Born in Illinois, Floyd Dell (1887-1969) moved to New York City when he was in
his twenties. There he joined a number of radical causes and Jived in Greenwich Village,
where he associated with writers, actors, and painters. Dell wrote novels, plays, and short
stories, in addition w his autobiography, Homecoming. In most of his fiction, Dell shows
sympathy for the poor and underprivileged, especially the aged, as you will see when you
read "The Blanket."
The Blanket Petey hadn't really believed that Dad would be doing it - sending Granddad away.
"Away" was what they were calling it. Not until now could he believe it of Dad.
But here was the blanket that Dad had that day bought for him, and in
to the morning he'd be going away. And this was the last evening they'd be having together. Dad was
off seeing that girl he was to marry. He'd not be back till late, and they could sit up and talk.
It was a fine September night, with a thin white moon riding high over the gully. When they‘d washed
up the supper dishes they went out on the shanty porch, the old man and the bit of a boy, taking their chairs.
"I'll get me fiddle," said the old man, "and play ye some of the old tunes." But instead of the fiddle he
brought out the blanket. It was a big, double blanket, red, with black cross stripes.
"Now, isn't that a fine blanket!" said the old man, smoothing it over his knees. "And isn't your father a
kind man to be giving the old fellow a blanket like that to go away with? It cost something, it did - look at
the wool of it! And warm it will be these cold winter nights to come. There'll be few blankets there the equal
of this one!
It was like Granddad to be saying that. He was trying to make it easier. He'd pretended all along it was
he that was wanting to go away to the great brick building- the government place, where he'd be with so
many other old fellows having the best of everything. . . . But Petey hadn't believed Dad would really do it,
until this night when he brought home the blanket.
"Oh, yes, it's a fine blanket." said Percy, and got up and went into the shanty. He wasn't the kind cry,
and besides, he was too old for that, being eleven. He'd just come in to fetch Granddads fiddle.
The blanker slid to the floor as the old man look the fiddle and stood up. It was the last night they'd be
having together. There wasn't any need to say, "Play all the old tunes." Granddad tuned up for a minute, and
then said, "This is one you'll like to remember."
The thin moon high overhead, and there was a gentle breeze playing down the gully. He'd never be
hearing Granddad play like this again. It was as well Dad was moving into that new house, away from here.
He‘d not want, Petey Wouldn't, to sit here on the old porch of fine evenings, with Granddad gone.
The tune changed. "Here's something gayer." Percy sat and stared out over the gully. Dad would
marry that girl. Yes, that girl who'd kissed him and slobbered over him, saying she'd try to be a good mother
to him, and all. . . . His chair creaked as he involuntarily gave his body a painful twist.
The tune stopped suddenly, and Granddad said: "It's a poor tune-except to be dancing to." And then;
"It's a fine girl your father's going marry. He'll be feeling young again, with a pretty wife like that. And what
would an old fellow like me be doing around their house, getting in the way, an old nuisance, what with my
talk of aches and pains. And then there'll be babies coming, and I'd not want to be there to hear them crying
at all hours. It‘s best that I take myself off, like I'm doing. One more tune or two, and then, we'll be going to
bed to get some sleep against the morning, when I'll pack up my fine blanket and take myleave. Listen to
this, will you? It's a bit sad, but a fine tune for a night like this."
They didn't no hear the two people coming down the gully path, Dad and the pretty girl with the
hard, bright face like a china doll‘s. But they heard her laugh, right by the porch, and the tune stopped on a
wrong, high, startled note. Dad didn't say anything, but the girl came forward and spoke to Granddad prettily:
"I'll not be seeing you leave in the morning, so I came over to say good-bye."
"It's kind of you," said Granddad, with his eyes cast down; and then, seeing the blanket at his feet, he
stooped to pick it up. "And will you look at this," he said in embarrassment, "the fine blanket my son has
given me to go away with!"
"Yes," she said, "it's a fine blanket." She felt of the wool, and repeated in surprise, "A fine blanket -
I'll say it is!" She turned to Dad, and said to him coldly, "It cost something, that."
He cleared his throat, and said defensively, "I wanted him to have the best…."
The girl stood there, still intent on the blanket. "It's double, too," she said reproachfully to Dad.
"Yes," said Granddad, "it's double -a fine blanket for an old fellow to be going away with."
