Title: Psmith, Journalist Author: Pelham Grenville Wodehouse PREFACE THE conditions of life in New York are so different

from those of London that a story of this kind calls for a little explanation. There are several million inh abitants of New York. Not all of them eke out a precarious livelihood by murderi ng one another, but there is a definite section of the population which murders-not casually, on the spur of the moment, but on definitely commercial lines at so many dollars per murder. The "gangs" of New York exist in fact. I have not in vented them. Most of the incidents in this story are based on actual happenings. The Rosenthal case, where four men, headed by a genial individual calling himse lf "Gyp the Blood" shot a fellow-citizen in cold blood in a spot as public and f ashionable as Piccadilly Circus and escaped in a motor-car, made such a stir a f ew years ago that the noise of it was heard all over the world and not, as is ge nerally the case with the doings of the gangs, in New York only. Rosenthal cases on a smaller and less sensational scale are frequent occurrences on Manhattan I sland. It was the prominence of the victim rather than the unusual nature of the occurrence that excited the New York press. Most gang victims get a quarter of a column in small type. P. G. WODEHOUSE New York, 1915 CHAPTER I "COSY MOMENTS" The man in the street would not have known it, but a great crisis was imminent i n New York journalism. Everything seemed much as usual in the city. The cars ran blithely on Broadway. Newsboys shouted "Wux-try!" into the ears of nervous pedestrians with their usua l Caruso-like vim. Society passed up and down Fifth Avenue in its automobiles, a nd was there a furrow of anxiety upon Society's brow? None. At a thousand street corners a thousand policemen preserved their air of massive superiority to the things of this world. Not one of them showed the least sign of perturbation. Nev ertheless, the crisis was at hand. Mr. J. Fillken Wilberfloss, editor-in-chief o f Cosy Moments, was about to leave his post and start on a ten weeks' holiday. In New York one may find every class of paper which the imagination can conceive . Every grade of society is catered for. If an Esquimau came to New York, the fi rst thing he would find on the bookstalls in all probability would be the Blubbe r Magazine, or some similar production written by Esquimaux for Esquimaux. Every body reads in New York, and reads all the time. The New Yorker peruses his favou rite paper while he is being jammed into a crowded compartment on the subway or leaping like an antelope into a moving Street car. There was thus a public for Cosy Moments. Cosy Moments, as its name (an inspirat ion of Mr. Wilberfloss's own) is designed to imply, is a journal for the home. I t is the sort of paper which the father of the family is expected to take home w ith him from his office and read aloud to the chicks before bed-time. It was fou nded by its proprietor, Mr. Benjamin White, as an antidote to yellow journalism. One is forced to admit that up to the present yellow journalism seems to be com peting against it with a certain measure of success. Headlines are still of as g enerous a size as heretofore, and there is no tendency on the part of editors to scamp the details of the last murder-case. Nevertheless, Cosy Moments thrives. It has its public.

Its contents are mildly interesting, if you like that sort of thing. There is a "Moments in the Nursery" page, conducted by Luella Granville Waterman, to which parents are invited to contribute the bright speeches of their offspring, and wh ich bristles with little stories about the nursery canary, by Jane (aged six), a nd other works of rising young authors. There is a "Moments of Meditation" page, conducted by the Reverend Edwin T. Philpotts; a "Moments Among the Masters" pag e, consisting of assorted chunks looted from the literature of the past, when fo reheads were bulgy and thoughts profound, by Mr. Wilberfloss himself; one or two other pages; a short story; answers to correspondents on domestic matters; and a "Moments of Mirth" page, conducted by an alleged humorist of the name of B. He nderson Asher, which is about the most painful production ever served up to a co nfiding public. The guiding spirit of Cosy Moments was Mr. Wilberfloss. Circumstances had left t he development of the paper mainly to him. For the past twelve months the propri etor had been away in Europe, taking the waters at Carlsbad, and the sole contro l of Cosy Moments had passed into the hands of Mr. Wilberfloss. Nor had he prove d unworthy of the trust or unequal to the duties. In that year Cosy Moments had reached the highest possible level of domesticity. Anything not calculated to ap peal to the home had been rigidly excluded. And as a result the circulation had increased steadily. Two extra pages had been added, "Moments Among the Shoppers" and "Moments with Society." And the advertisements had grown in volume. But the work had told upon the Editor. Work of that sort carries its penalties with it. Success means absorption, and absorption spells softening of the brain. Whether it was the strain of digging into the literature of the past every week, or the effort of reading B. Henderson Asher's "Moments of Mirth" is uncertain. At any rate, his duties, combined with the heat of a New York summer, had sapped Mr. Wilberfloss's health to such an extent that the doctor had ordered him ten weeks' complete rest in the mountains. This Mr. Wilberfloss could, perhaps, have endured, if this had been all. There are worse places than the mountains of Ame rica in which to spend ten weeks of the tail-end of summer, when the sun has cea sed to grill and the mosquitoes have relaxed their exertions. But it was not all . The doctor, a far-seeing man who went down to first causes, had absolutely dec lined to consent to Mr. Wilberfloss's suggestion that he should keep in touch wi th the paper during his vacation. He was adamant. He had seen copies of Cosy Mom ents once or twice, and he refused to permit a man in the editor's state of heal th to come in contact with Luella Granville Waterman's "Moments in the Nursery" and B. Henderson Asher's "Moments of Mirth." The medicine-man put his foot down firmly. "You must not see so much as the cover of the paper for ten weeks," he said. "An d I'm not so sure that it shouldn't be longer. You must forget that such a paper exists. You must dismiss the whole thing from your mind, live in the open, and develop a little flesh and muscle." To Mr. Wilberfloss the sentence was almost equivalent to penal servitude. It was with tears in his voice that he was giving his final instructions to his sub-ed itor, in whose charge the paper would be left during his absence. He had taken a long time doing this. For two days he had been fussing in and out of the office , to the discontent of its inmates, more especially Billy Windsor, the sub-edito r, who was now listening moodily to the last harangue of the series, with the ai r of one whose heart is not in the subject. Billy Windsor was a tall, wiry, loos e-jointed young man, with unkempt hair and the general demeanour of a caged eagl e. Looking at him, one could picture him astride of a bronco, rounding up cattle , or cooking his dinner at a camp-fire. Somehow he did not seem to fit into the Cosy Moments atmosphere. "Well, I think that that is all, Mr. Windsor," chirruped the editor. He was a li

ttle man with a long neck and large pince-nez, and he always chirruped. "You und erstand the general lines on which I think the paper should be conducted?" The s ub-editor nodded. Mr. Wilberfloss made him tired. Sometimes he made him more tir ed than at other times. At the present moment he filled him with an aching weari ness. The editor meant well, and was full of zeal, but he had a habit of coverin g and recovering the ground. He possessed the art of saying the same obvious thi ng in a number of different ways to a degree which is found usually only in poli ticians. If Mr. Wilberfloss had been a politician, he would have been one of tho se dealers in glittering generalities who used to be fashionable in American pol itics. "There is just one thing," he continued "Mrs. Julia Burdett Parslow is a little inclined--I may have mentioned this before--" "You did," said the sub-editor Mr. Wilberfloss chirruped on, unchecked. "A little inclined to be late with her 'Moments with Budding Girlhood' If this s hould happen while I am away, just write her a letter, quite a pleasant letter, you understand, pointing out the necessity of being in good time. The machinery of a weekly paper, of course, cannot run smoothly unless contributors are in goo d time with their copy. She is a very sensible woman, and she will understand, I am sure, if you point it out to her." The sub-editor nodded. "And there is just one other thing. I wish you would correct a slight tendency I have noticed lately in Mr. Asher to be just a trifle--well, not precisely risky , but perhaps a shade broad in his humour." "His what?" said Billy Windsor. "Mr. Asher is a very sensible man, and he will be the first to acknowledge that his sense of humour has led him just a little beyond the bounds. You understand? Well, that is all, I think. Now I must really be going, or I shall miss my trai n. Good-bye, Mr. Windsor." "Good-bye," said the sub-editor thankfully. At the door Mr. Wilberfloss paused with the air of an exile bidding farewell to his native land, sighed, and trotted out. Billy Windsor put his feet upon the table, and with a deep scowl resumed his tas k of reading the proofs of Luella Granville Waterman's "Moments in the Nursery." CHAPTER II BILLY WINDSOR Billy Windsor had started life twenty-five years before this story opens on his father's ranch in Wyoming. From there he had gone to a local paper of the type w hose Society column consists of such items as "Pawnee Jim Williams was to town y esterday with a bunch of other cheap skates. We take this opportunity of once mo re informing Jim that he is a liar and a skunk," and whose editor works with a r evolver on his desk and another in his hip-pocket. Graduating from this, he had proceeded to a reporter's post on a daily paper in a Kentucky town, where there were blood feuds and other Southern devices for preventing life from becoming du ll. All this time New York, the magnet, had been tugging at him. All reporters d ream of reaching New York. At last, after four years on the Kentucky paper, he h

an' den I swats dem bote some more. cos I t'inks maybe youse'll look after her. All of which may go to explain why his normal aspect was that of a caged eagle. He was always ready at any moment to become the champion of the oppressed on the slightest provocation. "Well?" said Billy. "Say!" said Pugsy. He was a nonchalant youth. minus the lobe of one ear and plus a long scar that ran diagonally across his left shoulder. "It's a kitty what I got in de street." he said. the expression of wh ich never varied. mask-like face. His alliance with Pugsy Maloney had begun on the occasion when he had rescued that youth from the clutches of a large negro. Billy had not inquired into the rights and wrongs of the matter: he had m .ad come East. "Dere was two fellers in de st reet sickin' a dawg on to her. Billy had been in a bad way when he had happened upon the sub-editorship of Cosy Moments. but these things ar e a great deal a matter of luck. Put her down. as if he were seeing it for the first time. He had no chance of attracting the notice of big editors by his present wo rk. however. and was silent. and he had no leisure for doing any other. fussin' de poor dumb animal?' An' one of de guys." he said. But he still dreamed of winning through to a post on one of the big New York dailies. who. 'I'm de guy what's goin' to swat youse one on de coco if youse don't quit fussin' de poor dumb animal. was endeavouring to sla y him. combined the toughest of muscle with the softest of hearts. Master Maloney fixed an expressionle ss eye on the ceiling. "I wasn't hoitin' her. probably from the soundest of motives. brooding over the outpourings of Luella Granville Waterman. the office-boy. bearing a struggling cat. and for a while Billy felt that a regular salary was th e greatest thing on earth. The unfortunate thing. But it was regular. looking up.' G'wan! What do youse t' ink you're doin'. an' I gets de kitty. 'G' wan! Who do youse t'ink youse is?' An' I says. "Don't hurt the poor brute. "Hello.' So wit da t he makes a break at swattin' me one. without emotion. an' I brin gs her in here. which the various papers to which he supplied them cut down to a couple of inc hes. and the salary was infinitesi mal. which sprang nimbly on to an upper sh elf of the book-case. an' I swats de odder feller one. Billy Windsor. He appeared unconscious of the cat. Things had not come Billy Windsor's way. An' I comes up an' says. His work had been confined to turning in reports of fires and small street accidents . To him. and had worked without much success as a free-lance. He despised the work with all his heart. there entere d Pugsy Maloney. where there was something doing and a man would have a chance of showing what was in him. he says. like most men of the plains." Master Maloney obediently dropped the cat. what have you got there?" Master Maloney eyed the cat. The cub-reporter cannot make a name for himself unless he is favoured by fortune." And having finished this Homeric narrative. Its existence did not seem to occur to him. He was tough and ready for anything that might come his way. with a freckled. but I swats him one. was that Cosy Moments took up his time so comple tely.

"You're a little sport. And Pugsy. and dey all has dose collars. Why did you never tell us? Are you go ing to join the gang some day?" . He's a cousin of mine." said Master Maloney with pride." Billy had noticed earlier in the proceedings that a narrow leather collar encirc led the cat's neck. He had not paid any particular attention to it. but Pugsy. had shown in many ways that he was not ungrateful. in lieu of a saucer. tell him I've got the cat. You know where I live?" "Sure. "Is he?" said Billy. while Billy Winds or. Keep the change. and was sitting on the table. So you think th at's his cat?" "Sure." "Sure thing. mounting a chair. She's probably starvi ng. Pugsy." "Well. carrying a five-cent bottle of milk. concentrated himself on the cat. He's me cousin. Billy. and every one wit o ne of dem collars round deir neck. He's got a lot of dem for fair. she suspended her operations and adjourned for refreshments. turned again to Luella Granville Waterman. Dey all have dose collars." assented Master Maloney. having no immedi ate duties on hand. and that if he wants it he'd better come round to my place. "Say!" he said. He's got twenty-t'ree of dem. proceeded to chirrup and snap his fingers in the effort to establish the foundations of an entente cordiale with the rescued cat." "Who's Bat Jarvis? Do you mean the gang-leader?" "Sure. Pugsy!" he cried. Here" --he produced a dollar-bill--"go out and get some milk for the poor brute." "Fancy you being a cousin of Bat's. "What about it?" he said. business being business. though he had made no ver bal comment on the affair. "Bully for you. "Nice sort of fellow to have in the family." "What about her?" "Pipe de leather collar she's wearing. the animal had vacated the book-shelf. He strolled slowly out. "Guess I know where dat kitty belongs. By the time that Pugsy returned. "Well?" "Dat kitty. The milk having been poured into the lid of a tobacco-tin." "Are you on speaking terms with the gentleman?" "Huh?" "Do you know Bat Jarvis to speak to?" "Sure.erely sailed in and rescued the office-boy. I guess she's one of Bat Jarvis's kitties. washing her face.

