A.J. Raffles, ex-public school, is famous in fin de siecle England as a cricketer who plays (naturally, as a Gentleman, i.e. amateur) at Lords. He lives in Albany (bachelor "sets" off Piccadilly) and is the epitome of Victorian style and cut. What is not known about him is that the money for Albany, cricket and even his hand-rolled Turkish cigarettes comes from theft and burglary. When his ex-"fag" from School, Bunny, comes to beg or borrow money (having been washed out at cards and, having given a worthless cheque, facing disgrace and exile from polite society) Raffles saves him by taking him along to "beard" a jeweller in Mayfair. Thus starts a profitable --at first-- association.
Raffles and Bunny play cricket, drink brandy-and-soda, smoke handrolled cigs and steal with style. They even thieve a delicate and priceless urn from the British Museum, keeping it in Albany, on Raffles' mantelpiece, until they decide to send it, with loyal compliments, to Her Majesty, on the occasion of her Jubilee. God Bless You, Sah!
These Raffles stories are as English and as classic as Sherlock Holmes or Father Brown and every bit as enjoyable. May they long be reprinted.