The boy went abruptly into the shanty. He was looking for something. He could hear that girl re-
proaching Dad, and Dad becoming angry in his slow way. And now she was suddenly going away in a huff. .
. . As Petey came out, she turned and called back, "All the same, he doesn't need a double blanket!" And she
ran up the gully path.
Dad was looking after her uncertainly.
"Oh, she's right," said the boy coldly. "Here, Dad" - and he held out a pair of scissors. "Cut the blanket
Both of them stared at the boy, startled. "Cut it in two, I tell you, Dad!" he cried out. "And keep the
"That's not a bad idea," said Granddad gently. "I don't need so much of a blanket."
"Yes," said the boy harshly, "a single blanket's enough for an old man when he's sent away. We'll save
the other half, Dad; it will come in handy later."
"Now, what do you mean by that?" asked Dad.
"I mean," said the boy slowly, "that I'll give it to you, Dad - when you're old and I'm sending you -
There was a silence, and then Dad went over to Granddad and stood before him, not speaking. But
Granddad understood, for he put out a hand and laid it on Dad's shoulder. Petey was watching them. And he
heard Granddad whisper, "It's all right, son - I knew you didn't mean it. . . ." And then Petey cried.
But it didn't matter — because they were all three crying together.
William Sydney Porter O. Henrys real name was William Sydney Porter (1862-1910), but he
used the pen name O. Henry. Although he is best known for his stories about
New York City, he didn't actually live in New York until 1902. Born and raised
in North Carolina, he moved to Texas in 1882. While in Texas, he wrote stories
but also worked in a bank to support his wife and child. He was accused and
convicted of stealing money from the bank and served three years in prison. Dur-
ing his prison term, he developed his writing technique. From fellow prisoners he
heard some of the interesting stories that he used in his work.
After O. Henry moved to New York and began to make his living as a
short-story writer, he continued to be fascinated with down-and-out people. The
colorful characters he met in the streets and cafes of the city became immorta-
lized in his stories. "Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen" deals with two such characters. 0. Henry was the
first American writer to popularize the surprise ending, another feature of the story you are about to read.
Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen There is one day that is ours. There is one day when all Americans like to go back home to eat a big
dinner and feel they are part of a family. Bless the day. We hear some talk about the Puritans and the original
Thanksgiving. But that was a long time ago. They landed on Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts after escaping
religious persecution in England. I‘11 bet we could lick 'em if they tried to land again today.
They were lucky. The Indians they met took pity on them and helped them survive the winter. The
first feast held to celebrate their survival and their friendship with the original Americans, the Indians. Today
we celebrate the fourth Thursday in November as a national holiday. It is one day that is purely American.
Yes, it is a day of celebration, exclusively American.
The following story will prove to you that we have traditions on this side of the ocean even though we
are still a young country. Our story takes place in New York City on Thanksgiving Day.
Stuffy Pete took his seat on the third bench to the right as you enter Union Square from the east, at the
walk opposite the fountain. Every Thanksgiving Day for nine years he had taken his seat there promptly at
one o'clock. For every time he had done so, he had been rewarded with a feast. But today Stuffy Pete's appearance at the annual meeting place was a result of habit rather than hunger
- which philanthropists seem to think the poor feel only on holidays. It seems that these are the only times the
well-fed think of their less fortunate brothers and sisters.
Stuffy Pete was not hungry. He had just come from a feast that left him ^ barely able to breathe and
move about. His breath came in short wheezes. The buttons that had been sewn on his coat by Salvation Ar-
my workers were popping from the pressure of his fat belly. His clothes were ragged and his shirt was split
open. The November breeze, carrying fine snowflakes, brought a grateful coolness. Stuffy Pete was still re-
covering from a huge dinner beginning with oysters and ending with plum pudding and including (it seemed
to him) all the roast turkey and baked potatoes and chicken salad and squash pie and ice cream in the world.
The meal had been an unexpected one. He was passing a red brick mansion near the beginning of
Fifth Avenue. In this mansion there lived two old ladies of a traditional family. One of their traditional habits
was id station a servant at the gate with orders to admit the first hungry person who walked by after the hour
of noon. Stuffy happened to pass by on his way to Union Square and the servants upheld their custom.
After stuffing himself and confirming the meaning of his name, Stuffy wandered on to the square as he
had done so many times before. He sat on the park bench for ten minutes and stared into space. With a tre-
mendous effort he turned his head slowly to the left. His eyes bulged out and his breath ceased. The Old
Gentleman was coming across the walk toward his bench.
