tus, jumped at the invitation. He was through the window and out of sight in the friendly darkness almost before the policeman had finished speaking. Jimmy remained.
"I shall be delighted—" he had begun. Then, he stopped. In the doorway was standing a girl—a girl whom he recognized. Her startled look told him that she, too, had recognized him.
Not for the first time since he had set out from his flat that night in Spike's company, Jimmy was conscious of a sense of the unreality of things. It was all so exactly as it would have happened in a dream! He had gone to sleep thinking of this girl, and here she was. But a glance at the man with the revolver brought him back to earth. There was nothing of the dream-world about the police-captain.
That gentleman, whose back was toward the door, had not observed the addition to the company. Molly had turned the handle quietly, and her slippered feet made no sound. It was the amazed expression on Jimmy's face that caused the captain to look toward the door.
The girl smiled, though her face was white. Jimmy's evening clothes had reassured her. She did not understand how he came to be there, but evidently there was nothing wrong. She had interrupted a conversation, not a conflict.
"I heard the noise and you going downstairs, and I sent the dogs down to help you, father," she said.