Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
Captain Plume, commander of a company of grenadiers, and his aide, Sergeant Kite, arrive in Shrewsbury to enlist a number of recruits for Captain Plume’s command. They have traveled to Shrewsbury because of success in gaining recruits in that city some months before and because of Captain Plume’s amorous successes at the same time. Upon their arrival the pair are greeted with the news that a young woman who has just given birth has named Captain Plume as the baby’s father. At the captain’s request, Sergeant Kite marries the woman and goes on record as the father of the child. This is not the first time he has done as much for the captain; he has accumulated a list of six wives in the same manner.
Captain Plume also finds his good friend Mr. Worthy at Shrewsbury. Worthy had been a happy-go-lucky chap, much like Captain Plume, until his fiancé inherited a fortune. The young woman, Melinda, has taken on airs since becoming rich, and she has proceeded to make life miserable for Worthy. His latest grievance is that another officer on recruiting duty, one Captain Brazen, has apparently become a successful rival for Melinda’s hand and fortune. Captain Plume asks Worthy about Melinda’s cousin Sylvia Balance, whom the captain loves but cannot marry because his life is too uncertain and he has too little money. Worthy tells Captain Plume that Sylvia Balance still thinks very well of him.
While Worthy and Captain Plume are talking, Melinda...
(The entire section is 1192 words.)
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