The Whirligig of Life (O. Henry)

JUSTICE-OF-THE-PEACE Benaja Widdup sat in the door of his office smoking his elder-stem pipe. Halfway to the zenith the Cumberland range rose blue-gray in the afternoon haze. A speckled hen swaggered down the main street of the “settlement,” cackling...

The Ransom of Red Chief (O. Henry)

It looked like a good thing: but wait till I tell you. We were down South, in Alabama–Bill Driscoll and myself-when this kidnapping idea struck us. It was, as Bill afterward expressed it, “during a moment of temporary mental apparition”; but we...

The Princess and the Puma (O. Henry)

There had to be a king and queen, of course. The king was a terrible old man who wore six-shooters and spurs, and shouted in such a tremendous voice that the rattlers on the prairie would run into their holes under the prickly pear. Before there was a royal family...

The Last Leaf (O. Henry)

In a little district west of Washington Square the streets have run crazy and broken themselves into small strips called “places.” These “places” make strange angles and curves. One Street crosses itself a time or two. An artist once discovered...

The Coming-Out of Maggie (O. Henry)

Every Saturday night the Clover Leaf Social Club gave a hop in the hall of the Give and Take Athletic Association on the East Side. In order to attend one of these dances you must be a member of the Give and Take–or, if you belong to the division that starts off...

A Blackjack Bargainer (O. Henry)

The most disreputable thing in Yancey Goree’s law office was Goree himself, sprawled in his creaky old arm-chair. The rickety little office, built of red brick, was set flush with the street — the main street of the town of Bethel. Bethel rested upon the...

The Gift Of The Magi (O Henry)

One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one’s cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such...