• Madison White

A Story a Day #58: W. S. Maugham

April 18th, 2020

"The Outstation"

W. S. Maugham

A rich British man owns an outpost in Borneo where a new man comes to stay. This man is brash and loud and thinks the owner is a snob. They do not get along and have different ways of living. The rich man is fond of the native people and respects them. While away on a trip, the other man, Cooper, reads his newspaper and drives away most of the native employees. The owner is furious and brings the employees back. The tension between Cooper and his personal assistant rises when he punches him and pushes him down the stairs. The next morning, Cooper has been murdered. The rich man only imprisons the servant for a short while and then rehires him.

I don't really understand the small relationships between military men and am not very interested in them, generally. I think what is most interesting about this story is the relationship between the British Empire and their colonies. What is most strange is that this old, white man is the kinder one to the native people. I often wondered throughout this story if this was an attempt to make British people look kinder to the places they have colonized.

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