"You were in the upper sixth together," I rejoined, nettled by his tone.
"What does that matter? I am glad to say I had too much self-respect, and too little respect for Raffles, ever to be a friend of his then. I knew too many of the things he did," said Nipper Nasmyth.
His fluent insults had taken my breath. But in a lucky flash I saw my retort.
"You must have had special opportunities of observation, living in the town," said I; and drew first blood between the long hair and the ragged beard; but that was all.
"So he really did get out at nights?" remarked my adversary. "You certainly give your friend away. What's he doing now?"
I let my eyes follow Raffles round the room before replying. He was waltzing with a master's wife - waltzing as he did everything else. Other couples seemed to melt before them. And the woman on his arm looked a radiant girl.
"I meant in town, or wherever he lives his mysterious life," explained Nasmyth, when I told him that he could see for himself. But his clever tone did not trouble me; it was his epithet that caused me to prick my ears. And I found some difficulty in following Raffles right round the room.
"I thought everybody knew what he was doing; he's playing cricket most of his time," was my measured reply; and if it bore an extra touch of insolence, I can honestly ascribe that to my nerves.