Category: Love Letters
The burglar stepped inside the window quickly, and then he took his
time. A burglar who respects his art always takes his time before
taking anything else.

The house was a private residence. By its boarded front door and
untrimmed Boston ivy the burglar knew that the mistress of it was
sitting on some oceanside piazza telling a sympathetic man in a
yachting cap that no one had ever understood her sensitive, lonely
heart. He knew by the light in the third-story front windows, and by
the lateness of the season, that the master of the house had come
home, and would soon extinguish his light and retire. For it was
September of the year and of the soul, in which season the house's
good man comes to consider roof gardens and stenographers as vanities,
and to desire the return of his mate and the more durable blessings of
decorum and the moral excellencies.

The burglar lighted a cigarette. The guarded glow of the match
illuminated his salient points for a moment. He belonged to the third
type of burglars.

This third type has not yet been recognized and accepted. The police
have made us familiar with the first and second. Their classification
is simple. The collar is the distinguishing mark.

When a burglar is caught who does not wear a collar he is described as
a degenerate of the lowest type, singularly vicious and depraved, and
is suspected of being the desperate criminal who stole the handcuffs
out of Patrolman Hennessy's pocket in 1878 and walked away to escape

The other well-known type is the burglar who wears a collar. He is
always referred to as a Raffles in real life. He is invariably a
gentleman by daylight, breakfasting in a dress suit, and posing as a
paperhanger, while after dark he plies his nefarious occupation of
burglary. His mother is an extremely wealthy and respected resident
of Ocean Grove, and when he is conducted to his cell he asks at once
for a nail file and the _Police Gazette_. He always has a wife in
every State in the Union and fiancées in all the Territories, and the
newspapers print his matrimonial gallery out of their stock of cuts of
the ladies who were cured by only one bottle after having been given
up by five doctors, experiencing great relief after the first dose.

The burglar wore a blue sweater. He was neither a Raffles nor one of
the chefs from Hell's Kitchen. The police would have been baffled
had they attempted to classify him. They have not yet heard of the
respectable, unassuming burglar who is neither above nor below his

This burglar of the third class began to prowl. He wore no masks,
dark lanterns, or gum shoes. He carried a 38-calibre revolver in his
pocket, and he chewed peppermint gum thoughtfully.

The furniture of the house was swathed in its summer dust protectors.
The silver was far away in safe-deposit vaults. The burglar expected
no remarkable "haul." His objective point was that dimly lighted
room where the master of the house should be sleeping heavily
after whatever solace he had sought to lighten the burden of
his loneliness. A "touch" might be made there to the extent of
legitimate, fair professional profits--loose money, a watch, a
jewelled stick-pin--nothing exorbitant or beyond reason. He had seen
the window left open and had taken the chance.

The burglar softly opened the door of the lighted room. The gas was
turned low. A man lay in the bed asleep. On the dresser lay many
things in confusion--a crumpled roll of bills, a watch, keys, three
poker chips, crushed cigars, a pink silk hair bow, and an unopened
bottle of bromo-seltzer for a bulwark in the morning.

The burglar took three steps toward the dresser. The man in the bed
suddenly uttered a squeaky groan and opened his eyes. His right hand
slid under his pillow, but remained there.

"Lay still," said the burglar in conversational tone. Burglars of the
third type do not hiss. The citizen in the bed looked at the round end
of the burglar's pistol and lay still.

"Now hold up both your hands," commanded the burglar.

The citizen had a little, pointed, brown-and-gray beard, like that
of a painless dentist. He looked solid, esteemed, irritable, and
disgusted. He sat up in bed and raised his right hand above his head.

"Up with the other one," ordered the burglar. "You might be amphibious
and shoot with your left. You can count two, can't you? Hurry up,

"Can't raise the other one," said the citizen, with a contortion of
his lineaments.

"What's the matter with it?"

"Rheumatism in the shoulder."


"Was. The inflammation has gone down." The burglar stood for a moment
or two, holding his gun on the afflicted one. He glanced at the
plunder on the dresser and then, with a half-embarrassed air, back at
the man in the bed. Then he, too, made a sudden grimace.

"Don't stand there making faces," snapped the citizen, bad-humouredly.
"If you've come to burgle why don't you do it? There's some stuff
lying around."

"'Scuse me," said the burglar, with a grin; "but it just socked me
one, too. It's good for you that rheumatism and me happens to be old
pals. I got it in my left arm, too. Most anybody but me would have
popped you when you wouldn't hoist that left claw of yours."

"How long have you had it?" inquired the citizen.

"Four years. I guess that ain't all. Once you've got it, it's you for
a rheumatic life--that's my judgment."

"Ever try rattlesnake oil?" asked the citizen, interestedly.

"Gallons," said the burglar. "If all the snakes I've used the oil of
was strung out in a row they'd reach eight times as far as Saturn, and
the rattles could be heard at Valparaiso, Indiana, and back."

"Some use Chiselum's Pills," remarked the citizen.

"Fudge!" said the burglar. "Took 'em five months. No good. I had some
relief the year I tried Finkelham's Extract, Balm of Gilead poultices
and Potts's Pain Pulverizer; but I think it was the buckeye I carried
in my pocket what done the trick."

"Is yours worse in the morning or at night?" asked the citizen.

"Night," said the burglar; "just when I'm busiest. Say, take down that
arm of yours--I guess you won't--Say! did you ever try Blickerstaff's
Blood Builder?"

"I never did. Does yours come in paroxysms or is it a steady pain?"

The burglar sat down on the foot of the bed and rested his gun on his
crossed knee.

"It jumps," said he. "It strikes me when I ain't looking for it. I had
to give up second-story work because I got stuck sometimes half-way
up. Tell you what--I don't believe the bloomin' doctors know what is
good for it."

"Same here. I've spent a thousand dollars without getting any relief.
Yours swell any?"

"Of mornings. And when it's goin' to rain--great Christopher!"

"Me, too," said the citizen. "I can tell when a streak of humidity the
size of a table-cloth starts from Florida on its way to New York. And
if I pass a theatre where there's an 'East Lynne' matinee going on,
the moisture starts my left arm jumping like a toothache."

"It's undiluted--hades!" said the burglar.

"You're dead right," said the citizen.

The burglar looked down at his pistol and thrust it into his pocket
with an awkward attempt at ease.

"Say, old man," he said, constrainedly, "ever try opodeldoc?"

"Slop!" said the citizen angrily. "Might as well rub on restaurant

"Sure," concurred the burglar. "It's a salve suitable for little
Minnie when the kitty scratches her finger. I'll tell you what! We're
up against it. I only find one thing that eases her up. Hey? Little
old sanitary, ameliorating, lest-we-forget Booze. Say--this job's
off--'scuse me--get on your clothes and let's go out and have some.
'Scuse the liberty, but--ouch! There she goes again!"

"For a week," said the citizen. "I haven't been able to dress myself
without help. I'm afraid Thomas is in bed, and--"

"Climb out," said the burglar, "I'll help you get into your duds."

The conventional returned as a tidal wave and flooded the citizen. He
stroked his brown-and-gray beard.

"It's very unusual--" he began.

"Here's your shirt," said the burglar, "fall out. I knew a man who
said Omberry's Ointment fixed him in two weeks so he could use both
hands in tying his four-in-hand."

As they were going out the door the citizen turned and started back.

"'Liked to forgot my money," he explained; "laid it on the dresser
last night."

The burglar caught him by the right sleeve.

"Come on," he said bluffly. "I ask you. Leave it alone. I've got the
price. Ever try witch hazel and oil of wintergreen?"
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