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After Twenty Years
I have always enjoyed a good story. This one, written by O'Henry, is my favorite short story. O'Henry wrote a great deal using irony. And this narrative is no exception. I hope I have done justice in presenting you this tale in this MOC. Enjoy!
About this creation


The policeman on the beat moved up the avenue impressively. The impressiveness was habitual and not for show, for spectators were few. The time was barely 10 o'clock at night, but chilly gusts of wind with a taste of rain in them had well nigh depeopled the streets.

Trying doors as he went, twirling his club with many intricate and artful movements, turning now and then to cast his watchful eye adown the pacific thoroughfare, the officer, with his stalwart form and slight swagger, made a fine picture of a guardian of the peace. The vicinity was one that kept early hours. Now and then you might see the lights of a cigar store or of an all-night lunch counter; but the majority of the doors belonged to business places that had long since been closed.


When about midway of a certain block the policeman suddenly slowed his walk.


In the doorway of a darkened hardware store a man leaned, with an unlighted cigar in his mouth. As the policeman walked up to him the man spoke up quickly.

"It's all right, officer," he said, reassuringly. "I'm just waiting for a friend. It's an appointment made twenty years ago. Sounds a little funny to you, doesn't it? Well, I'll explain if you'd like to make certain it's all straight. About that long ago there used to be a restaurant where this store stands--'Big Joe' Brady's restaurant."

"Until five years ago," said the policeman. "It was torn down then."



The man in the doorway struck a match and lit his cigar. The light showed a pale, square-jawed face with keen eyes, and a little white scar near his right eyebrow. His scarfpin was a large diamond, oddly set.


"Twenty years ago to-night," said the man, "I dined here at 'Big Joe' Brady's with Jimmy Wells, my best chum, and the finest chap in the world. He and I were raised here in New York, just like two brothers, together. I was eighteen and Jimmy was twenty. The next morning I was to start for the West to make my fortune. You couldn't have dragged Jimmy out of New York; he thought it was the only place on earth. Well, we agreed that night that we would meet here again exactly twenty years from that date and time, no matter what our conditions might be or from what distance we might have to come. We figured that in twenty years each of us ought to have our destiny worked out and our fortunes made, whatever they were going to be."


"It sounds pretty interesting," said the policeman. "Rather a long time between meets, though, it seems to me. Haven't you heard from your friend since you left?"

"Well, yes, for a time we corresponded," said the other. "But after a year or two we lost track of each other. You see, the West is a pretty big proposition, and I kept hustling around over it pretty lively. But I know Jimmy will meet me here if he's alive, for he always was the truest, stanchest old chap in the world. He'll never forget. I came a thousand miles to stand in this door to-night, and it's worth it if my old partner turns up."

The waiting man pulled out a handsome watch, the lids of it set with small diamonds.

"Three minutes to ten," he announced. "It was exactly ten o'clock when we parted here at the restaurant door."

"Did pretty well out West, didn't you?" asked the policeman.

"You bet! I hope Jimmy has done half as well. He was a kind of plodder, though, good fellow as he was. I've had to compete with some of the sharpest wits going to get my pile. A man gets in a groove in New York. It takes the West to put a razor-edge on him."

The policeman twirled his club and took a step or two.

"I'll be on my way. Hope your friend comes around all right. Going to call time on him sharp?"

"I should say not!" said the other. "I'll give him half an hour at least. If Jimmy is alive on earth he'll be here by that time. So long, officer."


"Good-night, sir," said the policeman, passing on along his beat, trying doors as he went.

There was now a fine, cold drizzle falling, and the wind had risen from its uncertain puffs into a steady blow. The few foot passengers astir in that quarter hurried dismally and silently along with coat collars turned high and pocketed hands.


And in the door of the hardware store the man who had come a thousand miles to fill an appointment, uncertain almost to absurdity, with the friend of his youth, smoked his cigar and waited.


About twenty minutes he waited, and then a tall man in a long overcoat, with collar turned up to his ears, hurried across from the opposite side of the street. He went directly to the waiting man.

"Is that you, Bob?" he asked, doubtfully.

"Is that you, Jimmy Wells?" cried the man in the door.

"Bless my heart!" exclaimed the new arrival, grasping both the other's hands with his own. "It's Bob, sure as fate. I was certain I'd find you here if you were still in existence. Well, well, well! --twenty years is a long time. The old gone, Bob; I wish it had lasted, so we could have had another dinner there. How has the West treated you, old man?"

"Bully; it has given me everything I asked it for. You've changed lots, Jimmy. I never thought you were so tall by two or three inches."

"Oh, I grew a bit after I was twenty."

"Doing well in New York, Jimmy?"

"Moderately. I have a position in one of the city departments. Come on, Bob; we'll go around to a place I know of, and have a good long talk about old times."


