American stories

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  • Publicado : 6 de diciembre de 2010
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American
Stories

Contents

A Pair of Silk Stockings.
Kate Chopin

The Lady in Black.
Eleanor Porter

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Washington Irving

The Cask of Amontillado
Edgar Allan Poe

The Tell-Tale Heart
Edgar Allan Poe

Luck
Mark Twain

The Exact Science of Matrimony
Henry O.

Paul´s Case Part one
Willa Carter

Paul´s Case Part Two
Willa Carter

'A Pair ofSilk Stockings'
by Kate Chopin

Little Missus Sommers one day found herself the unexpected owner of fifteen dollars. It seemed to her a very large amount of money. The way it filled up her worn money holder gave her a feeling of importance that she had not enjoyed for years.
The question of investment was one she considered carefully. For a day or two she walked around in a dreamy state as shethought about her choices. She did not wish to act quickly and do anything she might regret. During the quiet hours of the night she lay awake considering ideas.
A dollar or two could be added to the price she usually paid for her daughter Janie's shoes. This would guarantee they would last a great deal longer than usual. She would buy cloth for new shirts for the boys. Her daughter Mag shouldhave another dress. And still there would be enough left for new stockings — two pairs per child. What time that would save her in always repairing old stockings! The idea of her little family looking fresh and new for once in their lives made her restless with excitement.
The neighbors sometimes talked of the "better days" that little Missus Sommers had known before she had ever thought of beingMissus Sommers. She herself never looked back to her younger days. She had no time to think about the past. The needs of the present took all her energy.
Missus Sommers knew the value of finding things for sale at reduced prices. She could stand for hours making her way little by little toward the desired object that was selling below cost. She could push her way if need be.
But that day shewas tired and a little bit weak. She had eaten a light meal—no! She thought about her day. Between getting the children fed and the house cleaned, and preparing herself to go shopping, she had forgotten to eat at all!
When she arrived at the large department store, she sat in front of an empty counter. She was trying to gather strength and courage to push through a mass of busy shoppers. She restedher hand upon the counter.
She wore no gloves. She slowly grew aware that her hand had felt something very pleasant to touch. She looked down to see that her hand lay upon a pile of silk stockings. A sign nearby announced that they had been reduced in price. A young girl who stood behind the counter asked her if she wished to examine the silky leg coverings.
She smiled as if she had been askedto inspect diamond jewelry with the aim of purchasing it. But she went on feeling the soft, costly items. Now she used both hands, holding the stockings up to see the light shine through them.
Two red marks suddenly showed on her pale face. She looked up at the shop girl.
"Do you think there are any size eights-and-a-half among these?"
There were a great number of stockings in her size. MissusSommers chose a black pair and looked at them closely.
"A dollar and ninety-eight cents," she said aloud. "Well, I will buy this pair."
She handed the girl a five dollar bill and waited for her change and the wrapped box with the stockings. What a very small box it was! It seemed lost in her worn old shopping bag.
Missus Sommers then took the elevator which carried her to an upper floor intothe ladies' rest area. In an empty corner, she replaced her cotton stockings for the new silk ones.
For the first time she seemed to be taking a rest from the tiring act of thought. She had let herself be controlled by some machine-like force that directed her actions and freed her of responsibility.
How good was the touch of the silk on her skin! She felt like lying back in the soft chair and...
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