Every Thanksgiving Day for nine years the Old Gentleman had come there and found Stuffy' Pete on
the bench. Every Thanksgiving Day for nine years he had led Stuffy Pete to a restaurant and watched him eat
a big dinner. The Old Gentleman was a proud American patriot, and he was pleased to have established
this Thanksgiving Day tradition with Stuffy Pete. It was extremely important to the Old Gentleman that
their tradition should continue.
The annual feeding of Stuffy Pete was significant. It showed, at least, that traditions were possible not
only in England. They were possible in America, too!
The Old Gentleman was thin and tall and sixty. He was dressed all in black and wore the old-
fashioned kind of glasses that won't stay on your nose. His hair was whiter and thinner than it had been last
year, and he seemed to make more use of his big, knobby cane with the crooked handle.
As his benefactor came up, Stuffy Pete wheezed
and shuddered like some over-fat pug when a street dog
snarls at him. He would have escaped, but he was too
full to move quickly.
"Good afternoon," said the Old Gentleman. "I am
glad to see that this year you are enjoying good health in
the beautiful world. For that blessing alone this day of
thanksgiving is well proclaimed to each of us. If you
will come with me, my man, I will provide you with a
dinner that will satisfy you physically and mentally."
That is what the Old Gentleman had said every time on every Thanksgiving Day for nine years. Noth-
ing compared with these words except the Declaration of Independence. Always before they had been music
in Stuffy's ears. But now he looked up at the Old Gentleman's face with tearful agony. The Old Gentleman
shivered a little and turned his back to the wind.
Stuffy had always wondered why the Old Gentleman spoke his speech a little sadly. He did not know
that it was because he was wishing every time that he had a son to succeed him. A son who would come
there after he was gone — a son who would stand proud and strong before some future Stuffy and say: "In
memory of my father." Then the tradition would be an institution.
But the Old Gentleman had no relatives. He lived in rented rooms in one of the decayed old family
brownstone mansions on one of the quiet streets east of the park. In the winter he raised fuschias in a little
greenhouse the size of a closet. In the spring he walked in the Easter Parade. In the summer he lived in a
farmhouse in the New Jersey hills, and sat in a wicker armchair, speaking of a rare butterfly that he hoped to
find some day. In the autumn he fed Stuffy a dinner. These were the Old Gentleman's occupations.
Stuffy looked at him. The Old Gentleman's eyes were bright with the pleasure of giving. His face was
getting more lined each year, but his black necktie was in a bow, his shirt was beautiful and white, and his
gray mustache was curled gracefully at the ends.
"Thank you, sir. I'll go with you and I'm very grateful. I'm very hungry, sir," said Stuffy Pete. His
Thanksgiving appetite was not his own; it belonged by established custom to this kind, old gentleman. True,
America is free. It got
this freedom through the hard work of its heroes. Though he wasn't as famous as George Washington
or Abraham Lincoln, Stuffy Pete was a hero who fought bravely to maintain tradition.
The Old Gentleman led his guest to the restaurant and to the table where the feast had always been
served. They were recognized by the waiters. "Here comes that old guy who always treats that same bum to a
meal every Thanksgiving."
The Old Gentleman sat across the table glowing with the pride one feels after doing a good deed. The
waiters covered the table with holiday food and Stuffy began eating.
Our valiant hero fought his way through turkey, chops, soups, vegetables, and pies. Every time he felt
discouraged and ready to give up the battle, he looked at the Old Gentleman. He saw the look of happiness
on the Old Gentleman's face, and it gave him the courage to go on. Stuffy did not have the heart to see the
Old Gentleman's happiness wane. In an hour Stuffy leaned back with the battle won.
"Thank you kindly, sir. Thank you kindly for a hearty meal," Stuffy said. Then he got up with glazed
eyes and started toward the kitchen. A waiter turned him around and pointed toward the door. The Old Gen-
tleman carefully counted out $ 1.30 in change leaving three dimes for the waiter.
They parted as they did every year at the door, the Old Gentleman going south, Stuffy going north.
Stuffy- turned around the first corner and stood for one minute. Then he seemed to puff out his rags as
an owl puffs out its feathers, and fell to the sidewalk like a horse who has been in the sun too long.
