ing about in your cerebrum, as in mine, you can't hope—"
Jimmy leaned back in his chair, and spoke calmly but with decision.
"Any man of ordinary intelligence," he said, "could break into a house."
Mifflin jumped up and began to gesticulate. This was heresy.
"My good man, what absolute—"
"I could," said Jimmy, lighting a cigarette.
There was a roar of laughter and approval. For the past few weeks, during the rehearsals of "Love, the Cracksman," Arthur Mifflin had disturbed the peace at the Strollers' with his theories on the art of burglary. This was his first really big part, and he had soaked himself in it. He had read up the literature of burglary. He had talked with men from Pinkerton's. He had expounded his views nightly to his brother Strollers, preaching the delicacy and difficulty of cracking a crib till his audience had rebelled. It charmed the Strollers to find Jimmy, obviously of his own initiative and not to be suspected of having been suborned to the task by themselves, treading with a firm foot on the expert's favorite corn within five minutes of their meeting.
"You!" said Arthur Mifflin, with scorn.
"You! Why, you couldn't break into an egg unless it was a poached one."
"What'll you bet?" said Jimmy.