Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/134

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he said. "We have been expecting you for some time."

Jimmy explained that he had lost his way.

"Exactly. It was ridiculous that you should be compelled to walk, perfectly ridiculous. It was grossly careless of my nephew not to let us know that you were coming. My wife told him so in the car."

"I bet she did," said Jimmy to himself. "Really," he said aloud, by way of lending a helping hand to a friend in trouble, "I preferred to walk. I have not been on a country road since I landed in England." He turned to the big man, and held out his hand. "I don't suppose you remember me, Mr. McEachern? We met in New York."

"You remember the night Mr. Pitt scared away our burglar, father," said Molly.

Mr. McEachern was momentarily silent. On his native asphalt, there are few situations capable of throwing the New York policeman off his balance. In that favored clime, savoir faire is represented by a shrewd blow of the fist, and a masterful stroke with the truncheon amounts to a satisfactory repartee. Thus shall you never take the policeman of Manhattan without his answer. In other surroundings, Mr. McEachern would have known how to deal with the young man whom with such good reason he believed to be an expert criminal. But another plan of action was needed here. First and foremost, of all the hints on etiquette that he had imbibed since he entered this more reposeful life, came the maxim: