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

Part 2 (in English).

Words for you:

  • guardedly – carefully (осторожно, с опаской)
  • affected – had influence (оказал влияние)
  • done up – exhausted, very tired (вымотанная)
  • mind – to object (возражать)
  • out of patience with her now – losing patience (теряя терпение)
  • dull – boring (сухо (зд.))
  • take in – understand (понять)

Everyone in the kitchen looked at the rocker.
«How did she look?» asked the county attorney.
«Well,» said Hale, «she looked queer.»
«What do you mean by queer?»

As he asked it, he took out a note-book and pencil. Mrs. Hale did not like the sight of that pencil. She kept looking at her husband, as if trying to stop him from saying unnecessary things that would go into that note-book and make trouble.

Hale did speak guardedly, as if the pencil had affected him too.
«Well, as if she didn’t know what she was going to do next. And kind of — done up.»
«How did she seem to feel about your coming?»

«Why, I don’t think she minded — one way or other. She didn’t pay much attention. I said, ‘Hello, Mrs. Wright? It’s cold, isn’t it?’ And she said, ‘Is it?’

«Well, I was surprised. She didn’t ask me to come up to the stove, or to sit down, but just sat there, not even looking at me. And so I said, ‘I want to see John.’

«And then she—laughed. I guess you would call it a laugh.”

I said again, ‘Can I see John?’ ‘No,’ says she — kind of dull like. ‘Isn’t he at home?’ say I. She looked at me. ‘Yes,’ says she, ‘he’s home.’ ‘Then why can’t I see him?’ I asked her, out of patience with her now. »Because he’s dead,’ says she, just as quiet and dull—’Dead?’ say I, I can’t take in what I’ve heard.

Part 2 (in Russian)

* * *

Part 2 (in English, continuation)

Words for you:

  • rocking – moving back and forth (качаясь)
  • staring – looking fixedly (уставившись)
  • broke the silence – started speaking (нарушив тишину)
  • whisper – very quiet voice (шепот)
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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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