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The Dream

Short Stories


A Bird of Bagdad

A Blackjack Bargainer

A Call Loan

A Chaparral Christmas Gift

A Chaparral Prince

A Comedy in Rubber

A Cosmopolite in a Cafe

A Departmental Case

A Dinner at--------*

A Double-Dyed Deceiver

A Fog in Santone

A Harlem Tragedy

A Lickpenny Lover

A Little Local Colour

A Little Talk about Mobs

A Madison Square Arabian Night

A Matter of Mean Elevation

A Midsummer Knight's Dream

A Midsummer Masquerade

A Municipal Report

A Newspaper Story

A Night in New Arabia

A Philistine in Bohemia

A Poor Rule

A Ramble in Aphasia

A Retrieved Reformation

A Ruler of Men

A Sacrifice Hit

A Service of Love

A Snapshot at the President

A Strange Story

A Technical Error

A Tempered Wind

According to Their Lights

After Twenty Years

An Adjustment of Nature

An Afternoon Miracle

An Apology

An Unfinished Christmas Story

An Unfinished Story

Aristocracy Versus Hash

Art and the Bronco

At Arms With Morpheus

Babes in the Jungle


Between Rounds

Bexar Scrip No. 2692

Blind Man's Holiday

Brickdust Row

Buried Treasure

By Courier

Calloway's Code


Cherchez La Femme

Christmas by Injunction

Compliments of the Season

Confessions of a Humorist

Conscience in Art

Cupid a La Carte

Cupid's Exile Number Two


Dougherty's Eye-Opener

Elsie in New York

Extradited from Bohemia

Fickle Fortune or How Gladys Hustled

Friends in San Rosario

From Each According to His Ability

From the Cabby's Seat

Georgia's Ruling


He Also Serves

Hearts and Crosses

Hearts and Hands

Helping the Other Fellow

Holding Up a Train

Hostages to Momus

Hygeia at the Solito

Innocents of Broadway

Jeff Peters as a Personal Magnet

Jimmy Hayes and Muriel

Law and Order

Let Me Feel Your Pulse

Little Speck in Garnered Fruit

Lord Oakhurst's Curse

Lost on Dress Parade

Madame Bo-Peep, of the Ranches

Makes the Whole World Kin

Mammon and the Archer

Man About Town

Masters of Arts

Memoirs of a Yellow Dog

Modern Rural Sports

Money Maze

Nemesis and the Candy Man

New York by Camp Fire Light

Next to Reading Matter

No Story

October and June

On Behalf of the Management

One Dollar's Worth

One Thousand Dollars

Out of Nazareth

Past One at Rooney's


Proof of the Pudding

Psyche and the Pskyscraper

Queries and Answers

Roads of Destiny

Roses, Ruses and Romance

Rouge et Noir

Round the Circle

Rus in Urbe

Schools and Schools

Seats of the Haughty

Shearing the Wolf



Sisters of the Golden Circle


Sociology in Serge and Straw

Sound and Fury

Springtime a La Carte

Squaring the Circle

Strictly Business

Strictly Business

Suite Homes and Their Romance

Telemachus, Friend

The Admiral

The Adventures of Shamrock Jolnes

The Assessor of Success

The Atavism of John Tom Little Bear

The Badge of Policeman O'Roon

The Brief Debut of Tildy

The Buyer From Cactus City

The Caballero's Way

The Cactus

The Caliph and the Cad

The Caliph, Cupid and the Clock

The Call of the Tame

The Chair of Philanthromathematics

The Champion of the Weather

The Church with an Overshot-Wheel

The City of Dreadful Night

The Clarion Call

The Coming-Out of Maggie

The Complete Life of John Hopkins

The Cop and the Anthem

The Count and the Wedding Guest

The Country of Elusion

The Day Resurgent

The Day We Celebrate

The Defeat of the City

The Detective Detector

The Diamond of Kali

The Discounters of Money

The Dog and the Playlet

The Door of Unrest

The Dream

The Duel

The Duplicity of Hargraves

The Easter of the Soul

The Emancipation of Billy

The Enchanted Kiss

The Enchanted Profile

The Ethics of Pig

The Exact Science of Matrimony

The Ferry of Unfulfilment

The Fifth Wheel

The Flag Paramount

The Fool-Killer

The Foreign Policy of Company 99

The Fourth in Salvador

The Friendly Call

The Furnished Room

The Gift of the Magi

The Girl and the Graft

The Girl and the Habit

The Gold That Glittered

The Greater Coney

