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First published in Pearson's Weekly, 3 Apr 1897
in the series "The Adventures of Mr. Juggins"
Reprinted in Short Stories, Jul 1917

Collected in: Paul Beck, The Rule of Thumb Detective,
C. Arthur Pearson, London, 1898

This e-book edition: Roy Glashan's Library, 2021
Version Date: 2021-10-17

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"Paul Beck, The Rule of Thumb Detective,"
with "The Two Kings"



M. McDonnell Bodkin

Irish barrister and author of detective and mystery stories Bodkin was appointed a judge in County Clare and also served as a Nationalist member of Parliament. His native country and years in the courtroom are recalled in the autobiographical Recollections of an Irish Judge (1914).

Bodkin's witty stories, collected in Dora Myrl, the Lady Detective (1900) and Paul Beck, the Rule of Thumb Detective (1898), have been unjustly neglected.

Beck, his first detective (when he first appeared in print in Pearson's Magazine in 1897, he was named "Alfred Juggins"), claims to be not very bright, saying, "I just go by the rule of thumb, and muddle and puzzle out my cases as best I can."

...In The Capture of Paul Beck (1909) he and Dora begin on opposite sides in a case, but in the end they are married. They have a son who solves a crime at his university in Young Beck, a Chip Off the Old Block (1911).

Other Bodkin books are The Quests of Paul Beck (1908), Pigeon Blood Rubies (1915), and Guilty or Not Guilty? (1929).

Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection, Steinbrunner & Penzler, 1976.



"ONE game more," said Arthur Darley.

"You have had enough for to-night—I should say for this morning," replied Lord Claverly pleasantly; "give luck a chance to turn, my boy. Well, well, if you will insist, I cannot refuse," and he dealt a hand at écarté. "The same stakes?" he asked before he turned the trump.

"Make it five hundred for a final flutter."

His lordship nodded and turned hearts, took up his hand, and declared the king.

"It's wonderful," said a man at the table to Sydney Harcourt, who stood beside him, intently watching the game.

It was wonderful. Lord Claverly's luck had held without a break on throughout the night into the small hours of the morning. At first there had been a rubber of whist, from which he rose a substantial winner. Then came a brief spell of poker. But when Lord Claverly's luck culminated in a royal sequence, the other men laughingly cried off. About midnight his lordship settled down—not for the first time—to a duel at écarté with young Arthur Darley, who claimed his revenge for a long series of disastrous encounters at the card-table.

Still Lord Claverly's luck held out wonderfully. The court cards flowed in an unbroken stream into his hand, and the IOU's of young Darley, written on the backs of envelopes and other odd scraps of paper, grew to a pile at his elbow.

The boy—for he was little more than a boy—was a plucky loser, who took his losses like a gentleman. The last game went with the rest. His cheek was slightly flushed, and there was the fever of strong excitement in his blue eyes; but he smiled good-humouredly as he tore a scrap off the selvedge of a newspaper that lay on the floor, scribbled an IOU for £500, initialled it, and tossed it over to Lord Claverly.

"You will give me my revenge to-morrow, my lord?" he said cheerily.

"As you please," replied his lordship. "But I'm afraid, Darley, you have hitherto found revenge an expensive luxury."

Darley took the words for a challenge. "I will play your lordship one more game for a thousand."


"I will play your lordship one more game for a thousand."

But Sydney Harcourt laid a restraining hand on his shoulder and whispered, "Not to-night, Artie; the milkmen are in the street; you fellows will get the club a bad name. It's time we were all in bed."

"All right, Syd," Darley replied, with a light laugh, though a keen observer might have noticed his lips quiver. "To-morrow, then, my lord, for a final bout."

Lord Claverly nodded, gathered up the pile of IOU's to the amount of £5,000 into his pocket, lit a cigarette, and walked out.

THE excitement over, a sudden lassitude fell on the group of men still left in the "special" card-room of the Revilton Club. A sense of the lateness (or earliness) of the hour came upon them. There was much yawning and stretching of arms; and faces loomed pale and haggard through the fog of tobacco smoke. Young Darley's nerves were still tingling with reaction from strong excitement. He walked to a buffet, filled himself a tumbler of champagne, and tossed it off at a draught.

Through the glare of electric light in the room the windows showed faintly luminous squares in the grey dawn. Harcourt turned the lights off and threw up the blinds and the windows, and the pure air and the faint, cold gleam of the morning stole into the room.

