Kategori arşivi: İngilizce Hikayeler

White Fang by Jack London

White Fang by Jack London

The novel opens as two men, Bill and Henry, carry the dead body of Lord Albert south to be buried. Over the course of the journey, their dog sled is pursued by a hungry pack of wolves. The sled dogs are picked off one by one as they try to join the pack. The dogs are lured by the she-wolf running with the pack, who is part dog herself and knows how to communicate with them. Soon, Bill is eaten by the pack. Just as Henry is about to be eaten by the wolves, he is rescued by soldiers who are looking for Lord Albert.

The wolf pack runs away and travels together. The she-wolf is courted by several other members of the pack. A wolf named One Eye finally succeeds, and they go off to hunt together. The she-wolf becomes pregnant, and they find a cave where she bears her young. There is a famine, and all of her litter die of starvation except for one cub, a little gray wolf. One Eye does not return from his hunting.

One day the cub and she-wolf encounter Indians. One of them calls to the she-wolf by a strange name: Kiche. They name the cub White Fang. Kiche and White Fang become the dogs of one Indian named Gray Beaver. When they reach the Indian camp, White Fang is tormented by an older puppy named Lip-lip. White Fang learns that Gray Beaver is his master, and that he can never bite Gray Beaver. He is abused by all the dogs in the Indian camp, and becomes vicious and ferocious.

White Fang is put on the sled team of Gray Beaver’s son, Mit-sah. After they return to the camp, famine strikes again, and White Fang goes into the Wild to live. When the famine passes, he returns to Gray Beaver and travels with him to Fort Yukon, where Gray Beaver becomes addicted to whiskey. He sells White Fang to Beauty Smith, who keeps him caged and forces him to fight other dogs. He becomes a killer. He wins every fight until he comes up against Cherokee, a mastiff. Cherokee’s jaws clamp down on his throat and he can’t escape. Weedon Scott, a stranger visiting the area, rescues him.

Weedon Scott and his friend Matt realize how intelligent White Fang is and try to tame him, but are unsuccessful at first. Scott shows White Fang that he will not be cruel. White Fang begins to love Scott, and when Scott has to go back to his home in California, White Fang forces Scott to take him along.

White Fang is out of place in California, and is not entirely trusted by the Scott family. One of Scott’s dogs, Collie, particularly distrusts him. However, White Fang dramatically proves himself. First, White Fang saves Scott by getting help when Scott falls off his horse and breaks his leg. Then, he earns the title “Blessed Wolf” by killing an escaped convict who was intent on murdering Weedon Scott’s father.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher

Uncle Tom, a slave on the Shelby plantation, is loved by his owners, their son, and every slave on the property. He lives contentedly with his wife and children in their own cabin until Mr. Shelby, deeply in debt to a slave trader named Haley, agrees to sell Tom and Harry, the child of his wife’s servant Eliza. Tom is devastated but vows that he will not run away, as he believes that to do so would plunge his master so far into debt that he would be forced to sell every slave.

Just before Tom is taken away, Mrs. Shelby promises him that she will buy him back as soon as she can gather the funds. Tom is sold to Haley, who eventually sells him to a kindly master named Mr. St. Clare.

Eliza, however, cannot bear to part with her son and escapes the night before he is to be taken from her. She escapes successfully and makes her way to a Quaker village, with a family that harbors slaves. There, she is reunited with her husband George, who lived on a neighboring plantation and has also escaped to flee his master’s cruelty. The couple and their son spend a night with the Quaker family before returning to the underground railroad.

Tom befriends his new master and especially his young daughter Eva, who shares Tom’s deep religious faith and devotion. Eva abhors cruelty and eventually is so overcome with grief over slavery that when she becomes ill, she accepts her impending death peacefully and tells her family and their servants that she is happy knowing that she is going to heaven, where such cruelty does not exist. St. Clare begins to confront the realization that he believes slavery is evil, and he promises Tom that he will fill out forms guaranteeing his freedom in the event of St. Clare’s death.

Shortly after Eva dies, her father dies tragically in an accident, and Tom’s fate is left entirely in the hands of Marie, St. Clare’s selfish and unsympathetic wife. Marie decides to move back to her parents’ estate and to sell all the slaves, despite Miss Ophelia’s exhortation that Marie should fulfill St. Clare’s promise to give Tom his freedom. Marie refuses, and just before he is sold, he writes a letter to the Shelbys (with the help of Mr. Legree) telling them his plight and asking for their help. The letter goes unanswered, and Tom ends up in the hands of Simon Legree, an evil and bitter plantation owner whose philosophy is to work his slaves hard and replace them when they inevitably die just a few years later.

On Legree’s plantation, Tom meets two fellow slaves, Emmeline and Cassy. Emmeline is a young mulatto woman sold to Legree at the same time as Tom, and she attempts to befriend the embittered Cassy, who has suffered at the hands of Legree for several years. Cassy has seen her children sold and is so destitute that Tom’s pleas that she put her faith and trust in God fall on deaf ears. Legree soon comes to hate Tom after Tom refuses to beat and discipline the other slaves. Legree had planned to turn Tom into a brutal overseer, and when he realizes that Tom will not participate in cruelty, he becomes enraged and takes out his wrath on Tom. Tom becomes discouraged until he has a vision of heaven one night as he is drifting off to sleep. The vision reinvigorates him, and he decides it is his mission to suffer for the other slaves. He regularly fills their cotton baskets at the expense of his own, gives them his food and water, and reads the Bible to them.

