In "A Retrieved Reformation," Jimmy Valentine, the talented young safecracker, appears to have genuinely changed his criminal ways when he falls in love with Annabel Adams, the daughter of a prominent small-town banker.
The first explicit sentence in the story to show Jimmy's desire to transform into a normal citizen is the following:
Jimmy Valentine looked into her eyes, forgot what he was, and became another man.
This sentence is a clever literary technique in setting up the story of how Jimmy Valentine will transform into another man. Moments after seeing Annabel, Jimmy checks into a hotel using the name "Ralph D. Spencer" and thus initiates his change of identity.
Here is another passage from the story that illustrates his transformation:
Mr. Ralph Spencer, the phoenix that arose from Jimmy Valentine's ashes—ashes left by the flame of a sudden and alterative attack of love—remained in Elmore, and prospered. He opened a shoe-store and secured a good run of trade.
The passage poetically articulates how Jimmy sheds his old life as a criminal—illustrated by the pile of ashes—and then rises like a phoenix, reborn. However, the passage also shows how he prospers in his new identity as Ralph Spencer. Both transformations were due to an "alterative attack of love."