(Short Stories for Students)

Sam Carr
Sam Carr is the small gray-haired owner of the drugstore where Alfred works. He is a shrewd man, not easily fooled, and he has been aware for some time that Alfred has been pilfering items from the store. Mr. Carr also possesses some patience. He does not explode in anger at Alfred but remains polite and courteous, even though his manner is stern. He gives the impression of being a tolerant, kindly man. He says he likes Alfred and is quite ready to trust him, and he is in no rush to call the police when he finally confronts the young man about his petty crimes. He just wants to do the right thing.

Alfred Higgins
Alfred Higgins is a young man possibly in his late teens. He has two older brothers and a younger sister who have married and left home, while he still lives with his parents. Alfred is an incompetent, immature young man who has difficulty holding a job. As the story begins, he has been working for six months in a drugstore, but he is about to be confronted by his employer about his habit of pilfering from the store. At first he tries to bluff and then lie his way out of the situation. When that does not work, his mother has to come and rescue him. However, the selfish Alfred grows psychologically during the course of the story. He realizes how hard his mother’s life is, and he seems to be ready to make a new, more mature start to his own life.

Mrs. Higgins
Mrs. Higgins is Alfred’s...

(The entire section is 433 words.)