The Gentle Grafter (short story collection, Henry)

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The Gentle Grafter
Summary of the Collection of Short Stories
Microsummary: A collection of short stories featuring con men and swindlers, often with a humorous twist, showcasing O. Henry's wit and keen observations of human nature.

The Octopus Marooned

The Octopus Marooned (Henry)

Two con men monopolized a town's alcohol supply during a flood, but their scheme backfired when one of them, under the influence, delivered a powerful temperance speech, causing the townspeople to pledge sobriety.

Jeff Peters as a Personal Magnet

Jeff Peters as a Personal Magnet (Henry)

A con man posing as a doctor used personal magnetism to cure a fake illness in a mayor, only to be arrested by a detective, who turned out to be his future business partner.

Modern Rural Sports

Modern Rural Sports (Henry)

Two swindlers attempted to con a seemingly wealthy farmer, only to find him well-educated and seemingly immune to their tricks, until one of them successfully used an old-fashioned scam.

The Chair of Philanthromathematics

The Chair of Philanthromathematics (Henry)

Two swindlers started a university as an act of philanthropy, but ended up profiting from it by secretly running a gambling operation for the wealthy students.

The Hand That Riles the World

The Hand That Riles the World (Henry)

Two men were hired to secure a political appointment for their friend, but their efforts were thwarted when a beautiful female lobbyist obtained the wrong position for him.

The Exact Science of Matrimony

The Exact Science of Matrimony (Henry)

Two con men ran a fake matrimonial agency using a widow as bait, but their scheme unraveled when the widow fell in love with one of the men, who secretly took her money.

A Midsummer Masquerade

A Midsummer Masquerade (Henry)

Two con men pretended to be famous guests at a summer resort to help the owner attract more customers, but their scheme backfired, causing the women to leave and the men to enjoy a quiet summer.

Shearing the Wolf

Shearing the Wolf (Henry)

Two con men intervened in a businessman's plan to swindle green goods men in Chicago, ultimately taking his money and teaching him a lesson about the immorality of attempting to get something for nothing.

Innocents of Broadway

Innocents of Broadway (Henry)

Two con men struggled with their conscience when a naive New Yorker entrusted them with his money, eventually finding a way to take it while providing him with something in return.

Conscience in Art

Conscience in Art (Henry)

Two swindlers tricked a millionaire into buying an ancient ivory carving, only to reveal later that they had stolen the original from him and sold it back.

The Man Higher Up

The Man Higher Up (Henry)

A Tempered Wind

A Tempered Wind (Henry)

Hostages to Momus

Hostages to Momus (Henry)

Two men fled from Mexico to Georgia after running an illegal lottery, where they experienced Southern hospitality and discussed their preferences for food and drink from various regions.

The Ethics of Pig

The Ethics of Pig (Henry)

A swindler partnered with a talented pig thief to con people, but their partnership ended when the swindler tried to profit from a stolen circus pig without sharing the reward.