corridor, his frame of mind had been that of a man to whom a sudden ray of light reveals the fact that he is on the brink of a black precipice. Jimmy and Spike had burgled his house together in New York. And here they were, together again, at Dreever Castle. To say that the thing struck McEachern as sinister is to put the matter baldly. There was once a gentleman who remarked that he smelt a rat, and saw it floating in the air. Ex-Constable McEachern smelt a regiment of rats, and the air seemed to him positively congested with them.
His first impulse had been to rush to Jimmy's room there and then; but he had learned society's lessons well. Though the heavens might fall, he must not be late for dinner. So, he went and dressed, and an obstinate tie put the finishing touches to his wrath.
Jimmy regarded him coolly, without moving from the chair in which he had seated himself. Spike, on the other hand, seemed embarrassed. He stood first on one leg, and then on the other, as if he were testing the respective merits of each, and would make a definite choice later on.
"You scoundrels!" growled McEachern.
Spike, who had been standing for a few moments on his right leg, and seemed at last to have come to a decision, hastily changed to the left, and grinned feebly.
"Say, youse won't want me any more, boss?" he whispered.