"The Open Window" is a short story written by Saki (a.k.a. H. H. Munro). It deals with a curious encounter between Mr Nuttel and Vera.
Framton Nuttel, a man with a nervous disorder, travels to the country to improve his health; he also carries the letters of introduction from his sister. As Mr Nuttel visits and awaits Mrs Sappleton, Vera, her fifteen-year-old niece, receives and entertains him. Vera informs Mr Nuttel that Mrs Sappleton keeps the French window open because she believes that her husband and brothers, who died in a bog three years ago, would return one day. When Mrs Sappleton arrives, she promptly excuses herself for the open window and informs him that she expects the men to return from shooting anytime soon. Mr Nuttel, believing that Mrs Sappleton is mentally unstable, becomes uncomfortable and tries to change the topic by talking about his illness. Later, much to his surprise, he sees the “dead” men and their dog approaching the window. Believing that they are ghosts, he flees.
As the men enter, the husband enquires Mrs Sappleton about the strange man who had then bolted. Mrs Sappleton, on the other hand, is confused as to why Mr Nuttel had fled. Vera then tells her family that the sight of their little spaniel must have scared their guest away. She recounted an incident when Mr Nuttel was supposedly chased by a pack of stray dogs in India. He then had to spend the night in a freshly dug grave in a cemetery with ‘those creatures snarling and foaming above him’.
Finally, the author concludes by stating that ‘romance at short notice was Vera’s speciality’, revealing how both the incidents narrated by Vera were invented and baseless. The story’s ending discloses the irony of Mr Nuttel’s situation: he had come to cure his nerves but ended up making them worse.