Study Guide

Ballad of the Sad Cafe and Other Stories The Ballad of the Sad Café, Part 1

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The Ballad of the Sad Café, Part 1

  • Before all of this, before the café, Miss Amelia was well off, having inherited the building from her father and, being an industrious person herself, sold things people in the town might need or want, including liquor that she made in a still herself.
  • She stuck to herself, was dark and mannish, watching over her business and whiskey still, making deals and money off of anyone who came by.
  • Her riches, however, would have been even greater had she not been so quick to sue anyone and everyone that she thought had crossed her.
  • One night, a group of townsmen sat on the porch of Miss Amelia's store and spotted a hunchback coming toward them down the road. Miss Amelia stood beside the townsmen silently, watching too.
  • The hunchback was in rags, sickly and out of breath, and arrived to the porch of the store, asking for Miss Amelia. He said they were related.
  • Miss Amelia asked how they were related. She had almost no living relations, and was skeptical.
  • The hunchback attempted to explain and showed her a photo, but the story was overly complicated and everyone on the porch remained super skeptical.
  • He began to cry, and it was the only noise in the quiet town.
  • He was wretched, and so Miss Amelia brought him a flask of her liquor and offered it to him.

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