Monday, October 16, 2017

Two Criminous Misadventures from H. G.

   "He ran away with it to poison the water of London."

"The Stolen Bacillus: A Tale of Anarchy."
By H. G. Wells (1866-1946).
First appearance: Pall Mall Budget, June 21, 1894.
Reprinted many times since (HERE).
Short short story (5 pages).
Online at (HERE), Online
(HERE), and Roy Glashan's Library (HERE).
"The sense of imminent death gave him a certain dignity."
 It isn't every day that a little white lie could save millions of lives . . .

- Wikipedia has a couple of articles that relate to our story's theme (HERE) and (HERE).
- There are also references to a pair of French Anarchists, noted in Wikipedia (HERE) and (HERE).

~ ~ ~

   "This is burgling in style!"

"The Hammerpond Park Burglary."
By H. G. Wells (1866-1946).
First appearance: Pall Mall Budget, July 5, 1894.
Short short story (8 pages).
Online at Roy Glashan's Library (HERE) and Project Gutenberg, Australia (HERE).

"It was lucky he had escaped these snares. And they showed him the jewels."
Art, they tell us, is a high calling, so why is a lowlife like Teddy Watkins stumbling around in the dark in Sussex encumbered with two virgin canvases, a brand-new easel, a paint-box,
and a portmanteau, grimly determined, he tells one and all, to capture the essence of Lady Aveling's charming country estate? If you've guessed he's up to no good, then congratula-tions, you know your Teddy Watkinses.

Typo: "Person" or "Porson"?

- Two real-life personages get mentioned in the story, one an artist (HERE) and the other a criminal (HERE).

- As one critic has noted in retrospect, H. G. Wells's skills as an author were vastly superior to his abilities as a prophet; see Wikipedia (HERE) and the ISFDb (HERE) and a complete bibliography (HERE; as a PDF, 105 pages) at Roy Glashan's deluxe website.

The bottom line: "A burglar who respects his art always takes his time before taking anything else."
William Sidney Porter

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