Monday, 27 September 1999

O. Henry: Sixes and Sevens (1911)

Edition:  Doubleday, Doran & Co
Review number: 336

The last collection of O. Henry's short stories made during his lifetime, like the preceding one (Options), is a heterogeneous group of tales typical of the writer. He left approximately as much uncollected material, generally not as high a standard as that which had been published in book form.

My favourite story in Sixes and Sevens is The Champion of the Weather, in which a cowboy from the remote Kiowa Reservation visits New York. He is amazed when no one speaks to him the whole time he is there - this general consequence of modern city life is totally foreign to him. The story is about his efforts to have a conversation about anything with someone, including the weather. It is an inconsequential little tale, but it shows Henry at his amusing best.

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