Elementary Novels

The Memento by O. Henry

From the window of Lynette’s room, Broadway and many other theaters of this street were perfectly visible. She was an actress and wanted to perform, but there were few offers. Lynette’s room was small, but it evoked good memories. On the walls there were photographs of people whom she knew and with whom she socialized in her youth. Professional actors very often stayed in this hotel between performances. There you could relax, and later – look for a job in another theater, when the season of performances started again. Lynette plunged into the memories of pleasant times when there was much more work and she shone on the stage like a real star. Many viewers loved her. But young actresses did not earn enough money for a comfortable life. It was a difficult profession, for those who love the scene.

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The Memento by O. Henry

The window of Miss D’Armande’s room looked out onto Broadway and its theatres. But Lynette D’Armande turned her chair round and sat with her back to Broadway. She was an actress, and needed the Broadway theatres, but Broadway did not need her.

The Memento by O. Henry

She was staying in the Hotel Thalia. Actors go there to rest for the summer and then try to get work for the autumn when the little theatres open again. Miss D’Armande’s room in this hotel was a small one, but in it there were many mementoes of her days in the theatre, and there were also pictures of some of her best friends. She looked at one of these pictures now, and smiled at it.

‘I’d like to know where Lee is now,’ she said to herself.

She was looking at a picture of Miss Rosalie Ray, a very beautiful young woman. In the picture, Miss Ray was wearing a very short skirt and she was sitting on a swing. Every night in the theatre she went high in the air on her swing, over the heads of all the people.

When she did this, all the men in the theatre got very excited and stood up. This was because, when her long beautiful legs were high in the air, her yellow garter flew off and fell down to the men below. She did this every evening, and every evening a hundred hands went up to catch the garter. She did other things. She sang, she danced, but when she got onto her swing, all the men stood up. Miss Ray did not have to try very hard to find work in the theatre.

After two years of this, Miss D’Armande remembered, Miss Ray suddenly left the theatre and went to live in the country.

And seventeen minutes after Miss D’Armande said, ‘I’d like to know where Lee is now’, somebody knocked on the door.

It was, of course, Rosalie Ray.

‘Come in,’ Miss D’Armande called, and Miss Ray came in. Yes, it was Rosalie. She took off her hat, and Miss D’Armande could see that she looked very tired and unhappy…

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