Gregory Hess entered a petrol station bought a cup of coffee in Seattle. After drinking it he went to the counter and politely asked:
'Could you empty the till please'
After some delaying tactics, the station owner John Henry (grandson the famous American folklore hero) opened the till and gave Hess $300.
'Thank you. I'm sorry about this but I'll pay you back.'
With a friendly smile Hess - grandson of German poet Herrmann Hess - left the premises.
It was whilst he was reading poetry a couple of days later that the Police knocked on his door.
'We realise you are the grandson of a famous man who has faltered in his life because you couldn't match his great abilities' advised the police officer John Steinbeck (himself a grandson of a famous American writer of the same name). I know just how you feel. But you can't just take money from petrol stations.'
'Of course. I did say I was sorry about that.'
When Hess had been arrested he wrote to John Henry. 'You must try and forgive me. I will get your loan returned as soon as possible, I hope you are OK.'
At his trial the Judge, Barry Roosevelt (grandson of the brilliant American President) commented after giving a sentence of one week's detention: 'You have set a new standard Hess. It is a pleasure to meet such a polite robber. You have set a fine example for other robbers to follow. From now on Hermann Hess, John Steinbeck, John Henry and President Roosevelt will be united in displaying a new brand of misappropriation to the world.'