By James Harvey Smith (1852?-1925?).
First appearance: McClure's Magazine, August 1893.
Short short story (9 pages, with 10 illos).
Online at Project Gutenberg (HERE) and UNZ (HERE).
|The hat was optional.|
"What is your annual income as a burglar?"As a target for robbery, the isolated Braithwait residence miles out of town in the suburbs looks like a piece of cake to our felonious trio—callous and brutal Jim Baxter, who doesn't mind violence; affable Wilson Graham, who prefers the peaceful way whenever possible;
and callow Harry Montgomery, a youthful amateur at the burglary game—until, that is,
they encounter the homeowner and make the crucial mistake of underestimating him . . .
- There's practically nothing on the Interweb about James Harvey Smith, and we're guessing about his life-death dates; FictionMags gives him credit for three stories:
"Old Shipmates," Romance, July 1893
"Burglars Three," McClure’s, August 1893 (above)
"In the Desert," Munsey’s Magazine, February 1899.
|The penny dreadfuls just couldn't help themselves when it came to glamorizing burglars.|
The bottom line: "Actors and burglars work better at night."
— Cedric Hardwicke