Fickle Fortune or How Gladys Hustled (Henry)

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Fickle Fortune or How Gladys Hustled
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A young lawyer lost his first case and his love interest, who demanded a wealthy husband. After discovering his fortune, he returned to claim her, only to lose her again to a rival.

Bertram D. Snooper, a poor but ambitious and talented young lawyer, lost his first suit and aspired to marry Gladys Vavasour-Smith, the beautiful and talented daughter of a proud family.

Bertram D. Snooper — poor but ambitious young lawyer; determined, prideful.
Gladys Vavasour-Smith — beautiful and talented woman from a proud family; demanding, fickle.

However, Gladys refused his proposal, stating that he had no money and that modern women demanded a man free from debasing and hereditary iniquities.

“Press me no more Mr. Snooper,” said Gladys Vavasour-Smith. “I can never be yours.”

Bertram vowed to return in fifteen years and left the room. Unbeknownst to them, a man named Henry R. Grasty had been hiding in the fireplace and overheard their conversation.

Henry R. Grasty — dark-complexioned man with a sinister plan; cunning, vengeful.

He possessed secrets about Bertram being the heir to the Tom Bean estate and Gladys' family's disreputable past. Grasty planned to use this information to force Gladys to marry him and bring her family's name down in disgrace.

Fifteen years later, Gladys and Grasty stood at the marriage altar. Just as they were about to be wed, Bertram returned, revealing that he had discovered his inheritance and was now worth two million dollars.

“Stay here till I return,” he said, “I will be back in fifteen years.”

Gladys immediately left Grasty for Bertram, but Grasty revealed that he had been appointed as the administrator of the Tom Bean estate, effectively depriving Bertram of his fortune.

“All is lost,” he said.

In the end, Gladys chose to marry Grasty, and a heartbroken Bertram was last seen entering a beer saloon on Seventeenth Street.