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In chapter 10 of The Just Men of Cordova (1917) by Edgar Wallace, the author was describing an employer, Jakobs, who usually stole unconsidered stamps and such loose coinage as might be found in the office of his manager, Black, who was notoriously careless in the matter of small change.

He had stolen quietly into the managing director’s office one day in the ordinary course of business, for Master Jakobs stole quietly, but literally and figuratively. He was in search of unconsidered stamps and such loose coinage as might be found in the office of a man notoriously careless in the matter of small change. He had expected to find the room empty, and was momentarily paralysed to see the great Black himself bending over the recumbent figure of a man, busily searching the pockets of a dead man for a letter—for the silent man on the floor had come with his resignation in his pocket and had indiscreetly embodied in this letter his reasons for taking the step. Greatest indiscretion of all, he had revealed the existence of this very compromising document to Colonel Black.

Willie Jakobs knew nothing about the letter—had no subtle explanation for the disordered pocket-book. To his primitive mind Colonel Black was making a search for money: it was, in fact, a stamp-hunt on a large scale, and in his agitation he blurted this belief.

Does "stamp-hunt" mean that he "was searching for the letter that hold a certain stamp"??

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Colonel Black is interested in something much more valuable to him than stamps and small coins, namely a very specific letter. This letter wouldn't have a stamp on it, "for the silent man on the floor had come with his resignation in his pocket".

Jakobs knows nothing about the letter, so from his point of view, Colonel Black is not looking for a letter but for money, i.e. more than just "unconsidered stamps and (...) loose coinage". Wallace seems to be combining the two points of view by describing the scene as "stamp-hunt on a large scale", in which "large scale" refers to higher value of what Colonel Black is looking for.

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  • That makes sense. Thank you so much. – Ahmed Samir Oct 27 at 13:52

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