The Roads We Take (Henry)

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The Roads We Take
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: Two robbers successfully stole from a train, but one betrayed the other, leaving him to die. The betrayer later became a wealthy Wall Street broker, haunted by his past actions.

In the Wild West, two outlaws named Bob Tidball and Shark Dodson successfully robbed a train, acquiring $30,000 in gold and currency. However, during their escape, one of their horses was injured and had to be left behind. The two men continued on their journey, with Shark expressing concern about the remaining horse's ability to carry both of them and their loot.

Shark Dodson — narrator; former train robber turned Wall Street broker; cunning, manipulative, and remorseful.
Bob Tidball — Shark's former partner in crime; loyal, cheerful, and philosophical.

As they rested, Bob reminisced about their past adventures and questioned Shark's origins, learning that he was from New York State and had joined a Wild West show by chance. Bob mused that it was not the roads they took, but what was inside them that determined their fates.

It ain’t the roads we take; it’s what’s inside of us that makes us turn out the way we do.

Suddenly, Shark pulled a gun on Bob, explaining that the remaining horse could not carry both of them and the money. Despite their history as partners, Shark shot and killed Bob, leaving him behind as he continued his escape on the horse.

In a twist, Shark Dodson was revealed to be a Wall Street broker who had fallen asleep at his desk and dreamed the entire Wild West scenario. When he awoke, he was faced with a decision about whether to financially ruin an old friend in a business deal. His cold and ruthless nature prevailed, and he chose to prioritize his own profit over his friend's well-being, echoing his actions in the dream.