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> syntax error: [string "return 42"]:1: malformed number near '42ÿ'

The additional 'ÿ' character seems to indicate that the compiler has
added an extra 0xFF byte to the string constant, like if it has stored
"return 42" like this:

 72 65 74 75 72 6E 20 34   32 FF 00

Is it possible for you to look at the generated code, or look at the
memory in a debug session?
It looks like there is a compiler bug (happens rarely, but happens...)
or an encoding problem in your source file.