The Trimmed Lamp (short story collection, Henry)

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The Trimmed Lamp
and Other Stories of the Four Million
Summary of the Collection of Short Stories
Microsummary: A collection of short stories set in early 1900s New York City, exploring themes of love, sacrifice, and irony through the lives of everyday people, often with unexpected twists and poignant endings.

The Trimmed Lamp

The Trimmed Lamp (Henry)

Two friends worked in different jobs, one seeking a wealthy husband while the other enjoyed her independence; eventually, the first friend found happiness in a humble relationship.

A Madison Square Arabian Night

A Madison Square Arabian Night (Henry)

A wealthy man invited a homeless artist to dine with him, discovering the artist's unique talent for revealing people's true character in portraits, which led to a commission for a painting of his wife.

The Rubaiyat of a Scotch Highball

The Rubaiyat of a Scotch Highball (Henry)

A man realized he had a drinking problem and decided to quit, causing tension in his marriage, but his wife ultimately supported his decision and they both chose to change their lifestyle.

The Pendulum

The Pendulum (Henry)

A man realized the importance of his wife's presence after she left for a short trip, but when she returned unexpectedly, he fell back into his old habits of neglect.

Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen

Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen (Henry)

A poor man, already full from a feast, struggled to eat another large meal provided by a kind old gentleman who had fed him every Thanksgiving for nine years, ultimately leading to their hospitalization.

The Assessor of Success

The Assessor of Success (Henry)

A confident swindler manipulated various people to obtain money, but after unexpectedly encountering a childhood friend, he was filled with remorse and wished for death.

The Buyer from Cactus City

The Buyer from Cactus City (Henry)

A wealthy Texan buyer fell in love with a suit model during a business trip to New York, and despite her initial resistance, she eventually considered the possibility of moving to Texas with him.

The Badge of Policeman O’Roon

The Badge of Policeman O’Roon (Henry)

A wealthy man impersonated his friend, a mounted policeman, to save his honor, and during his duty, he heroically stopped a runaway carriage carrying a beautiful woman and her father.

Brickdust Row

Brickdust Row (Henry)

A wealthy man fell in love with a working-class girl during a trip to Coney Island, but their different backgrounds and her way of meeting men led to his disillusionment and despair.

The Making of a New Yorker

The Making of a New Yorker (Henry)

A wandering poet struggled to understand the heart of New York City until an accident led to an outpouring of kindness and concern from its residents, making him feel at home.

Vanity and Some Sables

Vanity and Some Sables (Henry)

A former gang member turned plumber tried to impress his girlfriend with a set of fake sables, but when a detective accused him of stealing real sables, the truth about the cheap furs was revealed.

The Social Triangle

The Social Triangle (Henry)

A poor tailor's apprentice, a powerful district leader, and a wealthy philanthropist each found happiness and fulfillment by shaking hands with someone they admired, forming a social triangle.

The Purple Dress

The Purple Dress (Henry)

A young woman saved money for a purple dress to wear at a Thanksgiving dinner, but gave her last dollars to a friend in need, ultimately wearing the dress in the rain and impressing a coworker.

The Foreign Policy of Company 99

The Foreign Policy of Company 99 (Henry)

A fireman obsessed with the Russo-Japanese War accidentally injured himself and his horse while saving an immigrant from being run over; the immigrant later saved the fireman's son from a runaway car.

The Lost Blend

The Lost Blend (Henry)

A shy bartender discovered a mysterious drink that gave him courage, leading him to confess his love to his boss's daughter, while two men unsuccessfully tried to recreate the drink's recipe.

A Harlem Tragedy

A Harlem Tragedy (Henry)

A woman envied her friend's tumultuous relationship and provoked her own husband to hit her, but instead, he ended up doing the housework she had been complaining about.

“The Guilty Party”

The Guilty Party (Henry)

A young woman, jealous of her fiancé's attention to another girl, confronts him at a dance, stabs him, and then commits suicide by jumping into a river.

According to Their Lights

According to Their Lights (Henry)

Two destitute friends in New York City struggled to find food and shelter, while remaining loyal to their principles and refusing to betray former friends for personal gain.

A Midsummer Knight's Dream

A Midsummer Knight's Dream (Henry)

A man who claimed to prefer New York City in the summer secretly longed for the countryside, reminiscing about his past experiences and his wife's letters from their family vacation.

The Last Leaf

The Last Leaf (Henry)

A young woman, ill with pneumonia, believed she would die when the last leaf fell from a nearby ivy vine; an old artist painted a leaf on the wall, saving her life but sacrificing his own.

The Count and the Wedding Guest

The Count and the Wedding Guest (Henry)

A young man fell in love with a woman who pretended to be mourning her deceased fiancé, a count, to gain attention. When she confessed the truth, they became closer and got engaged.

The Country of Elusion

The Country of Elusion (Henry)

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.

The Ferry of Unfulfilment

The Ferry of Unfulfilment (Henry)

A man from Nome, smitten by a department store girl, followed her onto a ferry and tried to win her affection, but she fell asleep during their conversation and he left disappointed.

The Tale of a Tainted Tenner

The Tale of a Tainted Tenner (Henry)

A ten-dollar bill narrates its journey through various hands, discussing the concept of tainted money and the different people it encounters, ultimately questioning the true meaning of tainted money.

Elsie in New York

Elsie in New York (Henry)

A young woman searched for work in New York City, encountering various people trying to protect her from potential dangers, ultimately leading her to a seemingly kind benefactor with ulterior motives.