When the ambulance came the young doctor and the diver cursed at his weight. Stuffy did not smell
from whiskey, so instead of transferring him to the police, Stuffy and his two dinners went to the hospital.
There they stretched him on a bed and started testing him for strange diseases.
An hour later another ambulance brought the Old Gentleman. They laid him on another bed and talked
about his case. Pretty soon one of the young doctors met one of the young nurses, whose eyes he liked, and
stopped to chat with her about the cases.
"That nice old gentleman over there, now," he said. "You wouldn‘t think that was a case of near star-
vation. Proud old family, I guess. He told me he hadn't eaten a thing in three days."
Literary Term: Surprise Ending
The surprise ending is, as the term indicates, an ending that is totally unexpected. O. Henry is so fam-
ous for this type of ending that it is often called "the O. Henry ending." Other short-story writers have fol-
lowed his example, especially American authors like Shirley Jackson and Edith Wharton.
Prepare yourself for a shock when you get to the conclusion of "The Last Leaf.'
Idioms and Expressions Note the following idioms and expressions that appear in the story:
fair game something easy to conquer dunder- head stupid person
fibbertigibbet flightly, frivolous person make up
her mind make a decision
His short stories are noted for their surprise endings, as you will see when you read '"The Last Leaf,"
which is part of a collection called T
published in 1907.
The Last Leaf IN A LITTLE DISTRICT west of Washington Square the streets have run crazy and broken them-
selves into small strips called "places." These "places" make strange angles and curves. One street crosses it-
self a time or two. An artist once discovered a valuable possibility in this street. Suppose a collector with a
bill for paints, paper and canvas should, in traversing this route, suddenly meet himself coming back, without
a cent having been paid on account!
So, to quaint old Greenwich Village the art people soon came prowling, hunting for north windows
and eighteenth-century gables and Dutch attics and low rents. Then they imported some pewter mugs and a
chafing dish or two from Sixth Avenue, and became a "colony." At the top of a squatty, three-story brick Sue and Johnsy had their studio. "Johnsy" was familiar for
Joanna. One was from Maine; the other from California. They had met at the table d‘hôte of an Eighth Street
"Delmonico‘s," and found their tastes in art, chicory salad and bishop sleeves so congenial that the joint stu-
That was in May. In November a cold, unseen stranger, whom the doctors called Pneumonia, stalked
about the colony, touching one here and there with his icy fingers. Over on the east side this ravager strode
boldly, smiting his victims by scores, but his feet trod slowly through the maze of the narrow and moss-
Mr. Pneumonia was not what you would call a chivalric old gentleman. A mite of a little woman with
blood thinned by California zephyrs was hardly fair game for the red-fisted, short-breathed old duffer. But
Johnsy he smote; and she lay, scarcely moving, on her painted iron bedstead, looking through the small
Dutch window-panes at the blank side of the next brick house.
One morning the busy doctor invited Sue into the hallway with a shaggy, gray eyebrow.
"She has one chance in - let us say, ten," he said, as lie shook down the mercury in his clinical ther-
mometer. "And that chance is for her to want to live. This way people have of lining-up on the side of the
undertaker makes the entire pharmacopoeia look silly. Your little lady has made up her mind that she's not
going to get well. Has she anything on her mind?
"She - she wanted to paint the Bay of Naples some day," said Sue.
"Paint? - bosh! Has she anything on her mind worth thinking about twice -a man, for instance?"
"A man?" said Sue, with a jew‘s-harp twang in her voice. "Is a man worth -but, no, doctor; there is
nothing of the kind."
"Well, it is the weakness, then," said the doctor. "I will do all that science, so far as it may filter
through my efforts, can accomplish. But whenever my patient begins to count the carriages in her funeral
procession I subtract 50 per cent from the curative power of
will get her to ask one ques-
tion about the new winter stiles in cloak sleeves I will promise you a one-in-five chance for her, instead of
one in ten."
After the doctor had gone Sue went into the workroom and cried a Japanese napkin to a pulp. Then
she swaggered into Johnsy‘s room with her drawing board, whistling ragtime.
Johnsy, lay, scarcely making a ripple under the bedclothes, with her face toward the window. Sue
stopped whistling, thinking she was asleep.
She arranged her board and began a pen-and-ink drawing to illustrate a magazine story. Young artists
must pave their way to Art by drawing pictures for magazine stories that young authors write to pave their
way to Literature.