The Green Door

The Guardian of the Accolade

The Guilty Party - An East Side Tragedy

The Halberdier of the Little Rheinschloss

The Hand that Riles the World

The Handbook of Hymen

The Harbinger

The Head-Hunter

The Hiding of Black Bill

The Higher Abdication

The Higher Pragmatism

The Hypotheses of Failure

The Indian Summer of Dry Valley Johnson

The Lady Higher Up

The Last Leaf

The Last of the Troubadours

The Lonesome Road

The Lost Blend

The Lotus And The Bottle

The Love-Philtre of Ikey Schoenstein

The Making of a New Yorker

The Man Higher Up

The Marionettes

The Marquis and Miss Sally

The Marry Month of May

The Memento

The Missing Chord

The Moment of Victory

The Octopus Marooned

The Passing of Black Eagle

The Pendulum

The Phonograph and the Graft

The Pimienta Pancakes

The Plutonian Fire

The Poet and the Peasant

The Pride of the Cities

The Princess and the Puma

The Prisoner of Zembla

The Proem

The Purple Dress

The Ransom of Mack

The Ransom of Red Chief

The Rathskeller and the Rose

The Red Roses of Tonia

The Reformation of Calliope

The Remnants of the Code

The Renaissance at Charleroi

The Roads We Take

The Robe of Peace

The Romance of a Busy Broker

The Rose of Dixie

The Rubaiyat of a Scotch Highball

The Rubber Plant's Story

The Shamrock and the Palm

The Shocks of Doom

The Skylight Room

The Sleuths

The Snow Man

The Social Triangle

The Song and the Sergeant

The Sparrows in Madison Square

The Sphinx Apple

The Tale of a Tainted Tenner

The Theory and the Hound

The Thing's the Play

The Third Ingredient

The Trimmed Lamp

The Unknown Quantity

The Unprofitable Servant

The Venturers

The Vitagraphoscope

The Voice of the City

The Whirligig of Life

The World and the Door

Thimble, Thimble


To Him Who Waits

Tobin's Palm

Tommy's Burglar

Tracked to Doom

Transformation of Martin Burney

Transients in Arcadia

Two Recalls

Two Renegades

Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen

Ulysses and the Dogman

Vanity and Some Sables

What You Want

While the Auto Waits

Whistling Dick's Christmas Stocking

Witches' Loaves

MURRAY dreamed a dream.

Both psychology and science grope when they would explain to us the
strange adventures of our immaterial selves when wandering in the realm
of "Death's twin brother, Sleep." This story will not attempt to be
illuminative; it is no more than a record of Murray's dream. One of the
most puzzling phases of that strange waking sleep is that dreams which
seem to cover months or even years may take place within a few seconds
or minutes.

Murray was waiting in his cell in the ward of the condemned. An electric
arc light in the ceiling of the corridor shone brightly upon his table.
On a sheet of white paper an ant crawled wildly here and there as Murray
blocked its way with an envelope. The electrocution was set for eight
o'clock in the evening. Murray smiled at the antics of the wisest of

There were seven other condemned men in the chamber. Since he had been
there Murray had seen three taken out to their fate; one gone mad and
fighting like a wolf caught in a trap; one, no less mad, offering up a
sanctimonious lip-service to Heaven; the third, a weakling, collapsed
and strapped to a board. He wondered with what credit to himself his own
heart, foot, and face would meet his punishment; for this was his
evening. He thought it must be nearly eight o'clock.

Opposite his own in the two rows of cells was the cage of Bonifacio, the
Sicilian slayer of his betrothed and of two officers who came to arrest
him. With him Murray had played checkers many a long hour, each calling
his move to his unseen opponent across the corridor.

Bonifacio's great booming voice with its indestructible singing quality
called out:

"Eh, Meestro Murray; how you feel--all-a right--yes?"

"All right, Bonifacio," said Murray steadily, as he allowed the ant to
crawl upon the envelope and then dumped it gently on the stone floor.

