"It'll all. come out," said the secretary. "They'll tell us at the central, and we shall find out fast enough."
"It don't matter now," said Maguire. "Let's have a drink and then rouse the devil up."
But now I was shaking in my shoes. I saw quite clearly what this meant. Even if I rescued Raffles for the time being, the police would promptly ascertain that it was I who had been rung up by the burglar, and the fact of my not having said a word about it would be directly damning to me, if in the end it did not incriminate us both. It made me quite faint to feel that we might escape the Scylla of our present peril and yet split on the Charybdis of circumstantial evidence. Yet I could see no middle course of conceivable safety, if I held my tongue another moment. So I spoke up desperately, with the rash resolution which was the novel feature of my whole conduct on this occasion. But any sheep would be resolute and rash after dining with Swigger Morrison at his club.
"I wonder if he rang me up?" I exclaimed, as if inspired.
"You, sonny?" echoed Maguire, decanter in hand. "What in hell could he know about you?"
"Or what could you know about him?" amended the secretary, fixing me with eyes like drills.
"Nothing," I admitted, regretting my temerity with all. my heart. "But some one did ring me up about an hour ago. I thought it was Raffles. I told you I expected to find him here, if you remember."
"But I don't see what that's got to do with the crook," pursued the secretary, with his relentless eyes boring deeper and deeper into mine.