As Sue was sketching a pair of elegant horseshow riding trousers and a monocle on the figure of the
hero, an Idaho cowboy, she heard a low sound, several times repeated. She went quickly to the bedside.
Johnsy‘s eyes were open wide. She was looking out the window
and counting - counting backward.
"Twelve," she said, and a little later "eleven"; and then "ten," and
"nine"; and then "eight" and "seven," almost together.
Sue looked solicitously out of the window. What was there to
count? There was only a bare, dreary yard to be seen, and the blank side of
the brick house twenty feet away. An old, old ivy vine, gnarled and de-
cayed at the roots, climbed half way up the brick wall. The cold breath of
autumn had stricken its leaves from the vine until its skeleton branches clung, almost bare, to the crumbling
"What is it, dear?" asked Sue.
"Six," said Johnsy, in almost a whisper. "They're falling faster now. Three days ago there were almost
a hundred. It made my head ache to count them. But now it's easy. There goes another one. There are only
five left now."
"Five what, dear? Tell your Sudie."
"Leaves. On the ivy vine. When the last one falls I must go, too. I've known that for three days. Didn't
the doctor tell you?"
"Oh, I never heard of such nonsense," complained Sue, with magnificent scorn. "What have
old ivy leaves to do with your getting well? And you used to love that vine, so, you naughty girl. Don't be a
goosey. Why, the doctor told me this morning that your chances for getting well real soon were - let‘s see
exactly what he said -he said the chances were ten to one! Why, that's almost as good a chance as we have in
New York when we ride on the street cars or walk past a new building. Try to take some broth now, and let
Sudie go back to her drawing, so she can sell the editor man with it, and buy port wine for her sick child, and
pork chops for her greedy self."
"You needn't get any more wine," said Johnsy, keeping her eyes fixed out the window. "There goes
another. No, I don't want any broth. That leaves just 160 four. I want to sec the last one fall before it gets
dark. Then I'll go, too" "Johnsy, dear," said Sue, bending over her, "will you promise me to keep your eyes closed, and not
look out the window until I am done working? I must hand those drawings in by tomorrow. I need the fight,
or I would draw the shade down."
"Couldn't you draw in the other room?" asked Johnsy, coldly.
"I'd rather be here by you," said Sue. "Besides, I don't want you to keep looking at those silly ivy
"Tell me as soon as you have finished," said Johnsy, closing her eyes, and lying white and still as a fal-
len statue, "because I want to see the last one fall. I'm tired of waiting. I'm tired of thinking. I want to turn
loose my hold on everything, and go sailing down, down, just like one of those poor, tired leaves."
"Try to sleep," said Sue. "I must callBehrman up to be my model for the old hermit miner. I'll not be
gone a minute. Don't try to move 'til I come back."
Old Behrman was a painter who lived on the ground floor beneath them. He was past sixty and had a
Michael Angelos Moses beard curling down from the head of a satyr along the body of an imp. Behrman
was a failure in art. Forty years he had wielded the brush without getting near enough to touch the hem of his
Mistress's robe. He had been always about to paint a masterpiece, but had never yet begun it. For several
years he had painted nothing except now and then a daub in the line of commerce or advertising. He earned a
little by serving as a model to those young artists in the colony who could not pay the price of a professional.
He drank gin to excess, and still talked of his coming masterpiece. For the rest he was a fierce little old man,
who scoffed terribly at softness in any one, and who regarded himself as especial mastiff-in-waiting to pro-
tect the two young artists in the studio above.
Sue found Behrman smelling strongly of juniper berries in his dimly lighted den below. In one corner
was a blank canvas on an easel that had been waiting there for twenty-five years to receive the first line of
the masterpiece. She told him of Johnsy‘s fancy, and how she feared she would, indeed, light and fragile as a
leaf herself, float away, when her slight hold upon the world grew weaker.
Old Behrman, with his red eyes plainly streaming, shouted his contempt and derision for such idiotic
"Vass!" he cried. "Is dere people in de world mit der foolishness to die because leafs dey drop off from
a confounded vine? I haf not heard of such a thing. No, I will not bose as a model for your fool hermit-
dunderhead. Vy do you allow dot silly pusiness to come in der brain of her? Ach, dor poor leetle Miss Yohn-
"She is very ill and weak," said Sue, "and the fever has left her mind morbid and full of strange fan-
cies. Very well, Mr. Behrman, if you do not care to pose for me, you needn't. But I think you are a horrid old
- old flibbertigibbet."
