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"The Open Window" is an English short story written by Saki. It was first published in the collection "Beasts and Super-Beasts" in $$1914$$. The short story deals with a conversation between Mr Nuttel and Vera, where the latter narrates a supposedly tragic story to the former. As a result, Saki's story becomes a frame narrative (or an embedded narrative) as there is a story within the story.

The very first line of Saki's "The Open Window" (which is “‘My aunt will be down presently, Mr Nuttel’, said a very self-possessed young lady of fifteen") introduces all of the central characters of the story: Vera- the young girl,  Mrs Sappleton- her aunt, and Mr Framton Nuttel, the visitor (although the names of the former two are yet to be revealed).

We also learn that the story is set at Mrs Sappleton's house, and Mr Nuttle was paying her a visit. As she was yet to come down, the niece decides to receive the visitor and keep him engaged. The latter is a fifteen-year-old girl, and as the narrator describes, she is very calm and always in control.

The girl tells Mr Nuttel that he should "put up" with her until her aunt arrives. Though it was a simple remark, Mr Nuttel ends up breaking his head to provide a response that he deemed appropriate. He wished to say something flatteringly nice to the niece but was determined that his response shouldn't dismiss the aunt.

The dilemma suggests that Mr Nuttel is an overthinker, as he seems to channel his thoughts on unnecessary matters. Additionally, various psychological studies place a close connection between overthinking and anxiety disorders. The dilemma also reveals how Mr Nuttel is neither comfortable nor has any experience in socialising.

Moreover, as Mr Nuttel was visibly uncomfortable holding a conversation with the girl, he wonders how such formal visits with a series of strangers would help him with the nerve cure he was supposed to be receiving.

The line confirms our earlier observation that Mr Nuttel was facing a psychological problem. Also, the line explains that Mr Nuttel and his hosts are strangers, and that his visit was a part of the 'recommended socialising'- the treatment he was undergoing for his nervous problem.

Mr Framton Nuttel

The third paragraph of the story introduces one of the minor characters: Mr Nuttel's sister. Moreover, the paragraph also provides more insight into Mr Framton Nuttel's situation.

Through a flashback, the narrator provides a crucial backstory to Mr Nuttel's visit to the "rural retreat". Flashbacks are at times used in literature and other art forms to bring depth and understanding to a story. Here, Mr Nuttel's flashback helps us understand how and why Mr Nuttel came to Mrs Sappleton's residence. The flashback technique is otherwise known as analepsis.

In Mr Nuttel’s flashback, we could hear what his sister had to say when he was prepared to migrate to this countryside. She was worried that he would choose not to socialise. Rather than interacting with people, he 'would bury himself down', with his nerves turning worse.

The phrase "you will bury yourself down there" indicates Mr Nuttel's tendency to get into his shell, i.e., become withdrawn and invisible. As observed previously, Mr Nuttlel was more comfortable keeping to himself; however, he also suffers from psychological problems such as anxiety and depression. Hence, it is quite important that he talks to people so as to keep a steady and healthy mind. The word "moping" also suggests that depression was indeed one of Mr Nuttel's ailments. He was probably moving to the countryside to bring his mind some fresh air and enjoy a peaceful life.

Coming back to the flashback, we also see how the sister had suggested a solution for his situation. She had said that she would write him some letters of introduction to everyone she knows there. As it turns out, the country to which Mr Nuttel was migrating was a place familiar to the sister. On the other hand, the line also reveals that the place was new to Mr Nuttel. Hence, his sister believed that her letters would help him get acquainted with the residents and might help him find friends. She also added that some of the people she knows there were friendly and helpful.

With this ends Mr Nuttel's flashback, and the story is brought back to Mrs Sappleton's residence.

As Mr Nuttel was thinking about what his sister had said about the people, he wondered whether Mrs Sappleton, the lady to whom he was handing one of the letters of introduction, belonged to the nicer division.

As Mr Nuttel was lost in his thoughts, Vera decided to intervene and reinitiate the conversation. She began by inquiring whether he knows many of the residents in the area.

