Study Guide

Heist Society Respect and Reputation

By Ally Carter

Respect and Reputation

There had been a time when honor meant something at the Colgan School. (1.4)

Private schools are a place where reputation is practically a form of currency. (Like Hogwarts but without the magic. Reputation is your magic.) You'd think Kat would have fit in better here, but she was trying to keep a low profile at the time—on account of her family being a family of thieves and all.

"All who wish to seek justice shall find the truth. Honor for one [...] Honor for all." (1.23)

The Colgan School motto eerily resembles a thieving code… if Kat and her friends were dramatic enough to recite a thieving code before a job, which they're not.

[Kat had] been framed. And Kat didn't dare say what she was thinking: that whoever had done it, they were very, very good. (1.74)

We get the feeling here that Kat is torn between being angry at having the synthetic wool pulled over her eyes and having respect for the skill of the person who did it. We're erring on the side of "respect," actually.

When the story of [Kat] crossing the drawbridge would involve not rain but bullets; when the tale of her asking Arturo Taccone of his help would include threats and windows and something involving a pair of antique dueling pistols (which, according to legend, Kat would also steal). (9.38)

Thieves have a reputation to uphold. Sometimes, this reputation involves a little, shall we say, embellishment. The way stories are woven in this passage, however, exceeds petty embellishment; it's more like the author is calling a fast-food hamburger Filet Mignon.

Some stories make your hands shake. Sometimes too many details make you fidget in the dark. (10.43)

Arturo Taccone has a reputation that involves vague stories of menace and mayhem. These stories are more likely to inspire fear than respect. But sometimes, it can be hard to tell the difference between the two. Are we right?

"The old families [...] had names—aliases—that they only used when they were doing things that were too big, too dangerous. [...] They were secret names, Hale. Sacred names." (12.37)

In the thieving world, one of these Chelovek Pseudominas is like a trophy for having a famous (or infamous) reputation. You have to earn it. Like housewives earn a spot on the show The Real Housewives of… by having reputations for flipping tables and throwing wine at each other.

The assembly of a crew is a monumental event in a young thief's life. (17.1)

If thieves had resumes, being a crew leader would be the highlight of those resumes. It's like being the lead singer in the band versus the guy with the awesome kazoo solo.

"This Romani bloke was the best thief in the land, he was. Until he fell off a guard tower--" "I heard he drowned." (24.25-24.26)

Having an infamous reputation means that there are going to be all sorts of rumors surrounding your death... at least that's what we heard when we played poker with Andy Kaufman, Elvis, and Michael Jackson last weekend.

Gregory Wainwright dared to look at [Hale] as if he were merely just another annoying teenager. (24.72)

The director of the Henley doesn't know Hale's reputation as an all-star thief. Obviously. Because if Wainwright did know Hale's reputation, he probably wouldn't be having a friendly chat with him. Likewise, if Hale had worn a shirt saying, "I Am Visily Romani," their meeting probably wouldn't have gone over as smoothly.

No one would have ever guessed that seven of the world's most talented teenagers were coming to the Henley for an entirely different sort of lesson. (31.5)

This is one instance where it's beneficial that the reputations of Kat and her crew are, well, just kids. They're largely unknown. So they get away with thieving famous paintings, right under the Henley security's nose.

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