en-fr  After Twenty Years - A short story by O. Henry (1862–1910)
Le policier de faction remonta l'avenue de façon impressionnante. La magnificence était habituelle, ce n'était pas de l'esbrouffe car les spectateurs étaient peu nombreux. Il était à peine dix heures du soir, mais de fraiches rafales de vent avec un avant goût de pluie avaient presque dépeuplé les rues.

Testant les portes en marchant, faisant tournoyer sa matraque avec des mouvements compliqués et talentueux, faisant demi-tour de temps à autre pour jeter un œil attentif sur la rue paisible, l'officier, avec sa remarquable attitude et sa démarche légère, présentait une image magnifique de gardien de la paix. Le quartier était du genre lève-tôt. De temps en temps on pouvait voir les lumières d'un débit de tabac ou d'un bar à restauration rapide ouvert de nuit; mais la plupart des portes appartenaient à des immeubles de bureaux fermés depuis longtemps.

A mi-chemin d'un certain bloc, le policier ralentit sa marche. Dans l'entrée d'une quincaillerie, un homme était adossé, un cigare éteint à la bouche. Comme le policier s'approchait de lui, l'homme éleva la voix rapidement.

— Tout va bien, officier, dit-il d'un ton rassurant. Je suis simplement en train d'attendre un ami. C'est un rendez-vous prévu depuis vingt ans. Ça vous semble un peu bizarre n'est-ce pas? Bon, je vais vous expliquer si vous préférez vous assurer que tout va bien. Il y a longtemps, il y avait un restaurant là où se trouve ce magasin — le restaurant du gros Joe Brady.

— Il y a cinq ans à peine, dit le policier. On l'a démoli.

L'homme sous le porche craqua une allumette et alluma son cigare. La flamme éclaira un visage pâle à la mâchoire carrée au regard vif avec une petite cicatrice blanche près de son sourcil droit. Son épingle de cravate était un énorme diamant, bizarrement monté.

— Il y a vingt ans ce soir, dit l'homme, j'ai diné ici chez le gros Joe Brady avec Jimmy Wells, mon brave pote et le meilleur gars du monde. Lui et moi, on était montés à New York, comme deux frères, ensemble. J'avais dix-huit ans et Jimmy vingt. Le lendemain matin, je devais partir pour l'Ouest pour faire fortune. On n'aurait pas pu traîner Jimmy hors de New York; il pensait que c'était le seul endroit au monde où vivre. Bon, nous convînmes ce soir-là que nous nous rencontrerions ici exactement vingt ans plus tard, quelles que soient nos situations ou la distance que nous aurions à parcourir pour venir. Nous imaginions que, dans vingt ans, chacun de nous devait avoir accompli son destin et fait fortune, en dépit de ce que nous voulions être.

— Ça paraît extrêmement intéressant, dit le policier. Ça fait plutôt un long délai entre les rendez-vous, pourtant, me semble-t-il. Avez-vous eu des nouvelles de votre ami depuis que vous êtes parti?

— Eh bien, oui, pendant quelque temps, nous nous sommes écrits, dit l'autre. Mais après un an ou deux, nous nous sommes perdus de vue. Voyez-vous, l'Ouest c'est un truc plutôt vaste et je n'ai pas cessé d'aller et venir dans la région. Mais je sais que Jimmy va me rencontrer ici s'il est en vie, car il a toujours été le bon vieux copain le plus loyal et le plus vrai du monde. Jamais il n'oubliera. J'ai parcouru un millier de miles pour venir ce soir à cette porte et ça vaut la peine si mon vieux camarade arrive.

L'homme qui attendait sortit une belle montre dont le couvercle était serti de petits diamants.

— Dix heures moins trois, annonça-t-il. Il était exactement dix heures quand nous nous sommes séparés, ici, à la porte du restaurant.

— C'était plutôt bien dans l'Ouest, non ? demanda le policier.

— Vous pouvez le dire ! J'espère que Jimmy a au moins réussi à moitié. Il était du genre bûcheur, mais bon garçon quoi qu'il en soit. J'ai dû me bagarrer avec quelques-uns des plus malins pour amasser mon magot. À New York, un homme s'encroûte. A l'ouest, vous avez le couteau sous la gorge.

Le policier fit des moulinets avec son bâton et s'écarta d'un pas ou deux.

Je vais y aller. J'espère que votre ami va arriver pile à la bonne heure. Vous allez l'attendre encore longtemps ?

— Je dirais que non ! répondit l'homme. Je lui donne au moins une demi-heure. Si Jimmy est en vie quelque part sur cette terre, il sera là dans les délais. À plus tard, m'sieur l'agent.

