Published in The New York Times, July 15, 1910
GREEK MET GREEK; FOUND IT COSTLY
Vareolipos, Who Knew Mascos’s Uncle at Home,
Got Away with His $870
HID UNDER TRAVELER’S BED
Startled Fruit Merchant, Here on a Visit,
Awoke as His Genial Countryman Left the Room.
George Metaxias and George Mascos, two Greek currant growers, came to this country a week ago to organize a New York branch of their currant company. They stopped at the Waldorf for the first few days. Then, although they had $900 in American money and $4,000 in English banknotes, they decided to move to less expensive quarters in the Zappelon Hotel, at 476 Sixth Avenue, which is patronized by Greeks.
Seeking to organize their company, they visited the various Greek colonies of the city. One day they went down to Madison Street and presented a letter of introduction to a Greek saloon keeper there. In the course of the conversation which followed a stranger approached Mascos.
“Excuse me, Mr. Mascos,” he said, bowing and smiling, “but are you not the nephew of Zenotes Mascos of Larisa? My name is Baselos Vareolipos, and I knew your uncle well before I came to this country.”
Mascos has an uncle of this name in Greece, and he was so delighted to meet any one who had ever known any of his relatives that he engaged Vareolipos to guide him and Metaxias around the city. Manager Batistatos of their hotel warned the currant merchants that their uncle’s alleged friend might merely be a swindler. But they paid no attention. It didn’t take Vareolipos long to find out that Metaxias kept all the money of the party in an inner vest pocket.
Wednesday was a rather discouraging day for the two currant merchants, and they went to bed on the third floor of the Hotel Zappelon at night meaning to return to Greece yesterday without making further attempts to float their importing company. They congratulated themselves on having $870 of their $900 American money and the entire $4,000 in English banknotes still unspent. They had some refreshments in the hotel’s second-floor dining room with their uncle’s alleged friend before retiring. Vareolipos then left the dining room, saying he was going home. Soon after the two merchants went up to bed.
While Metaxias still lay trying to sleep he heard a noise under the bed. While he lay still, frozen with horror, a man crawled from under the bed to the chair on which Metaxias’s clothes lay, took Metaxias’s vest back under the bed, kept it there awhile, and then crawled out of the room. He hurried downstairs, and a waiter, not recognizing him but thinking his movements were overhasty, gave chase. Then Metaxias recovered his wits enough to shout and dress. The man, however, escaped, and the two merchants and the Tenderloin police spent the whole day yesterday looking for Vareolipos, whom Metaxias says he recognized as the thief. The thief, whoever he was, took the merchants’ $870 in American money but left the $4,000 in English notes.
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