Tom’s acts of kindness enrage Legree, and when Emmeline and Cassy escape, he demands that Tom tell him everything he knows. Tom admits that he knew of their plans to escape and is aware of their whereabouts, but he refuses to disclose where they are. Legree beats Tom so severely that after a few days, he dies.

Cassy and Emmeline eventually escape, and they happen to wind up on the same northern-bound ferry as George Shelby, who is rooming next to a woman named Madame de Thoux. Through conversation, it is discovered that Eliza Harris is Cassy’s daughter, and George Harris is Madame de Thoux’s brother. Cassy and Madame de Thoux journey together to Canada, where they are reunited with their family. Madame de Thoux reveals that her husband has left her a large inheritance, and they all move to France together, where George is educated. The family then relocates to Africa, and Cassy’s long-lost son, who has been traced, joins them. Topsy moves with Miss Ophelia to New England, then moves to Africa to work as a missionary. George Shelby gives all the servants on the Shelby farm their freedom, and tells them to be Christians and to think of Tom.

Town Twilight

Town Twilight

I was walking. The sun was shining. I couldn’t see anything but a few vultures. It was too much hot for me. I lost my way and was looking for my parents. I couldn’t decide where I was. It was a deserted place. There were mountains, bushes and of course vultures. Afterwards, I saw a town about one kilometre away. Then I saw the town’s name on a sign post.
I entered the town. All buildings were two-floored with large gardens. Green was the colour of the town. You could see lots of trees and flowers everywhere.
While I was walking through a large street, a nice blonde girl came close, and smiled.
“Hello! Who are you? ?
“I haven’t seen you before! ?
“Hello! I’m lost and I’m looking for my parents. I need to telephone. ? I replied.
“Let me introduce myself. My name is Trinity and yours? ?
“Alim, Alim BAYTEKİN ?,
“Will you help me? ?
“Of course, but we have no telephone ? she said.
“What? How can you communicate? ? I asked.
“We don’t need to communicate and stop asking questions. ?
“Let me show you our town’s beautiful places, Alim ? she said.
“O.K. ?.
Trinity took me to her school. While we were walking through the school’s corridors everbody was looking at us. In fact, they were looking at me. There were no other buildings. There was a big garden. You could see green colour everywhere again. The building was an old one. It seemed to me like a hounted house. There were about one hundred students.
The classes weren’t very big. You could see different colours in the classes. Yellow, pink, red, blue were the most common colours there. There were five classes and in each class, there were about twenty students, ten girls, ten boys. Trinity was talking to the teachers while I was looking around. They were looking at me when I was in front of class C. I found Trinity’s name on the list but there wasn’t any surname. Even the teacher had no surname on the list.
The bell rang. All of students went it. I got in the class C with Trinity. She was smiling when we sat on a desk. The lesson was Biology everybody had frogs with them. Trinity also had a frog. We cut it. We examined the internal organs of it. The teacher was also smiling when I looked at her once. It was a nice lesson. Everybody was friendly. I liked the Biology class.The school was over that day. We were walking slowly out of the school when she hold my hand. It was very exciting. I wanted to look at the school again. I turned back. What? I saw was dissappointing. I saw an older house like a deserted one. My camera was in my bag. I took it out and took a photo of the building. The building was empty and all of the students were lost. It was very strange.

After school, Trinity wanted to meet with her friends. We went to an old and big house to meet her friends. This big house was their meeting and playing place. There were four people, two boys, two girls. Morpheus, Jack, Miranda, Monica were their names.

Morpheus was a coloured boy. He was tall. He was an athletic person. He had no hair because he had shaved his head. It was shining when he moved. But I liked his clothes. They were dark too. He was wearing a black T-shirt, black jeans and black trainers.

Jack was tall too but he was shorter than Morpheus. He wasn’t a coloured boy. He was a thin brunette one. He was good at computers. He had small pocket computer with him. When he didn’t talk, he was playing with it.

Miranda was a blonde girl. She was as tall as me. She was wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans. She had a pet with her. It was a caretta-caretta turtle. It was very cute.

Monica was a fat girl but she had a beautiful face. She had a bag full of food and desserts. When we were talking about each other, she was eating. She was repeating a sentence after a few sentences it was:

“I’m very hungry! ?

Trinitiy suggested to play hide and seek. Everybody accepted. We began to hide ourselves while Monica was waiting to look for us. I hid myself behind an old coach. There was a strange smell there. It was stinking. I realised that we weren’t alone. Small creatures were travelling around. I thought that they were mice but one of them stopped near me. I could see it. It was very strange and it had a funny appearence. It smiled but I scared. Five minutes later, I heard the voice of Trinity. I stood up. I looked at her. She said,

“Where were you? ?,
“I was here. ? I replied.
“We have been looking for you for an hour. ?
“Strange! ? I said.

When we stopped playing, it was evening. We left the friends there. Trinity took me to her house. It was a huge building. I thought that we were going into a church. The ceiling was very high. There were lots of rooms. Trinity left me alone and she went into a room to look for her parents. While she was there , I began to look the pictures on the walls. There were lots of pictures of different and old people. Their clothes were very colourful.

The house’s outer side was black painted. The inner side was in yellow colour. The wooden parts of rooms were made of oak tree. The furniture was also made of oak tree.

Trinity called me to get in that room. Her father and mother were with her. They were nice, good looking people. We talked about ourselves. I only knew their names; Charles and Agatha. Again, I couldn’t hear any surname. They said that I would find my parents.

