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Arguably, the central characters of this excellent and highly amusing short story are Framton Nuttel and Vera. Framton Nuttel, we are told, is undergiong a "nerve cure" for an unspecified nervous condition. It is his first time in this neighbourhood, and he is visitng Mrs. Sappleton thanks to an introduction that was given to him by his sister. Thus he has no knowledge of the family whatsoever, a fact that is quickly exploited by Vera. Framton Nuttel is therefore highly susceptible to Vera and her talent, both because of his ignorance and also because of his illness.
Vera is described as "a very self-possessed young lady of fifteen." She clearly knows the social mores of her time, and is able to "entertain" Mr. Framton Nuttel whilst her aunt prepares to greet him. However, what is clear is that Vera is a master storyteller who is able to establish areas of ignorance in her victims that she can exploit to great effect. She clearly is able to "read" Framton Nuttel very quickly and with devastating consequences. After the tale that she spins Mr. Nuttel and his swift departure, she shows her brilliance by weaving yet another fiction to explain his hasty exit. The story ends with the wry comment that "Romance at short notice was her speciality," which captures her brilliance, inventiveness and creativity.
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