Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/155

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139
CHECK AND A COUNTER MOVE

Lord Dreever, "says there's only one rhyme in the English language to 'burglar,' and that's 'gurgler—'unless you count 'pergola'! He says—"

"Personally," said Jimmy, with a glance at McEachern, "I have rather a sympathy for burglars. After all, they are one of the hardest-working classes in existence. They toil while everybody else is asleep. Besides, a burglar is only a practical socialist. People talk a lot about the redistribution of wealth. The burglar goes out and does it. I have found burglars some of the decentest criminals I have ever met."

"I despise burglars!" ejaculated Lady Julia, with a suddenness that stopped Jimmy's eloquence as if a tap had been turned off. "If I found one coming after my jewels, and I had a pistol, I'd shoot him."

Jimmy met McEachern's eye, and smiled kindly at him. The ex-policeman was looking at him with the gaze of a baffled, but malignant basilisk.

"I take very good care no one gets a chance at your diamonds, my dear," said Sir Thomas, without a blush. "I have had a steel box made for me," he added to the company in general, "with a special lock. A very ingenious arrangement. Quite unbreakable, I imagine."

Jimmy, with Molly's story fresh in his mind, could not check a rapid smile. Mr. McEachern, watching intently, saw it. To him, it was fresh evidence, if any had been wanted, of Jimmy's intentions and of his confidence of success. McEachern's