The Parting Guest

Punch, April 15, 1903


[Editor’s Note: This little gem is yet another “discovery” by John Dawson. This item is not listed in McIlvaine, but John, while researching Wodehouse’s account book, came across a reference to this item, and tracked it down.]


The Parting Guest.—It was the humorous fancy of a New Brunswick housebreaker to relieve the monotony of prison life by escaping, putting in a brisk spell of burgling at various houses in the neighbourhood, and returning, weighed down with plunder, to his cell once more, where he would hide the night’s earnings under the floor. Eventually, however, he foolishly requested the warder one evening not to sit up for him, as he might be late, and this, arousing the official’s suspicions, led to his detection. When it was pointed out to him by the Governor that he was giving the prison a bad name, and that, loth as he was to interfere with the pleasure of a guest, this could not go on, he agreed to forego his rambles. The Governor, charmed by his ready acquiescence, courteously offered to provide him with a latch-key, and the episode terminated.




Unsigned paragraph as printed in Punch; entered by Wodehouse in “Money Received for Literary Work.”