The Romance of A Busy Broker
Harvey Maxwell was a busy and efficient broker in New York. He was quite forgetful. He married his stenographer, Leslie. So, he wanted to appoint a new steno. He had instructed Pitcher, his confidential clerk, to engage another stenographer. He wanted him to call from "Stenographer's Agency" one candidate for a position in his office.
Miss Leslie was softly radiant. Her eyes were dreamily bright. Her expression was a happy one since she married Mr. Maxwell the previous day. She was expecting another stenographer to be appointed in her place. She knew that Mr. Maxwell was quite forgetful. She wanted to know from Pitcher whether a new stenographer was appointed in her place. When she approached Maxwell's desk, he talked to her in business like manner. She was sure that he forgot everything and then she went to her seat to work until someone came to fill the place.
When the lady from the Agency was introduced to Mr. Maxwell, he became angry with Pitcher. As he was absent indeed, he forgot that he had wanted to appoint a new steno. So, he said that Miss Leslie had given perfect satisfaction and she could contine as long as she wished and there was no place open for any. He sent away all the candidates. As he forgot that he had married Leslie, he put a proposal to marry her. Then she rose to her feet and gazed upon him round-eyed... (imagine what had happened later)
A possible conclusion: At first Leslie seemed to overcome with amazement, then tears rolled down her eyes. She smiled. One of her arms tenderly slid about the broker's neck. She reminded the forgetful broker that they were married the pervious day in the tittle church. Their marriage was kept a secret from the staff.
1. Who was Harvey Maxwell? Why was he so busy?Ans: Harvey Maxwell was a stock broker in New York. The stock Brokers are generally busy with the exchanging business of shares. The stock Broker is just like a machine with a number of phone calls regarding selling and buying of shares.
2. What was the strange thing about the life of the New York broker? In O'Henry's The Romance of a Busy Broker the New York busy broker was Mr. Maxwell. He used to work like a machine from the moment he stepped into his office. He attended to ringing telephone, telegraph messages, the queries of his customers who came to buy or sell their sell their shares. He forgot the world around him in his busy schedule. He even frogot about his intention to propose marriage to his secretary with whom he had fallen in love. That was the strange thing about the New York broker.
3. 'The old man was getting more and more absent minded', Pitcher said. Do you think he was right in saying so? Pitcher, the confidential clerk of Maxwell was right in saying that Maxwell was getting more and more absent minded, because Maxwell was so busy that he could not attend to his personal love affair with rest and peace.
4. What does the way of Maxwell's life suggest? His way of life suggests many things. He is a machine without human heart and works like a machine. He does not know what love and affection are. He treats the loving hours also as business hours.
5. How does the busy broker's office look, on a working day? The busy broker's office on a working day resembles in miniature, the upheavals at the stock exchange which the author likens to a place affected by hurricanes, landslides, snowstorms, glaciers and volcanoes which create chaos and disrupt the peace of normal life. In the same way Mr. Maxwell seems to be very busy attending to his customers who come to sell or buy shares, attending to the telephones, reading the ticker tapes. Messenger boys run in and out with messages and telegrams. The clerks in the office jumped about like sailors during a storm! Everybody seems to be very busy doing their work, with trained agility and having no chance to think about anyone or anything.
6. "Mr. Pitcher", she said to the confidential clerk. Did Mr. Maxwell say anything yesterday about engaging another stenographer? Why was Miss Leslie interested in finding out if another stenographer was being appointed? Miss Leslie knew that Mr. Maxwell was quite forgetful. She wanted to know from Mr. Pitcher whether a new stenographer was appointed in her place since she was married to Mr. Maxwell the previous day. Maxwell in fact ordered that new candidates for the position should be called for. When she approached Maxwell's desk he talked to her in business like manner. She was sure that he forgot everything and then she went to her in business like manner. She was sure that he forgot everything and then she went to her seat to work until someone came to fill the place.
7. What accounted for the dreamy look on Harvey Maxwell's stenographer's face that morning?Miss Leslie was softly radiant. Her eyes were dreamily bright. Her expression was happy one since she married. Mr. Maxwell the previous day. She was expecting another stenographer to be appointed in her place.
8. Why was Maxwell of "The Romance of a Busy Broker?" angry with Pitcher for introducing lady stenographer from the agency? (Or) What did Maxwell say when Pitcher told him that the Agency had sent someone to be interviewed for the post of stenographer?Harvery Maxwell was angry for introducing the lady stenographer form the Agency. He said that Miss Leslie can be with the firms as long as she wished and there is no place open to any.
9. In 'The Romance of a Busy Broker', why had Maxwell instructed Pitcher to engage another stenographer? Maxwell had instructed Pitcher to engage another stenographer because he had married the present stenographer Miss Leslie the previous night but he had forgotten about the marriage.
10. In What ways Miss Leslie unlike the usual stenographers?Miss Leslie forwent the pump of the alluring pompadour. She wore no chains bracelets or lockets. He dress was grey and plain, but it fitted her figure with fidelity and discretion. In these ways Miss Leslie was unlike the usual stenographers.
11. Three endings are suggested to the unfinished story. Which do you think is appropriate? The third ending is probably appropriate. They might have been married the previous evening at the corner church. Maxwell might have forgotten about his marriage. His busy engagement in business must have made him forget about his marriage with stenographer Miss Leslie.
12. The story "The Romance of a Busy Broker" was left incomplete in your supplementary Reader. How would you like to complete the story? Maxwell married his stenographer, Leslie, the previous day. He might have forgotten that he had married her. In his forgetfulness, he proposed to marry her. How forgetful he was! (Or)
At first Leslie seemed to overcome with amazement, then tears rolled down her eyes. She smiled. One of her arms tenderly slid about the broker's neck. She reminded the forgetful broker that they were married the previous day in the little church. Their marriage was kept secret from the staff.
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