Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/67

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55
GETTING ACQUAINTED

still on the door, stood the man with the jaw; down-stage, Jimmy; center, Spike and the bull-dog, their noses a couple of inches apart, inspected each other with mutual disfavor. On the extreme O. P. side, the bull-terrier, who had fallen foul of a wicker-work table, was crouching with extended tongue and rolling eyes, waiting for the next move.

The householder looked at Jimmy. Jimmy looked at the householder. Spike and the bull-dog looked at each other. The bull-terrier distributed his gaze impartially around the company.

"A typical scene of quiet American home-life," murmured Jimmy.

The householder glowered.

"Hands up, you devils!" he roared, pointing a mammoth revolver.

The two marauders humored his whim.

"Let me explain," said Jimmy pacifically, shuffling warily around in order to face the bull-terrier, who was now strolling in his direction with an ill-assumed carelessness.

"Keep still, you blackguard!" Jimmy kept still. The bull-terrier, with the same abstracted air, was beginning a casual inspection of his right trouser-leg.

Relations between Spike and the bull-dog, meanwhile, had become more strained. The sudden flinging up of the former's arms had had the worst effects on the animal's nerves. Spike, the croucher on all-fours, he might have tolerated; but Spike, the sema-