The Cop and the Anthem

by O. Henry

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What five ways did Soapy try to get arrested and why did they fail?

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Weren't there really six ways in which Soapy tried to get arrested? He stole a man's umbrella in a cigar store, but the man wouldn't call the cop who was standing right nearby because the supposed owner of the umbrella had evidently stolen it himself. 

I suppose you could say that there were only five attempts to get arrested if you don't count the first episode as a crime. He went into the fancy restaurant with the intention of eating a big, expensive meal and then being unable to pay the check. But he was immediately ejected by the head waiter because of the condition of his pants and shoes. So he did not commit any misdemeanor there. But the other five incidents were all petty crimes. I suppose his attempt to get arrested as a "masher" would have been classified as "disorderly conduct" or "disturbing the peace." He couldn't have been arrested for some type of "assault" unless the woman had been willing to file a charge against him. And it is unlikely that even a more respectable woman would have been willing to go that far. 

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  • Tried to go have dinner and not pay and get put in jail for that.  Waiter threw him out because his clothes looked like a bum's.
  • Threw a brick through a window.  Officer didn't believe he did it because he hung around.
  • Ate dinner at a cheap restaurant, said he couldn't pay.  The waiter just had some guys throw him out.
  • He tried to hit on some woman, but she didn't call for the cops because she was a prostitute.
  • Acted drunk but the cop thought he was a college student celebrating a win in a football game.

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