Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/230

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day." He seemed to be debating with himself whether human nature could stand the strain.

But, whatever tragedies may cloud the end of the period, its beginning at least is bathed in sunshine.

Jimmy, regarding his lathered face in the glass as he dressed for dinner that night, marveled at the excellence of this best of all possible worlds.

No doubts disturbed him. That the relations between Mr. McEachern and himself offered a permanent bar to his prospects, he did not believe. For the moment, he declined to consider the existence of the ex-constable at all. In a world that contained Molly, there was no room for other people. They were not in the picture. They did not exist.

To him, musing contentedly over the goodness of life, there entered, in the furtive manner habitual to that unreclaimed buccaneer, Spike Mullins. It may have been that Jimmy read his own satisfaction and happiness into the faces of others, but it certainly seemed to him that there was a sort of restrained joyousness about Spike's demeanor. The Bowery boy's shuffles on the carpet were almost a dance. His face seemed to glow beneath his crimson hair.

"Well," said Jimmy, "and how goes the world with young Lord Fitz-Mullins? Spike, have you ever been best man?

"What's dat, boss?"

"Best man at a wedding. Chap who stands by the bridegroom with a hand on the scruff of his neck to see that he goes through with it. Fellow who looks