“All right, Raffles! I’ll pay you for what I owe you now, and I’ll give you a sovereign for the gun. I’ll send you that in a day or two. I’ve no more money with me now.”
“That ain’t the bill. I want this ’ere bill paid.”
“’This ‘ere bill’ is sheer rot!” retorted Jack.
“Rot or not, it’s what I want from you. You pay up that seven odd, or it will be the worse for you. What is seven odd to a young gent like you? Aren’t you all millionaires at St. Amory’s?”
“Not by a long chalk.”
“Well, I don’t want to be unpleasant, my buck, but if you won’t pay over I’ll show you up.”
“Show me up, you beast—what do you mean?”
“I’ll write to Corker and blow the gaff.”
“If you did that,” said Bourne, grimly, “I’d kill you first day I could do it.”
[Illustration: “I’M GOING TO HAVE THE SEVEN TEN, OR SHOW YOU UP.”]
“Or I’d write to your brother.”
“And he’d do it now, you skunk!”
“No names, young gent. That won’t pay my bill. You don’t seem to imagine I mean what I say.”
“No, I don’t, for you wouldn’t be any nearer getting the money.”
“But then you say you aren’t going to pay anyhow, so I may as well touch you up a bit. You’ve most every time told me not to be so beastly friendly, and I ain’t going to be. I’m going to have the seven ten or show you up. That’s straight.”
“Show me up,” repeated Jack, blankly. “You miserable blackmailer!” Bourne felt then the beautiful feelings of being in the grasp of a low-bred cad who could play with him as a cat with a mouse. He sat staring in front of him livid with rage, and Raffles, who was watching him covertly, and with no small anxiety, could see he was digesting the whole situation. Jack would indeed then and there have let Raffles do his worst, and would have stood the racket from Corker—and his brother—rather than be blackmailed by the villain by his side, but he said hopelessly to himself, “How can I do it without bringing Acton into it? When this comes out all his training with the Coon must come out too; perhaps he’ll lose his monitorship for not keeping his hand on me, and Phil’s done him a bad enough turn already. I can’t round on him. Heavens! I can’t do that.”
This reads rather pitiful, doesn’t it, under the circumstances?
Jack at the end of his resources tried a desperate bluff.
“I’ll put Acton on your track, my beauty, and perhaps he’ll make you see—or feel—reason.”
“That game’s no good, young shaver. I don’t want to see Mr. Acting no more than you want to tell him of your little blow-outs. Look here, are you going to pay? Yes or no?”
“I haven’t got the money,” said Jack, at his wits’ end.
“Ho! that’s very likely,” said Raffles, with a sneer; “anyhow, you could mighty soon get it if you wanted to.”
“Why, borrow it, of course. Ask your chum, Mr. Acting. He ’as money. No end of brass, the Coon says.”