I liked this town, I liked Trinity and hers friends. But I missed my parents and of course my hometown. It might be a good place for my holidays.
I wanted to leave this town. Trinity didn’t want me to go. She said,
“You may stay here. ? She went on speaking,
“But if you decide to stay here, you can’t go anywhere. ?
I got frightened. I felt like a prisoner. I asked,
“Can you go anywhere you like, Trinity? ?
“No, I can’t ? she said.
“Then this means you have to live here all your life. ?
“You’re right. ? She replied.
“But Why? ? I asked.
“Don’t ask why. There are no answer. Just live this moment. Don’t mind anything else you’ll be all right. ?

These were her last sentences. I behaved as she said.
After that day, Trinity warned me about the leaving day. She said,

“It’s time to go, Alim. You have to go. ?

I nodded my head. We walked to the exit of the town. She was smiling but her eyes were wet. I felt a tear dropping from my face. I was to cry. I didn’t ask any questions. She didn’t talk either. But her eyes said that I would find my parents. She kissed me. I left her there. I began to walk. I didn’t want to look back. I walked about one kilometre. I stopped there. I felt sleepy. At that moment, a strange wind began to blow. I could see nothing. I fell down. I heard a voice. Somebody was saying.

“Alim, wake up! ?

I opened my eyes. My mum was holding me. I saw my father too. There were lots of police cars there. They were very happy. I wanted to stand on my feet. I looked back. I saw a graveyard and the sing post of the graveyard. I ran towards there. The first thing I saw was the name Trinity on a stone. I fainted.

Utopia by Thomas More

Utopia by Thomas More

Thomas More is traveling in the Low Countries when he sees his friend, Peter Giles. Giles introduces him to a well-traveled friend of his, Raphael Hythloday.

Raphael speaks of many countries and their policies and laws, and freely criticizes the laws of their own countries. When More asks him why he doesn’t join the King’s services as a counselor, Raphael says he is happy with his way of life. Furthermore, he does not think his services would be appreciated, as his ideas are very different from the ideas of those around him. Raphael gives an account of a meeting at Cardinal Morton’s house, and then hypothesizes about what would happen if he were to express his opinion in other meetings. He then begins speaking of a country, Utopia, which he thinks is ruled very well and is a perfect country.

More begs Raphael to speak more of Utopia, and he does. He first tells of their towns, which are all as identical as possible, and have a maximum of 6,000 families. He then speaks of their magistrates, who are called Philarchs, and are chosen every year by thirty families. An Archphilarch overlooks every ten Philarchs. The Utopians’ manner of life is unusual, as gold is of no value, and everything is therefore free. Also, they spend their lives in the city and in the suburbs, living in each place for two years at a time. Laws dictate that they are not to travel without a ‘passport’, which can only be obtained from the Prince and states where and for how long they are allowed to travel.

Slaves and marriages are spoken of next. Prisoners of war are not taken as slaves, unless they fought in the battles; women are not to be married before eighteen, and men before twenty-two. Sexual encounters before marriage are prohibited, as are polygamy and adultery. There are no lawyers in Utopia, as everybody defends himself or herself in court.

Their military discipline is such that everyone trains for the army on a daily basis, however, the Utopians prefer to hire armies rather than to let their own people go to war, and as money does not matter much to them they can do this without much discomfort. Women are encouraged to join their husbands at war.

Religion is the last topic that is spoken of, and there are many religions in Utopia, as people are free to practice whatever they believe. However, the law states that they must all believe in one Divine Being and that they are forbidden to believe that the human’s soul dies with his body. Raphael speaks of the way the country and the people deal with the issues and problems associated with each of these topics, and how we could learn from them and their wisdom.

When Raphael finishes his descriptions, More has further questions and thoughts. However, he does not voice them, as it is apparent that Raphael is tired. The only thing he does say is that he wishes their governments would adapt some of Utopia’s rules, but he sees little hope of this happening.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird is a coming-of-age story of Scout Finch and her brother, Jem, in 1930’s Alabama. Through their neighborhood meanderings and the example of their father, they grow to understand that the world isn’t always fair and that prejudice is a very real aspect of their world no matter how subtle it seems.

The summer when Scout was six and Jem was ten, they met Dill, a little boy who spent the summer with his aunt who lived next door to the Finches. Dill and Jem become obsessed with the idea of making Boo Radley, the neighborhood recluse, come out of his home. They go through plan after plan, but nothing draws him out. However, these brushes with the neighborhood ghost result in a tentative friendship over time and soon the Finch children realize that Boo Radley deserves to live in peace, so they leave him alone.

Scout and Jem’s God-like father, Atticus, is a respected and upstanding lawyer in small Maycomb County. When he takes on a case that pits innocent, black Tom Robinson against two dishonest white people, Atticus knows that he will lose, but he has to defend the man or he can’t live with himself. The case is the biggest thing to hit Maycomb County in years and it turns the whole town against Atticus, or so it seems. Scout and Jem are forced to bear the slurs against their father and watch with shock and disillusionment as their fellow townspeople convict an obviously innocent man because of his race. The only real enemy that Atticus made during the case was Bob Ewell, the trashy white man who accused Tom Robinson of raping his daughter. Despite Ewell’s vow to avenge himself against Atticus, Atticus doesn’t view Ewell as any real threat.

