Last Updated on May 12, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 168
David Harum, a dry, quaint, semiliterate banker and horse trader through whom the author presents a picture of upstate New York life. Harum acquires a reputation for being tight-fisted, but only to cover his secret philanthropic deeds. He tests John’s character to make sure the young man is worthy to take over the Harum bank in Homeville.
John Lenox, the twenty-six-year-old son of a once well-to-do New York City businessman, educated for no special job, who enters Harum’s bank as an assistant and withstands all of Harum’s traps and temptations.
Mary Blake, an heiress whom John, now penniless, will not court until he has proved that he can succeed in business. He meets Mary in Europe but does not ask her to marry him. Several years later, on their second meeting, while John is traveling in Europe to recover from an illness, they declare their love and are married.
Polly Bixbee, Harum’s widowed sister and housekeeper.
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