Retrieved Reformation (An edited version of ‘A Retrieved Reformation’ by O.
A. Read to understand
Answer these questions
with reference to the context.
’With that act, Ralph D. Spencer passed away and Jimmy Valentine took his place.’
What does ‘that act’ refer to?
Ans. ‘That act’ refers to Jimmy valentine throwing off his coat
and pulling up his shirt sleeves to resume his previous occupation of breaking
What led to ‘that act’?
Ans. Annabel turns to Ralph D. Spencer, begging him to do
something to save the little girl, at least to try. This led to ‘that act’.
In what sense did Ralph D. Spencer ‘pass away’?
Ans. Ralph D. Spencer passed away when Jimmy begins to crack the
safe and settles back into his true identity in
order to save Agatha’s life.
‘I don’t know that it makes much difference, now.’
Who said this and to whom?
Ans. Ralph Spencer said this to the detective, Ben Price
What does ‘it’ refer to?
Ans. ‘it’ refers to people discovering that Ralph Spencer was in
fact Jimmy Valentine, a skilled safecracker.
Why did he say this?
Ans. Jimmy uses his
criminal skills for good—despite the risk it poses to his false identity—and it
is in this moment that he is truly redeemed. He said so because he was certain
that Annabel’s love is lost.
How did Ben Price guess that the burglaries were done by Jimmy Valentine?
Ans. Ben Price guessed that the burglaries were done by Jimmy
Valentine because there were neat jobs of safe-burglary with no clue and he was
the only burglar with the skills and the tools to do such a clean job.
How did Jimmy get information about Annabel and the town?
Ans. Jimmy collared a boy that was loafing on the steps of the
bank and began to ask him questions about Annabel and the town, feeding him
coins at intervals. This how he got information about Annabel and the town.
What happened to Agatha at the bank?
Ans. Agatha was accidently locked
in the new vault at the Elmore Bank while playing with her elder sister, May.
4. Ben Price never handled petty criminals.
How do you know this?
Ans. Ben Price never handled petty criminals. We know this from
“The losses mounted and were now high enough to bring the matter
up into Ben Price’s class of work.”
Why did Spencer show ‘a courteous but not too intelligent interest in the
Ans. Spencer showed ‘a courteous but not too intelligent
interest in the safe’ because he himself was a skilled safecracker and knew everything about it. However, he showed some interest
in the inner workings of the safe to please Mr.
Adams, his future father-in-law.
Why do you think Ben Price pretended not to recognize him?
Ans. Ben Price pretended not to recognize him because he
witnesses Valentine’s reformation and wanted to give him a chance to enjoy his
‘Sorry, we couldn’t make it sooner….’ Who is the ‘we’ the speaker could be referring
Ans. In my opinion ‘we’ the speaker could be referring to Mike
Dolan and the advocate.
The safe had to be broken to save a life. Was it an easy decision for Jimmy
Valentine to make? Why / Why not?
Ans. No, it was not an easy decision for Jimmy Valentine to make
because breaking the safe in order to save the girl’s life would reveal his
true identity and risk his freedom.
Do you think Ben Price did the right thing by saying, ‘I don’t believe I know
you’? What does this show about Ben’s sense of justice?
Ans. Yes, I think Ben Price did the right thing in letting Jimmy
Valentine go because the man is truly reformed from his life of crime. Ben
Price has acted appropriately because Jimmy deserves a great reward for saving
a little girl at the risk of losing his freedom and all his claims to