A Jury of Her Peers

Charles Tripoli                                                                                                            3/19/18

Part 1

A Jury of Her Peers

One day waiting around my hose for the sheriff to arrive, we had some business to attend to. I sat in the living room wile my wife worked in the kitchen when the team from town stopped to get me, the sheriff came running in to say his wife wished she would come too–adding, with a grin, that he guessed she was getting scary and wanted another woman along. So she had dropped everything right where it was.

“Martha!” I said “Don’t keep folks waiting out here in the cold.”

She again opened the storm-door, and us waiting for her in the big two-seated buggy.

We spent the ride not really talking about much we had gone up a little hill and could see the Wright place now. It looked very lonesome this cold March morning. It had always been a lonesome-looking place. It was down in a hollow, and the poplar trees around it were lonesome-looking trees. we were looking at it and talking about what had happened. The county attorney was bending to one side of the buggy, and kept looking steadily at the place as they drew up to it.

Once we got inside we went over to the stove. The women stood close together by the door. Young Henderson, the county attorney, turned around and said, “Come up to the fire, ladies.”

Mrs. Peters took a step forward, then stopped. “I’m not–cold,” she said. And so the two women stood by the door, at first not even so much as looking around the kitchen.

We talked for a minute about what a good thing it was the sheriff had sent his deputy out that morning to make a fire for them, and then Sheriff Peters stepped back from the stove, unbuttoned his outer coat, and leaned his hands on the kitchen table in a way that seemed to mark the beginning of official business. “Now, Mr. Hale,” he said in a sort of semiofficial voice, “before we move things about, you tell Mr. Henderson just what it was you saw when you came here yesterday morning.”

The county attorney was looking around the kitchen. “By the way,” he said, “has anything been moved?” He turned to the sheriff.

“Are things just as you left them yesterday?” Peters looked from cupboard to sink; from that to a small worn rocker a little to one side of the kitchen table.

“It’s just the same.” I said

“Somebody should have been left here yesterday,” said the county attorney.

“Oh–yesterday,” returned the sheriff, with a little gesture as of yesterday having been more than he could bear to think of. “When I had to send Frank to Morris Center for that man who went crazy–let me tell you. I had my hands full yesterday. I knew you could get back from Omaha by today, George, and as long as I went over everything here myself–”

“Well, Mr. Hale,” said the county attorney, in a way of letting what was past and gone go, “tell just what happened when you came here yesterday morning.”

“Yes, Mr. Hale?” the county attorney reminded.

“Harry and I had started to town with a load of potatoes,” I started “We come along this road,” I continued, with a motion of my hand to the road over which we had just come, “and as we got in sight of the house I says to Harry, ‘I’m goin’ to see if I can’t get John Wright to take a telephone.’ You see,” I explained to Henderson, “unless I can get somebody to go in with me they won’t come out this branch road except for a price I can’t pay. I’d spoke to Wright about it once before; but he put me off, saying folks talked too much anyway, and all he asked was peace and quiet– guess you know about how much he talked himself. But I thought maybe if I went to the house and talked about it before his wife, and said all the women-folks liked the telephones, and that in this lonesome stretch of road it would be a good thing–well, I said to Harry that that was what I was going to say–though I said at the same time that I didn’t know as what his wife wanted made much difference to John–”

“Let’s talk about that a little later, Mr. Hale. I do want to talk about that but, I’m anxious now to get along to just what happened when you got here.”

When I began this time, it was very deliberately and carefully: “I didn’t see or hear anything. I knocked at the door. And still it was all quiet inside. I knew they must be up–it was past eight o’clock. So I knocked again, louder, and I thought I heard somebody say, ‘Come in.’ I wasn’t sure–I’m not sure yet. But I opened the door– this door,” jerking a hand toward the door by which the two women stood. “And there, in that rocker”– pointing to it–“sat Mrs. Wright.”

Everyone in the kitchen looked at the rocker.

“How did she–look?” the county attorney was inquiring.

“Well,” I said, “she looked–queer.”

“How do you mean–queer?” As he asked it he took out a note-book and pencil.

My wife kept her eye fixed on me, as if to keep me from saying unnecessary things that would go into that note-book and make trouble.

I spoke guardedly, I didn’t like the pencil

We continued talking about this for a bit and we finely made our way upstairs to the scene there we saw the chalk outline of Mr. Wright and the rope used to kill him.

Everything was just the same as yesterday. We talked some more about what had happen when I got up here to see if he was alright.

And how when I asked Mrs. Wright what happened, how she didn’t know anything.

How someone slipped the rope around his neck and killed him.

I didn’t like being here, not just this room but this whole house, it’s a very dreary place.

When we finally returned to the kitchen the women looked a little shaken but its probably just this house

We had all the clues and evidence we needed but we just couldn’t find the motive

Charles Tripoli                                                                                                                     3/19

 

Part 2

 

There are a few differences in the 2 versions of this story. I changed the story for a 3rd person selective POV to a 1st person POV. I also changed who the story is fallowing form the women to the men using Mr. Hale as the character and narrator.

 

The biggest change this caused was the length of the story. We lost a large part of the story when the women talk about Mrs. Wright and who she was both before and after she got married. My story cut that out and focused more on the actual evidence talked about in the original. Because of this the story went form a longer story to just a 2 page story. That was something I wanted to make evident in my story. The men are focused on the crime itself they’re not really paying attention to little things like the bird cage.

 

I also changed what is actually said. Example I cut a lot of the beginning conversation in the kitchen that didn’t have to do with Mr. Hale directly for I felt that he wouldn’t necessarily pay too much attention to the women talk and give their opinions.

 

Another big change was the fact that without the women POV we lost the motive behind Mrs. Wright killing her husband. We only learned that when the men went upstairs in the origanl story when Mrs. Hale looked at the birdcage. Without that passage we were left with the same question the men had, “Why would Mrs. Wright kill him?” we didn’t have an answer because the people we were fallowing didn’t. All they had was the evidence found at the scene, and Mr. Hale’s testimony

 

In conclusion the way I wrote this story greatly impacted the progress of the investigation for the reader. Between the story being shorter, less detailed, and never finding a satisfying end it will make readers want to read the original to see what they missed out on .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.