In "The Open Window," think about Mr. Nuttel’s response when the hunters return home. How does his response to this incident keep Vera from getting in trouble?

In "The Open Window," Mr. Nuttel's response to the incident keeps Vera from getting in trouble because he reacts by running out of the house at top speed instead of sticking around to ask questions about the approaching men and dog, who he apparently fervently believes to be ghosts.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

During the course of this story, young Vera spins a remarkably imaginative tale, which later convinces their guest that he has just seen the ghosts of three men and a "little brown spaniel" returning after having been missing for three years. In fact, they are returning from a day's shooting and have not been missing at all. It stands to reason that if Vera's aunt had discovered her tall story, she may have been in considerable trouble.

Rather than having the sense to realize that he has been duped, Mr. Nuttel reacts in terror to the sight of the three men and dog, who he assumes to be ghosts. He doesn't stick around long enough for Vera to get into trouble. He turns tail and runs into the road so fast that he almost causes a collision with a passing cyclist. Of course, if there had been an accident, and the pieces of the puzzle were later put together in the correct fashion, Vera could have gotten into even more trouble, her lies being an indirect cause of the accident.

In a nutshell, Mr. Nuttel's terror causes him to run, rather than realize the truth, stay put, and tell Vera's aunt about the tall tales she has been telling. His gullible response to the incident spares Vera the tongue lashing she so richly deserves.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial