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Home -> P.G. Wodehouse -> The Intrusion of Jimmy -> Chapter 21

The Intrusion of Jimmy - Chapter 21

1. Chapter 1

2. Chapter 2

3. Chapter 3

4. Chapter 4

5. Chapter 5

6. Chapter 6

7. Chapter 7

8. Chapter 8

9. Chapter 9

10. Chapter 10

11. Chapter 11

12. Chapter 12

13. Chapter 13

14. Chapter 14

15. Chapter 15

16. Chapter 16

17. Chapter 17

18. Chapter 18

19. Chapter 19

20. Chapter 20

21. Chapter 21

22. Chapter 22

23. Chapter 23

24. Chapter 24

25. Chapter 25

26. Chapter 26

27. Chapter 27

28. Chapter 28

29. Chapter 29

30. Chapter 30



There are doubtless men so constructed that they can find themselves
accepted suitors without any particular whirl of emotion. King
Solomon probably belonged to this class, and even Henry the Eighth
must have become a trifle blase in time. But, to the average man,
the sensations are complex and overwhelming. A certain stunned
feeling is perhaps predominant. Blended with this is relief, the
relief of a general who has brought a difficult campaign to a
successful end, or of a member of a forlorn hope who finds that the
danger is over and that he is still alive. To this must be added a
newly born sense of magnificence. Our suspicion that we were
something rather out of the ordinary run of men is suddenly
confirmed. Our bosom heaves with complacency, and the world has
nothing more to offer.

With some, there is an alloy of apprehension in the metal of their
happiness, and the strain of an engagement sometimes brings with it
even a faint shadow of regret. "She makes me buy things," one swain,
in the third quarter of his engagement, was overheard to moan to a
friend. "Two new ties only yesterday." He seemed to be debating
with himself whether human nature could stand the strain.

But, whatever tragedies may cloud the end of the period, its
beginning at least is bathed in sunshine.

Jimmy, regarding his lathered face in. the glass as he dressed for
dinner that night, marveled at the excellence of this best of all
possible worlds.

No doubts disturbed him. That the relations between Mr. McEachern
and himself offered a permanent bar to his prospects, he did not
believe. For the moment, he declined to consider the existence of
the ex-constable at all. In a world that contained Molly, there was
no room for other people. They were not in the picture. They did not

To him, musing contentedly over the goodness of life, there entered,
in the furtive manner habitual to that unreclaimed buccaneer, Spike
Mullins. It may have been that Jimmy read his own satisfaction and
happiness into the faces of others, but it certainly seemed to him
that there was a sort of restrained joyousness about Spike's
demeanor. The Bowery boy's shuffles on the carpet were almost a
dance. His face seemed to glow beneath his crimson hair.

"Well," said Jimmy, "and how goes the world with young Lord Fitz-
Mullins? Spike, have you ever been best man?

"What's dat, boss?"

"Best man at a wedding. Chap who stands by the bridegroom with a
hand on the scruff of his neck to see that he goes through with it.
Fellow who looks after everything, crowds the money on to the
minister at the end of the ceremony, and then goes off and mayries
the first bridesmaid, and lives happily ever."

Spike shook his head.

"I ain't got no use for gittin' married, boss."

"Spike, the misogynist! You wait, Spike. Some day, love will awake
in your heart, and you'll start writing poetry."

"I'se not dat kind of mug, boss," protested the Bowery boy. "I ain't
got no use fer goils. It's a mutt's game."

This was rank heresy. Jimmy laid down the razor from motives of
prudence, and proceeded to lighten Spike's reprehensible darkness.

"Spike, you're an ass," he said. "You don't know anything about it.
If you had any sense at all, you'd understand that the only thing
worth doing in life is to get married. You bone-headed bachelors
make me sick. Think what it would mean to you, having a wife. Think
of going out on a cold winter's night to crack a crib, knowing that
there would be a cup of hot soup waiting for you when you got back,
and your slippers all warmed and comfortable. And then she'd sit on
your knee, and you'd tell her how you shot the policeman, and you'd
examine the swag together--! Why, I can't imagine anything cozier.
Perhaps there would be little Spikes running about the house. Can't
you see them jumping with joy as you slid in through the window, and
told the great news? 'Fahzer's killed a pleeceman!' cry the tiny,
eager voices. Candy is served out all round in honor of the event.
Golden-haired little Jimmy Mullins, my god-son, gets a dime for
having thrown a stone at a plain-clothes detective that afternoon.
All is joy and wholesome revelry. Take my word for it, Spike,
there's nothing like domesticity."

"Dere was a goil once," said Spike, meditatively. "Only, I was never
her steady. She married a cop."

"She wasn't worthy of you, Spike," said Jimmy, sympathetically. "A
girl capable of going to the bad like that would never have done for
you. You must pick some nice, sympathetic girl with a romantic
admiration for your line of business. Meanwhile, let me finish
shaving, or I shall be late for dinner. Great doings on to-night,

Spike became animated.

"Sure, boss I Dat's just what--"

"If you could collect all the blue blood that will be under this
roof to-night, Spike, into one vat, you'd be able to start a dyeing-
works. Don't try, though. They mightn't like it. By the way, have
you seen anything more--of course, you have. What I mean is, have
you talked at all with that valet man, the one you think is a

"Why, boss, dat's just--"

"I hope for his own sake he's a better performer than my old friend,
Galer. That man is getting on my nerves, Spike. He pursues me like a
smell-dog. I expect he's lurking out in the passage now. Did you see

"Did I! Boss! Why--"

Jimmy inspected Spike gravely.

"Spike," he said, "there's something on your mind. You're trying to
say something. What is it? Out with it."

Spike's excitement vented itself in a rush of words.

"Gee, boss! There's bin doin's to-night fer fair, lie coco's still
buzzin'. Sure t'ing! Why, say, when I was to Sir Tummas' dressin'-
room dis afternoon--"


"Surest t'ing you know. Just before de storm come on, when it was
all as dark as could be. Well, I was--"

Jimmy interrupted.

"In Sir Thomas's dressing-room! What the--"

Spike looked somewhat embarrassed. He grinned apologetically, and
shuffled his feet.

"I've got dem, boss!" he said, with a smirk.

"Got them? Got what?"


Spike plunged a hand in a pocket, and drew forth in a glittering
mass Lady Julia Blunt's rope of diamonds.

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