Tom Robinson is sent to a work prison to await another trial, but before Atticus can get him to court again, Tom is shot for trying to escape the prison. It seems that the case is finally over and life returns to normal until Halloween night. On the way home from a pageant, Bob Ewell attacks Jem and Scout in the darkness. After Jem’s arm is badly broken, their ghostly neighbor, Boo Radley, rescues Scout and her brother. In order to protect Boo’s privacy, the sheriff decides that Bob Ewell fell on his own knife while he was struggling with Jem. Boo Radley returns home never to be seen again.

Through the events of those two years, Scout learns that no matter their differences or peculiarities, the people of the world and of Maycomb County are all people. No one is lesser or better than anyone else because they’re all people. She realizes that once you get to know them, most people are good and kind no matter what they seem like on the outside.

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Although his father was a lazy man who earned no titles in the Ibo tribe, Okonkwo is a great man in his home of Umuofia, a group of nine villages in Nigeria. Okonkwo despised his father and does everything he can to be nothing like the man. As a young man, Okonkwo began building his social status by defeating a great wrestler, propelling him into society’s eye. He is hard working and shows no weakness – emotional or otherwise – to anyone. Although brusque with his family and his neighbors, he is wealthy, courageous, and powerful among his village. He is a leader of his village, and this place in society is what he has striven for his entire life.

Because of his great esteem in the village, Okonkwo is selected by the elders to be the guardian of Ikemefuna, a boy taken prisoner by the tribe as a peace settlement between two villages. Ikemefuna is to stay with Okonkwo until the Oracle instructs the elders on what to do with the boy. For three years the boy lives with Okonkwo’s family and they grow fond of him, he even considers Okonkwo his father. Then the elders decide that the boy must be killed, and the oldest man in the village warns Okonkwo to have nothing to do with the murder because it would be like killing his own child. Rather than seem weak and feminine to the other men of the tribe, Okonkwo helps to kill the boy despite the warning from the old man.

Shortly after Ikemefuna’s death, things begin to go wrong for Okonkwo and when he accidentally kills someone at a funeral ceremony, he and his family are sent into exile for seven years to appease the gods he has offended with the murder. While Okonkwo is away in exile, white men begin coming to Umuofia and they peaceably introduce their religion. As the number of converts increases, the foothold of the white people grows beyond their religion and a new government is introduced.

Okonkwo returns to his village after his exile to find it a changed place because of the presence of white men. He and other tribal leaders try to reclaim their hold on their native land by destroying a local Christian church that has insulted their gods and religion. In return, the leader of the white government takes them prisoner and holds them for ransom for a short while, further humiliating and insulting the native leaders. The people of Umuofia finally gather for what could be a great uprising, and when some messengers of the white government try to stop their meeting, Okonkwo kills one of them. He realizes with despair that the people of Umuofia are not going to fight to protect themselves because they let the other messengers escape and so all is lost for the Ibo tribe.

When the local leader of the white government comes to Okonkwo’s house to take him to court, he finds that Okonkwo has hanged himself, ruining his great reputation.

Walden Book by Henry David Thoreau

Walden Book by Henry David Thoreau

Walden is Henry David Thoreau’s account of the two years he spent living in a small cabin he built in the woods next to Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. The book roughly follows the seasons of the year, and uses the seasonal changes as a framework in which to talk about wealth, money, academic study, nature, and spirituality. Thoreau begins with a long chapter on Economy, stating his case for moving to the woods, not paying taxes (for which Thoreau was jailed briefly during his two years at Walden), and surviving only off what he grew on the land near his cabin. A life of simplicity, for which he argues in the first chapter, is a recurring theme throughout the book.

Thoreau considers many aspects of the world around Walden. He allows each thing he spends time examining to take his thoughts towards higher moral and intellectual standards, as well as towards a very honest and respectful celebration of nature. He is particularly excited about the character, appearance, and characteristics of Walden Pond, and spends much of the book both describing the pond and singing the praises of its uniqueness.

Not content to limit his observations to the natural world only, Thoreau chronicles his encounters with many hunters, loggers, and other manual laborers who come to the pond. An entire chapter is dedicated to people who once lived near the pond, but have since passed away. He also mentions some of his closest friends and intellectual partners, who regularly pay visits to Thoreau.

Although Thoreau places a higher value on natural observation than anything else, he also places great weight on knowledge, and thoughtful, careful intellectual argument, which he feels is best undertaken in a natural setting. Thoreau quotes from many spiritual books, including Hindu, Christian, Confucian, and Roman writings. He also treats many books on farming, botany, and other aspects of nature as if they were religious texts.

Thoreau concludes the book by writing about truth, which he feels can be found both in nature, and in people who fully live up to their potential. In addition, he reiterates his feeling that people should never presume to be important or exceedingly valuable until they have succeeded in exploring every part, not of the world, but of themselves. Thoreau says that he left the woods to explore other parts of himself.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

It is 1801 and Thrushcross Grange has a new tenant, Mr. Lockwood. He visits his landlord, Mr. Heathcliff, who lives at Wuthering Heights, the neighboring property. Mr. Heathcliff is out, and his young relatives, Mrs. Heathcliff and Hareton Earnshaw, are very disagreeable. It starts to snow, but no one is willing to help Mr. Lockwood get home, or to let him stay. He is attacked by a dog while leaving, and in his bloody state, Mr. Heathcliff begrudgingly allows him to stay.

