The Love-Philtre of Ikey Schoenstein (Henry)

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The Love-Philtre of Ikey Schoenstein
Summary of the Short Story
from the Collection «The Four Million»
Microsummary: A pharmacist, in love with a woman, tried to sabotage her elopement with his rival by giving him a sleeping powder. However, the rival used it on the woman's father, ensuring a successful elopement.

Ikey Schoenstein was a night clerk at the Blue Light Drug Store, a place where he was respected and venerated for his knowledge and wisdom. He was in love with Rosy Riddle, the daughter of his landlady, Mrs. Riddle.

Ikey Schoenstein — night clerk at the Blue Light Drug Store; knowledgeable, timid, in love with Rosy; be-spectacled, narrow figure, stained clothes, smells of chemicals; respected, venerated.

However, Ikey faced competition from his friend and rival, Chunk McGowan, who was also courting Rosy.

Chunk McGowan — Ikey's friend and rival; Rosy's suitor; smooth-faced, hard, indomitable, good-natured; strong, simple, determined to marry Rosy.

One day, Chunk approached Ikey for help. He wanted a love potion to ensure that Rosy would go through with their plan to elope that night. Ikey, seeing an opportunity to sabotage Chunk's plan, gave him a sleeping powder instead and informed Rosy's father, Mr. Riddle, of the elopement plan.

Mr. Riddle — Rosy's father; stout, brick-dusty complexion, sudden in action; protective, disapproving of Chunk.

Mr. Riddle, who disapproved of Chunk, decided to wait in his room with a loaded shotgun, ready to confront Chunk if he tried to enter his backyard.

Ikey adored Rosy. She tinctured all his thoughts; she was the compound extract of all that was chemically pure and officinal.

That night, as the elopement plan was set in motion, Chunk had a change of heart and decided not to use the powder on Rosy. Instead, he slipped it into Mr. Riddle's coffee, causing him to fall into a deep sleep. With Mr. Riddle incapacitated, Chunk successfully helped Rosy escape through the fire escape, and they eloped as planned.

Chunk, if you get the girl get her on the square—don't try any hocus-pocus with a thoroughbred like her.

The next morning, Ikey anxiously went to Mrs. Riddle's house to learn the outcome of the events. To his surprise, he encountered a jubilant Chunk, who informed him that the elopement had been successful. Chunk thanked Ikey for the powder, unaware that it was meant to sabotage his plan, and invited him to visit their new home. Ikey was left to ponder the unexpected turn of events, as his plan to win Rosy's heart had ultimately failed.