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ID
b50
Title
The Mower
Genre
Story
Page Count
23
Word Count
3830
Publisher
Argosy
This Quarter
Publication Year
1931
Topics
Age, Sex, Farming

A farmer and his wife get help mowing their field from the lusty and energetic Ponto: 'He swung his scythe with a long light caressing sweep, smoothly and masterfully, as though his limbs had been born to mow.'

Bates captures the heat of summer, the sensuality in Ponto's limitless strength and consumption of beer, and the sexual tension between him and the wife. Ponto bears similarity to Pike in a Threshing Day for Esther and a mower from Bates's childhood, named Smack, is described in much the same terms (The Vanished World 15, 56). In This Quarter (September 1931), The Black Boxer Tales (1932), Thirty Tales (1934), The Bride Comes to Evensford and Other Tales (1949), Selected Short Stories of H.E. Bates(1951), Seven by Five and The Best of H.E. Bates (1963), The Poison Ladies and Other Stories (1976). Reprinted in Modern Short Stories of the Open Air (London: Dent, 1936), Selected Modern Short Stories (London: Penguin, 1937), Argosy (February 1943), Short Story Study (London: Edward Arnold, 1961).