HE BURGLAR STORY
To appreciate fully the incident of the burglar you need to
have a picture of the layout of our house in suburban Philadelphia. Surrounded
by stone walls and tall trees, the house faced a small courtyard and a shed
attached to a stone building that had served as a small stable. It had been an adjunct to a large estate at
one time housing the gardener his family.
The house itself was of gray stone with upstairs dormers for
three small bedrooms. Two of the
bedrooms were reached by stairs off the kitchen while the third bedroom was at
the top of a small staircase at the other end of the house. At this other end,
we had built an addition with the master bedroom and bath and a large room for
our new baby.
On the night of the burglar, staying upstairs in the house
were son Rob, 12, Suzy, home from college, Blanca, an au pair from Venezuela, sleeping in
the small room at the top of the back staircase, and Perry, the baby.
On several occasions, Suzy had claimed that there were
noises or persons in our courtyard. Never true. So when she woke me up in the
middle of the night I was skeptical. After I went out on the courtyard and
found nothing, I told her that next time it had better not be a false alarm.
As I passed Perry’s room on the way to the master bedroom, I
thought I heard a noise. Peeking in, I saw a man standing inside by the window.
Perhaps foolishly, I charged across the room to get him. He hit me with a
wooden toy barn but I managed to get the man to the floor and hold him there.
Thank God he apparently had no weapon and was not a bruiser, being not much
more than my size.
Then the fun began. My wife rushed in, turned on the light,
grabbed the baby and carried her out of the room. Suzy called the police. Minutes
later, my wife returned with our large white German shepherd, named Harvey, who
looked ferocious but proceeded to wag his tail and lick the burglar’s
face. Next, Rob appeared with a shotgun
I had never seen before. The gun kept wavering between me and the burglar
until I ordered Rob out of the room
before someone got killed.
Waiting for the police, I was just sitting there, holding
the man. What do you do, ask if he’s read any good books lately? I berated him
for entering our house. When he said that he thought it was his place, I asked
if he always entered through the window.
Finally, the police arrived. But they refused to enter the
house, saying that the heard the man was armed and had to wait for back-up. My
wife told them that her husband was in his jammies holding the man but they
would not budge.
Eventually the police back-up came. As they entered, Suzy
pointed to the back of the house toward the bay’s room. Weapons drawn, these
for policemen rushed to the back and seeing the back stairs went directly to
the room where Blanca the au pair slept, scaring her half to death.
The police officers did arrest the man and the next day Blanca went back to Colombia..