I have been here a week. I came over here principally. Psmith. No cow-boy has let off his revolver at random in Broadway. 'Psmith is losing his illusions. I anticipated that on my return the cry would go round Cambridge. Rah!' But what do we find?" He paused. 'Psmith has been to New York. He is fu ll of oats." said Psmith. The cabl es flash the message across the ocean. admirable to the apostle of social refor m. For he on honey-dew hath fed. I'm goin' to be a cow-boy. all eager for a treat. Comrade Jackson. It was the end of their first year at Cambridge. to be at your side.. and I have not seen a single citizen clubbed by a policeman. I wished my visit to be a tonic rather than a sedative. which was touring the cricket -playing section of the United States. But at the same time I confess that at the back of my mind there lurked a hope that stirring ad ventures might come my way.C. who had played cricket in a rather desultory way at the Unive rsity.C. He is hot stuff. it is true. "Oh. and lit a cigarette. with a centu ry against Oxford to his credit. indeed? We find a town very like London. out you get . A quiet." said Master Maloney. my lad. because if I'm interrupted any more I shan't get through to-night. Psmith had accompanied him in a private c apacity. but disappointing to one who. And now. CHAPTER III AT "THE GARDENIA" "It would ill beseem me. and drunk the milk of Paradise. "What?" "A very judicious query. I had heard so much of the place." said Master Maloney. What. "to run down the metropolis of a great and friendly nation.. Report had it that an earnest seeker after amusement might have a tolerably spacious rag in this m odern Byzantium." "Good for you."Nope. "I don't know. Comrade Jackson." "What's the matter with it?" asked Mike. like myself. I thought that a few weeks here might restore that keen edge to my nervous system which the languor of the past term had in a measure blunted. had been one of the first to be invited to join the tour. He had merely taken the opportunity of Mi . arrives with a brush and a little bucket of red paint." "Sure. thoughtfully sipping his coffee. had not risen to these heights. self-respecting town. Nothin' doin'." said Mike. and Mike. I shall want one to carry this animal home in . No negroes dance cake-walks in the street. "Too decorous." "Huh?" "Go out and get a good big basket. Well. Comrade Jackson. should you be in any way persecuted by scoundrels. you tell him when you see him. but candour compels me to state that New York is in some respects a singularly blighted tow n." "Sure.'" Mike had come to America with a team of the M. "What do we find?" he asked again. and Pugsy. retiring.

rising. He was not a member of t he team. was exp ressing loud disapproval of the efforts of one of the waiters to drive it from i ts post with a walking-stick. The head-waiter. was delighted with everything. to which the cat was maintai ning an attitude of reserved hostility. we will engage him in conversation. I wonder w hat he's got in the basket. "Id is. "I have a suspicion. so that the advantages of the hospitality did not reach him. These having arrived. New Y ork is a better city than London to be alone in." When they arrived on the scene of hostilities. A man with a basketful of sandwiches does n ot need to dine at restaurants. with unkempt hair. but a trifle quiet. Instantly. What i s the most likely thing for a man to have in a basket? You would reply.ke's visit to the other side to accompany him." The young man at the next table had ordered a jug of milk to be accompanied by a saucer. "Comrade Jackson. and there was no limit to the hospitali ty with which the visitors were treated. The cricket so far had been rather of the picnic order. the young man had just possessed himself of the walking-stick." he said. He saw far too little of Mike. Psmith was becoming bored. Cambridge had proved pleasant to Psmith." He placed it carefully on the floor beside his chair. A waiter made an ingratiating gesture towards the basket. a stout impassive German. a large grey cat shot up like a rocket. He was a tal l." said Psmith. and seated himself at the next table. with a yell which made the young man's table the centre of interest to all the diner s. but it is never pleasant to be alone in any big city. sonny. and darted across the room. a young man pa ssed them. Waiters rus hed to and fro." he said. having secured a strong strategic position on the top of a large oil-painting which hung on the far wall. It is hard to astonish the waiters at a New York restaurant. carrying a basket. "This stays right here. Psmith wa tched with silent interest. whose tastes in pleasure were simple. ha d taken his stand on a point of etiquette. The young man. seeing these manoeuvres. "we must be in this. Comrade Jackson. "Not on your life. So far the visit had failed to satisfy him.' Error." he said. "that this will prove to be a so mewhat stout fellow. To-night was one of the rare occasions when Mike could get away. If possible. Psmith watched him thoughtfully. . "to bring gats into der grill-room vorbidden. As they sat discussing New York's shortcomings over their coffee. He turned furiously on the head-waiter. but it was very pleasant. he proceeded to lift the basket on to his lap. De r gendleman--" The young man meanwhile was making enticing sounds. We must try again. and remove the lid from the basket. loose-jointed young man. No gendleman would gats into der grill-room bring. 'sandwiches. The cat. but when the cat pe rformed this feat there was a squeal of surprise all round the room. I must get my Sherlock Holmes system to work. He had welcomed the chance of getting a change of sc ene. and was deep in a complex argument with the head-w aiter on the ethics of the matter. futile but energetic. po ur the milk into the saucer. in your unthinking way. When he wished to consult his confidential secretary and adviser on some aspect of Life. but the young man stop ped him. Mike. and rushed to the rescue. uttered a wrathful shout. and proceeded to order dinner. It was this more than anything which ha d caused Psmith's grave disapproval of things American. that invaluable offi cial was generally absent at dinner with the rest of the team. He had all the disadvantages.

"You don't know who that is?" he whispered. apparently anxious to fight all-comers in her defence. and the head-waiter had ceased to ho ver. tha t things in New York were too quiet. You are a man of the world." said the alleged duke. Psmith stepped forward and touched him on the arm. when they were seated. "the pet of our English Smart Set . and was now standing with her in his arms. This is a great moment. The head-waiter approached deferentially. too decorous. "Der gendleman would not der gat into--" Psmith shook his head pityingly. to correct the effects of a fatiguing day. Comrade--" . Perhaps you would care to join us?" "Sure. The young man meanwhile had broken down the cat's reserve. Shall we b e moving back? We were about to order a second instalment of coffee. he wishes to preserve his incognito. The head-w aiter bowed."For goodness' sake. "can't you see the poor brute's scared stiff? Wh y don't you clear your gang of German comedians away." said Psmith." The young man looked inquiringly at Psmith. I am Psmith. you understand. "He is here strictly incognito." he cried." said Psmith warningly. one of the Shropshire Psmiths. before you introduced your very interesting performing-animal speciality. Frederick?" The head-waiter's eye rested upon the young man with a new interest and respect. "haf everything exblained. "is a great meeting." he said. "Let me present Comrade Jackson." asserted the head-waiter. "This. and give her a chance to c ome down?" "Der gendleman--" argued the head-waiter. Comrade--may I call you Freddie? Yo u understand." "Ingognito?" "You understand. Comrade Freddie. "No gendleman he is. "These petty matters of etiquette are not for his Grace--but. "May I have a word with you in private?" "Zo?" Psmith drew him away. nodding towards the young man. The head -waiter nodded. I have an inkling. You follow me." said Psmith. I was complaining with some acerbity to Comrade Jackso n. hush. who beamed in a friendly manner thr ough his eye-glass. that in a man in his Grace's position a few littl e eccentricities may be pardoned. All will now quite satisfactory b e. indicating Psmith. "Der gendleman. who winked encouragingly. "He is noble?" he inquired with awe.

"that Comrade Windsor may not prove to be the genial spirit for whom I have been searching. I should ask no more." he added. but in the daytime it was a settee and nothing but a settee." Psmith gazed with interest at the cat." "I have an inkling. The office-boy on our paper got her away from a dog this morn ing. During the daytime this one room loses all traces of be ing used for sleeping purposes at night. Billy Windsor's room was very much like a public-school study." said Mike. it is imperative that I have some solid man to accompany me in my ramblin gs hither and thither. "Then let us stagger forth with Comrade Windsor. I am not half sure. "I regret that the bright little sheet has not come my way up to the present." said Psmith. or is it a domestic pet?" "I've adopted her. come along with me to my place. that we see eye to eye on the subject. But here he comes. There's more doing there in a day than there is here in a month. and I lived in Kentucky a whi le. and the average bachelor's apartments consist of one room with a bathroom opening off it. Space in New Yor k is valuable." said Billy Windsor. There was no space for a great deal of furniture. as they walked out. "Are you training that animal for a show of some ki nd. Let us foregather with him and observe him in private life before arriving at any premature decision. mingling with the gay t hrong." CHAPTER IV BAT JARVIS Billy Windsor lived in a single room on East Fourteenth Street. Comrade Jackson."Windsor's my name. with a touch of shame. He is cont ent to order his movements in the main by my judgment. a table. and gave her to me.. While he is loading up that bas ket." "Your paper?" "Cosy Moments. Say. which was l apping milk from the saucer. two ordinary chairs . a typewriter--nobody uses pens in New York--and on the . and he yielded. a book-stand. There was one rocking-chair. But with you constantly away. I must seize an early opportunity of per using it. "Comrade Jackson. I assured him that all wo uld be well. Comrade Windsor." "It will be a pleasure. how di d you fix it with the old man?" "With Comrade Freddie? I have a certain amount of influence with him. At night this became a bed." "You've no paternal pride in the little journal?" "It's bad enough to hurt. I was raised in the plains." said Billy Windsor disgustedly." "Don't you do it.. Comrade Windsor. "Cosy Moments?" said Psmith reflectively. have you any previous en gagement for to-night?" "I'm not doing anything. we will be collecting our hats. Along one wall ran a settee. If you could give me your undivided comp any. "If you really want t o see it.." "I guess that's right. It is possible that Comrade Windsor may possess the quali fications necessary for the post. and I'll show you a copy.

Are you with me. built for two. is located in one of these vast caravanserai--to be exact. During the interview which followed. his jaw prominent. His mouth was wide . relics of their owner's prairie days. He tossed them on to the settee by Psmith's side. stretched out his legs and lit a ci garette. pro ved to be a whistled tune. Not. "A peaceful scene. we m ust dash there with the vim of highly-trained smell-dogs. You should move there. Comrade Windsor." said Mike. relax. on acquaintance. drawings." said Billy Windsor. which gave him the appearance of having no forehead at all." he said. it would be a pleasure to me to peruse that little jo urnal of which you spoke. planting himse lf in the rocker. the visitor whistled softly and unceasingly. It is my aim to see New York in all its phases. "Mr. the sort of man you would have picked out on sight as a model citizen. There was an indescribable air of toughness about him. Comra de Jackson?" "All right. like myself. alert. I don 't know if you mind that?" "Far from it. hav ing moved restlessly about for some moments. I hold that there is nothing like one's own ro of-tree." "It's beastly expensive at the Astor. "There you are. Comrade Jackson. Billy's first act on arriving in this sanctum was to release the cat. except when he w as speaking. which. His entrance was marked by a curious sibilant sound. Our nervous systems must be conserved. Windsor?" he said to the company at large. in short. sinking gracefully down beside it. too. keen. stout young man. You have snug q uarters up here. I think we will hunt a round for some such cubby-hole as this. Anon. Comrade Windsor. knives." said Mike. I f a certain amount of harmless revelry can be whacked out of Fourth Avenue. followed by a knock upon the door. Mike took one of the ordinary chairs. "Three great minds. and skins. restless d uring business hours.walls a mixed collection of photographs." observed Psmith. "And now. "if you really feel like it. and settled itself on a corner of the settee . Don't say I didn't warn y ou. All is calm and pleasant chit-chat. a performance which he kept up untiringly all the time. The next moment there appe ared in the doorway a short. "The place has that drawback also. and Billy Windsor. the Astor--to pass a few moments in the quiet p rivacy of an apartment such as this." Psmith had picked up one of the papers when there came a shuffling of feet in th e passage outside. finally came to the conclusion that there was no means of getting out. It's not much of a neighbourhood. Comrade Windsor. It is a great treat to one who. His eyes were small and set close together. began to rock rhythmically to and fro. partly due to the fact that he wore his hair in a well-oile d fringe almost down to his eyebrows. which. "you can get quite good flats very cheap . Over the door was the head of a young bear. . read on." Billy Windsor stretched out an arm and pulled a bundle of papers from the book-s tand. Psmith. I have had so few opportunities of getting into touch with the literature of this great country. If you've got the nerve." "On Fourth Avenue. Furnished.

For Mr. and the Tenderloin. and especially the Groome Street Gang. stepping forward. A man may win a purely local reputation.Psmith waved a hand towards the rocking-chair. if they like you. broadly speakin g. Tommy Jefferson. and Pete Brodie. Jarvis a celebrity. in the heart of the Bowery. it had come into being from motives of sheer benevolence." "Are you Bat Jarvis?" asked Windsor with interest. And Mr. birds. And this habit. It is t rue that. had gone such stalwarts as Long Otto. named the Shamrock and presided over by one M aginnis. to vote ten times in a single day for you." he said. Maginn is for one held him in the very highest esteem. This was on the ground-floor. He had a fancier's shop in Groome street. A man who can vote. if only for eccentricity. pickpockets and the like. He offered him a handsome salary to be on hand at the nightly dances and check undue revelry by his own robust methods. And. Mr. the most noted of all New York's collections of Ap aches. Maginn is found. His face lit up. In the u nderworld of New York his name was a by-word. to make hay. More. But Mr. flocked to Mr. Broadway knew him . Jarvis was a celebrity. "That. and--more important stil l--the nucleus of the Groome Street Gang had been formed. is the art of voting a number of different times at different polling-station s on election days. as his detractors pointed out. with his followers. O ff-shoots of the main gang sprang up here and there about the East Side. For he. At the Shamrock nightly dances were given and well attended by the youth of the neighbourhood at ten cents a head. and w hose numbers had so recently been reduced to twenty-two. curiously enough. For genuine lovers of the dance fought shy of a place where at any moment Philistines might burst in and b reak heads and furniture. He had gone to Shamrock Hall. "Sure. is worth cultivating. and touching the cat's collar. and snakes. In this crisis the proprietor thought of his friend Ba t Jarvis." said the visitor. As he looked round the room. England's favourite son. say. Tammany Hall knew him. and once in. by such means . mister. he had killed no one--a defect which he had subsequently corrected. By profession he was a dealer in animals. and it was there that he kept the twenty-three cats whose necks were adorned with leather collars. I am Psmith." The visitor blinked furtively. and whistled another tune. but his admirers based his claim to respect on his many meritorious performances with fists and with the black-jack. Shamrock Hall became a place of joy and order. "Say!" he said. So the po . The work progressed. were of use to t he politicians. he was the founder and originator of it. It was the practice of these light-hearted sportsmen to pay thei r ten cents for admittance. Small t hieves. had it not been for certain other youths of the neighbo urhood who did not dance and so had to seek other means of getting rid of their surplus energy. Bat at that time had a solid reputation as a man of his hands. Bat ha d accepted the offer. Jarvis as their tribal leader a nd protector and he protected them. Jarvis's reputation was far from being purely local. "mine. A ll might have been well. and with him. In Groome Street in those days there had been a dance-hall. Long Island City knew him. his eye fell on the cat. faithful adher ents. Red Logan. and laid his painful case before him. To Bat accordingly he went. have brought to a fine art the gentle practice of "repeating". as of a monarch ab andoning his incognito. To your right is Comrade Jackson. ten times in a single day for you. But it was not the fact that he possessed twenty-three cats with leather collars that made Mr. an Irishman and a friend of Bat's. not without a touch of complacency. The New York gangs. which. His living abode was in the upper story of that house. and who controls a great number of followers who are also prepared. "is Comrade Wind sor. was having a marked effect on his earnings. For Bat Jarvis was the leader of t he famous Groome Street Gang.

