Tuesday, October 24, 2023

"Of All the Crazy Tricks Fate Had Ever Played on Mortal, This, Surely, Was the Craziest"

"Kid Sheriff."
By Hapsburg Liebe (Charles Haven Liebe, 1880-1957; Pulp Flakes HERE).
First appearance: Argosy, December 1, 1934.
Reprinted in West, March 1941.
Short short short story (5 pages).
Online at Pulp Magazines (HERE; go down to text page 124).

   "Six thousand dollars was the bait, and if fake oil stock wouldn't do it, nitro-glycerin would."

A word in your shell-like ear: If you're ever caught red-handed robbing a safe, you'd be well-advised not to address the arresting officer as "you boob" . . .

Main characters:
~ Arthur Q. Dale:
  "We'll make the acquaintance of Jonathan Ford—the rich old jigger—and slip the hypo into him before he knows it."
~ Jack B. Morgan:
  "And before the kid sheriff knows it. Art, you're a jewel!"
~ Jonathan Ford:
  "A few weeks ago I had a chance to buy some oil stock, and almost did."
~ Jimmy Linster:
  "My old dad was a sheriff before me, and he taught me things."
~ Bud:
  "A few hundred dollars and a couple automatic pistols, Jim."

References and resources:
- "some nitro":
  The guy they named all those prestigious prizes after knew this chemical well: "Nitroglycerin was the first practical explosive produced that was stronger than black powder. It was synthesized by the Italian chemist Ascanio Sobrero in 1847, working under Théophile-Jules Pelouze at the University of Turin. Sobrero initially called his discovery pyroglycerine and warned vigorously against its use as an explosive. Nitroglycerin was adopted as a commercially useful explosive by Alfred Nobel, who experimented with safer ways to handle the dangerous compound after his younger brother, Emil Oskar Nobel, and several factory workers were killed in an explosion at the Nobels' armaments factory in 1864 in Heleneborg, Sweden." (Wikipedia HERE.)
- "We used to be experts at cracking cribs":
  "(Criminal slang, dated) To break into a house." (Wiktionary HERE).
- FictionMags's list of our author's short fiction output (HERE) runs to nearly three full pages, starting in 1911 and going to 1951. Most of them were of the action, Western, and crime fiction varieties. For more background, consult the Pulp Flakes article about Hapsburg Liebe (HERE).

Unless otherwise noted, all bibliographical data are derived from The FictionMags Index created by William G. Contento & edited by Phil Stephensen-Payne.

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