Instead of simply telling what occurred when two persons came together, he would have presented it through the consciousness of a Worcester, Massachusetts, lawyer who got it from the proprietor of a café who had overheard two people at a table piecing together a story they had listened in on at a large and crowded party.
Sounds about right. And Thurber was an admirer of James.
In direct contrast to Jamesian complexity--Hemingway once said that his own greatest accomplishment was a short story only six words long:
For sale: baby shoes, never worn.