The Door of Unrest (Henry)

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The Door of Unrest
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: An editor encountered an old man claiming to be the Wandering Jew, who shared stories of his past experiences with historical figures and events, but was later revealed to be a troubled shoemaker.

A man named Michob Ader visited the editor of the Montopolis Weekly Bugle, claiming to be the Wandering Jew, a legendary figure who was cursed to walk the earth until the Second Coming of Christ. He told the editor that he had lived for over nineteen hundred years and had witnessed many historical events, such as the burning of Rome, the coronation of Charlemagne, and the lynching of Joan of Arc.

'Tis time that the liars be doin' justice to somebody. Yer historians are no more than a pack of old women gabblin' at a wake.

He also claimed that he was not a Jew, but a Gentile, and that he had been cursed because he had refused to let Jesus rest on his doorstep while carrying the cross.

The Narrator — editor of the Montopolis Weekly Bugle; curious, patient, and analytical.
Michob Ader (Mike O'Bader) — old shoemaker; claims to be the Wandering Jew; troubled, sorrowful, and prone to drunkenness.

The editor was skeptical of Michob's story, but was intrigued by the man's apparent age and the strange odor that seemed to emanate from him. He later found a reference to Michob Ader in a book called "The Citizen of the World," which confirmed that a man by that name had indeed appeared in Paris in 1643, claiming to be the Wandering Jew.

The editor later encountered Michob again, this time working as a shoemaker in Montopolis. He had apparently been living there for many years, and was known to the townspeople as a heavy drinker who would occasionally go on week-long binges. The editor learned from the town's oldest inhabitant, Uncle Abner, that Michob had once had a daughter who had run away to join a circus. When she returned to Montopolis, the townspeople had chased her out of town, and she had drowned in a nearby pond. Michob had refused to help her when she had begged for his assistance, and had even struck her down when she had tried to enter his home.

Because I would not ... let the poor Christ ... rest ... upon the step.

The editor concluded that Michob Ader was indeed the Wandering Jew, cursed to walk the earth not because of his refusal to let Jesus rest, but because of his own cruelty and heartlessness towards his own daughter.