O. HENRY [=PORTER, WILLIAM SYDNEY] Autograph manuscript signed of A Chaparral Christmas Gift.
Likely New York: circa 1910. Full red morocco, marbled endpapers. 8 1/4 x 6 1/4 inches (21 x 15.5 cm); 26 ff. on guards, complete autograph fair copy (likely intended for the printer) written one side of the sheet only in pencil, approximately 1,800 words, with the author's autograph signature on the first page as "O. Henry." Several small ink corrections, mostly punctuation, likely also in the author's hand, and an editorial note at head "Rush." Slight wear to joints, all sheets with a central fold from envelope insertion, a tiny hole affecting some leaves, minor soiling. From the collection of Frank Hogan, with his book label, sold in his 1945 Parke-Bernet sale.
This story, set in frontier Texas, features Johnny McRoy, the Frio Kid. With its bitter twist of an ending, it is an unusual O. Henry narrative. As the inserted text in this volume reads: "In the fifth paragraph the manuscript reads 'cast in those environs...' the printed version reads 'cast in those savannas.' In the manuscript there is a ring around the word "environs," showing perhaps that O. Henry was doubtful about it from the first." The story first appeared in Whirligigs, in the Collected Works, pp. 210-217. Full O. Henry manuscripts are distinctly scarce; the last we note, five leaves, sold in 2015.
C The Library of Duncan Cranford
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