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“Raffles,” said I, “you may well be surprised at my coming back in this way and at this hour. I hardly know you. I was never in your rooms before to-night. But I fagged for you at school, and you said you remembered me. Of course that’s no excuse; but will you listen to me—for two minutes?”
In my emotion I had at first to struggle for every word; but his face reassured me as I went on, and I was not mistaken in its expression.
“Certainly, my dear man,” said he; “as many minutes as you like. Have a Sullivan and sit down.” And he handed me his silver cigarette-case.
“No,” said I, finding a full voice as I shook my head; “no, I won’t smoke, and I won’t sit down, thank you. Nor will you ask me to do either when you’ve heard what I have to say.”
“Really?” said he, lighting his own cigarette with one clear blue eye upon me. “How do you know?”
“Because you’ll probably show me the door,” I cried bitterly; “and you will be justified in doing it! But it’s no use beating about the bush. You know I dropped over two hundred just now?”
“I hadn’t the money in my pocket.”
“But I had my check-book, and I wrote each of you a check at that desk.”
“Not one of them was worth the paper it was written on, Raffles. I am overdrawn already at my bank!”
“Surely only for the moment?”
“No. I have spent everything.”
“But somebody told me you were so well off. I heard you had come in for money?”
“So I did. Three years ago. It has been my curse; now it’s all gone—every penny! Yes, I’ve been a fool; there never was nor will be such a fool as I’ve been…. Isn’t this enough for you? Why don’t you turn me out?” He was walking up and down with a very long face instead.
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