A Trap to Catch a Cracksman

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A Trap to Catch a Cracksman was a short story written by Ernest William Hornung featuring his most famous creation A. J. Raffles, a cricketer and Gentleman thief. It was first published in 1905 in the collection A Thief in the Night.

Raffles attempts to rob the boxer Barney Maguire, the heavyweight champion of the United States who is in England to fight a leading British contender. After meeting him at the Imperial Sporting Club, Raffles decides to steal the collection of valuable trophies he carries around everywhere with him. He does this the night after Maguire has fought (and beaten) the British champion, correctly assuming that he will be out drinking to celebrate.

That same night, his friend Bunny Manders receives a call from a desperate Raffles. Maguire had spoken of a "A trap to catch a cracksman", and while attempting to steal his trophies Raffles has discovered it. Rather than the mantrap that he and Bunny had suspected it is in fact, a heavily drugged decanter of whiskey which Raffles has drunk and collapsed on the floor. Bunny rushes round to aid his companion. They manage to escape by similarly drugging Maguire.


It was adapted as an episode in the 1977 Raffles (TV series).[1]


  1. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0682339/