Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/88

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other friends of the Strollers, had gone out again on his wanderings. He was greatly missed, especially by that large section of his circle which was in a perpetual state of wanting a little to see it through till Saturday. For years, Jimmy had been to these unfortunates a human bank on which they could draw at will. It offended them that one of those rare natures which are always good for two dollars at any hour of the day should be allowed to waste itself on places like Morocco and Spain—especially Morocco, where, by all accounts, there were brigands with almost a New York sense of touch.

They argued earnestly with Jimmy. They spoke of Raisuli and Kaid MacLean. But Jimmy was not to be stopped. The gad-fly was vexing him, and he had to move.

For a year, he had wandered, realizing every day the truth of Horace's philosophy for those who travel, that a man cannot change his feelings with his climate, until finally he had found himself, as every wanderer does, at Charing Cross.

At this point, he had tried to rally. Such running away, he told himself, was futile. He would stand still and fight the fever in him.

He had been fighting it now for a matter of two weeks, and already he was contemplating retreat. A man at luncheon had been talking about Japan—

Watching the crowd, Jimmy had found his attention attracted chiefly by a party of three, a few