By Ivar Jorgensen (Robert Silverberg, born 1935).
First appearance: Imagination, February 1958.
Short short story (6 pages).
Online at Archive.org (HERE).
"He wondered idly what his partner-in-crime looked like."Stealing's one thing; living long enough to enjoy it—that's something else . . .
~ The Alpherazian jailer:
"You've stolen your last jewel, Earthman."
"Don't stand here and gloat. I'd be free and out of here if that crazy alarm hadn't popped off."
"How would you like to be free in five minutes?"
~ The Emperor:
"Of course," he said politely. "Go right ahead."
- The "Ivar Jorgensen" house name was used by quite a few SFF authors who have since gone on to greater recognition, one of the most prominent being Robert Silverberg; see Wikipedia (HERE), the SFE (HERE), the ISFDb (HERE), the IMDb (HERE), and the dedicated website (HERE).
- A star mentioned in the story (but misspelled) is Alpheratz (Alpha Andromedae), which, according to Wikipedia (HERE), is "located 97 light-years from the Sun and is the brightest star in the constellation of Andromeda." It has also been absorbed into the BattleTech universe (HERE).