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A Thief in the Night

what you had done. But I began to wonder whether Mr. Raffles himself knew,
and I tried to get him to tell me what you had done, and he said I knew as well as
he did that you were one of the two men who had come to the house the night
before. I took some time to answer. I was quite mystified by his manner. At last I
asked him how he knew. I can hear his answer now.
"'Because I was the other man,' he said quite quietly; 'because I led him blindfold
into the whole business, and would rather pay the shot than see poor Bunny
suffer for it.'
"Those were his words, but as he said them he made their meaning clear by
going over to the bell, and waiting with his finger ready to ring for whatever
assistance or protection I desired. Of course I would not let him ring at all.; in
fact, at first I refused to believe him. Then he led me out into the balcony, and
showed me exactly how he had got up and in. He had broken in for the second
night running, and all. to tell me that the first night he had brought you with him
on false pretences. He had to tell me a great deal more before I could quite
believe him. But before he went (as he had come) I was the one woman in the
world who knew that A. J. Raffles, the great cricketer, and the so-called 'amateur
cracksman' of equal notoriety, were one and the same person.
"He had told me his secret, thrown himself on my mercy, and put his liberty if not
his life in my hands, but all. for your sake, Harry, to right you in my eyes at his
own expense. And yesterday I could see that you knew nothing whatever about
it, that your friend had died without telling you of his act of real and yet vain self-
sacrifice! Harry, I can only say that now I understand your friendship, and the
dreadful lengths to which it carried you. How many in your place would not have
gone as far for such a friend? Since that night, at any rate, I for one have
understood. It has grieved me more than I can tell you, Harry, but I have always
understood.
"He spoke to me quite simply and frankly of his life. It was wonderful to me then
that he should speak of it as he did, and still more wonderful that I should sit and
listen to him as I did. But I have often thought about it since, and have long
ceased to wonder at myself. There was an absolute magnetism about Mr. Raffles
which neither you nor I could resist. He had the strength of personality which is a
different thing from strength of character; but when you meet both kinds together,
they carry the ordinary mortal off his or her feet. You must not imagine you are
the only one who would have served and followed him as you did. When he told
me it was all. a game to him, and the one game he knew that was always
exciting, always full of danger and of drama, I could just then have found it in my
heart to try the game myself! Not that he treated me to any ingenious sophistries
or paradoxical perversities. It was just his natural charm and humor, and a touch
of sadness with it all., that appealed to something deeper than one's reason and
one's sense of right. Glamour, I suppose, is the word. Yet there was far more in
him than that. There were depths, which called to depths; and you will not
misunderstand me when I say I think it touched him that a woman should listen to
him as I did, and in such circumstances. I know that it touched me to think of
such a life so spent, and that I came to myself and implored him to give it all. up.
I don't think I went on my knees over it. But I am afraid I did cry; and that was the
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