/ / / "The Monkeys Paw" W.W. Jacobs 

"The Monkeys Paw" W.W. Jacobs



. 16 .

                                   hapter 1

It was cold and dark out in the road and the rain did not stop for a minute. But in the little living-room of number 12 Castle Road it was nice and warm. Old Mr. White and his son, Herbert, played chess and Mrs. White sat and watched them. The old woman was happy because her husband and her son were good friends and they liked to be together. ‘Herbert’s a good son,’ she thought. ‘We waited a long time for him and I was nearly forty when he was born, but we are a happy family.’ And old Mrs. White smiled.

It was true. Herbert was young and he laughed a lot, but his mother and his father laughed with him. They had not got much money, but they were a very happy little family.     

The two men did not talk because they played carefully. The room was quiet, but the noise of the rain was worse now and they could hear it on the windows. Suddenly old Mr. White looked up. ‘Listen to the rain!’ he said.

‘Yes, it’s a bad night,’ Herbert answered. ‘It’s not a good night to be out. But is your friend, Tom Morris, coming tonight?’

‘Yes, that’s right. He’s coming at about seven o’clock,’ the old man said. ‘But perhaps this rain…’

Mr. White did not finish because just then the young man heard a noise.

‘Listen!’ Herbert said. ‘There’s someone at the door now.’

‘I didn’t hear a noise,’ his father answered, but he got up from his chair and went to open the front door. Mrs. White got up too and began to put things away.

Mr. White said, ‘Come in, come in, Tom. It’s wonderful to see you again. What a bad night! Give me your coat and then come into the living room. It’s nice and warm in there.’

The front door was open, and in the living room Mrs. White and Herbert felt the cold. Then Mr. White came back into the living room with a big, red-faced man.

‘This is Tom Morris,’ Mr. White told his wife and son. ‘We were friends when we were young. We worked together before Tom went to India. Tom, this is my wife and this is our son, Herbert.’

‘Pleased to meet you,’ Tom Morris said.

‘Pleased to meet you Mr. Morris,’ Mrs. White answered. ‘Please come and sit down.’

‘Yes, come on, Tom,’ Mr. White said. ‘Over here. It’s nice and warm.’

‘Thank you,’ the big man answered and he sat down.

‘Let’s have some whisky,’ old Mr. White said. ‘You need something to warm you on a cold night.’ He got out a bottle of whisky and the two old friends began to drink and talk. The little family listened with interest to this visitor from far away and he told them many strange stories.   


Chapter 2

After some time Tom Morris stopped talking and Mr. White said to his wife and son, ‘Tom was a soldier in India fro twenty-one years. India is a wonderful country.’

‘Yes,’ Herbert said. ‘I’d like to go there.’

‘Oh, Herbert!’ his mother cried. She was afraid because she did not want to lose her son.

‘I wanted to go to India too,’ her husband said, ‘but…’

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