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A Strange Story by O. Henry

The following is the complete text of O. Henry's short story A Strange Story. Our presentation of this story comes from his posthumously published Rolling Stones (1912). For in-depth biographical data on this writer, visit our biography of O. Henry (William Sydney Porter).


Visit these other works by O. Henry
The Adventures of Shamrock Jolnes
After Twenty Years
Aristocracy Versus Hash
The Assessor of Success
At Arms with Morpheus
The Badge of Policeman O'Roon
The Buyer from Cactus City
By Courier
The Caballero's Way
The Cactus
The Caliph and the Cad
A Chaparral Christmas Gift
The City of Dreadful Night
The Cop and the Anthem
The Count and the Wedding Guest
The Dog and the Playlet
The Dream
The Duplicity of Hargraves
The Enchanted Kiss
Fickle Fortune, or How Gladys Hustled
A Fog in Santone
The Furnished Room
The Gift of the Magi
Hearts and Hands
The Lady Higher Up
The Last Leaf
A Lickpenny Lover
A Little Talk About Mobs

The Lost Blend
Makes the Whole World Kin
Man About Town
The Marionettes
Memoirs of a Yellow Dog
A Municipal Report
New York by Camp Fire Light
A Newspaper Story
October and June
The Pride of the Cities
The Prisoner of Zembla
The Ransom of Red Chief
A Retrieved Reformation
The Robe of Peace
The Romance of a Busy Broker
Round The Circle
A Snapshot at the President
The Sparrows in Madison Square
Squaring the Circle
"Tamales"
Tracked to Doom
Transients in Arcadia
Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen
Ulysses and the Dogman
An Unfinished Christmas Story
The Voice of the City
Whistling Dick's Christmas Stocking
Witches' Loaves

To see all available titles by other authors, drop by our index of free books alphabetized by author or arranged alphabetically by title. The various books, short stories and poems we offer are presented free of charge with absolutely no advertising as a public service from Internet Accuracy Project.

Potential uses for the free books, stories and poetry we offer
* Rediscovering an old favorite book or short story.
* Bibliophiles expanding their collection of public domain ebooks at no cost.
* Teachers trying to locate a free online copy of a book for use in the classroom.
* Actors or writers looking for free material to adapt for use in the theater or on stage.
* Students or educators looking for material to adapt for a public performance or in drama class.


NOTE: We try to present these classic literary works as they originally appeared in print. As such, they sometimes contain adult themes, offensive language, typographical errors, and often utilize unconventional, older, obsolete or intentionally incorrect spelling and/or punctuation conventions.


A Strange Story by O. Henry

A STRANGE STORY

by O. Henry


In the northern part of Austin there once dwelt an honest family by the name of Smothers. The family consisted of John Smothers, his wife, himself, their little daughter, five years of age, and her parents, making six people toward the population of the city when counted for a special write-up, but only three by actual count.

One night after supper the little girl was seized with a severe colic, and John Smothers hurried down town to get some medicine.

He never came back.

The little girl recovered and in time grew up to womanhood.

The mother grieved very much over her husband's disappearance, and it was nearly three months before she married again, and moved to San Antonio.

The little girl also married in time, and after a few years had rolled around, she also had a little girl five years of age.

She still lived in the same house where they dwelt when her father had left and never returned.

One night by a remarkable coincidence her little girl was taken with cramp colic on the anniversary of the disappearance of John Smothers, who would now have been her grandfather if he had been alive and had a steady job.

"I will go downtown and get some medicine for her," said John Smith (for it was none other than he whom she had married).

"No, no, dear John," cried his wife. "You, too, might disappear forever, and then forget to come back."

So John Smith did not go, and together they sat by the bedside of little Pansy (for that was Pansy's name).

After a little Pansy seemed to grow worse, and John Smith again attempted to go for medicine, but his wife would not let him.

Suddenly the door opened, and an old man, stooped and bent, with long white hair, entered the room.

"Hello, here is grandpa," said Pansy. She had recognized him before any of the others.

The old man drew a bottle of medicine from his pocket and gave Pansy a spoonful.

She got well immediately.

"I was a little late," said John Smothers, "as I waited for a street car."



~~~~~~~ THE END ~~~~~~~

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