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AMERICAN STORIES - 'One Thousand Dollars,' by O. Henry 美国短篇小说:1000美元(欧-亨利 著)


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Read and listen to the O. Henry story, One Thousand Dollars, created by VOA Learning English.
Read and listen to the O. Henry story, One Thousand Dollars, created by VOA Learning English.

Our story today is called "One Thousand Dollars." It was written by O. Henry. Here is Steve Ember with the story.

'One thousand dollars,' said the lawyer Tolman, in a severe and serious voice. 'And here is the money."

Young Gillian touched the thin package of $50 bills and laughed.

'It's such an unusual amount,' he explained kindly to the lawyer. "If it had been $10,000, a man might celebrate with a lot of fireworks. Even $50 would have been less trouble.'

'You heard the reading of your uncle's will after he died,' continued the lawyer Tolman. 'I do not know if you paid much attention to its details. I must remind you of one. You are required to provide us with a report of how you used this $1,000 as soon as you have spent it. I trust that you will obey the wishes of your late uncle.'

William Sydney Porter, or O. Henry sits for a portrait.
William Sydney Porter, or O. Henry sits for a portrait.

'You may depend on it,' said the young man respectfully.

Gillian went to his club. He searched for a man he called Old Bryson.

Old Bryson was a calm, anti-social man, about 40 years old. He was in a corner reading a book. When he saw Gillian coming near he took a noisy, deep breath, laid down his book and took off his glasses.

'I have a funny story to tell you," said Gillian.

'I wish you would tell it to someone in the billiard room,' said Old Bryson. 'You know how I hate your stories.'

19th Century Billiards Room
19th Century Billiards Room

'This is a better one than usual,' said Gillian, rolling a cigarette, and I'm glad to tell it to you. It's too sad and funny to go with the rattling of billiard balls.

I've just come from a meeting with my late uncle's lawyers. He leaves me an even $1,000. Now, what can a man possibly do with $1,000?'

Old Bryson showed very little interest. 'I thought the late Septimus Gillian was worth something like half a million.'

'He was,' agreed Gillian, happily. 'And that's where the joke comes in. He has left a lot of his money to an organism. That is, part of it goes to the man who invents a new bacillus and the rest to establish a hospital for doing away with it again. There are one or two small, unimportant gifts on the side. The butler and the housekeeper get a seal ring and $10 dollars each. His nephew gets $1,000 thousand dollars.'

'Were there any others mentioned in your uncle's will?' asked Old Bryson.

'None.' said Gillian. "There is a Miss Hayden. My uncle was responsible for her. She lived in his house. She's a quiet thing ... musical ... the daughter of somebody who was unlucky enough to be his friend.

'I forgot to say that she was in on the ring and $10 joke, too. I wish I had been. Then I could have had two bottles of wine, given the ring to the waiter and had the whole business off my hands. Now tell me what a man can do with $1,000.'

Old Bryson rubbed his glasses and smiled. And when Old Bryson smiled, Gillian knew that he intended to be more offensive than ever.

There are many good things a man could do with $1,000," said Bryson. 'You?' he said with a gentle laugh. 'Why, Bobby Gillian, there's only one reasonable thing you could do. You can go and buy Miss Lotta Lauriere a diamond necklace with the money and then take yourself off to Idaho and inflict your presence upon a ranch. I advise a sheep ranch, as I have a particular dislike for sheep."

'Thanks,' said Gillian as he rose from his chair. 'I knew I could depend on you, Old Bryson. You've hit on the very idea. I wanted to spend the money on one thing, because I have to turn in a report for it, and I hate itemizing."

Gillian phoned for a cab and said to the driver: 'The stage entrance of the Columbine Theatre.'

The theater was crowded. Miss Lotta Lauriere was preparing for her performance when her assistant spoke the name of Mr. Gillian.

'Let it in,' said Miss Lauriere. 'Now, what is it, Bobby? I'm going on stage in two minutes.'

"It won't take two minutes for me. What do you say to a little thing in the jewelry line? I can spend $1,000.'

