O. Henry. A Retrieved Reformation (in English, adapted for advanced)

O. Henry. A Retrieved Reformation. Part 3 (read in English)

3. A week after the release of Valentine, 9762, there was a neat job of safe-burglary done in Richmond, Indiana, with no clue to the author. A eight hundred dollars was all that was stolen. Two weeks after that a patented, improved, burglar-proof safe in Logansport was opened like a cheese to the tune. Fifteen hundred dollars was gone. That began to interest the rogue-catchers (ищейки). Then an old-fashioned bank-safe in Jefferson City became active and threw out of its crater an eruption of bank-notes amounting to five thousand dollars. The losses were now high enough to bring the matter up into Ben Price’s class of work. By comparing notes, a remarkable similarity in the methods of the burglaries was noticed. Ben Price investigated the scenes of the robberies, and was heard to remark:

“That’s Dandy Jim Valentine’s autograph. He’s resumed business. Look at that combination knob—jerked out as easy as pulling up a radish in wet weather. He’s got the only clamps that can do it. And Jimmy never has to drill but one hole. Yes, I guess I want Mr. Valentine. He’ll do his bit next time without any short-time.”

Ben Price knew Jimmy’s habits. He had learned them while working on the Springfield case. Long jumps, quick get-aways, no accomplices, and a taste for good society—these ways had helped Mr. Valentine to escape. It was said that Ben Price had taken up the trail of the elusive cracksman, and other people with burglar-proof safes felt more at ease.

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