There remains the pleasure of thanking, also, the authors and publishers who have kindly granted permission for the reprinting of the stories included in this volume. The Committee of Award would like them to know that renewal of the O. Henry prize depends upon their generous cooperation.
BLANCHE COLTON WILLIAMS.
NEW YORK CITY, February 29, 1920.
O. HENRY MEMORIAL AWARD PRIZE STORIES 1919
By MARGARET PRESCOTT MONTAGUE
From Atlantic Monthly
“Lord, but English people are funny!”
This was the perplexed mental ejaculation that young Lieutenant Skipworth Cary, of Virginia, found his thoughts constantly reiterating during his stay in Devonshire. Had he been, he wondered, a confiding fool, to accept so trustingly Chev Sherwood’s suggestion that he spend a part of his leave, at least, at Bishopsthorpe, where Chev’s people lived? But why should he have anticipated any difficulty here, in this very corner of England which had bred his own ancestors, when he had always hit it off so splendidly with his English comrades at the Front? Here, however, though they were all awfully kind,—at least, he was sure they meant to be kind,—something was always bringing him up short: something that he could not lay hold of, but which made him feel like a blind man groping in a strange place, or worse, like a bull in a china-shop. He was prepared enough to find differences in the American and English points of view. But this thing that baffled him did not seem to have to do with that; it was something deeper, something very definite, he was sure—and yet, what was it? The worst of it was that he had a curious feeling as if they were all—that is, Lady Sherwood and Gerald; not Sir Charles so much—protecting him from himself—keeping him from making breaks, as he phrased it. That hurt and annoyed him, and piqued his vanity. Was he a social blunderer, and weren’t a Virginia gentleman’s manners to be trusted in England without leading-strings? He had been at the Front for several months with the Royal Flying Corps, and when his leave came, his Flight Commander, Captain Cheviot Sherwood, discovering that he meant to spend it in England, where he hardly knew