Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/321

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303
THE LAST ROUND

steal over him. Dimly, he began to perceive that he had blundered.

"Yes," said Jimmy. "Why, I can't say; but Mr. McEachern was afraid someone might try to steal Lady Julia Blunt's rope of diamonds. So, he wrote to London for this man, Galer. It was officious, perhaps, but not criminal. I doubt if, legally, you could handcuff a man for a thing like that. What have you done with good Mr. Galer?"

"I've locked him in the coal-cellar," said the detective, dismally. The thought of the interview in prospect with the human bloodhound he had so mishandled was not exhilarating.

"Locked him in the cellar, did you?" said Jimmy. "Well, well, I daresay he's very happy there. He's probably busy detecting black-beetles. Still, perhaps you had better go and let him out. Possibly, if you were to apologize to him—? Eh? Just as you think. I only suggest. If you want somebody to vouch for Mr. McEachern's non-burglariousness, I can do it. He is a gentleman of private means, and we knew each other out in New York—we are old acquaintances."

"I never thought—."

"That," said Jimmy, with sympathetic friendliness, "if you will allow me to say so, is the cardinal mistake you detectives make. You never do think."

"It never occurred to me—"

The detective looked uneasily at Mr. McEachern. There were indications in the policeman's demeanor