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The Open Window

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Which words and phrases in "The Open Window" tell us that Framton's departure was rather hurried?

Words and phrases that tell us that Framton's departure was rather hurried include "grabbed wildly," headlong retreat," "bolted," "without a word," and "dashed."

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The following paragraph near the end of the story shows us that Framton Nuttel leaves in a hurry:

Framton grabbed wildly at his stick and hat; the hall door, the gravel drive, and the front gate were dimly noted stages in his headlong retreat. A cyclist coming along the road...

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The following paragraph near the end of the story shows us that Framton Nuttel leaves in a hurry:

Framton grabbed wildly at his stick and hat; the hall door, the gravel drive, and the front gate were dimly noted stages in his headlong retreat. A cyclist coming along the road had to run into the hedge to avoid imminent collision.

Particular phrases that suggest speed include "grabbed wildly," headlong retreat," "run into the hedge," and "imminent collision." We can picture the nervous Mr. Nuttel, thinking he has seen ghosts, racing for his walking stick and hat and running out the door and down the drive so fast that everything is a blur. We can also seeing him running into the road without looking in his haste and forcing a cyclist to crash into a hedge to avoid ramming into him. We could picture this as a scene in a comic movie.

The sense of Mr. Nuttel having left in a hurry continues as Mr. Sappleton asks,

Who was that who bolted out as we came up?

"Bolted out" is another phrase that suggests a very hasty departure. Then we hear from Mrs. Sappleton that Mr. Nuttel

dashed off without a word of goodbye or apology .... One would think he had seen a ghost.

"Dashed" and "without a word" indicate speed, as does the phrase "seen a ghost," which suggests he was badly frightened.

We as readers know, though the Sappletons do not, that Mr. Nuttel is badly frightened. He has been too quick to believe Vera's fanciful story about ghosts. She has managed to get rid of this tiresome guest who does nothing but talk about his medical issues, and she has another handy, if fantastic, story available to tell her aunt and uncle to explain why he left.

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