A diamond and pearl necklace
A diamond and pearl necklace

"Say, Bobby," said Miss Lauriere, "Did you see that necklace Della Stacey had on the other night? It cost $2,200 at Tiffany's."

Miss Lauriere was called to the stage for her performance.

Gillian slowly walked out to where his cab was waiting. 'What would you do with $1,000 if you had it?' he asked the driver.

'Open a drinking place,' said the driver, quickly. 'I know a place I could take money in with both hands. I've got it worked out -- if you were thinking of putting up the money."

'Oh, no,' said Gillian. "I was just wondering."

Eight blocks down Broadway, Gillian got out of the cab. A blind man sat on the sidewalk selling pencils. Gillian went out and stood in front of him.

'Excuse me, but would you mind telling me what you would do if you had $1,000?" asked Gillian.

The blind man took a small book from his coat pocket and held it out. Gillian opened it and saw that it was a bank deposit book.

It showed that the blind man had a balance of $1,785 in his bank account. Gillian returned the bank book and got back into the cab.

'I forgot something,' he said. 'You may drive to the law offices of Tolman and Sharp."

Lawyer Tolman looked at Gillian in a hostile and questioning way.

'I beg your pardon,' said Gillian, cheerfully. 'But was Miss Hayden left anything by my uncle's will in addition to the ring and the $10 dollars?'

Ten Dollar Currency in use in 1906
Ten Dollar Currency in use in 1906

'Nothing,' said Mr. Tolman.

"I thank you very much, sir,' said Gillian, and went to his cab. He gave the driver the address of his late uncle's home.

Miss Hayden was writing letters in the library. The small, thin woman wore black clothes. But you would have noticed her eyes. Gillian entered the room as if the world were unimportant.

"I have just come from old Tolman's,' he explained. "They have been going over the papers down there. They found a ..."

Gillian searched his memory for a legal term. "They found an amendment or a post-script or something to the will. It seemed that my uncle had second thoughts and willed you $1,000. Tolman asked me to bring you the money. Here it is."

Gillian laid the money beside her hand on the desk. Miss Hayden turned white. 'Oh!' she said. And again, 'Oh!'

Gillian half turned and looked out the window. In a low voice he said, 'I suppose, of course, that you know I love you.'

'I am sorry,' said Miss Hayden, as she picked up her money.

'There is no use?' asked Gillian, almost light-heartedly.

'I am sorry,' she said again.

'May I write a note?' asked Gillian, with a smile. Miss Hayden supplied him with paper and pen, and then went back to her writing table.

Gillian wrote a report of how he spent the $1,000: "Paid by Robert Gillian, $1,000 on account of the eternal happiness, owed by Heaven to the best and dearest woman on Earth.'

Gillian put the note into an envelope. He bowed to Miss Hayden and left.

His cab stopped again at the offices of Tolman and Sharp.

"I have spent the $1,000,' he said cheerfully, to Tolman. 'And I have come to present a report of it, as I agreed." He threw a white envelope on the lawyer's table.

Without touching the envelope, Mr. Tolman went to a door and called his partner, Sharp. Together they searched for something in a large safe. They brought out a big envelope sealed with wax. As they opened the envelope, they shook their heads together over its contents. Then Tolman became the spokesman.

'Mr. Gillian,' he said, "there was an addition to your uncle's will. It was given to us privately, with instructions that it not be opened until you had provided us with a full report of your handling of the $1,000 received in the will.

"As you have satisfied the conditions, my partner and I have read the addition. I will explain to you the spirit of its contents.

"In the event that your use of the $1,000 shows that you possess any of the qualifications that deserve reward, you stand to gain much more. If your disposal of the money in question has been sensible, wise, or unselfish, it is in our power to give you bonds to the value of $50,000. But if you have used this money in a wasteful, foolish way as you have in the past, the $50,000 is to be paid to Miriam Hayden, ward of the late Mr. Gillian, without delay.

"Now, Mr. Gillian, Mr. Sharp and I will examine your report of the $1,000."

