Dougherty's Eye-Opener (Henry)

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Dougherty's Eye-Opener
Summary of the Short Story
from the Collection «The Voice of the City»
Microsummary: A man took his wife out for a rare dinner, where she charmed everyone with her wit and beauty, making him realize he had neglected her for years and prompting him to change his ways.

Big Jim Dougherty was a well-known figure in the world of sports and gambling in Manhattan. He had a wife, Delia, whom he rarely spent time with, as he preferred to spend his evenings with his friends at various hotels and cafes.

Big Jim Dougherty — a sport; strong, self-sufficient, honorable; has a recently shaven, blue-black cheek and chin; wears dark overcoats with black velvet collars.
Delia Dougherty — Big Jim's wife; quiet, neat, and comfortable; wears a dinner gown of twilight sky color and a light coat with many capes and ribbons; charming and witty.

One day, Delia asked Jim to take her out to dinner, which he reluctantly agreed to do.

Jim, I wish you would take me out to dinner this evening. It has been three years since you have been outside the door with me.

As they walked to the restaurant, Jim noticed how beautiful and elegant Delia looked in her dinner gown. He decided to take her to a more upscale restaurant than he had originally planned and even paraded her past his friends at Seltzer's cafe. At the restaurant, they were joined by the Honorable Patrick Corrigan, a local politician and friend of Jim's. Delia charmed everyone with her wit and conversation, and soon a group of men were gathered around her, captivated by her charm.

You selfish old rascal! to have kept Mrs. Dougherty a secret from us.

Jim, who was not much of a talker, sat quietly and observed his wife, feeling a mixture of pride and shame. He realized that he had been neglecting her for the past three years and that she had been lonely and unfulfilled. After dinner, they walked home together, and Delia thanked Jim for the evening, assuming he would now return to his friends at Seltzer's.

However, Jim surprised her by declaring that he had no interest in returning to Seltzer's or spending time with his friends. Instead, he wanted to spend more time with his wife, realizing that he had been missing out on her company and charm.

To –––– with Seltzer's, and d–––– Pat Corrigan! Does he think I haven't got any eyes?

The door closed behind them as they entered their home together, signaling a new chapter in their relationship.