While the Auto Waits (Henry)

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While the Auto Waits
Summary of the Short Story
from the Collection «The Voice of the City»
Microsummary: A wealthy girl, tired of her luxurious life, befriends a young man in a park, pretending to be a cashier in a restaurant, only to reveal her true identity at the end.

A young girl in gray, wearing a veil, sat on a bench in a quiet corner of a small park, reading a book. A young man, who had noticed her there on previous days, approached her when she accidentally dropped her book. He returned it to her and struck up a conversation, during which the girl revealed that she was from a wealthy and high-class background, but was tired of the superficiality of her social circle.

The Girl in Gray — wealthy young woman; tired of her luxurious life; calm, beautiful, and seeking genuine connections.
The Young Man — humble, adaptable, and interested in the girl; initially flirty but becomes respectful.

You may sit down, if you like. Really, I would like to have you do so. The light is too bad for reading. I would prefer to talk.

The girl expressed her desire to talk to someone "unspoiled" by wealth and social status, and asked the young man about his occupation. He told her that he worked as a cashier in a nearby restaurant. The girl then shared her dissatisfaction with her life of luxury and her longing for a simpler existence. She mentioned that she was being courted by a German Grand Duke and an English Marquis, but neither of them appealed to her.

I come here to sit because here, only, can I be near the great, common, throbbing heart of humanity.

As the girl prepared to leave, she told the young man that she might see him again, but asked him to stay on the bench for ten minutes after she left. He agreed, but secretly followed her as she walked away. She crossed the street and entered the restaurant where the young man worked. Inside, she removed her hat and veil and took her place at the cashier's desk, revealing that she was the red-haired girl who had been working there all along.

The young man, realizing the truth, picked up a book that the girl had left behind in the park, and then got into a luxurious automobile parked nearby. He instructed the chauffeur to take him to his club, showing that he, too, was from a wealthy background.