The Duplicity of Hargraves

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"The Duplicity of Hargraves"
Author William Sydney Porter
Original title "The Duplicity of Hargraves"
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Satire, Humor
Short story
Publisher Junior Munsey
Publication date 1902

"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 a "South" aristocratic past before the American Civil War, 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. Hargrave learns the Southern style of talking and anecdote.

Having spent most of their money on play tickets, Lydia is excited to see a play but is shocked to see Mr. Hargraves impersonating her father on stage. Back at their rooms, the Major scolds Hargraves, who offers an apologetic payment. 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 tells the Talbots 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, of course, the actor Mr. Hargraves.

Film Adaptation[edit]

The Duplicity of Hargraves was adapted to film by Broadway Star Features Co. in 1917. Directed by Thomas R. Mills.

  • Charles Kent as Major Pendleton
  • J. Frank Glendon as Henry Hopkins Hargraves
  • Myrtis Coney as Miss Lydia
  • Mrs. Fisher as Mrs. Vardeman
  • William Courtney as Scen

External links[edit]