William Sydney Porter, known to posterity as the author O. Henry, is famous for stories that have surprise endings. A very adventurous life, including an imprisonment of three years for embezzlement, provided O Henry with a wide range of experiences and acquaintances, many of which appear in his numerous short stories.
In his day he was called the American answer to the French writer Guy de Maupassant. While both authors wrote plot twist endings, O. Henry's stories were considerably more playful, and are also known for their witty narration.
An enduring part of O Henry’s legacy is the annual O Henry Award, a prestigious annual prize named after Porter and given to outstanding short stories. Each year, winners of the award are published in an annual anthology. O. Henry's love of language inspired the O.Henry Pun-Off, an annual spoken word competition begun in 1978 that takes place at the O.Henry House.
In today’s story, a potential inheritance takes a roundabout way of reaching its owner. “One Thousand Dollars,” by O Henry. We begin….