Monday, October 22, 2012

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Dear Juniors,

If you missed class, we completed the following:

1. We reviewed "The Landlady" and then students took their quiz covering the story.
2. We then proceeding to review for the final exam, but reviewing the five paragraph essay structure, and triangling a paragraph using "The Landlady" as our subject.
3. I wrote a body paragraph, so you have a solid example to follow when it comes time for you to write your essay regarding the film you selected to watch. Visit with a friend in class so you have the paragraph.

1. Five paragraph essay triangle for your chosen film. Needs to be completed using color.

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

.Dear Juniors,
If you missed class, we discussed the following:

1.  Your final exam for short stories was explained. I have indicated the two options below. YOUR FINAL is due ON THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24th; however, when you come to class on MONDAY, OCTOBER 22nd, you need to have a five paragraph essay triangle completed for your chosen film, as we will go to the lab to type your essay. You have two options for the test:

Select one film from the list below and write a five paragraph essay discussing the THREE DIFFERENT TYPES of IRONY found within the film you select. Each body paragraph would focus on a different example of irony found within the film. You must assume that your reader has NO SCHEMA on the film, nor your topic; consequently, you will need to thoroughly explain events within the film.

    • The Others
    • Watcher in the Woods
    • The Village
    • The Sixth Sense
    • What Lies Beneath
    • The Illustionist
    • The Prestigue
    • Lady in White
    • Salt
    • Skeleton Key
Select one film from the above list and discuss ONE TYPE of IRONY found within the movie. Each body paragraph would pertain to three examples of the one type of irony found within the film.

NOTE: Please note that above films are either rated PG or PG-13! 

2. Students were given their newest article of the week entitled "Does the Constitution have a heart for boobies." This AW is due on Monday, the 22nd/5-7/ALL COLORS.

3. Complete the concluding paragraphs practiced today in class for THURSDAY.

4. Complete reading "The Landlady" for THURSDAY...anticipate a quiz. We started reading this in class, but were unable to finish. I have included a copy of "The Landlady" for you below.
 Billy Weaver had traveled down from London on the slow afternoon train, with a change at Reading on the way, and by the time he got to Bath, it was about nine o’clock in the evening, and the moon was coming up out of a clear starry sky over the houses opposite the station entrance. But the air was deadly cold and the wind was like a flat blade of ice on his cheeks. 
“Excuse me,” he said, “but is there a fairly cheap hotel not too far away from here?”
“Try The Bell and Dragon,” the porter answered, pointing down the road. “They might take you in. It’s about a quarter of a mile along on the other side.”

"THE LANDLADY" by Roald Dahl

Billy thanked him and picked up his suitcase and set out to walk the quarter-mile to The Bell and Dragon. He had never been to Bath before. He didn’t know anyone who lived there. But Mr. Greenslade at the head office in London had told him it was a splendid town. “Find your own lodgings,” he had said, “and then go along and report to the branch manager as soon as you’ve got yourself settled.”
Billy was seventeen years old. He was wearing a new navy-blue overcoat, a new brown trilby hat, and a new brown suit, and he was feeling fine. He walked briskly down the street. He was trying to do everything briskly these days. Briskness, he had decided, was the one common characteristic of all successful businessmen. The big shots up at the head office were absolutely fantastically brisk all the time. They were amazing.

There were no shops on this wide street that he was walking along, only a line of tall houses on each side, all of them identical. They had porches and pillars and four or five steps going up to their front doors, and it was obvious that once upon a time they had been very swanky residences. But now, even in the darkness, he could see that the paint was peeling from the woodwork on their doors and windows and that the handsome white facades were cracked and blotchy from neglect.
Suddenly, in a downstairs window that was brilliantly illuminated by a street lamp not six yards away, Billy caught sight of a printed notice propped up against the glass in one of the upper panes. It said BED AND BREAKFAST. There was a vase of yellow chrysanthemums, tall and beautiful, standing just underneath the notice.
He stopped walking. He moved a bit closer. Green curtains (some sort of velvety material) were hanging down on either side of the window. The chrysanthemums looked wonderful beside them. He went right up and peered through the glass into the room, and the first thing he saw was a bright fire burning in the hearth. On the carpet in front of the fire, a pretty little dachshund was curled up asleep with its nose tucked into its belly. The room itself, so far as he could see in the half darkness, was filled with pleasant furniture. There was a baby grand piano and a big sofa and several plump armchairs, and in one corner he spotted a large parrot in a cage. Animals were usually a good sign in a place like this, Billy told himself; and all in all, it looked to him as though it would be a pretty decent house to stay in. Certainly it would be more comfortable than The Bell and Dragon.
On the other hand, a pub would be more congenial than a boardinghouse. There would be beer and darts in the evenings, and lots of people to talk to, and it would probably be a good bit cheaper, too. He had stayed a couple of nights in a pub once before and he had liked it. He had never stayed in any boardinghouses, and, to be perfectly honest, he was a tiny bit frightened of them. The name itself conjured up images of watery cabbage, rapacious landladies, and a powerful smell of kippers in the living room.
After dithering about like this in the cold for two or three minutes, Billy decided that he would walk on and take a look at The Bell and Dragon before making up his mind. He turned to go.

