William Sydney Porter
(pseudonym – o. Henry)
Born – September 11, 1862,
North Carolina.
Died – June 05.1910, New
York city.
Famous writings
a)      cabbages and kings
b)     The gift of the magi
c)      The Ransom of Red chief.
d) The cap and
the Anthem.
Awards – After his death,
there started O. Henry memorial Awards in 1919.
Textbook answers and solutions
Page – 52.
4.         a) One day last summer
the author was travelling to 
Pittsburgh by chair car. What does he say about his
Ans:     Meticulous was the author in unfolding the tid-bids of the
co-passengers. There had been every kind of passenger from everywhere,
belonging to every possible class and going to everywhere. He even delicately
described the ladies with brown silk dresses with square yokes with lace
insertion and dotted veils. He even gave a pen picture of the part of John A. Pescud,
who was black, small and bald headed.
            b) Who
was the passenger of chair no. 9?  What
did he suddenly do?
Ans: The protagonist of the
story, old acquaintance of the author, the plate glass salesman, John A. Pescud
was the passenger chair No. 9.
            Out of frustration and irritation due to the improbability
of the story in the real life, John A Pescud, hurled a book in between the
window and the chair. The best seller novel “The Rose lady and the Trevelyan”
was sternly criticized because it dealt with a fancy story which he
            c) What
was John A. Pescud’s opinion about best sellers? Why?
Ans:     He strongly condemned the stories that the best sellers do eater.
He was irritated with the then best seller novels because most of them do not
have any affinity with realistic realm. He criticized what “The Rose lady and
the Trevelyan” dealt with. He could not accept that an American young man would
fall in love with a European princess and they would be united even after their
different social stations. He believed that everyone chooses a girl from same
level of society.
What does John say about himself since his last meeting with the author?
Ans: On being questioned by
the author, Pescud gave an epitomized description of the progress of his life.
He acquainted that he got his salary raised twice and he gets good commission.
He even bought a slice of real estate. In addition to his company will sell
some stock of shares to him. He declares his walk in life to be in path of
general prosperity.
            e) How
did Jon’s first meeting with Jessie’s father go? What did the author tell him?
Ans:     John met with Jessie’s father with all anxieties and horror. He
went cold at his arrival. But as time progressed he revived and revealed his
desire i.e. to marry his daughter. He acquainted him about everything, his job,
salary, prospects and code of living. He found Jessie’s father to be fun-long,
decent and seraphic who enjoyed stories and experiences shared by Pescud.
            f) Why
did John get off at Coke town?
Ans:     John’s getting down at Coke town was not of business purpose;
rather he had a desire to impress upon his wife. When the other day on his trip
to Philadelphia, his wife noticed some petunias in a pot in one of the windows
of the houses of Coke town, he devised to bring some for his wife. Today his
plan to get off at Coke town is only for the Petunias for his wife.
John is a hypocrite. Do you agree with this statement? Substantiate your
Ans:     If hypocrite means of a person who pretends to have high valued
or personal opinion of life, then Pescud is a hypocrite. At the outset we get
know Pescud’s strong dislike for those bestselling novels which eater
non-realistic stories. As example he criticized “The Rose Lady and the
Trevelyan” in which a love story between and American youth and Princess of
Europe is depicted. But at the end we find him to go for a girl whose father
was a lineal descendant of belted earls. His thought and his going for a girl
of higher station and wealth shows that he is a hypocrite.
Describe John A. Pescud with reference to the following points.
Physical appearance – Pescud was a person of
small stature who was bald headed. He was a small man with wide smile and his
eyes always on the little red sport on the end of other’s nose.
His philosophy on Behaviour – He believed
that a person ought to be decent and law abiding when he is in his home town.
His profession – Pescud was a travelling
salesman of a plate glass company i.e. Cambria steel works.
His first Impression of his wife _ On his way
to Cincinnati, he first met with his wife. When he saw her first time across
the aisle, he considered his wife to be the finest looking girl he had ever
laid eyes on. Though she was not spectacular, she wanted her permanently as his
His success – Pescud was really a
successful person. Since the meeting with the Author two years back, his salary
has been raised twice; he gets good commission, he has bought a neat slice of
real-estate and next year company will sell some shares to him. Besides, he was
successful in marrying his dream girl Jessie. He built a house in the East End
and stays with his wife and her father.  

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