Mr. Lockwood passes his time reading from the journals of a young girl named Catherine. He starts to dream. In the dream he quarrels with a preacher, and the parishioners attack him. A tapping awakens him, and he breaks a window in his attempt to quiet it. He grabs the hand of a ghost child, who calls herself Catherine Linton. Terrified, his scream awakens Heathcliff, who calls for the ghost to reappear. Heathcliff escorts Mr. Lockwood home through the snow-covered moors, but he still catches a bad cold.

Sick for several weeks with this cold, Mr. Lockwood asks Nelly Dean, his serving woman, to tell him about the inhabitants of Wuthering Heights. She was once their housekeeper, and she has lots of stories to tell. Mrs. Heathcliff, who was married to Heathcliff’s son, is the daughter of Mrs. Dean’s late master, Edgar Linton. Hareton Earnshaw, the nephew of Mrs. Linton, is Mrs. Heathcliff’s cousin. Mr. Heathcliff was married to Mr. Linton’s sister, who bore Linton, Catherine’s husband. Heathcliff was an orphan Mr. Earnshaw found wandering the streets of Liverpool. Hindley, the eldest child, was very jealous of him. When Mr. Earnshaw died two years later, Hindley made Heathcliff work in the fields. Catherine and Heathcliff remained close friends. One day, while spying on Thrushcross Grange, they saw two children, Isabella and Edgar, nearly tearing a puppy to pieces in a selfish rage. One of the Linton’s dogs attacked Catherine when they tried to run. She stayed for several weeks to heal, and when she returned from the Lintons, she was well mannered and nicely dressed, which annoyed Heathcliff.

In 1778, Hindley’s wife gave birth to Hareton, then died soon after. Hindley, crazed with grief, could not care for him. Despite their differences, Edgar and Catherine grew closer. Catherine agreed to marry Edgar, telling Nelly that Heathcliff was too inferior to marry. Heathcliff heard this, and disappeared without a word.

Catherine became sick, but when her health improved, she and Edgar married and moved to the Grange. The marriage was good until Heathcliff returned. Edgar’s sister Isabella fell in love with Heathcliff, but he despised her. Heathcliff kissed Isabella to hurt Catherine, and they had a big fight. During the fight, Edgar came in, demanding Heathcliff leave his house. Disgusted by both of them, Catherine shut herself in her room for three days, becoming ill and mad.

Isabella ran off and married Heathcliff, but she hated her new life at Wuthering Heights. One night, Catherine gave birth to Catherine Linton, and died. Soon after Catherine’s death, Isabella escaped to the Grange. She moved to London and had a child, named Linton, and died twelve years later. Hindley died six months after his sister.

Upon Isabella’s death, Edgar tried to keep Linton, but Heathcliff sent for him. A few years later, when wandering near the Heights, Cathy met her cousin. But Cathy’s father forbids the relationship. She starts a secret correspondence with Linton, and they think they are in love.

Mr. Earnshaw finally agreed the two cousins may visit if they do not go onto the Heights land. Linton coerced Nelly and Cathy to enter the house. Once inside, Heathcliff imprisoned them until Cathy agreed to marry Linton. With her father dying and escape impossible, Cathy relented. After her father died, Heathcliff moved his daughter-in-law to the Heights. Linton died soon after the wedding, and Catherine befriended Hareton, teaching him to read.

The following year, 1802, Mr. Lockwood returns to the Heights. He learns from Nelly that Heathcliff died unexpectedly after a strange and restless madness. He was buried next to Catherine, but several people believe they see he and Catherine wandering the moors. Cathy and Hareton are in love and plan to marry, then move into the Grange.

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

Billy Colman, now a grown man, reflects back on the year he got his dogs and the events that happened afterwards.

Billy, a ten-year old boy from the Ozarks, has an unyielding desire to have two hunting hounds of his own. He repeatedly asks his parents for the dogs, but considering their financial situation, they have to tell Billy no. Hunting hounds are too expensive and Papa has a farm to take care of, as well as Mama, Billy, and Billy’s three sisters.

One day while out in the woods, Billy finds a fisherman’s catalogue. In the back of the magazine is an advertisement for redbone hunting hounds. Billy is determined to have the dogs. He works for two years in his Grandpa’s store, picking huckleberries, and selling bait to local fisherman in order to save the fifty dollars needed to buy the hounds. At the end of the two years, Billy has enough money and he finally orders his dogs. He walks to a nearby town, Tahlequah, and picks up his dogs. He couldn’t be happier; he has all he has ever wanted. Billy makes his way back home with his new dogs. He has to sleep overnight in a cave and this is when he decides on the names for his two new pups. He calls the male Old Dan, and the female Little Ann. This is also the first time Billy gets to see what his dogs’ personalities are like. Old Dan barks at a lion walking outside near the cave and Billy senses that Old Dan is going to be a tough and determined dog. He assesses that Little Ann is going to be the smart dog of the two.

Once home, Billy immediately starts to train his dogs how to hunt raccoons. Billy takes the dogs out every night. They learn quickly and they also do everything together. Billy quickly learns that he has two great hunting hounds. They will stop at nothing to tree a coon. Billy and his dogs have all sorts of adventures in the river bottoms of the Ozarks. Eventually, Billy’s name starts to get around (with the help of Grandpa’s bragging) and his dogs develop a reputation for their coon hunting skills.

