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"The Monkey's Paw," by W.W. Jacobs, begins with Mr. White and his son, Herbert playing chess while Mrs. White knits nearby. They are waiting for a visitor, but Mr. White thinks the bad weather might keep him away. Eventually, Sergeant Major Morris does show up, however. He's been gone for twenty-one years, having many adventures in far away places like India and comes with many tales to tell about his travels. At Mr. White's prodding, the sergeant major tells them about the monkey's paw he carries with him. He says the paw had a spell put on it by an "old fakir," a holy man who believed that lives were ruled by fate, and when someone tried to change that fate, it made their lives much worse. Sergeant Major Morris' visit puts into play the Whites' horrible fate.
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