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Hector Hugh Munro "Saki"

Saki was the pen-name of Hector Hugh Munro (1870-1916), a British political journalist who worked in Russia and France. He published hundreds of short stories which show an understanding of children and young people who play cleverly and sometimes maliciously on the feelings of their elders.


For Graham Greene, Munro was the best English humourist of the twentieth century. Munro's mother died when he was born and he was brought up by two old aunts who turned his life into a real misery. Greene states that this unhappy childhood is the key to the cruelty in his short stories.


The Open Window
PAGE 1/3

La Ventana Abierta

'My aunt will be down presently, Mr. Nuttel,' said a very self-possessed young lady of fifteen; 'in the meantime you must try and put up with me.'

‘Mi tía bajará enseguida, señor Nuttel’, dijo mucho aplomo una señorita de quince años; ‘mientras tanto debe hacer lo posible por soportarme’.

Framton Nuttel tried to say a few words which should flatter both the niece of the moment and the aunt that was to come. Privately he doubted more than ever whether these formal visits on a number of total strangers would do much towards helping the nerve cure which he was to undergo.

Framton Nuttel se esforzó por decir algo que halagara debidamente a la sobrina sin dejar de tomar debidamente en cuenta a la tía que estaba por llegar. Dudó más que nunca que esta serie de visitas formales a personas totalmente desconocidas fueran de alguna utilidad para la cura de reposo que se había propuesto.

’I know how it will be,' his sister had said when he was preparing to leave for the country; 'you will bury yourself down there and not speak to anybody, and your nerves will be worse than ever from moping. I shall just give you letters of introduction to all the people I know there. Some of them, as far as I can remember, were quite nice.'


‘Sé lo que ocurrirá’, le había dicho su hermana cuando se disponía a emigrar a este retiro rural; ‘te encerrarás no bien llegues y no hablarás con nadie, y tus nervios estarán peor que nunca debido a la depresión. Por eso te daré cartas de presentación para todas las personas que conocí allá. Algunas, por lo que recuerdo, eran bastante simpáticas’.

Framton wondered whether Mrs. Sappleton, the lady to whom he was presenting one of the letters of introduction, was one of the nice people.


Framton se preguntó si la señora Sappleton, la dama a quien había entregado una de las cartas de presentación, podía ser clasificada entre las simpáticas.

'Do you know many of the people round here?' asked the niece, when she thought that they had been silent long enough.


‘¿Conoce a muchas personas de aquí?’, preguntó la sobrina, cuando consideró que ya había habido entre ellos suficiente comunicación silenciosa.

'Hardly anybody,' said Framton. 'My sister was staying here, at the rectory, you know, some four years ago, and she gave me letters of introduction to some of the people here.'


‘Casi a nadie’, dijo Framton. Mi hermana, estuvo aquí, en la Rectoría, hace unos cuatro años, y me dio cartas de presentación para algunas personas del lugar.

He said the last sentence in a tone that showed his regret.


Hizo esta última declaración en un tono que denotaba claramente un sentimiento de pesar.

'Then you know practically nothing about my aunt? continued the self-possessed young lady.


‘Entonces no sabe prácticamente nada acerca de mi tía’, prosiguió la aplomada señorita.

'Only her name and address,' admitted the visitor. He was wondering whether Mrs. Sappleton was in the married or widowed state. Something about the room made him believe the former.


‘Sólo su nombre y su dirección’, admitió el visitante. Se preguntaba si la señora Sappleton estaría casada o sería viuda. Algo indefinido en el ambiente sugería la presencia masculina.

'Her great tragedy happened just three years ago,' said the child; 'that would be since your sister's time.'


‘Su gran tragedia ocurrió hace tres años’, dijo la niña; ‘es decir, después que se fue su hermana.’

'Her tragedy?' asked Framton; somehow in this restful country spot tragedies seemed out of place.


‘¿Su tragedia?’, preguntó Framton; en esta apacible campiña las tragedias parecían algo fuera de lugar.

'You may wonder why we keep that window wide open on an October afternoon,' said the niece, pointing out a large French window that opened on to a lawn.


‘Usted se preguntará por qué dejamos esa ventana abierta de par en par en una tarde de octubre’, dijo la sobrina señalando un gran ventanal francés que daba al jardín.




put up with me: tolerate me (soportarme, aguantarme, tolerarme)
pointing out: making a remark (señalando, indicando)


will be down presently: will come down soon (bajará enseguida)
try and: try to (tratar de)
the niece of the moment: the niece who was entertaining him at the moment (la sobrina destinada a entretenerlo)
more than ever: he had already been thinking that these visits would be bad for him. Now he was even more certain (más que nunca)
total strangers: people he had never met and about whom he knew nothing (absolutos extraños)
will bury yourself: will hide away from people (te encerrarás)
moping: living alone and feeling miserable (tu apatía o depresión)
rectory: the house of the rector or parish priest (parroquia, rectoría)
practically nothing: hardly anything (casi nada, poca cosa)
your sister's time: the time when your sister was here (la época en que se fue su hermana)
out of place: unlikely, unsuitable to the surroundings (poco probables, fuera de lugar)
French window: a glass door opening on to the garden (ventanal)


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