They heard him shuffling downstairs. Bat Jarvis." Mr. "Obliged." said Mr. "We found two fellows setting a dog on to it. Comrade Jarvis's massive silences appeal to me. "Say!" he said." Mr. "And rightly. from what I've heard about him. "Any time you're in bad. touching the cat's neck "Mine. "Say!" he said. but what of that? I am a man of few words myself. "Obliged. if you want it." Psmith nodded approvingly. met Psmith's eye-glass. Obliged. "Say!" he said at length." "Pugsy said it must be. still whistling softly." said Billy Windsor. You know the add ress. Jarvis. Glad to be of service." He paused and whistled a few more bars. then nodded to Psmith and Mike. A most companionable animal." Mr. "Rightly. Jarvis stooped. Here. mister.. I guess there's n . He shifted the cat on to his left arm. Her knockabou t act in the restaurant would have satisfied the most jaded critic. was transfixed by it for a moment." Billy Windsor laughed. "There's a basket here. "Pipe de collar. perhaps." he added. Still. kit." said Psmith. he would be a mighty useful friend to have. and paused. and the police left the Groome Street G ang unmolested and they waxed fat and flourished. and.. Good night." said Billy. Comrade Windsor. . She is not unworthy of your af fection. Mr. "Shake!" he said. and fin ally turned again to Billy Windsor. He se ems to have taken a fancy to you. Jarvis eyed him fixedly. and left the room. No diner-out can afford to be without such a cat. lifted the cat. as if pondering over his remarks. "Not garrulous. and extended his right hand to Billy. fixing his roving gaze once more upon Billy. Then he turned to Billy again. He looked round the company. Such was Bat Jarvis. Billy did so. so we took it in for safety. Fond of de kit. "A blithe spirit. if one got mixed up with any of tha t East-Side crowd." he said.liticians passed the word to the police. full of the highest spirits. I am. "I don't know that he's just the sort of side-partner I'd go out of my way to ch oose. "Nope. Jarvis continued to stand and whistle for a few moments more. Comrade Jarvis. Such a cat spells death to boredom. Groome Street. Jarvis nodded approval.

you'll see that each page is run by some one." "Assuredly not. you are its back-bone." said Mike. but what is your techni cal position? When your proprietor is congratulating himself on having secured t he ideal man for your job. "It is like setting a gifted French c hef to wash up dishes." He turne d to Billy Windsor. should have more scope." said Psmith." he said. "They must." he said." "I expect some people would like it awfully. bulging forehead. He ju st sits tight and draws the profits. There's no room for develop ing free untrammelled ideas on this paper. what precise job does he congratulate himself on havi ng secured the ideal man for?" "I'm sub-editor. And now." he said. "Well. He never comes near the paper. You must have scope." "You bet I'm not. His opinion will be bot h of interest and of profit to you. Comrade Windsor." said Psmith. C omrade Windsor?" . "A man of your undoubted powers. and what is your verdict?" Mike looked at Billy Windsor. 'more scope!' I must look into this matter. When I gaze at your broad. yet he could find nothing polite to say. He wished to be polite. He lets the editor look after things. and hear the grey matter splashing restlessly abou t in your cerebellum." he added to Billy. we know well. untrammelled." Psmith was deep in Lucia Granville Waterman's "Moments in the Nursery. here is one for you. or somewhere. its life-blood. Comrade Windso r. That is the cry. "We should not despise the humblest. It can't be worse than what I think. taking up the paper again "let me concentrate myself tens ely on this very entertaining little journal of yours. Comrade Jackson. When you've looked at it." said Billy Windsor. You are free. "Say it. At Carlsbad. Billy interpreted the look. "Comrade Jac kson's name is a by-word in our English literary salons. "Luella Granville Waterman. "is not by any chance your nom-de-plume. I'm simply the fellow who minds the shop. who was turning over the leaves of his cop y of Cosy Moments in a sort of dull despair. Comrade Windsor. "Go on." Psmith clicked his tongue sympathetically. or they wouldn't buy it. For sound." "Ah! then at last you have your big chance. I've never met any of them yet.'" He looked at Mike. I say to myself without hesitation." "He's in Europe." CHAPTER V PLANNING IMPROVEMENTS "By the way. "Guess again. Comr ade Windsor. 'Comrade Windsor must have more scope." "Merely sub? You deserve a more responsible post than that. when I see the clear light of intelligence in your eyes." he said. though. Whe re is your proprietor? I must buttonhole him and point out to him what a wealth of talent he is allowing to waste itself. clear-headed criticism. Just at present I'm acting as editor. Comrade Jackson.o harm done by getting him grateful. "what is your exact position on this paper? Practical ly.

" "My opinion in a nutshell. You must show the world that even Cosy Moments cannot keep a g ood man down. I can't. Moreover." said Mike." Psmith rose. His holiday will have cleared his brain. You may safely build upon him." repeated Psmith firmly." "But. must be to sack her." "I am glad. is there a single feature you would willingly retain?" "I don't think there is. Comrade Windsor?" "I guess not. "has a secure reputation on the other side for the keen ness and lucidity of his views upon literature. Psmith turned to Mike. The editor thinks a heap of her stuff. I have a suspicion that he will be th e first to approve your action." said Psmith. Now. I don't see how I'm going to fix it." "Sufficient unto the day. concentrated bilge she gets away with the biscuit with almost insolent ease. "It's all pretty bad rot. approvingly. if you were editing this paper. "Comrade Jackson. "Your first act." "I guess it'll be followed pretty quick by improvement number two--the sacking o f William Windsor. You must move. you have touched the spot. Comrade Windsor. But he'll come back. I can't go monkeying about with the paper that way. You must boost this sheet up till New York rings with your exploits. say." Psmith reflected for a moment. y ou said. my views on the mat . You yearn for scope. I n England when Comrade Jackson says 'Turn' we all turn. What exactly are your ambitions?" "I want to get a job on one of the big dailies. "Comrade Jackson. You must strike out a l ine for yourself. and tapped him earnestly on the chest. at the present rate." he expl ained. You must hustle. turning to Billy."Not on your life. though. Make a note of improvement number one--the sacking of Luella Granville Waterman. I must confe ss that for sheer." "As I suspected. I think." He resumed his seat. that he was away?" "So he is. "Has this job of yours any special attractions for you. Luella Granville Waterman must go. You are wasting the golden hours of your youth. speaking as man to man." "We cannot help his troubles. You must make Windsor of Cosy Momen ts a name to conjure with. "Comrade Windsor. "How do you mean?" said Billy Windsor. "For. now that you have swiped the editorial chair. We must act for the good of the paper." said Psmith courteously." "How do you mean?" "She must go. On the present lines that is impossible. Don't think it.

briefly. Fortunately. needs more snap. we shall produce a bright. Ga." he said. but. have little cause to r egret your decision. But. J. murders. "I'm on. informing Luella Granville Waterman and the others (and in particular B. I will becom e your sub-editor. It is at your disposal. We must be a search-light." he said. I fancy. were it not backed b y such a virtuoso as Comrade Jackson)." said Psmith. Fillken Wilberfloss returned and found the apple of his eye torn as under and. Letters must be despatched to-morrow morning. "Comrade Jackson." Billy Windsor sat and rocked himself in his chair without replying. The trifling fact that the despised journal was the p roperty of Mr. You. who from a cursory glance strikes me as an ideal candidate for a lethal chamber) that. enthusiastically. An occasional congratulatory telegram. now to Saskatchewan." "Let it devolve. The details of the campaign we must think out after. more go. I have had little experience o f journalistic work. His services. but I foresee that I shall be a quick learner. are the editor. Psmith smiled approvingly. and my suggestions are merely suggestions. but I fancy tha t. what was the sack? One crowded hour of gloriou s life is worth an age without a name. "And now to decide upon our main scheme. In these crises one cannot think of everything. we must be the guardians of the People's rights. Cosy Moments. After all. So far the grandeur of it had dazed him. He wondered that the idea had n ot occurred to him before. On the other hand.. You will. unless they cease their contributions instantly. we shall expect li ttle but moral support. Benjamin White. We must chronicle all the live events of the day. After that we can begin to move. therefor e." said Billy Windsor. briefly. All these putri d pages must disappear. The bulk of the work will devolve upon our two selves.ter are as follows. The editor would be away ten weeks. Henderson Asher. Above al l. Are you with m e. and the like in a manner which will make our readers' spines thrill. Now and then a br ight smile of approval. it occurred so momentarily that he did not notice it. cannot be relied upon continuously. I could wish its tone to be such that the public will wonder why we do not print it on asbestos. "That. so to speak. of cours e. He was tryin g to assimilate this idea. if it did. and he would have no name as long as he c lung to his present position. His brow suddenly cleared. subject to your ap proval. readable little she et which will in a measure make this city sit up and take notice. "Assuredly. may have occurred to him. now to Phil adelphia. if we follow those main lines. In ten weeks he c ould change Cosy Moments into a real live paper." "Bully for you. Hope leaped within him. too revolutionary. He would have ten weeks in which to try himself out." said Billy Windsor. without salary. you will be compelled to place yourself under police protection. my idea is that Cosy Moments should become red-hot stuff. fire s. "is the right spirit. deprived of its choicest pips. in my opinion (worthless. We must detect the wrong-doer. Comrade Windsor?" . accordingly. From him.. and deliver him such a series of resentful buffs that he will abandon his little games and become a mod el citizen. anon to Onehorseville. I happen to have a certain am ount of leisure just now. if I may say so. "is unhappily more fettered. and that he had no right whatever to tinker with it without that gentleman's approval. It was too s pacious." continued Psmith. s howing up the dark spot in the souls of those who would endeavour in any way to do the PEOPLE in the eye. Could it be done? It would undoubtedly mean the sack when Mr. The exigencies of his cricket tour will compel him constantly to be gadding about.

But it cann ot affect us how they writhe beneath the blow. It strikes the right note.' in parti cular. beginning 'Cosy Moments cannot be muzzled. that there were other fi elds. had I stuck to that walk in life. after we have handled the paper for a while. I like it. "I'm jolly glad it's not my paper. "I do not understand you. There are some very fine passages in that edi torial. Do you insinuate that we are not acti ng in the proprietor's best interests? When he sees the receipts." said Billy with fervour. setting forth the proposed changes. His beaming s mile will be a by-word in Carlsbad. The edito rial staff had to be satisfied with heading every page with the words "Look out! Look out!! Look out!!! See foot of page!!!!" printing in the space at the botto m the legend." he said to Mike. waiting for the next number to appear." . This was largely the work of Psmi th. many considered. The last paragraph. "I fancy I have found my metier. We are on to a big thing." "And how about the editor? I should think that first number would bring him back foaming at the mouth. Wait till you see our first number. For the moment it seems to me that I have found the job for which nature s pecially designed me. Comrade Jackson. and owing to the nearness of press day there was no time to fill it before the issue of the next number. "Are you and Windsor going to fill the whole paper yourselves?" "By no means. "It's the rummiest business I ever struck." Psmith regarded him with pained surprise. where are we? Wed ged tightly in among the ribstons. At last I have Scope. It's pretty lucky for you two lunatics that the proprietor's in Europe. Comrade Jackson. who will be delighted to weigh in with stuff for a moderate fee. as they set forth one evening in search of t heir new flat. ev en in the midst of my triumphs in the New Asiatic Bank. It should stir the blood of a free and independent people till they sit in platoons on the doorstep of our office. And without Scope. His only doubt will be whether to send his money to the bank or keep it in t ubs and roll in it. "Comrade Jackson." he said. Visitors will be shown it as one of the sigh ts. I should soon have become a financial magnate."Surest thing you know. There is no reprieve. was t he line I should take. "Next Week! See Editorial!" and compiling in conjunction a snappy editorial. It seems that Comrade Windsor knows certain stout fellows. The letters giving them the miss-in-baulk in no uncertain voice were only despatched yesterday." "How about that next number?" asked Mike." "How about Luella What's-her-name and the others? How have they taken it?" "Up to the present we have no means of ascertaining. and doubtless." Mike roared with laughter. Commerce. he will go singing about his hotel. The dismissal of Cosy Moments' entire staff of contributors le ft a gap in the paper which had to be filled. CHAPTER VI THE TENEMENTS To alter the scheme of a weekly from cover to cover is not a task that is comple ted without work. reporte rs on other papers. But something seemed to whisper to me.

He glanced up at the grimy build ings on each side." It was indeed a repellent neighbourhood in which they had arrived. It wouldn't be a scaly idea to turn that C osy Moments search-light we were talking about on to them."I have ascertained from Comrade Windsor that there is nothing to fear from that quarter. They had to feel their way up. Where we are. which are many and varied." "Let us wend in that direction." said Psmith. New York. Most of t he doors were shut but one on the second floor was ajar. On the lower floors one could see into dark. Reporters were the only tolerably well-dressed visitors Pleasant Street ever entertained. There seemed to be thousands of them. but we'll risk it. has had no room to spread. In the poorer quarters the congestio n is unbelievable. In the exhilaration of this little chat. I'm going in to h ave a look round. I can only say that I shouldn't care to have to live here." said Psmith. Ah. He was looking thoughtful. goodness only knows. stopping. The height of the houses and th e narrowness of the streets seem to condense its unpleasantness." "And when he does return. "It must be awful living in a hole like this. realising the fearful strain inflicted by reading Cosy Moments in its old for m. doubtless. "This place makes me sick." Followed by Mike." They walked on a few steps. In th e meantime." "There's a name up on the other side of that lamp-post. what are you going to do?" "By that time. I would call your attention to the fact that we see m to have lost our way. The masses of dirty clothes hanging from the fire -escapes increase the depression. bare rooms. "Look here. "Poor kids!" said Mike. and ga in in vehemence from the fact. are penned up in a sort of canyon. specifically mentioned that the paper was to be withheld from him until he re turned. It is unique. By a singular stroke of good fortune Comrade Wilberfloss--his name is Wilberfloss--has been ordered complete rest during his holiday. All the smells and noises. It was almost pitch dark on the stairs. the paper will be in so flourishing a state that he wi ll confess how wrong his own methods were and adopt ours without a murmur. and so got a little light and air. Probably they took them f or reporters hunting for a story. Through the opening the y had a glimpse of a number of women sitting round on boxes. The kindly medic o. Psmith and Mike picked their way through the groups of ragged children who cover ed the roadway. The imagination jibbed at the thought of the back rooms. Nowhere in the city does one realise so fully the disadvantages of a lack of space. for they opened on to the str eet. our footsteps h ave wandered. "I wonder who owns these places." Psmith said nothing. Comrade Jackson. The New York slum stands in a class of its own. The floor was cover . A group of men leaning again st the opposite wall looked at them without curiosity. he turned in at one of the doors. Pleasant Street? I fancy that the master-min d who chose that name must have had the rudiments of a sense of humour. It is a town of human sardines. "It seems to me that there's what you might call room for improvement. I expect some muscular householder will resent the intrusion a nd boot us out. being an island. Thes e were the star apartments of the tenement-houses.

They stumbled downstairs again and out into the street. . "if Comrade Windsor is agreeable." After leaving Pleasant Street they had found Fourth Avenue by a devious route. and looked forward to a not unenjoyable time till Mike should return . to play my part in the great work of making New Y ork sit up. Time was evidently money in Pleasant Street. All the women were sewing.ed with little heaps of linen. of course. The day was fine. let us try and get out of this place of wrath. but the landlord had as sured them that the voices of the revellers did not penetrate to it. be getting something of a move on. "It is saddening me to a great extent. as they walked on." "What are you going to do?" asked Mike. "this perpetua l parting of the ways. It was immedi ately above a saloon. in your bag. however. I will comple te the arrangements with regard to the flat. the entire stock of air used by the occupants was supposed to come. to knock the cover off the local bowling. By the time you return. it fills me with a certain melancholy to have you flitting off in this manner without me. and it seemed to him that the conduct of the remodelled Cosy Moments might supply this. Comrade Jackson. By contrast with the con ditions indoors the street seemed spacious and breezy. Psmit h came down to the ferry to see him off." said Psmith. The room was empty. It was a good re presentative Pleasant Street back room. There was a square opening in the door. And now. The architect in this case had given rei n to a passion for originality. and hung about moodily until the time o f departure. the good work should. "is where Cosy Moments gets busy at a si ngularly early date. He liked Bil ly Windsor. Your Duty summons you to Philadelphia. he felt pleased with life.. and on the whole. When I think of the happy moments we have spent hand-in-h and across the seas. I fancy. almost fell against the door. despite Mike 's desertion. "is disembowelling. What h e wants. with a century or two. He had constructed the room without a window of any sort whatsoever. it wa s to be presumed. Psmith turned to stroll to the office of Cosy Moments. None of the women looked up at the nois e. "I propose. I trust. Comrade Jackson. To me t here is something singularly impressive in our unhesitating reply to the calls o f Duty." he proceeded in the tone of a family doctor prescribing for a patient. that a mawkishly sentimental l egislature will prevent our performing that national service." said Psmith." CHAPTER VII VISITORS AT THE OFFICE On the following morning Mike had to leave with the team for Philadelphia. We must endeavour to do what we can by means of kindly criticism in the paper. Psmith's was a nature which required a certain amount of stimulus in the way of gentle excitement.. which was something of a drawback. a nd had opened negotiations for a large flat near Thirtieth Street. When the ferry-boat had borne Mike off across the river. Through this. having set tled that important point. "This." he said. to make things as warm for the owner of this place as I jolly well know how. and fi nd Fourth Avenue. Mine retains me here. I fancy. On the fourth floor there was an open door. stumbling in the darkness. Yet there is another side to the picture. Mike.

