The Open Window is a mysterious story written by Saki.
The narrator, Framton Nuttel had some nervous disorder. He needed complete rest and no mental excitement. He was advised to settle in the country for a cure. When he was preparing to migrate to the country his sister gave him a few letters of introduction to all the people. She knew these. One was addressed to Mrs. Sappleton.
Framton called her house. He knew nobody else there. Mrs. Sappleton was upstairs. Her niece Vera received the stranger. He didn’t know whether Mrs. Sappleton was married or widowed. So the young girl, Vera decided to have some fun. She told him that the great mishap occurred some three years ago. She said that her aunt’s husband with her two young brothers and a dog had gone out for a day’s shooting through the window. While crossing the grassland they sank into the wet marshy ground. They never returned. Even their dead bodies could not be recovered.
Vera continued with her cooked-up story. She said that poor aunt always kept the window open every evening. She thought that the hunting party would come back someday and enter through that window. Her husband carried a white waterproof coat while her youngest brother was in the habit of teasing her by singing ‘Bertie, why do you bound?’ Framton got frightened.
It was a relief to him when the aunt walked into the room. She hoped that the girl must have been amusing him. She added that the aunt was waiting for her husband and her two brothers to come home anytime. They would enter through the window and spoil her carpets with their muddy boots.
Framton made an effort to turn the talk to some other topic. So he started telling about his ailments. But the aunt’s eyes were constantly turning to the open window and the lawn. She looked feeling bored with his details of the illness.
Suddenly she saw the party returning home just in time for tea. Framton also saw through the open window with horror. Three figures were walking towards the window. They all carried guns. One of them recited the song, saying, Bertie, why do you bound?
Framton took them all for ghosts. He collected his hat and stick. He ran out madly. He forced a cyclist to run into a hedge.
Vera’s uncle inquired about the stranger. The aunt described him as an extraordinary man Mr. Nuttel, who could only talk about his illness. Nuttel had perhaps, seen a ghost. But Vera said calmly that the stranger had a horror of dogs. Once the poor fellow had to spend the night in a grave with dogs growling above him.
Vera was good at finding occasions for fun.