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The Way Up to Heaven, is such a clever short story. It is a story about meanness and revenge. It makes the reader have to guess about what may have happened. This is what makes such a great story.
Mrs. Foster, is a wealthy older woman who lives in New York and is going on a trip to see her daughter and grandchildren in Paris. Mrs. Foster is terrified of missing planes, trains, or whatever and her husband, Mr. Eugene Foster, knows this. He is always trying to be just a little bit late, just to make her upset.
"Mind you, it is by no means certain that this is what he did, yet whenever they were to go somewhere, his timing was so accurate- just a minute or two late, you understand- and his manner so bland that it was hard to believe he wasn't purposely inflicting a nasty private little torture of his own on the unhappy lady. And one thing he must have known-that she would never dare to call out and tell him to hurry. He had disciplined her too well for that."
So we get the idea that Mr. Foster was not the nicest of people. He knew these things really upset his wife, he he did them anyway. On the day she is to go to Paris, her husband tells her that he has given the servants six weeks off, while she is gone. By the time they get to the airport the fog is so bad, her flight is postponed until the next morning. She goes home to wait for the next day to get here. Her husband tells her that he won't go with her to the airport and that she can drop him off at the club on her way.
"She looked at him, and at that moment he seemed to be standing a long way off from her, beyond some borderline. He was suddenly so small and far away that she couldn't be sure what he was doing, or what he was thinking, or even what he was."
Mrs. Foster is waiting in the car the next morning, running late, of course, and her husband tells her he forgot something inside. She begs him not to go, but he does anyway. She finds the small package he was looking for, and sees that someone had stuffed it between the seats, she tells the driver to go and get him, but the door is locked. She instead goes and when she opens the door she hears something. She listens for a minute, then tells the driver they are going to be late and she has to go. She spends six wonderful weeks with her daughter and grandchildren, then returns home. When she gets back to the house, she sees that all the mail is piled on the floor, where the mailman had slipped it in. There is dust everywhere and she smells something unfamiliar to her.
"As she walked quickly across the hall and disappeared for a moment around the corner to the left, at the back. There was something deliberate and purposeful about this action; she had the air of a woman who is off to investigate a rumor or to confirm a suspicion. And when she returned a few seconds later, there was a little glimmer of satisfaction on her face."
She calls the police and tells them there is something stuck in the elevator and she needs help, because her knees are not the greatest to walk up the stairs. It is said that her husband was stuck in the elevator, when she went to tell him that she had found the package, and when she heard him, she decided to get her final revenge on him. She knew he would be alone for six weeks and no one would be there. Mrs. Foster, in the end, got the last laugh on her spiteful husband.
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