The line "asked the niece, when she judged that they had had sufficient silent communion" employs humour- and irony in particular. The word "communion" refers to exchanging thoughts, yet Mr Nuttel was rather engrossed in his own. Though Mr Nuttel was silent, he was nowhere close to "communicating", as the line had declared. Hence, the phrase "they had had sufficient silent communion" becomes ironic as the real meaning is opposite to what was presented.

Moreover, the line also suggests that, unlike Mr Nuttel, Vera is not comfortable being quiet and is impatient to break the silence.

Back to the lesson, Mr Nuttel responds to Vera's question by observing that he doesn't know anyone from the place. He also tells her that his sister was staying there around four years ago. Moreover, he adds that his sister had offered him the letters of introduction to several of the folks there.

He was visibly unhappy with the whole act of meeting the strangers, for the narrator describes how Mr Nuttel's final words about "the letters of introduction" was filled with a strong sense of regret.

Speaking of the above conversation, it is worth observing how the minor details revealed by Mr Nuttel (such as the time of his sister's stay and his unfamiliarity with the place) would play a crucial role in the rest of the story.

After Mr Nuttel explained how the place was foreign to him, Vera wanted to know whether her aunt- Mrs Sappleton- was also a stranger to him. So she asked, "Then you know practically nothing about my aunt?"

Mr Nuttel admitted that he knows only her name and address. It explains how he came to know about her from the cover of ‘the letter of introduction’, where the receiver's name and address appear.

Meanwhile, Mr Nuttel was curious as to whether Mrs Sappleton was married or widowed. Unmistakably, the title "Mrs" explains that Mrs Sappleton is not unmarried. She had to be married but could also be a widow. The question here is not about Mrs Sappleton's marital status but rather about the presence of a man in the house.

There could be various reasons why Mr Nuttel had such a thought. Given that he is a shy and resistant person, he might have thought that he would be more comfortable around someone of his gender. On the other hand, as it was a young girl who had been keeping him company, he might have deduced that there was no man in the house at present. Had there been a Mr Sappleton, he would have played the host instead of Vera.

Nevertheless, Framton Nuttel sensed "masculine habitation" in the house. Though he couldn't place his finger on it, "an undefinable something about the room" indicated that a man resides there.

The phrase "undefinable something" is what one may call intuition. Intuition is 'the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning’. That is, it doesn't mean that intuition is baseless or irrational. Instead, our brain works on different levels: conscious and subconscious. While the data that the conscious mind collects can be easily reasoned out, the details collected by the subconscious mind cannot be. Such details picked by our subconscious brain is known as intuition.

Hence, one mustn’t dismiss one’s intuition and instinct.

While Mr Nuttel wondered about the masculine habitation of the room, Vera interrupted his thoughts by talking about Mrs Sappleton's tragedy. The girl states that the aunt’s 'great tragedy occurred only about three years ago'. She also explains how it had happened after his sister had moved away from the place.

Mr Nuttel was taken aback, given that the topic appeared abruptly. The question "her tragedy?" seems more of a rhetorical question than something put forth for Vera to answer. He couldn't believe how something tragic could happen in the restful country. Tragedies seem out of place in this peaceful (or rather, uneventful) country spot.

The girl then pointed towards an open French window that overlooked the garden and added that he might be wondering why it was left open on an October afternoon.

Mr Nuttel didn't find that odd, though. He observed that it was rather warm for the time of year, suggesting that it was reasonable for the windows to be open. Nevertheless, he enquired whether the state of the windows has anything to do with the tragedy.

It is worthy to note that the U.K. experiences the autumn season during October. However, the season could have unsettled weather, i.e., it could be either dry and warm or wet and windy. From Mr Nuttel’s statement, it could be understood that the temperature was on the warmer side.

Vera begins by narrating the tragic event that happened to Mrs Sappleton.

Three years ago to the day, her husband and two young brothers headed out through the window for their day's shooting. However, they never returned. Unfortunately, while crossing the moor to their favourite shooting ground, they got caught in a dangerous piece of bog and was drowned to death.

Vera claims that it had been a horrible wet summer. The season had seen unusual rains, and the places had become damp and dangerous. She adds how the spots that had been safe in previous years had suddenly given way without warning.

