Page:The ransom of Red Chief and other O. Henry stories for boys.djvu/274

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252 A Retrieved Reformation

many friends. And he accomplished the wish of his heart. He met Miss Annabel Adams, and became more and more captivated by her charms.

At the end of a year the situation of Mr. Ralph Spencer was this: he had won the respect of the community, his shoe-store was flourishing, and he and Annabel were engaged to be married in two weeks. Mr. Adams, the typical, plodding, country banker, ap- proved of Spencer. Annabel's pride in him almost equalled her affection. He was as much at home in the family of Mr. Adams and that of Annabel's married sister as if he were already a member.

One day Jimmy sat down in his room and wrote this letter, which he mailed to the safe address of one of his old friends in St. Louis:

��DEAR OLD PAL:

I want you to be at Sullivan's place, in Little Rock, next Wednesday night, at nine o'clock. I want you to wind up some little matters for me. And, also, want to make you a present of my kit of tools. I know you'll be glad to get them you couldn't dupli- cate the lot for a thousand dollars. Say, Billy, I've quit the old business a year ago. I've got a nice store. I'm making an honest living, and I'm going

�� �