Whistling Dick's Christmas Stocking (Henry)

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Whistling Dick's Christmas Stocking
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A professional tramp named Whistling Dick finds himself caught between a gang of criminals planning to rob a plantation and the kind-hearted plantation owner who offers him shelter and a job.

Whistling Dick, a professional tramp, cautiously exits a box-car in a city in the South. He surveys the area, wary of the police who could arrest him on suspicion. He sees the familiar sights and smells of the city and spots a large policeman nearby. Whistling Dick waits for the officer to leave before making his way to Lafayette Square to meet his friend "Slick." Along the way, he entertains himself and others with his beautiful whistling.

Whistling Dick — professional tramp; red-headed, shiftless, and skilled whistler.

He accidentally bumps into a man who looks like Boston Harry, a notorious criminal.

Boston Harry — leader of a gang of tramps; stout, ruddy-faced, and shrewd.

Boston Harry recognizes Whistling Dick and invites him to join their gang's plan to rob a plantation owner. Whistling Dick declines and continues on his way.

I remains, as de newspapers says, ‘in yer midst.’

He eventually finds himself in the country, where he encounters a kind fisherman who feeds him. As night falls, Whistling Dick seeks shelter in an abandoned lot and overhears Boston Harry's gang planning to set fire to a cane field to distract the plantation workers while they rob the plantation house. Whistling Dick manages to alert the plantation owner, who captures the gang.

The Planter — kind-hearted plantation owner; jolly, practical, and generous.

The plantation owner offers Whistling Dick a job and a place to stay, but Whistling Dick escapes in the early morning, enjoying his newfound freedom.