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The Love Drug (after О. Henry)
Jim, a young car-driver, was a boarder at old Riddle’s. He was in love with Rosy, Mr Riddle’s only daughter, and Rosy was in love with him. They wanted to get mar ried; but Mr Riddle expected his daughter to marry a richer man, and that meant that Jim was going to have a hard struggle for his happiness.
Jim had a friend called Pilkins who worked as a night clerk at a chemist’s. One day Jim came to the chemist’s, looking very excited, and told him that he and Rosy had decided to run away and get married that night. “That is”, he added, “if she doesn’t change her mind. One day she says she will, and the same evening she says she won’t beca use she’s afraid. But you can help me, can’t you?” Jim asked, finishing his story.
“I don’t see how?” said Pilkins.
“I say, Pilkins, isn’t there a drug that’ll make a girl like
you better if you give it to her? 1 think that if I have a real stuff like this to give Rosy when I see her at supper tonight, she won’t be afraid any longer. 1 don’t mind if I have to pay
for it even if it costs all the money I have.”
“When is all this supposed to take place?” asked Pilkins.
“At nine o’clock. Supper’s at seven, at eight Rosy goes to bed, pretending to have a headache, at nine I go under her window and — Make up the powder, Pilkins, will you? And I’ll look after everything else myself.”
“I’ll do my best,” said Pilkins.
He gave Jim a powder and received his heartiest thanks.
“This,” Pilkins said to himself, “will make Rosy sleep for several hours without any danger to her."
When Jim had gone, Pilkins, who was in love with Rosy too, immediately went to Mr Riddle and told the old man that Jim and Rosy were going to run away that night.
“Can I do anything for you, sir?” he asked politely. “Shall I call the police?”
“No, thank you,” said Mr Riddle. “My room’s just above Rosy’s. I’ll go up myself after supper and take my gun and wait. If he comes under Rosy’s window, he’ll want a doctor, not a policeman, you can be sure of that.”
Pilkins went home. All night he waited for news of the tragedy, but none came. At eight o’clock in the morn