"Is he a colonel?" I asked, perceiving that Raffles referred to the absentee householder.
"Of sappers," he replied, "and a V.C. into the bargain, confound him! Got it at Rorke's Drift; prison governor or inspector ever since; favorite recreation, what do you think? Revolver shooting! You can read all. about him in his own Who's Who. A devil of a chap to tackle, Bunny, when he's at home!"
"And where is he now?" I asked uneasily. And do you know he isn't on his way home?"
"Switzerland," replied Raffles, chuckling; "he wrote one too many labels, and was considerate enough to leave it behind for our guidance. Well, no one ever comes back from Switzerland at the beginning of September, you know; and nobody ever thinks of coming back before the servants. When they turn up they won't get in. I keep the latch jammed, but the servants will think it's jammed itself, and while they're gone for the locksmith we shall walk out like gentlemen - if we haven't done so already."
Raffles shook his head in the dim light to which my sight was growing inured.
"No, Bunny, I regret to say I came in through the dormer window. They were painting next door but one. I never did like ladder work, but it takes less time than in picking a lock in the broad light of a street lamp."
"So they left you a latch-key as well as everything else!"
"No, Bunny. I was just able to make that for myself. I am playing at 'Robinson Crusoe,' not 'The Swiss Family Robinson.' And now, my dear Friday, if you will kindly take off those boots, we can explore the island before we turn in for the night."