Short stories from 100 Selected Stories, by O Henry The Gift of the MagiA Cosmopolite in a CaféBetween RoundsThe Skylight RoomA Service of LoveThe Coming-Out of MaggieThe Cop and the AnthemMemoirs of a Yellow DogThe Love-philtre of Ikey ShoensteinThe Furnished RoomThe Last LeafThe Poet and the PeasantA Ramble in AphasiaA Municipal ReportProof of the Pudding
IThe Gift of the MagiONE DOLLAR AND EIGHTY-SEVEN CENTS. That was all. Andsixtycents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time bybulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcheruntil one's cheek burned with the silent imputation of parsimonythat such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it.One dollar and eighty-seven cents. And the next day would beChristmas.There was clearly nothing left to do but flop down on theshabby little couch and howl. So Della did it. Which instigates themoral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles,with sniffles predominating.While the mistress of the home is gradually subsiding from thefirst stage to the second, take a look at the home. A furnished flatat 8 per week. It did not exactly beggar description, but it cer tainly had that word on the look-out for the mendicancy squad.In the vestibule below was a letter-box into which no letterwould go, and an electric button from which no mortal fingercould coax a ring. Also appertaining thereunto was a card bearingthe name 'Mr. James Dillingham Young.'The 'Dillingham' had been flung to the breeze during a formerperiod of prosperity when its possessor was being paid 30 perweek. Now, when the income was shrunk to 20, the letters of'Dillingham' looked blurred, as though they were thinking seri ously of contracting to a modest and unassuming D. But wheneverMr. James Dillingham Young came home and reached his flatabove he was called 'Jim' and greatly hugged by Mrs. JamesDillingham Young, already introduced to you as Della. Which isall very good.Delia finished her cry and attended to her cheeks with thepowder rag. She stood by the window and looked out dully at agrey cat walking a grey fence in a grey backyard. To-morrowwould be Christmas Day, and she had only 1.87 with which tobuy Jim a present. She had been saving every penny she could for
2O HENRY -100 S E L E C T E DSTORIESmonths, with this result. Twenty dollars a week doesn't go far.Expenses had been greater than she had calculated. They alwaysare. Only 1.87 to buy a present for Jim. Her Jim. Many a happyhour she had spent planning for something nice for him. Some thing fine and rare and sterling - something just a little bit near tobeing worthy of the honour of being owned by Jim.There was a pier-glass between the windows of the room. Per haps you have seen a pier-glass in an 8 flat. A very thin and veryagile person may, by observing his reflection in a rapid sequenceof longitudinal strips, obtain a fairly accurate conception of hislooks. Della, being slender, had mastered the art.Suddenly she whirled from the window and stood before theglass. Her eyes were shining brilliantly, but her face had lost itscolour within twenty seconds. Rapidly she pulled down her hairand let it fall to its full length.Now, there were two possessions of the James DillinghamYoungs in which they both took a mighty pride. One was Jim's goldwatch that had been his father's and his grandfather's. The otherwas Della's hair. Had the Queen of Sheba lived in the flat across theairshaft, Della would have let her hair hang out the window someday to dry just to depreciate Her Majesty's jewels and gifts. HadKing Solomon been the janitor, with all his treasures piled up in thebasement, Jim would have pulled out his watch every time hepassed, just to see him pluck at his beard from envy.So now Della's beautiful hair fell about her, rippling and shin ing like a cascade of brown waters. It reached below her knee andmade itself almost a garment for her. And then she did it up againnervously and quickly. Once she faltered for a minute and stoodstill while a tear or two splashed on the worn red carpet.On went her old brown jacket; on went her old brown hat.With a whirl of skirts and with the brilliant sparkle still in hereyes, she fluttered out of the door and down the stairs to thestreet.Where she stopped the sign read: 'Mme. Sofronie. Hair Goodsof All Kinds.' One flight up Della ran, and collected herself, pant ing. Madame, large, too white, chilly, hardly looked the 'Sofronie.''Will you buy my hair?' asked Della.'I buy hair,' said Madame. 'Take yer hat off and let's have asight at the looks of it.'Down rippled the brown cascade.'Twenty dollars,' said Madame, lifting the mass with a practisedhand.
