Mammon and the Archer (Henry)

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Mammon and the Archer
Summary of the Short Story
from the Collection «The Four Million»
Microsummary: A wealthy father used his money to create a street blockade, giving his son the opportunity to confess his love to a high-society girl during an extended cab ride, leading to their engagement.

Anthony Rockwall, a retired manufacturer and wealthy proprietor of Rockwall's Eureka Soap, lived in a Fifth Avenue mansion. He believed in the power of money to solve any problem.

Anthony Rockwall — retired manufacturer, wealthy, believes in money's power; ruddy complexion, white hair; kind, crude, confident.

His son, Richard Rockwall, was in love with a girl named Miss Lantry, who belonged to high society. Richard struggled to find an opportunity to confess his feelings to her before she left for a two-year trip to Europe.

Richard Rockwall — Anthony's son, in love with Miss Lantry; educated, moderate spender; loyal, determined, gentlemanly.

One day, Richard told his father about his predicament, and Anthony offered to use his wealth to help his son. However, it seemed that this was one problem money could not solve.

"I'm for money against the field. Tell me something money won't buy."

Richard was allowed to meet Miss Lantry at the Grand Central Station and accompany her in a cab to Wallack's Theatre, where her mother and a box party awaited them. Richard believed that the short cab ride would not provide enough time for him to express his feelings.

On the day of the meeting, Richard's Aunt Ellen gave him a gold ring that belonged to his mother, which was believed to bring good luck in love. During the cab ride with Miss Lantry, Richard accidentally dropped the ring and had to stop the cab to retrieve it. This delay led to the cab being caught in a massive street blockade, which lasted for two hours.

During the unexpected time together in the cab, Richard seized the opportunity to confess his love to Miss Lantry. She accepted his proposal, and they became engaged.

"He spoke to his love and won her there while the cab was hemmed in."

It was later revealed that Anthony had secretly paid a man named Kelly to create the street blockade, proving that money could indeed influence even matters of the heart.

Aunt Ellen, who believed in the power of true love over money, was overjoyed by the engagement. She told Anthony that the little gold ring, a symbol of true love, had brought happiness to their son. Anthony, still a firm believer in the power of money, was glad that his wealth had helped his son find happiness.