The Memento (Henry)

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The Memento
Summary of the Short Story
from the Collection «The Voice of the City»
Microsummary: A former actress found happiness in a small village and fell in love with a preacher, but discovered a memento from her past that shattered her new life, leading her back to the stage.

Miss Lynnette D'Armande, a former leading lady of the "Reaping the Whirlwind" company, was staying at the Hotel Thalia, a popular gathering place for actors and actresses. One day, her old friend Rosalie Ray arrived at the hotel, having left the stage to live in a small village on Long Island.

Lynnette D'Armande — narrator; former leading lady; practical, loyal friend.
Rosalie Ray (Lee) — former actress; disillusioned with stage life; strong-willed, caring.

Rosalie had fallen in love with a local preacher, Arthur Lyle, and they became engaged. However, she discovered that Arthur had a mysterious past love affair, which he claimed was purely spiritual and idealized.

Arthur Lyle — preacher; idealistic, gentle, and romantic.

Rosalie's curiosity got the better of her, and she decided to sneak a look at a keepsake Arthur kept locked in a small box. To her shock, she found a yellow silk garter inside, which she used to kick off her leg during her old vaudeville swing act.

One of those yellow silk garters that I used to kick off my leg into the audience during that old vaudeville swing act of mine.

Realizing that Arthur was not the saintly figure she had believed him to be, Rosalie left the village and returned to her former life in the theater.

Back at the Hotel Thalia, Rosalie shared her story with Lynnette, who listened sympathetically. The two friends bonded over their shared experiences and the challenges they faced as actresses, particularly the unwanted attention from men. Despite the heartbreak and disillusionment, Rosalie was determined to continue her career and face the challenges of the stage once more.