Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/236

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naturally wouldn't dream of doing such a thing. It can't be dear old Spike who's got the stuff.'"

"But, boss," interposed Spike brightly, "I ain't! Dat's right. I ain't got it. Youse has!"

Jimmy looked at the speaker with admiration. After all, there was a breezy delirium about Spike's methods of thought that was rather stimulating when you got used to it. The worst of it was that it did not fit in with practical, everyday life. Under different conditions—say, during convivial evenings at Bloomingdale—he could imagine the Bowery boy being a charming companion. How pleasantly, for instance, such remarks as that last would while away the monotony of a padded cell!

"But, laddie," he said with steely affection, listen once more. Reflect! Ponder! Does it not seep into your consciousness that we are, as it were, subtly connected in this house in the minds of certain bad persons? Are we not imagined by Mr. McEachern, for instance, to be working hand-in-hand like brothers? Do you fancy that Mr. McEachern, chatting with his tame sleuth-hound over their cigars, will have been reticent on this point? I think not. How do you propose to baffle that gentlemanly sleuth, Spike, who, I may mention once again, has rarely moved more than two yards away from me since his arrival?"

An involuntary chuckle escaped Spike.

"Sure, boss, dat's all right."