And now a queer thing happened to him. He was in the act of stepping back and turning away from the window when all at once his eye was caught and held in the most peculiar manner by the small notice that was there. BED AND BREAKFAST, it said. BED AND BREAKFAST, BED AND BREAKFAST, BED AND BREAKFAST. Each word was like a large black eye staring at him through the glass, holding him, compelling him, forcing him to stay where he was and not to walk away from that house, and the next thing he knew, he was actually moving across from the window to the front door of the house, climbing the steps that led up to it, and reaching for the bell.
He pressed the bell. Far away in a back room he heard it ringing, and then at once —it must have been at once because he hadn’t even had time to take his finger from the bell button—the door swung open and a woman was standing there.
Normally you ring the bell and you have at least a half-minute’s wait before the door opens. But this dame was like a jack-in-the-box. He pressed the bell—and out she popped! It made him jump.
She was about forty-five or fifty years old, and the moment she saw him, she gave him a warm, welcoming smile.
“ Please come in,” she said pleasantly. She stepped aside, holding the door wide open, and Billy found himself automatically starting forward. The compulsion or, more accurately, the desire to follow after her into that house was extraordinarily strong.
“I saw the notice in the window,” he said, holding himself back.
“Yes, I know.”
“I was wondering about a room.”
“It’s all ready for you, my dear,” she said. She had a round pink face and very gentle blue eyes.
“I was on my way to The Bell and Dragon,” Billy told her. “But the notice in your window just happened to catch my eye.”
“My dear boy,” she said, “why don’t you come in out of the cold?”
“How much do you charge?”
“Five and sixpence a night, including breakfast.”
It was fantastically cheap. It was less than half of what he had been willing to pay.
“If that is too much,” she added, “then perhaps I can reduce it just a tiny bit. Do you desire an egg for breakfast? Eggs are expensive at the moment. It would be sixpence less without the egg.”
“Five and sixpence is fine,” he answered. “I should like very much to stay here.”
“I knew you would. Do come in.”
She seemed terribly nice. She looked exactly like the mother of one’s best school friend welcoming one into the house to stay for the Christmas holidays. Billy took off his hat and stepped over the threshold.
“Just hang it there,” she said, “and let me help you with your coat.”
There were no other hats or coats in the hall. There were no umbrellas, no walking sticks—nothing.
“We have it all to ourselves,” she said, smiling at him over her shoulder as she led the way upstairs. “You see, it isn’t very often I have the pleasure of taking a visitor into my little nest.”
The old girl is slightly dotty, Billy told himself. But at five and sixpence a night, who cares about that? “I should’ve thought you’d be simply swamped with applicants,” he said politely.
“Oh, I am, my dear, I am, of course I am. But the trouble is that I’m inclined to be just a teeny-weeny bit choosy and particular—if you see what I mean.”
“Ah, yes.”
“But I’m always ready. Everything is always ready day and night in this house just on the off chance that an acceptable young gentleman will come along. And it is such a pleasure, my dear, such a very great pleasure when now and again I open the door and I see someone standing there who is just exactly right.” She was halfway up the stairs, and she paused with one hand on the stair rail, turning her head and smiling down at him with pale lips. “Like you,” she added, and her blue eyes traveled slowly all the way down the length of Billy’s body, to his feet, and then up again.
On the second-floor landing she said to him, “This floor is mine.”
They climbed up another flight. “And this one is all yours,” she said. “Here’s your room. I do hope you’ll like it.” She took him into a small but charming front bedroom, switching on the light as she went in.
“The morning sun comes right in the window, Mr. Perkins. It is Mr. Perkins, isn’t it?”
“No,” he said. “It’s Weaver.”
“Mr. Weaver. How nice. I’ve put a water bottle between the sheets to air them out, Mr. Weaver. It’s such a comfort to have a hot-water bottle in a strange bed with clean sheets, don’t you agree? And you may light the gas fire at any time if you feel chilly.”
“Thank you,” Billy said. “Thank you ever so much.” He noticed that the bedspread had been taken off the bed and that the bedclothes had been neatly turned back on one side, all ready for someone to get in.
“I’m so glad you appeared,” she said, looking earnestly into his face. “I was beginning to get worried.”
“That’s all right,” Billy answered brightly. “You mustn’t worry about me.” He put his suitcase on the chair and started to open it.
“And what about supper, my dear? Did you manage to get anything to eat before you came here?”
“I’m not a bit hungry, thank you,” he said. “I think I’ll just go to bed as soon as possible because tomorrow I’ve got to get up rather early and report to the office.”
“Very well, then. I’ll leave you now so that you can unpack. But before you go to bed, would you be kind enough to pop into the sitting room on the ground floor and sign the book? Everyone has to do that because it’s the law of the land, and we don’t want to go breaking any laws at this stage in the proceedings, do we?” She gave him a little wave of the hand and went quickly out of the room and closed the door.
Now, the fact that his landlady appeared to be slightly off her rocker didn’t worry Billy in the least. After all, she not only was harmless—there was no question about that—but she was also quite obviously a kind and generous soul. He guessed that she had probably lost a son in the war, or something like that, and had never gotten over it.
So a few minutes later, after unpacking his suitcase and washing his hands, he trotted downstairs to the ground floor and entered the living room. His landlady wasn’t there, but the fire was glowing in the hearth, and the little dachshund was still sleeping soundly in front of it. The room was wonderfully warm and cozy. I’m a lucky fellow, he thought, rubbing his hands. This is a bit of all right.
He found the guest book lying open on the piano, so he took out his pen and wrote down his name and address. There were only two other entries above his on the page, and as one always does with guest books, he started to read them. One was a Christopher Mulholland from Cardiff. The other was Gregory W. Temple from Bristol.
That’s funny, he thought suddenly. Christopher Mulholland. It rings a bell.
Now where on earth had he heard that rather unusual name before?
Was it a boy at school? No. Was it one of his sister’s numerous young men, perhaps, or a friend of his father’s? No, no, it wasn’t any of those. He glanced down again at the book.
Christopher Mulholland
231 Cathedral Road, Cardiff 

