Winesburg, Ohio by Sherman Anderson consists of a chain of tales, united by a common place Anderson’s personal representative in the book. In The Untold Lie Ray Pearson and Hal Winters are farmhands, working on a farm. Ray is a quiet and nervous man, married with children and quite serious in his behavior. Hal on the other hand is the bad one, perpetually getting into trouble.
One day, Hal, and Ray are at work on the fields. Ray is quiet and thinking about his marriage and its burden. His wife is forever nagging at him and a spirit of anger arises in him. At the same moment, Hal begins talking seriously to him, and disclose that he had a girlfriend Nell Gurther, who was pregnant and didn’t know what to do about it. He lays the problem on to Ray, asking him for guidance. Ray does not reply and just walks off. But when he hears his wife again complaining he chooses to warn Hal from making the same mistake that he has committed, the one of marriage. Marriage is a mistake, which pulls you down, and he decides to tell this to Hal. But by the time he reaches Hal, Hal has earlier made his decision to marry Nell and settle down. Ray has nothing to say to this now, and as he goes home, a recollection of pleasant evenings spent with his children is recollected and he wonders whether Hal has finally made the right decision after all.