“Will O’ The Mill”, a short story by Robert Louis Stevenson


Will was an adopted son of an old couple living in a mill frequently passed by travelers. When Will was a little child, he was dreaming of embarking an adventure. He was once sitting at the top of a hill looking below it is a magnificent view of a big, vibrant and city.

His adopted parents turned the house they were living into an inn. Guests was coming and going, making Will was even more curious for traveling. The young man was a good listener, he was loved by guests. He was hardworking and definitely he was eager to hear stories. Yet one day, he met a man who said the opposite things about traveling. This man was realistic, telling Will that not all people living in big cities were happy.

Whether this was influencing Will or not, one couldn’t tell, but one thing for sure, Will didn’t leave the mill and the inn after his parents died. He was taking care of the whole business on his own. He hired several assistants to have had repair the inn. Slowly, Will was gaining a good reputation in his surrounding.

A church nearby his residence had to be dismantled. Will was offering the parson and his daughter, Marjory, to stay at his house. To this they agreed at least until the church was being repaired. The relationship between Will and Marjory was the thing that became a source of talks among their neighbors.

Marjory, a smart and timid person, 19 years old, much younger than Will, who is over 30 years old. Will told his father and her that he loved her and Marjory, who rarely spoke, told that she thought she felt the same thing. The thing that made her down was Will’s treatments to her.

Will very seldom talked and met her in private. A few days after his love declaration, Will said to her that his affection was unchanged but he wished they remained friends unless Marjory asked for him to wed her then Will would do that. Marjory firstly said she was offended. She and her father decided to leave Will.

Not long after that, Will knocked at Marjory’s house feeling so guilty. Much to his surprise, Marjory looked fine with what had been passing between the two. They remained good friends for nearly three years. They were enjoying the friendship and Will seemed so joyful for having Marjory as his friend.

All of a sudden, Marjory got married to a man that later made Will feeling blue. Marjory died not long after that, leaving Will so sad while accompanying her in her last breaths.

Will was living as a single, wise, philosophical man. A lot of people was trying to persuade him leaving the place but Will unmoved. His gentleness and wisdom was making him popular among tourists and guests. Will was growing older and weaker. He was now 72 years old. Despite his older age,Will and his servants kept welcoming guests. One night, a stranger came. He was inviting Will to drink wine. Both was having little chats. The stranger, who called himself as a doctor, started becoming weirder for Will.

Until the stranger told Will his intention of coming was picking the old man up to his afterlife. The doctor later introduced himself as death and he said he was usually hard to a lot of people but Will was an exception.

Will was glad in return with the coming of his death. He said he had been waiting for this moment. Since Marjory, his best friend, had been taken, Will was happy to go with his new friend to set an adventure. Finally, Will was traveling.

The picture is taken from this. Thanks so much for the picture.




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