O HENRY -100 S E L E C T E DSTORIES3'Give it to me quick,' said Della.Oh, and the next two hours tripped by on rosy wings. Forgetthe hashed metaphor. She was ransacking the stores for Jim'spresent.She found it at last. It surely had been made for Jim and no oneelse. There was no other like it in any of the stores, and she hadturned all of them inside out. It was a platinum fob chain simpleand chaste in design, properly proclaiming its value by substancealone and not by meretricious ornamentation - as all good thingsshould do. It was even worthy of The Watch. As soon as she saw itshe knew that it must be Jim's. It was like him. Quietness andvalue - the description applied to both. Twenty-one dollars theytook from her for it, and she hurried home with the 87 cents.With that chain on his watch Jim might be properly anxious aboutthe time in any company. Grand as the watch was, he sometimeslooked at it on the sly on account of the old leather strap that heused in place of a chain.When Della reached home her intoxication gave way a little toprudence and reason. She got out her curling irons and lighted thegas and went to work repairing the ravages made by generosityadded to love. Which is always a tremendous task, dear friends - amammoth task.Within forty minutes her head was covered with tiny, closelying curls that made her look wonderfully like a truant schoolboy.She looked at her reflection in the mirror long, carefully, andcritically.'If Jim doesn't kill me,' she said to herself, 'before he takes asecond look at me, he'll say I look like a Coney Island chorus girl.But what could I do - oh! what could I do with a dollar andeighty-seven cents?'At seven o'clock the coffee was made and the frying-pan was onthe back of the stove, hot and ready to cook the chops.Jim was never late. Della doubled the fob chain in her hand andsat on the corner of the table near the door that he always entered.Then she heard his step on the stair away down on the first flight,and she turned white for just a moment. She had a habit of sayinglittle silent prayers about the simplest everyday things, and nowshe whispered: 'Please God, make him think I am still pretty.'The door opened and Jim stepped in and closed it. He lookedthin and very serious. Poor fellow, he was only twenty-two - andto be burdened with a family! He needed a new overcoat and hewas without gloves.
4O HENRY -100 S E L E C T E DSTORIESJim stepped inside the door, as immovable as a setter at thescent of quail. His eyes were fixed upon Della, and there was anexpression in them that she could not read, and it terrified her. Itwas not anger, nor surprise, nor disapproval, nor horror, nor anyof the sentiments that she had been prepared for. He simply staredat her fixedly with that peculiar expression on his face.Della wriggled off the table and went for him.'Jim, darling,' she cried, 'don't look at me that way. I had myhair cut off and sold it because I couldn't have lived throughChristmas without giving you a present. It'll grow out again - youwon't mind, will you? I just had to do it. M y hair grows awfullyfast. Say "Merry Christmas!" Jim, and let's be happy. You don'tknow what a nice - what a beautiful, nice gift I've got for you.''You've cut off your hair?' asked Jim, laboriously, as if he hadnot arrived at that patent fact yet even after the hardest mentallabour.'Cut it off and sold it,' said Della. 'Don't you like me just aswell, anyhow? I'm me without my hair, ain't I?'Jim looked about the room curiously.'You say your hair is gone?' he said with an air almost of idiocy.'You needn't look for it,' said Della. 'It's sold, I tell you - soldand gone, too. It's Christmas Eve, boy. Be good to me, for it wentfor you. Maybe the hairs of my head were numbered,' she went onwith a sudden serious sweetness, 'but nobody could ever count mylove for you. Shall I put the chops on, Jim?'Out of his trance Jim seemed quickly to wake. He enfolded hisDella. For ten seconds let us regard with discreet scrutiny someinconsequential object in the other direction. Eight dollars a weekor a million a year - what is the difference? A mathematician or awit would give you the wrong answer. The magi brought valuablegifts, but that was not among them. This dark assertion will beilluminated later on.Jim drew a package from his overcoat pocket and threw it uponthe table.'Don't make any mistake, Dell,' he said, 'about me. I don't thinkthere's anything in the way of a haircut or a shave or a shampoothat could make me like my girl any less. But if you'll unwrap thatpackage you may see why you had me going awhile at first.'White fingers and nimble tore at the string and paper. And thenan ecstatic scream of joy; and then, alas! a quick feminine change tohysterical tears and wails, necessitating the immediate employmentof all the comforting powers of the lord of the flat.
O HENRY -100 S E L E C T E DSTORIES5For there lay The Combs - the set of combs, side and back, thatDella had worshipped for long in a Broadway window. Beautifulcombs, pure tortoiseshell, with jewelled rims - just the shade towear in the beautiful vanished hair. They were expensive combs,she knew, and her heart had simply craved and yearned over themwithout the least hope of possession. And now they were hers, butthe tresses that should have adorned the coveted adornments weregone.But she hugged them to her bosom, and at length she was ableto look up with dim eyes and a smile and say: 'My hair grows sofast, Jim!'And then Della leaped up like a little singed cat and cried, 'Oh,oh!'Jim had not yet seen his beautiful present. She held it out tohim eagerly upon her open palm. The dull precious metal seemedto flash with a reflection of her bright and ardent spirit.'Isn't it a dandy, Jim? I hunted all over town to find it. You'llhave to look at the time a hundred times a day now. Give me yourwatch. I want to see how it looks on it.'Instead of obeying, Jim tumbled down on the couch and put hishands under the back of his head and smiled.'Dell,' said he, 'let's put our Christmas presents away and keep'em awhile. They're too nice to use just at present. I sold thewatch to get the money to buy your combs. And now suppose youput the chops on.'The magi, as you know, were wise men - wonderfully wise men- who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented theart of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were nodoubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in caseof duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the unevent ful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwiselysacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. Butin a last word to the wise of these days, let it be said that of all whogive gifts these two were the wisest. Of all who give and receivegifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They arethe magi.
6O HENRY -100 S E L E C T E DSTORIESIIA Cosmopolite in a CaféA T MIDNIGHT THE CAFÉwas crowded. By some chance the littletable at which I sat had escaped the eye of incomers, and twovacant chairs at it extended their arms with venal hospitality to theinflux of patrons.And then a cosmopolite sat in one of them, and I was glad, forI held a theory that since Adam no true citizen of the world hasexisted. W e hear of them, and we see foreign labels on muchluggage, but we find travellers instead of cosmopolites.I invoke your consideration of the scene - the marble-toppedtables, the range of leather-upholstered wall seats, the gay com pany, the ladies dressed in demi-state toilets, speaking in anexquisite visible chorus of taste, economy, opulence or art, thesedulous and largess-loving garçons, the music wisely catering to allwith its raids upon the composers; the mélange of talk and laughter- and, if you will, the Würzburger in the tall glass cones that bendto your lips as a ripe cherry sways on its branch to the beak of arobber jay. I was told by a sculptor from Mauch Chunk that thescene was truly Parisian.My cosmopolite was named E. Rushmore Coglan, and he willbe heard from next summer at Coney Island. He is to establish anew 'attraction' there, he informed me, offering kingly diversion.And then his conversation rang along parallels of latitude and lon gitude. He took the great, round world in his hand, so to speak,familiarly, contemptuously, and it seemed no larger than the seedof a Maraschino cherry in a table-d'hôte grape fruit. He spoke dis respectfully of the equator, he skipped from continent to conti nent, he derided the zones, he mopped up the high seas with hisnapkin. With a wave of his hand he would speak of a certainbazaar in Hyderabad. Whiff! He would have you on skis in Lap land. Zip! Now you rode the breakers with the Kanakas atKealaikahiki. Presto! He dragged you through an Arkansas postoak swamp, let you dry for a moment on the alkali plains of hisIdaho ranch, then whirled you into the society of Viennese arch dukes. Anon he would be telling you of a cold he acquired in aChicago lake breeze and how old Escamila cured it in BuenosAyres with a hot infusion of the chuchula weed. You would have
