Fantastic Fables

by Ambrose Bierce

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The Taken Hand

A SUCCESSFUL Man of Business, having occasion to write to a Thief, expressed a wish to see him and shake hands.

"No," replied the Thief, "there are some things which I will not take - among them your hand."

"You must use a little strategy," said a Philosopher to whom the Successful Man of Business had reported the Thief's haughty reply. "Leave your hand out some night, and he will take it."

So one night the Successful Man of Business left his hand out of his neighbour's pocket, and the Thief took it with avidity.

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