The Reformation of Calliope (Henry)

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The Reformation of Calliope
Summary of the Short Story
from the Collection «Heart of the West»
Microsummary: A notorious troublemaker in a small town faced off against the city marshal, but when the troublemaker's mother arrived, he pretended to be the marshal to protect her from the truth.

Calliope Catesby was a man known for his violent outbursts in the town of Quicksand. One day, he went on a rampage, shooting at anything and everything in his path.

Calliope Catesby — notorious troublemaker; prone to violent outbursts; skilled with firearms; deceptive, protective of his mother.

The city marshal, Buck Patterson, and his posse decided that it was time to put an end to Calliope's reign of terror.

Buck Patterson — city marshal; determined to stop Calliope; understanding, willing to play along with the deception.

They engaged in a shootout with Calliope, who managed to take refuge in a small railroad station.

Calliope, especially, was wont to express his ennui according to his lights.

As Buck Patterson attempted to apprehend Calliope, a train arrived carrying Calliope's elderly mother, who had come to visit her son.

Calliope's Mother — elderly woman; loving, proud of her son; unaware of his true nature; persuasive, caring.

Unaware of her son's true nature, she believed him to be a respectable city marshal. Calliope, not wanting to disappoint his mother, switched places with the injured Buck Patterson, pretending to be the marshal while Buck played the role of the criminal.

I just couldn't help it, Buck. I seen her through the window a-comin' in.

Buck, touched by Calliope's devotion to his mother, agreed to keep up the charade for the duration of her visit. He also urged Calliope to take his mother's advice to heart and turn his life around. Calliope agreed, and the two men vowed to become better people for the sake of Calliope's mother.