The money and the gun -- YUMENO Kyūsaku

A robber broke into a miser's house, flashed a gun, and said "Give me all your money."

"I can't just give it to you," the miser complained. "How about this: I'll buy that gun from you for a thousand yen. Once you have my money, you won't need the gun anyway."

After some thought, the robber accepted the offer and exchanged his weapon for a thousand yen. But as soon as the miser had the gun, he pointed it at the robber. "All right, cough it up!" he cried. "And not just the money you got from me -- I mean all the money you've stolen today! Hand it over or I'll ventilate you but good!"

The robber burst out laughing. "That gun's just a toy," he said. "Go ahead and shoot -- fat lot of good it'll do you!" And with that, he fled through the front door.

The miser tossed the gun aside and chased the robber out into the street. The two of them were grappling in the road when a policeman happened by, broke up the fight, and took them to the station.

In the course of their investigation, the police were surprised to discover that the money the miser had given the robber was all counterfeit. The gun, on the other hand, was real.

Both of the men were thrown into jail.

Popularity factor: 9


Good story, but "Both of them were thrown into jail"? What, both the money and the gun? Or maybe "Both men ..."? (Not that I've read the Japanese original or anything, just find the current last line a little stumble-inducing.)


Quite right! And they say bloggers don't need editors. I've changed it to "Both of the men" because I'm wordy. (I was also considering adding a sentence about the policemen touching their arms but was afraid of what LH would say.)

language hat:

Reading this story, I achieved satori.

How much do I owe you?


It's like an M. Night Shyamalan movie. What a twist!


This is like an opposites-day version of The Gift of the Magi. Why, O. Henry? Why have you forsaken me?


Now you've got me thinking of what the exact reverse would be of "Gift of the Magi".

"Darling, I stole and pawned your watch to buy myself new combs."
"But dearest, I drugged you, shaved your head and sold your hair to a wig shop to by myself a watch chain!"
"Huh, I *thought* my head seemed lighter."
"You're not mad?"
"No, in the end, it's not your complete disregard for my person and my feelings that matters, it's my new combs."
"Happy lent, dearest."
"Happy lent, darling."

Now if I could just find some way to work in thirty monetary units...

Mark S.:

For opposites, there's Steve Martin's "The Gift of the Magi Indian Giver."


X and Y want to kill Z. X poisons his canteen, Y puts a hole in it. Z dies of thirst in the desert.


I don't know, Anonymous. That one sounds more like Y went ahead and killed Z while X played comic relief. I'm not seeing the double irony.

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