A Jury of Her Peers by Susan Glaspell (a short story for intermediate level)

Part 5 (in English)

Words for you:

  • messy – dirty, covered with crumbs (грязный)
  • sneaking – mean (подлый, низкий)
  • get discouraged – lose enthusiasm about the action (падать духом)
  • lose heart – give way to despair (впадает в отчаяние)

«That’s just what Mr. Hale said,» said Mrs. Hale. «There was a gun in the house. He says that’s what he can’t understand.»

«Mr. Henderson said that what was needed for the case was a motive. Something to show anger—or sudden feeling.»
«Well, I don’t see any signs of anger around here,» said Mrs. Hale. «I don’t—»

She stopped. Suddenly she looked at the kitchen table. She moved toward the table slowly. One half of it was wiped clean, the other half messy. Her eyes made a slow, almost unwilling turn to the bucket of sugar and the half empty bag beside it. Things begun—and not finished.

After a moment she stepped back, and said: «I wonder how they’re finding things upstairs?»—she paused,—»it seems kind of sneaking: locking her up in town and coming out here to search her own house!»
«But, Mrs. Hale,» said the sheriff’s wife, «the law is the law.»

Mrs. Hale turned to the stove, saying: «The law is the law—and a bad stove is a bad stove. How would you like to cook on this?» — She opened the oven door and started to express her opinion of the oven; she thought what it would mean, year after year, to have that stove to cook on. The thought of Minnie Foster trying to bake in that oven … .

She was startled by hearing Mrs. Peters say: «A person gets discouraged—and loses heart.» That look of seeing into things, of seeing through a thing to something else, was in the eyes of the sheriff’s wife now.

The two women stood silent, and above them the footsteps of the men who were looking for evidence against the woman who had worked in that kitchen.

Part 5 (in Russian)

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Part 5 (in English, continuation)

Words for you:

  • quilt – a bed covering made by sewing together small pieces of material of different colours or patterns (лоскутное одеяло)
  • quilt pieces – small pieces of material of different colours or patterns (лоскуты материи)
  • even sewing – neat needlework (аккуратное шитье)
  • startled – frightened (испуганно)
  • stitch – a loop of thread resulting from a single pass of the needle (стежок)
2 thoughts on “A Jury of Her Peers by Susan Glaspell (a short story for intermediate level)
  1. I read to the end but didn’t understand why the man was strangled?

    • Tatiana says:

      You mean, why did she murder him? Looking around her kitchen, the women made their own investigation. In contrast to the men’s words that «nothing in the kitchen would point to any motive» they little by little found some evidence of their friend’s unhappiness: half done things, a bad stove, shabby clothes, rough sewing and the last straw — an empty broken cage. They thought that there must be a dead bird somewhere and when they found it they guessed right. Her husband had been murdering her slowly. But she didn’t want to be dead like her bird!

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