Gregory W. Temple
27 Sycamore Drive, Bristol 

As a matter of fact, now he came to think of it, he wasn’t at all sure that the second name didn’t have almost as much of a familiar ring about it as the first.
“Gregory Temple?” he said aloud, searching his memory. “Christopher Mulholland? . . .”
“Such charming boys,” a voice behind him answered, and he turned and saw his landlady sailing into the room with a large silver tea tray in her hands. She was holding it well out in front of her, and rather high up, as though the tray were a pair of reins on a frisky horse.
“They sound somehow familiar,” he said.
“They do? How interesting.”
“I’m almost positive I’ve heard those names before somewhere. Isn’t that odd? Maybe it was in the newspapers. They weren’t famous in any way, were they? I mean famous cricketers7 or footballers or something like that?”

“Famous,” she said, setting the tea tray down on the low table in front of the sofa. “Oh no, I don’t think they were famous. But they were incredibly handsome, both of them, I can promise you that. They were tall and young and handsome, my dear, just exactly like you.”
Once more, Billy glanced down at the book. “Look here,” he said, noticing the dates. “This last entry is over two years old.”
“It is?”
“Yes, indeed. And Christopher Mulholland’s is nearly a year before that—more than three years ago.”
“Dear me,” she said, shaking her head and heaving a dainty little sigh. “I would never have thought it. How time does fly away from us all, doesn’t it, Mr. Wilkins?”
“It’s Weaver,” Billy said. “W-e-a-v-e-r.”
“Oh, of course it is!” she cried, sitting down on the sofa. “How silly of me. I do apologize. In one ear and out the other, that’s me, Mr. Weaver.”
“You know something?” Billy said. “Something that’s really quite extraordinary about all this?”
“No, dear, I don’t.”
“Well, you see, both of these names—Mulholland and Temple—I not only seem to remember each one of them separately, so to speak, but somehow or other, in some peculiar way, they both appear to be sort of connected together as well. As though they were both famous for the same sort of thing, if you see what I mean—like . . . well . . . like Dempsey and Tunney, for example, or Churchill and Roosevelt.”

“How amusing,” she said. “But come over here now, dear, and sit down beside me on the sofa and I’ll give you a nice cup of tea and a ginger biscuit before you go to bed.”

“You really shouldn’t bother,” Billy said. “I didn’t mean you to do anything like that.” He stood by the piano, watching her as she fussed about with the cups and saucers. He noticed that she had small, white, quickly moving hands and red fingernails.
“I’m almost positive it was in the newspapers I saw them,” Billy said. “I’ll think of it in a second. I’m sure I will.”
There is nothing more tantalizing than a thing like this that lingers just outside the borders of one’s memory. He hated to give up.
“Now wait a minute,” he said. “Wait just a minute. Mulholland . . . Christopher Mulholland . . . wasn’t that the name of the Eton schoolboy who was on a walking tour through the West Country, and then all of a sudden . . .”
“Milk?” she said. “And sugar?”
“Yes, please. And then all of a sudden . . .”
“Eton schoolboy?” she said. “Oh no, my dear, that can’t possibly be right, because my Mr. Mulholland was certainly not an Eton schoolboy when he came to me. He was a Cambridge undergraduate. Come over here now and sit next to me and warm yourself in front of this lovely fire. Come on. Your tea’s all ready for you.” She patted the empty place beside her on the sofa, and she sat there smiling at Billy and waiting for him to come over.

