New York World Sunday Magazine, July 24, 1904, The Lady Higher Up by O.Henry
I have to thank the Internet for the coming together of ideas. Researching the latter part of the nineteenth century New York I came across the Moses King Photographic Views of New York originally published in 1892.
I cannot but help to think in the last twenty four hours looking at the cover of the King’s Tourist Guide that Bill Porter hanging around pool halls, billiard parlors and rummy saloons around Fourteenth Street, fingered his King’s Guide to New York to inspire a story for a much needed sawbuck to pay his bar tab and some back rent on a furnished room.
That about a year and a half to two years into residence in New York City he may have been ready to toss that book - feeling like a native NYer - but instead fingered that guide for inspiration, in a copy newly purchased when he has first arrived or in a dime used copy at a bookstore outdoor stall – with the cover image of Diana the Saint Gaudens sculpted weathervane on top of Madison Square Garden - pointing an arrow at Lady Liberty - may have just been the visual inspiration trigger for the story mentioned above.
Just a thought.