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Mr. Justice Raffles

by E. W. Hornung

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Raffles had vanished from the face of the town, and even I had no conception of his whereabouts until he cabled to me to meet the 7.31 at Charing Cross next night. That was on the Tuesday before the 'Varsity match, or a full fortnight after his mysterious disappearance. The telegram was from Carlsbad, of all places for Raffles of all men! Of course there was only one thing that could possibly have taken so rare a specimen of physical fitness to any such pernicious spot. But to my horror he emerged from the train, on the Wednesday evening, a cadaverous caricature of the splendid person I had gone to meet. "Not a word, my dear Bunny, till I have bitten British beef!" said he, in tones as hollow as his cheeks. "No, I'm not going to stop to clear my baggage now. You can do that for me to-morrow, Bunny, like a dear good pal."

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And you prefer the other alternative, said Raffles, "to loosing your grip upon a man who's done you no harm whatever! In interest alone he's almost repaid all you lent him in the first instance; you've first-class security for the rest; yet you must ruin him to revenge yourself upon us. On us, mark you! It's against us you've got your grievance, not against old Garland or his son. You've lost sight of that fact. That little trick this morning was our doing entirely. Why don't you take it out of us? Why refuse a fair offer to spite people who have done you no harm?"



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