He crossed the room slowly and sat down on the edge of the sofa. She placed his teacup on the table in front of him.
There we are,” she said. “How nice and cozy this is, isn’t it?”
Billy started sipping his tea. She did the same. For half a minute or so, neither of them spoke. But Billy knew that she was looking at him. Her body was half turned toward him, and he could feel her eyes resting on his face, watching him over the rim of her teacup. Now and again, he caught a whiff of a peculiar smell that seemed to emanate directly from her person. It was not in the least unpleasant, and it reminded him—well, he wasn’t quite sure what it reminded him of. Pickled walnuts? New leather? Or was it the corridors of a hospital? 
At length, she said, “Mr. Mulholland was a great one for his tea. Never in my life have I seen anyone drink as much tea as dear, sweet Mr. Mulholland.”
“I suppose he left fairly recently,” Billy said. He was still puzzling his head about the two names. He was positive now that he had seen them in the newspapers—in the headlines.
“Left?” she said, arching her brows. “But my dear boy, he never left. He’s still here. Mr. Temple is also here. They’re on the fourth floor, both of them together.”
Billy set his cup down slowly on the table and stared at his landlady. She smiled back at him, and then she put out one of her white hands and patted him comfortingly on the knee. “How old are you, my dear?” she asked.
“Seventeen!” she cried. “Oh, it’s the perfect age! Mr. Mulholland was also seventeen. But I think he was a trifle shorter than you are; in fact I’m sure he was, and his teeth weren’t quite so white. You have the most beautiful teeth, Mr. Weaver, did you know that?”
“They’re not as good as they look,” Billy said. “They’ve got simply masses of fillings in them at the back.”
“Mr. Temple, of course, was a little older,” she said, ignoring his remark. “He was actually twenty-eight. And yet I never would have guessed it if he hadn’t told me, never in my whole life. There wasn’t a blemish on his body.”
“A what?” Billy said.
“His skin was just like a baby’s.”
There was a pause. Billy picked up his teacup and took another sip of his tea; then he set it down again gently in its saucer. He waited for her to say something else, but she seemed to have lapsed into another of her silences. He sat there staring straight ahead of him into the far corner of the room, biting his lower lip.
“That parrot,” he said at last. “You know something? It had me completely fooled when I first saw it through the window. I could have sworn it was alive.”
“Alas, no longer.”
“It’s most terribly clever the way it’s been done,” he said. “It doesn’t look in the least bit dead. Who did it?”
“I did.”
You did?”
“Of course,” she said. “And have you met my little Basil as well?” She nodded toward the dachshund curled up so comfortably in front of the fire. Billy looked at it. And suddenly, he realized that this animal had all the time been just as silent and motionless as the parrot. He put out a hand and touched it gently on the top of its back. The back was hard and cold, and when he pushed the hair to one side with his fingers, he could see the skin underneath, grayish black and dry and perfectly preserved.
“Good gracious me,” he said. “How absolutely fascinating.” He turned away from the dog and stared with deep admiration at the little woman beside him on the sofa. “It must be most awfully difficult to do a thing like that.”
“Not in the least,” she said. “I stuff all my little pets myself when they pass away. Will you have another cup of tea?”
“No, thank you,” Billy said. The tea tasted faintly of bitter almonds, and he didn’t much care for it.
“You did sign the book, didn’t you?”
“Oh, yes.”
“That’s good. Because later on, if I happen to forget what you were called, then I could always come down here and look it up. I still do that almost every day with Mr. Mulholland and Mr. . . . Mr. . . .”
“Temple,” Billy said, “Gregory Temple. Excuse my asking, but haven’t there been any other guests here except them in the last two or three years?”
Holding her teacup high in one hand, inclining her head slightly to the left, she looked up at him out of the corners of her eyes and gave him another gentle little smile.
“No, my dear,” she said. “Only you.”

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Dear Juniors,

If you missed class, we completed the following:
1. Each student submitted AW #6 and their homework assignment for their Introductory Paragraphs.

2. We then read the short story indicated below entitled The Waxwork. If you missed class, please read the short story entitled "Waxworks." I have posted it for you below. As you read, annotate and notate for examples of foreshadowing of situational irony.
"The Waxwork" is a horror story by AM Burrage about a man who spends the night in a waxworks museum. During the night, the replicas of famous serial killers seem to come alive.

3. Upon completion of the short story, students were asked to write a body paragraph discussing the situational irony found within the short story. If you were not here, then please write the body paragraph as homework and have it ready to submit on Tuesday, the 16th.

SPENCER and SKYLAR.....You need to submit your Introductory paragraphs, AW #6, and the body paragraph for "The Waxwork" on TUESDAY. 

