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An Adjustment of Nature

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An Adjustment of Nature

by O. Henry

Genre: Comedy
Setting:
Format of Original Source: Short Story
Recommended Adaptation Length:

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Reviewed

EXCERPT:

“There is a certain fate hanging over Milly,” said Kraft, “and if it overtakes her she is lost to Cypher’s and to us.”

“She will grow fat?” asked Judkins, fearsomely.

“She will go to night school and become refined?” I ventured anxiously.

“It is this,” said Kraft, punctuating in a puddle of spilled coffee with a stiff forefinger. “Caesar had his Brutus–the cotton has its bollworm, the chorus girl has her Pittsburger, the summer boarder has his poison ivy, the hero has his Carnegie medal, art has its Morgan, the rose has its–“

“Speak,” I interrupted, much perturbed. “You do not think that Milly will begin to lace?”

“One day,” concluded Kraft, solemnly, “there will come to Cypher’s for a plate of beans a millionaire lumberman from Wisconsin, and he will marry Milly.”

“Never!” exclaimed Judkins and I, in horror.

“A lumberman,” repeated Kraft, hoarsely.

“And a millionaire lumberman!” I sighed, despairingly.

“From Wisconsin!” groaned Judkins.

We agreed that the awful fate seemed to menace her. Few things were less improbable. Milly, like some vast virgin stretch of pine woods, was made to catch the lumberman’s eye. And well we knew the habits of the Badgers, once fortune smiled upon them. Straight to New York they hie, and lay their goods at the feet of the girl who serves them beans in a beanery. Why, the alphabet itself connives. The Sunday newspaper’s headliner’s work is cut for him.

“Winsome Waitress Wins Wealthy Wisconsin Woodsman.”



COMMENTS:

Surprisingly sweet and earnest story about two fellas who don’t want their favorite waitress at the diner to leave, and their scheme to thwart her romance with the guy who’ll snatch her from them. Very sweet, but ultimately quite passé in its relations between men and women…can that be expunged or changed?


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