THE GIFT OF THE MAGI

by O. Henry. Originally Published in New York Sunday World Newspaper Dec. 10, 1905. A young Irish-American and his Italian-American bride face poverty and their first Christmas together, in New York City. 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 close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty-seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas. There Continue reading

A TECHNICAL ERROR

by O. Henry. from Munseys Magazine, vol. 42 #5, February 1910. Getting in the middle of feuds in Indian Territory can be dangerous. I never cared especially for feuds, believing them to be even more overrated products of our country than grapefruit, scrapple, or honeymoons. Nevertheless, if I may be allowed, I will tell you of an Indian Territory feud of which I was press-agent, camp-follower, and inaccessory during the fact. I was on a visit to Sam Durkee's ranch, where I had a great time falling off unmanicured ponies and waving my bare hand at the lower jaws of wolves about two miles away. Continue reading

THE RANSOM OF RED CHIEF

by O. Henry . Originally Published in Whirligig 1910. The young son of a prosperous banker is kidnapped and held for ransom! 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 didn't find that out till later. There was a town down there, as flat as a flannel-cake, and called Summit, of course. It contained inhabitants of as undeleterious and self-satisfied a class of peasantry as ever Continue reading