Monday, March 19, 2018

"They Were His First Burglars, and They Rather Shocked His Preconceived Notions of the Type"

"Mr. Penfound's Two Burglars."
By E. A. Bennett (Arnold Bennett, 1867-1931).
First appearance: The Harmsworth Monthly Pictorial Magazine, December 1899.
Short short story (6 pages, 4 illos).
Online at Hathi Trust (HERE).

"You go and take yer tale and yer pistols and yer bloomin' burglars somewhere else. 'Ear?"
Like millions of other citizens from the beginning of time who've been victimized by criminals, Mr. Penfound will come to wonder: Where's a cop when you need one? . . .
- For information about London's coffee-stalls at the time of our story, see the late Dr. Bruce Rosen's article on the Victorian History website (HERE):
   "The Victorians were 'fast food' consumers, but what they ate
came largely from individual purveyors on the streets of London
and the other large cities. Food and drink was readily available
at all hours of the day and night, purchased from individual
entrepreneurs. . . . For those who were either up late or rose
early there were the coffee stalls.  Some opened as early as
midnight, while others did not start trading until three or four
in the morning. The former appealed to 'night-walkers—fast
gentlemen and loose girls' while those that opened in the
morning were more likely to be patronized by working men."
- We last met up with Arnold Bennett this past January (HERE).

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