The Gift of the Magi and Other Short Stories
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O. Henry, the pen name of William Sydney Porter, is one of the most famous short story writers of all times whose stories are known for their wit, wordplay, warm characterization and clever twist endings. O. Henry is so acknowledged as a great short story writer that his pen name is associated with a prestigious American award given to short stories of exceptional merit. Included in this collection of "The Gift of the Magi and Other Short Stories" is the title story which describes the struggles of a poor young married couple as they strive to secretly buy each other Christmas gifts. Also included in this collection are the following stories: "The Cop and the Anthem", "Springtime À La Carte", "The Green Door", "After Twenty Years", "The Furnished Room", "The Pimienta Pancakes", "The Last Leaf", "The Voice of The City", "While The Auto Waits", "A Retrieved Reformation", "A Municipal Report", "A Newspaper Story", "The Ransom of Red Chief", "A Ghost of a Chance", and "Makes the Whole World Kin".
waiting man pulled out a handsome watch, the lids of it set with small diamonds. “Three minutes to ten,” he announced. “It was exactly ten o’clock when we parted here at the restaurant door.” “Did pretty well out West, didn’t you?” asked the policeman. “You bet! I hope Jimmy has done half as well. He was a kind of plodder, though, good fellow as he was. I’ve had to compete with some of the sharpest wits going to get my pile. A man gets in a groove in New York. It takes the West to put a
flit from furnished room to furnished room, transients forever—transients in abode, transients in heart and mind. They sing “Home, Sweet Home” in ragtime; they carry their lares et penates in a bandbox; their vine is entwined about a picture hat; a rubber plant is their fig tree. Hence the houses of this district, having had a thousand dwellers, should have a thousand tales to tell, mostly dull ones, no doubt; but it would be strange if there could not be found a ghost or two in the wake of all
foolishness.” Ben Price knew Jimmy’s habits. He had learned them while working up the Springfield case. Long jumps, quick get-aways, no confederates, and a taste for good society—these ways had helped Mr. Valentine to become noted as a successful dodger of retribution. It was given out that Ben Price had taken up the trail of the elusive cracksman, and other people with burglar-proof safes felt more at ease. One afternoon Jimmy Valentine and his suitcase climbed out of the mail-hack in Elmore,
porch, a wild shriek—I was sure it was hers—filled the hollow house. Then the deep, gruff tones of an angry man’s voice mingled with the girl’s further squeals and unintelligible words. Azalea Adair rose without surprise or emotion and disappeared. For two minutes I heard the hoarse rumble of the man’s voice; then something like an oath and a slight scuffle, and she returned calmly to her chair. “This is a roomy house,” she said, “and I have a tenant for part of it. I am sorry to have to
had, at least in a very vivid dream, been honestly aware of the weird visitor. Soon Mrs. Bellmore’s maid was packing. In two hours the auto would come to convey her to the station. As Terence was strolling upon the east piazza, Mrs. Bellmore came up to him, with a confidential sparkle in her eye. “I didn’t wish to tell the others all of it,” she said, “but I will tell you. In a way, I think you should be held responsible. Can you guess in what manner that ghost awakened me last night?”