Girl (Henry)

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Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A man struggled to choose between two women, ultimately deciding to dismiss his current cook to make room for a new one, who he believed would bring him happiness.

Robbins and Hartley were business partners in a brokerage firm. One day, after their clerks had left, Robbins expressed envy for Hartley's suburban life.

Going to be something doing in the humidity line to-night. You out-of-town chaps will be the people, with your katydids and moonlight and long drinks and things out on the front porch.

Hartley, however, seemed troubled and soon revealed that he had hired a detective to find the address of a woman named Vivienne Arlington.

Hartley — narrator; middle-aged, overweight, good-looking, serious, and nervous; a broker.
Vivienne Arlington — young woman with golden hair, blue eyes, and fair complexion; calm, ingenuous, and charming.

Hartley went to visit Vivienne at her new address, where he found her to be a beautiful and charming young woman. He pleaded with her to accept his offer of a comfortable life with him, but she hesitated, admitting that there was another man named Townsend who was also pursuing her.

Rafford Townsend — man with a curling black mustache, wearing light tweeds and a Panama hat; stylish and confident.

I hardly know what to say to you. I realize all the advantages of your offer, and sometimes I feel sure that I could be contented with you. But, again, I am doubtful.

Hartley confronted Townsend and warned him to stay away from Vivienne. Vivienne agreed to be with Hartley, but only if he would get rid of his current cook, Héloise. Hartley agreed and returned home to his wife, who was overjoyed at the prospect of having Vivienne as their new cook. She revealed that Héloise had been drunk all day and urged Hartley to fire her immediately.