The Waxwork

While the uniformed attendants of Marriner’s Waxworks were
ushering the last stragglers through the great glass-paneled double
doors, the manager sat in his office interviewing Raymond Hewson.
The manager was a youngish man, stout, blond and of medium
height. He wore his clothes well and contrived to look extremely
smart without appearing overdressed. Raymond Hewson looked
neither. His clothes, which had been good when new and which were
still carefully brushed and pressed, were beginning to show signs of
their owner’s losing battle with the world. He was a small, spare, pale
man, with lank, errant brown hair, and though he spoke plausibly and
even forcibly, he had the defensive and somewhat furtive air of a
man who was used to rebuffs. He looked what he was, a man gifted
somewhat above the ordinary, who was a failure through his lack of
The manager was speaking.
“There is nothing new in your request,” he said. “In fact we
refuse it to different people—mostly young bloods who have tried to
make bets — about three times a week. We have nothing to gain and
something to lose by letting people spend the night in our Murderers’
Den. If I allowed it, and some young idiot lost his senses, what
would be my position? But your being a journalist somewhat alters
the case.”
Hewson smiled.
“I suppose you mean that journalists have no senses to lose.”
“No, no,” laughed the manager, “but one imagines them to be
responsible people. Besides, here we have something to gain:
publicity and advertisement.”
“Exactly,” said Hewson, “and there I thought we mighty come
to terms.” The manager laughed again.
“Oh,” he exclaimed, “I know what’s coming. You want to be
paid twice, do you? It used to be said years ago that Madame
Tussaud’s would give a man a hundred pounds for sleeping alone in the Chamber of Horrors. I hope you don’t think that we have made
any such offer. Er — what is your paper, Mr Hewson?”
“I am free-lancing at present”, Hewson confessed, “working
on space5 for several papers. However, I should get no difficulty in
getting the story printed. The Morning Echo would use it like a shot.6
‘A Night with Marriner’s Murderers’. No live paper could turn it
The manager rubbed his chin.
“Ah! And how do you propose to treat it?”
“I shall make it gruesome, of course, gruesome, with just a
saving touch of humor.” The other nodded and offered Hewson his
cigarette case. “Very well, Mr Hewson,” he said. “Get your story
printed in the Morning Echo, and there will be a five-pound note
waiting for you here when you care to come and call for it. But first
of all, it’s no small ordeal that you’re proposing to undertake. I’d like
to be quite sure about you, and I’d like you to be quite sure of
yourself. I own7 I shouldn’t care to take it on. I’ve seen those figures
dressed and undressed. I know all about the process of their
manufacture. I can walk about in company downstairs as unmoved as
if I were walking among so many skittles,8 but I should hate having
to sleep down there alone among them.”
“Why?” asked Hewson.
“I don’t know. There isn’t any reason, I don’t believe in ghosts.
If I did, I should expect them to haunt the scene of their crimes or the
spot where the bodies were laid, instead of a cellar, which happens to
contain their waxwork effigies. It’s just that I couldn’t sit alone
among them all night, with their seeming to stare at me in the way
they do. After all, they represent the lowest and most appalling types
of humanity, and — although I would not own it publicly — the
people who come to see them are not generally charged with the very
highest motives. The whole atmosphere of the place is unpleasant,
and if you are susceptible to atmosphere I warn you that you are in
for9 a very uncomfortable night.”
Hewson had known that from the moment when the idea first
occurred to him. His soul sickened at the prospect, even while he
smiled casually upon the manager. But he had a wife and a family to
keep, and for the past month he had been living on paragraphs, eked
out by his rapidly dwindling store of savings10. Here was a chance
not to be missed — the price of a special story in the Morning Echo,
with a five-pound note to add to it. It meant comparative wealth and
luxury for a week, and freedom from the worst anxieties for a
fortnight. Besides, if he wrote the story well, it might lead to an offer
of regular employment. .
“The way of transgressors— and newspaper men — is hard,”
he said. “I have already promised myself an uncomfortable night
because your Murderers’ Den is obviously not fitted up as a hotel
bedroom. But I don’t think your waxworks will worry me much.”
“You’re not superstitious?” “Not a bit,” Hewson laughed. “But you’re
a journalist; you must have a strong imagination.”
“The news editors for whom I’ve worked have always
complained that I haven’t any. Plain facts are not considered
sufficient in our trade, and the papers don’t like offering their readers
unbuttered bread.” The manager smiled and rose.
“Right,” he said. “I think the last of the people have gone. Wait
a moment. I’ll give orders for the figures downstairs not to be draped,
and let the night people know that you’ll be here. Then I’ll take you
down and show you round.”
He picked up the receiver of a house telephone, spoke into it
and presently replaced it.
“One condition I ‘m afraid I must impose on you,” he remarked.
“I must ask you not to smoke. We had a fire scare down in the
Murderers’ Den this evening. I don’t know who gave the alarm, but
whoever it was it was a false one. Fortunately, there were very few
people down there at the time, or there might have been a panic. And
now, if you’re ready, we’ll make a move.”
He led the way through an open barrier and down ill-lit stone
stairs which conveyed a sinister impression of giving access to a
dungeon. In a passage at the bottom were a few preliminary
horrors, such as relics of the Inquisition, a rack taken from a
medieval castle, branding irons, thumb-screws, and other
mementos of man’s one-time cruelty to man. Beyond the passage was
the Murderers’ Den.
It was a room of irregular shape with a vaulted roof, and dimly
lit by electric lights burning behind inverted bowls of frosted glass. It
was, by design, an eerie and uncomfortable chamber — a chamber
whose atmosphere invited its visitors to speak in whispers.
The waxwork murderers stood on low pedestals with numbered
tickets at their feet. Seeing them elsewhere, and without
knowing whom they represented, one would have thought them a
dull looking crew, chiefly remarkable for the shabbiness of their
clothes, and as evidence of the changes of fashions even among the
The manager, walking around with Hewson pointed out
several of the more interesting of these unholy notabilities.
“That’s Crippen;14 I expect you recognize him. Insignificant
little beast who looks as if he couldn’t tread on a worm. And of
course this—”
“Who’s that?” Hewson interrupted in a whisper, pointing.
“Oh, I was coming to him,” said the manager in a. light
undertone. “Come and have a good look at him. This is our star turn.
He’s the only one of the bunch that hasn’t been hanged.”
