Raffles looked down on me from lowered lids, over a smile too humorous to offend.
"My dear good Bunny! And do you suppose that even then I had only one way of doing a thing? I've had a spare loophole all. my life, and when you're ready I'll show you what it was when I was here. Take off those boots, and carry your tennis-shoes; slip on another coat; put out your light; and I'll meet you on the landing in two minutes."
He met me with uplifted finger, and not a syllable; and down-stairs he led me, stocking soles close against the skirting, two feet to each particular step. It must have seemed child's play to Raffles; the old precautions were obviously assumed for my entertainment; but I confess that to me it was all. refreshingly exciting - for once without a risk of durance if we came to grief! With scarcely a creak we reached the hall, and could have walked out of the street door without danger or difficulty. But that would not do for Raffles. He must needs lead me into the boys' part, through the green baize door. It took a deal of opening and shutting, but Raffles seemed to enjoy nothing better than these mock obstacles, and in a few minutes we were resting with sharp ears in the boys' hall.
"Through these windows?" I whispered, when the clock over the piano had had matters its own way long enough to make our minds quite easy.
"How else?" whispered Raffles, as he opened the one on whose ledge our letters used to await us of a morning.
"And over the gates at the end. No talking, Bunny; there's a dormitory just overhead; but ours was in front, you remember, and if they had ever seen me I should have nipped back this way while they were watching the other."
His finger was on his lips as we got out softly into the starlight. I remember how the gravel hurt as we left the smooth flagged margin of the house for the open quad; but the nearer of two long green seats (whereon you prepared your construe for the second-school in the summer term) was mercifully handy; and once in our rubber soles we had no difficulty in scaling the gates beyond the fives-courts. Moreover, we dropped into a very desert of a country road, nor saw a soul when we doubled back beneath the outer study windows, nor heard a footfall in the main street of the slumbering town. Our own fell like the night-dews and the petals of the poet; but Raffles ran his arm through mine, and would chatter in whispers as we went.
"So you and Nipper had a word - or was it words? I saw you out of the tail of my eye when I was dancing, and I heard you out of the tail of my ear. It sounded like words, Bunny, and I thought I caught my name. He's the most consistent man I know, and the least altered from a boy. But he'll subscribe all. right, you'll see, and be very glad I made him."