"Dat's good-a, Meestro Murray. Men like us, we must-a die like-a men. My
time come nex'-a week. All-a right. Remember, Meestro Murray, I beat-a
you dat las' game of de check. Maybe we play again some-a time. I don'-a
know. Maybe we have to call-a de move damn-a loud to play de check where
dey goin' send us."

Bonifacio's hardened philosophy, followed closely by his deafening,
musical peal of laughter, warmed rather than chilled Murray's numbed
heart. Yet, Bonifacio had until next week to live.

The cell-dwellers heard the familiar, loud click of the steel bolts as
the door at the end of the corridor was opened. Three men came to
Murray's cell and unlocked it. Two were prison guards; the other was
"Len"--no; that was in the old days; now the Reverend Leonard Winston,
a friend and neighbor from their barefoot days.

"I got them to let me take the prison chaplain's place," he said, as he
gave Murray's hand one short, strong grip. In his left hand he held a
small Bible, with his forefinger marking a page.

Murray smiled slightly and arranged two or three books and some
penholders orderly on his small table. He would have spoken, but no
appropriate words seemed to present themselves to his mind.

The prisoners had christened this cellhouse, eighty feet long,
twenty-eight feet wide, Limbo Lane. The regular guard of Limbo Lane, an
immense, rough, kindly man, drew a pint bottle of whiskey from his
pocket and offered it to Murray, saying:

"It's the regular thing, you know. All has it who feel like they need a
bracer. No danger of it becoming a habit with 'em, you see."

Murray drank deep into the bottle.

"That's the boy!" said the guard. "Just a little nerve tonic, and
everything goes smooth as silk."

They stepped into the corridor, and each one of the doomed seven knew.
Limbo Lane is a world on the outside of the world; but it had learned,
when deprived of one or more of the five senses, to make another sense
supply the deficiency. Each one knew that it was nearly eight, and that
Murray was to go to the chair at eight. There is also in the many Limbo
Lanes an aristocracy of crime. The man who kills in the open, who beats
his enemy or pursuer down, flushed by the primitive emotions and the
ardor of combat, holds in contempt the human rat, the spider, and the

So, of the seven condemned only three called their farewells to Murray
as he marched down the corridor between the two guards--Bonifacio,
Marvin, who had killed a guard while trying to escape from the prison,
and Bassett, the train-robber, who was driven to it because the
express-messenger wouldn't raise his hands when ordered to do so. The
remaining four smoldered, silent, in their cells, no doubt feeling their
social ostracism in Limbo Lane society more keenly than they did the
memory of their less picturesque offences against the law.

Murray wondered at his own calmness and nearly indifference. In the
execution room were about twenty men, a congregation made up of prison
officers, newspaper reporters, and lookers-on who had succeeded

Here, in the very middle of a sentence, the hand of Death interrupted
the telling of O. Henry's last story. He had planned to make this story
different from his others, the beginning of a new series in a style he
had not previously attempted. "I want to show the public," he said,
"that I can write something new--new for me, I mean--a story without
slang, a straightforward dramatic plot treated in a way that will come
nearer my idea of real story-writing." Before starting to write the
present story, he outlined briefly how he intended to develop it:
Murray, the criminal accused and convicted of the brutal murder of his
sweetheart--a murder prompted by jealous rage--at first faces the death
penalty, calm, and, to all outward appearances, indifferent to his fate.
As he nears the electric chair he is overcome by a revulsion of feeling.
He is left dazed, stupefied, stunned. The entire scene in the
death-chamber--the witnesses, the spectators, the preparations for
execution--become unreal to him. The thought flashes through his brain
that a terrible mistake is being made. Why is he being strapped to the
chair? What has he done? What crime has he committed? In the few moments
while the straps are being adjusted a vision comes to him. He dreams a
dream. He sees a little country cottage, bright, sun-lit, nestling in a
bower of flowers. A woman is there, and a little child. He speaks with
them and finds that they are his wife, his child--and the cottage their
home. So, after all, it is a mistake. Some one has frightfully,
irretrievably blundered. The accusation, the trial, the conviction, the
sentence to death in the electric chair--all a dream. He takes his wife
in his arms and kisses the child. Yes, here is happiness. It was a
dream. Then--at a sign from the prison warden the fatal current is
turned on.

Murray had dreamed the wrong dream.

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