Summary (Masterplots, Definitive Revised Edition)
John Lenox was the son of a well-to-do businessman in New York. After college, he lived for several years in Europe at his father’s expense. He was twenty-six years old when he returned to America, without having done anything which fitted him to earn a living.
John returned to find that his father’s business was failing rapidly and that he would soon have to make a living for himself. His father found a place for him with a New York law firm, but reading law proved uncongenial. When his father died, John left the firm. Then, through an old friend of his father, John became assistant to the owner of a small bank in Homeville, New York.
David Harum, the owner of the bank, was a crusty old man who enjoyed his reputation as a skinflint. What most of the townspeople did not know was that he was quite a philanthropist in his own way but preferred to cover up his charity and good deeds with gruff words. Harum’s one vice was horse trading. His sister, who kept house for him, firmly believed that he would rather trade horses than eat or sleep. Moreover, he usually came out ahead in any swapping deal.
David Harum was well pleased with the appearance of his new assistant, John Lenox; and when John took hold of his duties better than any other clerk in the bank had ever done, David Harum began to think seriously of looking after the young man’s future. Harum felt that John should have an opportunity to better himself, but he wanted...
(The entire section is 1177 words.)
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