What conflict must Ben Price resolve in "A Retrieved Reformation"?

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The text of O. Henry's "A Retrieved Reformation" does not specify that Ben Price has any conflict to resolve. He seems highly motivated to catch Jimmy Valentine and see that he is sent to prison.

Ben Price investigated the scenes of the robberies, and was heard to...

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The text of O. Henry's "A Retrieved Reformation" does not specify that Ben Price has any conflict to resolve. He seems highly motivated to catch Jimmy Valentine and see that he is sent to prison.

Ben Price investigated the scenes of the robberies, and was heard to remark: “That's Dandy Jim Valentine's autograph. He's resumed business. Look at that combination knob—jerked out as easy as pulling up a radish in wet weather. He's got the only clamps that can do it. And look how clean those tumblers were punched out! Jimmy never has to drill but one hole. Yes, I guess I want Mr. Valentine. He'll do his bit next time without any short-time or clemency foolishness."

When Price traces Jimmy to Elmore, Arkansas, however, he finds that he has changed his name to Ralph Spencer and appears to have reformed completely. At this point Price could be experiencing an inner conflict about whether to arrest Jimmy for the three safecracking jobs he performed after being released from prison, or whether to let him retain his new identity and his new life as an honest small-town businessman engaged to marry the beautiful daughter of the town banker.

This inner conflict might be compared to that of Jimmy Wells in O. Henry's story "After Twenty Years." When Jimmy realizes that the man he is talking to at the doorway of the drugstore is wanted by the Chicago police, he has a conflict about making the arrest because the man is his old friend Bob. But Jimmy Wells has been a member of the New York Police Department for years, and he has a sworn duty to see that Bob is arrested. The same is not true of Ben Price. He is not a policeman, and there was no federal protection of banks in those horse-and-buggy days. Ben is evidently a private detective who specializes in providing security for banks, possibly a member of the famous Pinkerton's Detective Agency. As such, he has more discretion than any detective employed by local, state or federal government.

Ben must have made inquiries about Ralph Spencer before he followed him to the bank. He has learned that Jimmy has become an upright citizen and respected member of the town of Elmore. Then Ben sees with his own eyes how Jimmy makes a noble sacrifice by using his safecracking tools and expertise to save the life of the little girl trapped inside the vault, and he decides on his own discretion to give Jimmy a break. Ben is not violating any oath. He feels he is doing the right thing because he is sure Jimmy is completely reformed and on his way to becoming a model citizen, family man, taxpayer, churchgoer, and pillar of the community. Ben is doing this as a token of respect and appreciation for Jimmy's reformation and heroic rescue at the risk of everything he has achieved in Elmore.

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