illustration of an open-faced monkey's paw with a skull design on the palm

The Monkey's Paw

by W. W. Jacobs
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What does Mr. White do with the paw in "The Monkey's Paw"?

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Mr. White and his son, Herbert, both examined the monkey's paw carefully when it was first shown to them by Sergeant-Major Morris. After their guest had tossed the talisman into the fire, it was Mr. White who quickly fished it out. He put it into his pocket and it was "partly...

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Mr. White and his son, Herbert, both examined the monkey's paw carefully when it was first shown to them by Sergeant-Major Morris. After their guest had tossed the talisman into the fire, it was Mr. White who quickly fished it out. He put it into his pocket and it was "partly forgotten" until after Sergeant-Major Morris had left. After White made his first wish, he dropped the paw to the floor in horror.

     "It moved!" he cried with a glance of disgust...
     "As I wished, it twisted in my hand like a snake."

It was Herbert who picked it off the floor and placed it on the table; and later, he accidentally grabbed it as he reached for a glass of water. A week after Herbert's death, Mrs. White remembered the paw, and she ordered her husband to retrieve it from the mantelpiece in the parlor and make their second wish. Again, the paw fell to the floor, and this time Mr. White left it there, until he heard the knocks at the door.

... her husband was on his hands and knees groping wildly on the floor in search of the paw. If he could only find it before the thing outside got in. A perfect fusillade of knocks reverberated through the house, and he heard the scraping of a chair as his wife put it down in the passage against the door. He heard the creaking of the bolt as it came slowly back, and at the same moment he found the monkey's paw, and frantically breathed his third and last wish.

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