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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 3/3

La Ventana Abierta

'The doctors agree in ordering me complete rest, as well as avoidance of mental excitement and violent physical exercise,' announced Framton, who, like many people, mistakenly believed that total strangers and chance acquaintances are hungry for every detail of one's illnesses, their cause and cure. 'On the matter of diet they are not so much in agreement,' he continued.

‘Los médicos han estado de acuerdo en ordenarme completo reposo. Me han prohibido toda clase de agitación mental y de ejercicios físicos violentos’, anunció Framton, que abrigaba la ilusión bastante difundida de suponer que personas totalmente desconocidas y relaciones casuales estaban ávidas de conocer los más ínfimos detalles de nuestras dolencias y enfermedades, su causa y su remedio. ‘Con respecto a la dieta no se ponen de acuerdo’.

'No?' said Mrs Sappleton, in a voice which only replaced a yawn at the last moment. Then she suddenly brightened into alert attention - but not to what Framton was saying.

‘¿No?’, dijo la señora Sappleton ahogando un bostezo a último momento. Súbitamente su expresión revelaba la atención más viva... pero no estaba diri-gida a lo que Framton estaba diciendo.

'Here they are at last!’ she cried. 'Just in time for tea, and don't they look as if they were muddy up to the eyes!’


‘¡Por fin llegan!’, exclamó. ‘Justo a tiempo para el té, y parece que se hubieran embarrado hasta los ojos ¿no es verdad?’.

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


Framton se estremeció levemente y se volvió hacia la sobrina con una mirada que intentaba comunicar su compasiva comprensión. La niña tenía la mirada puesta en la ventana abierta y sus ojos brillaban de horror. Presa de un terror desconocido que helaba sus venas, Framton se volvió en su asiento y miró en la misma dirección.

In the deepening twilight three figures were walking across the lawn towards the window; they all carried guns under their arms, and one of them was burdened with a white coat hung over his shoulders. A tired brown spaniel kept close at their heels.


En el oscuro crepúsculo tres figuras atravesaban el jardín y avanzaban hacia la ventana; cada una llevaba bajo el brazo una escopeta y una de ellas soportaba la carga adicional de un abrigo blanco puesto sobre los hombros. Los seguía un fatigado spaniel de color pardo.

Noiselessly they neared the house, and then a hoarse young voice sang out of the dusk: 'I said, Bertie, why do you bound?'


Silenciosamente se acercaron a la casa, y luego se oyó una voz joven y ronca que cantaba: “¿Dime, Bertie, por qué saltas?'

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


Framton agarró de prisa su bastón y su sombrero; la puerta de entrada, el sendero de grava y el portón, fueron etapas apenas percibidas de su intempestiva retirada. Un ciclista que iba por el camino tuvo que hacerse a un lado para evitar un choque inminente.

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


‘Aquí estamos, querida’, dijo el portador del impermeable blanco entrando por la ventana; ‘bastante embarrados, pero casi secos. ¿Quién era ese hombre que salió de golpe no bien aparecimos?’.

'A most extraordinary man, a Mr. Nuttel,' said Mrs Sappleton; 'could only talk about his illnesses, and rushed off without a word of good-bye or apology when you arrived. One would think he had seen a ghost.'


‘Un hombre rarísimo, un tal señor Nuttel’, dijo la señora Sappleton; ‘no hablaba de otra cosa que de sus enfermedades, y se fue dispararando sin despedirse ni pedír disculpas al llegar ustedes. Cualquiera diría que había visto un fantasma’.

'I expect it was the spaniel,' said the niece calmly; 'he told me he had a horror of dogs. He was once hunted into a cemetery somewhere on the banks of the Ganges by a pack of wild dogs, and had to spend the night in a newly dug grave with the creatures snarling and grinning and foaming just above him. Enough to make anyone lose their nerve nerve.'


‘Supongo que ha sido a causa del spaniel‘, dijo tranquilamente la sobrina; ‘me contó que los perros le producían horror. Una vez lo persiguió una jauría de perros parias hasta un cementerio cerca del Ganges, y tuvo que pasar la noche en una tumba recién cavada, con esos bichos que gruñían y mostraban los colmillos y echaban espuma encima de él. Así cualquiera se vuelve miedoso’.

Romance at short notice was her speciality.


La fantasía sin previo aviso era su especialidad.




staring out: looking with fixed eyes (mirando horrorizada)
rushed off: ran away (salió corriendo, disparando)


she suddenly brightened: Mrs Sappleton had been bored by Frampton's description of his illness, but she grew cheerful as she saw the shooting-party approaching (de pronto se animó)
gravel drive: a private road leading to a house (sendero de grava)
the banks of the Ganges: Vera chose a river in India to make her story more romantic, and also to make the pack of wild dogs more easily believed (las orillas del río Ganges)
foaming: mad dogs have foam at their mouths (echando espuma por la boca)
lose their nerve: used in conversation, after expressions such as anyone, everyone, nobody, to avoid the clumsy though correct expression his or her (perder el control)
at short notice: with little time for preparation (sin preparación previa)


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