Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/322

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that the moment following release would be devoted exclusively to a carnival of violence, with a certain sleuth-hound playing a prominent rôle.

He took the key of the handcuffs from his pocket, and toyed with it. Mr. McEachern emitted a low growl. It was enough.

"If you wouldn't mind, Mr. Pitt," said the sleuth, obsequiously. He thrust the key into Jimmy's hands, and fled.

Jimmy unlocked the handcuffs. Mr. McEachern rubbed his wrists.

"Ingenious little things," said Jimmy.

"I'm much obliged to you," growled Mr. McEachern, without looking up.

"Not at all. A pleasure. This circumstantial evidence thing is the devil, isn't it? I knew a man who broke into a house in New York to win a bet, and to this day the owner of that house thinks him a professional burglar."

"What's that?" said Mr. McEachern, sharply.

"Why do I say 'a man'? Why am I so elusive and mysterious? You're quite right. It sounds more dramatic, but after all what you want is facts. Very well. I broke into your house that night to win a bet. That's the limpid truth."

McEachern was staring at him. Jimmy proceeded.

"You are just about to ask—what was Spike Mullins doing with me? Well, Spike had broken into my flat an hour before, and I took him along