O HENRY -100 S E L E C T E DSTORIES7addressed the letter to 'E. Rushmore Coglan, Esq., the Earth,Solar System, the Universe,' and have mailed it, feeling confidentthat it would be delivered to him.I was sure that I had at last found the one true cosmopolite sinceAdam, and I listened to his world-wide discourse fearful lest Ishould discover in it the local note of the mere globe-trotter. Buthis opinions never fluttered or drooped; he was as impartial tocities, countries and continents as the winds or gravitation.And as E. Rushmore Coglan prattled of this little planet Ithought with glee of a great almost-cosmopolite who wrote for thewhole world and dedicated himself to Bombay. In a poem he hasto say that there is pride and rivalry between the cities of theearth, and that 'the men that breed from them, they traffic up anddown, but cling to their cities' hem as a child to the mother'sgown.' And whenever they walk 'by roaring streets unknown' theyremember their native city 'most faithful, foolish, fond; makingher mere-breathed name their bond upon their bond.' And myglee was roused because I had caught Mr. Kipling napping. Here Ihad found a man not made from dust; one who had no narrowboasts of birthplace or country, one who, if he bragged at all,would brag of his whole round globe against the Martians and theinhabitants of the Moon.Expression on these subjects was precipitated from E. Rushmore Coglan by the third corner to our table. While Coglan wasdescribing to me the topography along the Siberian Railway theorchestra glided into a medley. The concluding air was 'Dixie,'and as the exhilarating notes tumbled forth they were almost over powered by a great clapping of hands from almost every table.It is worth a paragraph to say that this remarkable scene can bewitnessed every evening in numerous cafés in the City of NewYork. Tons of brew have been consumed over theories to accountfor it. Some have conjectured hastily that all Southerners in townhie themselves to cafés at nightfall. This applause of the 'rebel' airin a Northern city does puzzle a little; but it is not insolvable. Thewar with Spain, many years' generous mint and water-meloncrops, a few long-shot winners at the New Orleans race-track, andthe brilliant banquets given by the Indiana and Kansas citizenswho compose the North Carolina Society, have made the Southrather a 'fad' in Manhattan. Your manicure will lisp softly thatyour left forefinger reminds her so much of a gentleman's in Rich mond, Va. Oh, certainly; but many a lady has to work now - thewar, you know.
8O HENRY -100 S E L E C T E DSTORIESWhen 'Dixie' was being played a dark-haired young mansprang up from somewhere with a Mosby guerrilla yell and wavedfrantically his soft-brimmed hat. Then he strayed through thesmoke, dropped into the vacant chair at our table and pulled outcigarettes.The evening was at the period when reserve is thawed. One ofus mentioned three Würzburgers to the waiter; the dark-hairedyoung man acknowledged his inclusion in the order by a smile anda nod. I hastened to ask him a question because I wanted to try outa theory I had.'Would you mind telling me,' I began, 'whether you are from - 'The fist of E. Rushmore Coglan banged the table and I wasjarred into silence.'Excuse me,' said he, 'but that's a question I never like to hearasked. What does it matter where a man is from? Is it fair to judgea man by his post-office address? Why, I've seen Kentuckians whohated whisky, Virginians who weren't descended from Pocahon tas, Indianians who hadn't written a novel, Mexicans who didn'twear velvet trousers with silver dollars sewed along the seams,funny Englishmen, spendthrift Yankees, cold-blooded Southern ers, narrow-minded Westerners, and New Yorkers who were toobusy to stop for an hour on the street to watch a one-armedgrocer's clerk do up cranberries in paper bags. Let a man be a manand don't handicap him with the label of any section.''Pardon me,' I said, 'but my curiosity was