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A Thief in the Night

"A pass? I cried triumphantly. "Of course we should have to get one, and of
course that puts an end to the whole idea. Who on earth would give a pass for
this show, of all. others, to an old prisoner like me?"
Raffles addressed himself to the reading of the magazine with a shrug that
showed some temper.
"The fellow who wrote this article got one," said he shortly. "He got it from his
editor, and you can get one from yours if you tried. But pray don't try, Bunny: it
would be too terrible for you to risk a moment's embarrassment to gratify a mere
whim of mine. And if I went instead of you and got spotted, which is so likely with
this head of hair, and the general belief in my demise, the consequences to you
would be too awful to contemplate! Don't contemplate them, my dear fellow. And
do let me read my magazine."
Need I add that I set about the rash endeavor without further expostulation? I
was used to such ebullitions from the altered Raffles of these later days, and I
could well understand them. All. the inconvenience of the new conditions fell on
him. I had purged my known offences by imprisonment, whereas Raffles was
merely supposed to have escaped punishment in death. The result was that I
could rush in where Raffles feared to tread, and was his plenipotentiary in all.
honest dealings with the outer world. It could not but gall him to be so dependent
upon me, and it was for me to minimize the humiliation by scrupulously avoiding
the least semblance of an abuse of that power which I now had over him.
Accordingly, though with much misgiving, I did his ticklish behest in Fleet Street,
where, despite my past, I was already making a certain lowly footing for myself.
Success followed as it will when one longs to fail; and one fine evening I returned
to Ham Common with a card from the Convict Supervision Office, New Scotland
Yard, which I treasure to this day. I am surprised to see that it was undated, and
might still almost "Admit Bearer to see the Museum," to say nothing of the
bearer's friends, since my editor's name "and party" is scrawled beneath the
legend.
"But he doesn't want to come," as I explained to Raffles. "And it means that we
can both go, if we both like."
Raffles looked at me with a wry smile; he was in good enough humor now.
"It would be rather dangerous, Bunny. If they spotted you, they might think of
me."
"But you say they'll never know you now."
"I don't believe they will. I don't believe there's the slightest risk; but we shall
soon see. I've set my heart on seeing, Bunny, but there's no earthly reason why I
should drag you into it."
"You do that when you present this card," I pointed out. "I shall hear of it fast
enough if anything happens."
"Then you may as well be there to see the fun?"
"It will make no difference if the worst comes to the worst."
"And the ticket is for a party, isn't it?"
"It is."
"It might even look peculiar if only one person made use of it?"
"It might."
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