The following excerpt is an example of narrative writing that uses dialogue. Notice how the author uses indentions to denote a new speaker and how quotation marks surround what is said. Finally, notice how the text uses relevant descriptive details and well-structured event sequences.
Please read the rubric for the assignment for Day 2 before submitting it.
Excerpt from “The Monkey’s Paw,” by W. W. Jacobs
“I – was asked to call,” he said at last, and bent down and picked a piece of cotton from his trousers. “I come from ‘Maw and Meggins.’ ”
The old lady jumped suddenly, as in alarm. “Is anything the matter?” she asked breathlessly. “Has anything happened to Herbert? What is it? What is it?”
Her husband spoke before he could answer. “There there mother,” he said hurriedly. “Sit down, and don’t jump to a conclusion. You’ve not brought bad news, I’m sure sir,” and eyed the other, expecting that it was bad news but hoping he was wrong.
“I’m sorry – ” began the visitor.
“Is he hurt?” demanded the mother wildly.
The visitor lowered and raised his head once in agreement. ”Badly hurt,” he said quietly, “but he is not in any pain.”
“Oh thank God!” said the old woman, pressing her hands together tightly. “Thank God for that! Thank – ”
She broke off as the tragic meaning of the part about him not being in pain came to her. The man had turned his head slightly so as not to look directly at her, but she saw the awful truth in his face. She caught her breath, and turning to her husband, who did not yet understand the man’s meaning, laid her shaking hand on his. There was a long silence.
“He was caught in the machinery,” said the visitor at length in a low voice.
“Caught in the machinery,” repeated Mr. White, too shocked to think clearly, “yes.”
He sat staring out the window, and taking his wife’s hand between his own, pressed it as he used to do when he was trying to win her love in the time before they were married, nearly forty years before.
“He was the only one left to us,” he said, turning gently to the visitor. “It is hard.”
The other coughed, and rising, walked slowly to the window. “The firm wishes me to pass on their great sadness about your loss,” he said, without looking round. “I ask that you to please understand that I am only their servant and simply doing what they told me to do.”
There was no reply; the old woman’s face was white, her eyes staring, and her breath unheard; on the husband’s face was a look such as his friend the Sergeant-Major might have carried into his first battle.
“I was to say that Maw and Meggins accept no responsibility,” continued the other. “But, although they don’t believe that they have a legal requirement to make a payment to you for your loss, in view of your son’s services they wish to present you with a certain sum.”
Mr. White dropped his wife’s hand, and rising to his feet, stared with a look of horror at his visitor. His dry lips shaped the words, “How much?”
“Two hundred pounds,” was the answer.
Without hearing his wife’s scream, the old man smiled weakly, put out his hands like a blind man, and fell, a senseless mass, to the floor.