Mr. Tolman reached for the envelope. Gillian was a little quicker in taking it up. He calmly tore the report and its cover into pieces and dropped them into his pocket.

'It's all right,' he said, smilingly. 'There isn't a bit of need to bother you with this. I don't suppose you would understand these itemized bets, anyway. I lost the $1,000 on the races. Good-day to you, gentlemen.'

Tolman and Sharp shook their heads mournfully at each other when Gillian left. They heard him whistling happily in the hallway as he waited for the elevator.

Now it's your turn to use these Words in this Story. In the comments section, write a sentence using one of these words and we will provide feedback on your use of vocabulary and grammar.​

Words in this Story

will - n. (law) a legal document in which a person states who should receive his or her possessions after he or she dies

billiards - n. any one of several games that are played on a large table by hitting solid balls into one another with the end of a long stick

bacillus- n. a straight rod-shaped bacterium that requires oxygen for growth

safe - n. a strong metal box with a lock that is used to store money or valuable things

ward - n. a person (such as a child) who is protected and cared for by a court or guardian

Eeverything has two sides and money is not an exception.Money plays a greatly significant role in our daily life.So it is high time that we think how to use money correctly.From my point of view ,first of all,if we are very rich,it is our duty to help some poor areas, which is a meaningful and kindness behavior.What's more,we should buy less luxury goods and not live a rotten life if we are really wealthy.In a word.Only by using money wisely can we live a happy and harmonious life. 160200527
Money is important in our daily life.However,money is a double-blade,someone become crazy and mad because of seeking for too much money,or lose what he love.Someone get happiness by using his money in something meaningful.In my opinion of this story,it tells us sometimes what can give us happiness is not just get something you want,but just use your money in something that can make the world more warm.160120423
After reading this story, I get the view that the happiest thing of the world is not to have much money, but to spend the money in the happiest way you think. In other words, happiness is much more than richness. Even you have a lot of money, you still have to spend it to make your own happiness. 160300408
In this story, Gillian’s uncle had passed away. According to his will, Gillian would get one thousand dollars. Gillian thought many ways to spend the money, but neither of them came true. Finally, Gillian decided to give the money to his beloved-Miriam Hayden. Gillian took the spending list to the office. But after hearing that Hayden would get 50000 dollars if he spent the 1000 dollars causally, Gillian tore the list and left the office happily with whistle. 160300408 这两篇都是我的观点 请老师先看这一条评论再看上一条
After reading this passage,I was convinced by Gillian.he would like to give up a huge number of money just because of Miriam Hayden need it more.This is the big love.I have a new opion of money. As far as I'm concerned,in latter days,I will keep the balance of my money,save it as much as possible.then one day someone need it,I can help him at once,and I will feel happy too.let the flower of devotion blossom up. 160120504
160200527修改版 Everything has two sides and money is not an exception,it has both advantages and disadvantages.money plays an important role in our daily life,we have to admit that money has brought us a lot of benefits but has created some serious problem as well.So it is high time that we think how to use money correctly. From my point of view ,first of all,if we are very rich,it is our duty to help some poor areas, which is a meaningful and kindness behavior.What's more,we should buy less
上接160200527 luxury goods and not live a rotten life.that's to say that we can't be controled by money,on the contrary,we should use money adequately. In a word,if we can't take a correct attitude to money,it's very likely that we are controled by money.Only by using money wisely can we live a happy and harmonious life.
After reading this article,I feel very deep! Also,I am thinking something about money. Just as how about money,it's good or bad to human beings? Why we have to possess more money? People in the society have been dazzled by money, they have lost the most important thing--happy and relaxed mood.However,the fact is that people cannot leave money,下接
上接 the importance of it to us is quite clearly. But even so,we also have ourselves chooses,I mean, while making a profit we can enjoy the pleasure of life.Life is your own, do you want to do, how it will be!160200519
At the last of the story,Gillian break the envelope off.In my opinion,Gillian love money,but he want to leave the money that his uncle left.$50,000 is not little money for Gillian,but he love Miss Hayden,he want she can live better.Between the love and money,Gillian chose love.160700210