"Dey're in dere.' says he. I can't be boddered. Dere's Mr." said Master Maloney complainingly. "I was sittin' he re. Comrade Maloney. which would have belonged to the stenographer if Cosy Moments had po ssessed one. "And is Comrade Windsor in there. I don't try to give dem de t'run down." "Comrade Windsor knows his business. push t'roo inter de inner room. As Psmith passed through the front door. 'Nuttin' doin'. and a larger room beyond. Why did you let them in?" "Sure. I says. So when de rest of de bunch co mes along. Who are in there?" "De whole bunch of dem.' I says. But we must not repine. Windsor's out to lunch.' I says. De editor ain't in. lighthearted? Did they carol snatches of song a s they went? Or did they appear to be looking for some one with a hatchet?" "Dey was hoppin'-mad. Comrade Maloney.' I might as well have saved me breat'. "Can you give me any part iculars?" he asked patiently. Wit dat I sees de proposition's too fierce for muh. too. Well. 'it's up to youse.' says I." A faint smile appeared upon Psmith's face. dey just butted in. Asher and the Rev. Comrade Maloney. The offices of Cosy Moments were in a large building in the street off Madison A venue. 'I'll wait. 'is de editor in?' 'Nope. "You are well-meaning." "As I suspected. In he butts. "Say on. and he's in der now. I will interview t hese merchants. when de foist of de guys blew in. 'Nix on de goin' in act. but if youse wants to join de giddy t'ro ng. a small room. but vague." "Who. Philpotts and a gazebo wha t calls himself Waterman and about 'steen more of dem." said Psmith. "Say!" said Master Maloney. 'is de ed itor in?' 'Nope.' says he. Pugsy Maloney rose. 'Well.'" "And what more could you have said?" agreed Psmith approvingly. They consisted of a sort of outer lair." Psmith inspected Master Maloney through his eye-glass. which was the editorial sanctum. precisely?" "A whole bunch of dem. Comrad e Maloney. Mr. I can't keep dese big husky guys out if dey's for buttin' in. de whole bunch of dem. gents.' I says. These trifling contret emps are the penalties we pay for our high journalistic aims. where Pugsy Maloney spent his tim e reading tales of life in the prairies and heading off undesirable visitors. in about t'ree minutes along comes another gazebo..' says he lightin' o ut for de door. 'Boy. readin' me book. 'I'll go in an' wait. I fancy that with the aid of the Diplomatic Smile and the Honeye . "Tell me. 'B oy.' says he. in the middle of them?" "Nope. what was the general average aspect of these determined spirits?" "Huh?" "Did they seem to you to be gay.

and tell him to go out and watch the snowdrops growing in Madison Square Garden. and fixed him with a benevolent gaze through his ey e-glass.d Word I may manage to pull through. Psmith turned to him. Windsor. . Not a word was spoken as he paced. As Psmith entered. This accomplished. Philpotts proved to have been due to a great extent to a somewhat feverish imagination. may I ask?" inquired the favoured one. If he should arrive during the seance." said Master Maloney." "Sure. Windsor. The situation calls for the handling of a man of delicate culture and nice tact. To an outside spectator he wou ld have seemed rather like a very well-dressed Daniel introduced into a den of s ingularly irritable lions. and tell him not to come in. Instantly. He gazed round the room. The words broke the spell. the five visitors burst simultaneously int o speech. The others paused for the reply. Stillness brooded over the room as he carefully dusted that piece of furnitur e. It is as well. however. CHAPTER VIII THE HONEYED WORD Master Maloney's statement that "about 'steen visitors" had arrived in addition to Messrs. Comrade Maloney. having smoothed the nap of his hat and flicked a speck of dust from his coat-sleeve. Give him my compliments." "Mr. he looked up and started. having done so to his satisfaction." said Psmith with manly regret. was the simple majesty of Psmith's demeanour that for a moment there was dead silen ce. sir. and the Rev. and. that Comrade Windso r is out." The start was good and even. Asher. but the gentleman who said "Pardon me!" necessarily finished first with the rest nowhere. every eye was turned upon him. walked to the door of the inner room and went in. hitched up the knees of his trousers and sank gracefully into a sitting position. bowed. Five pairs of eyes were smouldering with a long-nurse d resentment. sir. "Are you the acting editor of this paper?" "I wish to have a word with you. "Ha! I am observed!" he murmured. I presume?" "Pardon me!" "I should like a few moments' conversation. Five brows were corrugated with wrathful lines. There were only five men in the room. Waterman. be so good as to inform him of the state of affairs. "Alas! no. perhaps. wrapped in thought. Then Psmith. Such. to the editorial chai r. Comrade Windsor would probably have endeavoured to clear the room wit h a chair. "Are you Mr.

"Same here. champing about forty cents' worth of lunch at some neighbouring hostelry." "Luella Granville Waterman. "Comrade Windsor's loss is my gain. "Where is Mr. in his opinion. withou . sir. Psmith removed hi s eye-glass." said the man who had said "Pardon me!" "I came f or the express purpose of seeing Mr." Psmith was reading the letter. He felt that he must run n o risk of not seeing clearly the husband of one who." The visitors looked at each other. "It is an outrage. So did I. "If it is in my power to do so. "Som etimes the cry goes round. sir. But how much anon I fear I cannot say. "This is exceedingly annoying. "My wife. Wilberfloss." said Psmith. Is there anything I can do for you?" "Are you on the editorial staff of this paper?" "I am acting sub-editor. The work is not light." "Then maybe you can tell me what all this means?" said a small round gentleman w ho so far had done only chorus work. And now." Psmith bowed courteously." "My name is Waterman. also. 'Can Psmith get through it all? Will his strength sup port his unquenchable spirit?' But I stagger on. Windsor. was Waterma n. Windsor?" "He is. stood alone in literary circles as a purveyor of sheer bilge." added Psmith gratuitously." he said. it shall be done." chimed in the rest." continued the little man. whose name you doubtl ess know. "It seems reasonably clear to me. I fancy." There was a pause. Comrade--I have not the pleasu re of your name. polished it. Windsor. My wife has been a contributor to this journal from its found ation. producing an envelope and handing it to Psm ith. I am here on behalf of my wife. "has received this extraordinary communication from a man signing himself W . I do not repine." said the little man proudly." "When will he return?" "Anon. Her work has given every satisfaction to Mr."Then who are you?" "I am Psmith." "Correct me if I am wrong." "So did I. and replaced it in his eye. "but I should say it. We are both at a loss to make head or tail of it.

That's the man we want to see. I do not know. They. but yours seems to me work which the world will not willingly let die. o n the one hand--" A man with a face like a walnut. actually wishes to hurry on its decease." he said. You don't know. "Where's this fellow Windsor? W. who had hitherto lurked almost unseen behind a stout person in a serge suit. comes this peremptory dismissal from W. Windsor? Where is Mr. if you please. "What's he mean by it? That's what I want to know. the se clashings of personal taste. And now up comes this Windsor fellow. for four years. and spoke his piece. "don't know. are peculiar. "Asher's my name. And that's what these gentlem en want to know--See here--" "I am addressing--?" said Psmith. I write 'Moments of Mirth. The circumstances. and tel ls me in so many words the paper's got no use for me." "You don't know!" exclaimed Mr. "And yet. Nobody knows." "I have read your page with the keenest interest. B. "I may be wrong. Who is W. "I gather that Comrade Windsor. except when I had the mumps." said a cadaverous. Windsor. Here we have." "These are life's tragedies. "Your 'Moments of Mirth. "have frequently reconciled me to the toothache. such a look as a visitor to a foreign land might wear when confronted with some great national monument.looking man with pale blue eyes and a melancholy face." murmured Psmith. indicating the rest with a wa ve of the hand. Th at he should be privileged to look upon the author of "Moments of Mirth" in the flesh. "I don't know.'" A look almost of excitement came into Psmith's face. "I have contributed 'Moments of Meditatio n' to this journal for a very considerable period of time.'" said Psmith." He reseated himself. His locality is as hard to ascertain . bobbed into the open. It seemed that that was what they all wanted to know: Wh o was W.t the slightest warning. Wilberfloss?" The chorus burst forth. W ilberfloss is." The Reverend Edwin's frosty face thawed into a bleak smile. "may I shake your hand?" The other extended his hand with some suspicion. shaking it. sir. and I've reason to know that my page was as widely read and appreciated as any in New York. "this is a painful case. which make up what we call life. Windsor. as you will re adily admit when you have heard all." continued Psmith. Henderson Asher. Windsor? Where was Mr." said Psmith. "Gentlemen. Waterman. You have asked me where Mr. face to face." he said reverently. "Comrade Asher." said Psmith. Philpotts. It is these strange contradictions. on the other hand. Wilberfloss? "I am the Reverend Edwin T. was almost too much. I've be en working for this paper without a break.

as that of a black cat in a coal-cellar on a moonless night. Shortly before I jo ined this journal, Mr. Wilberfloss, by his doctor's orders, started out on a hol iday, leaving no address. No letters were to be forwarded. He was to enjoy compl ete rest. Where is he now? Who shall say? Possibly legging it down some rugged s lope in the Rockies, with two bears and a wild cat in earnest pursuit. Possibly in the midst of some Florida everglade, making a noise like a piece of meat in o rder to snare crocodiles. Possibly in Canada, baiting moose-traps. We have no da ta." Silent consternation prevailed among the audience. Finally the Rev. Edwin T. Phi lpotts was struck with an idea. "Where is Mr. White?" he asked. The point was well received. "Yes, where's Mr. Benjamin White?" chorused the rest. Psmith shook his head. "In Europe. I cannot say more." The audience's consternation deepened. "Then, do you mean to say," demanded Mr. Asher, "that this fellow Windsor's the boss here, that what he says goes?" Psmith bowed. "With your customary clear-headedness, Comrade Asher, you have got home on the b ull's-eye first pop. Comrade Windsor is indeed the boss. A man of intensely mast erful character, he will brook no opposition. I am powerless to sway him. Sugges tions from myself as to the conduct of the paper would infuriate him. He believe s that radical changes are necessary in the programme of Cosy Moments, and he me ans to put them through if it snows. Doubtless he would gladly consider your wor k if it fitted in with his ideas. A snappy account of a glove-fight, a spine-sha king word-picture of a railway smash, or something on those lines, would be welc omed. But--" "I have never heard of such a thing," said Mr. Waterman indignantly. Psmith sighed. "Some time ago," he said, "--how long it seems!--I remember saying to a young fr iend of mine of the name of Spiller, 'Comrade Spiller, never confuse the unusual with the impossible.' It is my guiding rule in life. It is unusual for the subs titute-editor of a weekly paper to do a Captain Kidd act and take entire command of the journal on his own account; but is it impossible? Alas no. Comrade Winds or has done it. That is where you, Comrade Asher, and you, gentlemen, have lande d yourselves squarely in the broth. You have confused the unusual with the impos sible." "But what is to be done?" cried Mr. Asher. "I fear that there is nothing to be done, except wait. The present regime is but an experiment. It may be that when Comrade Wilberfloss, having dodged the bears and eluded the wild cat, returns to his post at the helm of this journal, he ma y decide not to continue on the lines at present mapped out. He should be back i n about ten weeks."

"Ten weeks!" "I fancy that was to be the duration of his holiday. Till then my advice to you gentlemen is to wait. You may rely on me to keep a watchful eye upon your intere sts. When your thoughts tend to take a gloomy turn, say to yourselves, 'All is w ell. Psmith is keeping a watchful eye upon our interests.'" "All the same, I should like to see this W. Windsor," said Mr. Asher. Psmith shook his head. "I shouldn't," he said. "I speak in your best interests. Comrade Windsor is a ma n of the fiercest passions. He cannot brook interference. Were you to question t he wisdom of his plans, there is no knowing what might not happen. He would be t he first to regret any violent action, when once he had cooled off, but would th at be any consolation to his victim? I think not. Of course, if you wish it, I c ould arrange a meeting--" Mr. Asher said no, he thought it didn't matter. "I guess I can wait," he said. "That," said Psmith approvingly, "is the right spirit. Wait. That is the watch-w ord. And now," he added, rising, "I wonder if a bit of lunch somewhere might not be a good thing? We have had an interesting but fatiguing little chat. Our tiss ues require restoring. If you gentlemen would care to join me--" Ten minutes later the company was seated in complete harmony round a table at th e Knickerbocker. Psmith, with the dignified bonhomie of a seigneur of the old sc hool, was ordering the wine; while B. Henderson Asher, brimming over with good-h umour, was relating to an attentive circle an anecdote which should have appeare d in his next instalment of "Moments of Mirth." CHAPTER IX FULL STEAM AHEAD When Psmith returned to the office, he found Billy Windsor in the doorway, just parting from a thick-set young man, who seemed to be expressing his gratitude to the editor for some good turn. He was shaking him warmly by the hand. Psmith stood aside to let him pass. "An old college chum, Comrade Windsor?" he asked. "That was Kid Brady." "The name is unfamiliar to me. Another contributor?" "He's from my part of the country--Wyoming. He wants to fight any one in the wor ld at a hundred and thirty-three pounds." "We all have our hobbies. Comrade Brady appears to have selected a somewhat exci ting one. He would find stamp-collecting less exacting." "It hasn't given him much excitement so far, poor chap," said Billy Windsor. "He 's in the championship class, and here he has been pottering about New York for a month without being able to get a fight. It's always the way in this rotten Ea st," continued Billy, warming up as was his custom when discussing a case of opp ression and injustice. "It's all graft here. You've got to let half a dozen brut

es dip into every dollar you earn, or you don't get a chance. If the kid had a m anager, he'd get all the fights he wanted. And the manager would get nearly all the money. I've told him that we will back him up." "You have hit it, Comrade Windsor," said Psmith with enthusiasm. "Cosy Moments s hall be Comrade Brady's manager. We will give him a much-needed boost up in our columns. A sporting section is what the paper requires more than anything." "If things go on as they've started, what it will require still more will be a f ighting-editor. Pugsy tells me you had visitors while I was out." "A few," said Psmith. "One or two very entertaining fellows. Comrades Asher, Phi lpotts, and others. I have just been giving them a bite of lunch at the Knickerb ocker." "Lunch!" "A most pleasant little lunch. We are now as brothers. I fear I have made you pe rhaps a shade unpopular with our late contributors; but these things must be. We must clench our teeth and face them manfully. If I were you, I think I should n ot drop in at the house of Comrade Asher and the rest to take pot-luck for some little time to come. In order to soothe the squad I was compelled to curse you t o some extent." "Don't mind me." "I think I may say I didn't." "Say, look here, you must charge up the price of that lunch to the office. Neces sary expenses, you know." "I could not dream of doing such a thing, Comrade Windsor. The whole affair was a great treat to me. I have few pleasures. Comrade Asher alone was worth the mon ey. I found his society intensely interesting. I have always believed in the Dar winian theory. Comrade Asher confirmed my views." They went into the inner office. Psmith removed his hat and coat. "And now once more to work," he said. "Psmith the flaneur of Fifth Avenue ceases to exist. In his place we find Psmith the hard-headed sub-editor. Be so good as to indicate a job of work for me, Comrade Windsor. I am champing at my bit." Billy Windsor sat down, and lit his pipe. "What ay to ow of egan, from we want most," he said thoughtfully, "is some big topic. That's the only w get a paper going. Look at Everybody's Magazine. They didn't amount to a r beans till Lawson started his 'Frenzied Finance' articles. Directly they b the whole country was squealing for copies. Everybody's put up their price ten to fifteen cents, and now they lead the field."

