Elsie in New York and Other Stories
- United States
More informationA set of five tales from one of America's masters of short story telling. The stories include:
1. Elsie in New York
2. The Purple Dress
3. Little Speck in Garnered Fruit
4. The Pendulum
5. The Rubaiyat of a Scotch Highball
In "Elsie in New York," Elsie is an innocent young woman who, upon the death of her father, must look for work to make a living. Her father expected her to trust to the good heartedness of his previous employer, but Elsie prefers to make her own way in life. Although she visits an employment agency and applies for several positions, do-gooders interfere. Thinking they are saving her soul, in actuality they point her to her destruction.
In "The Purple Dress," two young women clerks have been saving money all year to buy new dresses for the one gala of their year, the annual Thanksgiving dinner given by their employer. Both are hoping to catch the eye of one attractive gentleman bachelor at the party. But interactions with a landlady and a dressmaker intervene, and things turn out much differently than either girl could have imagined.
Champion welter-weight boxer, Kid McGarry's new bride wants a peach. Peaches are out of season, so there are none in the shops although all have oranges. Oranges won't do. McGarry entices the local police captain to raid a gambling joint run by Denver Dick, a heavyweight. After beating Denver Dick, McGarry takes a last peach from the lavish dining room and presents it to his new wife. Her reaction is classic O. Henry.
"The Pendulum" is a story about a man called John Perkins, who's behaviour is like a clock's pendulum, going from one extreme to the other. In the story, the two extremes are him being bored of his life and marriage and then when his wife leaves, him longing for her to come back and then realising his mistakes. Once his wife returns, the question is whether he learned from his mistakes.
The Rubaiyat of a Scotch Highball tells the tale of Bob Babbitt, who comes to a rude awakening about his drinking. He pictured himself as charming, reasonably