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Richard Pei

A.R.R. Alternate Ending
Get away from the door, all of you, he commanded, shortly.
Jimmy set his suitcase on the table, and opened it out flat. From that time on
he seemed to be unconscious of the presence of anyone else. Laying out his
shining, queer implements swiftly and orderly, he whistled softly to himself as he
always did when at work. With careful precision, he drilled at the locks and picks of
the safe. However, something terribly wrong occurred, something that had never
happened to him before.
The locks and bolts wouldnt budge. As he started to panic, Jimmy Valentine
wondered how his almost perfect set of tools had failed him now, the first time in his
life. No, not now, of all times, not now, Jimmy muttered to himself. Now, failure
was not an option. If he didnt succeed, a life, his reputation, and his freedom would
be in dire jeopardy.
Jimmy tried with all his ability to open the safe. His usual flawless and calm
manner was now agitated in dismay. Knocking on the safe to check on Agatha, he
began to consider breaking down the door. Agatha! Agatha! Are you alright?
Jimmy shouted with the dread that no one would respond from the safe. I I think
so replied the suffocating child. Although somewhat relieved, Jimmy knew he had
to find a solution to this drastic predicament soon.
Its over. he thought to himself. No, he declared, with a little more
confidence, I cant fail. Jimmy Valentine doesnt fail. Making sure to be extremely
careful and focused, he drilled the door once more. As tears descended down his
eyes, Jimmy prayed silently for his tools to work. Ten minutes escaped in the
silence. Finally, as if his prayers had been answered, Jimmys pet drill withdrew, and
the bolts fell to the ground. Jimmy threw back the locks and opened the door.
Bursting with joy and relief, he picked up the stifling child, and carefully returned
Agatha to her now delighted mother.
Jimmy Valentine put on his coat, and walked outside the railings towards the
front door. As he went, he thought he heard a faraway voice that he once knew call
Ralph! Jimmy never hesitated. He had to let her go, for both their benefits.
At the door a big man stood somewhat in his way.
Ben! I was expecting to see you here. And here you are! Jimmy exclaimed,
still with his strange smile. Well, lets go. It doesnt make much difference, now.
And then Ben Price acted rather strangely.
I guess youre mistaken, Mr. Spencer, he said. Dont believe I recognize
you. Your buggys waiting for you, isnt it?