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Castle Craneycrow   By: (1866-1928)

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This eBook was created by Charles Aldarondo (



George Barr McCutcheon





It was characteristic of Mr. Philip Quentin that he first lectured his servant on the superiority of mind over matter and then took him cheerfully by the throat and threw him into a far corner of the room. As the servant was not more than half the size of the master, his opposition was merely vocal, but it was nevertheless unmistakable. His early career had increased his vocabulary and his language was more picturesque than pretty. Yet of his loyalty and faithfulness, there could be no doubt. During the seven years of his service, he had been obliged to forget that he possessed such a name as Turkington or even James. He had been Turk from the beginning, and Turk he remained and, in spite of occasional out breaks, he had proved his devotion to the young gentleman whose goods and chattels he guarded with more assiduity than he did his own soul or what meant more to him his personal comfort. His employment came about in an unusual way. Mr. Quentin had an apartment in a smart building uptown. One night he was awakened by a noise in his room. In the darkness he saw a man fumbling among his things, and in an instant he had seized his revolver from the stand at his bedside and covered the intruder. Then he calmly demanded: "Now, what are you doing here?"

"I'm lookin' for a boardin' house," replied the other, sullenly.

"You're just a plain thief that's all."

"Well, it won't do me no good to say I'm a sleepwalker, will it? er a missionary, er a dream? But, on d' dead, sport, I'm hungry, an' I wuz tryin' to git enough to buy a meal an' a bed. On d' dead, I wuz."

"And a suit of clothes, and an overcoat, and a house and lot, I suppose, and please don't call me 'sport' again. Sit down not oh the floor; on that chair over there. I'm going to search you. Maybe you've got something I need." Mr. Quentin turned on the light and proceeded to disarm the man, piling his miserable effects on a chair. "Take off that mask. Lord! put it on again; you look much better. So, you're hungry, are you?"

"As a bear."

Quentin never tried to explain his subsequent actions; perhaps he had had a stupid evening. He merely yawned and addressed the burglar with all possible respect. "Do you imagine I'll permit any guest of mine to go away hungry? If you'll wait till I dress, we'll stroll over to a restaurant in the next street and get some supper.

"Police station, you mean."

"Now, don't be unkind, Mr. Burglar. I mean supper for two. I'm hungry myself, but not a bit sleepy. Will you wait?"

"Oh, I'm in no particular hurry."

Quentin dressed calmly. The burglar began whistling softly.

"Are you ready?" asked Philip, putting on his overcoat and hat.

"I haven't got me overcoat on yet," replied the burglar, suggestively. Quentin saw he was dressed in the chilliest of rags. He opened a closet door and threw him a long coat.

"Ah, here is your coat. I must have taken it from the club by mistake. Pardon me."

"T'anks; I never expected to git it back," coolly replied the burglar, donning the best coat that had ever touched his person. "You didn't see anything of my gloves and hat in there, did you?" A hat and a pair of gloves were produced, not perfect in fit, but quite respectable.

Soberly they walked out into the street and off through the two o'clock stillness. The mystified burglar was losing his equanimity. He could not understand the captor's motive, nor could he much longer curb his curiosity. In his mind he was fully satisfied that he was walking straight to the portals of the nearest station. In all his career as a housebreaker, he had never before been caught, and now to be captured in such a way and treated in such a way was far past comprehension. Ten minutes before he was looking at a stalwart figure with a leveled revolver, confidently expecting to drop with the bullet in his body from an agitated weapon... Continue reading book >>

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