The Dear Departed | Drama | Class X | Literature Reader | English |
‘The Dear Departed is all about avarice between two sisters who consider their father as dead and start dividing his wealth without being known to the fact that their father is still alive.
The chapter begins when Mrs. Slater finds her father in an unconscious state in his room. She considers him dead and plans to sneak away with some of his things such as bureau whereon she had been keeping an eye for a long time. For this purpose, she calls her husband Mr. Slater for replacing that new bureau with an old chest of drawers. At first, Henry Slater objects but he has to give up in front of his wife. They both snitch her father’s bureau. Not only this, grand father’s new clock is also taken away.
Their daughter Victoria objects to all these thieveries but made to keep quiet by Mrs. Slater. She asks Victoria for not being in colourful dress but to wear a mourning to flaunt their pain before Mrs. Jordan (her sister) and Ben Jordan (her sister’s husband) arrive. Mrs. Slater even advises her husband to replace his old slippers with the new slippers of her father which were bought recently before the arrival of Mrs. and Mr. Jordan.
They have a fair enough idea that Mrs. Jordan will never arrive as when she had fought last time with Mrs. Slater, she had vowed not to turn up again to Mrs. Slater’s home.
Mrs. Jordan arrives with her husband and flaunts as if she were deeply grieved at her father’s death. She sheds a couple of tears and regrets for being late due to unpreparedness of their mourning dresses.
But soon they both get natural and start discussing the cause of their father’s death. Mrs. Jordan enquires if Mrs. Slater had called their family doctor Mr. Pringle when she found her father unconscious. Mrs. Slater makes an excuse that she was about to call the doctor, but she found her father dead so she thought it to be useless. On enquiring further, the discussion comes to the payment of grandfather’s premium. Ben shows his true colour here by calling his father-in-law as an ‘Old Drunken Beggar’ who could not pay his premium on time.
Then, Mrs. Jordan looks at the bureau and points out. According to her, that bureau belonged to her father but Mrs. Hall claims it saying that she had recently bought it from the market. Mrs. Jordan even mentions about the clock which Mr. Abel Merry Weather had promised to their son Vicky before being dead. They both start arguing with each other over trifles.
Soon, Abel Merry Weather comes down, who had already listened to everything they talked about, and start asking all of them the reason of wearing mourning dresses. He tells them he had got headache due to over drinking and adds that he couldn’t remember anything happened to him. On seeing his bureau in Mrs. Slater’s room, he reprimands Mrs. Slater for sneaking away with his bureau, clock and slippers (given to Mr. Slater). Mrs. Jordan understands everything and starts quarrelling with Mrs. Slater.
Now Abel Merry Weather speaks and tells his plans to both of the greedy sisters. He says that he has decided to do three things on coming days. At first, he will pay his premium followed by altering his will. Moreover, he adds that he has decided to get married to the owner of ‘Ring O Bells’ and to live with her till the end of his life.
Hearing him, both the sisters regret their deeds but all in vain. Their father teaches them a good lesson by naming his will to someone’s else name.
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