Which quote from the story “The Open Window” marks a suspenseful and humorous point in the story?

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William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The best quote in the story for providing suspense and humor at the same time is the passage that describes how Vera behaves when she sees the three returning hunters approaching the open window. She is twice described as being very "self-possessed," and her behavior has been perfectly proper and sedate up to the point where her aunt says, "Here they are at last!"

Framton shivered slightly and turned towards the niece with a look intended to convey sympathetic comprehension. The child was staring out through the open window with a dazed horror in her eyes. In a chill shock of nameless fear Framton swung round in his seat and looked in the same direction.

We can imagine the dramatic change in the facial expression of this very self-possessed young lady when she pretends to be horrified at the appearance of three familiar men who were supposed to have died three years ago. Vera is an actress as well as a story-teller. A lot of adolescent girls enjoy communicating by making faces. She is by far the best character in the story. She looks innocent, but she is mischievous and has a wicked sense of humor.

At this point we do not really know she is faking her "dazed horror." We are still in the same position as Framton Nuttel. But we learn very quickly that the whole story was a practical joke. 

"Here we are, my dear," said the bearer of the white mackintosh, coming in through the window, "fairly muddy, but most of it's dry. Who was that who bolted out as we came up?"

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The Open Window

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