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"what was that that you started telling me the other day about a monkey's paw or something, Morris?"Mr. White took the paw from his pocket and eyed it dubiously. "I don't know what to wish for, and that's a fact," he said slowly. It seems to me I've got all I want."
"To look at," said the Sargeant-Major, fumbling in his pocket, "it's just an ordinary little paw, dried to a mummy."
"Mr. White dropped his wife's hand, and rising to his feet, gazed with a look of horror at his visitor. His dry lips shaped the words, "How much?""Two hundred pounds," was the answer.
"If you only cleared the house, you'd be quite happy, wouldn't you!" said Herbert, with his hand on his shoulder. "Well, wish for two hundred pounds, then; that'll just do it."
"He was caught in the machinery," said the visitor at length in a low voice."I was to say that Maw and Meggins disclaim all responsibility," continued the other. "They admit no liability at all, but in consideration of your son's services, they wish to present you with a certain sum as compensation.
His wife sat up in bed listening. A loud knock resounded through the house. "It's Herbert!"
"For God's sake don't let it in," cried the old man, trembling.
"It's my boy; it's Herbert!" she cried, struggling mechanically. What are you holding me for? Let go. I must open the door.""You're afraid of your own son," she cried struggling. "Let me go. I'm coming, Herbert; I'm coming."
he found the monkey's paw, and frantically breathed his third and last wish.
The knocking ceased suddenly, although the echoes of it were still in the house. He heard the chair drawn back, and the door opened. A cold wind rushed up the staircase, and a long loud wail of disappointment and misery from his wife gave him the courage to run down to her side, and then to the gate beyond. The street lamp flickering opposite shone on a quiet and deserted road.
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