In "A Retrieved Reformation" what were Jimmy's successes in Elmore?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Jimmy Valentine descends from the "mail-hack" in Elmore, Arkansas, he soon becomes "another man": He successfully opens a shoe store and gains the love of Annabel Adams, the approval of her father, and is eventually able to completely abandon his former life.

Originally, Jimmy has been a safe cracker, but posing as a business man, he is soon Ralph D. Spencer, and rents a room at the Planter's Hotel, asking how the shoe business is in the town of Elmore and if there are any opportunities for open a store. The young clerk responds positively to him, saying that only the dry-goods store and the general stores carry shoes now. The new Ralph D. Spencer goes into action:

  • Jimmy, a/k/a Ralph, opens a shoe store and does well.
  • Socially he is also successful and makes many friends
  • He wins the affections of Annabel Adams, the daughter of the banker
  • Jimmy, a/k/a Ralph, wins Mr. Adams's approval.
  • Jimmy Valentine successfully opens the safe in which Annabel's niece is trapped.
  • Having been caught, he thinks, by Ben Price, Jimmy is surprisingly allowed to go free as Ben pretends that he does not know Jimmy--"Guess you're mistaken, Mr. Spencer....Don't believe I recognize you."
  • He is now permanently Ralph Spencer.