The figure, which Hewson had indicated, was that of a small,
slight man not much more than five feet in height. It wore little
waxed mustaches, large spectacles, and a caped coat. There was
something so exaggeratedly French in his appearance that it
reminded Hewson of a stage caricature. He could not have said
precisely why the mild-looking face seemed to him so repellent, but
he had already recoiled a step and, even in the manager’s company, it
cost him an effort to look again.
“But who is he?” he asked.
“That,” said the manager,” is Dr. Bourdette.”
Hewson shook his head doubtfully.
“I think I’ve heard the name,” he said, “but I forget in
connection with what.”
The manager smiled.
“You’d remember better if you were a Frenchman,” he said.
“For some long while the man was the terror of Paris. He carried on
his work of healing by day, and of throat-cutting by night, when the
fit was on him. He killed for the sheer devilish pleasure it gave him
to kill, and always in the same way — with a razor. After his last
crime, he left a clue behind him, which set the police upon his track.
One clue led to another, and before very long they knew that they
were on the track of the Parisian equivalent of our Jack the Ripper,
and had enough evidence to send him to the madhouse or the
guillotine on a dozen capital charges.”
“But even then our friend here was too clever for them. When
he realized that the toils were closing about him he mysteriously
disappeared,-and ever since the police of every civilized country
have been looking for him.”
Hewson shuddered and fidgeted with his feet.
“I don’t like him at all,” he confessed. “Ugh! What eyes he’s
“Yes, this figure’s a little masterpiece. You find the eyes bite
into you? Well, that’s excellent realism, then, for Bourdette practised
mesmerism,18 and was supposed to mesmerize his victims before
dispatching19 them. Indeed, had he not done so, it is impossible to see
how so small a man could have done his ghastly work. There were
never any signs of a struggle.”
“I thought I saw him move,” said Hewson with a catch in his
The manager smiled.
“You’ll have more than one optical illusion before the night’s
out, I expect. You shan’t be locked in. You can come upstairs when
you’ve had enough of it. There are watchmen on the premises, so
you’ll find company. Don’t be alarmed if you hear them moving
about. I’m sorry I can’t give you any more light, because all the lights
are on. For obvious reasons we keep this place as gloomy as
possible. And now I think you had better return with me to the office
and have a tot20 of whisky before beginning your night’s vigil.”
The member of the night staff who placed the armchair for
Hewson was inclined to be facetious.
“Where will you have it, sir?” he asked grinning. “Just ‘ere, so
as you can have a little talk with Crippen when you’re tired of sitting
still? Say where, sir.”
Hewson smiled. The man’s chaff pleased him if only because,
for the moment at least, it lent the proceedings a much desired air of
the commonplace.
Hewson wished the man good night. It was easier than he had
expected. He wheeled the armchair — a heavy one upholstered in
plush — a little way down the central gangway, and deliberately
turned it so that its back was toward the effigy of Dr Bourdette. For
some undefined reason he liked Dr Bourdette a great deal less than
his companions. Busying himself with arranging the chair, he was
almost lighthearted, but when the attendant’s footfalls had died away
and a deep hush stole over the chamber, he realized that he had no
slight ordeal before him.
The dim unwavering light fell on the rows of figures, which
were so uncannily like human beings that the silence and the stillness
seemed unnatural and even ghastly. He missed the sound of
breathing, the rustling of clothes, the hundred and one minute noises
one hears when even the deepest silence has fallen upon a crowd. All
was still to the gaze and silent to the ear. “It must be like this at the
bottom of the sea,” he thought, and wondered how to work the
phrase into his story on the morrow.
He faced the sinister figures boldly enough. They were only
waxworks. So long as he let that thought dominate all other he
promised himself that all would be well. It did not, however, save
him long from the discomfort occasioned by the waxen stare of Dr
Bourdette, which, he knew, was directed upon him from behind. The
eyes of the little Frenchman’s effigy haunted and tormented him, and
he itched with the desire to turn and look. At last, Hewson slewed his
chair round a little and looked behind him.
Among the many figures standing in stiff, unnatural poses, the
effigy of the dreadful little doctor stood out with a queer prominence,
perhaps because a steady beam of light beat straight down upon it.
“He’s only a waxwork like the rest of you,” Hewson muttered
defiantly. “You’re all only waxworks.”
They were only waxworks, yes, but waxworks don’t move.
Not that he had seen the least movement anywhere, but it struck him
that, in the moment or two while he had looked behind him, there
had been the least subtle change in the grouping of the figures in
front. Crippen, for instance, seemed to have turned at least one
degree to the left. Or, thought Hewson, perhaps the illusion was due
to the fact that he had not slewed his chair back into its exact original
He took a notebook from his pocket and wrote quickly.
“Mem.21—Deathly22 silence and unearthly stillness of figures.
Like being bottom of sea. Hypnotic eyes of Dr. Bourdette. Figures
seem to move when not being watched.”
He closed the book suddenly over his fingers and looked
round quickly and awfully over his right shoulder. He had neither
seen nor heard a movement, but it was as if some sixth sense23 had
made him aware of one. He looked straight into the vapid
countenance of Lefroy which smiled vacantly back as if to say, “It
wasn’t I!”
Of course it wasn’t he, or any of them; it was his own nerves.
Or was it? Hadn’t Crippen moved again during that moment when his
attention was directed elsewhere? You couldn’t trust that little man!
Once you took your eyes off him he took advantage of it to shift his
position. That was what they were all doing, if he only knew it, he
told himself; and half rose out of his chair. This was not quite good
enough! He was going. He wasn’t going to spend the night with a lot
of waxworks which moved while he wasn’t looking.
… Hewson sat down again. This was very cowardly and very
absurd. They were only waxworks and they couldn’t move; let him
hold to that thought and all would yet be well. Then why all that
silent unrest about him? — a subtle something in the air which did
not quite break the silence and happened; whichever way he looked,
just beyond the boundaries of his vision.
He swung round quickly to encounter the mild but baleful
stare of Dr Bourdette. Then, without warning, he jerked his head
back to stare straight at Crippen. Ha! He’d nearly caught Crippen that
time! “You’d better be careful, Crippen — and all the rest of you! If I
do see one of you move I’ll smash you to pieces! Do you hear?”
