The story "Hearts and Hands" of the well-known American writer O. Henry was published for the first time in the collection "Remains" in 1917. In the Baltimore express all places were taken, only one bench opposite an young nice lady was free. At this time two guys entered the coach: one of them was impudent, and the second one - glum-faced. These two characters didn't represent anything unusual, except the handcuffs which held their hands among themselves. The lady recognized one of them and addressed him. The young man showed the girl the handcuffs and said that he couldn't shake her hand. He wanted to explain something but the second forestalled him. This man introduced himself as a criminal and his attendant as a marshal. The story seems to be quite plain, but its salt is hidden in the last two sentences which reveal the real state of things.