The Californian's Tale Summary

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The Californian's Tale is about a lone wanderer who stumbles into a strange little town somewhere in California. He realizes that this town is almost deserted with very few residents in the area. He stumbles into a house, in which a man welcomes him in as a guest and invites him to stay for a few days. The house is described as very beautiful and decorated, which the owner's wife had decorated. The owner of the house is very fond and speaks highly of his wife, he tells the visitor that she is on vacation for a while. Eager to introduce his wife, the owner insists the visitor wait until an upcoming Saturday which is when his wife would come home. The visitor decides to stay and meet the wife of the house owner. On Saturday, a big welcome back party takes place to welcome the wife back from vacation and the whole town gets together. Little does the visitor know that the man's wife has been dead for nineteen years already, and that the man is mentally unstable. Every year, the husband gets in a mind state that believes his wife is coming home from vacation and the whole town throws a party to help him believe his wife is still alive. This is because the man cannot cope with the loss of his wife and refuses to believe she is dead, so the whole town helps him with his dilemma every year.