Why does Jimmy Valentine go to Mike Dolan's cafe in "A Retrieved Reformation"?

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Jimmy’s safe-cracking tools are stored in a room in the café.

After Jimmy Valentine gets out of prison, he goes to the café of Jimmy Dolan, where he has a room “at the back of the house.” Here the proprietor has been keeping his tools safe for him. He returned to get them back.

Mike Dolan was alone there. After shaking hands he said, “I’m sorry we couldn’t do it sooner, Jimmy my boy. But there was that safe in Springfield, too. It wasn’t easy. Feeling all right?”

Jimmy finds a small hole in the wall that doesn’t look like it is there. It is from this hidden hiding place that he produces a “dust-covered bag.” This is the bag that has his safe-cracking tools. They are valuable and he is clearly happy to see them.

He opened this and looked lovingly at the tools for breaking open a safe. No finer tools could be found any place. They were complete; everything needed was here. They had been made of a special material, in the necessary sizes and shapes.

Jimmy convinced the prison that he was reformed, but Ben Price, the police officer, was not convinced. He believed that Jimmy Valentine would return to his life of crime, and go back to cracking safes. He kept a careful lookout to make sure that he would be aware of any of this sort of activity as soon as it happened.

Jimmy kept his tools, and might have gone back to a life of crime. He had not lost his touch. He was able to open the safe to save the little girl. The irony is that he used his criminal skills for a good purpose. Ben Price decided to look the other way, feeling that Jimmy was a good person after all.

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