— Bonsoir Monsieur, dit le policier en reprenant sa ronde et vérifiant quelques portes tout en s'éloignant

Désormais une bruine fine et froide tombait, et le vent avait remplacé ses rafales irrégulières par un souffle permanent Les quelques piétons qui se trouvaient dans ce quartier se hâtaient, furtifs, silencieux, les cols des manteaux relevés et les mains au fond des poches. Et, devant la porte de la quincaillerie, l'homme qui avait parcouru un millier de kilomètres pour honorer un rendez-vous — improbable jusqu'à l'absurde —, avec l'ami de sa jeunesse, fumait son cigare et attendait.

Après une vingtaine de minutes d'attente, un grand homme en long manteau, le col retroussé jusqu'aux oreilles, arriva à vive allure de l'autre côté de la rue. Il se dirigea droit sur l'homme qui attendait.

— C'est toi, Bob ? demanda-t-il, hésitant.

— C'est toi, Jimmy Wells ? s'écria l'homme dans l'encadrement.

— Dieu soit loué ! s'exclama le nouvel arrivant, serrant vivement les mains du premier entre les siennes. "C'était Bob, sûr et certain. J'étais certain de te trouver ici si tu étais toujours en vie. Bon... bon... eh bien !... vingt ans, ça fait beaucoup. Le vieux restaurant a disparu, Bob, j'aurais aimé qu'il soit encore là, on aurait encore pu se payer un bon dîner. Comment l'ouest t'a réussi, mon vieux ?

Épatant, il m'a donné tout ce que j'en attendais. T'as pas mal changé, Jimmy. Je ne me souvenais pas que tu étais si grand, je te voyais avec deux ou trois pouces de moins.

— Oh, j'ai un peu grandi après mes vingts ans.

— Ça va à New York, Jimmy ?

— Comme ça. J'ai une place dans un magasin de la ville. Allez viens, Bob, on va aller dans un endroit que je connais et on parlera longuement du bon vieux temps.

Les deux hommes descendirent la rue, bras dessus bras dessous. L'homme de l'ouest, son amour-propre gonflé par le succès, commençait à esquisser l'histoire de sa carrière. L'autre, engoncé dans son pardessus, écoutait avec intérêt.

Au coin de la rue se dressait un drugstore, baigné d'une vive lumière électrique. En entrant dans ce halo lumineux, ils se tournèrent simultanément pour regarder le visage de l'autre.

L'homme de l'ouest s'arrêta soudainement et dégagea son bras.

— Tu n'es pas Jimmy Wells, dit-il d'une voix cassante. Vingt ans, c'est beaucoup, mais pas suffisamment pour changer un nez romain en nez camus.

— Ça change parfois un chic type en un sale bonhomme, dit le grand homme. Vous êtes en état d'arrestation depuis dix minutes, Bob « le Mielleux». La police de Chicago pense que vous êtes tombés entre nos mains et elle nous a informés qu'elle veut discuter avec vous. Allez-vous me suivre gentiment ? Ce serait raisonnable. Maintenant, avant de nous rendre à la gare, voici une note qu'on m'a demandé de vous remettre. Vous pouvez la lire ici, devant la vitrine. C'est de l'agent Wells.

L'homme de l'Ouest déplia le petit morceau de papier qu'on lui tendait . Sa main était stable quand il commença à lire, mais il tremblait légèrement quand il eut terminé. La note était plutôt brève.