In spite of his feverish gaiety Arthur Darley's young face was pinched and drawn, a red patch burned in his cheek, and his eyes shone too brightly.

All this Sydney Harcourt was quick to notice with the kindly solicitude of a friend, for Arthur Darley was like a younger brother to him. He kept by his side down the marble staircase, and in the cloak-room, and when they stood together at the club doors, lighting their cigars, Harcourt ran his arm into Darley's.

"Our ways lie together across the park," he said. "We'll walk, Artie, if you don't mind. I want to have a quiet word with you."

A hundred yards from the club door brought them to St. James's Park. For a little while they walked on in silence, for Sydney Harcourt somehow found that "word" of his very hard to say. In the hush of the still morning soft silence brooded over this sylvan scene, set in the heart of the busiest city in the world. The morning air was very keen and pure, and the vivid green of leaf and grass, and the silver glint of the lake, pleasant to their jaded eyes. The sleepy chirping of half-awakened birds was the only sound abroad.

Away in the distance was a jumbled heap of roofs, with church spires pointing high up into steel-grey sky. The twin towers of Westminster, with their massive strength and clear-cut delicacy of outline, had a beauty all their own.

Suddenly the red sun showed half its disc over the horizon, flooding the fairy scene with a full tide of golden light. The friends paused with one accord, drinking in the rare beauty of the wide picture with a delight that was akin to pain.

For a moment, in their intense enjoyment of nature's loveliness, sordid worldly cares were forgotten.

Only for a moment.

"Artie," said Harcourt, finding words at last, while he laid his hands with brotherly kindness on Darley's shoulder, "I'm worried about you."


"Artie," said Harcourt, "I'm worried about you."

"Don't, Syd, I'm not worth worrying about. Besides, the devil takes care of his own."

It was the last touch of boyish bravado. The kindness in the other's voice and face broke that boyish spirit that had stood the sharp strain of ill-fortune.

Unable to meet Harcourt's anxious eyes, he turned his face away.

"I'm miserable enough," he said, "without making my friends miserable. I have brought this trouble on myself, and must bear it as best I can. If it were not for the sake of others I could bear it easily enough."

"Drop it, Artie, my boy," said Harcourt very earnestly. "I'm a poor preacher, Heaven knows! I went the pace myself in my day—half-way to the devil. But I never knew what it was to have a really good time till I pulled up sharp. Take my word for it, Artie, the game is not worth the candle. Drop it."

"I cannot afford to drop it—yet."

"Nonsense! Don't you throw good money after bad, and health and honest enjoyment of life after both."

"I tell you, Syd," cried the other fretfully, "if I stop now, I'm ruined."

"That's mere folly, my boy, and you know it. You have only just come into an estate of £3,000 a year—worth £50,000, if it's worth a farthing—and quite clear of encumbrances. A loan of a few thousands is easily enough managed."

But Darley turned to him with a white, scared face, his self-control completely lost at last.

"Oh, Syd!" he whispered, with a sob catching his voice, "I have lost everything in one fortnight. Lord Claverly holds my IOU's for £45,000. The estate must be sold. Worst of all, my sister and mother must be turned out of our old house, and all through my selfish folly. I'm half mad when I think of it."


Darley with his mother and sister.

Sydney Harcourt stopped short in his walk, and his dismay evaporated in a long, low whistle.

"I had no notion things were as bad as that," he said at last; "forty-five thou. in a fortnight is the dickens of a deep plunge."

"Every night I was hoping that luck would turn. I swore to myself I would never touch a card again if I could once get clear."

"That's always the oath," said Harcourt grimly; "I've been there myself."

"But you see, Syd," Darley went on eagerly, "it's no use pulling up now. The five thousand or so that is left is hardly worth keeping. One night of Claverly's luck, if the stakes were high enough, would set me straight again. 'Why shouldn't I have one night, when he has had a dozen? If a coin spins 'heads' six times running, it's long odds it will spin 'tails' next time. The game to-morrow night is my last chance; but I won't say die while there is even one chance left."

"You cannot play with Lord Claverly to-morrow night, anyhow; there's another little game on. There's trouble brewing at the club."

"Trouble! What trouble?"

"Well, it's a committee secret, but you're as safe as myself. You know I have sworn off cards since I was married. What do you think brought me there to-night, and made me see the thing out?"