He ought to go, he told himself. Already he had experienced
enough to write his story, or ten stories, for the matter of that. Well,
then, why not go? The Morning Echo would be none the wiser as to
how long he had stayed, nor would it care so long as his story was a
good one. Yes, but that night watchmen upstairs would chaff him.
And the manager — one never knew — perhaps the manager would
quibble over that five-pound note which he needed so badly. He
wondered if Rose were asleep or if she were lying awake and
thinking, of him. She’d laugh when he told her that he had
This was a little too much! It was bad enough that the
waxwork effigies of murderers should move when they weren’t being
watched, but it was intolerable that they should breathe. Somebody
was breathing. Or was it his own breath which sounded to him as if it
came from a distance? He sat rigid, listening and straining, until he
exhaled with a long sigh. His own breath after all, or — if not,
something had divined that he was listening and had ceased
breathing simultaneously.
— This would not do! This distinctly would not do! He must
clutch at something, grip with his mind upon something which
belonged essentially to the workaday world, to the daylight London
streets. He was Raymond Hewson, an unsuccessful journalist, a
living and breathing man, and these figures grouped around him
were only dummies, so they could neither move nor whisper. What
did it matter if they were supposed to be life-like effigies of
murderers? They were only made of wax and sawdust,, and stood
there for the entertainment of morbid sightseers and orange-sucking
trippers.24 That was better! Now what was that funny story which
somebody told him in the Falstaff25 yesterday?
He recalled part of it, but not all, for the gaze of Dr Bour-dette
urged, challenged, and finally compelled him to turn.
Hewson half turned, and then swung his chair so as to bring
him face to face with the wearer of those dreadful hypnotic eyes. His
own were dilated, and his mouth, at first set in a grin of terror, lifted
at the corners in a snarl. Then Hewson spoke and woke a hundred
sinister echoes.
“You moved, damn you!” he cried. “Yes, you did, damn you! I
saw you!”
Then he sat quite still, staring straight before him, like a man
found frozen in the Arctic snows.
Dr Bourdette’s movements were leisurely. He stepped off his
pedestal with the mincing care of a lady alighting from a bus. The
platform stood about two feet from the ground, and above the edge
of it a plush-covered rope hung in arch-like curves. Dr Bourdette
lifted up the rope until it formed an arch for him to pass under,
stepped off the platform and sat down on the edge facing Hewson.
Then he nodded and smiled and said, “Good evening.”
“I need hardly tell you,” he continued, in perfect English, in
which was traceable only the least foreign accent, “that not until I
overhead the conversation between you and the worthy manager of
this establishment, did I suspect that I should have the pleasure of a
companion here for the night. You cannot move or speak without my
bidding,26 but you can hear me perfectly well. Something tells me
that you are — shall I say nervous? My dear sir, have no illusions. I
am not one of these contemptible effigies miraculously come to life:
I am Dr Bourdette himself.”
He paused, coughed and shifted his legs.
“Pardon me,” he resumed, “but I am a little stiff. And let me
explain. Circumstances with which I need not fatigue you, have
made it desirable that I should live in England. I was close to this
building this evening when I saw a policeman regarding me a
thought27 too curiously. I guessed that he intended to follow and
perhaps ask me embarrassing questions, so I mingled with the crowd
and came in here. An extra coin bought my admission to the chamber
in which we now meet, and an inspiration showed me a certain
means of escape.
“I raised a cry of fire, and when all the fools had rushed to the
stairs I stripped my effigy of the caped coat which you behold me
wearing, donned it, hid my effigy under the platform at the back, and
took its place on the pedestal.
“The manager’s description of me, which I had the embarrassment
of being compelled to overhear, was biased but not
altogether inaccurate. Clearly I am not dead, although it is as well
that the world thinks otherwise. His account of my hobby, which I
have indulged for years, although, through necessity, less frequently
of late, was in the main true although not intelligently expressed. The
world is divided between collectors and non-collectors. With the
non-collectors we are not concerned. The collectors collect anything,
according to their individual tastes, from money to cigarette cards,
from moths to matchboxes. I collect throats.”
He paused again and regarded Hewson’s throat with interest
mingled with disfavor.
“I am obliged to chance which brought us together tonight,” he
continued, “and perhaps it would seem ungrateful to complain. From
motives of personal safety my activities have been somewhat
curtailed of late years, and I am glad of this opportunity of gratifying
my somewhat unusual whim. But you have a skinny neck, sir, if you
will overlook a personal remark. I should have never selected you
from choice. I like men with thick necks … thick red necks …”
He fumbled in an inside pocket and took out something which
he tested against a wet forefinger and then proceeded to pass gently
to and fro against the palm of his left hand.
“This is a little French razor,” he remarked blandly. ‘They are
not much used in England, but perhaps you know them? One strops
them on wood. The blade, you will observe, is very narrow. They do
not cut very deep, see for yourself. I shall ask you the little civil
question of all the polite barbers: Does the razor suit you, sir?”
He rose up, a diminutive but menacing figure of evil, and
approached Hewson with the silent, furtive step of a hunting panther.
“You will have the goodness,” he said, “to raise your chin a
little. Thank you, and a little more. Just a little more. Ah, thank you!
… Merci, m’sieur … Ah, merci… merci …”
Over one end of the chamber was a thick skylight of frosted
glass which, by day, let in a few sickly and filtered rays from the
floor above. After sunrise these began to mingle with the subdued
light from the electric bulbs, and this mingled illumination added a
certain ghastliness to a scene which needed no additional touch of
The waxwork figures stood apathetically in their places,
waiting to be admired or execrated by the crowds who would
presently wander fearfully among them. In their midst, in the center
gangway, Hewson sat still, leaning far back in his armchair. His chin
was uptilted as if he were waiting to receive attention from a barber,
and although there was not a scratch upon his throat, nor anywhere
upon his body, he was cold and dead. His previous employers were
wrong in having him credited with no imagination.
Dr Bourdette on his pedestal watched the dead man unemotionally.
He did not move, nor was he capable of motion. But then, after all, he was only a
waxwork figure.