Moreover, their remains were never found, and as Vera continues, that was the most horrible part of the tragedy. At this point, the narrator describes how Vera's voice had lost its self-assured tone and had become "falteringly human". It shows how her emotions overcame her.

The fact that their bodies were never recovered is cited as the most dreadful part of the incident. The reason is that the presence of a corpse could give closure to death itself. That is, it is harder for people to move on from the death of a dear one if they never got to see the dead body. There is always a part in you that hopes that they could be, after all, alive!

As predicted, Vera states that her aunt constantly hopes that her loved ones would return. As she still believes that they could be alive, she keeps waiting for her husband, her brothers, and the little brown spaniel that went missing with them. (Dogs such as spaniels are used as gun dogs in hunting. Their role in hunting would be to assist their masters by finding and retrieving the birds or animals that their master had shot.) She leaves the window open every evening until dusk, expecting them to walk in through that window like they used to.

Later, Vera adds little details to the story by describing how the trio had left on that fateful day. Mrs Sappleton's husband was wearing his white waterproof coat over his arm, and her youngest brother named Ronnie had teased her by singing, "Bertie, why do you bound?".

"Bertie, why do you bound?" refers to the line from the song "Bertie the Bounder", which was, in turn, a part of the $$1909$$ Edwardian musical comedy titled "Our Miss Gibbs". Ronnie used to sing the song because he knew it annoyed Mrs Sappleton.

Finally, Vera concludes her narrative by stating how there are times when she would have an unsettling feeling. She explains how she used to get a creepy feeling they'll all walk in through that window on still, quiet evenings such as this.

Speaking about Mrs Sappleton’s tragic story, it is interesting to note how Vera had structured her narrative. She started her narrative from the end by declaring that there had been a tragedy. Vera had established the fact the story doesn't end well. She then causes curiosity by introducing the open window and stating a mysterious reason behind it. This helps in building momentum. Later, she jumps right into her narrative by describing what, how, and why the tragedy had happened. She never beats around the bush. Finally, the ending that describes Vera's "creepy feeling" helps the story end with a bang. Moreover, the little details such as the dog, song and white raincoat helped make the story more personal and real to the listener.

As Section II of "The Open Window" commences, Vera's ends her narration- with a shudder.  The mere thought of dead people creeping through the window was so scary that she couldn't continue herself anymore. It is also interesting to note that this marks the end of her conversation with Mr Nuttel.

Soon after Vera's story, Mrs Sappleton makes an entry. The narrator describes how she bustled into the room where Nuttel and Vera were seated. She was apologising for having made a late appearance.

One might wonder why Mrs Sappleton had kept her guest waiting. In this modern age, the behaviour might suggest that the host was impolite and disrespectful. However, one shouldn't come to such conclusions with Mrs Sappleton. As the story was written in $$1914$$, it was customary for the ladies of the age to get properly dressed before hosting a guest. Being inadequately dressed was rather considered as impolite and improper. Moreover, getting dressed was a time-consuming task in that bygone era.

If you are curious, you may check out how a lady used to dress during the Edwardian era ($$1901$$ - $$1910$$) here. Note the layers of clothes and detailing that goes into getting dressed. Moreover, there is a hairdo and makeup. Those were again another set of tedious tasks.

While speaking of Edwardian customs, it is important to see how Saki had painted the practices of Upper-class Edwardian society in the story. To begin with, we see how Framton Nutttel carries a letter of introduction from his sister. It was a common practice among the upper class of the age. It was often used as an act of ice-breaking tool while meeting people in a new community. Also, we are aware that the story “The Open window” takes place in a country. However, several details from the story reveal that it was set in an upper-class family. Vera’s story shows that the men of the house died while they were hunting. Back then, hunting was a sport reserved only for the wealthy. We are also aware of how Mr Nuttel was encouraged to seek refuge in the country due to an undisclosed nervous disease. Back then, when modern medicine and psychological treatment were yet to be seen, relaxing in the country was a common way of treatment among the English. It was believed that a slower pace of life, fresh air, and silence helped cure individuals suffering from nervous disorders. Unfortunately, such leisure was again reserved for and afforded by the privileged.

