O. Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1920 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 467 pages of information about O. Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1920.

He waited till they were seated.  “There’s a lot that I might tell, men—­terrible things—­that I won’t tell, for it’s all over.  Just this—­and I suppose you’re about through now and breaking up.  It was the poor old Prof. of ours—­shattered, deathly white, a lot older.  But will you believe it, the same dear old smile, or almost a smile, on his face!  Unconscious, but babbling.  And about what?  The college—­Alma Mater!  Those were just the words—­Alma Mater!  The college that gave him the half pay and forgot him on the very night when we are trying to raise a miserable two million, that things like this sha’n’t happen again!”

“And boys, when we bent over him and whispered our names, he seemed after a while to understand that we were there—­but in the classroom, the old Number 3 in Holmes Hall!  And fellows, he called on—­on me to recite——­”

Merciless Martin Delano couldn’t go on.  Finally he spoke.

“And so, Mr. President, I wish, sir, as a slight token of my appreciation of what that simple great man has done for Huntington College to give to our Alma Mater—­our Alma Mater, sir—­the sum of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars to be used for the erection of a suitable building, for whatever purpose is most necessary, and that building to be called after Horace Irving.

“And sir, I also desire to give to the fund for properly providing for the salaries of our professors and other teachers, the sum of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars—­those men who teach in our Alma Mater.

“And I ask one word more:  I have arranged that Professor Irving is to be buried from my house.  If you will permit me, I will leave now.”

The alumni of Huntington College were silent.  There was no sound, save the occasional pushing of a chair, or the click of a plate or a glass upon the table, as Martin Delano passed from the room.

It was after one o’clock.  Martin Delano was in his library, his arms flung across the table, his face between them.

In the opaque blur of swirling rain, his car had passed the corner of Fourth Avenue and Ninth Street at precisely half-past four that afternoon.  He had happened to take out his watch at the moment the Metropolitan clock struck the second quarter.

He would never know whether it had been his car or another!



From The Saturday Evening Post

The Chelmsford divorce had been accomplished with the utmost decorum, not only outwardly in the newspapers, but inwardly among a group of intimate friends.  They were a homogeneous couple—­were liked by the same people, enjoyed the same things, and held many friends in common.  These were able to say with some approach to certainty that everyone had behaved splendidly, even the infant of twenty-three with whom Julian had fallen in love.

Of course there will always be the question—­and we used to argue it often in those days—­how well a man can behave who, after fifteen perfectly satisfactory years of married life, admits that he has fallen in love with another woman.  But if you believe in the clap-of-thunder theory, as I do, why, then, for a man nearing forty, taken off his feet by a blond-headed girl, Julian, too, behaved admirably.

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O. Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1920 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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