"I flattered myself it was for my sake."

"Partly, but more for your opponent's sake."

"Lord Claverly! Why, I didn't think you knew him?"

"Very slightly, and the little I do know I don't like. I was there on police duty, as a member of the committee."

"What have the committee to say to this?"

"Well, you see, there have been nasty stories abroad about Lord Claverly. Keep quiet, young man; no one ever suspected you of whining. But the others—and there have been a good many—have not parted so cheerfully. His lordship was stony broke, they say—having made the fortune of half-a-dozen bookmakers when he went to America. Every one thought he was gone for good—his country's good. But he turned up smiling six weeks ago at the 'Revilton,' and he has won back at the card-table what he lost on the turf, with a trifle over, if all accounts are true."

"He plays as straight as a die. I ought to know."

"I think so too, Artie, but everybody doesn't. You know Dicksie Gunter?"

"That tailor-made little cad; a bundle of vulgar self-conceit."

"And cash; don't forget the cash, Artie, it's the best part of him. Well, Claverly eased him of some of that same cash, and Dicksie didn't like parting a bit. He has let his tongue wag here and there and everywhere."

"Who minds him?" said Darley scornfully.

"Oh! any bounder is good enough to start a story. I was dining out the other night, and I took a jolly little bride down to dinner—Marnie Meredith is the name as lively as a bee, with honey and sting. She hates the 'Revilton' because hubby goes there occasionally—once a fortnight or so. 'Oh! Mr. Harcourt,' she chirped, 'I hear you've got a great attraction at your beautiful club.'"

"'I haven't heard, Mrs. Meredith,' I said, feeling a bit out of it.

"'Oh! but you must have, you know. You're on the committee, aren't you? and proud of your charming "Revilton," I dare say. You have a wonderful wild beast there on exhibition now, I'm told. Every one is talking about it.'

"'What kind of beast?' I asked, giving myself away like a duffer.


'What kind of beast?' I asked, giving myself away like a duffer.

"'A spotted cheetah,' she replied, looking up into my face with wide-open, innocent blue eyes.

"Some one must have heard, for the joke was all over the room before the evening was out. The thing has got serious. The story is pretty generally believed. That little bounder Gunter threatens to sue Claverly for his beggarly thousand. The committee have felt bound to take it up. I was against it. Claverly has had the devil's own luck, there's no denying that, but no one has seen the slightest sign of cheating. I'm a keen hand myself, and I've watched him closely. I stayed specially to-night to watch him, but I could detect nothing in the least degree wrong. The committee are anxious, however, to keep Gunter quiet, and he has promised to be satisfied with the test that has been proposed."

"What's the test?"

"Did you ever hear me speak of a chap named Beck?"

"Often; you rave about him."

"Well, it's arranged that I am to introduce Beck to-morrow night—to-night, I mean—as a South African millionaire, Cyril B. Rondel. We will put up a game of écarté or something between himself and Lord Claverly. If Beck doesn't catch him cheating, it's because there's no cheating to catch."

"Well, I back Lord Claverly, Syd. I'd risk my last five thousand that he's on the square."

"Take my advice, Artie—hold on to that last five thousand for the mother's and sister's sake, if not for your own. I'm horribly in earnest about this, old chap; I'd sooner see you knock off now than win back what you've lost. It would be better for you in the long run. It's a sharp wrench, I know. Are you man enough to stand it?"

"I'll try," the other said, stretching his hand to his friend as they parted, and Harcourt felt that firm grasp was a promise to be trusted. Arthur Darley had been his "fag" at Rugby; wild, reckless, daring, but the very soul of truth.

SO Sydney Harcourt walked blithely home through the park, with the pleasant feeling that he had done a good morning's work, whatever might chance later. He slept late into the afternoon, and was still abed when a visitor drove up in a rubber-tyred hansom to his door in Belgrave Street.

A stout, square-built, middle-aged man got out of the hansom; a man with alert grey eyes, and firm mouth and chin, and face tanned by the hot suns of the tropics. He was well dressed, too, though his watch-guard was a little too massive, and a big diamond blazed on his little finger.

The visitor gave his card—Cyril B. Rondel—with "Immediate and important" pencilled on it. In a moment Mrs. Harcourt came to him in the study to which he was shown.

