Tuesday, March 28, 2017

"Peggy Found Herself Looking into the Level, Humorous Eyes of the Burglar"

"The Evasions of Mr. Kerrick."
By R. E. Vernède (1875-1917).
First appearance: The Strand Magazine (U.S.), September 1906.
Reprinted in The Strand Magazine, October 1906.
Short short story (7 pages, with 4 illos).
Online at Archive.org (HERE).
"She was so pretty that he managed to forget that the policeman's last thump had been his loudest, and that he was probably raising his truncheon for a still louder one."
Why Mr. Kerrick, a respectable artist by profession, on a blustery evening finds himself hiding behind a Japanese screen in an unfamiliar house; how Miss Peggy Gordon deals 
with the sticky situation of a charming burglar who refuses to tell the whole truth; how 
Mr. Armstrong, Kerrick's severest critic, gets himself hogtied in an upstairs bedroom; and how Hadderly, an old and nearly forgotten acquaintance, without the slightest presenti-
ment sets Mr. Kerrick on the road to romance—all of these apparently incoherent elements will coalesce into a coherent narrative that just might make you smile.
- R. E. Vernède, a World War I casualty, is known primarily to posterity as a poet, but as "The Evasions of Mr. Kerrick" illustrates, he could do the occasional prose piece; more about him (HERE), (HERE), and (HERE).
- Another lost latch-key was also an important plot element in a story recently featured on ONTOS (HERE).

The bottom line: "A burglar who respects his art always takes his time before taking anything else."
O. Henry

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