O. Henry is one of the most famous short story writers. His real name is William Sidney Porter. (1862-1910). He is considered a master of the surprise ending. After working as a bankteller for a time in his life, he was convicted of embezzlement and sent to prison for three years! There he wrote many short stories.
Last night I read the (short) short story After Twenty Years. Its about two friends meeting together 20 years after the night they parted to “seek their fortunes”.
Here’s a quote from the story:
“We figured that in twenty years each of us ought to have our destiny worked out and our fortunes made, whatever they were going to be.”
Phrases and idioms by O. Henry in this story:
(on success) . . . I’ve had to compete with some of the sharpest wits going to get my pile.
(uncertainity) . . . uncertain almost to absurdity