"The thief," said Jimmy, flicking a speck of dust from his coat sleeve, "was discovered to have used an oxy-acetylene blow-pipe."
The rapturous intake of Spike's breath was the only sound that broke the silence. Through the smoke, his eyes could be seen slowly widening.
"But about this villa," said Jimmy. "I am always interested even in the humblest sides of the profession. Now, tell me, supposing you were going to break into a villa, what time of night would you do it?"
"I always t'inks it's best either late like dis or when de folks is in at supper," said Spike, respectfully.
Jimmy smiled a faint, patronizing smile, and nodded.
"Well, and what would you do?"
"I'd rubber around some to see isn't dere a window open somewheres," said Spike, diffidently.
"And if there wasn't?"
"I'd climb up de porch an' into one of de bedrooms," said Spike, almost blushing. He felt like a boy reading his first attempts at original poetry to an established critic. What would this master cracksman, this polished wielder of the oxy-acetylene blow-pipe, this expert in toxicology, microscopy and physics think of his callow outpourings!
"How would you get into the bedroom?"
Spike hung his head.