Love is always the thing that a man who has a lot of money wanted to get, and always be taken by people who have money and status. Gillian, a little part of this society, use money to achieve his love dream bravely.Before he did ,he should balanced more seriously.下接
上接 He lied to the lawyer that he had spend money lavishly. He chooses love before money, as his lowliness station. The earlier comment said "we have our own chooses", this must be a man who didn't know life and dream clearly, that you could sacrifice all of yours to run after it, even life.This is the true meaning of a human. 160700308
Finisihing reading this story,I have a deep impression about Gillian because of his random attitude to using the 1000 dollars.I thinka the 1000 dollars is a neither too big nor too small number for him,so he went to some people to ask how to use the money.Morever,I think Mr.Gillian had a contradictory mind about money and love,and his uncle`s extra testament made him change his attitude(it`s my assumption). In a word ,I beleive Mr.Gillian had a kind mind.160700223
In the first place, I want to say that this is a wonderful article, very interesting and full of dramatic, especially in the end the author had an ending with Gillan's whistle, too clever, isn't it? As we all know, Gillian's uncle had lots of money, but he only gave Gillian 1000 dollars, so we can know that Gillian maybe not a good man, but what move me most is that when he knew the situation of Haryden, he chose to help her instead of enjoying the money. (未完)160300531
(上接)Yeh, between the love and money, as a very little man, he chose the love, and I strongly hold the view that when he tore the report, his heart must be very bright, and the whistle in the end must be very brisk! 160300531
As is known to all,the story written by O.Henry always has an unexpected ending. Although I have thought that this story would own the common outcome,the result gave me a deep impression as well. At the beginning, the major character's uncle touched me by the self-giving dedication to the study of bacterium. It is exactly the people like him that makes our science improve quickly. What's more, I thought that Gillian was a man who was addicted to playing,excessive drinking. (160120524)下接
上接From the saying by old Bryson, I even put Gillian as the name of disability. Fortunately, what I have concluded was completely wrong. After the hesitation in the beginning, he made the decision to use the whole money for express his love to Miss Hayden. The last but not the least, after knowing the truth of uncle's will, he didn't say that he had given the money to Hayden as the gift of love. he has chosen love between love and money.(160120524)
上接In my opinion, the man who devote himself to love is the person who has pure heart. I wish that I will be a person like Gillian. (160120524)以上三条都是我的评论,谢谢老师。
Having reading the story, I am lost in thought. I realize the money was for not only our survival, but also some meaningful things. However, we always have no enough money for all the idea。 Therefore, it is not simple for us to choose a goal. Donating the money to charity or others sometimes is seems as a perfect idea, which help us avoid considering a way hardly.下接160120515
上接But I am against such practice. For one thing, we should not push the problem to others who we do not his character; for another only using money from our own hands, can we feel the happiness of the magnificent thing.160120515
In this passage, young Gillian was giaen 1000 dollars by his uncle. But his uncle need Gillian to provide a report of using 1000 dollars. After asking someone what he would do if he has 1000 dollars. Gillian gave the best and dearest woman 1000 dollars in the end. As far as I'm concerned, life was meant for more than money, there still has something to do. Money is only a small matter, and we are supposed to seeking to spiritual material.(160120411)
In this movie, I learned that money is not a panacea. Sometimes money can not bring us happiness, but even can bring us trouble. In our lives, there are things more important than money, for example, affection, love …Although Gillian in the movie love money, but he loves Miss Hayden more.So he chose to let Miss Hayden happy. In fact, this is the essence of a person's attitude towards life, depended on his outlook on life.(未完)
上接 As far as I'm concerned, I think the true meaning of life is to make ourselves more colorful, and money is not applicable in all cases.(160120521)
After reading the story ,I have a better understanding of money. Can money buy everything? The answer is no.Maybe you can use money buy every material things,but you can't buy happiness.In the story,Gillian's knew Gillian maybe spend the money quickly,so he oniy left 1000 dollars to Gillianen.On the way,Gillian asked some friends how to use the money when they had 1000dollars.However,when we thought he would spend the money to enjoy soon,he gave the money to Haryden to get her love.160200404
