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Home -> P.G. Wodehouse -> The Intrusion of Jimmy -> Chapter 22

The Intrusion of Jimmy - Chapter 22

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



"One hundred t'ousand plunks," murmured Spike, gazing lovingly at
them. "I says to myself, de boss ain't got no time to be gittin'
after dem himself. He's too busy dese days wit' jollyin' along de
swells. So, it's up to me, I says, 'cos de boss'll be tickled to
deat', all right, all right, if we can git away wit' dem. So, I--"

Jimmy gave tongue with an energy that amazed his faithful follower.
The nightmare horror of the situation had affected him much as a
sudden blow in the parts about the waistcoat might have done. But,
now, as Spike would have said, he caught up with his breath. The
smirk faded slowly from the other's face as he listened. Not even in
the Bowery, full as it was of candid friends, had he listened to
such a trenchant summing-up of his mental and moral deficiencies.

"Boss!" he protested.

"That's just a sketchy outline," said Jimmy, pausing for breath. "I
can't do you justice impromptu like this--you're too vast and

"But, boss, what's eatin' you? Ain't youse tickled?"

"Tickled!" Jimmy sawed the air. "Tickled! You lunatic! Can't you see
what you've done?"

"I've got dem," said Spike, whose mind was not readily receptive of
new ideas. It seemed to him that Jimmy missed the main point.

"Didn't I tell you there was nothing doing when you wanted to take
those things the other day?"

Spike's face cleared. As he had suspected, Jimmy had missed the

"Why, say, boss, yes. Sure! But dose was little, dinky t'ings. Of
course, youse wouldn't stand fer swipin' chicken-feed like dem. But
dese is different. Dese di'monds is boids. It's one hundred t'ousand
plunks fer dese."

"Spike," said Jimmy with painful calm.


"Will you listen for a moment?"


"I know it's practically hopeless. To get an idea into your head,
one wants a proper outfit--drills, blasting-powder, and so on. But
there's just a chance, perhaps, if I talk slowly. Has it occurred to
you, Spike, my bonny, blue-eyed Spike, that every other man, more or
less, in this stately home of England, is a detective who has
probably received instructions to watch you like a lynx? Do you
imagine that your blameless past is a sufficient safeguard? I
suppose you think that these detectives will say to themselves,
'Now, whom shall we suspect? We must leave out Spike Mullins, of
course, because he naturally wouldn't dream of doing such a thing.
It can't be dear old Spike who's got the stuff.'"

"But, boss," interposed Spike brightly, "I ain't! Dat's right. I
ain't got it. Youse has!"

Jimmy looked at the speaker with admiration. After all, there was a
breezy delirium about Spike's methods of thought that was rather
stimulating when you got used to it. The worst of it was that it did
not fit in with practical, everyday life. Under different
conditions--say, during convivial evenings at Bloomingdale--he could
imagine the Bowery boy being a charming companion. How pleasantly,
for instance, such remarks as that last would while away the
monotony of a padded cell!

"But, laddie," he said with steely affection, "listen once more.
Reflect! Ponder! Does it not seep into your consciousness that we
are, as it were, subtly connected in this house in the minds of
certain bad persons? Are we not imagined by Mr. McEachern, for
instance, to be working hand-in-hand like brothers? Do you fancy
that Mr. McEachern, chatting with his tame sleuth-hound over their
cigars, will have been reticent on this point? I think not. How do
you propose to baffle that gentlemanly sleuth, Spike, who, I may
mention once again, has rarely moved more than two yards away from
me since his arrival?"

An involuntary chuckle escaped Spike.

"Sure, boss, dat's all right."

"All right, is it? Well, well! What makes you think it is all

"Why, say, boss, dose sleut's is out of business." A merry grin
split Spike's face. "It's funny, boss. Gee! It's got a circus
skinned! Listen. Dey's bin an' arrest each other."

Jimmy moodily revised his former view. Even in Bloomingdale, this
sort of thing would be coldly received. Genius must ever walk alone.
Spike would have to get along without hope of meeting a kindred
spirit, another fellow-being in tune with his brain-processes.

"Dat's right," chuckled Spike. "Leastways, it ain't."

"No, no," said Jimmy, soothingly. " I quite understand."

