Explain the line “It’s the one friend of the unfortunate.” from O. Henry’s short story “Hearts and Hands”.
The above quoted line is taken from O. Henry’s story “Hearts and Hands”. Here ‘it’ referred to is tobacco. When the supposed prisoner asked for having a smoke, Mr. Easton said that he could not deny the petition as a marshal, as tobacco is the one friend of an unfortunate man like the convict. He hints at how people in general rely on tobacco or alcohol to forget any tension or distress.
On a symbolic level, it also proved to be a friend for Mr. Easton himself, the real unfortunate man, as it paved the way for his escape from more embarrassment before his old friend Miss Fairchild.