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A Thief in the Nght, A Book of Raffles' Adventures von Hornung, E. W. (eBook)

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A Thief in the Nght, A Book of Raffles' Adventures

Classic mystery/detective novel. According to Wikipedia: 'Ernest William Hornung (June 7, 1866 - March 22, 1921)... was an English author, most famous for writing the Raffles series of novels about a gentleman thief in late Victorian London. Hornung was the third son of John Peter Hornung, a Hungarian, and was born in Middlesbrough, England. He was educated at Uppingham School during some of the later years of its great headmaster, Edward Thring. He spent most of his life in England and France, but in 1884 left for Australia and stayed for two years where he working as a tutor at Mossgiel station. Although his Australian experience had been so short, it coloured most of his literary work from A Bride from the Bush published in 1899, to Old Offenders and a few Old Scores, which appeared after his death. He returned from Australia in 1886, and married Constance ('Connie') Doyle (1868-1924), the sister of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1893. Hornung published the poems Bond and Free and Wooden Crosses in The Times. The character of A. J. Raffles, a 'gentleman thief', first appeared in Cassell's Magazine in 1898 and the stories were later collected as The Amateur Cracksman (1899). Other titles in the series include The Black Mask (1901), A Thief in the Night (1905), and the full-length novel Mr. Justice Raffles (1909). He also co-wrote the play Raffles, The Amateur Cracksman with Eugene Presbrey in 1903.'


    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: AdobeDRM
    Seitenzahl: 584
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9781455354399
    Verlag: Seltzer Books
    Größe: 583 kBytes
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A Thief in the Nght, A Book of Raffles' Adventures

A Trap to Catch a Cracksman

I was just putting out my light when the telephone rang a furious tocsin in the next room. I flounced out of bed more asleep than awake; in another minute I should have been past ringing up. It was one o'clock in the morning, and I had been dining with Swigger Morrison at his club.


"That you, Bunny?"

"Yes - are you Raffles?"

"What's left of me! Bunny, I want you - quick."

And even over the wire his voice was faint with anxiety and apprehension.

"What on earth has happened?"

"Don't ask! You never know - "

"I'll come at once. Are you there, Raffles?"

"What's that?"

"Are you there, man?"

"Ye - e - es."

"At the Albany?"

"No, no; at Maguire's."

"You never said so. And where's Maguire?"

"In Half-moon Street."

"I know that. Is he there now?"

"No - not come in yet - and I'm caught."


"In that trap he bragged about. It serves me right. I didn't believe in it. But I'm caught at last ... caught ... at last!"

"When he told us he set it every night! Oh, Raffles, what sort of a trap is it? What shall I do? What shall I bring?"

But his voice had grown fainter and wearier with every answer, and now there was no answer at all. Again and again I asked Raffles if he was there; the only sound to reach me in reply was the low metallic hum of the live wire between his ear and mine. And then, as I sat gazing distractedly at my four safe walls, with the receiver still pressed to my head, there came a single groan, followed by the dull and dreadful crash of a human body falling in a heap.

In utter panic I rushed back into my bedroom, and flung myself into the crumpled shirt and evening clothes that lay where I had cast them off. But I knew no more what I was doing than what to do next I afterward found that I had taken out a fresh tie, and tied it rather better than usual; but I can remember thinking of nothing but Raffles in some diabolical man-trap, and of a grinning monster stealing in to strike him senseless with one murderous blow. I must have looked in the glass to array myself as I did; but the mind's eye was the seeing eye, and it was filled with this frightful vision of the notorious pugilist known to fame and infamy as Barney Maguire.

It was only the week before that Raffles and I had been introduced to him at the Imperial Boxing Club. Heavy-weight champion of the United States, the fellow was still drunk with his sanguinary triumphs on that side, and clamoring for fresh conquests on ours. But his reputation had crossed the Atlantic before Maguire himself; the grandiose hotels had closed their doors to him; and he had already taken and sumptuously furnished the house in Half-moon Street which does not re-let to this day. Raffles had made friends with the magnificent brute, while I took timid stock of his diamond studs, his jewelled watch-chain, his eighteen-carat bangle, and his six-inch lower jaw. I had shuddered to see Raffles admiring the gewgaws in his turn, in his own brazen fashion, with that air of the cool connoisseur which had its double meaning for me. I for my part would as lief have looked a tiger in the teeth. And when we finally went home with Maguire to see his other trophies, it seemed to me like entering the tiger's lair. But an astounding lair it proved, fitted throughout by one eminent firm, and ringing to the rafters wi

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