THE GENTLE GRAFTER [signed by the author].
[signed by "O. Henry"] New York: The McClure Company, 1908. Original red cloth.
First Edition, first printing (with the fore-title bearing the page number 1 -- and the book's title 1-3/4" wide -- and with the error "of" for "as" on p. 226 line 2). As with all copies of the first printing, the binding reads "McClure" at the foot of the spine; in the second printing, some copies read "Doubleday Page & Co.". This is an illustrated collection of fourteen adventures of Jeff Peters who, with his "partner-in-plucking" Andy Tucker, is "the gentle grafter" -- con man, scam artist, swindler... but always warm-hearted, humorous even, taking only from those who can well afford to do without some of their money. Always with the O. Henry "twist" at the end, the big reveal, which in some cases shows the swindler being swindled. "Ellery Queen" chose this title for inclusion in their "Queen's Quorum" compilation of detective / crime short stories as exemplifying the theme of "the separation of a fool and his money."
This is a fine, bright copy, signed by "O. Henry" on the half-title. Blanck 16276; Queen's Quorum 40. Housed in a custom slipcase with leather label. Item #14973