In the warning, the author writes that all his characters are fictitious and he would like his work to be read as “a fantastic story, where clouds reflected over the Essex district, but not even the span of his land is imprinted.”
In one of the towns of New England, on the street, which everyone calls Pinchenova, stands the old house of Pinchenov – a large wooden house of seven gables. The first place in this place was settled by Mathew Mol, but when the settlement grew, his plot attracted Colonel Pinchen, and the colonel obtained from the authorities a grant for these lands. Mathew Mol did not give up, and the lawsuit lasted until the death of Maul, who was executed on charges of witchcraft.
According to rumors, before his death Matthew Mol loudly declared
The mysterious death of the Colonel gave rise to a lot of explanations, but nothing indicated that she was violent. And yet the people were of the opinion that a curse is gravitating over the house. The colonel claimed to have huge eastern lands, but the documents,
Confirming his right to them, were not found, so heirs had to settle for only the former possessions of Pinchenov. According to rumors, in every generation of Pinchenov there was at least one Pinchen, who inherited cruelty, discernment and an energetic grasp that distinguished the old colonel. About one hundred years ago, one of them died under circumstances that were very reminiscent of the sudden death of the colonel,
After standing for a hundred and fifty years, the house resembled “a huge human heart that lived an independent life and had a memory where good and bad mixed up.” One of the features of this house was a strange door, divided in two horizontally and equipped with a viewing window. It was the door of a petty shop, which about a hundred years ago was cut by the then owner of the house, who was in cramped circumstances and who did not find the best means to improve his affairs, how to open a shop directly in the family home. Now Gefsiba, having no means of subsistence, with pain in her heart, decided to follow in the footsteps of her little-known ancestor and reopen the petty shop. Burned with shame, she admits the first buyer – a neighbor’s boy, but still can not take money from him and gives him a carrot for nothing. Buyers do not really favor the shop of Gefsiba – the old maid seems very scary and unfriendly to them, although in reality she does not frown, she just looks closely at her short-sighted eyes. After the first day of work, only a few coppers are in her box.
But in the evening in front of the House of the seven gables the omnibus stops and from it comes a young girl – a relative of Gefsiba Phoebe, who came from the village. Initially, Gethsiba is not very happy about the unexpected guest, but gradually softens, especially since Phoebe turns out to be economic, hardworking and flexible. She begins to trade in a shop, and things immediately go up the hill. Phoebe acquainted with Holgrave and wondered how well he was taking care of the garden and the garden. Holgrave shows her a daguerreotype portrait of Judge Pinchen, like two drops of water like a portrait of Colonel Pinchen, hanging in the living room. One night, Phoebe hears rustling and voices, and in the morning Gefsiba introduces her to her brother Clifford-the one who was accused of murdering his uncle and spent thirty years in prison. Gethsibah was waiting for her brother all this time,
Clifford returned with an old man, broken, with a shaky mind, and Gethsib and Phoebe surround him with tender care. Clifford asks to remove the portrait of Colonel Pinchen, considering him an evil genius at home and his own, but Gefsiba thinks he does not have the right to, and is limited to closing it with a curtain. In the bench to Phoebe, Judge Pinchen comes in and, learning that they are relatives, wants to kiss the girl, but she involuntarily recoils, recognizing in it the original daguerreotype portrait shown to her just now by Holgrave. After having told him that Clifford was back, the judge wants to see him, but Gethsiba does not let him. The judge invites her along with Clifford to move to his country house and live there without worries and troubles, but Gefsiba resolutely refuses. Holgrave, whom Phoebe initially distrusts for his disrespect for the laws, is gradually gaining her favor. In his twenty-two years he had already traveled across New England, visited Europe and tried a lot of work-he served as a clerk in a village shop, taught at a rural school, lectured on Mesmer’s magnetism. For him, the House of the seven gables is the embodiment of the disgusting Past with all its bad influences, and he lives here temporarily and only in order to better learn to hate this past.