Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/95

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
81
FRIENDS, NEW AND OLD

and emotion had made Lord Dreever thirsty. He suggested coffee as a suitable conclusion to the night's revels.

"I often go in here when I'm up in town," he said. "The cabbies don't mind. They're sportsmen."

The shelter was nearly full when they opened the door. It was very warm inside. A cabman gets so much fresh air in the exercise of his professional duties that he is apt to avoid it in private life. The air was heavy with conflicting scents. Fried onions seemed to be having the best of the struggle for the moment, though plug tobacco competed gallantly. A keenly analytical nose might also have detected the presence of steak and coffee.

A dispute seemed to be in progress as they entered.

"You don't wish you was in Russher," said a voice.

"Yus, I do wish I wos in Russher," retorted a shriveled mummy of a cabman, who was blowing patiently at a saucerful of coffee.

"Why do you wish you was in Russher?" asked the interlocutor, introducing a Massa Bones and Massa Johnsing touch into the dialogue.

"Because yer can wade over yer knees in bla-a-a-ad there," said the mummy.

"In wot?"

"In bla-a-ad—ruddy bla-a-ad! That's why I wish I wos in Russher."

"Cheery cove that," said Lord Dreever. "I say, can you give us some coffee?"