In the Cage is a novella by Henry James, first published as a book in 1898. This long story centers on an unnamed London telegraphist. She deciphers clues to her clients' personal lives from the often cryptic telegrams they submit to her as she sits in the "cage" at the post office. Sensitive and intelligent , the telegraphist eventually finds out more than she may want to know.
An unnamed telegraphist works in the branch post office at Cocker's, a grocer in a fashionable London neighborhood. Her fiancé, a decent if unpolished man named Mr. Mudge, wants her to move to a less expensive neighborhood to save money and to be near him at all times. She refuses because she likes the glimpses of society life she gets from the telegrams at her current location.
Through those telegrams, she gets "involved" with a pair of lovers named Captain Everard and Lady Bradeen. By remembering certain code numbers in the telegrams, she manages to reassure Everard at a particular crisis that their secrets are safe from detection. Later she learns from her friend Mrs. Jordan that Lady Bradeen and Everard are getting married after the recent death of Lord Bradeen. The unnamed telegraphist also learns that Everard is heavily in debt and that Lady Bradeen is forcing him to marry her, as Everard is really not interested in her. The telegraphist finally decides to marry Mudge and reflects on the unusual events of which she was a part.