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Blundell’s Improvement
by [?]

Venia Turnbull in a quiet, unobtrusive fashion was enjoying herself. The cool living-room at Turnbull’s farm was a delightful contrast to the hot sunshine without, and the drowsy humming of bees floating in at the open window was charged with hints of slumber to the middle-aged. From her seat by the window she watched with amused interest the efforts of her father–kept from his Sunday afternoon nap by the assiduous attentions of her two admirers–to maintain his politeness.

“Father was so pleased to see you both come in,” she said, softly; “it’s very dull for him here of an afternoon with only me.”

Mr. Turnbull looked at them, and the circle of intelligent faces grew misty before his angry eyes. One man, ignoring his sodden condition, recommended a wet handkerchief tied round his brow.

“I don’t want any thanks, Mr. Turnbull,” said Blundell, feebly, as he was assisted to his feet. “I’d do as much for you again.”

The stout fisherman patted him admiringly on the back, and Mr. Turnbull felt like a prophet beholding a realised vision as the spectators clustered round Mr. Blundell and followed their friends’ example. Tenderly but firmly they led the hero in triumph up the quay toward home, shouting out eulogistic descriptions of his valour to curious neighbours as they passed. Mr. Turnbull, churlishly keeping his distance in the rear of the procession, received in grim silence the congratulations of his friends.

The extraordinary hallucination caused by the sun-stroke lasted with him for over a week, but at the end of that time his mind cleared and he saw things in the same light as reasonable folk. Venia was the first to congratulate him upon his recovery; but his extraordinary behaviour in proposing to Miss Sippet the very day on which she herself became Mrs. Blundell convinced her that his recovery was only partial.