In the short story "One Thousand Dollars" by O. Henry , a lawyer informs a man named Gillian that his uncle has left him one thousand dollars. However, there is a stipulation that Gillian must give an account of how he spends the money. Gillian then goes out...
In the short story "One Thousand Dollars" by O. Henry, a lawyer informs a man named Gillian that his uncle has left him one thousand dollars. However, there is a stipulation that Gillian must give an account of how he spends the money. Gillian then goes out to figure out how to spend his inheritance.
Gillian first goes to his club and has a conversation with Old Bryson. From the first description that O. Henry gives of Bryson, we understand that Gillian annoys him. This is evidenced by the sigh as Gillian approaches.
Old Bryson was calm and forty and sequestered. He was in a corner reading a book, and when he saw Gillian approaching he sighed, laid down his book and took off his glasses.
Old Bryson then becomes even more straightforward in his annoyance. When Gillian says he has a story to tell, Old Bryson suggests he should tell it to someone in the billiard room because he hates Gillian's stories. When Gillian goes ahead and tells the story anyway, Old Bryson shows "as much interest as a bee shows in a vinegar cruet." In other words, Old Bryson shows no interest at all, since bees are attracted to sweets and not to vinegar. O. Henry then describes Old Bryson's dislike of Gillian and his interruption of his reading in even more graphic terms.
Old Bryson rubbed his glasses and smiled. And when Old Bryson smiled, Gillian knew that he intended to be more offensive than ever.
Old Bryson makes numerous suggestions about what Gillian can do with the money. However, these suggestions are not meant to be helpful, but rather sarcastic. He finally says that Gillian can buy a pendant for an actress named Lotta Lauriere and then move to a sheep ranch in Idaho. Gillian takes the pendant suggestion seriously, although that was not Old Byron's intent, and offers to buy Lotta a pendant. In Lotta's viewpoint, though, $1,000 is not enough to buy the type of pendant she wants.
Gillian eventually gives the $1,000 and the rest of the money he obtains from the lawyers to Miriam Hayden, his uncle's ward and the woman whom he loves, although she does not return his love. He is glad to have assisted her and is ultimately happy with the choice that he has made.