not altogether an idleone. I know the South, and when the band plays "Dixie" I like toobserve. I have formed the belief that the man who applauds thatair with special violence and ostensible sectional loyalty is invari ably a native of either Secaucus, N.J., or the district betweenMurray Hill Lyceum and the Harlem River, this city. I was aboutto put my opinion to the test by inquiring of this gentleman whenyou interrupted with your own - larger theory, I must confess.'And now the dark-haired young man spoke to me, and itbecame evident that his mind also moved along its own set ofgrooves.'I should like to be a periwinkle,' said he, mysteriously, 'on thetop of a valley, and sing too-ralloo-ralloo.'This was clearly too obscure, so I turned again to Coglan.'I've been around the world twelve times,' said he. 'I know anEsquimau in Upernavik who sends to Cincinnati for his neckties,and I saw a goat-herder in Uruguay who won a prize in a BattleCreek breakfast-food puzzle competition. I pay rent on a room in
O HENRY -100 S E L E C T E DSTORIES9Cairo, Egypt, and another in Yokohama all the year round. I'vegot slippers waiting for me in a tea-house in Shanghai, and I don'thave to tell 'em how to cook my eggs in Rio de Janeiro or Seattle.It's a mighty little old world. What's the use of bragging aboutbeing from the North, or the South, or the old manor-house inthe dale, or Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, or Pike's Peak, or FairfaxCounty, Va., or Hooligan's Flats or any place? It'll be a betterworld when we quit being fools about some mildewed town or tenacres of swampland just because we happened to be born there.''You seem to be a genuine cosmopolite,' I said admiringly. 'Butit also seems that you would decry patriotism.''A relic of the stone age,' declared Coglan warmly. 'We are allbrothers - Chinamen, Englishmen, Zulus, Patagonians, and thepeople in the bend of the Kaw River. Some day all this petty pridein one's city or state or section or country will be wiped out, andwe'll all be citizens of the world, as we ought to be.''But while you are wandering in foreign lands,' I persisted, 'donot your thoughts revert to some spot - some dear and - ''Nary a spot,' interrupted E. R. Coglan flippantly. 'The terres trial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, slightly flattened at thepoles, and known as the Earth, is my abode. I've met a good manyobject-bound citizens of this country abroad. I've seen men fromChicago sit in a gondola in Venice on a moonlight night and bragabout their drainage canal. I've seen a Southerner on being intro duced to the King of England hand that monarch, without battinghis eyes, the information that his grandaunt on his mother's sidewas related by marriage to the Perkinses, of Charleston. I knew aNew Yorker who was kidnapped for ransom by some Afghanistanbandits. His people sent over the money and he came back toKabul with the agent. "Afghanistan?" the natives said to himthrough an interpreter. "Well, not so slow, do you think?" "Oh, Idon't know," says he, and he begins to tell them about a cab-driverat Sixth Avenue and Broadway. Those ideas don't suit me. I'm nottied down to anything that isn't 8,000 miles in diameter. Just putme down as E. Rushmore Coglan, citizen of the terrestrial sphere.'My cosmopolite made a large adieu and left me, for he thoughtthat he saw someone through the chatter and smoke whom heknew. So I was left with the would-be periwinkle, who was reducedto Würzburger without further ability to voice his aspirations toperch, melodious, upon the summit of a valley.I sat reflecting upon my evident cosmopolite and wonderinghow the poet had managed to miss him. He was my discovery and