"My husband will be with you in a few minutes, Mr. Rondel," she said, looking all the prettier from her embarrassment. "I knew he expected you. I trust you will forgive the delay; it's all my fault."

Mr. Rondel bowed gravely.

"No apology is needed, I assure you, Mrs. Harcourt."

In some subtle way his voice seemed to claim acquaintance.

"I don't remember that——" she began.

"That you ever saw me before," he added, finishing the sentence. "I'm glad of that."

She stared at him in utter amazement.

"You have keen eyes, Mrs. Harcourt, as I have reason to remember. If you don't know me, it's not likely that others will."

As he spoke the whole expression of his face changed; the firm mouth dropped slightly open, and a placid look stole into the blue grey eyes.

"Oh, Mr. Beck!" Lilian Harcourt cried, "how could I have been so stupid—I mean how could you have been so clever? You were not in the least like yourself. Sometimes I'm puzzled to know which of you is the real Mr. Beck."

"Hallo, Beck!" cried Sydney Harcourt's voice at the door. "I'm only just up; have had a hard night, and have another before me. By Jove! capital!" as he caught sight of his face. "I should not have known you from Adam. Wonderfully clever of you, Lil, to make him out."


"Hallo, Beck!" cried Sydney Harcourt's voice at the door.

With one quick look she swore Mr. Beck to secrecy, even while she smiled superior at her lord and master.

"Now run away, my pet," he added, "we have important business to talk over."

She turned at the door. "I will give you half an hour," she said, "to do all your talking; lunch will be ready sharp at three."

AFTER lunch Sydney Harcourt strolled down to the "Revilton" with his friend the South African millionaire. He put Mr. Rondel's name down as an honorary member, and showed him over the place. It was a palatial building; the home of wealth and luxury. A great staircase of coloured and polished marble swept in smooth curves right up from the hall to the dome. The dining-room was exquisitely painted in panels—landscapes for the most part—by some of the greatest of modern masters.

Smoking-room, reading-room, and library; Mr. Cyril B. Rondel admired them all, till he came at last to the sanctum sanctorum of the "Revilton." A small room—small at least compared to the others—plainly but most comfortably furnished, and without ornament of any kind. It was the "special" card-room of the "Revilton," frequented only by the high-flyers of the club. There were awe-inspiring whispers about in London of the amounts won or lost in that room of a night.

Sydney Harcourt opened the door of solid mahogany, pushed aside the heavy curtains of dark crimson velvet, and let his friend into this devil's shrine.

There were four men at a card-table, deep in their rubber of whist, and three others standing round, watching the play. To these Sydney Harcourt introduced his friend, Mr. Rondel. Rumour had been before him at the club, telling how Mr. Rondel had made a fortune out of diamonds at the Cape, and had come home to spend it. As a friend of Sydney Harcourt, himself pre-eminently popular, he was sure, of a welcome. There was, moreover, something in the simple, frank, unaffected manner of Mr. Rondel himself that was wonderfully attractive. In ten minutes he was on the best of terms with every man present.

Just then the rubber came to an end. One of the players looked at his watch, and rose to go.

"Any of you fellows care to cut in?" said an inveterate player. "We have a good hour yet to dinnertime."

"Try your luck, Rondel," Harcourt whispered, and Mr. Rondel dropped quietly into the vacant chair. He speedily showed himself a consummate master of the game, bold and subtle; at times defying all rules with a splendid audacity that was only to be justified by success.


But he was absurdly particular about the cards he played with. Three packs were discarded in succession, and new ones brought before he was quite satisfied. Now the "Revilton" prided itself on its cards, which were made specially for the club, of the finest quality, with a peculiarly plain blue pattern on the back, and the club monogram in the centre. Mr. Rondel's South African fastidiousness provoked a smile at first, but his consummate mastery of the game disarmed ridicule. In spite of poor hands, his skill pulled off both rubbers played, to the great delight of the veteran who had claimed him as a partner.

"If you play écarté as well as you play whist, sir," he said, "I would like to match you against Lord Claverly. You might, perhaps, break his miraculous run of luck."

THE party all dined at the same table, and over the last bottle of the champagne for which the club was famous, the talk, adroitly stimulated by Harcourt, again ran warmly on a match between Lord Claverly and Mr. Rondel, who professed himself ready and willing for the encounter.

After dinner the party soared up together in a smooth, swift lift to the card-room.

