Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/149

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133
CHECK AND A COUNTER MOVE

the manner that had scared good behavior into brawling East Siders.

"I know your sort," he said. "I'll call your bluff. And you won't get till to-morrow, either. It'll be now."

"'Why should we wait for the morrow? You are queen of my heart to-night," murmured Jimmy, encouragingly.

"I'll expose you before them all. I'll tell them everything."

Jimmy shook his head.

"Too melodramatic," he said. "'I call on heaven to judge between this man and me!' kind of thing. I shouldn't. What do you propose to tell, anyway?"

"Will you deny that you were a crook in New York?"

"I will. I was nothing of the kind."

"What?"

"If you'll listen, I can explain—"

"Explain!" The other's voice rose again. "You talk about explaining, you scum, when I caught you in my own parlor at three in the morning—you—"

The smile faded from Jimmy's face.

"Half a minute," he said. It might be that the ideal course would be to let the storm expend itself, and then to explain quietly the whole matter of Arthur Mifflin and the bet that had led to his one excursion into burglary; but he doubted it. Things—including his temper—had got beyond the stage