Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/187

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171
JIMMY REMEMBERS SOMETHING

whose code of behavior was not the ordinary code, was to chat with him and extract his point of view. He felt as little animus against Hargate as he had felt against Spike on the occasion of their first meeting.

"Do you make much at this sort of game?" he asked.

Hargate was relieved. This was business-like.

"Pots," he said, with some enthusiasm. "Pots. I tell you, if you'll stand in—"

"Bit risky, isn't it?"

"Not a bit of it. An occasional accident—"

"I suppose you'd call me one?" Hargate grinned.

"It must be pretty tough work," said Jimmy. "You must have to use a tremendous lot of self-restraint."

Hargate sighed.

"That's the worst of it," he admitted, "the having to seem a mug at the game. I've been patronized sometimes by young fools, who thought they were teaching me, till I nearly forgot myself and showed them what real billiards was."

"There's always some drawback to the learned professions," said Jimmy.

"But there's a heap to make up for it in this one," said Hargate. "Well, look here, is it a deal? You'll stand in—"

Jimmy shook his head.

"I guess not," he said. "It's good of you, but