How do you know Valentine has given up safe-cracking for good?

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The story “A Retrieved Reformation” starts with James Valentine’s release from prison. He had been sentenced for a four-year period but has been set free after only ten months. The story suggests that his friends outside the prison could have assisted him to get the early release.

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The story “A Retrieved Reformation” starts with James Valentine’s release from prison. He had been sentenced for a four-year period but has been set free after only ten months. The story suggests that his friends outside the prison could have assisted him to get the early release.

After leaving prison, Valentine gets back to safe-cracking. He is so good at it that he is not caught. However, there is a policeman called Ben Price who is highly skilled at catching safe-cracking criminals. He vows to catch Valentine and to make sure that he serves his full time in prison afterward.

Fortunately, Valentine turns a new leaf on relocating to the town of Elmore. He meets, falls in love with, and even plans to marry Annabel Adams, whose father owns the town bank. Valentine goes by the name “Ralph D. Spencer” in Elmore. He also starts a highly profitable shoe shop in the town. At the end of his first year in Elmore, he is so successful and happy that he decides to completely let go of his safe-cracking “business.”

We know that he really wants to quit his safe-cracking habits for good because he writes a letter to one of his old friends asking his friend to meet him on a certain day when he will gladly give away all of his safe-cracking tools to him. He states in the letter that he has achieved a better life with the woman of his dreams and wants to totally do away with his criminal past. Note that Valentine has not done any safe-cracking since he moved into Elmore. However, a few days later during a small occasion where a new safe is being unveiled at the bank, a baby is locked in the new safe. Valentine is forced to break open the safe so as to save the baby. This he does in the presence of many people, including the policeman Ben Price.

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