"The Duplicity of Hargraves" is a short story by the American writer, William Sydney Porter, Pen name O. Henry. The story was featured in The Junior Munsey, February, 1902 and republished in the volume, Sixes and Sevens (1911).
A father (Major Pendleton Talbot) and his daughter (Lydia Talbot) visit Washington D.C. The Talbots, having come from an aristocratic past, are surprisingly quite poor and stay at a boarding house in the nation’s capital. There they meet Henry Hopkins Hargraves, an ambitious actor, and Lydia is spellbound by Mr. Hargrave’s tales. Having spent most of their money on play tickets, Lydia is excited to see a play but is shocked to see Mr. Hargraves demeaning her father in a disrespectful skit outside the playhouse. The Major scolds the actor and Mr. Hargraves offers an apologetic payment but the Major refuses, even though he and Lydia are almost destitute.
Just when the father and daughter's situation is most bleak, an old colored man appears and informs the Talbot’s that he owes them money from an old family debt. Major Talbot accepts the payment. The twist is that only Lydia knows the old colored man was in fact, Mr. Hargraves.