The Story of an Hour

  • "The Story of An Hour”

  • Narrator

    Knowing that Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble, great care was taken to break to her as gently as possible the news of her husband's death.

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  • It was her sister Josephine who told her, in broken sentences; veiled hints that revealed in half concealing.

  • Narrator

    Her husband's friend Richards was there, too, near her.

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  • It was he who had been in the newspaper office when intelligence of the railroad disaster was received, with Brently Mallard's name leading the list of “killed.”

  • He had only taken the time to assure himself of its truth by a second telegram, and had hastened to forestall any less careful, less tender friend in bearing the sad message.

  • Narrator

    She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance.

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  • She wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister's arms.

  • When the storm of grief had spent itself she went away to her room alone.

  • She would have no one follow her.

  • Narrator

    There stood, facing the open window, a comfortable, roomy armchair.

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  • Into this she sank, pressed down by a physical exhaustion that haunted her body and seemed to reach into her soul.

  • Narrator

    She could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life.

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  • The delicious breath of rain was in the air.

  • In the street below a peddler was crying his wares.

  • The notes of a distant song which some one was singing reached her faintly, and countless sparrows were twittering in the eaves.

  • Narrator

    There were patches of blue sky showing here and there through the clouds that had met and piled one above the other in the west facing her window.

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  • She sat with her head thrown back upon the cushion of the chair, quite motionless, except when a sob came up into her throat and shook her, as a child who has cried itself to sleep continues to sob in its dreams.

  • Narrator

    She was young, with a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression and even a certain strength.

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  • But now there was a dull stare in her eyes, whose gaze was fixed away off yonder on one of those patches of blue sky.