Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/285

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267
STIRRING TIMES FOR SIR THOMAS

enough, it was almost identical with the big scene in act three of "Love, the Cracksman," in which Arthur Mifflin had made such a hit as the debonair burglar.

Jimmy proceeded to give his own idea of what the rendering of a debonair burglar should be. Arthur Mifflin had lighted a cigarette, and had shot out smoke-rings and repartee alternately. A cigarette would have been a great help here, but Jimmy prepared to do his best without properties.

"So—so, it's you, is it?" said Sir Thomas.

"Who told you?"

"Thief! Low thief!"

"Come, now," protested Jimmy. "Why low? Just because you don't know me over here, why scorn me? How do you know I haven't got a big American reputation? For all you can tell, I may be Boston Billie or Sacramento Sam, or someone. Let us preserve the decencies of debate."

"I had my suspicions of you. I had my suspicions from the first, when I heard that my idiot of a nephew had made a casual friend in London. So, this was what you were! A thief, who—"

"I don't mind, personally," interrupted Jimmy, "but I hope, if ever you mix with cracksmen, you won't go calling them thieves. They are frightfully sensitive. You see! There's a world of difference between the two branches of the profession and a good deal of snobbish caste-prejudice. Let us suppose that you were an actor-manager. How would