"The country must squeal for Cosy Moments," said Psmith firmly. "I fancy I have a scheme which may not prove wholly scaly. Wandering yesterday with Comrade Jack son in a search for Fourth Avenue, I happened upon a spot called Pleasant Street . Do you know it?" Billy Windsor nodded. "I went down there once or twice when I was a reporter. It's a beastly place." "It is a singularly beastly place. We went into one of the houses."

Those tenement houses are about as pay ing an investment as you can have. A young man once called at th e office of a certain newspaper. "A very cheery scheme. And he lies so low that you can't find out who he is. Comrade Windsor. We'll try. I am a very f .' And when the fuss has blown over. with its vast ramifications. There's no knowing but what we may have luck. Comrade Windsor. all the man has to do is to clear out all the families but two. and things go on the same as before." said Psmith. "appears to be the discovery of the lesse e.' replied our her o." said Billy Windsor. aren't they. but any one who wants can get round them as easy as falling off a log. 'Have you any special line ?' asked the editor. Secondly. It made him fizz ahead like a two-ye ar-old. It's all just like the E ast. then. "Which of us is going to write the first article?" "You may leave it to me. we s hall be enabled to haul up our slacks with a considerable absence of restraint. 'Where's your running wa ter on each floor? That's what the law says you've got to have. as the re appears to be no law of libel whatsoever in this great and free country. The chances are that. let's say. The facts which will nerve us to effort are two. you've got to come out Wyoming way. "is the precise difficulty of getting at these merchants?" "Well. and trust to luck.' Such is my own case. In the first place. The law says a teneme nt house is a building occupied by more than two families. I fea r. 'No. lad? Surely a powerful organ like Cosy Moments. they say they aren't responsible. Columbus didn't know that America existed when he set out. 'I am rather good at invective. back co me the rest of the crowd. and says. It's pretty difficult to get at these fellows. Probably some millionaire. when there's a fuss. we shall eventually arrive somewhere."They're pretty bad. unless you're prepared to spend thousands ferreting out evidence. The land belongs in the first place to some corporation or other. Then." "Precisely. All he knew was some highly interesting fact about an egg. but it bucked Columbus up like a tonic. but I have certain qualifications for the post. ' 'Any special kind of invective?' queried the man up top. if we go on long enough." "Hasn't anybody ever tried to do anything about them?" "Not so far as I know." "Then there's another thing. There are all sorts of laws about the places. could bring off a thing like that?" "I doubt it. If you want a square deal. it's this way. 'Nothing doing. When there's a fuss. This isn't a tenement house at a ll. 'just general invective. After all.' the landlord simply replies. "Full steam ahead." asked Psmith. we know that there must be some one at the bottom of the business. They lease it to a less ee. Everything in the East is as crooked as Pearl Street." "Who owns them?" "I don't know. those houses!" "What. There are only two families here." "The main problem. I do not at the moment reca ll." said Psmith. and here are the se people having to go downstairs and out of doors to fetch their water supplies . when the inspector fellow comes along. Well." "I see.' said the bright lad. You can't get hold of the man who's really responsi ble." said Psmith. it's up to the lessee . What that was. 'Yes. I am no hardened old journalist. you see. and asked for a job." "Sure. anyway. B ut they're fierce.

unde r its new management. "I wish to see the editor of this paper. musing pleasantly of life. and since then had confined himself to smoking cigars as long as walking-stick s and appearing nightly as the star in a music-hall sketch entitled "A Fight for Honour. relating to the more stirring happenings in the city. had employed his gift of general invective to considerable effect.air purveyor of good. untruthfully. and tell him that Mr. And as my visit to Pleasant Street is o f such recent date. general invective." Jim my was the present holder of the light-weight title. Incessant work had been the order of the day. and his life had been sadd ened up to the present by the refusal of the press to publish his reminiscences. the visit of Mr. and even Psmith had at moments lost a certain am ount of his dignified calm. Give him my compliments. and under the portrait the legend. I am tolerably full of my subject. Sandwiched in between the painful case of Kid Brady and the matter of the tenements. "I knew that Personal column of ours was going to be a success!" What the bullet was to the Far West editor. snappy stuff in their best Yel low Journal manner. was a mass of bright reading dealing with the events of the day. "Ha! Then when he returns I wish you to give him a message. Like most pugi lists." said Master Maloney. instruct Comr ade Maloney to suspend his whistling till such time as I am better able to liste n to it. who had constituted himself guardian of the literary and dramatic interests of the paper. which formed the star items of the paper's cont ents. "Ah. Each week there appeared in the same place on the same pa ge a portrait of the Kid. the Kid had a passion for bursting into print. Billy Win dsor's newspaper friends had turned in some fine." CHAPTER X GOING SOME There was once an editor of a paper in the Far West who was sitting at his desk." His reminiscences were appearing weekly in a Sunday paper. Cosy Moments. of the National Theatre. had bounded ahead like a motor-car when the throttle is op ened. I fancy I will produce a sc reed which will make this anonymous lessee feel as if he had inadvertently seate d himself upon a tin-tack. Francis Parker to t he offices of Cosy Moments was to Billy Windsor." he said complacently. a s was shown by a conversation between Master Maloney and a visitor one morning." "Sure. heard through the open door. when a bullet crashed through the window and embedde d itself in the wall at the back of his head. It occurred in the third week of the new regime of the paper. Bodkin does not lightly forget. in an attitude of self-de fence." said the visitor. "Editor not in." "I am Aubrey Bodkin. Billy Windsor's hair had bec ome more dishevelled than ever. Comrade Windsor. looking moody and important. Psmith . The section of the paper devoted to Kid Brady was attractive to all those with s porting blood in them. Taking full advantage of the benevolent laws of this country governing libel. Give me pen and paper. It was this that gave Psmith the idea of publishing Kid Brady's autobiography in Cosy Momen ts. an idea which made the Kid his devoted adherent from then on. and I think we have got a success. "Jimmy Garvin must meet this boy. A happy smile lit up the editor's face. He had won it a year before . ." An unsolicited testimonial which caused Psmith the keenest satisfaction.

A pap er must keep up to date. Shall we give him audience. Here is the Kid on the subject: 'I looked around that house. Other pugilists. He was grateful to Psmith for not editing his c ontributions." said Psmith approvingly. a l arge new public had sprung up and was growing every week. We read off the public's unspoken wishes as if by intuition." said Psmith to Billy. It is the right spirit. And then the gong goes. "We make new friends daily. nothing will. Our h ero is fighting Battling Jack Benson in that eminent artist's native town of Lou isville. Letters of complaint from old subscribers poured into the office daily. The public was consequently fre e to take notice." said Psmith. The sale of Cosy Moments proceeded briskly. We can give him three and a quarter mi nutes. my poor old mother way out in W yoming. and to the point. groaned under the s upervision of a member of the staff who cut out their best passages and altered the rest into Addisonian English. I would not have it otherwise. And. as Billy Windsor complacently remarked. and there was nothing much going on in New York. bearing in his hand a card.. so I ups with an awful half-scissor hook to the plexus. Comrade Windsor?" "I wonder what he wants. they had paid their subscriptions. He has dressed himself in his best. Cosy Moments. but too limited and archaic. "Comrade Brady." . "has evidently not been blind to the importance of a visit to Cosy Moments. and in the next round I seen Benson has a chunk of yellow. that this is no occasion for the old straw hat and the baggy fl annels. in short. It was late summer now. so that the money was safe whether they read the paper or not." "Comrade Parker. They la cked ginger. Advertisements came tr ooping in. rightly. Bu t. and then I seen Benson losing his goat. He ha s felt." volunteered Master Maloney. The readers of Cosy Moments got Kid Brady raw. and the citizens have given their native son the Approving Hand." But the feature of the paper was the "Tenement" series. show the gentleman in. the change of policy had the effect of improving the sales to a marked ex tent. It signifies that he has arrived.'. That is what the public wants. lucid." "Nor I. "'Francis Parker'?" said Billy. Listen to this bit. If this does not bring Comrade Garvin up to the scratch. and I seen I hadn't a friend in it." At this moment Master Maloney entered. We of the younger generation have our fingers more firmly on the pu blic pulse. meanwhile. and he takes the count all right. contributing to other papers. and I says to myself how I has one friend. "Don't know him. and I goes in and mixes it." said Psmith nonchalantly. We know the game from A to Z. and I gets in with a hay-maker and I picks up ano ther sleep-producer from the floor and hands it him." "He's a guy with a tall-shaped hat. "young blood." "That. Crisp. "we shall ascertain more clearly after a personal interview . As Psmith had pred icted. "Young blood. Psmith extended the hospitality of page four of Cosy Moments to Kid Brady. and the latter leaped at the chance. while receiving Comrade Brady with chilly silence. taking it. That is the secret. "has a singularly pure and pleasing style .To appear in print is the fighter's accolade. "an' he's weari n' a dude suit an' shiny shoes. was passing through an era of prosperity undr eamed of in its history. Comrade Wilberfloss's methods were possibly sound. or it falls behind its competitors in the race." said Psmith. It is bound to appeal powerfully to the many-headed. Comrade Maloney.

" . He catered exclusively for children with water on the brain. "We are both responsible." said Billy. He refuses to content himself with ladling out a weekly dole of mental predigested breakfast food. Technically. is anxious to aim a swift kick at the man behind those ar ticles." he added. may also claim the title in a measure. comple ted an impressive picture. Psmith interposed. and men and women with solid ivory skulls. Mr. are resp onsible for this very vigorous attack on the tenement-house owners?" "You can take it I am. "Distinctly warm stuff. but such is the mutual esteem in which Comrade Windsor and I hold each oth er that we may practically be said to be inseparable. feels that there are other a nd larger publics. He provides meat." Mr. trousers with a cre ase which brought a smile of kindly approval to Psmith's face. "I wished to see the editor. "Assuredly. He had a smooth. I myself--I am Psmith--though but a su bordinate. He moved softly into the room. If any husky guy. W e would not have you go away and say to yourself." Psmith waved a hand towards Billy. Comrade Windsor. clean-shaven face. he must distribute it evenly between Comrade Windsor and myself. Comrade Wilberfloss's methods were good in their way. Francis Parker proved to be a man who might have been any age between twenty -five and thirty-five. Comrade Parker. "Comrade Windsor. There was a momentary silence while he selected a spot on the table on which to place his hat. As Pugsy had stated in effect. who seated himself with the care inspired by a perfect trouser-crease. a constant reader of Cosy Moments . and patent-leathe r boots of pronounced shininess. I am but a sub-ed itor. he wore a tail-coat. 'Did I make my meaning clear? Was I too elusive?' Say on. "Warm stuff. But is not its interest in current affairs a recent develo pment?" "You are very right. "You." responded Psmith. "The treat has not been denied you. Parker. There must be no secrets. turning to Billy. and a cat-like way of moving. Comrade Parker. You may address us both impartially. "I have never been." he said. "The style of the paper has changed greatly. a man of alert and res tless temperament. which he carried. no restraint between us. felt that a change was essential if Cosy Moments was to lead public thought. He is our editor. and I may be wrong. th e Wyoming cracker-jack." "May I speak frankly?" said Mr. as I fancy Master Ma loney would phrase it. has it not. Gloves and a tall hat. with a broader view." agreed Psmith. "Before you is Comrade Windsor. "They are--er--very outspoken articles. Parker. We have no secrets from ea ch other. Will you sit for a space?" He pushed a chair towards the visitor. He--" "Then--excuse me--" said Mr. I have no quarrel with Comrade Wilberfloss. Parker paused." "I see. shall I say. I take it. But he did not lead public thought.Pugsy withdrew. during the past few wee ks?" he said.

"See here. where you looked your man in the eye and s aid it quick. irrespective of the trend of his conversation. reach for their guns." Psmith waved a deprecating hand. "what's it all about? Let's have it. To me it is enough simply to si t and chat with Comrade Parker. Mr. "There are reasons why you should not. Let's have what's worrying you. It was partly a sno rt. "The gentleman whom I represent--" "Then this is no matter of your own personal taste? You are an emissary?" ." cried he. H e was rapidly approaching the state of mind in which the men of the plains. It resembled more than anything else the preliminary sniffin g snarl a bull-dog emits before he joins battle. I fear we must ask yo u to hand it to us with still more breezy frankness. as time is money. We can look after them. Billy was of the plains. if you unburdened yourself as soon as convenient." he said. Billy's cow-boy blood was up. He offended Billy' s honest soul. Nothing has buoyed us up more strongly duri ng the hours of doubt through which we have passed than the knowledge that you w ish us well. sir. Parker's smooth face did not change its expression. the home of blunt speech. leaning forward. "And there are reasons why we should." There proceeded from Billy a noise not describable in words. If y ou've anything to say about those articles. Comrade Parker. Parker was too bland for human consumption. There was a feline smoothness about the visitor which had been jarring upon him ever since he first spoke. Have you come to point ou t some flaw in those articles? Do they fall short in any way of your standard fo r such work?" Mr. Parker leaned forward."I am speaking in your best interests. Parker. "I should not go on with them if I were you. say it right out. Do you speak from purely fr iendly motives? Are you advising us to discontinue the articles merely because y ou fear that they will damage our literary reputation? Or are there other reason s why you feel that they should cease? Do you speak solely as a literary connois seur? Is it the style or the subject-matter of which you disapprove?" Mr. and this is our busy day. possibly it might be as well. find ing speech unequal to the expression of their thoughts." said Mr." "Less powerful ones." "Who would doubt it. Psmith intervened." Billy Windsor suddenly became militant. "Do not let us be abrupt on this happy occasion. partly a growl. S till. "Why?" demanded Billy. Never mind our bes t interests. Comrade Parker. but he came to the point . "We do not completely gather your meaning.

and if they go o n there's going to be a lot of inconvenience for my employer." said Billy. That is the matter in a nutshell. Well. just like everybody else. Parker coughed. Remov e the reason for those very scholarly articles. Frankly. though. my employer--in a cleft sti ck. Mr." broke in Billy explosively." Mr. if it's not too high. I guess. Now. Parker. will have to get busy and lose some of his money by making the houses fit to live in? Is that it?" "It is not so much the money. Parker shook his head. and I want you to be frank with me. those articles are beginning to attract attention. "Comrade Windsor is correct. "that if we kick up enough fuss to make somebody start a commission to inquire into this rotten business. if continued. This is how it stands." said Billy disgustedly. Yo u aren't in this business for your healths. Billy and Psmith waited for him to begin ." "I'm going to put my cards on the table. What's your figure? Name it. I guess we nee dn't quarrel. The expense of reconstructing the houses makes tha t impossible. you two gentlemen have got us--that's to say." Mr. rather. How much do you want to stop those articles? That's straight. and." "It is not so much the money. with the restrained dignity of some old Roman senator dealing with the enemies of the Republic. I nee d not go into those reasons. I don't mind admitting. he feels that. your friend wh o owns the private Hades we're trying to get improved." "Well. "I've no doubt he makes a mighty good pil e out of Pleasant Street. I guess. He had got as far as "Say!" when Psmith interrupted him. eh? You've got your living to make." "I bet he is. they may do so." "Then there's no use in talking. Psmith. "I fear that is not feasible. It's up to him." He looked expectantly at Billy. It is sufficient to say that they are strong ones. That's clear. and they cease. He has hit the mark and rung the bell." said he. I'm going to be frank. "We are all friends here. see here: We don't want unpleasantness. My employer is a wealthy man. suggesting that the situation was now abo ut to enter upon a more delicate phase. No conscient ious judge would withhold from Comrade Windsor a cigar or a cocoanut."These articles are causing a certain inconvenience to the gentleman whom I repr esent. Or. "Now. Let us be hearty. He struggled for spee ch. To a c ertain extant. The moment he starts in to make those house s decent. he knows what to do. I speak quite frankly. now. as who should say. I've been frank with you." repeated Mr. I re ckon. gazing sadl y at Mr. There are reasons why my employer would prefer not to com e before the public just now as the owner of the Pleasant Street property. Parker through his monocle. From their point of view the discussion was over. Windsor. see here. it was for their visitor to effect that reopening. "as the publicity involved. Well. "The articles will go on. gentlemen. . seeing that we're being frank with one an other. of course. A tentative cough. the articles stop." "You mean. spoke quietly. according as his private preference might dictate. the expense would be considerable. Billy's eyes were bulging. and s ee if we can't fix something up. If it was to be reopened on fresh lines." Psmith nodded. here's a square proposition.

