home | authors | books | about

Home -> O. Henry -> October and June

October and June

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

The Captain gazed gloomily at his sword that hung upon the wall. In the
closet near by was stored his faded uniform, stained and worn by weather
and service. What a long, long time it seemed since those old days of
war's alarms!

And now, veteran that he was of his country's strenuous times, he had been
reduced to abject surrender by a woman's soft eyes and smiling lips. As
he sat in his quiet room he held in his hand the letter he had just
received from her -- the letter that had caused him to wear that look of
gloom. He re-read the fatal paragraph that had destroyed his hope.

In declining the honour you have done me in asking me to be your wife, I
feel that I ought to speak frankly. The reason I have for so doing is the
great difference between our ages. I like you very, very much, but I am
sure that our marriage would not be a happy one. I am sorry to have to
refer to this, but I believe that you will appreciate my honesty in giving
you the true reason.

The Captain sighed, and leaned his head upon his hand. Yes, there were
many years between their ages. But he was strong and rugged, he had
position and wealth. Would not his love, his tender care, and the
advantages he could bestow upon her make her forget the question of age?
Besides, he was almost sure that she cared for him.

The Captain was a man of prompt action. In the field he had been
distinguished for his decisiveness and energy. He would see her and plead
his cause again in person. Age! -- what was it to come between him and
the one he loved?

In two hours he stood ready, in light marching order, for his greatest
battle. He took the train for the old Southern town in Tennessee where
she lived.

Theodora Deming was on the steps of the handsome, porticoed old mansion,
enjoying the summer twilight, when the Captain entered the gate and came
up the gravelled walk. She met him with a smile that was free from
embarrassment. As the Captain stood on the step below her, the difference
in their ages did not appear so great. He was tall and straight and
clear-eyed and browned. She was in the bloom of lovely womanhood.

"I wasn't expecting you," said Theodora; "but now that you've come you may
sit on the step. Didn't you get my letter?"

"I did," said the Captain; "and that's why I came. I say, now, Theo,
reconsider your answer, won't you?"

Theodora smiled softly upon him. He carried his years well. She was
really fond of his strength, his wholesome looks, his manliness --
perhaps, if --

"No, no," she said, shaking her head, positively; "it's out of the
question. I like you a whole lot, but marrying won't do. My age and
yours are -- but don't make me say it again -- I told you in my letter."

The Captain flushed a little through the bronze on his face. He was
silent for a while, gazing sadly into the twilight. Beyond a line of
woods that he could see was a field where the boys in blue had once
bivouacked on their march toward the sea. How long ago it seemed now!
Truly, Fate and Father Time had tricked him sorely. Just a few years
interposed between himself and happiness!

Theodora's hand crept down and rested in the clasp of his firm, brown
one. She felt, at least, that sentiment that is akin to love.

"Don't take it so hard, please," she said, gently. "It's all for the
best. I've reasoned it out very wisely all by myself. Some day you'll be
glad I didn't marry you. It would be very nice and lovely for a while --
but, just think! In only a few short years what different tastes we would
have! One of us would want to sit by the fireside and read, and maybe
nurse neuralgia or rheumatism of evenings, while the other would be crazy
for balls and theatres and late suppers. No, my dear friend. While it isn
't exactly January and May, it's a clear case of October and pretty early
in June."

"I'd always do what you wanted me to do, Theo. If you wanted to --"

"No, you wouldn't. You think now that you would, but you wouldn't.
Please don't ask me any more."

The Captain had lost his battle. But he was a gallant warrior, and when
he rose to make his final adieu his mouth was grimly set and his shoulders
were squared.

He took the train for the North that night. On the next evening he was
back in his room, where his sword was hanging against the wall. He was
dressing for dinner, tying his white tie into a very careful bow. And at
the same time he was indulging in a pensive soliloquy.

"'Pon my honour, I believe Theo was right, after all. Nobody can deny
that she's a peach, but she must be twenty-eight, at the very kindest

For you see, the Captain was only nineteen, and his sword had never been
drawn except on the parade ground at Chattanooga, which was as near as he
ever got to the Spanish-American War.

© Art Branch Inc. | English Dictionary