So, coming back to the story, it is perfectly understandable why Framton Nuttel never felt offended or impatient while he was waiting. On the other hand, he felt relieved when he saw Mrs Sappleton enter, and that could be because of the story narrated by Vera. He was considerably shaken and disturbed by the tragic story. Mrs Sappleton's entry gave them a diversion, and it also meant that he could get started with his formal introduction and polite exchanges and leave the place sooner.

Soon after her entry, Mrs Sappleton addresses Mr Nuttel and expresses her hope that Vera had been keeping him engaged. She asks, “I hope Vera has been amusing you?” to which Mr Nuttel agrees and states, “She has been very interesting".

The line "I hope Vera has been amusing you?" is similar to phrases such as "How are you?", "How's it going?", or "What's up?", and hence, can be considered as a way of greeting. Likewise, Framton Nuttel's response was also customary. People tend to respond to such greetings with a positive answer.

However, Nuttel's response can be further analysed. Vera had kept him engaged through a gruesome story. As a result, though he claimed that Vera had been very interesting, he hoped that it wasn't the case. Considering his nervous condition, he would have rather spent his time being bored than having listened to Vera's fearful narrative. Hence, the statement is ironic.

Nevertheless, the statement can also be considered paradoxical because the meaning is ambiguous (no exactly clear). According to the Cambridge dictionary, paradox refers to "a situation or statement that seems impossible or is difficult to understand because it contains two opposite facts or characteristics". Hence, when you look at Mr Nuttel's response, you can see that the statement is both true and untrue. It is true because Vera had indeed been engaging. And it is untrue because Mr Nuttel felt tortured rather than amused by the story.

When speaking of Mrs Sappleton, it is interesting to note that she has a peculiar characterisation. Unlike the other two major characters, Mrs Sappleton (as a character of the story) was so far understood only through what Vera and Mr Nuttel had to say and perceive, respectively.  Despite having been at the centre of the plot of "The Open Window”, she had been physically absent until now. Moreover, this absence of hers had been utilised by Vera to construct and narrate a story on her. Hence, Mrs Sappleton's entry to the story is twofold: the first aspect refers to Mrs Sappleton as a character. Following Vera’s tragic story of her aunt, the readers are finally presented with the character herself. The second aspect refers to Mrs Sappleton as a person in the story. The main purpose of Framton Nuttel's visit was to meet Mrs Sappleton, to whom his sister had addressed the letter of introduction. So her entry gave an end to his waiting and also fulfilled the purpose of his visit.

Despite all the observations and insights, a question remains to be answered. If you had observed, the aunt was completely unaware of what had taken place between Vera and Mr Nuttel. The reason is that Vera ended her narrative before Mrs Sappleton entered the room. So, the question is, was it a coincidence that the aunt appeared after Vera had ended the story. Or was it a conscious effort from Vera's side to finish it before her aunt arrived? If it was the latter, what could be the reason? Could it be that she didn't want to upset her aunt by reminding her of the tragedy? Or, could the reason be something else?

Soon after the customary greeting, Mrs Sappleton spoke about the French window. She hoped that Framton Nuttel was comfortable with the window left open. To Mr Nuttel's dismay, she explained how her husband and brothers were expected to come back straight from shooting and that they always came through the window. She also added that her carpets were bound to get spoiled and dirty as the men were hunting snipes that day. As snipes are birds that live near rivers and marshes, the men were likelier to get dirtier than usual. As a result, Mrs Sappleton was worried that 'they’ll make a fine mess over her poor carpets'. Later, Mrs Sappleton observes how menfolk are never bothered about matters such as getting dirty or getting things dirty.

While speaking of the above paragraph, it could be seen how Mrs Sappleton believes that her husband and brothers would come back from the dead. Moreover, according to Vera's story, the men had drowned in a bog near the marshes, and likewise, Mrs Sappleton also believes they were returning from the marshes. Hence, keeping Vera's story in mind, it is intriguing to note how Mrs Sappleton was probably living the same day (the day the men died) over and over.

Coming back to the story, the narrator describes how Mrs Sappleton went on and on about the shooting, the scarcity of birds, and the possibilities for hunting ducks in the winter. The narrator observes how she was cheerful through the conversation. On the other hand, it was all a nightmare for Mr Nuttel. He made a desperate, but only partially successful, attempt to shift the conversation's focus to something less heinous.

