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Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Little Wife by William March

The Little Wife is the story of a stricken husband unable to face reality. Joe Hinckley is on a train ride back to his home in a distant city. Being a traveling salesman keeps him from his family for stretches at a time. He received a telegram stating that his wife was so sick that she probably wouldn’t make it through night: “J.G. Hinckley, American Hotel, Montgomery, Ala. Come home at once. Doctor says Bessie not expected live through day. Will wire again if necessary. It was a boy. Mother.” Then the porter comes and delivers another telegram. “It must be from Mrs. Thompkins, all right, he thought, she said she would wire again if –“ He kept looking at the telegram and not opening it. The conductor passed by him and asked if he was alright. “Everything’s all right. . . I’m going home to see the little wife and everything’s all right.” He laughed happily. Joe begins to want to talk about Bessie to everyone on the unbearably long train ride. Anyone he talks to is willing to listen until he continues his diatribe for hours. He goes to the back of the train and tears up the telegram without reading it and watches it flutter away in the wind. He wants to keep her alive as long as he can. He arrives in Mobile. “On the other side of the iron fence Joe saw Mrs. Thompkins. She was dressed in black and she wore a black veil.”

1 comment:

Srinivasa Rao, New York said...

sir,
I read your review on The little wife by william March. can yopu please send me the full text of the short story , please .
sicnerely,
Srinivasa rao,
srao@iibt.in
New York, USA.