A guy owes money to his bookie, see ? He’s in deep. Things look bad, so he works out a way he can steal from the guy he owes. And it comes off. He gets away, clean.

    So now he’s got money he can pay off the debt, but, taking a precaution so no suspicion falls on him on account of his new-found wealth, he decides he won’t pay off, not straight away. He delays a couple weeks so it looks like he’s still struggling and nobody should wonder where did he suddenly come by the dough ? And put two and two together so the answer incriminates him.

    Knowing he can clear the debt any time, he plays his part to the hilt and decides, to be on the safe side, he maybe ought to take a beating before he comes up with the money. Not that he’s a tough guy, but this is what makes the notion so persuasive: he’s terrified they’ll do him an injury so he ends up pissing blood for a month or can’t see straight, and this terror communicates itself to the guys who do the job so they’re almost embarrassed, but they KNOW he doesn’t have the money because if he could get it he’d pay, that’s plain as the sun comes up in the morning.

    But even after he takes the beating he declines to pay. I can take it, he thinks  though he’s surprised by this, he’s frankly amazed. He discovers he can survive anything they throw at him, and keeps finding reasons to defer paying until one day, when he’s getting beaten to death in an alley, he gets confused and asks his persecutors, “ How did you know it was me ? 

    They don’t know what he’s talking about.

    In a moment of clarity he understands he is still innocent, because no one has discovered his crime.