Mr. Petigrew had recently developed an odd habit of leaving the office to pace the sidewalk up and down West Avenue. He checks his reflection in the windows of shops and then darts quickly by others. Maybe he has more time now that he's not trying to find that Veronica girl a job. Wonderful really, because I think the exercise might do him a bit of good. And Veronica just seems to love her new job with Mr. Heung. But the pacing has become a bit much. If he just walked leisurely I don't think he'd call quite as much attention to himself. He has also been seen to spray some sort of aerosol on his scalp quite frequently. Sue-Nancy Quigly, Mr. Petigrew's secretary, told me that he, that is Mr. Petigrew, that he has also taken to asking her if she has noticed he had a bit more hair on his dome. She had not, and quite frankly neither did I. He remained as shiny on the top as the day I first met him. And a good thing, too, for he was also growing accustomed to saying how much he'd like to pull his own hair out. Very odd, indeed, to hope so much to grow some just so one could pull it all out again. Men can truly be difficult to understand, at times, as Isabel says "they are victims of their own desires". Now I'm not entirely certain how this pertains to Mr. Petigrew's lack of scalp follicles, but I do know that he has also become quite uncomfortable with the visits from Captain Leighton as well as Eliahas Wayne's insurance man, Mr. Kuflic. Something to do with the in's and outs of his advertising and all to do with catching The Burglar.
You see, it all has to do with my column and the letter I received from The Burglar. I was once again credited with an idea that Mr. Petigrew called a "doosy" that he just "couldn't believe". He really is quite a down to earth type fellow, always wondering what he has done to deserve all of this. And he is such a devoted newspaper man, I believe it absolutely is about time he get all of this recognition. Now when I first met Mr. Petigrew, he was dedicated to the entire Burglar issue, and now with a bit of help from me he is smack dab in the middle of it. Or, as The Daily said in a headline, "In With The Burglar". (Most unflattering picture of Mr. Petigrew that The Daily chose to run). But the point here is that I decided to ask Mr. Burglar, up front and all that, not to rummage through my home and snatch poor Lolly's tailgate hat until after the Races. And though a few of the Ladies at my Women's club called my letter 'silly', 'daft' and a few other things, apparently I'm not the only one. That is, not the only one that took to making my requests to Mr. Burglar in print. You see, I believe The Burglar to be a gentleman, and a gentleman never denies a polite request. It's become quite obvious that the man does like hats, and why wouldn't he want a hat like Lolly Desjardin's?
But the point here is that, apparently, after reading my latest column, several others decided to take out space in The Weekly with similar requests. Babson Hurley was the first. Her advertisement read: Dear Mr. Burglar, You've already been to 105 Wooded Lane. While we appreciate your courtesy and thoughtfulness in cleaning up any mess you may have caused, we do request that you not visit again unless formally invited.
Betsy Perkins ran an even nicer advertisement, saying: Dear Burglar, If you are the person responsible for bringing my cat to me, thank you ever so much. He is the best cat in the whole entire world. My husband may not think this cat is worth the golf clubs of his that you took, but I do. And, my husband did get his clubs back. We don't have much else for you, other than some coins that my husband collects which you missed. They are in the second floor study.
Victor McWoogle took out a very funny spot, saying : Alright now Burglar Man, haven't had the pleasure yet, despite all the good stuff in our house. Still, our neighbors at 114 Overlook have absolutely fabulous stuff and they are heavy sleepers.
At last count, according to Sue-Nancy Quigley, Mr. Petigrew's secretary, The Weekly had received ten advertisements and placed all of them in the front section of the paper. Now, according to Sue-Nancy, who to me seems to be a rather in-the-know type, newspapers are very keen on their advertisements. All has to do with profits, and what not. So you see, this trend I started was obviously pleasing Mr. Petigrew to the point where he believed he could actually wish for more hair. Really, any hair would be more hair for the dear man.
And the truly odd thing about this whole letter writing bit is that the police, as well as that nasty little insurance man, Mr. Kuflic, had completely forgotten about The Second Hand and were concentrating themselves on this belief that Mr. Petigrew had an "in" with The Burglar. It must be nice to realize one's dreams, as Mr. Petigrew was now doing. Although, I thought that Veronica girl was a bit cross when she said gagging is what he, Mr. Petigrew that is, that gagging is what he gets. You see, as we were buying up some more suspicious items at The Second Hand, I told her about how the police were ordering Mr. Petigrew to gag. Very archaic, I believe, and I told the man from The Daily just that when he came round to speak with me about it. I said to him, 'one does not order one to gag, and the police should stop concentrating so much on who writes who a letter and should really concentrate more on finding out who lifted the hood ornaments off of half a dozen Mercedes parked along Louella Court last week.'
But the point here really is the letter that I received from The Burglar that started all of this excitement.
I wouldn't think of burgling your home. You've been quite kind and fair to me, I believe. I think that you're advice is very good advice and more people should read your column. They should also stop by and visit your garden, it's one of the nicest in the neighborhood. And while there, maybe think about adopting one of the stray cats you've been so good about caring for.