"Old Tom Burkes used to say to Elsah, his daughter: "Easy grabbing is good grabbing. Nobody was ever ruined by taking small profits."The cover is supremely evocative.
After his eighth whisky old Tom was rather oracular. He would sit before the fire in the shabby little dining-room at Elscombe Crescent (Mayfair by telephone, Bayswater by bus), and pass across such cultured pearls of wisdom.
"You can't expect millionaires to marry—especially if they've been married before. This Poynting's got money and a family. Families are always a just cause an' impediment. If he wants to make you happy by givin' me a directorship—let him."
So that when, in a moment of mental aberration, Colonel J.C. Poynting pressed upon her for acceptance the emerald bar which caused all the trouble, Elsah accepted. She made some faint protest... One shouldn't (she murmured) accept such a present even from so dear a friend unless... unless...
Colonel Poynting did not fill the gap. He was an infatuated old gentleman, but for the moment infatuation was held in check by an uneasy-sense of family.
"You'd better insure that," said Elsah's wise father. "It's worth three thousand if it is worth a cent."
Prudently, Elsah followed his advice—which was also unfortunate.
Most unfortunate of all, a few weeks later Colonel Poynting very nervously requested her to return the bar—his daughter had asked to see it... he would return it to Elsah.
"Perhaps," said her cynical parent.
That night the bar was stolen. It was taken from her dressing-table by some person or persons unknown. This information she conveyed to the Colonel by express letter. The Colonel replied in person, arriving in a taxi and a state of nervous perspiration. Accompanying him was a detective.
And that was where the real trouble started."
Fiction The Cat Burgler. By Edgar Wallace: