Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/49

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37
A THIEF IN THE NIGHT

humor. The nose had been broken at one period of its career, and one of the ears was undeniably of the cauliflower type; but these are little accidents which may happen to any high-spirited young gentleman. In costume, the visitor had evidently been guided rather by individual taste than by the dictates of fashion. His coat was of rusty black, his trousers of gray, picked out with stains of various colors. Beneath the coat was a faded red-and-white sweater. A hat of soft felt lay on the floor by the table.

The cut of the coat was poor, and the fit of it spoiled by a bulge in one of the pockets. Diagnosing this bulge correctly, Jimmy inserted his hand, and drew out a dingy revolver.

"Well?" he said, rising.

Like most people, he had often wondered what he should do if he were to meet a burglar; and he had always come to the conclusion that curiosity would be his chief emotion. His anticipations were proved perfectly correct. Now that he had abstracted his visitor's gun, he had no wish to do anything but engage him in conversation. A burglar's life was something so entirely outside his experience! He wanted to learn the burglar's point of view. Incidentally, he reflected with amusement, as he recalled his wager, he might pick up a few useful hints.

The man on the floor sat up, and rubbed the back of his head ruefully.

"Gee!" he muttered. "I t'ought some guy had t'rown de buildin' at me."