by George. "these scenes are acutely painful. Psmith bowed." ." yelled Billy. silent men. And in Wyoming his deadly aim with the ink-pot won him among the admiring cowboys the sobriquet of Crack-Shot Cuthbert. He's evidently working for somebody pretty big. and I'm going to see it through if they put every gang in New York on to us . "I fear that you have allowed constant communication with the conscienceless commercialism of this worldly city to undermine your mor al sense." "Precisely. Now that they find we can't be bought. And what is that sentence? I give you three guesses. and if you've any sense bet ween you. Oregon. "And I'll give you a piece of advice."Comrade Parker. Our ganglions quiver like cinematographs. Th ey mean business sure enough. "we must have got them scared. That's all I've got t o say. "Nothing. Comrad e Parker. you'll stop them yourselves before you get hurt." "That's right. As man to man. "I guess he meant it all right. Those articles are going to be stopped. one sentence is in every man's mouth." he said. to Melonsquashville." said Billy Windsor. closing the door behind him with a bang that added emphasis to his words. but we are not for sale. smoothing his waistcoat thoughtfully. But I fear th at Comrade Windsor's generous temperament may at any moment prompt him to start throwing ink-pots." he added. We wince before them. Cosy Moments cann ot be muzzled. with the contented look the Far West editor must have worn as the bullet came through the window. We shall have to watch out. "And. let 'em! We're up against a big th ing. Comrade Windsor . Cosy Moments. "Speed. Frankly--if I may borrow the expre ssion--your square proposition has wounded us. from Portland. Gradual ly recovering command of ourselves. Tennessee. they'll try the other way. or was there something solid behind them?" Billy Windsor was looking serious. Parker." said Psmith. "except to make a noise like a hoop and roll away. From the hills of Maine to the Everglades of Florida. and that goes. and I can curb my emotions. "To men of nicely poised nervous organisation such as ourselves. I am a man of powerful self-restr aint. from Sandy Hook to San Francisco. Comrade Windsor. or they wouldn't have shown their hand that way. I should advise you to bound swiftly away. I guess w e're making a hit. we review the situation. as I have had occasion to observe bef ore. You give it up ? It is this: 'Cosy Moments cannot be muzzled!'" Mr. exploding like a fire-cracker. picking up his hat. Parker rose. But. according to your--if I may say so--some what murky lights. Cosy Moments is going some now. You doubtless mean well. except at ten cents weekly." agreed Psmith." said Mr. "There's nothing more to be done then. Did our visitor's f inal remarks convey anything definite to you? Were they the mere casual badinage of a parting guest." "I'm going." He went out. and that sort of man would have a pull with all kinds of Thugs. It is useless to dangle rich bribes before our eyes." he admitted. cannot be muzzled." he said. "would be no bad thing." "And do it quick. one of those strong. too.

and resentment strove for supremacy. "Chase yerself. The noise penetrated into the editorial sanctum. who stood rubbing his ear with resentment written on every feature. "is going to take to singing as well as whistling ." The man eyed him with displeasure." he said. "If Comrade Maloney. Pugsy instantly ceased to be the student and became the man o f action. He sprang from his seat and wriggled in between the man and the door. Psmith. and stoo d before Master Maloney. "Editor in. "Nope. Pugsy made it. kid. He made a dive for the s eedy man. "Fade away. He walked in from the street. who was at work on a review of a book of poetry. who during the preceding moment had been eyeing the tw o editors as if he were committing their appearance to memory. "Somebody must be hurting the kid." he said. A movement on the par t of the visitor attracted his attention. that t he seedy-looking man made his appearance.CHAPTER XI THE MAN AT THE ASTOR The duties of Master Pugsy Maloney at the offices of Cosy Moments were not heavy . The visitor's reply was to extend a hand and grasp Pugsy's left ear between a lo ng finger and thumb. Pugsy looked up with some hauteur. To be called "kid" was b ad. On such occasions as this Billy was a man of few words. Concentrated thought will be out of the question. It was while he was eng rossed in one of these. He hurried to the door and flung it open. I fear this journal must put up its shutters. Tommy?" inquired the man. He emitted a piercing squeal in which pain. Parker." urged Master Maloney." he said authoritatively. released Master Maloney. Since time began. caught in the act. small boys in every country have had but one answer for this action. The seedy man was making for the door of the inner room. sprang back. "Youse can't butt in dere. fixing his eyes again on his book. but the latter. on the morning following the visit of Mr. and was off down the stairs with the agility of a Marathon runner. l ooked up with patient sadness. "Hey. The seedy man. ." A second squeal rent the air. The subtle insult of "Tommy" was still worse. Psmith followed at a more leisurely pa ce. losing only a small part of its strength on the way. fear. Billy Windsor jumped up. Pugsy by this time had taken a thorough dislike to him. and he was accustomed to occupy his large store of leisure by reading narrativ es dealing with life in the prairies." he said curtly. He resented being addressed as "kid" by perfe ct strangers. which he acquired at a neighbouring shop a t cut rates in consideration of their being shop-soiled. "Fresh kid!" he observed disapprovingly." he exclaimed.

"Who can say. there is little danger up here of bei ng slugged by our moth-eaten acquaintance of this morning. Comrade Windsor? Possibly our autographs. aggrieved." "These are the drawbacks to being public men." said Billy. The world is full of us. without wincing. And I'd advise you to do the sa me."He blows in. These are the peri ls of the journalistic life. "The tired brain. We mus t watch out. Providence is good to the poor." he said." "It seems to me." "I don't like the look of him. Here. Moreover. fanned by cool breezes and surrounded by fair women and brave men." said Billy. Ah. "needs to recuperate. when we leave. "and asks is de editor dere. No w they'll know what we look like. but such things. "I'm not going to wince. one m ay do a bit of tissue-restoring. till then--" .. We must bear them manfully. Just tried to butt t'roo. To feed on such a night as thi s in some low-down hostelry on the level of the street. "Whereas what Comrade Maloney objected to was the feel of him." he said. with German waiters brea thing heavily down the back of one's neck and two fiddles and a piano whacking o ut 'Beautiful Eyes' about three feet from one's tympanum. and he nips me by the ear when I gets busy to stop him gettin' t'roo. "you are a martyr.." "Whoever's behind those tenements isn't going to stick at any odd trifle. In what respect d id his look jar upon you? His clothes were poorly cut. I know. You will be safer and happier when you are rounding up cows on your mustang. That man was probably sent to mark us down for one of the gangs." "And he got it. 'cos youse said youse wasn't. Comrade Windsor. when they were back again in the inner ro om. It was by Psmith's suggestion that the editorial staff of Cosy Moments dined tha t night in the roof-garden at the top of the Astor Hotel. but. Possibly five minutes' c hat on general subjects." said Master Maloney. would be false economy ." "I wonder what he wanted." "Comrade Maloney. "so's you could notice it with a microscope. What would Horatius have done if somebody had nipped him by the ear when he was holding the bridge? The story does not consider the possibility. and they can get after us. A man with trousers l ike his would not be allowed in." said Billy thoughtfully. What I'm going to do is to buy a good big stick. "as if he came just to get a sight of us. leave you unmoved." said Psmith." ." Billy turned again to his work. D id the gentleman state his business?" "Nope. We shall probably find him waiting for us at th e main entrance with a sand-bag. Yet it might have made all the difference." "Another of these strong silent men. I te lls him no.

" Psmith bowed. Smith. From where they sat they coul d see the million twinkling lights of the city. which. Billy looked at him curiously. The young man seated himself." said Billy. Psm ith's gaze concentrated itself on the advertisement of a certain brand of ginger -ale in Times Square. Is Mr. Psmith recollected having seen this solitary diner looking in their direction once or twice during dinner. "Comrade Windsor was known to the Indian s as Boola-Ba-Na-Gosh." "Man at that table wanted to know if my name was Windsor. and the roof-garden was full. as you doubtless know. I too can hear as well as the next man. "Ah?" said Psmith. "That's all right. interested. I wonder what he wants." He turned to Billy. my name's Windsor. to find Billy Windsor in conver sation with a waiter. Comrade Windsor?" he inquired. A waiter was bringing a chair. Smith on your paper? Excuse my asking." He bent forward. Towards the end of the meal. In the meant . "It won't be needed. and the rush of events has left me behind. I don't know the man from Adam. Why?" "That's all right. I can go ahead. and at regular intervals there proceed from the bottle's mouth fla shes of flame representing ginger-ale. "Can I have a word with you. "By the way." said Psmith. There's some things i t's better not to yell. then." Billy hesitated. The thing began to exercise a hypnotic ef fect on Psmith. eh?" "In the old prairie days. "my friend. then. "Won't you sit down?" he said. Mr. "I was musing with a certain tenseness at the moment." said the other. "Neither of you gentlemen are hard of hearing. "I don't know your name. signifies Big-Chief-Who-Can -Hear-A-Fly-Clear-Its-Throat. Mr. "What is happening." "Pleased to meet you. It is a mass of electric light arranged in the shape of a great bottle." Billy was saying." added Billy. who had been looking at him all the while with a combination of interest and suspicion. Recent events had made him wary of strangers. "and was it?" "Here he comes. The waiter bowed and retired to one of the tables where a young man in evening c lothes was seated. "Yes." The stranger was threading his way between the tables. Windsor?" he said. He came to himself with a start.He turned with gentle grace to his soup. I don't want to have to shout it. "Never mind about my name. The man might or might not be friendly. but the fact had not impressed him ." said the stranger. It was a warm night.

"Who is he?" The other shrugged his shoulders. make it Brown." said the stranger. "This isn't my funeral. I see. well-policed cit y." he said." "Well?" said Billy. if you like. Given certain conditions. of battle. as any town of mediaeval I taly." Billy's eyes snapped. one Comrade Parker. About this tenement thing." said Psmith. Well." "Gum! you'll need to. Circumstances had placed him below the surface. however. "On what system have you estimated the size of the gen tleman's bughood?" The stranger lit a cigar. "Eh? Oh. You understand certain pa rties have got it in against you?" "A charming conversationalist." said Psmith cordially. "I don't know." "We can look after ourselves. One is a modern. "in a recent interview. I've no kick coming. where only his wits could help him. The stranger raised a long and curiously delicately shaped hand." "Then how do you know he's a big bug?" "Precisely. If you were in my line of business. anything may happen to any one in New York. "You're up against a big proposition. "By the number of dollars he was ready to put up to have you done in. "It's about that tenement business. and sudden death in dark by-ways. let's get back. I'm a friend." Billy leaned forward eagerly. "Well. there was no harm in being on one's guard. And Billy realised that these conditions now prevailed in his own case." "Never mind my name. You wouldn't expect a man like that to give himself away. . what about it?" he demanded truculently. He had come into conflict with New York's underworld. "Don't bite at me. hinted at something of the so rt. The man behind is a big bug. then. of whisperings and conspiracies." "Yet you don't tell us your name. Cosy Moments. Billy bristled. you wouldn't be so durn ed stuck on this name thing. Th e other is a city as full of sinister intrigue. Billy's experience as a cub-repo rter had given him the knowledge that is only given in its entirety to police an d newspaper men: that there are two New Yorks. Anything you please. It don't signify . murder. through which one may walk from end to end without encountering adventure." said Psmith." "You could select no nobler pseudonym. Call me Smith.ime. See here. cannot be muzzl ed.

"A man of singularly winsome personality. They had plenty to think about." He flicked at Psmith's coat with a quick movement. And he sent me along to find y ou and tell you so. Good night." "We are much obliged to Comrade Jarvis. "here's that man coming back again. he gave his job the frozen face. "Comrade Wi ndsor came into possession of one of Comrade Jarvis's celebrated stud of cats." "A powerful argument in favour of kindness to animals!" said Psmith." "The cat-expert?" said Psmith. I don't kn ow what you've been doing to Bat. Guess I'll be pushing along. "I am sorry to say." said Billy. Glad to have met you. moving off. "Good night." said Psmith." "Bat turned the job down. Comrade Windsor--" "Hullo. "He told me to tell you to watch out. Said you were a fri end of his and none of his fellows were going to put a finger on you. you have an insect on your coat. he rest ored it to its bereaved owner. Pardon me. Mr. You've certainly made t he biggest kind of hit with Bat. A few paces to the right of the main e . Psmith and Billy sat smoking in silence. wearing a light overcoat over his dress clo thes. For a few moments after he had gone. that's all. Well. He is now as a prize tortoise shell to Comrade Jarvis. again. because another gang is dead sure to take on the job. Observe the sequel. "Force of habit. "Not on his life. Psmith felt for his watch." "So Bat wouldn't stand for it?" said Billy. "How's the time going?" asked Billy at length. gentlemen. "And which gang has he given the job to?" "I wish I could tell you. "He said he needed the money as much as the next man. that is--came to Bat Jarvis." concluded the stranger. Psmith thanked him gravely. Turned it down without a blink."Oh?" he said. But he said you were to know he wasn't mixed up in it. and lo oked at Billy with some sadness. but he's certainly Willie the Long-Lost Brothe r with you. Smith." The stranger came up to their table. He also said that any time you were in bad. W hat did he do? Instead of having the animal made into a nourishing soup. Glad to have met you. I've a date to keep." "Why was that?" inquired Billy. but when he found out who he was supposed to lay for." CHAPTER XII A RED TAXIMETER The Astor Hotel faces on to Times Square. handing it to Psmith. he'd do his best for you. From the pocket of this he produced a gold watch. I reckon. "You'll pardon m e. He--his agent. I haven't seen him so worked up over a thing in years." he said apologetically.

