Rus in Urbe (Henry)

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Rus in Urbe
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A man tried to convince his wealthy friend that the city was the best place to spend the summer, but both eventually realized they preferred the countryside, leading to a romantic outcome.

A man named Robert James Vandiver had a theory that New York City was the finest summer resort in the world. His friend, Spencer Grenville North, a millionaire with a luxurious camp in the Adirondacks, disagreed. North visited Vandiver in the city and tried to convince him to join him at his camp, but Vandiver insisted that the city was the best place to be during the summer.

Robert James Vandiver — narrator; press-agent for a theatrical company; prefers the countryside.
Spencer Grenville North — wealthy friend; initially prefers his Adirondack camp, but later finds city life enjoyable.

Vandiver took North to various city attractions, such as rooftop restaurants and vaudeville shows, in an attempt to prove his point. However, North remained unimpressed and continued to praise the beauty and tranquility of his camp in the woods.

Because, old man, New York is the finest summer resort in the world.

It was later revealed that Vandiver's true reason for staying in the city was his love for a woman named Annie Ashton, an actress who also lived in New York.

Annie Ashton — actress; beautiful, quiet, and talented; enjoys staying at home and making caps for her mother.

North met Annie and became smitten with her as well. He began to spend more time in the city, and even started to appreciate some of its charms. Eventually, North confessed his feelings for Annie to Vandiver and declared his intention to pursue her. Vandiver, feeling defeated, decided to give up on the city and move to a small cottage on the south shore of Long Island, where he planned to write plays and live a simple life surrounded by nature.

Annie later informed Vandiver that she was leaving the stage and not marrying North. When Vandiver asked her what she planned to do for a living, she replied that she could pick ducks.

I can pick ducks.

The two of them ended up selling their first year's feathers for $350, proving that sometimes, the simple life can be just as rewarding as the bright lights of the city.