Good Behavior (1985) – Mysterious Press

A Dortmunder Heist

Dear Lord, if it pleases You to return to us our sister, Sister Mary Grace, from out of the tents of wickedness and the skyscrapers of the deceiver, our little Sisterhood would be eternally grateful. Eternally, Lord. We know it is Sister Mary Grace’s ardent wish to return here, to Your dominion, to this life of contemplation and duty. It is our wish also that she return among us, and if it be Your wish and desire–

Klok. Sister Mary Serene turned her head, and on the pew beside her lay a screwdriver, fairly large, with rough black tape around its handle and most of its haft, leaving only the last inch of gleaming metal to reflect the candlelight. Now here was a distraction!

Ker-chunk. A small canvas bag fell to the pew beside the screwdriver. It was gray and grimy, but neatly tied closed with a pair of canvas strings. Sister Mary Serene picked up this object, untied the strings, and opened out a kind of small toolkit with many pockets containing a number of well-oiled metal objects, some flat, some curved, one spiraling like a corkscrew. Here were tiny needle-nose pliers, here was an oblong of soft springy aluminum, here was a double-pronged electric line tester, here was a pair of wires ending in small alligator clips.

Here, in fact, was a rather good set of burglar tools.

Sister Mary Serene might be unworldly, but she wasn’t stupid. It didn’t take much to figure out the purpose for all this equipment. She raised her eyes and looked upward, and there was the burglar himself, high above, clinging to the rafters. Thank you, Lord, she thought. Our prayers are answered.



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