One afternoon at Grandpa’s store, the mean Pritchard boys, Rubin and Rainie, bet Billy that his dogs cannot tree the “ghost coon.” Grandpa and Billy take on their bet and that night, the hunt starts. Old Dan and Little Ann tree the coon, but the Pritchard boys’ dog, a blue tick hound, picks a fight with Old Dan. Just as Rubin is about to go after Old Dan with Billy’s ax, Billy trips Rubin. Rubin falls on the ax and dies. Billy is shaken up and goes home. He feels so badly about what happened to Rubin that he cannot hunt for days and has nightmares for a while afterwards.

Weeks pass and Grandpa tells Billy about a championship coon hunting contest about to take place. Billy is excited and Grandpa has already entered Old Dan and Little Ann. For the past couple of months, Grandpa has been keeping track of how many coons Old Dan and Little Ann have caught and it is more than any other hunter around. Grandpa is confidant Billy’s dogs can win the championship gold cup. Grandpa, Papa, Billy, and the dogs leave for the contest. Before the hunt, Little Ann wins a silver cup for first place in a beauty contest. The hunt begins and Old Dan and Little Ann make it to the finals. On the final night of hunting, a terrible storm approaches. Billy’s team gets caught in the storm, Old Dan and Little Ann get lost, and Grandpa falls and twists his ankle. Billy thinks all hope is lost and that his dogs are dead. The next morning, after the storm, the other hunters find Billy, Papa, Grandpa, and their judge. One of the hunters saw Billy’s dogs and leads them right to them. They are frozen from the storm, but Billy revives them by warming them in a fire. Everyone makes their way back to the campground and Billy is awarded the gold cup as well as three hundred dollars in prize money.

After a few weeks, Billy is out hunting with his dogs. They are on the trail of what Billy thinks is a coon, but actually turns out to be a mountain lion. Old Dan and Little Ann get into a terrible fight with the lion. The lion rips the dogs apart, especially Old Dan. The dogs save Billy’s life by jumping in between the lion and Billy. Finally, Billy plunges his ax into the lion and kills him. Unfortunately, the wounds are too bad for Old Dan to take and he dies. Soon after, Little Ann dies, as she has no will to live once Old Dan is dead. Billy is saddened by the death of his two dogs, but he does his duty and buries them up on the hillside. His parents try to console him, but nothing works.

The following spring, Billy’s family decides to move away from the country and into town, where the children can get a better education. The money from the hunting contest and all the money made from selling coonskins enabled them to move and this was what Mama had been praying for, for a long time. Right before they leave, Billy goes to Old Dan and Little Ann’s gravesite one more time to say goodbye. He is astonished at what he sees. A beautiful red fern had sprung up in between their mounds. Billy recalls the old Indian legend that says that red fern seeds can only be planted by angels, and once planted, they will live forever. Billy finally feels at peace with the death of his dogs. Now, he is able to move away and not feel guilty about leaving them. He says goodbye and tells them he will never forget them or the red fern.

A Coward

A Coward

Society called him Handsome Signoles. His name was Viscount Gontran-Joseph de Signoles.


An orphan, and possessed of an adequate income, he cut a dash, as the saying is. He had a good figure and a good carriage, a sufficient flow of words to pass for wit, a certain natural grace, an air of nobility and pride, a gallant moustache and an eloquent eye, attributes which women like.


He was in demand in drawing-rooms, sought after for valses, and in men he inspired that smiling hostility which is reserved for vital and attractive rivals. He had been suspected of several love-affairs of a sort calculated to create a good opinion of a youngster. He lived a happy, care-free life, in the most complete well-being of body and mind. He was known to be a fine swordsman and a still finer shot with the pistol.


“When I come to fight a duel,” he would say, “I shall choose pistols. With that weapon, I’m sure of killing my man.”


One evening, he went to the theatre with two ladies, quite young, friends of his, whose husbands were also of the party, and after the performance he invited them to take ices at Tortoni’s.


They had been sitting there for a few minutes when he noticed a gentleman at a neighbouring table staring obstinately at one of the ladies of the party. She seemed embarrassed and ill at ease, and bent her head. At last she said to her husband:


“There’s a man staring at me. I don’t know him; do you?”


The husband, who had seen nothing, raised his eyes, but declared:


“No, not in the least.”


Half smiling, half in anger, she replied:


“It’s very annoying; the creature’s spoiling my ice.”


Her husband shrugged his shoulders.


“Deuce take him, don’t appear to notice it. If we had to deal with all the discourteous people one meets, we’d never have done with them.”


But the Viscount had risen abruptly. He could not permit this stranger to spoil an ice of his giving. It was to him that the insult was addressed, since it was at his invitation and on his account that his friends had come to the cafe. The affair was no business of anyone but himself.


He went up to the man and said:


“You have a way of looking at those ladies, sir, which I cannot stomach. Please be so good as to set a limit to your persistence.”


“You hold your tongue,” replied the other.


“Take care, sir,” retorted the Viscount, clenching his teeth;” you’ll force me to overstep the bounds of common politeness.”


The gentleman replied with a single word, a vile word which rang across the cafe from one end to the other, and, like the release of a spring, jerked every person present into an abrupt movement. All those with their backs towards him turned round, all the rest raised their heads; three waiters spun round on their heels like tops; the two ladies behind the counter started, then the whole upper half of their bodies twisted round, as though they were a couple of automata worked by the same handle.


There was a profound silence. Then suddenly a sharp noise resounded in the air. The Viscount had boxed his adversary’s ears. Every one rose to intervene. Cards were exchanged.