10O HENRY -100 S E L E C T E DSTORIESI believed in him. How was it? 'The men that breed from themthey traffic up and down, but cling to their cities' hem as a child tothe mother's gown.'Not so E. Rushmore Coglan. With the whole world for his My meditations were interrupted by a tremendous noise andconflict in another part of the café. I saw above the heads of theseated patrons E. Rushmore Coglan and a stranger to me engagedin terrific battle. They fought between the tables like Titans, andglasses crashed, and men caught their hats up and were knockeddown, and a brunette screamed, and a blonde began to sing 'Teas ing.'My cosmopolite was sustaining the pride and reputation of theEarth when the waiters closed in on both combatants with theirfamous flying wedge formation and bore them outside, still resist ing.I called McCarthy, one of the French garçons, and asked him thecause of the conflict.'The man with the red tie' (that was my cosmopolite), said he,'got hot on account of things said about the bum sidewalks andwater supply of the place he come from by the other guy.''Why,' said I, bewildered, 'that man is a citizen of the world - acosmopolite. He - ''Originally from Mattawamkeag, Maine, he said,' continuedMcCarthy, 'and he wouldn't stand for no knockin' the place.'IIIBetween RoundsT H E MAY MOON SHONE BRIGHT upon the private boarding-houseof Mrs. Murphy. By reference to the almanac a large amount ofterritory will be discovered upon which its rays also fell. Springwas in its heyday, with hay fever soon to follow. The parks weregreen with new leaves and buyers for the Western and Southerntrade. Flowers and summer-resort agents were blowing; the airand answers to Lawson were growing milder; hand-organs, foun tains and pinochle were playing everywhere.The windows of Mrs. Murphy's boarding-house were open. Agroup of boarders were seated on the high stoop upon round, flatmats like German pancakes.In one of the second-floor front windows Mrs. McCaskey
O HENRY -100 S E L E C T E DSTORIES11awaited her husband. Supper was cooling on the table. Its heatwent into Mrs. McCaskey.At nine Mr. McCaskey came. He carried his coat on his arm andhis pipe in his teeth; and he apologized for disturbing the boarderson the steps as he selected spots of stone between them on whichto set his size 9, width Ds.As he opened the door of his room he received a surprise.Instead of the usual stove-lid or potato-masher for him to dodge,came only words.Mr. McCaskey reckoned that the benign May moon had soft ened the breast of his spouse.'I heard ye,' came the oral substitutes for kitchenware. 'Ye canapollygize to riff-raff of the streets for settin' yer unhandy feet onthe tails of their frocks, but ye'd walk on the neck of yer wife thelength of a clothes-line without so much as a "Kiss me fut," andI'm sure, it's that long from rubberin' out the windy for ye and thevictuals cold such as there's money to buy after drinkin' up yerwages at Gallegher's every Saturday evenin', and the gas man heretwice to-day for his.''Woman!' said Mr. McCaskey, dashing his coat and hat upon achair, 'the noise of ye is an insult to me appetite. When ye rundown politeness ye take the mortar from between the bricks of thefoundations of society. 'Tis no more than exercisin' the acrimonyof a gentleman when ye ask the dissent of ladies blockin' the wayfor steppin' between them. Will ye bring the pig's face of ye out ofthe windy and see to the food?'Mrs. McCaskey arose heavily and went to the stove. There wassomething in her manner that warned Mr. McCaskey. When thecorners of her mouth went down suddenly like a barometer it usuallyforetold a fall of crockery and tinware.'Pig's face, is it?' said Mrs. McCaskey, and hurled a stewpan fullof bacon and turnips at her lord.Mr. McCaskey was no novice at repartee. He knew what shouldfollow the entree. On the table was a roast sirloin of pork, gar nished with shamrocks. He retorted with this, and drew theappropriate return of a bread pudding in an earthen dish. A hunkof Swiss cheese accurately thrown by her husband struck Mrs.McCaskey below one eye. When she replied with a well-aimedcoffee-pot full of a hot, black, semi-fragrant liquid the battle,according to courses, should have ended.But Mr. McCaskey was no 50 cent table d'hôter. Let cheapBohemians consider coffee the end, if they would. Let them make
