Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/151

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
135
CHECK AND A COUNTER MOVE

angrier. The policeman was flushed, and the veins stood out on his forehead. Jimmy was in a white heat of rage. He had turned very pale, and his muscles were quivering. Jimmy in this mood had once cleared a Los Angeles bar-room with the leg of a chair in the space of two and a quarter minutes by the clock.

"Are you?" he demanded. "Are you?"

McEachern's hand, hanging at his side, lifted itself hesitatingly. The fingers brushed against Jimmy's shoulder.

Jimmy's lip twitched.

"Yes," he said, "do it! Do it, and see what happens. By God, if you put a hand on me, I'll finish you. Do you think you can bully me? Do you think I care for your size?"

McEachern dropped his hand. For the first time in his life, he had met a man who, instinct told him, was his match and more. He stepped back a pace.

Jimmy put his hands in his pockets, and turned away. He walked to the mantelpiece, and leaned his back against it.

"You haven't answered my question," he said. "Perhaps, you can't?"

McEachern was wiping his forehead, and breathing quickly.

"If you like," said Jimmy, "we'll go down to the drawing-room now, and you shall tell your story, and I'll tell mine. I wonder which they will think the more interesting. Damn you," he went on, his