Mr Nuttel was well aware that his hostess gave him only a fraction of her attention. It was because she kept looking at the open window and the lawn beyond, as all that she could think of was her husband and brothers. Mrs Sappleton’s behaviour terrified Mr Nuttel. He was filled with regret for having visited Mrs Sappleton. Moreover, he found it to be an uncanny coincidence that he somehow chose this dreadful occasion to pay his visit.

As Mr Nuttel was disturbed by Mrs Sappleton's talk, he tried explaining his medical condition to her. He said that the doctors had unanimously agreed that he should get complete rest. By "rest", the doctors had meant an absence of both mental and physical excitement and exercise.

The narrator then uses Mr Nuttel to mock people in general. He states that Mr Nuttel, like any human being, was suffering from the delusion that 'total strangers and chance acquaintances are hungry for the tiniest detail of one's medical condition'. That is, here in the context, Mr Nuttel was explaining his health condition to Mrs Sappleton, who was more like a near stranger or mere acquaintance to him. He probably didn’t realise that Mrs Sappleton wouldn’t be interested in learning such minute details about his ailment, causes, or cure.

He is both shy and reserved, and as previously understood, neither is he a talker. So, he might have spoken about his ailment only because he sought a change in the topic. Moreover, he was probably trying to make Mrs Sappleton understand how talking about the dead men could negatively impact his health.

To make the situation lighter, Mr Nuttel tried saying something funny. He said that all the doctors have varied opinions and recommendations regarding diet, though they seemed to have agreed on the importance of "rest".

However, the humour went unnoticed as Mrs Sappleton wasn't paying attention. She merely responded to Mr Nuttel’s “humourous remark” with a single-word-rhetorical question, "No?".  Moreover, as she was considerably bored, her voice replaced a yawn towards the end of the word.

Then she brightened into alert attention — but it wasn't to Mr Nuttel’s words. Something else had caught her attention.

In the previous paragraph, we saw how Mrs Sappleton suddenly brightened into alert attention. She then exclaims, "here they are at last!", revealing that she has some visitors. Furthermore, her exclamatory tone suggests that the visitors are people she had been eagerly waiting for.

She then states that they have come just in time for tea, and she adds that 'they look muddy up to the eyes'. Although she doesn't explicitly mention the identity of the visitors, it is evident from her lines that she was talking about her husband and brothers. Moreover, the line 'they look muddy up to the eyes' may suggest two things. The explicit meaning is that they look dirty as she had feared. However, the second meaning could be terrifying, or at least to Mr Nuttel. To recall Vera's story, the men died in a piece of bog. So, the line suggests that the men, as they looked muddy up to their eyes, must have come out from the very bog in which they had died.

As Mr Nuttel was horrified, he shivered slightly. Soon he turned to face the niece, with a look intended to convey sympathy and understanding. He had thought that Mrs Sappleton has gone completely crazy and were seeing things that weren't there. He probably never imagined that the three men could be walking towards them. To him, they were dead, and the dead never appear before living beings.

So, when he turned towards Vera, he was more astonished to discover a bewildering shock and terror in her eyes. She was staring out through the open window as if she couldn't believe what she was seeing on its other side. Frozen by shock and overcome by a nameless fear, Mr Nuttel turned around in his seat and looked out through the window.

If you had noticed, Mr Nuttel knew what he would see when he turned towards the window. Mrs Sappleton's announcement and the "dazed horror" in Vera's eyes were sufficient enough for Mr Nuttel to know that something unfathomable was happening. He could see that Mrs Sappleton was right and that the men were indeed approaching-- but from the dead, of course.

As Mr Nuttel turned towards the French window, he saw three individuals walking across the lawn towards the house. Since it was past sunset, and as the sky was losing light, Mr Nuttel could make out only their silhouettes. As they neared, he could see that the three were carrying guns under their arms. Moreover, Mr Nuttel could see that one of them had a white coat hung over his shoulder. The visitors also had a companion: a tired brown spaniel. As they approached the house quietly, a hoarse young voice chanted from the darkness: “I  say, Bertie, why do you bound?