1. Complete the body paragraph for the particular short story that you elected to discuss. Remember that your triangle and body paragraph are both due on TUESDAY.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

1. We reviewed the short story, "The Chaser," and then took the quiz in class.

2. Journal #9: Perception vs. Reality

Part 1: Please divide your paper in half vertically. On the left write the word "Perception" and on the right write the word "Reality." You will see several different images that involve the theme of "perception vs. reality." Upon seeing the images, record your immediate perception of them. We will then return to the images, at which time you will look at them for a longer period. Let's see if your perception and reality happen to be different or the same?

Part 2: Now that you have read "The Wife's Story" explain why your perception was so different from the actual reality of the story? Why were you deceived?

Part 3: Explain why this story is such a valid example concerning situational irony.

3. Ms. Robinson then explained that the story "The Wife's Story" is in actuality an "optical illusion." As the reader, you think that you know what is taking place, but when you come to the end, you realize that you have been tricked.

IF YOU MISSED CLASS, Please read the "WIFE'S STORY" by Urusala K. LeGuinn for Homework.

1. Remember that AW #6 is due on  TUESDAY! This article relates to a gentleman who was severely burned due to an electrical accident. You are to use RED only and one other color (your choice), so ask questions for this article. I expect you to give me 5-7 annotations/notations/page