An unpleasant surprise awaited Mr. Rondel as he entered, in the person of the plump, pale, clean-shaved, slightly bald, and exceedingly deferential waiter, who was moving softly about the room. He was thin, florid, with magnificent hair and moustache when Mr. Rondel had last seen him. That was seven years ago in the Old Bailey dock, but he knew the man at a glance as the cleverest card-sharper he had ever met in the course of his diversified career.

A slight start and a frightened look for half a second in the waiter's shifty grey eyes told the detective that he was recognised in his turn, but Mr. Rondel's placid face made no sign. Presently he asked the man to get him a cigar, with a careless unconsciousness that set him quite at his ease.

Lord Claverly was in the room when the party entered; looking on at a game of piquet, and the veteran whist-player tackled him at once.

"We have found your match at last, Claverly," he said, "a fellow that can take the ace of trumps with a deuce. I've only seen him at whist, and that's enough for me. But he says écarté is his pet game. He has made a couple of millions in diamonds in the South African mines, and egad! he is likely to make as much more out of clubs or spades or hearts at the London card-table. He's a wonder. You see that stout chap talking to Harcourt?"

Lord Claverly's handsome dark eyes lit up with pleasurable excitement at the mention of the millions; plainly he was not in the least afraid. Presently he whispered to Harcourt: "Will you introduce me to your card-playing paragon?"

"They tell me you are fond of a little flutter, Mr. Rondel?" said his lordship blandly. "Do you do much of this kind of thing at Kimberly?"

"Now and again. I won this at a game of écarté," and he showed the diamond, as big as a marrowfat pea, blazing on his little finger.

"Then écarté is your game?" said Lord Claverly eagerly.

"Well, I play all games at cards more or less, but I like écarté best."

Just then young Arthur Darley joined the group. Lord Claverly's brows knit with a sudden annoyance as he saw him, but there was no trace of temper in his bland tones when he said—"I should like to take you on for a game or so, Mr. Rondel, but this gentleman has first claim."

"One off," said young Darley. "You're too many for me, Claverly; as you say, revenge is an expensive commodity."

"Then I'm entirely at your service, if you care for a game," said Lord Claverly politely to Mr. Rondel, who nodded his acceptance.

The challenge and response created quite a quiver of excitement in the room. One or two parties broke up their game to watch the battle for big stakes.


The challenge and response created quite a quiver of excitement

From the moment he had entered the room Mr. Rondel had kept a watchful eye on his old acquaintance, the card-sharping waiter, and made sure he had no private whisper with Lord Claverly. Now at last he seemed quite secure. Lord Claverly's chair was set with its back close to the wall. Behind Mr. Rondel, at a small table a dozen feet away, was the suspected waiter. A shaded electric light hung over their heads, there was no mirror in the room.

As the players took their seats Mr. Rondel noticed a quick look of surprise light for a moment in Lord Claverly's dark eyes. At once his large, double-cased watch slipped quietly from his pocket. He touched the spring and the case flew open, but there was no dial or figure where he looked. It was an ingenious watch of his own devising; the inner case was a convex mirror, which showed Mr. Rondel, as he carelessly consulted it, the room in miniature behind him. He was only just in time. Unnoticed by the crowd intent upon the game, the waiter was speaking rapidly on his fingers to the watchful eyes of Lord Claverly.

Mr. Rondel caught the last few words of the sentence—"—detective. Play straight to-night."

Then the game began.

Fortune took sides almost from the first, and stuck to her favourite to the end. Never was Lord Claverly's luck more conspicuous. His opponent played admirably; he was incomparably the finer player of the two; but no play could stand against that springtide of luck. Every third hand Lord Claverly marked the king.

The pile of notes swelled at Lord Claverly's elbow; the pocket-book of Mr. Rondel grew leaner and leaner. Still he played his cards out pluckily, and lost his money with an imperturbable good temper that won the admiration and sympathy of the bystanders. Lord Claverly, on the other hand, was flushed and excited. Again and again he exclaimed in apparent amazement at his own good luck, and seemed half-frightened at its persistency.

"About played out for to-night," remarked Mr. Rondel at last, with unabated cheerfulness. He drew from his pocket-book eight hundred pound notes, and four fifties, and then smoothed out the leather covers quite flat on the table.

"One last flutter for this, my lord?"

After a moment's pause Lord Claverly nodded.

