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1884 First roller coaster in America opens, 1738 Patriot printer publisher and postmistress Mary Katharine Goddard born, 1903 Ford Motor Company incorporated, 1862 Union thwarted at the Battle of Secessionville, 1961 Russian ballet star Nureyev defects, 1999 SLA member captured after more than 20 years, 1896 Tsunami ravages Japanese coast, 1958 Leader of Hungarian uprising executed, 1963 First woman in space, 1977 Brezhnev is Soviet president, 1943 Charlie Chaplin marries Oona ONeill, 1904 James Joyce meets his future wife Nora, 1965 Bob Dylan records Like A Rolling Stone, 1890 Alaskan explorer Fred Fickett leaves Army, 1858 Lincoln warns that America is becoming a house divided, 1968 Lee Trevino wins his first US Open, 1961 Kennedy agrees to send instructors to train troops, 1965 More troops to be sent to Vietnam, 1970 Communists isolate Phnom Penh, 1918 Battle of the Piave River, 1940 Marshal Petain becomes premier of occupied France,

Stories

Lucky Glauber

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As the sun set, darkness engulfed the hill and the river below. Lucky Glauber practised caution as he hid behind some bushes. Beads of perspiration travelled down his face. It was summer, indeed, and it is hot even at night around these parts. He looked up at the moon and the sweat went into his eyes. He screamed for a moment, and then fell down the hill.

A museum is supposed to keep things secure, which is why museums do not have windows. However, you cannot trust the builders around these parts. This museum certainly had windows. After climbing back up the hill, Lucky Glauber continued looking at his target, a clear diamond, through a window. His plan was simply to get in, snag the diamond, jump out the window and run down the hill. You do not need to have a master plan to commit robberies around these parts.

The entrance was guarded by a single man, fast asleep. Glauber walked past the guard and reached the door. The door happened to be locked. Lucky pulled out from his multi-purpose bag a jar full of ants. He returned to the sleeping guard. Taking special care not to wake the guard up before the time was ripe, he pulled at the man’s trousers and emptied the jar in there. Then, moving his lips close to the man’s ear, Lucky Glauber screamed, “ANTS IN YOUR PANTS!”

The guard woke up with a start. He looked at the intruder, felt a strange sensation, looked down into his trousers, screamed, removed his pants and ran all the way down the hill. Lucky heard a soft splashing sound. He turned to the guard’s trousers. He took all the things in its pockets, except for a can of insect repellent. Then, walking up to the door like it was his own house, Glauber turned the key in the lock and entered the museum.

I guess most people have seen a movie where the museum or bank has infrared lasers to prevent any thefts. However, there was no such thing to be found in this museum. It’s difficult to find such technology around these parts. Lucky Glauber expected to see a hallway or a large room when he entered; all he saw was a wall. A brick red brick wall was covering the view. There was a single hook at arm level on the wall, with a rubber band hung on it. Lucky pulled at the rubber band. This pulled the wall which started falling in Glauber’s direction. To stop himself from being crushed by the unsteady wall, Lucky Glauber pushed it away. The wall fell backwards, crashing onto the floor and causing a loud, resounding thud.

The wall on the floor now, Glauber could see a tiny room with three chairs. On those three chairs were three sleeping guards. Presently two of the guards woke up due to the noise. The first one said, “See, I told you it was a good idea to install that firewall there.” The second one said, “Yes, indeed. We saved on the cost of those lasers. You’re a genius.”

The first one was impressed by the compliment and the two took a moment to acknowledge the first one’s ingenuity. Lucky Glauber pulled out a ball of tin foil from his bag. He approached the guards:

“Congratulations! You are such a genius; because of your intelligence I was caught. Here, I think you deserve this award.” Saying so, Lucky handed the ball to the intelligent guard. He replied,

“Why, thank you, kind intruder. You’ve made my day.”

By then, though, Glauber had moved on to search for the room holding the diamond. Not that the two guards cared. Luckily he found the right room in the first try. He happily walked towards the display. Now he would steal the diamond, then he could…

Before his thoughts were complete, the third guard, who had been sleeping till now, ran into the room towards Glauber. He dashed into the intruder and crushed him like a goose under a moose. “You’re not taking anything!”

Lucky Glauber retorted, “But I’m here for the diamond!”

The guard continued, “That diamond is priceless!”

“What? The diamond is price… less?”

“Yes.”

“So the diamond’s price is less?”

“No, that’s not what it means.”

“The word our boss said is ‘price less’, right?”

The guard was confused. He said,

“He also said that the diamond had an unimaginable price!”

“Well, what if its price is… zero?”

“Zero? How could it be?”

“Zero is a less price as compared to other diamonds. Also, you wouldn’t imagine a diamond’s price being zero. So the price is unimaginable, right?”

“So… the diamond is worthless?”

Lucky Glauber managed to confuse the guard with this stupid logic.

“In fact,” Lucky pulled out a certain piece of paper, “I think this should more than compensate for the diamond, so you should let me have it.”

The guard looked at the green piece of paper and cotton. He recognized the man whose picture was on the piece. People have a great affinity to such kinds of papers around these parts.

“Okay, you can go on.” Having satisfied the third guard, Glauber moved on. He lifted up the glass case and held the diamond in his hand. Now all he had to do was to jump out the window and…

Glauber did not see him in time. He could not move away. The guard ran up and smashed into the intruder. The guard fell out the window and fell into the river. The unfortunate part is, so did the diamond.

Yes, the very object of attraction, the target set by Glauber, the subject of the story just flew into the air and tumbled down the hill. It fell into the river and was carried miles away by the current.

And Lucky? He had taken the guard’s ID card form his trousers, and he showed this card to the other guards. Thus he managed to convince them that he was just a fellow guard, testing the security of the museum. He said they had passed the test.

Thus, there was some loss, but no one gained anything in the end. Such stories are common around these parts.

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