Thursday, June 16, 2011

Quote of the Day

Ricky slipped the newspaper cutting out of her desk and read it again. She had cut it out of the morning paper - much to her father's annoyance because he had not yet had a chance to read the paper - and she had been studying it at every suitable moment since. Not that this was a suitable moment, really, because it was in the middle of a history lesson, and she should have been listening to Miss Perry expounding the causes of the French Revolution instead of poring over a rather sensational newspaper cutting. However, it was to the cutting that she was gving all her attention:

FURNITURE VAN GANG -
DARING ROBBERIES

it was headed, and it went on to say: Members of the public are warned of a gang operating in Glasgow and surrounding country districts. The gang drives up openly in a removal van to a house from which the owners are absent and empties the contents from the house into the van. This was the method thought to have been used when the house of Sir John McLintock in Whittington Gardens was burgled, as a removal van, which has since not been traced, was seen standing outside the house for two hours. Sir John McLintock, a former Lord Provost of the city - Ricky skipped that bit and hurried on to - the house of Mr. William Lambie, the well-known Glasgow surgeon, at Killearn, was also thought to have been robbed in this way. It is significant that both Sir John and Mr. Lambie are well-known collectors of art and antiques -
Miss Perry, glancing round the form, saw Ricky's studiously bent head, which was enough in itself to make her suspicious. She paused in what she was telling the form to say in her sarcastic way, "Erica has, I suppose, such a thorough knowledge of the causes of the French Revolution that she doesn't need to listen?"
Ricky, absorbed in her cutting, paid no attention. Anyone, the cutting finished, who can give any information about this furniture van should telephone the police immediately. Oh, goodness, she thought, if only I could see this van! I'd telephone the police all right! I'd-
"Erica!"
Ricky jumped and looked up. "Yes, Miss Perry?"
"Have you a thorough knowledge of the causes of the French Revolution, Erica?"
Ricky gaped at Miss Perry. What a daft question! She didn't know the first thing about the French Revolution! Except, of course, what you could learn about it from The Scarlet Pimpernel. "Och, no, Miss Perry," she said.
"Then I suggest that as you apparently don't choose to listen in class, you can stay in this afternoon and make good the deficiency," said Miss Perry.
"Yes, Miss Perry," said Ricky, subdued.

From the short story CROOKS LIMITED.