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Castle Craneycrow

By George Barr McCutcheon

Soberly, they walked out into the street and off through the two o’clock stillness. The mystified burglar was losing his composure. He could not understand the captor’s motive, nor could he much longer curb his curiosity. In his mind, he was delighted that he was walking straight to the portals of the nearest station. In all his career as a housebreaker, he had never before been caught, and now, to be captured in such a way and treated in such a way was far past comprehension. Ten minutes before, he was looking at a stalwart figure with a levelled revolver, confidently expecting to drop the bullet in his body from an agitated weapon. Indeed, he encountered conditions so strange that he doubted their reality. He had no desire to escape for some peculiar and excellent reason. Something odd in the proceeding made him wish to see it to an end. Besides, he was sure the strapping young fellow would shoot if he attempted to bolt.

“This is a fairly good eating house,” observed the would-be victim as they approached an “all-nighter.” They entered and deliberately removed their coats, the thief watching his host with shifty, even twinkling eyes. “What shall it be, Mr. Robber? If you are hungry, you may order the entire bill, from soup to the date line, if you like. Pitch in.”

“Say, boss, what’s your game?” demanded the crook suddenly. With its week’s growth of beard, his sharp, pinched face wore a new expression—that of admiration. “I ain’t such a rube that I don’t like a good thing even when it ain’t comin’ my way. You are awesome, that’s right, and I think we’d do well in the business together. Put me next to yer game,”

“Game? The bill of fare tells you all about that. Here’s quail, squab, duck—see? That’s the only game I’m interested in. Go on and order.”

“Help me, Gawd, if you ain’t a peach.”

Mr. Burglar ate ravenously for half an hour, Quentin watching him through half-closed, amused eyes. He had had a dull, monotonous week, and this novelty lifted life out of the torpidity into which it had fallen.

The host at this queer feast was at that time little more than twenty-five years of age, a year out of Yale, and just back from a second tour of South America. He was an orphan, coming into a considerable fortune with his majority, and he had satiated an old desire to travel in lands not visited by all the world.

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George Barr McCutcheon

George Barr McCutcheon (July 26, 1866 – October 23, 1928) was an American popular novelist and playwright. His best-known works include a series of novels set in Graustark, a fictional East European country, and the novel Brewster’s Millions, which was adapted into a play and several films.


McCutcheon was born in Tippecanoe County, Indiana. Despite having no formal education himself, his father emphasized the importance of literature and urged his sons to write. During McCutcheon’s childhood, his father had several jobs that required travel around the county. McCutcheon studied at Purdue University and was a roommate of future humorist George Ade. During his college years, he was editor of the newspaper Lafayette Daily Courier and wrote a serial novel of satire about Wabash River life. He was the older brother of noted cartoonist John T. McCutcheon and died in Manhattan, New York City, New York. McCutcheon, along with several other Indiana authors of the same period, is considered to be part of the Golden Age of Indiana Literature.

Selected bibliography

Graustark novels

Graustark: The Story of a Love Behind a Throne (1901)
Beverly of Graustark (1904)
Truxton King: A Story of Graustark (1909)
The Prince of Graustark (1914)
East of the Setting Sun (1924)
The Inn of the Hawk and the Raven (1927)

Other novels

Brewster’s Millions (1902)
Castle Craneycrow (1902)
The Sherrods (1903)
The Day of the Dog (1904)
The Purple Parasol (1905)
Nedra (1905)
Jane Cable (1906)
Cowardice Court (1906)
The Flyers (1907)
The Daughter of Anderson Crow (1907)
The Husbands of Edith (1908)
The Man from Brodney’s (1908)
The Alternative (1909)
The Butterfly Man (1910)
The Rose in the Ring (1910)
Mary Midthorne (1911)
What’s-His-Name (1911)
The Hollow of Her Hand (1912)
A Fool and His Money (1913)
Black is White (1914)
Her Weight in Gold (1914)
Mr. Bingle (1915)
From the Housetops (1916)
The Light that Lies (1916)
Green Fancy (1917)
Shot with Crimson (1918)
The City of Masks (1918)
Sherry (1919)
Anderson Crow, Detective (1920)
West Wind Drift (1920)
Quill’s Window 1921
Viola Gwyn (1922)
Yollop (1922)
Oliver October (1923)
Romeo in Moon Village (1925)
Kindling and Ashes (1926)
Blades (1928)
The Merivales (1929)

George Barr McCutcheon

George Barr McCutcheon