Mark Twain Letter for the Next Burglar

After a burglary, Twain had some advice for the next burglar.

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  • I have felt like leaving a note like this around, at least after Boxing Day when a burglar broke into our house and stole my wife’s jewelry. Since the person or persons ignored our computers, there is nothing more in our house than theological books!

  • Larry Barber

    Why I leave my car door unlocked, there is nothing in it to steal (unless you want my jumper cables), so they don’t have to break out a window to determine that there is nothing in it worth stealing.

  • scotmcknight

    Peter, sorry to hear that.

  • RJS

    This letter intrigued me, so I looked for more information. These two posts, The Burglary at Stormfield, September 18, 1908 and Stormfield Burglar Makes His Confession make interesting reading.

  • DRT

    Another of the quaint elements of southern society that I have come to know is that there is quite the aversion to having someone potentially steal things. I bought antique wagon wheels to put at the bottom of my driveway and had several neighbors and acquaintances comment that it is silly to do such a thing since someone could just steal them.

    After that, I started to look around and have noted that the southern folk tend to put little effort into things that are not permanent. I think that is a core element to conservatism.

    No one has stolen my wagon wheels in 10 years so they have had a pretty low yearly cost.

    Please, let people steal the worldly possessions. I love Twain’s note because he is treating the thief with dignity. If someone wants my coat I might give them more, but they would have to give me a good reason.