From the above paragraph, it is clear that the visitors were the dead men from Vera's story. The "three figures" mentioned in the paragraph refers to the three men- Mrs Sappleton's husband and two brothers. The guns that they were carrying represents the hunting game they had been to. The person carrying the white coat is Mr Sappleton, whereas the "hoarse young voice" that recited the line from the song "Bertie the Bounder" belonged to Ronnie, Mrs Sappleton's youngest brother. Moreover, Vera had also mentioned in her story that the men were accompanied by their hunting dog the day they had died.

Another curious aspect of the above paragraph is that one could track themovement of the visitors through the given description. We can see how the men were mere figures in the beginning. It was because they were in the distance. As they got closer to the house, Mr Nuttel could make out the guns under their arms. Further on, the colour of the coat and the spaniel were visible. Again, the coat was mentioned before the spaniel because the colour "white" is easily viewed when compared to dark colours such as brown. So, making out colours such as brown, especially during the dusk, would mean that the visitors have almost reached the house. Moreover, the words such as "twilight" at the beginning of the paragraph and "dusk" towards the end suggest the passing of time.

The section III of the story begins soon after the "ghosts" were spotted and identified. The realisation that the men have come back from the dead had hit Mr Nuttel quite hard. He was so sure that they were ghosts and acted like someone who had seen one- he scooted away!

Mr Nuttel picked his stick and hat and dashed towards the exit. The narrator describes how his retreat was so swift and rash that the hall door, gravel drive, and front gate were hardly registered. He calls them the "dimly noted stages in his headlong retreat", describing how he was driven by fear and, as a result, had failed to notice the 'different stages' of his retreat (even though he had crossed them).

In his haste movement, he almost collided with an oncoming cycle. Had the cyclist not shifted his course, there would have been a crash. However, though Framton Nuttel was unhurt, the poor cyclist had to run into the hedge to avoid being hit.

The paragraph highlights how terrified and nervous Mr Nuttel had become. He was so overcome by fear and anxiety that he had acted without thinking. It could also suggest that he might have had a nervous breakdown. It becomes ironic since the man who had come to the country to cure his nerves had to face a contradictory experience- his moderately better nerves had just turned worse.

Interestingly enough, Mr Nuttel's actions also suggest that he may not be a reliable friend. For instance, he believed that the visitors were ghosts, yet he never paused to think about the fate of his companions. He left Mrs Sappleton (whom he had believed to be mentally ill) and Vera (a young girl) to face the "horrible ghosts" all by themselves. The least he could have done was to suggest that they also leave the place at once. His action (or the lack of one) shows that he is more self-centred, and hence, it explains why he doesn't have friends.

Another minor detail given in the paragraph reveals fascinating detail about Edwardian etiquette. We see how Mr Nuttel had placed his stick and hat closer to him than near the door. Typically, every English household (especially the elite ones such as Mrs Sappleton’s) would contain a coat-cum-hat hanger and a stick holder near the door. It is a practice among visitors and residents to hang their coats and hats, and drop their sticks as soon as they enter a house. However, the etiquette deems it necessary for a gentleman caller, such as Mr Nuttel, to 'bring their hat and stick/ riding whip with them to their seat. It is to indicate that they didn't intend to stay long'.**

The final four paragraphs of the story "The Open Window" occur in the absence of Mr Nuttel. As we had seen in the previous paragraph, Mr Nuttel had run away from the place. As he was leaving, the "ghosts" of the three men were stepping into the house.

Mr Sappleton, the bearer of the white mackintosh, walked in through the window greeting his wife. He said, "here we are, my dear", meaning that the three of them are back home. The greeting was warm and natural, and it was void of any kind of strangeness that is usually associated with ghosts. Mr Sappleton then enquired about the man who had "bolted out" as they entered. As explained earlier, Mr Nuttel left the house as the men entered, and hence, they had witnessed the former's strange behaviour.

To answer Mr Sappleton’s question, his wife explained that the visitor was Mr Nuttel, describing him as "a most extraordinary man".  Here, the word "extraordinary" doesn't carry a positive meaning. Instead, the phrase "a most extraordinary man" suggests that Mrs Sappleton sees Mr Nuttel as a strange man. His actions were perplexing, and as she further explains, he could only talk about his illnesses.

