Short Story #80: The French Thing by Robert Graves
Title: The French Thing
Author: Robert Graves
SummaryA doctor and his wife stumble upon a pornographic magazine or as they call it, a "French thing." They determine that it is their likely their nephew that brought it in. The wife, Bella, temporarily stores the magazine in a stack of magazines but in the confusion of a busy hospital, the pile gets taken away by the Reverend's wife who usually takes the magazine stacks. The doctor and Bella are sent into a fit as they do not want the magazine traced back to them as it would certainly create a negative impression among their social circle. They soon discover that the Reverend's daughter, Evangeline has found it and has been sharing it with the boys at church. Bella attempts a plan wherein Evangeline will be doped up and need a doctor, so her husband is called. In the Reverend's house, the doctor attends to Evangeline while Bella looks for the magazine. Later, we find out that Evangeline was discovered by her father and punished severely for sharing the magazine.
ReflectionLike yesterday's story, this tale was a bit confusing. It was unclear with the ending if the punchline was that Evangeline made the connection to the doctor and Bella as the people in possession of the magazine in the first place and thus, their reputation is on the path to ruin or if the story is hinting that the publication was originally the Reverend's.
Short Story #80 out of 365
Rating: 2 (out of 5 stars)
Date Read: 3/20/2014
Source: The Shout and Other Stories by Robert Graves. Penguin Books, 1978.
For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.
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