In the end,Gillian calmly tore the report and gave up the 50000 dollars he may get.When it comes to love ,the money is not important any more. 160200404
There is no doubt that money is very important for us.For Gillian,he got the money but he did not konw how to use them at first.Then,he made a decision to gave the money to Miss Hayden.When he known the ending,he just "calmly tore the report and its cover into pieces and dropped them into his pocket".What make he do such a special thing is love.Sometimes,we have to admit love has special magic.
There is no doubt that money is very important for us.For Gillian,he got the money but he did not konw how to use them at first.Then,he made a decision to gave the money to Miss Hayden.When he known the ending,he just "calmly tore the report and its cover into pieces and dropped them into his pocket".What make he do such a special thing is love.Sometimes,we have to admit love has special magic.(160200412刘志国)
In this story ,Gilian's uncle leaves him one thousand dollars in his reading after he died.And he need write down the details after he uses up this money. He asked many people,and want to find a good way to use this money.Someone say he can buy a necklace,and others say he can open a drinking place.However,he doesn't to do some meaningless things as his usual.He gives this money to Miss Hayden-his uncle' daughter in law.That makes they are both happy.
上接 I think that if money can make people happy,it is worthwhile,is meaningful.160700203
刘炬 160120526The theme of the article is about money and love. It tells a story about the protagonist got one thousand dollars from his late uncle, while he is required to provide his uncle's lawyer with a report of how he used this one thousand dollars as soon as he has spent it.. Little Gillian gave Uncle's one thousand dollars to Miss Hayden and boldly pleaded.
刘炬 160120526(上接)He also lied to the judge that he lost one thousand dollars in the horse race, because according to the uncle's wish, if the small Gillian spent the money,  his fifty thousand bonds will be owned by Miss Hayden. He chose love between love and money, and gave all the uncle's legacy to Hayden. The article shows a story of a man in nineteenth century longs for love.
作者:Pk Trap
It's a story about love and money.After reading I think I learned a lot.The novel changed my views of love.The boy Gillian made a choose between his love Miss Hayden and 5000 dollars,he chosed love.I admire his brave and I am agree with his behavior.If I need to make a choice one day,I think I would make the same one.I believe that there are lots of things more important than money like love,friendship,family,glory,wisdom and so on.
作者:Pk Trap
上接 I believe that a person is exist because of his emotion to the life,we are alive because we love our life.The world is beautiful because there are a lot of love exist.Not many people can make a choice like Gillian,actually we all know the right way,but it's hard to behave,we are easy to lost,and it's also the reason why great people are so few. 160300524李林峰
In the end of the story,Gillian break the envelope off.But he does not care it,he whistling happily in the hallway as he waited for the elevator.In my opinion,Gillian love money,but he want to leave the money that his uncle left.$50,000 is not little money for Gillian,but he love Miss Hayden,he hope she can live better.He chose give all money to Miss Hayden. Between the love and money,Gillian chose love.下接160700210
Gillian is a ture gentleman.In fact,he love Miss Hayden,but he didn't tell Miss Hayden,he chose protect her silently.He longed to get love,and in the eyes of him,love is more important than money.In our life,money is not everything.There are many things more important,such as friendship and family love.160700210
The story written by O.Henry is about Gillian whose uncle left him $1000.However,Gillian didn't know how to deal with it.In the end,he knew how to do.He didn't want the money so that even when he knew he would have more money he broke the envelope.In my opinion money is so important that everyone can't live without it.But it's also a difficult to use a sum money unexpectedly.Though we can use the money buy many things,it's uncomfortable to use the money that was earned by ourselves.160300619
2017-4-11 Written by 160700309 After reading this short story, what come to mine mind is Gillian is so cute. Why whould i say that? Because Gillian give up the 1000 dollars and the heritage for love. He love Miss Hayden so he give she what he can give without letting Miss Hayden know. People always say that the person who fell in love will become silly but cute, I think this is the best evidence to the old saying. I'm wondering. If our world will become more harmonious with more silly people.
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