Short Story #329: The Failure of Hope and Wandel by Ambrose Bierce

Title: The Failure of Hope and Wandel

Author: Ambrose Bierce


Book cover: Complete Short Stories of Ambrose Bierce

The story is a series of letters between two men who run a business together, Hope and Wandel.  Hope is writing from Chicago where he was unable to send items to Wandel to sell in New Orleans because Lake Michigan is frozen solid.  However, this gives Hope an idea about starting an ice business to ship to New Orleans since ice is so rare.  He includes a piece of ice in his letter to Wandel, which only melts and smudges the letter.  The two write back and forth and Hope promises him a giant warehouse of ice that he can deliver to New Orleans and make a massive profit.  However, as spring comes and Hope attempts to send the ice, disaster strikes and it melts.  Hope tells Wandel that he should beat it from the creditors.  


It's a short but pithy story with the quick back and forth between the two partners.  It's amusing but not much to consider beyond that. 

Short Story #329 out of 365
Rating: 2 (out of 5 stars)
Date Read: 11/01/2014
Source:  The Complete Short Stories of Ambrose Bierce, compiled by Ernest Jerome Hopkins.  Bison Books, 1984.  The full works of Ambrose Bierce, including this story can be found here on

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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