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Author of "The Four Million," "The Voice of the City," "The Trimmed
Lamp," "Strictly Business," "Sixes and Sevens," etc.


[Illustration: The last photograph of O. Henry, taken by
W. M. Vanderwayde (New York) in 1909]

O. Henry, Afrite-Chef of all delight--
Of all delectables conglomerate
That stay the starved brain and rejuvenate
The Mental Man! The ęsthetic appetite--
So long enhungered that the "inards" fight
And growl gutwise--its pangs thou dost abate
And all so amiably alleviate,
Joy pats his belly as a hobo might
Who haply hath obtained a cherry pie
With no burnt crust at all, ner any seeds;
Nothin' but crisp crust, and the thickness fit.
And squashin'-juicy, an' jes' mighty nigh
Too dratted, drippin'-sweet for human needs,
But fer the sosh of milk that goes with it.

Written in the character of "Sherrard
Plummer" by James Whitcomb Riley


The Dream
A Ruler of Men
The Atavism of John Tom Little Bear
Helping the Other Fellow
The Marionettes
The Marquis and Miss Sally
A Fog in Santone
The Friendly Call
A Dinner at ----*
Sound and Fury
Tracked to Doom
A Snapshot at the President
An Unfinished Christmas Story
The Unprofitable Servant
Aristocracy Versus Hash
The Prisoner of Zembla
A Strange Story
Fickle Fortune, or How Gladys Hustled
An Apology
Lord Oakhurst's Curse
Bexar Scrip No. 2692
Queries and Answers
The Pewee
Nothing to Say
The Murderer
Some Postscripts
Two Portraits
A Contribution
The Old Farm
The Lullaby Boy
Chanson de Bohźme
Hard to Forget
Drop a Tear in This Slot


The Last Photograph of O. Henry (Frontispiece)
The Editor's Own Statement of His Aims
(Advertisement for _The Rolling Stone_)
Record of Births and Deaths from the Porter Family Bible
O. Henry at the Age of Two
The "Hill City Quartet," to Which O. Henry Belonged
As a Young Man in Austin
O. Henry in Austin, Texas, 1896
Emigrants' Camp (an Early Drawing by O. Henry)
"Can the Horse Run?" (Cartoon from _The Rolling Stone_)
"Will You Go In?" (Cartoon from _The Rolling Stone_)
"Here We Have Kate and John." (Cartoon from _The Rolling Stone_)
"Did He Go Up?" (Cartoon from _The Rolling Stone_)
"See Tom and the Dog." (Cartoon from _The Rolling Stone_)
"See Him Do It." (Cartoon from _The Rolling Stone_)
Letters That the Boy Will Porter Brought Along from
North Carolina to Texas
Letter: "A Young Man of Good Moral Character and
an A No. 1 Druggist."
"The Plunkville Patriot," April 2, 1895
_The Rolling Stone_, January 26, 1895
A Page from "The Plunkville Patriot"
A Front Page of _The Rolling Stone_
A Page from "The Plunkville Patriot"
"Dear Me, General, Who Is That Dreadful Man?" (Cartoon)
"Well, I Declare, Those Gentlemen Must Be Brothers." (Cartoon)
"Oh Papa, What Is That?"
(Cartoon from _The Rolling Stone_, April 27, 1895)
Cartoon by O. Henry
Cartoon by O. Henry
Can He Make the Jump?
(Cartoon from _The Rolling Stone_, October 13, 1894
Page from "The Plunkville Patriot"
A Letter to His Daughter Margaret.

| |
| THE |
| is a weekly paper published in Austin, Texas |
| every Saturday and will endeavor to fill a |
| long-felt want that does not appear, |
| by the way, to be altogether in- |
| satiable at present. |
| |
| to fill its pages with matter that will make a |
| heart-rending appeal to every lover of |
| good literature, and every person who |
| has a taste for reading print; |
| and a dollar and a half for |
| a year's subscription. |
| |
| For the next thirty days and from that time |
| on indefinitely, whoever will bring two dol- |
| lars in cash to _The Rolling Stone_ office |
| will be entered on the list of sub- |
| scribers for one year and will |
| have returned to him |
| on the spot |
| |
The editor's own statement of his aims


This the twelfth and final volume of O. Henry's work gets its title from
an early newspaper venture of which he was the head and front. On April
28, 1894, there appeared in Austin, Texas, volume 1, number 3, of The
Rolling Stone, with a circulation greatly in excess of that of the only
two numbers that had gone before. Apparently the business office was
encouraged. The first two issues of one thousand copies each had been
bought up. Of the third an edition of six thousand was published and
distributed FREE, so that the business men of Austin, Texas, might know
what a good medium was at hand for their advertising. The editor and
proprietor and illustrator of _The Rolling Stone_ was Will Porter,
incidentally Paying and Receiving Teller in Major Brackenridge's bank.

