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In "Dusk," there is an hour of defeat. The main character Gortsby sits on a park bench at dusk. He analyzes the men who sit on the park bench next to him. When the older man sits down, he seems dejected. Gortsby imagines that the older gentleman is suffering from defeat. Gortsby imagines that the older gentleman gets no respect at home.
Then the older gentleman leaves and a younger man sits down. This younger gentleman begins to share his tale. He has lost his way back to his hotel. He went out to get a bar of soap. In so doing, the younger man cannot find his way back to his hotel. He will have to sleep out doors tonight. Of course, he is sharing a scam with Gortsby. Gortsby does not fall for the scam because the younger man did not have a bar of soap to corroborate his story.
The younger man walks away defeated. He realizes that Gortsby did not believe his scam. As the younger man leaves, Gortsby notices a bar of soap under the park bench. He runs after the younger man to give him his bar of soap and to loan him some money.
Feeling good about his deed, Gortsby walks past the park bench and sees the older man looking for something. He asks the old man what he is looking for:
As Gortsby walks back, he passes the bench where he had been sitting. He notices the old man who had also been sitting there earlier. The old man is now searching for something. When Gortsby asks if the old man has lost anything, the man replies, “Yes, sir, a cake of soap.”
As it turns out, Gortsby fell for the scam. He loaned money to a scam artist. Gortsby will never see his money again. Indeed, the defeated man does come out at dusk. No doubt, he lives off of people like Gortsby.
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