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    Third degree stuff


    Can anybody explain to me what the author means by third degree stuff?

    "We do not judge you." The prospector spoke, smiling gravely. "In Mojave you held up a bank and you killed a man. You and your partner fled into the desert. You wrecked your car in an arroyo that you didn't see in time.
    You were pursued. You tried to walk all the way across Death Valley. Your partner died because you deserted him just before you found your way into our midst. You see, Red Donovan, there is no deed, here, to keep secrets."
    "Third degree stuff, huh?" Donovan sneered. "Why don'tcha ask me to sign it?"
    "Friend," the prospector said, "we mean you no harm." He laid a frail old hand on Red Donovan's quivering shoulder.

    O.M.Cabral, Mirage, 1941


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    Re: Third degree stuff

    He's accusing the other man of 'giving him the third degree', an idiom meaning long or detailed questioning.

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