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Oblong Box


The Oblong Box is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe, first published in 1844, about a sea voyage and a mysterious box. The narrator begins with booking passage on a ship to travel from Charleston, S.C. to New York. He soon finds that an artist friend, Mr Cornelius Wyatt, along with Wyatt's wife and two sisters, will be on the same ship. Our narrator reports that there are three rooms booked for this party, and he wonders what the explanation can be. Of course, it must be a servant! But he sees that the word servant had been on the passenger list, but had been crossed out. We also learn at this point that the narrator knows Mr Wyatt's sisters, but has never met the wife. When the ship is being loaded for the trip, Mr Wyatt has with him a large oblong box, which is placed in the artist's own room - not the extra state-room. The narrator suggests to the reader that this may be a painting in which both men have an interest. Of course, most readers instantly think of a coffin, but this possibility is not mentioned. The box is addressed to Mrs Wyatt's mother in New York. Meanwhile, we learn that Mr Wyatt is in a melancholy mood and that the two sisters are not their usual lively selves. Mrs Wyatt, in contrast, seems to be having the time of her life socializing with the other women on board. Enjoy free online English audiobook “Oblong Box”, breathtaking stories by Edgar Allan Poe.

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