A Retrieved Reformation

by

O. Henry

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Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Modern Library edition of A Retrieved Reformation published in 1994.
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A Retrieved Reformation Quotes

[T]he warden handed Jimmy his pardon, which had been signed that morning by the governor. Jimmy took it in a tired kind of way. He had served nearly ten months of a four-year sentence. He had expected to stay only about three months, at the longest. When a man with as many friends on the outside as Jimmy Valentine had is received in the “stir” it is hardly worth while to cut his hair.

Page Number: 117-8
Explanation and Analysis:

“Now, Valentine,” said the warden, “you’ll go out in the morning. Brace up, and make a man of yourself. You’re not a bad fellow at heart. Stop cracking safes, and live straight.”

Related Characters: Jimmy Valentine/Ralph D. Spencer (speaker), The Warden (speaker)
Page Number: 118
Explanation and Analysis:

“How was it you happened to get sent up on that Springfield job? Was it because you wouldn’t prove an alibi for fear of compromising somebody in extremely high-toned society?”

Related Characters: The Warden (speaker), Jimmy Valentine/Ralph D. Spencer
Page Number: 118
Explanation and Analysis:

The clerk handed him a railroad ticket and the five-dollar bill with which the law expected him to rehabilitate himself into good citizenship and prosperity. The warden gave him a cigar, and shook hands. Valentine, 9762, was chronicled on the books “Pardoned by the Governor,” and Mr. James Valentine walked out into the sunshine.

Page Number: 118
Explanation and Analysis:

“Sorry we couldn’t make it sooner, Jimmy, me boy,” said Mike. “But we had that protest from Springfield to buck against, and the governor nearly balked. Feeling all right?”

Related Characters: Mike Dolan (speaker), Jimmy Valentine/Ralph D. Spencer
Page Number: 119
Explanation and Analysis:

Pulling out from the wall a folding-bed, Jimmy slid back a panel in the wall and dragged out a dust-covered suitcase. He opened this and gazed fondly at the finest set of burglar’s tools in the East. It was a complete set, made of specially tempered steel, the latest designs in drills, punches, braces and bits, jimmies, clamps, and augers, with two or three novelties invented by Jimmy himself, in which he took pride.

Related Characters: Jimmy Valentine/Ralph D. Spencer
Related Symbols: Jimmy’s Tools
Page Number: 119
Explanation and Analysis:

A young lady crossed the street, passed him at the corner and entered a door over which was the sign “The Elmore Bank.” Jimmy Valentine looked into her eyes, forgot what he was, and became another man.

Page Number: 121
Explanation and Analysis:

Mr. Ralph Spencer, the phoenix that arose from Jimmy Valentine’s ashes—ashes left by a sudden and alternative attack of love—remained in Elmore, and prospered.

Page Number: 122
Explanation and Analysis:

“Annabel,” he said, “give me that rose you are wearing, will you?”

Hardly believing that she heard him aright, she unpinned the bud from the bosom of her dress, and placed it in his hand. Jimmy stuffed it into his vest-pocket, threw of his coat and pulled up his shirt-sleeves. With that act Ralph D. Spencer passed away and Jimmy Valentine took his place.

Related Characters: Jimmy Valentine/Ralph D. Spencer (speaker), Annabel Adams, Agatha
Related Symbols: Annabel’s Rose
Page Number: 125
Explanation and Analysis:

From that time on [Jimmy] seemed to be unconscious of the presence of any one else. He laid out the shining, queer implements swiftly and orderly, whistling softly to himself as he always did when at work. In a deep silence and immovable, the others watched him as if under a spell.

Related Symbols: Jimmy’s Tools
Page Number: 125
Explanation and Analysis:

“Hello, Ben!” said Jimmy, still with his strange smile. “Got around at last, have you? Well, let’s go. I don’t know that it makes much difference, now.”

Related Characters: Jimmy Valentine/Ralph D. Spencer (speaker), Ben Price
Page Number: 126
Explanation and Analysis:

“Guess you’re mistaken, Mr. Spencer,” he said. “Don’t believe I recognize you. Your buggy’s waiting for you, ain’t it?”

Related Characters: Ben Price (speaker), Jimmy Valentine/Ralph D. Spencer
Page Number: 126
Explanation and Analysis:
No matches.