The Country of Elusion (Henry)

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The Country of Elusion
Summary of the Short Story
from the Collection «The Trimmed Lamp»
Microsummary: A woman seeking escape from her bohemian lifestyle visits her strict, religious parents in a small town, only to return to the city and assert her independence when a man tries to kiss her.

Grainger, a sub-editor of Doc's Magazine, had a trying day at work and decided to seek solace in the company of his friend Mary Adrian. They went to Café André, a popular Bohemian restaurant, where they joined a lively group of friends for dinner.

Mary Adrian — young woman; bohemian lifestyle participant; independent, strong-willed.
Grainger — sub-editor of Doc's Magazine; Mary's friend; witty, observant.

The atmosphere was filled with humor, wit, and camaraderie, but Mary felt the strain of keeping up with the fast-paced conversation and witty remarks.

The next day, Mary decided to take a break from her Bohemian lifestyle and visited her strict, religious parents in the small town of Crocusville. She spent the day attending church, listening to her father read from a religious text, and helping her mother with household chores. The simplicity and discipline of her parents' life provided a stark contrast to her life in the city.

For she was out of the clutch of the tyrant, Freedom.

After returning to the city, Mary joined her friends at Café André once again. However, when one of her friends, Kappelman, tried to kiss her, she slapped him in the face, causing a sudden change in the atmosphere. The carefree, Bohemian spirit was replaced by a sense of formality and embarrassment as the group left the café.

Instantly she slapped his face with such strength and cold fury that he shrank down, sobered, with the flaming red print of a hand across his leering features.

Meanwhile, Minnie Brown, a young woman from Crocusville, visited the city with her aunt and became enamored with the Bohemian lifestyle. After hearing the story of Mary's visit to Crocusville and her reaction to Kappelman's advances, Minnie commented that if Mary had stayed in Crocusville for a week, Kappelman would have gotten his kiss.