, and never seemed to know what ailed him. The doctors came and said as how it was caused all along of his way of life–for Jim was mighty free and wild-like–and that he would never get better, and couldn’t last long anyway. They advised me to send him to Frisco to the hospital, for he was no good to anyone and would be a baby all his life. Perhaps it was something in Jim’s eye, perhaps it was that I never had a baby, but I said ‘No.’
Travelers spend a night at what they think is an abandoned house. Turns out there’s a vibrant, vital woman living there, taking care of an aging, fading old man. The heart of this story lies in answering the question “what’s up with that?” - but although this is a fairly satisfying short story, the events told in it are backstory, and wouldn’t add up to much drama on the stage. Perhaps the mystery would sustain for a 15-minute musical, but it’s still backstory….
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