Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen (Henry)

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Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen
Summary of the Short Story
from the Collection «The Trimmed Lamp»
Microsummary: 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.

On Thanksgiving Day, Stuffy Pete took his seat on a bench in Union Square, as he had done for the past nine years.

Stuffy Pete — poor, ragged man; loyal to tradition; overweight, short legs, gravy-smeared face.

Every year, an Old Gentleman would find Stuffy on the bench and take him to a restaurant for a big dinner. This tradition was important to the Old Gentleman, who had no family and wanted to create a lasting custom.

The Old Gentleman — elderly, kind-hearted, and wealthy; thin, tall, white-haired, wearing glasses; dedicated to tradition.

If you will come with me, my man, I will provide you with a dinner that should make your physical being accord with the mental.

However, this year, Stuffy had already eaten a large meal at the home of two old ladies who had a tradition of feeding the first hungry person they saw on Thanksgiving. Stuffy was so full that he could barely breathe, but when the Old Gentleman approached him, he couldn't bring himself to break the tradition. He agreed to go to the restaurant with the Old Gentleman, who was delighted to continue their annual ritual.

Thankee, sir. I'll go with ye, and much obliged. I'm very hungry, sir.

At the restaurant, Stuffy forced himself to eat another huge meal, not wanting to disappoint the Old Gentleman. Afterward, they parted ways as usual, and Stuffy stumbled around the corner before collapsing on the sidewalk. An ambulance took him to the hospital, where the doctors were puzzled by his condition.

Later, another ambulance brought the Old Gentleman to the same hospital, and the doctors suspected appendicitis. However, when one of the young doctors spoke to a nurse about the cases, he mentioned that the Old Gentleman had told him he hadn't eaten anything for three days.

He told me he hadn't eaten a thing for three days.