A Midsummer Knight's Dream (Henry)

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A Midsummer Knight's Dream
Summary of the Short Story
from the Collection «The Trimmed Lamp»
Microsummary: 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.

A man stood at Thirty-fourth street waiting for a downtown car, loudly proclaiming that New York City was the finest summer resort in the country. He argued that one could stay cool in the city by staying in the shade, watching their diet, and staying close to an electric fan.

The Man — middle-aged, gray-haired, pink-faced, keen, nervous; believed New York City was the best summer resort.

New York, sir, is the finest summer resort in the country. Keep in the shade and watch your diet, and don't get too far away from an electric fan.

His friend, a fat man, tried to convince him to take a vacation and join him for some trout fishing, but the man refused. In a small summer hotel in the mountains, a group of young men competed for the attention of a beautiful woman named Mary Sewell.

Mary Sewell — the man's wife; loving, grateful, and nostalgic; vacationing in the mountains with their children.

Among them were Compton, a millionaire's son, and Gaines, a fighter who adored the country. The group participated in a mock tournament, where the men rode horses and caught curtain rings on the end of a lance. Gaines won the tournament and had the privilege of crowning Mary as the queen.

Later, Mary climbed a granite bluff called Chimney Rock, and both Gaines and Compton raced to reach her first. Gaines managed to reach her first and began to express his feelings for her, but Mary laughed him off as Compton arrived just a minute later. The group enjoyed the beautiful twilight as they drove back to the hotel.

Back in the city, the man who believed New York to be the finest summer resort in the world received a letter from his wife, Mary. She thanked him for allowing her and their children to stay in the mountains for another month, as it was doing wonders for their health.

I stood last evening on Chimney Rock in exactly the same spot where I was when you put the wreath of roses on my head ... fifteen years ago, dear, just think!

She reminisced about the time he had crowned her queen on Chimney Rock and how he had been her true knight ever since. The man visited a café and had a glass of beer under an electric fan, wondering about the trout fishing his friend had mentioned.