September 11: O. Henry

On this date in 1862, American short story writer William Sydney Porter was born. Better knows as O. Henry, Porter’s stories often have surprise endings.

September 11: O. Henry

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25 O. Henry Short Stories


“Tobin’s Palm”
A palmist’s predictions come true.
“The Gift of The Magi”
A couple makes personal sacrifices to give each other gifts for Christmas.
“A Cosmopolite in a Café”
A tale about world travel.
“Between Rounds”
An act of kindness interrupts a couple’s violent pastime.
“The Skylight Room”
The tale of young woman stricken by poverty and societies shortcomings.
“A Service of Love”
A couple unknowingly makes sacrifices for one another.
“The Coming-Out of Maggie”
For a young woman, sudden popularity follows an invite to a dance.
“Man About Town”
The author’s search for a “man about town” yields surprising results.
“The Cop and the Anthem”
A vagrant attempts in vain to be arrested.
“An Adjustment of Nature”
A young man deceives a rich fellow in order to prevent him from marrying a waitress.
“Memoirs of a Yellow Dog” The Four Million
A dog despises the masters coddling treatment.
“The Love-Philtre of Ikey Schoenstein”
A pharmacist conspires to diminish the capacity of a rival suitor.
“Mammon and the Archer”
An idealist believes money cannot help him acquire the things he truly desires.
“Springtime Á La Carte”
A woman fears she has been forgotten.
“The Green Door”
A man’s sense of adventure helps a girl in need.
“From the Cabby’s Seat”
A cab driver’s apathy affects every aspect of his life.
“An Unfinished Story”
A poor working girl’s tale.
“The Caliph, Cupid and the Clock”
A Prince in disguise provides assistance to a stranger.
“Sisters of the Golden Circle”
One bride helps another.
“The Romance of a Busy Broker”
A broker makes a request of his stenographer, having forgot his previous request.
“After Twenty Years”
A long planned meeting between old friends has unexpected consequences.
“Lost on Dress Parade”
An architect intends to deceive a young woman, unaware of her own deception.
“By Courier”
A couple employs the services of a unreliable messenger.
“The Furnished Room”
A man rents a room, unaware of the identity of the previous tenant.
“The Brief Début of Tildy”
Tildy finally receives the attention she has long desired.

Portrait of William Porter

Portrait of William Sydney Porter by FCIT based on an historic photograph of the writer.

New York Illustrations

Most of the stories in the Four Million were set in New York. The book’s title refers to the population of New York City at the time. Our ClipArt ETC collection of New York illustrations includes many of NYC from the period when O. Henry was writing.