Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/278

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Mullins broke into my flat, and I caught him. We got into conversation, and I worked off on him a lot of technical stuff I'd heard from this actor friend of mine, and he jumped to the conclusion that I was an expert. And, then, it suddenly occurred to me that it would be a good joke on Mifflin if I went out with Mullins, and did break into a house. I wasn't in the mood to think what a fool I was at the time. Well, anyway, we went out, and—well, that's how it all happened. And, then, I met Spike in London, down and out, and brought him here."

He looked at her anxiously. It did not need his lordship's owlish expression of doubt to tell him how weak his story must sound. He had felt it even as he was telling it. He was bound to admit that, if ever a story rang false in every sentence, it was this one.

"Pitt, old man," said his lordship, shaking his head, more in sorrow than in anger, "it won't do, old top. What's the point of putting up any old yarn like that? Don't you see, what I mean is, it's not as if we minded. Don't I keep telling you we're all pals here? I've often thought what a jolly good feller old Raffles was. Regular sportsman! I don't blame a chappie for doing the gentleman burglar touch. Seems to me it's a dashed sporting—"

Molly turned on him suddenly, cutting short his views on the ethics of gentlemanly theft in a blaze of indignation.