O. Henry. A Retrieved Reformation (audiobook in English)

We continue with the American writer O. Henry and one of his most interesting stories. This is an original text of the story «A Retrieved Reformation». We hope you will enjoy listening and reading it online free. We always choose the best English stories from the collection of the Classics for you.

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O. Henry. A Retrieved Reformation (in the original)

Words to understand:

  • assiduously – in a hard-working and attentive way; diligently

Read and listen online O. Henry. A Retrieved Reformation (part 1):

A GUARD CAME to the prison shoe-shop, where Jimmy Valentine was assiduously stitching uppers, and escorted him to the front office. There the warden handed Jimmy his pardon, which had been signed that morning by the governor. Jimmy took it in a tired kind of way. He had served nearly ten months of a four year sentence. He had expected to stay only about three months, at the longest. When a man with as many friends on the outside as Jimmy Valentine had is received in the “stir” it is hardly worthwhile to cut his hair.

“Now, Valentine,” said the warden, “you’ll go out in the morning. Brace up, and make a man of yourself. You’re not a bad fellow at heart. Stop cracking safes, and live straight.”

“Me?” said Jimmy, in surprise. “Why, I never cracked a safe in my life.”

“Oh, no,” laughed the warden. “Of course, not. Let’s see, now. How was it you happened to get sent up on that Springfield job? Was it because you wouldn’t prove an alibi for fear of compromising somebody in extremely high-toned society? Or was it simply a case of a mean old jury that had it in for you? It’s always one or the other with you innocent victims.”

“Me?” said Jimmy, still blankly virtuous. “Why, warden, I never was in Springfield in my life!”

“Take him back, Cronin!” said the warden, “and fix him up with outgoing clothes. Unlock him at seven in the morning, and let him come to the bull-pen. Better think over my advice, Valentine.”

If the text seems difficult to you, you can read the adapted version of the story «A Retrieved Reformation» by O. Henry
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