The Treasure of Far Island

The Treasure of Far Island is a short story by Willa Cather. It was first published in New England Magazine in October 1902[1]

Plot summary

Douglass Burnham returns home in Empire City, Nebraska, after a fifteen-year hiatus. He is picked up from the train station by his father and his old friend Rhinehold. At home, his mother is cooking dinner. The next day, they go to a party with other locals, and he meets his old friend Margie; they talk about the old days. She admits she heard of one of his plays when she was in New York City once, and even walked past him on the streets but didn't say hello as he seemed busy. He begs her to go back to Far Island, a sandbar where they used to play as children. Despite her dislike of mosquitoes, they venture out and dig out an old 'treasure' they had buried in childhood. They reflect on the fantasy games they used to play, feeling that it is still real.


Allusions to other works

Allusions to actual history

Literary significance and criticism


  1. Willa Cather's Collected Short Fiction, University of Nebraska Press; Rev Ed edition, 1 Nov 1970, page 282
  2. 1 2 Kari Ronning, Willa Cather, My Antonia (Willa Cather Scholarly Edition), University of Nebraska Press, 1995, page 456
  3. James Leslie Woodress, Willa Cather - A Literary Life, University of Nebraska Press, 1989, page 125

External links

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