"You are just like a woman!" yelled Behrman. "Who said I will not bose? Go on. I come mit you. For
half an hour I haf peen trying to say dot I am ready to bose. Gott! dis is not any blacein which one so goot as
Miss Yohnsy shall lie sick. Some day I vil baint a masterpiece, and ve shall all go away. Goti! yes."
Johnsy was sleeping when they went upstairs. Sue pulled the shade down to the window-sill, and mo-
tioned Behrman into the other room. In there they peered out the window fearfully at the ivy vine. Then they
looked at each other for a moment without speaking. A persistent, cold rain was falling, mingled with snow.
Behrman, in his old blue shirt, took his seat as the hermit miner on an upturned kettle for a rock.
When Sue awoke from an hour's sleep the next morning she found Johnsy with dull, wide-open eyes
staring at the drawn green shade.
"Pull it up; I want to see," she ordered, in a whisper. Wearily Sue obeyed. Bur, lo! after the beating
rain and fierce gusts of wind that had endured through the livelong night, there yet stood out against the brick
wall one ivy leaf. It was the last on the vine. Still dark green near its stem, but with its serrated edges tinted
with the yellow of dissolution and decay, it hung bravely from a branch some twenty feet above the ground.
"It is the last one," said Johnsy. "I thought it would surely fall during
thenight. I heard the wind. It will fall today, and I shall die at the same time."
"Dear, dear!" said Sue, leaning her worn face down to the pillow, "think
of me, if you won't think of yourself. What would I do?"
But Johnsy did not answer. The lonesomest thing in all the world is a
soul when it is making ready to go on its mysterious, far journey. The fancy
seemed to possess her more strongly as one by one the ties that bound her to
friendship and to earth were loosed.
The day wore away, and even through the twilight they could see the lone ivy leaf clinging to its stem
against the wall. And then, with the coming of the night the north wind was again loosed, while the rain still
beat against the windows and pattered down from the low Dutch eaves.
When it was light enough Johnsy, the merciless, commanded that the shade be raised. The ivy leaf was
still there. Johnsy lay for a long time looking at it. And then she called to Sue, who was stirring her chicken
broth over the gas stove.
"I've been a bad girl, Sudie," said Johnsy. "Something has made that lastleaf stay there to show me
how wicked I was. It is a sin to want to die. You may bring me a little broth now, and some milk with a little
port in it, and -no; bring me a hand-mirror first, and then pack some pillows about me, and I will sit up and
watch you cook.
An hour later she said:
"Sudie, some day I hope to paint the Bay of Naples."
The doctor came in the afternoon, and Sue had an excuse to go into the hallway as he left.
"Even chances," said the doctor, taking Sues thin, shaking hand in his. "With good nursing you'll win.
And now I must see another case I
have downstairs. Behrman, his name is-some kind of an artist, I
Pneumonia, too. He is an old, weak man, and the attack is acute. There is no hope for him; but he goes to the
hospital today to be made more comfortable."
The next day the doctor said to Sue: "She's out of danger. You've won. Nutrition and care now - that's
And that afternoon Sue came to the bed where Johnsy lay, contentedly knitting a very blue and very
useless woollen shoulder scarf, and put one arm around her, pillows and all.
"I have something to tell you, white mouse" she said. "Mr. Behrman died of
pneumonia today in the hospital. He was ill only two days. The janitor found him on
the morning of the first day in his room downstairs helpless with pain. His shoes and
clothing were wet through and icy cold. They couldn't imagine where he had been on
such a dreadful night. And then they found a lantern, still lighted, and a ladder that
had been dragged from its place, and some scattered brushes, and a palette with green
and yellow colors mixed on it, and - look out the window, dear, at the last ivy leaf on
the wall. Didn't you wonder why it never fluttered or moved when the wind blew? Ah, darling, it's Behrman's
masterpiece - he painted it there the night that the last leaf fell."
After Reading: Comprehension Answer these questions to determine how well you understood the story.
How do we know that the author is familiar with his setting? Why does Johnsy feel she is fated to
Describe Mr. Behrman. What was Mr. Behrman's masterpiece?
At what point in the story do you begin to think that Mr. Behrman will help
Johnsy? What was the ending of "The Last Leaf"? How did you feel when you reached the end of the