What did Joe gather from Maggie’s facial expression when his wife was talking to the child in T. S. Arthur’s short story “An Angel in Disguise”? To what extent, did it relieve him and why?
When Joe Thompson returned home from his shop, he saw his wife talking to Maggie sitting on the bed with her back towards the window. Then he was trying to read the character of their conversation. From Maggie’s facial expression he came to know that his wife was asking questions and the girl was uttering a few words in answers. Though her expression was sad and tender, there was no sign of bitterness or pain.
Joe was greatly relieved from Maggie’s facial expressions as he now knew that there was nothing cruel or alarming in his wife’s treatment of the child, something he was afraid of so far. So he took a deep breath followed by one of relief, as a weight lifted itself from his heart.
After completing his day’s work, Joe Thompson was returning home at dusk. From a far distance, he could see that the light in Maggie’s chamber was on. He went near and peeked in to check what was happening. He was happy to find out that Mrs. Thompson was talking to Maggie. He could not hear their conversation nor could he see Mrs. Thompson’s expressions but from the expressions of Maggie, it was clear that the talk was polite and not bitter or painful. Therefore, he was relieved to a huge extent and knew that the bond of love had begun to form between Maggie and his wife that would soon lead to Mrs. Thompson treating Maggie as her own child.