The Ferry of Unfulfilment (Henry)

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The Ferry of Unfulfilment
Summary of the Short Story
from the Collection «The Trimmed Lamp»
Microsummary: A man from Nome, smitten by a department store girl, followed her onto a ferry and tried to win her affection, but she fell asleep during their conversation and he left disappointed.

A man from Nome, stained berry-brown from the Arctic winds and sun, stood at a street corner during rush hour. He was eager to return to Chilkoot after spending a week in the noisy city. As he watched the crowd, he noticed a beautiful girl from Sieber-Mason's department store walking gracefully down the street.

The Man from Nome — narrator; brown-skinned, azure-eyed, tough, and broad-gauged; wealthy from gold mining.

He was instantly smitten and decided to follow her. The girl, Miss Claribel Colby, was a weary commuter from New Jersey.

Miss Claribel Colby — department store girl; beautiful, brown-haired, neat, and tired from lack of sleep.

She had attended a ball the previous night and had a long, tiring day at work. She boarded the ferry, hoping for some peace and quiet. The man from Nome approached her, explaining that he had seen her on the street and wanted to get to know her. Miss Colby, though initially skeptical, allowed him to sit beside her.

The man introduced himself as Henry Blayden and told her about his time in Nome, where he had amassed a fortune in gold dust. Miss Colby, half-listening and half-asleep, made light of his story. Blayden, earnest and sincere, confessed his feelings for her and asked for a chance to win her affection.

I never saw anybody I liked as well as I do you. I know you can't think that way of me right yet; but can't you give me a chance?

As he spoke, Miss Colby fell asleep, her head resting on his shoulder. Blayden continued to speak, wondering if he had mentioned his wealth too freely. He wanted to be liked for himself, not his money. He asked the sleeping Miss Colby whether she would prefer love or money in a marriage.


She suddenly awoke and blurted out "Cash!" before realizing that Blayden had disappeared. Confused, she wondered what had happened to the man she had dubbed "White Wings."

Gee! I believe I've been asleep. Wonder what became of the White Wings!