Back in his home, the Viscount walked for several minutes up and down his room with long quick strides. He was too excited to think. A solitary idea dominated his mind: “a duel”; but as yet the idea stirred in him no emotion of any kind. He had done what he was compelled to do; he had shown himself to be what he ought to be. People would talk of it, would approve of him, congratulate him. He repeated aloud, speaking as a man speaks in severe mental distress:


“What a hound the fellow is!”


Then he sat down and began to reflect. In the morning he must find seconds. Whom should he choose? He searched his mind for the most important and celebrated names of his acquaintance. At last he decided on the Marquis de la Tour-Noire and Colonel Bourdin, an aristocrat and a soldier; they would do excellently. Their names would look well in the papers. He realised that he was thirsty, and drank three glasses of water one after the other; then he began to walk up and down again. He felt full of energy. If he played the gallant, showed himself determined, insisted on the most strict and dangerous arrangements, demanded a serious duel, a thoroughly serious duel, a positively terrible duel, his adversary would probably retire an apologist.


He took up once more the card which he had taken from his pocket and thrown down upon the table, and read it again as he had read it before, in the cafe, at a glance, and in the cab, by the light of each gas-lamp, on his way home.


“Georges Lamil, 51 rue Moncey.” Nothing more.


He examined the grouped letters; they seemed to him mysterious, full of confused meaning. Georges Lamil? Who was this man? What did he do? Why had he looked at the woman in that way? Was it not revolting that a stranger, an unknown man, could thus disturb a man’s life, without warning, just because he chose to fix his insolent eyes upon a woman? Again the Viscount repeated aloud:


“What a hound!”


Then he remained standing stock-still, lost in thought, his eyes still fixed upon the card. A fury against this scrap of paper awoke in him, a fury of hatred in which was mingled a queer sensation of uneasiness. This sort of thing was so stupid! He took up an open knife which lay close at hand and thrust it through the middle of the printed name, as though he had stabbed a man.


So he must fight. Should he choose swords or pistols?–for he regarded himself as the insulted party. With swords there would be less risk, but with pistols there was a chance that his adversary might withdraw. It is very rare that a duel with swords is fatal, for mutual prudence is apt to restrain combatants from engaging at sufficiently close quarters for a point to penetrate deeply. With pistols he ran a grave risk of death; but he might also extricate himself from the affair with all the honours of the situation and without actually coming to a meeting.


“I must be firm,” he said. “He will take fright.”


The sound of his voice set him trembling, and he looked round. He felt very nervous. He drank another glass of water, then began to undress for bed.


As soon as he was in bed, he blew out the light and closed his eyes.


“I’ve the whole of to-morrow,” he thought, “in which to set my affairs in order. I’d better sleep now, so that I shall be quite calm.”


He was very warm in the blankets, but he could not manage to compose himself to sleep. He turned this way and that, lay for five minutes upon his back, turned on to his left side, then rolled over on to his right.


He was still thirsty. He got up to get a drink. A feeling of uneasiness crept over him:


“Is it possible that I’m afraid?”


Why did his heart beat madly at each familiar sound in his room? When the clock was about to strike, the faint squeak of the rising spring made him start; so shaken he was that for several seconds afterwards he had to open his mouth to get his breath.


He began to reason with himself on the possibility of his being afraid.


“Shall I be afraid?”


No, of course he would not be afraid, since he was resolved to see the matter through, and had duly made up his mind to fight and not to tremble. But he felt so profoundly distressed that he wondered:


“Can a man be afraid in spite of himself?”


He was attacked by this doubt, this uneasiness, this terror; suppose a force more powerful than himself, masterful, irresistible, overcame him, what would happen? Yes, what might not happen? Assuredly he would go to the place of the meeting, since he was quite ready to go. But supposing he trembled? Supposing he fainted? He thought of the scene, of his reputation, his good name.


There came upon him a strange need to get up and look at himself in the mirror. He relit his candle. When he saw his face reflected in the polished glass, he scarcely recognised it, it seemed to him as though he had never yet seen himself. His eyes looked to him enormous; and he was pale; yes, without doubt he was pale, very pale.


He remained standing in front of the mirror. He put out his tongue, as though to ascertain the state of his health, and abruptly the thought struck him like a bullet:


“The day after to-morrow, at this very hour, I may be dead.”


His heart began again its furious beating.


“The day after to-morrow, at this very hour, I may be dead. This person facing me, this me I see in the mirror, will be no more. Why, here I am, I look at myself, I feel myself alive, and in twenty-four hours I shall be lying in that bed, dead, my eyes closed, cold, inanimate, vanished.”


He turned back towards the bed, and distinctly saw himself lying on his back in the very sheets he had just left. He had the hollow face of a corpse, his hands had the slackness of hands that will never make another movement.


At that he was afraid of his bed, and, to get rid of the sight of it, went into the smoking-room. Mechanically he picked up a cigar, lit it, and began to walk up and down again. He was cold; he went to the bell to wake his valet; but he stopped, even as he raised his hand to the rope.


“He will see that I am afraid.”


He did not ring; he lit the fire. His hands shook a little, with a nervous tremor, whenever they touched anything. His brain whirled, his troubled thoughts became elusive, transitory, and gloomy; his mind suffered all the effects of intoxication, as though he were actually drunk.


Over and over again he thought:


“What shall I do? What is to become of me?”


His whole body trembled, seized with a jerky shuddering; he got up and, going to the window, drew back the curtains.


