What impression do you form of the young man in the story "Dusk" by Saki?  Was he a fraud or plain lucky?

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lsumner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the story "Dusk," the young man is a fraud. He tells a very deceptive story about how he has lost his way back to his hotel. When he sits down on the park bench, he has one goal in mind. He is trying to deceive Gortsby. He is trying to get money out of Gortsby. He tells Gortsby that he went out to buy a bar of soap, and now he is lost and cannot find his way back to the hotel. 

At first, Gorstby does not believe his story. Gortsby tells the young man that his story would have been believable had he been able to produce a bar of soap to support his story. At this point, the young man is a fraud who has been discovered to be untruthful.

The young man rises to leave in defeat. His story is not believed. Then as luck would have it, Gortsby finds a bar of soap under the park bench. The young man is just plain lucky. Gortsby chases after the young man to give him his bar of soap and to loan him some money. Luck is definitely on the young man's side. He is successful in his con of Gortsby only because of his luck.

Gortsby gladly loans the young man money. Lady luck is definitely on the young man's side.

Gortsby learns the truth when he passes the park bench he was sitting on and sees the older gentleman looking for something:

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.”

How lucky can you get? The young man is a lucky fraud.