After Twenty Years is a story about two characters, Bob and Jimmy Wells. Before parting ways in order to build their careers, the two friends had promised each other that twenty years down the line, they would meet at a particular restaurant. The story begins with one friend, Bob, having reached the meeting place and waiting for his friend to turn up. While waiting, a policeman on his duty stops by and Bob tells him the reason behind his standing in the dark corner. The cop informs him that the restaurant was demolished five years ago. A conversation starts and Bob tells the policeman about his career and how he struck it rich in the west and how he wishes that Jimmy too had done well. The policeman wishes him luck and continues on his beat. A little later, a man walks up to Bob, and addresses him by his name. The two friends then get chatting, with Bob telling his friend about how the west treated him. While walking, they reach a lighted area, when Bob stops abruptly and realizes that the person he has been talking to all along was not his friend Jimmy. When Bob says the same to the other man, Bob is informed that he has been under arrest for the past ten minutes. The stranger then hands a note to Bob. The note is from Patrolman Jimmy Wells, (the same policeman who was talking to Bob when he was waiting for Jimmy to turn up) and says that Jimmy was in the appointed place at the given time, but when Bob lit the cigar and Jimmy saw in his friend’s face the face of a wanted criminal, he went away. Jimmy could not arrest his friend Bob himself and so asked someone else to arrest Bob.