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Olympian Nights

John Kendrick Bangs

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Therefore, to convince the wealthy persons at home that large sums of money are expected of them to preserve the life of the father of the family, the truly expert bandit must send something besides the ear itself, which, when cut off, has no angle whatsoever. If I, who am no bandit, and who have not studied the art of the banditti, may make a suggestion which may prove valuable to the highwaymen of Italy and Greece, the only sure method of identifying the individual lies in the cutting off of the head of the victim, by[Pg 26] which means alone the identity of the person to be ransomed may be settled beyond all question. As one who has suffered, I will say that I would not send a check for $20,000 to a bandit on the testimony of one ear any more than I would lend a man ten dollars on his own representation as to the meals he had not had, the drinks he wanted, or the date upon which he would pay it back.

All these ideas flashed across my mind as I l. . . Read More