Friday, February 06, 2015

family stuff


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..


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