The two men started up the street, arm in arm. The man from the West, his egotism enlarged by success, was beginning to outline the history of his career. The other, submerged in his overcoat, listened with interest.

At the corner stood a drug store, brilliant with electric lights. When they came into this glare each of them turned simultaneously to gaze upon the other's face.

The man from the West stopped suddenly and released his arm.


"You're not Jimmy Wells," he snapped. "Twenty years is a long time, but not long enough to change a man's nose from a Roman to a pug."

"It sometimes changes a good man into a bad one, said the tall man. "You've been under arrest for ten minutes, 'Silky' Bob. Chicago thinks you may have dropped over our way and wires us she wants to have a chat with you. Going quietly, are you? That's sensible. Now, before we go on to the station here's a note I was asked to hand you. You may read it here at the window. It's from Patrolman Wells."

The man from the West unfolded the little piece of paper handed him. His hand was steady when he began to read, but it trembled a little by the time he had finished. The note was rather short.





This build really tested my photography abilities. I fiddled around with the lighting and editing many times before I was satisfied with the atmosphere.

The credit for the lamppost goes to my brother.


Here is a set-up shot.



MOC by Lego Builder Senior



Comments

 I like it 
  December 6, 2012
it must have tested your patience as well, a ton of text! for a french speaking guy like me, it s more difficult to get, as it s old english rimes, kind of talk, it has it s flavor, and you made a fine atmospheric scene to go along, certainly, it was nt ment to have images, as the text itself ,images the whole scene, as old writings, the denouement takes forever, it s unique, but, long.
 I made it 
  September 5, 2012
Quoting George Staples Very nice use of lighting. I think the moc goes well with the story.
Thanks George! I'm glad you think so. -LB Senior
 I like it 
  September 4, 2012
Very nice use of lighting. I think the moc goes well with the story.
Lego Builders
 I like it 
Chris Melby
  September 3, 2012
Really cool! That was a nice change of pace! Z
 I made it 
  September 3, 2012
Quoting El Barto ! Just saw your post in the Rocket Surgery Group. I agree that some of the pics ended up a tad on the dark side. If you increase the light level when taking pictures, you should get a lot more of the surrounding detail. Then you can simply darken the photo in post production to create the desired ambiance. I find pics turn out a lot darker than what I see with my own eyes. All that aside, great story!
Interesting approach. Thanks, I'll keep it in mind. -LB Senior
 I like it 
  September 3, 2012
Just saw your post in the Rocket Surgery Group. I agree that some of the pics ended up a tad on the dark side. If you increase the light level when taking pictures, you should get a lot more of the surrounding detail. Then you can simply darken the photo in post production to create the desired ambiance. I find pics turn out a lot darker than what I see with my own eyes. All that aside, great story!
 I like it 
  September 3, 2012
woah! excellent!
 I made it 
  September 3, 2012
Quoting Chris Melby Really cool! That was a nice change of pace! Z
Indeed. Expect the unexpected! -LB Senior
 I made it 
  September 3, 2012
Quoting Builder Allan Very nice :-) Good job recreating the story and capturing the atmosphere. Good work on the buildings too. Personally i think a few of the photos are a tad too dark but that might just be me :-)
I struggled with creating the buildings, so I'm glad they worked. Yes, I agree that they are rather dark.
Quoting StoveTop Creator Nice lighting experimentation! Great choice of a story to help you with it too! You should also read 'The Ransom of Red Chief' if you like O'Henry tales! :)
As a matter of fact, I did read "The Ransom of Red Chief." Actually it was the first O'Henry story I read. It's hilarious! -LB Senior
 I like it 
  September 3, 2012
Outstanding work.
 I like it 
  September 3, 2012
Great MOC to go with the story, and superb lighting.
 I like it 
  September 3, 2012
Very nice :-) Good job recreating the story and capturing the atmosphere. Good work on the buildings too. Personally i think a few of the photos are a tad too dark but that might just be me :-)
 I like it 
  September 3, 2012
cool...
 I like it 
  September 3, 2012
Nice lighting experimentation! Great choice of a story to help you with it too! You should also read 'The Ransom of Red Chief' if you like O'Henry tales! :)
 I made it 
  September 3, 2012
Quoting M2com McKinney What a great rendition! Very very nice work!
Thanks McKinney. I'm glad you enjoyed it. -LB Senior
 I like it 
  September 2, 2012
What a great rendition! Very very nice work!
 I made it 
  September 2, 2012
Quoting Halhi 141 Great lighting; the builds do a great job of creating the atmosphere. Maybe you could post a picture in normal lighting?...
Like a behind the scene photo? Yes, I've thought of that. Maybe I will. Your input is much appreciated. -LB Senior
 I like it 
  September 2, 2012
Neat!
 I like it 
  September 2, 2012
Great lighting; the builds do a great job of creating the atmosphere. Maybe you could post a picture in normal lighting?...
 
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LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop After Twenty YearsOther


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