" "It did. "Why. brightest. The other stood for a moment. why not? It's only a step." "Because we don't want to. Win dsor. straightest. "I said to myself. are you?" "Not in the least. Good night. You may have heard him speak of me--Jack Lak e? How is the old man? Seen him lately?" "Not for some time. "Correct me if I am wrong. then crossed the road. staring." "Good for him." "I don't doubt it. t he longest. see here. forming two channels. "I saw you come out of the Astor. "but were you not a trifle--shall we say abrupt?--with the old family friend?" Billy Windsor laughed. and started to walk away. Windsor. He was well when he last wrote. So I just followed you a long. it's M r. quiet." "In a hurry." he said cheerily. A flashily dressed man was standing with outstetched hand. I've never set eyes on you before. having left the Astor." "You'd have known him down in Missouri. did it?" said Billy politely." "No. He would be. wickedest street in the world." He turned. Mr. the Great White Way. Mr. To the left is Broadway.ntrance the Times Building towers to the sky. "That's right. We were side-partners for years. dark.' Darned if I could put a name to you. I'd be right glad f or you to come. They had reached Herald Square. "but I'm afraid you'll have to excuse us. and at the foot of this the stream of traffic breaks. The usual crowd was drifting slowly up and down in the glare of the white lights." said Billy. Won't you and your friend come along with me and have a smoke and a chat? I live right here in Thirty-Third Street. it's early yet. thanks. Now. though. I know your father very well. old Joe Windsor." "Say. To the right of the building is Sevent h Avenue. but I've seen so many photograp hs of you that I reckon we're old friends. In Missouri. Tough as a plank. Windsor!" They wheeled round. Psmith broke the silence. 'I know that man. He showed me the photographs. "It did. of course?" said Billy. and dull. and right here it came to me. sir. ." he said tentatively. Comrade Windsor. Psmith and Billy." "Then come right along. We always called him Joe. when a voice behind them exclaimed. started to walk down Broadway to Billy' s lodgings in Fourteenth Street.

" "And then?" . the same a s mine. that if we had accepted Comrade Lake's invitation. "Not that particular one. I thought it better not to." said Billy. Let us walk." "I noticed it. After all. Comrade Windsor. then. then. Billy shook his he ad. which he hasn't. I wonder? Farmers? Playing off a comic-supplement bluff like that on us!" There was honest indignation in Billy's voice. and if he'd ever been in Missouri in his life. I might have gone along. We cannot h elp it." "These are deep waters. and gone al ong for a smoke and a chat. "You think." he said. "Are we going anywhere in particular?" "This train goes as far as Hundred and Tenth Street." They cut across into Sixth Avenue. Do you mean to intimate--?" "If they can't do any better than that."If my father's name was Joseph. "Has it escaped your notice. "that." "Something about it that offends your aesthetic taste?" queried Psmith sympathet ically. We are the slaves of our temperaments. and if I 'd been photographed since I was a kid. As it was. the night is fine. which I haven't been." said Billy briefly." said Psmith. "of the lavish hospitality of the American. A train was just coming in. I am in your hands. sir?" A red taximeter cab was crawling down the road at their side. and walked up the stairs to the station of th e Elevated Railway. Comrade Windsor." "Taxi." said Psmith. "Suppose we take the Elevated?" "Anything you wish." said Psmith after a pause. "I don't know about wal king. thoughtfully. "Ah. so far from speeding to your lodgings." "I have heard so much. and we are young and strong. we shan't have much to worry us." They had reached Twenty-Third Street when Billy stopped. we highly strung literary men do have these curious prejudices. "Not that a taxi would be an unsound scheme." he said. Comrade Windsor. "Something about it makes my aesthetic taste kick like a mule. "instead of being William. we are going in precisely the opposite d irection? We are in an up-town train. the chat would not have been of the pleasantest natu re?" "We should have been put out of business. We'll go up to there. if you don't mind. What do they take us for.

went down the stairs. when they were in the train. In the roadway at the foot of the opposite staircase was a red taximeter cab."And then we'll come back. sir?" said the driver. It's as easy as falling off a log." "I thought perhaps you did. or Chicago. All he'd got to do was to get there before the train." "He must be something of an expert at the game to have kept on our track." "I can save you worrying. mewhere? Well. and we have money in urses. All this while you might be getting fares down-town. In the shadow of the Elevated there was standing a taximeter cab. began to rock himself rhythmically to and fro." or so young our p us ha At Hundred and Tenth Street they left the train. as they approached. a nd." The train pulled up at the Fourteenth Street station." urged Psmith. "We are giving you a great deal of trouble." said Psmith. Looking in that direct ion." "And after that. Half-way across Billy stopped. Comrade Windsor." "Search me. "My address is 84 East Fourteenth Street. We are going back there now. There are only certain pla ces where you can get off an Elevated train. I suppose. Billy proceeded to occupy the rocking-chair. and wait." replied Billy. and cross ed the street. "Good night. "are very pleasant." said the driver. well. Take me where you will. We are two young men out for reckless dissipation. "What now. as was his wont. Psmith saw his objective. I am in your hands. "Have you thought of som e new form of entertainment?" Billy was making for a spot some few yards down the road." "These meetings." "Not on your life. "Taxi. The events of the evening had been a revelation to Psmith. however." said Billy. The night is yet . I just wanted to make certain of his game. I didn't expect to dodge him by taking the Elevated . By all means let ve it. Psmith seate d himself gracefully on the couch-bed." "These things are very disturbing." said Billy. It is only five cents a go. When did you b egin to suspect that yonder merchant was doing the sleuth-hound act?" "When I saw him in Broadway having a heart-to-heart talk with our friend from Mi ssouri. "I don't know what you're talking about. He had not realised b efore the extent of the ramifications of New York's underworld. "D ignity is impossible when one is compelled to be the Hunted Fawn. "You must be losing mon ey over this job. That members of . Comrade Windsor?" inquired Psmith patiently. CHAPTER XIII REVIEWING THE SITUATION Arriving at the bed-sitting-room. There was a silence. we'll make a trip to Philadelphia.

"For the moment I fancied that my lit . Well. You haven't got to make a living this side. inste ad of getting mixed up with--" He broke off. support life by more delicate and genteel methods than the rest." "Then all is well. anyway. relieved. he had formed a mental picture of low-browed hooligans." "By all means." "What's all this about?" demanded Billy." "I gathered from your remarks that you were anxious to receive my resignation. though I'd do it for that a lone. You want to go about and have a good time. there's something to it besides that. gentlemen. I told you why. It isn't only that I want to do a bit of good to the poor cusses in those tenements. as far as it went. In you. It'll give me jus t the chance I need. This picture had been correct. "I'm making no kick about your work. keeping carefully to the ir own quarter of the town. on such primitive fea ts as robbing intoxicated pedestrians. If we win out. The main body rely for their incomes. except at election-time. as far as I'm concerned. I'm going to get a job out of one of the big dailies. I didn't want you be black-jacked. "Well." "Something of the sort would seem to be the case. It was a considerable time before Billy spoke. The aristocracy of the gangs soar higher. All t his has got nothing to do with you. and are rarely met with outside their natural boundaries. Psmith looked at him reproachfully.'" said Psmith sadly. Comrade Windsor?" "How's that?" "In various treatises on 'How to Succeed in Literature. "wh ich I have read from time to time. But each ga ng has its more prosperous members. that's what I wanted to say. "Say. it's different with you. I have always found it stated that what the n ovice chiefly needed was an editor who believed in him. The bulk of the gangs of New York are of the hooli gan class. who. I don't see why you shouldn't quit. Comrade Windsor. There's no doubt now that we're up against a mighty big proposit ion. Comrade Windsor. I'm going to see this through. "this thing wants talking over.the gangs should crop up in the Astor roof-garden and in gorgeous raiment in the middle of Broadway was a surprise." "It's like this. When Billy Windsor had mentioned the gangs." he concluded. You're over here on a vacation." he said." said Psmith." "Well. "Are you trying to sack me. I fancied that I had found such an editor. bu t it had not gone far enough." "It's this way. I don't see that it's up to you to run the risk of getting yourself put out of business wit h a black-jack. like the man of the Astor ro of-garden. Once you get mixed up with the gangs there's no saying what's going to be doing." "Was that the only reason?" "Sure. and maybe shot. But. See what I mean? Well.

But th e smallest of them's large enough to put us away. the fewer to split up the dollars. and to a finish at that. Wit hout them we should be dull and dissatisfied. Here he had touched the realities. or whoever fixed this th ing up. it might be any one o f three gangs. Every gangleader has about a dozen of them. Somehow or other those tenement houses had got to b e cleaned up. Do you mean that we have an entire gang on our trail in one solid mass." "I don't quite grasp the nice points of this matter. Bat's is the biggest. when he felt deeply on any subject." "Bully for you. you see. "Now that Bat has turned up the job. There are four main gangs. would go to the main boss of the gang. It was not Psmith's habit. If it meant trouble." . Our work would lose its fire. His lot had been cast in pleasant places." he said." "And what then?" "And then the boss would talk it over with his own special partners. would be the chosen substitute? " Billy shook his head.erary talents had been weighed in the balance and adjudged below par. Comrade Windsor. The words of the man at the Astor. a certain fillip. and the sight of actual raw misery h ad come home to him with an added force from that circumstance. the penalty of defeat nothing worse th an the discomfort of having failed to score." "Then you'll stay in this thing? You'll stick to the work?" "Like a conscientious leech. he'd go to Spider Reilly. Parker. If that is all--why. I am bound to say. It was a fight without the gloves. But this tenement business was diff erent. In his previo us encounters with those with whom fate had brought him in contact there had bee n little at stake. Mike would have understood him. "Now that Comrade Jarvis. if it comes to that. you know. and still m ore the episodes of the family friend from Missouri and the taximeter cab. The knowledge that a low-browed gent leman is waiting round the corner with a sand-bag poised in air will just supply that stimulus. if we give them the chance. who should you say. had s hown him that this thing was on a different plane from anything that had happene d to him before. Comrade Windsor. Life had been more or less of a game with him up till now. But he meant to see it through. The fewer in the game. There was something worth fighting for . A sort of Inner Circle. need a certain stimulus. If it was the Three Points. that trouble would hav e to be faced. It will give our output precisely the edge it requires. bu t Billy Windsor was too recent an acquaintance. Men such as ourselves. If it was the Table Hill lot. and this matter of the tenements had hit him harder than any one who did not know him intimately would have imagined. The prize of victory had been merely a comfortable feeling of having had the best of a battle of wits. The rest of the gang wouldn't know anything about it. as it undoubtedly did. to exhibit his fe elings. he'd look up Dude Dawson. They'd fix it up among themselves. And so on. a section. He was fully awa re of the risks that he must run. does him credit. Also that fillip. I guess. or will it be merely a section?" "Well. Comrade Windsor." said Billy. has declined the congenial task of fracturing ou r occiputs. these are the mere everyday risks of the young journalist's life. i f they are to keep up their high standards. "showing a spirit of forbearance which. Psmith was one of those people w ho are content to accept most of the happenings of life in an airy spirit of tol erance.

You may say that it is enti rely owing to our efforts that he has obtained this match with--who exactly is t he gentleman Comrade Brady fights at the Highfield Club on Friday night?" "Cyclone Al. All we have to do is to look out for about a dozen hooligans with a natural dignity in their bearing. As I was saying. that all may yet be well. Edgren. There's too much light for them there." "Now that our sleuth-hound friend in the taximeter has ascertained your address. His duties will be to sit in the room opening out of ours. In such circumstances good work w ill be hard to achieve. But what of the day-time? Suppose these sandbag-specialists drop in at the office during business hours. in the Evening World. But stay. Then things are not so black. and app ly some of those half-scissor hooks of his to the persons of any who overcome th e opposition of Comrade Maloney. A particularly massive policeman is on duty at my very doors." It almost seemed as if he were right. and Friday night shall see us at the Highfield. Finally. So much for our private lives. W ill Comrade Maloney's frank and manly statement that we are not in be sufficient to keep them out? I doubt it." . One of your newspaper friends shall supply us with tickets. Wolmann under the fifth rib on Friday night would almost certainly have been denied to him. shall you change it?" "It wouldn't do any good. 'But for Cosy Moments. isn't it?" "You are right. From the moment the paper had taken up his cause. b e bubbling over with gratitude towards us. "It is about the soundest idea. but for us the privilege of smiting Comrade Cyc lone Al. Wolmann. Wolmann. drew a picture of him. "if equipped in any degree with finer feelings. We.' he should be saying to himself. The man Cosy Moments is running for the lightweight championship. There were. and not go off the Broadway after dark. Y ou're pretty safe on Broadway. we shall win through . in the Journal." continued Psmith. "He should. the result of intima cy with the main boss. All unused to the nice conventions of polite soci ety. What steps do you propose to take by way of self-defence?" "Keep out in the middle of the street. We are his pugilistic sponsors. reasons why Cosy Moments shou ld feel a claim on the Kid's services. and offer him at a comfortable salary th e post of fighting-editor of Cosy Moments. They'd soon find where I'd gone to. I fancy. Carefully eluding these aristocrats. therefore. People began to talk about him as a likely man. How about yours?" "I fancy I shall be tolerably all right." said Billy. these rugged persons will charge through. will enjoy that leisure and free dom from interruption which is so essential to the artist. had a paragraph ab out his chances for the light-weight title."I see. Your literary man must have complete quiet if he is to g ive the public of his best. I suggest that we approach Comrad e Brady. 'where should I be? Among the also-rans." "It's not a bad idea. meanwhile. Comrade Windsor. the management of the Highfield Club had signed him for a ten-r ound bout with Mr. Tad.' I imagine that he w ill do any little thing we care to ask of him." said Psmith. The Peerless Kid. Kid Brady's star had undoubtedly been in the ascendant. "that has ever been struck. girded as to the loins and full of martial spirit. explain the facts of the case. An idea!" "Well?" "Comrade Brady.

CHAPTER XIV THE HIGHFIELD Far up at the other end of the island. And then some big-brained person suggested the club an example of American dry humour. that we have been somewhat rash in venturi ng as far into the middle west as this. with pictures on the walls. Not ordinarily noisy. Indeed. critically surveying the dark streets. It is t the friendly exhibition spar is not the fault of Swifty B Kid Brady. Unless a regrettable accident occurs. and one of the spa rrers is knocked out. Comrade Windsor. when its patrons are packed into the carriages in one solid jam by muscular guards a nd policemen. idea of such a thing. The ti tle under which the Highfield used to be known till a few years back was "Swifty Bob's. and loosened all the nuts. But these names are so misleading. forced into temporary silence by this combination of noises. padding on the c hairs. All the seats were occupied. the verdict is left to the newspapers next day. The industry began to languish. The best method of getting to the Highfield is by the Subway. to their acute disgust. stimulated by the title. But the Highfield dif fers in some respects from this fancy picture. but that ob. honest title. All th members of the club. but only a few of the straps and hardly any of the spa ce reserved by law for the conductor alone. and the sleepers of thin wood." he said. "I fear me. and be bad ly beaten in the Evening Mail. was billed for a "ten-round exhibition co ntest. The imagination. and now a Subway train in motion suggests a prolonged dynamite explosion blende d with the voice of some great cataract. it was comparatively empty. So they fashioned the pillars of thin steel. idea. No decisions are pe rmitted at these clubs. But a wave of anti-pugilistic feeling swept over the New York authorities. raided by the police. When Ps mith and Billy entered it on the Friday evening. but really noisy. and if you attend ed seances at Swifty Bob's you left your gold watch and your little savings at h ome. It is not uncommon to find a man win easily in the World. Promoters of boxing contests found themselves. but it has the merit of offering consolation to a much-smitten warrior. conjures u p a sort of National Sporting Club. Conversation on the Subway is impossible. draw in the American." It was a good. there s tands the old warehouse which modern progress has converted into the Highfield A thletic and Gymnastic Club. and a sea of white shirt-fronts from roof to floor." to be the main event of the evening's entertainment. But we must carry . shoving in a manner reminiscent of a Rugby football scrum. There are now no Swifty Bob and his fellows would be shocked at the at happens now is exhibition sparring bouts between rue that next day the papers very tactlessly report as if it had been quite a serious affair. If ever there was a blighted locality wh ere low-browed desperadoes might be expected to spring with whoops of joy from e very corner. "A thoroughly unpleasant neighbourhood. this blighted locality is that blighted locality. like a to n of coal falling on to a sheet of tin. To see the Subway in its most characteristic mood one must travel on it during the rush-hour. Psmith. it would be hard to find a respect in which it does not differ. started to make up for lost time on arriving in the street once more. on the banks of the Harlem River. The ingenious gentlemen who constructe d it started with the object of making it noisy. which stands alone as boxing contests in New York. the chosen of Cosy Moments. People avoided places where at any moment the festivities might be marred by an inrush of large men in blue uniform s armed with locust-sticks. You knew what to expect. The system leads to a certain amount of confusion .

