After Twenty Years

by O. Henry

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How does Bob describe his friend Jimmy in "After Twenty Years"?

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In “After Twenty Years,” by O. Henry, Bob is waiting for Jimmy to arrive at the reunion spot they agreed upon twenty years prior. As he waits on a cold, deserted, New York City street outside where “’Big Joe’ Brady’s,” a restaurant, used to be, a cop walks over. Bob reassures the cop that everything is fine, and then he proceeds to explain why he’s waiting, telling the cop about his old friend Jimmy. Bob describes Jimmy as his childhood best friend and “best fellow in the world" and “as true as any man in the world.” This description is important to how the story ultimately ends. They were like brothers, Bob continues, and he knows that if Jimmy is alive, he will meet him at the decided-upon spot. Bob, who has been out west for twenty years, adds that he knows Jimmy would never leave New York City, and that he is sure he will arrive.

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In "After Twenty Years," a cop is patrolling the street when he comes upon Bob. Bob explains that he is waiting for his friend, Jimmy. Twenty years before, Bob and Jimmy had dinner together at a restaurant that once stood where Bob is waiting. Bob explains that he and Jimmy agreed to meet after twenty years to see where life has taken them. Bob describes Jimmy as his best friend and the "best fellow in the world." He tells the cop that the two of them grew up together in New York where they were like brothers. Bob, who was eighteen years old at the time, explains that his plan is to travel west. Twenty-year-old Jimmy would remain in New York. At their planned meeting, Bob is confident that his friend will arrive because he describes him as "true as any man in the world." Bob does not realize that the cop with whom he is speaking is Jimmy.

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