Mrs Sappleton was further confused as to why Mr Nuttel had fled. Moreover, he left without a goodbye to the hostess or an apology to the men who had just arrived. As Mr Nuttel failed to do both, Mrs Sappleton simply assumed he lacked manners and was rather impolite and uncultured.

Finally, Mrs Sappleton adds that Mr Nuttel's actions would make one think that he'd seen a ghost. The statement is ironic because Mr Nuttel had indeed scooted away because he thought he had seen ghosts. The line is also essential because it changes the way the story and characters were perceived until now. We realise that the men weren't ghosts, as Vera had claimed, or Mr Nuttel was made to believe. Furthermore, Mrs Sappleton wasn't perfectly sane, unlike what the readers had interpreted. Due to Vera's story, the characters had misjudged each other, and so did the readers.

Moreover, it is intriguing to note that the line "he could only talk about his illnesses" has got two sides of stories. Mrs Sappleton thought Mr Nuttel to be strange because he spoke only about his illness. In contrast, Mr Nuttel thought that Mrs Sappleton was mentally unstable and spoke about his illness. As we had already seen, Mr Nuttel had his reasons for talking about his illness.

The above two paragraphs are important because they reveal the fact that there aren’t any ghosts. However, what is peculiar about the paragraphs is that the revelation is only for the readers. Framton Nuttel, the only character who thought that the men were ghosts, left the scene before he could learn the truth. On the other hand, the rest of the characters (excluding Vera) never realized that the men were projected as ghosts. Again, there is no revelation there. However, the only character who knows what had unfolded in the house is Vera. So, would she clarify the matters and reveal the truth in the end?

As we reach the end of the story, Vera begins a new one. She justifies Mr Nuttel's behaviour by stating that the spaniel had caused him to run away. She further spins her yard by claiming that Mr Nuttel had confessed to her that he had a great fear of dogs.

According to Vera's story, Mr Nuttel faced a gruesome experience when he was in India. Once, he had a pack of dogs chase him into a cemetery near the banks of the river Ganges. Unfortunately, he then had to spend the night in a freshly dug grave with all those dogs snarling, growling, and foaming just above him. The phrase "snarling and grinning and foaming" emphasises the ferociousness and monstrous state the dogs were in. They were so wild that they would have instantly shredded Mr Nuttel into pieces. Finally, she ends her narrative by providing her point of view. She states that such a terrifying experience is "enough to make anyone lose their nerve".

If you had observed, Vera could easily create such vivid images, through which she would capture and enslave her audience. The convincing context makes it easier for the ignorant audience to believe in her story. The ending of her story contains her point of view, and she makes it a point that there is no room for doubt or thought. In the end, she makes a perfect fool of her audience!

When you consider her first tale that was narrated to Mr Nuttel, you can see how she picked the available details from his life and had misused the information while presenting the story. For instance, she set her story during a time when Mr Nuttel's sister wasn’t around. She was also clever to point it out to Mr Nuttel to avoid any questions over the credibility of her story. Moreover, she knew that he was a stranger to the country and knew no one around. This was also important to her story because she wanted to make sure that he had no contact in the country.

Furthermore, she also timed her story so that it ended before Mrs Sappleton had entered the room. Later, when Mrs Sappleton announced that the men had arrived, Vera kept up her act and put on an expression that suggested "dazed horror". Also, she never budged even when she saw Mr Nuttel dashing out. However, despite knowing that she is the real reason behind Mr Nuttel's departure, she decided to spin another story filled with lies.

It is unnerving to think that a seemingly harmless and calm girl such as Vera could be capable of committing a crime without even the slightest wink.

The narrator finally ends "The Open Window" by stating that 'romance at short notice was Vera's speciality'. Please be aware that the word "romance" here doesn't have any relation to the word "love". Instead, it refers to a heroic, adventurous, or mysterious story which may not be credible. So, according to the narrator's verdict, Vera's true talent lies in her ability to create a story in a matter of a very short time.

Yes, Vera is indeed gifted with her creative mind. However, what she lacks is a conscience, a moral sense of right and wrong.