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O. Henry's Parents .

Edgeworth Female Seminary

Judge Tourgee Leaving Greensboro

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No. 55 Irving Place. An Early New York Home

of O. Henry.

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Heart of O. Henry Land

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O. HENRY BIOGRAPHY

CHAPTER

ONE

THE LIFE AND THE STORY

O. HENRY was once asked why he did not read more fiction. "It is all tame," he replied, "as compared with the romance of my own life." But nothing is more subtly suggestive in the study of this remarkable man than the strange, structural resemblance between the story and the life. Each story is a miniature autobiography, for each story seems to summarize the four successive stages in his own romantic career.

First, the reader notices in an O. Henry story the quiet but arrestive beginning. There is interest, a bit of suspense, and a touch of distinction in the first paragraph; but you cannot tell what lines of action are to be stressed, what complications of character and incident are to follow, or whether the end is to be tragic or comic, a defeat or a victory. So was the first stage of his life. The twenty years spent in Greensboro, North Carolina, were comparatively uneventful. There was little in them of prospect, though they loom large with significance in the retrospect. O. Henry was always unique. When as a freckle-faced boy, freckled even to the feet,

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