Jimmy Valentine by O. Henry – Questions and Answers(L.A.Q.), Class 11, WBCHSE

1)What did Jimmy write to his old friend? Why did he write so? [3+2 = 5] [Annual Exam. 11 – 2015, 2018]

Ans. After spending a year in Elmore and settling himself as a prosperous businessman, Jimmy wrote a letter to his old friend Billy. He asked Billy to meet him at Sullivan’s place next Wednesday.  He wanted to wind up some little matters and to present him with the burglar’s tools. He did not need them because he wished to lead an honest life. He had a nice shoe store. He also informed Billy that within two weeks, he was going to marry the finest girl on earth.

He wrote the letter to inform Billy about his present position as a successful businessman and his future plans after marriage. He realised that leading an honest life was the only life. His words showed Jimmy’s reformation as a good human being.

2)What did Jimmy Valentine do from the time he got out of jail till met Mike Dolan? [5] [Annual Exam. 11 – 2017]

Ans. After coming out of the jail, Jimmy headed straight for a restaurant ignoring the natural beauties like the songs of birds, the waving green trees, and the smell of the flowers. In the hotel, he tasted the first sweet joys of liberty in the form of a broiled chicken, a bottle of white wine and a good quality cigar. Then he reached the depot and before entering the train, he tossed a quarter of a dollar in the hat of a blind man. Then he travelled for three hours and reached a little town where his friend Mike Dolan lived.

3)What new name did Jimmy Valentine assume at Elmore? What business did Jimmy open there? How did Jimmy fare at Elmore? [1+1+3 = 5] [Annual Exam. 11 – 2016]

Ans. Jimmy Valentine assumed a new name Ralph D. Spenser at Elmore.

Jimmy opened an exclusive shoe store at Elmore.

Jimmy opened a shoe store and secured a good run of it. Within a year he became a prosperous businessman and earned a social reputation in the community. And most of all he fell in love. In two weeks he was going to marry the finest girl on earth, Annabel Adams. He was received cordially by the Adams family.

4) “He opened this and gazed fondly.” – What was opened? What did the person gaze fondly at? Why did he gaze at it fondly? [1+2+2 =5]

Ans. Jimmy’s suitcase was opened.

Jimmy fondly gazed at the finest set of burglar’s tools which include the latest designs of drills, punches, braces, bits Jimmies, clamps, augers etc.

The burglar’s tools meant a lot to him. They were made of tempered steel which cost more than nine hundred dollars. He took pride in them. After ten months of separation from the suitcase, he was fortunate to meet the tools. So, he gazed fondly at his valuable possessions.

5) “Ben Price investigated the scene of the robberies and was heard to remark.” – Who was Ben Price? What did he say? What did he know of Jimmy’s habits? [1+1+3 = 5] [Annual Exam. 11– 2020]

Ans. Ben Price was a famous detective who arrested Jimmy and was investigating the cases of burglaries.

By investigating the method of burglaries, Ben Price was heard to remark that they were all done by Dandy Jim Valentine. He found his autograph everywhere. He resumed his business.

While working on the Springfield case, he learned a lot of things about Jimmy’s habits. Long jumps, quick getaway, no crime partner and a taste for good society were his characteristic features. These habits made Jimmy a successful dodger of punishment.

6) “That’s Dandy Jim Valentines’s autograph.” – Who said this and why? How did he come to such a conclusion? [Annual Exam. 11 – 2022]

Ans. Ben Price, the famous detective said this.

After investigating the three burglary cases in Richmond, Logansport and Jefferson City, Ben Price found a distinct similarity in methods of burglary and thus he said these words.

The way the combination knob was jerked out, proved that it was Jimmy’s autograph because none but Jimmy had such rare clumps that could do it. Moreover, the way the tumblers were punched out and how the hole was made by using a drill made Ben Price confident that Jimmy Valentine resumed his business.

7) “Mr Ralph D. Spencer, the phoenix that arose from Jimmy Valentine’s ashes.” – Who is Ralph D. Spencer? What is Phoenix? Why has the comparison been made? [1+2+2 = 5] [Annual Exam. 11 – 2019]

Ans. Mr Ralph D. Spencer was the new name that Jimmy Valentine had assumed at Elmore.

According to ancient mythological stories, the phoenix is a legendary Arabian bird. It burns itself to ashes every five hundred years and is again born out of its ashes.

When Jimmy Valentine looked into Annabel’s eyes, he forgot himself and became another man. He decided to avoid his old profession of burglary and would lead an honest life with a new name. By the attack of love, Ralph D. Spencer emerged from the ashes of Jimmy Valentine. Thus the comparison of jimmy valentine with the phoenix is appropriate.

8) “That child – she can’t stand it long in there.” – Who is referred to here? Why was she in danger? How was she saved? [1+2+2 = 5] [Annual Exam. 11 – 2014 & 2022]

Ans. The child referred to here is Agatha, the daughter of Annabel’s elder sister.

While all were busy talking, May in a spirit of play had shut Agatha in the vault. The vault could not be easily opened. The combination of bolts and knobs was not set. There was little air. Agatha would go into convulsion from fright. That was why she was in danger.

All were bewildered with excitement at that moment. Annabel with full of anguish begged Jimmy to do something to rescue the child. Jimmy agreed but was aware of the fact that he would lose everything. He opened the suitcase and in ten minutes he broke the vault with his pet drills. In this way, he saved the child.

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