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story, but John wouldn’t listen; she needed his fear to survive, but the boy would never admit the

existence of a ghost. The ghost eventually escapes, but that something really strange happens: Lucy,

happy for John to have defeated the other ghost, revealed herself as a phantom too.

She told him the she loved him before disappearing. John was actually loved by a pretty girl.

A. Lurie

The Highboy

When Aunt Betsy died, she left Buffy and Jack some valuables: Buffy had a Tiffany cups set, and

Jack a very old and valuable highboy, that is a big piece of furniture; the problem is, Buffy was

really fond of this highboy, and she confides to her sister-in-law, Janet, that she would really take

care of this piece of furniture, if she could possibly have it. Some time after, Buffy succeeds in

changing the cup set with the highboy, and she’s incredibly happy. But then something strange


Buffy always personifies her highboy, and speaks about it as a friend, more than as a piece of

furniture: she treats it like a treasure, and it becomes her only thought; at the same time, it seems to

become “spiteful” with Buffy’s husband, bobby, even if this seems ridiculous. The apex comes

when Bobby gets hurt by roughly closing a drawer: the same thing happened to Jack when he tried

to unlock one of its drawers: the whole family starts to see the highboy with suspect, and to

consider Buffy a little mad about this.

Almost a month later, the highboy seems again to rebel against a little child that tried to force a

drawer to open: Buffy got angry, and Janet, who was there, got shocked about her behaviour: she

decided then to help her finding something else to do, such as a member of the Historical Society.

Buffy is suddenly involved in her new charge, and seems to forget about the highboy, until, in

spring, she phoned her sister-in-law, telling that a critic saw the piece of furniture and told that a

museum would be the best for it, and Buffy keeps on saying that she’s worried about him wanting

to go in a museum, getting rid of her.

Janet obviously tried to convince Buffy that it was just a joke of her imagination, but she didn’t

succeed; the owner of the highboy went a lawyer to change her will, leaving the highboy to her

husband’s nephew, if she had died of accidental causes, or to a museum, if she had died naturally.

But mysteriously, some time after “hearing” that Buffy’s nephew was going to sell the piece of

furniture to a museum, this fell over its owner and killed her. The highboy’s now in a museum and

even the rationalist Janet thinks now of an evil spell on it.

R. Rendell

A Glowing Future

This story begins in medias res, with Maurice and Betsy on their way to a quarrel, because Maurice

has just got back from Australia, where he stayed for a year, leaving his lover Betsy in London; the

problem is, that the man has known Patricia in Australia, so he’s leaving his house in London, and

he’s about to pack up his goods. Betsy is angry, because the day before they made love for the first

time after a year, and only the day after he told her about his new story.

At eleven, Maurice leaves to go and drink something, while Betsy stays at home and thinks about

vengeance: she writes a letter to Patricia telling her how unfaithful her lover is; she then hides the

letter in a ginger jar.

The following day, Maurice starts packing up, and Betsy didn’t help him: she was too angry, so

angry that the same night she left him outside at night.

The next night then, while Maurice was sleeping on the couch, Betsy arrived and tried her sexual

best to try to convince the man to stay with her: but he refused her contact, and threw her down

from the sofa, hurting her in the head.

The next morning Maurice was ready to leave, but he wanted to write a note to Patricia; he found

the letter by Betsy and replaced it with his note; at this time Betsy blew up and began hitting his ex-

lover in the head with a lamp…

She then sent a trunk filled with a three-month dead body and a note: “All this is for you, darling

Patricia, for ever and ever.”

M. Allingham

Three Is A Lucky Number

At the very beginning of the story, the main character is presented like an almost professional killer,

because he had two wives already in his past and they both were killed (by himself) and he took

their money; he has therefore a new identity, and he's called Ronald Frederick Torbay, fresh

husband of Edyth. They lived in a villa, and Ronal was a bit afraid of her wife to have contacts with

the neighbours, because she was meant to be killed very soon, even if he liked her most than the

other two women he married before. He succeeded in marrying Edyth very soon and almost with

not much effort, as she was not so good looking... but she looked like rich, and that was enough for

Ronald; the only problem with his wife was that she used to hide all his personal papers, and she

kept on changing the subject when talking about money; she was also very interested in her

husband's work, which was fictional, because he didn't really have one, so he decided to act.

One day he was carefully preparing her a bath, and he hid a heater into the water, in order to kill her

by electrical shock. When her wife came, he left her alone in the bathroom and, after a silent while,

he went to search her wife's envelops and possessions.

He managed to get through and he was shocked as he discovered that her wife took al the money

away from her bank account! He found then a letter, in which was written the solution to this

mystery. She had understood all! In fact, her neighbours showed her some articles and papers about

a man that killed his wives in the bathroom, and she almost recognised her husband in the photos,

so she took some precautions. In fact the neighbours were really police officers, and he realised that

eh was fallen in a trap.


Shock Tactics

The story begins in a park, where the main character Bertie meets a girl friend of his, Ella, who

thanks him for the present he gave her, but complains because she was unable to write him, because

it is well-known that, even if he's 20 years old, his mother always opens all his letters; he tried to

tell her to stop it, but neither he or his sisters ever succeeded.

He is used of being the subject of such jokes, even a friend of his, Clovis, the next day at the

swimming pool, makes fun of him.

A couple of days later, a letter for Bertie arrived at his house but, as he was not at home, his mother

intercepted and read it: some mysterious words were written in the there: voices about nerves and

jewels... and signature: Clotilde. Who was then the girl trying to hire up his son for something


Bertie, when he arrived at home, didn't answer: he grabbed some food and closed himself up in his

bedroom. He would never give an explanation, even at the arrival of a second letter by Clotilde, in

which she congratulated with Bertie for the perfect murder of Dagmar, which looks like a real

suicide, and telling him not to touch the jewels.

Hr mother shouted at his door repeatedly, until a third letter came: in this letter the joke's explained;

Clotilde was a fictional name created by Clovis, Bertie's friend, and the letters were just a sort of

trap for the way-too-curious mother, who had to promise she'll never read the family's

correspondence any more.

Roald Dahl


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Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea in lettere (BRESCIA - MILANO)

I contenuti di questa pagina costituiscono rielaborazioni personali del Publisher valeria0186 di informazioni apprese con la frequenza delle lezioni di Lingua inglese e studio autonomo di eventuali libri di riferimento in preparazione dell'esame finale o della tesi. Non devono intendersi come materiale ufficiale dell'università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore - Milano Unicatt o del prof Reggiani Enrico.

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