There are two marriage plots in this novella; only one involves the Stevenses, but both involve the same potential bride, a widow named Mrs. Harriss. She is a childhood friend of Gavin's sister (referred to as "Charles' mother" by the narrative), and a fully credentialed member of Yoknapatawpha's gentry (born on a plantation, attended Jefferson Female Academy). Although this story (and even its characters) only refer to her as "Mrs. Harriss," elsewhere in the canon readers learn she was born Melisandre Backus, a fact that roots her still more deeply in the county's aristocracy, via a Civil War era relative of Colonel Sartoris' wife. Gavin first courted her twenty years ago, when she was sixteen and represented for him the old world that had been threatened, if not destroyed, by the First World War; when the narrative ends at the beginning of the Second World War, they are finally married, though it's not clear what difference this might make to the Stevens family's future. The story inside this story is the one Faulkner develops most dramatically: it describes a homicidal plot by Mrs. Harriss' son Max to kill an Argentinian named Gualdres to prevent him from marrying her. Gavin discovers and forestalls the plot, and before proposing himself congratulates Gualdres on his marriage, to Mrs. Harriss' daughter (also not given a name). The story is told in the third person, much of it from the perspective of Gavin's seventeen-year-old nephew, Charles (the only name he is given), but except for his work with his uncle on the 'murder case,' it largely ignores his family life; for example, he and Gavin go home several times, for "dinner" and "supper," and Charles eats breakfast once, but no other people are mentioned at all in those cases.

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"Knight's Gambit"
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Stevenses in Knight's Gambit
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Affiliated Characters

Charles Mallison - "Knight's Gambit"
Gavin Stevens - "Knight's Gambit"
Maggie Mallison - "Knight's Gambit"
Mallison, Father of Charles - "Knight's Gambit"
Max Harriss - "Knight's Gambit"
Miss Harriss - "Knight's Gambit"
Mr. Harriss - "Knight's Gambit"
Mrs. Harriss - "Knight's Gambit"