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A Thief in the Night

March morning, at his open door in the Albany, a trim, slim figure in matutinal
gray, cool and gay and breezy as incarnate spring.
"What on earth did you do it for?" I asked within.
"It was the only solution," he answered, handing me the cigarettes. "I saw it the
moment I got outside."
"I don't see it yet."
"Why should a burglar call an innocent gentleman away from home?"
"That's what we couldn't make out."
"I tell you I got it directly I had left you. He called you away in order to burgle you
too, of course!"
And Raffles stood smiling upon me in all. his incomparable radiance and
audacity.
"But why me?" I asked. "Why on earth should he burgle me?"
"My dear Bunny, we must leave something to the imagination of the police. But
we will assist them to a fact or two in due season. It was the dead of night when
Maguire first took us to his house; it was at the Imperial Boxing Club we met him;
and you meet queer fish at the Imperial Boxing Club. You may remember that he
telephoned to his man to prepare supper for us, and that you and he discussed
telephones and treasure as we marched through the midnight streets. He was
certainly bucking about his trophies, and for the sake of the argument you will be
good enough to admit that you probably bucked about yours. What happens?
You are overheard; you are followed; you are worked into the same scheme, and
robbed on the same night."
"And you really think this will meet the case?"
"I am quite certain of it, Bunny, so far as it rests wit us to meet the case at all."
"Then give me another cigarette, my dear fellow, and let me push on to Scotland
Yard."
Raffles held up both hands in admiring horror. "Scotland Yard!"
"To give a false description of what you took from that drawer in my wardrobe."
"A false description! Bunny, you have no more to learn from me. Time was when
I wouldn't have let you go there without me to retrieve a lost umbrella - let alone a
lost cause!"
And for once I was not sorry for Raffles to have the last unworthy word, as he
stood once more at his outer door and gayly waved me down the stairs.
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