Mrs Raffles: Amateur Crackswoman
Publisher: Midwest Journal Press
This is one of two short story collections as sequels to the Raffles books by E.W. Hornung.THE ADVENTURE OF THE HERALD PERSONAL (excerpt)
That I was in a hard case is best attested by the
fact that when I had paid for my Sunday Herald there was left
in my purse just one tuppence-ha'penny stamp and two copper cents,
one dated 1873, the other 1894. The mere incident that at this hour
eighteen months later I can recall the dates of these coins should be
proof, if any were needed, of the importance of the coppers in my
eyes, and therefore of the relative scarcity of funds in my
possession. Raffles was dead—killed as you may remember at the
battle of Spion Kop—and I, his companion, who had never known want
while his deft fingers were able to carry out the plans of that
insinuating and marvellous mind of his, was now, in the vernacular of
the American, up against it. I had come to the United States, not
because I had any liking for that country or its people, who, to tell
the truth, are too sharp for an ordinary burglar like myself, but
because with the war at an end I had to go somewhere, and English
soil was not safely to be trod by one who was required for
professional reasons to evade the eagle eye of Scotland Yard until
the Statute of Limitations began to have some bearing upon his case.
That last affair of Raffles and mine, wherein we had successfully got
away with the diamond stomacher of the duchess of Herringdale, was
still a live matter in British detective circles, and the very
audacity of the crime had definitely fastened the responsibility for
it upon our shoulders. Hence it was America for me, where one could
be as English as one pleased without being subject to the laws of his
Majesty, King Edward VII., of Great Britain and Ireland and sundry
other possessions upon which the sun rarely if ever sets. For two
years I had led a precarious existence, not finding in the land of
silk and money quite as many of those opportunities to add to the sum
of my prosperity as the American War Correspondent I had met in the
Transvaal led me to expect. Indeed, after six months of successful
lecturing on the subject of the Boers before various lyceums in the
country, I was reduced to a state of penury which actually drove me
to thievery of the pettiest and most vulgar sort. There was little in
the way of mean theft that I did not commit. During the coal famine,
for instance, every day passing the coal-yards to and fro, I would
appropriate a single piece of the precious anthracite until I had
come into possession of a scuttleful, and this I would sell to the
suffering poor at prices varying from three shillings to two dollars
and a half—a precarious living indeed....
John Kendrick Bangs (May 27, 1862 – January 21, 1922) was an American author, humorist, editor and satirist.
He was born in Yonkers, New York. His father Francis Nehemiah Bangs was a lawyer in New York City, as was his brother, Francis S. Bangs.
He went to Columbia College from 1880 to 1883 where he became editor of Columbia's literary magazine, Acta Columbia, and contributed short anonymous pieces to humor magazines. After graduation in 1883 with a Bachelor of Philosophy degree in Political Science, Bangs entered Columbia Law School but left in 1884 to become Associate Editor of Life under Edward S. Martin. Bangs contributed many articles and poems to the magazine between 1884 and 1888. During this period, Bangs published his first books.
In 1888 Bangs left Life to work at Harper's Magazine, Harper's Bazaar and Harper's Young People, though he continued to contribute to Life. From 1889 to 1900 he held the title of Editor of the Departments of Humor for all three Harper's magazines and from 1899 to 1901 served as active editor of Harper's Weekly. Bangs also served for a short time (January–June 1889) as the first editor of Munsey's Magazine and became editor of the American edition of the Harper-owned Literature from January to November 1899.