1923. William Sydney Porter (O. Henry) was the most popular short story writer of his time. His stories typically revolved around two of his favorite themes, the situation of the impostor and fate as the one unavoidable reality of life. Another device he used was the surprise ending, usually coming about through coincidence. He was the founder of the humorous weekly The Rolling Stone. When the weekly failed, he joined the Houston Post as a reporter and columnist. He was convicted of embezzling money, although there's much debate over his actual guilt, and while in prison he started to write short stories. His first work, Whistling Dick's Christmas Stocking appeared in McClure's Magazine. After emerging from prison Porter changed his name to O. Henry. He then moved to New York and wrote a story a week for the New York World, also publishing in other magazines. The Gentle Grafter looks at business from a distinctly shady angle, with its stories about coolheaded, sharp-dressing trickster Jeff Peters. See other titles by this author available from Kessinger Publishing.