After Twenty Years Questions and Answers
by O. Henry

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Did Officer Wells do the right thing?

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In O. Henry's short story "After Twenty Years ," Jimmy Wells is a police officer who makes a difficult but correct decision. Twenty years previous to the action of the story, Wells and a friend agreed to meet each other at a certain spot twenty years later. Wells meets the man, but since they meet outside, at night, in the dark, neither man can see the other clearly; however, when the waiting man strikes a match, Wells can see that his face is the face of a notorious criminal he has seen on wanted posters. Wells doesn't reveal his own identity but sends a plain-clothes police officer to first pretend to be himself, then arrest the waiting man, and then give...

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