The sum total of everyone's knowledge, therefore, was this:
Soon after the grand march a servant entered the smoking room and found the Burglar there alone, standing beside an open window, looking out. This smoking room connected, by a corridor, with a small dining room where the Randolph gold plate was kept in ostentatious seclusion. As the servant entered the smoking-room the Burglar turned away from the window and went out into the ballroom. He did not carry a bundle; he did not appear to be excited.
Fifteen or twenty minutes later the servant discovered that eleven plates of the gold service, valued roughly at $15,000, were missing. He informed Mr. Randolph. The information, naturally enough, did not elevate the host's enjoyment of the ball, and he did things hastily.
Meanwhile--that is, between the time when the Burglar left the smoking-room and the time when he passed out the front door--the Burglar had talked earnestly with a masked Girl of the West. It was establi
A masked ball provides plenty of opportunity for misunderstanding and mayhem in this fast-paced novella. Futrelle sets the scene beautifully (making you regret you weren't invited) and keeps up the tension. The end comes out of nowhere, but what the heck. It's fun.