October and June (Henry)

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October and June
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A veteran soldier, smitten by a younger woman, proposed marriage but was rejected due to their age difference. He visited her to plead his case, but ultimately accepted her decision.

A veteran captain, who had served his country during strenuous times, found himself in love with a woman named Theodora Deming.

The Captain — narrator; veteran soldier; tall, straight, clear-eyed, and browned; strong-willed, caring.

Despite the significant age difference between them, he believed that his love, care, and the advantages he could provide would make her overlook their age gap. However, Theodora declined his marriage proposal, citing their age difference as the main reason.

The reason I have for so doing is the great difference between our ages. I like you very, very much, but I am sure that our marriage would not be a happy one.

Determined to change her mind, the captain decided to visit Theodora in person. Upon his arrival, Theodora welcomed him warmly but remained firm in her decision not to marry him.

Theodora Deming — young woman in her late twenties; lovely, blooming, and wise.

She reasoned that their differing tastes and interests would eventually drive them apart, as one would prefer a quiet life while the other would crave excitement and social events.

In only a few short years what different tastes we would have! One of us would want to sit by the fireside and read, and maybe nurse neuralgia or rheumatism of evenings, while the other would be crazy for balls and theatres and late suppers.

The captain eventually accepted Theodora's decision and returned to his home in the North. As he dressed for dinner, he reflected on their conversation and realized that she might have been right about their age difference. He acknowledged that she was an attractive woman, but he estimated her age to be around twenty-eight. The captain himself was only nineteen, and his military experience had been limited to training exercises, having never seen actual combat.