Dawn was at hand, a summer dawn. The rosy sky touched the town, its roofs and walls, with its own hue. A broad descending ray, like the caress of the rising sun, enveloped the awakened world; and with the light, hope–a gay, swift, fierce hope–filled the Viscount’s heart! Was he mad, that he had allowed himself to be struck down by fear, before anything was settled even, before his seconds had seen those of this Georges Lamil, before he knew whether he was going to fight?


He washed, dressed, and walked out with a firm step.


He repeated to himself, as he walked:


“I must be energetic, very energetic. I must prove that I am not afraid.”


His seconds, the Marquis and the Colonel, placed themselves at his disposal, and after hearty handshakes discussed the conditions.


“You are anxious for a serious duel? ” asked the Colonel.


“Yes, a very serious one,” replied the Viscount.


“You still insist on pistols?” said the Marquis.


“Yes.”


“You will leave us free to arrange the rest?”


In a dry, jerky voice the Viscount stated:


“Twenty paces; at the signal, raising the arm, and not lowering it. Exchange of shots till one is seriously wounded.”


“They are excellent conditions,” declared the Colonel in a tone of satisfaction. “You shoot well, you have every chance.”


They departed. The Viscount went home to wait for them. His agitation, momentarily quietened, was now growing minute by minute. He felt a strange shivering, a ceaseless vibration, down his arms, down his legs, in his chest; he could not keep still in one place, neither seated nor standing. There was not the least moistening of saliva in his mouth, and at every instant he made a violent movement of his tongue, as though to prevent it sticking to his palate.


He was eager to have breakfast, but could not eat. Then the idea came to him to drink in order to give himself courage, and he sent for a decanter of rum, of which he swallowed six liqueur glasses full one after the other.


A burning warmth flooded through his body, followed immediately by a sudden dizziness of the mind and spirit.


“Now I know what to do,” he thought. “Now it is all right.”


But by the end of an hour he had emptied the decanter, and his state of agitation had once more become intolerable. He was conscious of a wild need to roll on the ground, to scream, to bite. Night was falling.


The ringing of a bell gave him such a shock that he had not strength to rise and welcome his seconds.


He did not even dare to speak to them, to say “Good evening” to them, to utter a single word, for fear they guessed the whole thing by the alteration in his voice.


“Everything is arranged in accordance with the conditions you fixed,” observed the Colonel. “At first your adversary claimed the privileges of the insulted party, but he yielded almost at once, and has accepted everything. His seconds are two military men.”


“Thank you,” said the Viscount.


“Pardon us,” interposed the Marquis, “if we merely come in and leave again immediately, but we have a thousand things to see to. We must have a good doctor, since the combat is not to end until a serious wound is inflicted, and you know that pistol bullets are no laughing-matter. We must appoint the ground, near a house to which we may carry the wounded man if necessary, etc. In fact, we shall be occupied for two or three hours arranging all that there is to arrange.”


“Thank you,” said the Viscount a second time.


“You are all right?” asked the Colonel. “You are calm?”


“Yes, quite calm, thank you.”


The two men retired.


When he realised that he was once more alone, he thought that he was going mad. His servant had lit the lamps, and he sat down at the table to write letters. After tracing, at the head of a sheet: “This is my will,” he rose shivering and walked away, feeling incapable of connecting two ideas, of taking a resolution, of making any decision whatever.


So he was going to fight! He could no longer avoid it. Then what was the matter with him? He wished to fight, he had absolutely decided upon this plan of action and taken his resolve, and he now felt clearly, in spite of every effort of mind and forcing of will, that he could not retain even the strength necessary to get him to the place of meeting. He tried to picture the duel, his own attitude and the bearing of his adversary.


From time to time his teeth chattered in his mouth with a slight clicking noise. He tried to read, and took down Chateauvillard’s code of duelling. Then he wondered:


“Does my adversary go to shooting-galleries? Is he well known? Is he classified anywhere? How can I find out?”


He bethought himself of Baron Vaux’s book on marksmen with the pistol, and ran through it from end to end. Georges Lamil was not mentioned in it. Yet if the man were not a good shot, he would surely not have promptly agreed to that dangerous weapon and those fatal conditions?


He opened, in passing, a case by Gastinne Renette standing on a small table, and took out one of the pistols, then placed himself as though to shoot and raised his arm. But he was trembling from head to foot and the barrel moved in every direction.


At that, he said to himself:


“It’s impossible. I cannot fight in this state.”


He looked at the end of the barrel, at the little, black, deep hole that spits death; he thought of the disgrace, of the whispers at the club, of the laughter in drawing-rooms, of the contempt of women, of the allusions in the papers, of the insults which cowards would fling at him.


He was still looking at the weapon, and, raising the hammer, caught a glimpse of a cap gleaming beneath it like a tiny red flame. By good fortune or forgetfulness, the pistol had been left loaded. At the knowledge, he was filled with a confused inexplicable sense of joy.


If, when face to face with the other man, he did not show a proper gallantry and calm, he would be lost for ever. He would be sullied, branded with a mark of infamy, hounded out of society. And he would not be able to achieve that calm, that swaggering poise; he knew it, he felt it. Yet he was brave, since he wanted to fight I … He was brave, since….


The thought which hovered in him did not even fulfil itself in his mind; but, opening his mouth wide, he thrust in the barrel of his pistol with savage gesture until it reached his throat, and pressed on the trigger.


When his valet ran in, at the sound of the report, he found him lying dead upon his back. A shower of blood had splashed the white paper on the table, and made a great red mark beneath these four words:


“This is my will.”


Guy de Maupassant