12O HENRY -100 S E L E C T E DSTORIESthat faux pas. He was foxier still. Finger-bowls were not beyondthe compass of his experience. They were not to be had in thePension Murphy; but their equivalent was at hand. Triumphantlyhe sent the granite-ware wash-basin at the head of his matrimo nial adversary. Mrs. McCaskey dodged in time. She reached for aflat-iron, with which, as a sort of cordial, she hoped to bring thegastronomical duel to a close. But a loud, wailing scream down stairs caused both her and Mr. McCaskey to pause in a sort ofinvoluntary armistice.On the sidewalk at the corner of the house Policeman Clearywas standing with one ear upturned, listening to the crash ofhousehold utensils.' ' T i s Jawn McCaskey and his missus at it again,' meditated thepoliceman. 'I wonder shall I go up and stop the row. I will not.Married folks they are; and few pleasures they have. 'Twill not lastlong. Sure, they'll have to borrow more dishes to keep it up with.'And just then came the loud scream below-stairs, betokeningfear or dire extremity. ' 'Tis probably the cat,' said PolicemanCleary, and walked hastily in the other direction.The boarders on the steps were fluttered. Mr. Toomey, aninsurance solicitor by birth and an investigator by profession,went inside to analyse the scream. He returned with the news thatMrs. Murphy's little boy Mike was lost. Following the messenger,out bounced Mrs. Murphy - two hundred pounds in tears andhysterics, clutching the air and howling to the sky for the loss ofthirty pounds of freckles and mischief. Bathos, truly; but Mr.Toomey sat down at the side of Miss Purdy, milliner, and theirhands came together in sympathy. The two old maids, MissesWalsh, who complained every day about the noise in the halls,inquired immediately if anybody had looked behind the clock.Major Grigg, who sat by his fat wife on the top step, arose andbuttoned his coat. 'The little one lost?' he exclaimed. 'I will scourthe city.' His wife never allowed him out after dark. But now shesaid: 'Go, Ludovic!' in a baritone voice. 'Whoever can look uponthat mother's grief without springing to her relief has a heart ofstone.' 'Give me some thirty or - sixty cents, my love,' said theMajor. 'Lost children sometimes stray far. I may need car-fares.'Old man Denny, hall-room, fourth floor back, who sat on thelowest step, trying to read a paper by the street lamp, turned overa page to follow up the article about the carpenters' strike. Mrs.Murphy shrieked to the moon: 'Oh, ar-r-Mike, f'r Gawd's sake,where is me little bit av a boy?'
O HENRY -100 S E L E C T E DSTORIES13'When'd ye see him last?' asked old man Denny, with one eyeon the report of the Building Trades League.'Oh,' wailed Mrs. Murphy,.' 'twas yisterday, or maybe fourhours ago! I dunno. But it's lost he is, me little boy Mike. He wasplayin' on the sidewalk only this mornin' - or was it Wednesday?I'm that busy with work 'tis hard to keep up with dates. But I'velooked the house over from top to cellar, and it's gone he is. Oh,for the love av Hiven - 'Silent, grim, colossal, the big city has ever stood against itsrevilers. They call it hard as iron; they say that no pulse of pitybeats in its bosom; they compare its streets with lonely forests anddeserts of lava. But beneath the hard crust of the lobster is found adelectable and luscious food. Perhaps a different simile would havebeen wiser. Still, nobody should take offence. W e would call noone a lobster without good and sufficient claws.No calamity so touches the common heart of humanity as doesthe straying of a little child. Their feet are so uncertain and feeble;the ways are so steep and strange.Major Griggs hurried down to the corner, and up the avenueinto Billy's place. 'Gimme a rye-high,' he said to the servitor.'Haven't seen a bow-legged, dirty-faced little devil of a six-yearold lost kid around here anywhere, have you?'Mr. Toomey retained Miss Purdy's hand on the steps. 'Think ofthat dear little babe,' said Miss Purdy, 'lost from his mother's side- perhaps already fallen beneath the iron hoofs of galloping steeds- oh, isn't
The Skylight Room A Service of Love The Coming-Out of Maggie The Cop and the Anthem Memoirs of a Yellow Dog The Love-philtre of Ikey Shoenstein The Furnished Room The Last Leaf The Poet a