The Four Million

Author: O. Henry (William Sidney Porter)
Published: 1906
Language: English
Wordcount: 51,976 / 146 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 80.2
LoC Category: PS
Audiobook: librivox.org
Downloads: 4,060
mnybks.net#: 3456
Origin: gutenberg.org
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Not very long ago some one invented the assertion that there were only "Four Hundred" people in New York City who were really worth noticing. But a wiser man has arisen--the census taker--and his larger estimate of human interest has been preferred in marking out the field of these little stories of the "Four Million."

Show Excerpt

Tobin's Palm
The Gift of the Magi
A Cosmopolite in a Cafe
Between Rounds
The Skylight Room
A Service of Love
The Coming-Out of Magi
Man About Town
The Cop and the Anthem
An Adjustment of Nature
Memoirs of a Yellow Dog
Tht Love-Philtre of Ikey Schoenstein
Mammon and the Archer
Springtime a la Cart
The Green Door
From the Cabby's Seat
An Unfinished Story
The Caliph, Cupid and the Clock
Sisters of the Golden Circle
The Romance of a Busy Broker
After Twenty Years
Lost on Dress Parade
By Courier
The Furnished Room
The Brief Debut of Tildy.

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Average Rating of 5 from 1 reviews: *****
2013.12.30
Henry L. Ratliff
*****

(1906)Short story collection (Humor / Love / Family life / Survival in the big city)


R: * * * * *


Plot bullets


  • There were about Fur Million people in New York City in 1906. Here are twenty five fictional stories of those people and times.
  • TOBIN'S PALM

    o A man seeks a palmist to find what has happened to his intended wife.

    o The palmist sees mostly bad except for some good luck that will be presented by a man with a crooked nose.

    o The bad seems to come true. Will the good?

    o Will the man with the crooked nose have the answer?


  • THE GIFT OF THE MAGI

    o Della wants to buy her husband a Christmas gift.

    o Jim wants to buy his wife, Della, a Christmas gift.

    o They are poor, in the consideration of money, but not love.

    o Each has something precious that they may use to get a little money.

    o Love easily conquer self, in both cases and it brings more than what appears to be lost.


  • A COSMOPOLITE IN A CAFE

    o ] A man of the world sits in a cafe.

    o He would rather be known as one who has no roots.

    o But, just let someone say a bad word against his home.


  • BETWEEN ROUNDS

    o ] A man and wife have another one of their nightly rounds.

    o A child in the boarding house is lost.

    o A pause in the proceedings takes place as both ponder the child they never had.

    o The boy is found. Then starts round two.


  • THE SKYLIGHT ROOM

    o Not a nightclub.

    o It is a cheap top room in a boarding house.

    o To it comes a pretty but very poor girl.

    o The skylight gives the lonely girl her only pleasure. She can see the stars at night.

    o She needs help and the stars are her friends. For a while, her only real friends.


  • A SERVICE OF LOVE

    o There is a young married couple.

    o They are finding it hard to make ends meet, but so, so much in love.

    o Each have their love, art and music.

    o When money cannot be made through art and music, other means must be found.

    o Can secrets and deception, between two such people, really be expressions of love?


  • THE COMING-OUT OF MAGGIE

    o Maggie is not the choice of the boys.

    o She is often alone at the dance.

    o She wants to get in good with one man by using another.

    o Things go wrong.


  • MAN ABOUT TOWN

    o This man loves knowledge for it's own sake.

    o He wants a real definition of the often heard but vague term, 'Man About Town'.

    o He finds that a dictionary definition is much easier to obtain, than one by personal involvement.


  • THE COP AND THE ANTHEM

    o A man tries to get put in jail for the winter months.

    o He tries many schemes to do so, but he is 'doomed to liberty'.

    o The man visits a church and takes on a new view of things.

    o But, when you don't try .


  • AN ADJUSTMENT OF NATURE

    o Three men don't want their favorite waitress taken away from the.

    o They contrive to keep a miner from taking her away.


  • MEMOIRS OF A YELLOW DOG

    o Life from a dog's point of view.

    o We learn that a dog's life is not realy what we think, or the dog wants.


  • THE LOVE-PHILTRE OF IKEY SCHOENSTEIN

    o Ikey works a a pharmacy, The Blue Light.

    o Chunk is in love with Rosie. They plan to elope.

    o Chunk wants Ikey's help. A love potion is what is needed.

    o Ikey provides a potion, but not exactly what is expected.


  • SPRINGTIME A LA CARTE

    o Sara becp,es a freelance typewriter to make money while she wais for Walter's return.

    o She gets a job typing menus for a restaurant, as barter for food.

    o Sara is waiting and Walter is searching for her in vain.

    o A simple mistake, reunites the two.



  • THE GREEN DOOR

    o A man is in search of 'the true adventure'.

    o He is handed two cards with the words 'The Green Door'.

    o He finds a green door and much more.

    o Fate has led him to the door of a pretty but much in need shop girl.

    o But, who contrived the card that led him to her?


  • FROM THE CABBY'S SEAT

    o Jerry is a cab driver (horse drawn)

    o Jerry's fare is delivered to a high class restaurant.

    o The lady cannot pay her fare.

    o There is more than meets the eye going on here.


  • AN UNFINISHED STORY

    o Bar of judgement dream.

    o Delcie works at a store for a small wage.

    o Piggy has asked her to dinner. He is never the girls first choice.

    o She turns him down.

    o The dream ends.


  • THE CALIPH, CUPID AND THE CLOCK

    o A bum sits in the park at night pretending to be a wealthy Prince incognito.

    o He sees a young man who is waiting for a signal from his girl, that all is forgiven.

    o She will signal from her apartment window at 8:30, if all is well.

    o Can fate in the form of a bum, help?


  • SISTERS OF THE GOLDEN CIRCLE

    o Girl and boy on wedding trip, are aboard a sightseeing boat.

    o Police mistake the groom for a burglar and arrest him.

    o His new wife helpsthe other girl by letting her husband go to jail.


  • THE ROMANCE OF A BUSY BROKER

    o Mr. Maxwell is so tied up in his brokerage business that he is forgetting things.

    o He is not just forgetting little things, but important things.


  • AFTER TWENTY YEARS

    o Twenty years ago a man has dinner with his best friend.

    o Tonight is the night that they agreed to meet again, no matter what.

    o Each man hoped to be affluent by that time.

    o Ah, but fate is funny and loves to play a trick.


  • LOST ON DRESS PARADE

    o Once, not very often, Mr. Chandler goes out for the evening.

    o He meets a girl and pretends to be rich.

    o The girl is rich and pretends to be poor.

    o Has the man done himself a favor or not.


  • THE COURIER

    o A man has been forbidden to speak or write to his former girl friend.

    o His only choice is to send a young street urchin to do the job.

    o The elegance of his plea is lost, in the language of the streets, but not the intent.


  • THE FURNISHED ROOM

    o A young man is looking for a room and more.

    o He is looking for his love, who works in show business.

    o In dispare, he takes his loves own way out.


  • THE BRIEF DEBUT OF TILDY

    o Tildy is a waitress. She is not the beautiful girl you might expect.

    o The other waitress get all the attention.

    o A man finally makes a pass at her.

    o There is great joy at being so insulted, until, the worst thing happens, he apologizes.





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