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O. Henry

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ired way, looking up at the cerulean blue sky.

"'If you know anything about the locality, disposition, or secretiveness of this here Black Bill,' says he, in a severe dialect, 'you are amiable to the law in not reporting it.'

"'I heard a fence-rider say,' says I, in a desultory kind of voice, 'that a Mexican told a cowboy named Jake over at Pidgin's store on the Nueces that he heard that Black Bill had been seen in Matamoras by a sheepman's cousin two weeks ago.'

"'Tell you what I'll do, Tight Mouth,' says the captain, after looking me over for bargains. 'If you put us on so we can scoop Black Bill, I'll pay you a hundred dollars out of my own—out of our own—pockets. That's liberal,' says he. 'You ain't entitled to anything. Now, what do you say?'

"'Cash down now?' I asks.

"The captain has a sort of discussion with his helpmates, and they all produce the contents of their pockets for analysis. Out of the general . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Anyone serious about short stories should not miss O. Henry's work!

ENGLISH: Sixteen short stories by O.Henry. I liked especially four of them: "The fourth ingredient," "Buried treasure," "No story," and "The higher pragmatism."

It's curious, those I most liked all had an element of romance, although not all of them end happily. Or perhaps they do!

ESPAÑOL: Dieciséis

Another nice collection of short stories that fully describe the place and people they’re about, along with endlessly inventive plot twists. I admit they tend to become repetitive in large doses so I’m happy to read each collection on its own with a palate cleanser (a completely different genre) in

This is the first time I've picked up a volume of O'Henry in a long time, and two things stood out:
1. How delightful his playful, erudite style can be.
2. How much he plays off gender and racial stereotypes.
I don't think this stuff would be published today!

Very interesting and entertaining short stories.

There's a certain sameness to most O. Henry stories, and if you're just getting started on O. Henry, you may want to start with collections like "The Four Million" or "Cabbages and Kings" that contain his more famous stories. There aren't many well-known stories in "Options"; perhaps "The Hiding of

No one writes short stories like O. Henry. This collection does have several too-similar stories, but it's still an enjoyable read.