— Bob, j'étais à l'heure à l'endroit prévu. Lorsque tu as gratté l'allumette pour allumer ton cigare, j'ai vu que c'était le visage de l'homme recherché à Chicago. Pourtant, je ne pouvais pas le faire moi-même, alors je suis allé chercher un homme en civil pour faire le travail.
unit 1
The policeman on the beat moved up the avenue impressively.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 2
The impressiveness was habitual and not for show, for spectators were few.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 5
The vicinity was one that kept early hours.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 7
When about midway of a certain block the policeman suddenly slowed his walk.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 8
In the doorway of a darkened hardware store a man leaned, with an unlighted cigar in his mouth.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 9
As the policeman walked up to him the man spoke up quickly.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 10
"It's all right, officer," he said, reassuringly.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 11
"I'm just waiting for a friend.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 12
It's an appointment made twenty years ago.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 13
Sounds a little funny to you, doesn't it?
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 14
Well, I'll explain if you'd like to make certain it's all straight.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 16
"Until five years ago," said the policeman.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 17
"It was torn down then."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 18
The man in the doorway struck a match and lit his cigar.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 20
His scarfpin was a large diamond, oddly set.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 22
He and I were raised here in New York, just like two brothers, together.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 23
I was eighteen and Jimmy was twenty.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 24
The next morning I was to start for the West to make my fortune.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 25
You couldn't have dragged Jimmy out of New York; he thought it was the only place on earth.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 28
"It sounds pretty interesting," said the policeman.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 29
"Rather a long time between meets, though, it seems to me.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 30
Haven't you heard from your friend since you left?"
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 31
"Well, yes, for a time we corresponded," said the other.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 32
"But after a year or two we lost track of each other.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 33
You see, the West is a pretty big proposition, and I kept hustling around over it pretty lively.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 35
He'll never forget.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 36
unit 37
The waiting man pulled out a handsome watch, the lids of it set with small diamonds.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 38
"Three minutes to ten," he announced.
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 39
"It was exactly ten o'clock when we parted here at the restaurant door."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 40
"Did pretty well out West, didn't you?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 41
asked the policeman.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 42
"You bet!
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 43
I hope Jimmy has done half as well.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 44
He was a kind of plodder, though, good fellow as he was.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 45
I've had to compete with some of the sharpest wits going to get my pile.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 46
A man gets in a groove in New York.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 47
It takes the West to put a razor-edge on him."
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 48
The policeman twirled his club and took a step or two.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 49
"I'll be on my way.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 50
Hope your friend comes around all right.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 51
Going to call time on him sharp?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 52
"I should say not!"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 53
said the other.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 54
"I'll give him half an hour at least.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 55
If Jimmy is alive on earth he'll be here by that time.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 56
So long, officer."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 57
"Good-night, sir," said the policeman, passing on along his beat, trying doors as he went.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 62
He went directly to the waiting man.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 63
"Is that you, Bob?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 64
he asked, doubtfully.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 65
"Is that you, Jimmy Wells?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 66
cried the man in the door.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 67
"Bless my heart!"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 68
exclaimed the new arrival, grasping both the other's hands with his own.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 69
"It's Bob, sure as fate.
2 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 70
I was certain I'd find you here if you were still in existence.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 71
Well, well, well!—twenty years is a long time.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 72
The old restaurant's gone, Bob; I wish it had lasted, so we could have had another dinner there.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 73
How has the West treated you, old man?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 74
"Bully; it has given me everything I asked it for.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 75
You've changed lots, Jimmy.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 76
I never thought you were so tall by two or three inches."
2 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 77
"Oh, I grew a bit after I was twenty."
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 78
"Doing well in New York, Jimmy?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 79
"Moderately.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 80
I have a position in one of the city departments.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 81
Come on, Bob; we'll go around to a place I know of, and have a good long talk about old times."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 82
The two men started up the street, arm in arm.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 84
The other, submerged in his overcoat, listened with interest.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 85
At the corner stood a drug store, brilliant with electric lights.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 86
When they came into this glare each of them turned simultaneously to gaze upon the other's face.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 87
The man from the West stopped suddenly and released his arm.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 88
"You're not Jimmy Wells," he snapped.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 89
"Twenty years is a long time, but not long enough to change a man's nose from a Roman to a pug."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 90
"It sometimes changes a good man into a bad one," said the tall man.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 91
"You've been under arrest for ten minutes, 'Silky' Bob.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 92
Chicago thinks you may have dropped over our way and wires us she wants to have a chat with you.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 93
Going quietly, are you?
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 94
That's sensible.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 95
Now, before we go on to the station here's a note I was asked to hand you.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 96
You may read it here at the window.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 97
It's from Patrolman Wells."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 98
The man from the West unfolded the little piece of paper handed him.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 99
His hand was steady when he began to read, but it trembled a little by the time he had finished.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 100
The note was rather short.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 101
Bob: I was at the appointed place on time.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 102
When you struck the match to light your cigar I saw it was the face of the man wanted in Chicago.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
unit 103
Somehow I couldn't do it myself, so I went around and got a plain clothes man to do the job.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 1 month ago
Gabrielle • 13957  commented on  unit 99  1 year, 1 month ago
Bouchka • 3709  commented on  unit 69  1 year, 1 month ago

The policeman on the beat moved up the avenue impressively. The impressiveness was habitual and not for show, for spectators were few. The time was barely 10 o'clock at night, but chilly gusts of wind with a taste of rain in them had well nigh de-peopled the streets.

Trying doors as he went, twirling his club with many intricate and artful movements, turning now and then to cast his watchful eye adown the pacific thoroughfare, the officer, with his stalwart form and slight swagger, made a fine picture of a guardian of the peace. The vicinity was one that kept early hours. Now and then you might see the lights of a cigar store or of an all-night lunch counter; but the majority of the doors belonged to business places that had long since been closed.

When about midway of a certain block the policeman suddenly slowed his walk. In the doorway of a darkened hardware store a man leaned, with an unlighted cigar in his mouth. As the policeman walked up to him the man spoke up quickly.