"It's dis way, boss. One of dem has bin an' arrest de odder mug. Dey
had a scrap, each t'inkin' de odder guy was after de jools, an' not
knowin' dey was bot' sleut's, an' now one of dem's bin an' taken de
odder off, an'"--there were tears of innocent joy in Spike's eyes--
"an' locked him into de coal-cellar."

"What on earth do you mean?"

Spike giggled helplessly.

"Listen, boss. It's dis way. Gee! It beat de band! When it's all
dark 'cos of de storm comin' on, I'm in de dressin'-room, chasin'
around fer de jool-box, an' just as I gits a line on it, gee! I
hears a footstep comin' down de passage, very soft, straight fer de
door. Was I to de bad? Dat's right. I says to meself, here's one of
de sleut' guys what's bin and got wise to me, an' he's comin' in to
put de grip on me. So, I gits up quick, an' I hides behind a
coitain. Dere's a coitain at de side of de room. Dere's dude suits
an' t'ings hangin' behind it. I chases meself in dere, and stands
waitin' fer de sleut' to come in. 'Cos den, you see, I'm goin' to
try an' get busy before he can see who I am--it's pretty dark 'cos
of de storm--an' jolt him one on de point of de jaw, an' den, while
he's down an' out, chase meself fer de soivants' hall."

"Yes?" said Jimmy.

"Well, dis guy, he gits to de door, an' opens it, an' I'm just
gittin' ready fer one sudden boist of speed, when dere jumps out
from de room on de odder side de passage--you know de room--anodder
guy, an' gits de rapid strangleholt on de foist mug. Say, wouldn't
dat make youse glad you hadn't gone to de circus? Honest, it was
better dan Coney Island."

"Go on. What happened then?"

"Dey falls to scrappin' good an' hard. Dey couldn't see me, an' I
couldn't see dem, but I could hear dem bumpin' about and sluggin'
each other to beat de band. An', by and by, one of de mugs puts do
odder mug to de bad, so dat he goes down and takes de count; an' den
I hears a click. An' I know what dat is. It's one of de gazebos has
put de irons on de odder gazebo."

"Call them A, and B.," suggested Jimmy.

"Den I hears him--de foist mug--strike a light, 'cos it's dark dere
'cos of de storm, an' den he says, 'Got youse. have I?' he says.
'I've had my eye on youse, t'inkin' youse was up to somet'in' of dis
kind. I've bin watching youse!' I knew de voice. It's dat mug what
calls himself Sir Tummas' vally. An' de odder--"

Jimmy burst into a roar of laughter.

"Don't, Spike! This is more than man was meant to stand. Do you mean
to tell me it is my bright, brainy, persevering friend Galer who has
been handcuffed and locked in the coal-cellar?"

Spike grinned broadly.

"Sure, dat's right," he said.

"It's a judgment," said Jimmy, delightedly. "That's what it is! No
man has a right to be such a consumate ass as Galer. It isn't

There had been moments when McEachern's faithful employee had filled
Jimmy with an odd sort of fury, a kind of hurt pride, almost to the
extent of making him wish that he really could have been the
desperado McEachern fancied him. Never in his life before had he sat
still under a challenge, and this espionage had been one. Behind the
clumsy watcher, he had seen always the self-satisfied figure of
McEachern. If there had been anything subtle about the man from
Dodson's, he could have forgiven him; but there was not. Years of
practise had left Spike with a sort of sixth sense as regarded
representatives of the law. He could pierce the most cunning
disguise. But, in the case of Galer, even Jimmy could detect the

"Go on," he said.

Spike proceeded.

"Well, de odder mug, de one down an' out on de floor wit' de irons

"Galer, in fact," said Jimmy. "Handsome, dashing Galer!"

