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"The Strange Orchid"
by H. G. Wells
adapted to audio by Don Kisner

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Synopsis of the play.

Jon Wedderburn lives on the beach in northern California. His cousin, Clara, is his housekeeper. Jon laments the fact that his life has been devoid of excitement. His only interest is his hobby of growing orchids. One day Jon travels to San Francisco to attend a flower auction. At this auction, he buys some orchid bulbs that have been collected from the dense jungles of the East Indies. The man who collected these bulbs died while collecting them, apparently as a result of leeches draining his blood.

Jon plants the bulbs, but they all die except for the one found under the collector's body. This surviving bulb grows and becomes strong. It soon becomes obvious that this plant is unusual. Jon believes that he has found a new type of orchid. The plant puts out strange tentacles with suction-cup like ends. At last, Jon finds that the blooms have opened. While he is recording his observations into his notes, the flowers spew forth a gas that puts Jon to sleep. The tentacles attach themselves to his skin and begin to drain him of his blood.

Clara discovers Jon and calls the gardener to help her. Together they break the hot-house windows to let the gas escape, and drag Jon to safety. The gardener calls the doctor. The next day Jon is very happy because finally something extraordinary has happened to him.

 

 
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Last modified: June 04, 2015