Plot

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The story is introduced with the first character, a policeman making his rounds on the dark, windy, rainy streets of New York, rattling door knobs as he checks everything is secure on his beat. It is here we meet the second character, as the policeman approaches a man standing in a doorway of a hardware store. This character is Bob, and Bobs explains his reason as to why he is standing on the street at that time of night. Twenty years ago, Bob and his best friend Jimmy agreed to meet at that exact spot at 10 o’clock at night. As Bob relates his tale, it is come to light that Bob and Jimmy have chosen two different paths in life. Bob moved away to the west to seek fortune, while Jimmy chose to stay in New York City. After hearing Bob’s story, the police officer, who noticeably has not been given a name, goes on his way.

Soon, Bob is approached by the third and final character in the story, who greets Bob as his old friend Jimmy. Together they walk down the street to find a place to eat, but it is during this time that the light shines on Jimmy’s face and Bob notices it isn’t his friend. The surprise climax is then revealed, as this man tells Bob he is under arrest and hands him a note. As Bob reads this note, it is then the plot is unified as he realises that he did meet his old friend Jimmy at the right time in the right place as he was in fact the first policeman who stopped to talk to him on the street. Knowing he was a criminal, yet unable to arrest his friend, the policeman walked away and asked a random bystander to confront Bob instead.

Narrative Sequence

  • Exposition: The setting of the dark street in New York is introduced and the characters of Bob and Jimmy are described.
  • Rising Action: Bob’s tension is increased as he waits for his long time friend who has not shown up on time. Bob sees the policeman walking up the street, explains his situation, then the policeman walks away. Next a tall man walks up to Bob, giving him the assumption that it is Jimmy. This man and Bob walk down the road and Bob sees the man in front of the bright lights of a drug store.
  • Crisis/Climax: Bob realises the man is not Jimmy.
  • Falling action: The man tells Bob he is under arrest and hands him a note.
  • Resolution: Bob reads the note and realises that the policeman he spoke to earlier was in fact his old friend Jimmy.

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