A Municipal Report (Henry)

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A Municipal Report
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A traveler arrives in Nashville and meets Azalea Adair, a poor but proud woman. He learns about her difficult circumstances and offers her a writing contract. Later, he witnesses the death of Major Caswell and discovers a mysterious dollar bill.

In the city of Nashville, Tennessee, the narrator arrives and is immediately struck by the drizzly weather and the lack of activity after sundown. He stays at a renovated hotel and meets a man named Major Caswell, who is loud and obnoxious.

Major Wentworth Caswell — drunken, worthless loafer; husband of Azalea Adair; red, pulpy face; smoothly shaven.

The narrator also visits a woman named Azalea Adair, who is poor and living in a decayed mansion.

Azalea Adair — poor, proud woman; talented writer; frail, thin.

Azalea Adair describes her imaginative travels and experiences.

I have traveled many times around the world in a golden airship wafted on two wings—print and dreams.

He offers her a contract to write for a magazine and learns that she is married to a drunken man who steals her money. The narrator expresses his surprise upon learning that Azalea Adair is married to Major Caswell.

I thought she was Miss Adair.

The narrator witnesses Major Caswell's death and suspects that he was murdered for his money. He leaves the city the next day and throws away a button that he found in Major Caswell's hand. The summary ends with the narrator wondering what is happening in Buffalo.