The situation (story from Edo period, but in contemporary Japanese, at most stylised on old language): three thieves A, B, and C working in a group. Pickpocket A is caught in a crowd, B disappears from the scene, C appears and punishes A (as a staged punishment to let A go without the crowd turning on him). A comes "home" and is questioned by B:
So 吸口 clearly seems to refer to the C.
What does 吸口 mean in this context?
The only explanation I could come up with is that as an analogy to the kiseru pipe, it describes the second person following, after splitting in two groups.
But I cannot find this meaning in any dictionary (for example).
Would it be understandable for native speakers if used in a similar situation in a conversation?
Or is there any other meaning of 吸口 in this situation?
I'm also not sure if A's question makes sense - if that was the meaning of 吸口, using it (instead of C's name) would be sort of tautological (it should be obvious that a person following will come later). But then in literary style it might be acceptable.
There was no mention of C being smoker. Which was my other guess.