Perhaps the most characteristic feature of the paper was "The Plunkville
Patriot," a page each week--or at least with the regularity of the
somewhat uncertain paper itself--purporting to be reprinted from a
contemporary journal. The editor of the Plunkville _Patriot_ was Colonel
Aristotle Jordan, unrelenting enemy of his enemies. When the Colonel's
application for the postmastership in Plunkville is ignored, his columns
carry a bitter attack on the administration at Washington. With the
public weal at heart, the _Patriot_ announces that "there is a dangerous
hole in the front steps of the Elite saloon." Here, too, appears the
delightful literary item that Mark Twain and Charles Egbert Craddock are
spending the summer together in their Adirondacks camp. "Free," runs its
advertising column, "a clergyman who cured himself of fits will send
one book containing 100 popular songs, one repeating rifle, two decks
easywinner cards and 1 liver pad free of charge for $8. Address Sucker
& Chump, Augusta, Me." The office moves nearly every week, probably in
accordance with the time-honored principle involving the comparative
ease of moving and paying rent. When the Colonel publishes his own
candidacy for mayor, he further declares that the _Patriot_ will accept
no announcements for municipal offices until after "our" (the editor's)
canvass. Adams & Co., grocers, order their $2.25 ad. discontinued and
find later in the _Patriot_ this estimate of their product: "No less
than three children have been poisoned by eating their canned vegetables,
and J. O. Adams, the senior member of the firm, was run out of Kansas
City for adulterating codfish balls. It pays to advertise." Here is the
editorial in which the editor first announces his campaign: "Our worthy
mayor, Colonel Henry Stutty, died this morning after an illness of about
five minutes, brought on by carrying a bouquet to Mrs. Eli Watts just
as Eli got in from a fishing trip. Ten minutes later we had dodgers out
announcing our candidacy for the office. We have lived in Plunkville
going on five years and have never been elected anything yet. We
understand the mayor business thoroughly and if elected some people will
wish wolves had stolen them from their cradles . . ."

The page from the _Patriot_ is presented with an array of perfectly
confused type, of artistic errors in setting up, and when an occasional
line gets shifted (intentionally, of course) the effect is alarming.
Anybody who knows the advertising of a small country weekly can, as
he reads, pick out, in the following, the advertisement from the

Miss Hattie Green of Paris, Ill., is
Steel-riveted seam or water power
automatic oiling thoroughly tested
visiting her sister Mrs. G. W. Grubes
Little Giant Engines at Adams & Co.
Also Sachet powders Mc. Cormick Reapers and

All of this was a part of _The Rolling Stone_, which flourished, or at
least wavered, in Austin during the years 1894 and 1895. Years before,
Porter's strong instinct to write had been gratified in letters. He
wrote, in his twenties, long imaginative letters, occasionally stuffed
with execrable puns, but more than often buoyant, truly humorous, keenly
incisive into the unreal, especially in fiction. I have included a
number of these letters to Doctor Beall of Greensboro, N. C., and to his
early friend in Texas, Mr. David Harrell.

In 1895-1896 Porter went to Houston, Texas, to work on the Houston
_Post_. There he "conducted" a column which he called "Postscripts."
Some of the contents of the pages that follow have been taken from
these old files in the fair hope that admirers of the matured O. Henry
will find in them pleasurable marks of the later genius.

Before the days of _The Rolling Stone_ there are eleven years in Texas
over which, with the exception of the letters mentioned, there are few
"traces" of literary performance; but there are some very interesting
drawings, some of which are reproduced in this volume.

Pages: | 1 | | 2 | | 3 | | 4 | | 5 | | 6 | | 7 | | 8 | | 9 | | 10 | | 11 | | 12 | | 13 | | 14 | | 15 | | 16 | | 17 | | 18 | | 19 | | 20 | | 21 | | 22 | | 23 | | 24 | | 25 | | 26 | | 27 | | 28 | | 29 | | 30 | | 31 | | 32 | | 33 | | 34 | | 35 | | 36 | | 37 | | 38 | | 39 | | 40 | | 41 | | Next |

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