**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!


Makes The Whole World Kin
by [?]

The burglar took three steps toward the dresser. The man in the bed suddenly uttered a squeaky groan and opened his eyes. His right hand slid under his pillow, but remained there.

“Lay still,” said the burglar in conversational tone. Burglars of the third type do not hiss. The citizen in the bed looked at the round end of the burglar’s pistol and lay still.

“Now hold up both your hands,” commanded the burglar.

The citizen had a little, pointed, brown-and-gray beard, like that of a painless dentist. He looked solid, esteemed, irritable, and disgusted. He sat up in bed and raised his right hand above his head.

“Up with the other one,” ordered the burglar. “You might be amphibious and shoot with your left. You can count two, can’t you? Hurry up, now.”

“Can’t raise the other one,” said the citizen, with a contortion of his lineaments.

“What’s the matter with it?”

“Rheumatism in the shoulder.”


“Was. The inflammation has gone down.” The burglar stood for a moment or two, holding his gun on the afflicted one. He glanced at the plunder on the dresser and then, with a half-embarrassed air, back at the man in the bed. Then he, too, made a sudden grimace.

“Don’t stand there making faces,” snapped the citizen, bad-humouredly. “If you’ve come to burgle why don’t you do it? There’s some stuff lying around.”

“‘Scuse me,” said the burglar, with a grin; “but it just socked me one, too. It’s good for you that rheumatism and me happens to be old pals. I got it in my left arm, too. Most anybody but me would have popped you when you wouldn’t hoist that left claw of yours.”

“How long have you had it?” inquired the citizen.

“Four years. I guess that ain’t all. Once you’ve got it, it’s you for a rheumatic life — that’s my judgment.”

“Ever try rattlesnake oil?” asked the citizen, interestedly.

“Gallons,” said the burglar. “If all the snakes I’ve used the oil of was strung out in a row they’d reach eight times as far as Saturn, and the rattles could be heard at Valparaiso, Indiana, and back.”

“Some use Chiselum’s Pills,” remarked the citizen.

“Fudge!” said the burglar. “Took ’em five months. No good. I had some relief the year I tried Finkelham’s Extract, Balm of Gilead poultices and Potts’s Pain Pulverizer; but I think it was the buckeye I carried in my pocket what done the trick.”

“Is yours worse in the morning or at night?” asked the citizen.

“Night,” said the burglar; “just when I’m busiest. Say, take down that arm of yours — I guess you won’t — Say! did you ever try Blickerstaff’s Blood Builder?”

“I never did. Does yours come in paroxysms or is it a steady pain?”

The burglar sat down on the foot of the bed and rested his gun on his crossed knee.

“It jumps,” said he. “It strikes me when I ain’t looking for it. I had to give up second-story work because I got stuck sometimes half-way up. Tell you what — I don’t believe the bloomin’ doctors know what is good for it.”

“Same here. I’ve spent a thousand dollars without getting any relief. Yours swell any?”

“Of mornings. And when it’s goin’ to rain — great Christopher!”

“Me, too,” said the citizen. “I can tell when a streak of humidity the size of a table-cloth starts from Florida on its way to New York. And if I pass a theatre where there’s an ‘East Lynne’ matinee going on, the moisture starts my left arm jumping like a toothache.”

“It’s undiluted — hades!” said the burglar.

“You’re dead right,” said the citizen.

The burglar looked down at his pistol and thrust it into his pocket with an awkward attempt at ease.

“Say, old man,” he said, constrainedly, “ever try opodeldoc?”

“Slop!” said the citizen angrily. “Might as well rub on restaurant butter.”

“Sure,” concurred the burglar. “It’s a salve suitable for little Minnie when the kitty scratches her finger. I’ll tell you what! We’re up against it. I only find one thing that eases her up. Hey? Little old sanitary, ameliorating, lest-we-forget Booze. Say — this job’s off — ‘scuse me — get on your clothes and let’s go out and have some. ‘Scuse the liberty, but — ouch! There she goes again!”

“For a week,” said the citizen. “I haven’t been able to dress myself without help. I’m afraid Thomas is in bed, and –“

“Climb out,” said the burglar, “I’ll help you get into your duds.”

The conventional returned as a tidal wave and flooded the citizen. He stroked his brown-and-gray beard.

“It’s very unusual –” he began.

“Here’s your shirt,” said the burglar, “fall out. I knew a man who said Omberry’s Ointment fixed him in two weeks so he could use both hands in tying his four-in-hand.”

As they were going out the door the citizen turned and started back.

“Liked to forgot my money,” he explained; “laid it on the dresser last night.”

The burglar caught him by the right sleeve.

“Come on,” he said bluffly. “I ask you. Leave it alone. I’ve got the price. Ever try witch hazel and oil of wintergreen?”