Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/33

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"Go to bed!"

"Very well. Good-night."


Jimmy withdrew his head, and sat down in the chair Mifflin had vacated. A moment later, he rose, and switched off the light. It was pleasanter to sit and think in the dark. His thoughts wandered off in many channels, but always came back to the girl on the Lusitania. It was absurd, of course. He didn't wonder that Arthur Mifflin had treated the thing as a joke. Good old Arthur! Glad he had made a success! But was it a joke? Who was it that said, the point of a joke is like the point of a needle, so small that it is apt to disappear entirely when directed straight at oneself? If anybody else had told him such a limping romance, he would have laughed himself. Only, when you are the center of a romance, however limping, you see it from a different angle. Of course, told badly, it was absurd. He could see that. But something away at the back of his mind told him that it was not altogether absurd. And yet—love didn't come like that, in a flash. You might just as well expect a house to spring into being in a moment, or a ship, or an automobile, or a table, or a— He sat up with a jerk. In another instant, he would have been asleep.

He thought of bed, but bed seemed a long way off—the deuce of a way. Acres of carpet to be crawled over, and then the dickens of a climb at the end of it. Besides, undressing! Nuisance—undressing. That