Well, I should imagine you had straightened him out a bit, if you ask me.”
I didn’t ask you, Bunny, that’s just the point!” said Raffles. And I watched him tip the waiter without the least arrièrepensée on either side.
After all,” said I, on our way down the marble stair, you have told me a good deal about the lad. I remember once hearing you say he had a lot of debts, for example.”
So I was afraid,” replied Raffles, frankly; and between ourselves, I offered to finance him before I went abroad. Teddy wouldn’t hear of it; that hot young blood of his was up at the thought, though he was perfectly delightful in what he said. So don’t jump to rotten conclusions, Bunny, but stroll up to the Albany and have a drink.”
And when we had reclaimed our hats and coats, and lit our Sullivans in the hall, out we marched as though I were now part-owner of the place with Raffles.
That,” said I, to effect a thorough change of conversation, since I felt at one with all the world, is certainly the finest grill in Europe.”
That’s why we went there, Bunny.”
But must I say I was rather surprised to find you a member of a place where you tip the waiter and take a ticket for your hat!”
I was not surprised, however, to hear Raffles defend his own caravanserai.
I would go a step further,” he remarked, and make every member show his badge as they do at Lord’s.”
But surely the porter knows the members by sight hk company registry
Not he! There are far too many thousands of them.”
I should have thought he must.”
And I know he doesn’t.”
Well, you ought to know, A.J., since you’re a member yourself.”
On the contrary, my dear Bunny, I happen to know because I never was one!”
Chapter 2 His Own Familiar Friend&rdquo dermes
How we laughed as we turned into Whitehall! I began to feel I had been wrong about Raffles after all, and that enhanced my mirth. Surely this was the old gay rascal, and it was by some uncanny feat of his stupendous will that he had appeared so haggard on the platform. In the London lamplight that he loved so well, under a starry sky of an almost theatrical blue, he looked another man already. If such a change was due to a few draughts of bitter beer and a few ounces of fillet steak, then I felt I was the brewers’ friend and the vegetarians’ foe for life. Nevertheless I could detect a serious side to my companion’s mood, especially when he spoke once more of Teddy Garland, and told me that he had cabled to him also before leaving Carlsbad. And I could not help wondering, with a discreditable pang, whether his intercourse with that honest lad could have bred in Raffles a remorse for his own misdeeds, such as I myself had often tried, but always failed, to produce dermes
So we came to the Albany in sober frame, for all our recent levity, thinking at least no evil for once in our lawless lives. And there was our good friend Barraclough, the porter, to salute and welcome us in the courtyard.