What is a character sketch of Mr. Smith in Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town?

Mr. Smith in Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town is something of a rugged individualist, a hard-working businessman determined to make as much money as possible. He's also somewhat sly and dishonest in his business practices, as can be seen when the License Commission fines him for selling liquor after hours. In addition, he's incredibly self-confident, as can be seen in his decision to run for mayor.

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Mr. Smith is arguably the most memorable character in Leacock's collection of stories about the fictional Canadian town of Mariposa. A large, gregarious man, Mr. Smith is not the kind of person you'd forget in a hurry. He towers over the good folk of Mariposa, not just because of his imposing size, but also because he happens to be the richest man in town.

Mr. Smith's vast riches give him a sense of entitlement. He appears to believe that rules and regulations are for little people and don't apply to a wealthy businessman like himself.

This explains why Mr. Smith felt confident enough to sell liquor in the bar of his hotel after hours. He almost certainly didn't believe that the authorities would find out what he was doing. But they did, and they've slapped a fine on him for breaking local regulations on the sale of alcohol.

However, Mr. Smith's nothing if not ingenious. He sees the fine as a great opportunity to placate the License Commission by hiring a French chef and opening a café in the hotel. This new business venture will have the added attraction of generating more income for Mr. Smith.

Mr. Smith's overwhelming self-confidence can also be observed in his running for mayor. One might've thought that someone who'd had a run-in with the License Commission would not feel able to put themselves forward for public office. But because Mr. Smith is so full of self-belief and knows the people of Mariposa probably better than anyone else, he throws his hat into the ring for the mayoralty. Amazingly, he wins.

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