From Each According to His Ability (Henry)

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From Each According to His Ability
Summary of the Short Story
from the Collection «The Voice of the City»
Microsummary: A bored clubman befriends a well-dressed burglar, helps him improve his style, and introduces him to his friends, leading to a change in the clubman's life and a successful marriage proposal.

Vuyning, a wealthy young man, left his club one morning feeling bored and dissatisfied with his life. As he walked along Broadway, he encountered Emerson, a well-dressed man who introduced himself as a successful burglar and safe-blower. Intrigued by the prospect of an adventure, Vuyning agreed to help Emerson improve his appearance by taking him to his tailor.

Vuyning — narrator; wealthy, bored clubman; well-dressed, friendly, and helpful.
Emerson (Rowdy the Dude) — burglar and safe-blower; smooth-faced, keen-eyed, athletic, and well-dressed.

Five days later, Vuyning introduced Emerson to his friends at the club as a friend from the West. Emerson captivated the club members with his tales of life in the wild, untamed West, painting vivid pictures of snow-capped mountains, barren lava beds, and thrilling horseback rides through the night. The city men were entranced by his stories, which offered a glimpse into a world far removed from their own.

The next morning, Emerson met Vuyning for a farewell breakfast before leaving for the West. He expressed his gratitude for Vuyning's help with his appearance and promised to return the favor if he ever had the chance.

I’ve been looking for some guy to put me on the right track for years. You’re the real thing; duty free, and half-way to the warehouse in a red wagon.

Inspired by Emerson's tales, Vuyning decided to visit his father's ranch in Colorado and experience the excitement of the West for himself.

Later that day, Vuyning had lunch with Miss Allison, a woman he had unsuccessfully proposed to five times. He told her about his plans to visit the ranch and, to his surprise, she agreed to accompany him.

Miss Allison — Vuyning's love interest; initially resistant to his proposals, but eventually agrees to marry him.

The two toasted to their upcoming adventure and to the mysterious Rowdy the Dude, whose stories had inspired them to embark on a new chapter in their lives.