"Sure. Well, he's too busy catchin' up wit' his breat' to shoot it
back swift, but, after he's bin doin' de deep-breathin' strut for a
while, he says, 'You mutt,' he says, 'youse is to de bad. You've
made a break, you have. Dat's right. Surest t'ing you know.' He puts
it different, but dat's what he means. 'I'm a sleut', he says. 'Take
dese t'ings off!'--meanin' de irons. Does de odder mug, de vally
gazebo, give him de glad eye? Not so's you could notice it. He gives
him de merry ha-ha. He says dat dat's de woist tale dat's ever bin
handed to him. 'Tell it to Sweeney!' he says. 'I knows youse. Youse
woims yourself into de house as a guest, when youse is really after
de loidy's jools.' At dese crool woids, de odder mug, Galer, gits
hot under de collar. 'I'm a sure-'nough sleut',' he says. 'I blows
into dis house at de special request of Mr. McEachern, de American
gent.' De odder mug hands de lemon again. 'Tell it to de King of
Denmark,' he says. 'Dis cop's de limit. Youse has enough gall fer
ten strong men,' he says. 'Show me to Mr. McEachern,' says Galer.
'He'll--' crouch, is dat it?"

"Vouch?" suggested Jimmy. "Meaning give the glad hand to."

"Dat's right. Vouch. I wondered what he meant at de time. 'He'll
vouch for me,' he says. Dat puts him all right, he t'inks; but no,
he's still in Dutch, 'cos de vally mug says, 'Nix on dat! I ain't
goin' to chase around de house wit' youse, lookin' fer Mr.
McEachern. It's youse fer de coal-cellar, me man, an' we'll see what
youse has to say when I makes me report to Sir Tummas.' 'Well, dat's
to de good,' says Galer. 'Tell Sir Tummas. I'll explain to him.'
'Not me!' says de vally. 'Sir Tummas has a hard evenin's woik before
him, jollyin' along de swells what's comin' to see dis stoige-piece
dey're actin'. I ain't goin' to worry him till he's good and ready.
To de coal-cellar fer yours! G'wan!' an' off dey goes! An' I gits
busy ag'in, swipes de jools, an' chases meself here."

Jimmy wiped his eyes.

"Have you ever heard of poetic justice, Spike?" he asked. "This is
it. But, in this hour of mirth and good-will, we must not forget--"

Spike interrupted. Pleased by the enthusiastic reception of his
narrative, he proceeded to point out the morals that were to be
deduced there-from.

"So, youse see, boss," he said, "it's all to de merry. When dey
rubbers for de jools, an' finds dem gone, dey'll t'ink dis Galer guy
swiped dem. Dey won't t'ink of us."

Jimmy looked at the speaker gravely.

"Of course," said he. "What a reasoner you are, Spike! Galer was
just opening the door from the outside, by your account, when the
valet man sprang at him. Naturally, they'll think that he took the
jewels. Especially, as they won't find them on him. A man who can
open a locked safe through a closed door is just the sort of fellow
who would be able to get rid of the swag neatly while rolling about
the floor with the valet. His not having the jewels will make the
case all the blacker against him. And what will make them still more
certain that he is the thief is that he really is a detective.
Spike, you ought to be in some sort of a home, you know."

The Bowery boy looked disturbed.

"I didn't t'ink of dat, boss," he admitted.

"Of course not. One can't think of everything. Now, if you will just
hand me those diamonds, I will put them back where they belong."

"Put dem back, boss!"

"What else would you propose? I'd get you to do it, only I don't
think putting things back is quite in your line."

Spike handed over the jewels. The boss was the boss, and what he
said went. But his demeanor was tragic, telling eloquently of hopes

Jimmy took the necklace with something of a thrill. He was a
connoisseur of jewels, and a fine gem affected him much as a fine
picture affects the artistic. He ran the diamonds through his
fingers, then scrutinized them again, more closely this time.

Spike watched him with a slight return of hope. It seemed to him
that the boss was wavering. Perhaps, now that he had actually
handled the jewels, he would find it impossible to give them up. To
Spike, a diamond necklace of cunning workmanship was merely the
equivalent of so many "plunks"; but he knew that there were men,
otherwise sane, who valued a jewel for its own sake.

"It's a boid of a necklace, boss," he murmured, encouragingly.

"It is," said Jimmy; "in its way, I've never seen anything much
better. Sir Thomas will be glad to have it back."

"Den, you're goin' to put it back, boss?"

"I am," said Jimmy. "I'll do it just before the theatricals. There
should be a chance, then. There's one good thing. This afternoon's
affair will have cleared the air of sleuth-hounds a little."

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