Friday, March 10, 2017

"There Would Never Be a Napoleon of Furniture-Removers, but There Had Been Several Napoleons of Crime"

"The Hypnotized Burglar."
By Herbert Jenkins (1875-1923).
First appearance: Unknown, 1913.
Reprinted in McBride's Magazine, April 1916.
Collected as a chapter in Bindle (1916), online (HERE).
Short story (10 pages).
Online at Hathi Trust (HERE).
"In Which Joseph Bindle, Furniture-Remover, and Professor Conti, the Great Mesmerist, Each Puts His Respective Accomplishments to a New Use. Aesop Would Have Drawn a Moral from the Tale; Can You?"
Of all the burglars at large in London on that caliginous evening, it's Professor Conti's 
great fortune—you could almost say it's Providential—when he surprises, rummaging through his drawers, the only yegg who could ensure the Great Mesmerist's everlasting 
fame, even eclipsing that of his closest rival. Imagine, then, the Professor's own surprise when, in court, he sees the wrong man standing in the dock . . .

- Professor Conti makes his living performing stage hypnosis; see the Wikipedia article about it (HERE).
- There's also info about Herbert Jenkins at Wikipedia (HERE), the GAD Wiki (HERE), and Mike Grost's Guide (HERE).
- Jenkins is best known to mystery fans for his character of Malcolm Sage; Mystery*File has an ancient review (2007) of his exploits (HERE), the book under examination being online (HERE).
- Herbert Jenkins used the comic character of Joseph Bindle in a series of stories, most of them being seemingly non-criminous (data from FictionMags):

   "The Hypnotized Burglar," McBride’s Magazine, April 1916 (above)
   "The Flitting of Mr. Maurice Crane," Hutchinson’s Story Magazine, September 1919
   "Mrs. Bindle’s Summer-Camp," Hutchinson’s Story Magazine, November 1919
   "Mrs. Bindle’s Discovery," Hutchinson’s Story Magazine, January 1920
   "Mrs. Bindle’s Washing Day," Pearson’s Magazine, July 1921
   "The Coming of Joseph the Second," Pearson’s Magazine, August 1921
   "Mrs. Bindle Entertains," Pearson’s Magazine, September 1921
   "The Bindles at the Zoo," Pearson’s Magazine, March 1922
   "Mrs. Bindle Fetches a Policeman," Pearson’s Magazine, May 1922
   "Mrs. Bindle Meets Her Match," Pearson’s Magazine, August 1922
   "Bindle Goes to Chapel"
   "Bindle Tries a Change of Work"; from Bindle (collection), 1916.
   "The Great Hypnotic Fiasco"
- See the Online Books Page (HERE) for other works by Herbert Jenkins.

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