"It's all right, officer," he said, reassuringly. "I'm just waiting for a friend. It's an appointment made twenty years ago. Sounds a little funny to you, doesn't it? Well, I'll explain if you'd like to make certain it's all straight. About that long ago there used to be a restaurant where this store stands—'Big Joe' Brady's restaurant."

"Until five years ago," said the policeman. "It was torn down then."

The man in the doorway struck a match and lit his cigar. The light showed a pale, square-jawed face with keen eyes, and a little white scar near his right eyebrow. His scarfpin was a large diamond, oddly set.

"Twenty years ago to-night," said the man, "I dined here at 'Big Joe' Brady's with Jimmy Wells, my best chum, and the finest chap in the world. He and I were raised here in New York, just like two brothers, together. I was eighteen and Jimmy was twenty. The next morning I was to start for the West to make my fortune. You couldn't have dragged Jimmy out of New York; he thought it was the only place on earth. Well, we agreed that night that we would meet here again exactly twenty years from that date and time, no matter what our conditions might be or from what distance we might have to come. We figured that in twenty years each of us ought to have our destiny worked out and our fortunes made, whatever they were going to be."

"It sounds pretty interesting," said the policeman. "Rather a long time between meets, though, it seems to me. Haven't you heard from your friend since you left?"

"Well, yes, for a time we corresponded," said the other. "But after a year or two we lost track of each other. You see, the West is a pretty big proposition, and I kept hustling around over it pretty lively. But I know Jimmy will meet me here if he's alive, for he always was the truest, stanchest old chap in the world. He'll never forget. I came a thousand miles to stand in this door to-night, and it's worth it if my old partner turns up."

The waiting man pulled out a handsome watch, the lids of it set with small diamonds.

"Three minutes to ten," he announced. "It was exactly ten o'clock when we parted here at the restaurant door."

"Did pretty well out West, didn't you?" asked the policeman.

"You bet! I hope Jimmy has done half as well. He was a kind of plodder, though, good fellow as he was. I've had to compete with some of the sharpest wits going to get my pile. A man gets in a groove in New York. It takes the West to put a razor-edge on him."

The policeman twirled his club and took a step or two.

"I'll be on my way. Hope your friend comes around all right. Going to call time on him sharp?"

"I should say not!" said the other. "I'll give him half an hour at least. If Jimmy is alive on earth he'll be here by that time. So long, officer."

"Good-night, sir," said the policeman, passing on along his beat, trying doors as he went.

There was now a fine, cold drizzle falling, and the wind had risen from its uncertain puffs into a steady blow. The few foot passengers astir in that quarter hurried dismally and silently along with coat collars turned high and pocketed hands. And in the door of the hardware store the man who had come a thousand miles to fill an appointment, uncertain almost to absurdity, with the friend of his youth, smoked his cigar and waited.

About twenty minutes he waited, and then a tall man in a long overcoat, with collar turned up to his ears, hurried across from the opposite side of the street. He went directly to the waiting man.

"Is that you, Bob?" he asked, doubtfully.

"Is that you, Jimmy Wells?" cried the man in the door.

"Bless my heart!" exclaimed the new arrival, grasping both the other's hands with his own. "It's Bob, sure as fate. I was certain I'd find you here if you were still in existence. Well, well, well!—twenty years is a long time. The old restaurant's gone, Bob; I wish it had lasted, so we could have had another dinner there. How has the West treated you, old man?"

"Bully; it has given me everything I asked it for. You've changed lots, Jimmy. I never thought you were so tall by two or three inches."

"Oh, I grew a bit after I was twenty."

"Doing well in New York, Jimmy?"

"Moderately. I have a position in one of the city departments. Come on, Bob; we'll go around to a place I know of, and have a good long talk about old times."

The two men started up the street, arm in arm. The man from the West, his egotism enlarged by success, was beginning to outline the history of his career. The other, submerged in his overcoat, listened with interest.

At the corner stood a drug store, brilliant with electric lights. When they came into this glare each of them turned simultaneously to gaze upon the other's face.

The man from the West stopped suddenly and released his arm.

"You're not Jimmy Wells," he snapped. "Twenty years is a long time, but not long enough to change a man's nose from a Roman to a pug."

"It sometimes changes a good man into a bad one," said the tall man. "You've been under arrest for ten minutes, 'Silky' Bob. Chicago thinks you may have dropped over our way and wires us she wants to have a chat with you. Going quietly, are you? That's sensible. Now, before we go on to the station here's a note I was asked to hand you. You may read it here at the window. It's from Patrolman Wells."

The man from the West unfolded the little piece of paper handed him. His hand was steady when he began to read, but it trembled a little by the time he had finished. The note was rather short.

Bob: I was at the appointed place on time. When you struck the match to light your cigar I saw it was the face of the man wanted in Chicago. Somehow I couldn't do it myself, so I went around and got a plain clothes man to do the job.