Who is there? What are they doing?
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The story is set in England around the turn of the twentieth century. It opens with the elderly Mr. and Mrs. White and their son Herbert in their cozy family home one stormy evening. Father and son are playing chess while Mrs. White knits by the fire. From their conversation, it is apparent they are expecting a visitor. He soon arrives, and is introduced by Mr. White as Sergeant-Major Morris. The family welcome him warmly, and as he relaxes with a drink, he tells them exciting stories of his time in India (then under British rule). Mr. White remarks that he would like to see the strange and exotic sights of India, but Morris says he's better off at home.