"I can trust to-night's luck for anything," he said excitedly, and began to deal.

"It's my deal, I think," interposed Mr. Rondel quietly, and his lordship handed him the cards without a word. The excitement of a big stake is contagious. There was a silence and holding of breath amongst the spectators that crowded round the table as the cards were dealt. Diamonds were trumps—the seven of diamonds. The players paused for a moment with the cards before them, as if half afraid to know their fate. Lord Claverly looked first, and smiled triumphant at the array of picture cards in his hand.

"I declare the king," he said, and showed the king of diamonds in his hand.


"I declare the king," he said.

Mr. Rondel lifted his cards and glanced at them. For a moment he seemed bewildered. Then the men round the table saw his brows meet and his eyes light with a sudden wrath, which quickly passed. Only an ominous tightening of his lips remained.

"This is a bad business," he said slowly at last, and laid his cards face upwards on the table. The king of diamonds was amongst them!

Lord Claverly's face went white as a sheet.

"I swear by God——" he began frantically; but he got no further. There were strong hands on his shoulders. He was flung into a capacious easy-chair, and held there while his coat was roughly torn from his back.

Yes! There in a shallow pocket, a kind of ledge in the silk lining of his coat-sleeve, was a pack of the club playing-cards. They were caught and held together by a neat spring clip, and to the clip was attached a thread of strong elastic, fastened higher up in the sleeve close to the shoulder. Their use was plain!

Then the wild beast passions that lurk in men's hearts, which civilisation can hide, but not stifle, broke loose. Curses and cries of anger were heard, and men might have disgraced their manhood by violence to the helpless wretch that lay there with fear and wonder on his ghastly face; but the calm, strong voice of Mr. Rondel was heard dominating the rising tumult.

"Gentlemen," he cried, "fair play, even for a cheat. Lord Claverly has an urgent appointment elsewhere, and we must not detain him.

"'He'll stay no more on England's shore,
So let the music play.'

"Make way there, for his lordship, if you please."

The titled cheat took the hint, and skulked from the room, with a grin and snarl like a hunted fox.

"I suppose I may as well resume possession," said Mr. Rondel coolly, "as his lordship waives his claim," and he replaced the notes in his capacious pocket-book.

Some one handed him the pack of cards found in Lord Claverly's sleeve, with the appliances still attached.

He examined them with unaffected admiration.

"You see how it works," he said to the men around, with the air of a professor addressing his class. "The court cards are curved at the edges so slightly that only the most delicate touch could detect it. His lordship was plainly clever at his work. The faked pack came down into his hand; the genuine pack went up by the clip and elastic into his sleeve. It was a clever trick—a very clever trick."

WHILE the men gathered round to see the cards, Harcourt crossed to where Arthur Darley stood by himself, bewildered, hardly realising even yet what had chanced.

"I congratulate you, Artie," he said; "your good resolution has brought you good luck. Your IOU's are waste paper in the pocket of the convicted cheat. Let me introduce you to the man that pulled you through. Mr. Rondel," he went on, "you must come and have a quiet bit of supper with me to wind up this entertainment. Here's a young friend of mine who wants to thank you. He's forty-five thousand the better for this night's work."

"Your health, Mr. Beck!" said Arthur Darley, when they were comfortably seated at supper at a table by themselves. He raised his full glass of champagne, with beaded bubbles winking at the brim. "You saved me from ruin when you caught his lordship cheating."

"But I didn't catch his lordship cheating."

Harcourt and Darley put down their glasses and stared at him in blank amazement.

"I don't mean to say he didn't mean to cheat, mind you," Mr. Beck went on placidly. "He came with his ammunition ready, but he played quite fair to-night."

Then he told them how he had recognised the cardsharping waiter, and caught him warning Lord Claverly before the game began.

"You must get rid of that waiter, Mr. Harcourt," he wound up; "he is an experienced card-sharper."

"All right," echoed Harcourt abstractedly. "But, I say, Beck, I cannot understand the thing at all. If Claverly was warned, as you say, why did he give himself away?"

"He didn't give himself away."

"Why did he cheat, I mean?"

"Don't I tell you he didn't cheat."

"Nonsense, man! Luck never dealt a man such hands as Claverly held to-night."

"No, I dealt them to him—I can do a little that way."

"Yes, but where did the second king of diamonds come from?"

"From my sleeve."


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