By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)
‘Witches’ Loaves’ is a short story by the US short-story writer O. Henry, whose real name was William Sydney Porter (1862-1910). His stories are characterised by their irony and by their surprise twist endings. Both of these elements became something of a signature feature, and ‘Witches’ Loaves’ certainly carries a twist ending. The story is about an unmarried woman running a bakery, who takes a shine to one of her regular customers, a man who she deduces is an artist.