A New England Nun" is the story of Louisa Ellis, a woman who has lived alone for many years. Louisa is set in her ways, she likes to keep her house meticulously clean, wear multiple aprons, and eat from her nicest china every day. She has an old dog named Caesar who she feels must be kept chained up because he bit a neighbor 14 years ago as a puppy. Louisa promised Joe Dagget 14 years ago that she would marry him when he returned from his fortune-hunting adventures in Australia, and now that he has returned it is time for her to fulfill her promise. When Joe arrives, however, it becomes obvious that Louisa sees him as a disruption of the life that she has made for herself. When Joe arrives on one of his twice weekly visits, Louisa attempts to have a conversation with him, but is distracted when he tracks dirt on the floor, re-arranges her books, and accidentally knocks things over. The two have a cool and slightly awkward conversation when Louisa inquires after Joe's mother's health and Joe blushes and tells Louisa that Lily Dyer has been taking care of her. Clearly, she is only planning on marrying Joe because she promised that she would, since it would mean that Louisa would have to give up the life that she has made for herself.