The Burglar Who Traded Ted Williams (Bernie Rhodenbarr by Lawrence Block

By Lawrence Block

Bernie Rhodenbarr is de facto attempting to earn a good dwelling. it has been a complete 12 months because he is entered anyone's dwelling house illegally to assist himself to their valuables. yet now an unscrupulous landlord's hazard to extend Bernie's hire by way of 1,000% is riding the bookseller and reformed burglar again to a lifetime of crime -- although, is reasonably, it is a very brief journey. And whilst the law enforcement officials wrongly accuse him of stealing a beneficial selection of baseball playing cards, Bernie's caught with a valueless alibi considering he was once busy burgling a unique condo on the time . . . one who occurred to comprise a lifeless physique locked within a rest room. So Bernie has a hindrance. He can alternate a housebreaking cost for a homicide rap. Or he can shuffle all of the playing cards himself and check out to discover the joker within the deck -- an individual, might be, who believes that murder is the true nice American hobby.

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I didn’t call it, though. Not from my own phone. At 1:24, dressed for success, I left my building. I walked up to Seventy-second Street, and then I walked a block out of my way to the corner where I’d met Doll Cooper. I dropped a quarter in a phone slot and dialed the number I’d looked up. Four rings. Then a computer-generated voice, inviting me to leave a message for Joan or Harlan Nugent. I hung up instead and headed up Broadway to the Korean deli at Seventy-fifth Street, where I picked out enough groceries to fill a couple of bags.

Or was there a perfectly legitimate explanation? It is, after all, still legal for Americans to possess actual money. Well, if it was unreported income, Nugent would bear its burden no longer. I pocketed the bills and returned the empty envelope to the drawer. Then, just to show off, I took out my picks and locked the drawer after myself. I moved a lot of pictures without uncovering a wall safe. I didn’t find any loose bricks in the fireplace, either. Actually I didn’t really expect to encounter a safe or a hidey-hole; if the apartment had had one, that’s where he’d have stashed the $8,350, not in a desk drawer you could have opened with eyebrow tweezers.

Well, I don’t know. How’s she gonna make a living that way? Be like selling ‘B’ Is for Burglar for eighty-six sixty. How’s she gonna pay the rent? ” “Well, you’ll like the next one. ’ ” “Oh, God,” she said. CHAPTER Three “T he rent’s only part of it,” I said. “There’s more to it than that. I miss breaking and entering. ” “The excitement. There’s a thrill I get when I let myself into somebody else’s home that’s unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced. You tickle a lock and tease it into opening, you turn a knob and slip through a half-open door, and then at last you’re inside and it’s as if you’re trying another person’s life on for size.

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