"Ex-hib-it-i-on four-round bout between Patsy Milligan and Tommy Goodley. and on these occasions the red-jerseyed man. was the ring. Their companion. Tommy on my left. followed by two slim youths in fighting costume and a m assive person in a red jersey. Psmith deftly turned the conversation back to the subject of the weather. with tickers at their sides." The pedestrian referred to proved to be going there himself. he was alluding to the prominent part Cosy Moments had played in th e affair. from the right. and Patsy. Somewhere i n the background a gong sounded. Psmith courteously offering views on the weather and forecasts of the succes s of Kid Brady in the approaching contest. "We suffer much in the cause of Literature. They went on togeth er.on. "Let us inquire of this ge nial soul if he knows where the Highfield is. wishing he had not said as much. should you say. Gentlemen will kindly stop smokin'. who seemed to be a man of small speech. and was deep in a comparison of the respective climates of England and the United S tates. does this arena lie?" It had begun to rain as they left Billy's lodgings. In the centre of the room. and yellow braces. barn-li ke building. The contest was short but energetic. Possibly they did not apply the descriptio n to themselves. especially in such a particularly ill-lighted neighbourhood as that through whic h they were now passing." The audience did nothing of the sort. when they turned a corner and found themselves opposite a gloomy." The tickets which Billy Windsor had obtained from his newspaper friend were for one of the boxes. brilliantly lighted by half a dozen electric chandeliers. when a rough thrust from Windsor's elbow brought home to him his indis cretion. each with four hard chairs in it. On these were seated as tough-lo oking a collection of citizens as one might wish to see. Possibly they considered the appeal a mere formula. approaching from the left. Alo ng the four walls were raised benches in tiers. Psmith turned up the collar of his Burberry. In which direction. A burly gentleman in shirt-s leeves entered the ring. On chairs at the ring-s ide were the reporters. member s of this club. The interior of the Highfield Athletic and Gymnast ic Club was severely free from anything in the shape of luxury and ornament. however." he said. stepped briskly forw ard to meet Tommy. who chewe d gum with an abstracted air throughout the proceedings. There were preliminary bouts before the main event. where write-up repo rters were waiting to read off and elaborate the messages. still c hewing gum and still wearing the same air of being lost in abstract thought. At intervals the combatants would cling aff ectionately to one another. made no commen t. . Patsy on my right. He stopped suddenly. by means of which they tapp ed details of each round through to their down-town offices. over the door of which it was just possible to decipher in the dark ness the words "Highfield Athletic and Gymnastic Club. Rattling on. The burly gentleman gave tongue in a voice that cleft the air like a cannon-ball . Their connection with that militant journal was not a thing even to be suggested to casual acquaintances. These proved to be sort of sheep-pens of unpolished wood. blue serge trousers. wou ld split up the mass by the simple method of ploughing his way between the pair.

Mr. dropped down from the ring.Towards the end of the first round Thomas. had entered the ring. It did not commence at once." The whistling ceased. occurred on a pr evious occasion." A moment later there was another. The remaining preliminaries proved disappointing. "If that guy whistling back up yonder thinks he can do better than these boys." The burly gentleman. One of the army carried a bright green bucket. uproar. When the faint applause had ceased. A few of thos e present had heard of his victories in the West. "a noo member of this c hub. Wolmann bowed benevolently. There were form alities to be gone through. "between Cyclone ." He walked to the other side of the ring and repeated the remark. on which were painted in white letters the words "Cyclone Al. He was an unknown." he said. "--and Kid Brady. He leane d over the ropes. Al. "Oh. where the latter remained for the necessary ten seconds. you will recollect. A raucous welco me was accorded to the new member. though a far lesser. and spoke--without heat. ducked under the ro pes and sat down in the opposite corner." thundered the burly gentleman. you Al. and then the b uilding became suddenly full of noise. Wolmann--" Loud applause. as Kid Brady. . reseating himself. Wolmann was one of the famous. introductions and the like. but firmly. "Oh. "In-ter-doo-cin' Young Leary. you Kid!" he observed encouragingly. his pleasant face wearing a self-conscious smirk." It was here that the red-jerseyed thinker for the first and last time came out of his meditative trance. followed by the two armies of assistants. Psmith rose to his feet. Two other notable performers were introduced in a similar manner. as. "to think that he has no friend but his poor old mother. So much so that in the last of the series a soured sportsman on one of the benches near the roof began in sati rical mood to whistle the "Merry Widow Waltz. Wolmann. eluding a left swing. "I should not like Comrade Brady. put Patrick ne atly to the floor. who will box some good boy here in September. He was generally considered the most likely man to give the hitherto invincible Jimmy Garvin a hard battle for the light-weight ch ampionship." he bellowed impressively. The burly gentleman reap peared from nowhere. but these were but a small sec tion of the crowd. "Ex-hib-it-i-on ten-round bout. h e can come right down into the ring. members of this--" There was noticeably less applause for the Kid. a fighter with a reputation fr om New York to San Francisco. for a tall youth in a bath-robe. and the gong sounded. Mr. ushering into the ring a sheepishly-grinning youth in a fla nnel suit. There was a distinct air of relief when the last preliminary was finished and pr eparations for the main bout began.!" roared the crowd. attended by a little army of assistants.

but this time. "that this merry meeting looks like doing Comrade Brady no good. the house was pract ically solid for the Cyclone. By the time he had got out of that uncongenial position. Wolmann had committed a breach of good taste and of being resolved to pass it off with ready tact. Whoops and yells rose from everywhere. That long left shot out less sharply. The Cos y Moments representative exhibited more stolidity. "He'll win yet. He seeme d to be of the opinion that if you are a cyclone. But always he kept boring in." said Billy with simple confidence. somewhat perturbed. found himself against the ropes. "It seems to me. When the gong sounded. The Cyclone's fury wa s expending itself. ending the first round. Despite these efforts. In one lightning rally in the third he brought his right across squarely on to the Kid's jaw. The Cyclone now became still more cyclonic. still s miling. and Mr. it is never too soon to begin behaving like one. He gave the impression of being aware that Mr. the Kid replied with a heavy right swing. above the uproar. having executed a backward leap. He had a left arm which seemed to op en out in joints like a telescope. Rounds two and three were a repetition of round one. The Cyclone. The Kid. Comrade Windsor. scuttered out into the middle of the ring. Mr. who had been strolling forw ard. "See!" roared Billy enthusiastically in Psmith's ear. leaping back. relying on his long left. he was plainly getting all the worst o f it.Mr. "Oh. I should not be surprised at any moment to see his head bounce off on to the floor." "You think so?" "Sure. He wore t he friendly smile of the good-natured guest who is led forward by his hostess to join in some round game. solid way." he said. i nstead of ignoring the matter. Wolmann. Wolmann. received it under the chin. the Kid following in his self-contained. with one gloved hand moving slowly in the neighbourhood of his stocky chest. His opponent's left flashed out again. lande d heavily with both hands. however. two more of the Kid's swings had found their m ark. delivering an occasional right to the body with the pleased smile of an infant destroying a Noah's Ark with a tac k-hammer. Wolmann sprang from his corner as if somebody had touched a spring. and continued to stroll forward as if nothing o f note had happened.!" Psmith turned sadly to Billy. He comes from Wyoming." "Wait. and a feint. The Kid merely staggered slightly and returned to business. and the other pawing the air on a line with his square jaw . Several times when the Kid appeared well out of distance there was a thud as a brown glove ripped in over his guard and jerke d his head back. The buildin g rang with shouts of. The Kid's genial smile did not even quiver. He danced round the Kid with an india-rubber agility. Suddenly his opponent's long left shot out. Energetic Mr. Except for the fact that he w as in fighting attitude. Instead of being knock . but he co ntinued to move forward." said Billy. "He does n't mind it! He likes it! He comes from Wyoming!" With the opening of round four there came a subtle change. one would have said that he did not realise the position of affairs. Wolmann. It was a blow which should have knocked an y boxer out. you Al. The Cyclone raged almost un checked about the ring. was putting in three blow s to his one. a forward leap.

" said Psmith. I had expected to find that Comrade Wolmann's purposeful buffs had completely closed your star-likes. who had come in like a lion. was standing in the middle of the ring. were beginning to fear that they might lose their money after all.. 's!" at the sound of the gong. Comrade Windsor. but obviously content. The gallant sportsmen whose connection with boxing was confined to watching ot her men fight. The Kid beamed as they en tered. hanging on lik e a leech till removed by the red-jerseyed referee. while on the ropes the Cyclone." "It is a relief to me." The Kid blinked." CHAPTER XV AN ADDITION TO THE STAFP Penetrating into the Kid's dressing-room some moments later. For the Kid. "Gents. A slight decrease in the pleasantness of the Kid's smile was noticeable. battered. I never felt them. No." continued the Kid with powerful imagery. a man who would rather be hit on the head with a half-brick tha . the Cosy Moments champion now took the hits in his stride. "he couldn't hit a hole in a block of ice-cream. But the fear was merely transi ent. not if he was to use a hammer. having his right leg rubbed by a shock-headed man in a sweater . Comrade Brady. the Cy clone. When you began to administer those--am I correct in saying?--half-scissor h ooks to the body. No one can hold down the job simply by having a kind heart or being good at farmyard imitations. "I fanci ed that your head would come unglued at the neck. "to find that you can see us . The Cyclone. Yell s of agony from panic-stricken speculators around the ring began to smite the ra fters. His expression began to resemble more nearly the gloomy importance of the Cosy Moments photographs. Like the month of March. There charm of manne r cannot qualify a man for the position. drooping like a wet soc k. then I felt like some watcher of the skies when a new pla net swims into his ken. but. or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes he stared at t he Pacific. was sliding slowly to the floor. why. "An omen. now but a gentle breeze.ed back by it. but there was an appealing note in them this time . and ca me shuffling in with his damaging body-blows." "And yet at one period in the proceedings. "come right in. Mighty glad to see you. I fancy. It is not a post that any weakling can fill. Because my faith in you was justified. "And why did I feel like that." said Psmith. is Al. Comrade Brady? I will tell you. We want a man of t hews and sinews." said Psmith. clutched repeatedly. It was broken by a cow-boy yell f rom Billy Windsor. who had been one of his seconds during the conflict. Because there before me stood the ideal fighting-editor of Cosy Moments. In the fifth round the thing became a certainty. "How's that?" he inquired. There were cheers and "Oh. "Cosy Moments wins. Comrade Brady. the editorial staff found the winner of the ten-round exhibition bout between members of the club s eated on a chair. He's a good quick boy. Suddenly a grisly silence fell upon the house. and betting on what they considered a certainty." he said. was going out like a lamb. and who would ha ve expired promptly if any one had tapped them sharply on their well-filled wais tcoats." "Sure. you Al.

now announced that he guessed that would about do." "We've been followed in the streets. "Gum! Mr. "We're pretty sure by this time that whoever the ma n is this fellow Parker's working for has put one of the gangs on to us. are such a man. those gangs. who during this conversation had been concentrating himself on his subject 's left leg. This is praise from Sir Hubert Stanley. Sit down. bade the company good night and retired. and once they put up a bluff to get us wher e they could do us in. Windsor. and having advis ed the Kid not to stop and pick daisies. but what we want is some one to help in case they try to rush us there." said Billy." "Parker?" "That's what I'm coming to. Comrade Brady. Comrade Brady. "We want to tal k over something with you." Jack. And it is for that reason that we have ventured to call upo n you. Windsor. "that he left breathing threate nings and slaughter." "Can we have a couple of words with you alone. "So we thought." Psmith bowed." "It was about time some strong josher came and put it across to 'em." "You don't say!" exclaimed the Kid. Comrade Parker. They're to the good. "You gave him the hook. you see. but to get into his clothes at once bef ore he caught a chill. is compel therefore bravoes b .n not." "In brief. they're tough proposition s. "You stimulate us. "At all costs we must have No writer can prune and polish his sentences to his satisfaction if he led constantly to break off in order to eject boisterous hooligans." said Psmith. I read 'em. Mr. Comrade Brady. "The day before yesterday a man named P arker called at the office and tried to buy us off. Kid?" said Billy. I guess?" queried the interested Kid. "Say." Billy's voice grew indignant at the recollection. Billy shut the door. Put me wise. Jack'll be through in a minute. however. We can look after ourselves o ut of the office." he said." "Sure. So we've come along to you." added the Kid. We offer you the job of sitting in the outer room and intercepting these privacy. a fighting-editor." "It's this way." said Psmith. gents. And you. this gets past me. "To such an extent. totally disagreed with us." said Billy. "you know those articles about the tenements we've been having i n the paper?" "Sure." The Kid turned appealingly to Billy. "Kid.

Maybe with Jimmy Garvin. I'll do it. and the only signs of life were a moist policeman and the d istant glare of public-house lights down the road. You app ear to be ready. sound sense. If it hadn't a-been for you gents." "Next time we three go on a little jaunt anywhere. "it would be as well to take a map and a corps of guides with us. see wha t I mean? I'll have to be going away somewhere and getting into training." said Psmith resignedly. "that would suit us all the way up. Take what you need and put the rest--if any--back.. H ow does the offer strike you. they'll be giving me a chance of a big fight. if that happens. What do you feel about it?" "Gents. they may not come anywhere near the office. Comrade Brady?" "We don't want to get you in under false pretences. "Hullo!" said Billy. This is the first time I been up here. Kid. will face the foe. "I had imagined that either you or Comrade Brady was in charge of this expedition and taking me by a known route to the nearest S ubway station. he will keep right away. Otherwise we shall start for Broadway and finish up at Minneapolis. There are doubloons and to spare in the old oak chest. "Nix on the salary thing. found themse lves in a blind alley. if they did. "I though t you was taking me right. "Shucks!" said the Kid with emphasis." protested the light-weight. Shall we meander forth?" The building was empty and the lights were out when they emerged from the dressi ng-room. But. The salary we leave to you.efore they can reach us. the goods." said Billy. without hesitation. beyond a doubt. we'd be tickled to death." he said. "Of course ." said Psmith warmly. I'd have been waiting still for a cha nce of lining up in the championship class." "And touching salary--" put in Psmith. They turned off to the left." said the Kid. too. "Where have we come to?" Psmith sighed. You a re. They had to grope their way in darkness. and resumed. hand-in-hand. "In my trusting way. then. "Now that I've made good by getting the decision over Al. We three. Any old t hing you gents want me to do. I wouldn't take a dime." They emerged from the blind alley and stood in the dark street. and if the foe has good. I did not think to ask. And glad. Kid. supremely the stuff. looking doubtful . I'd be m ighty glad to come in till I'm wanted to go into training-camp. "you are." "I thought the Kid knew the way." said Billy. there woul d be something doing." "Comrade Brady. and. I placed myself. after walking some hundred yards. If you'd do that. "I was just taggin' along with you gents. whol ly in your hands." said Billy. Well." "Great. It was still raining when they reached the street. I shou ldn't be able to come and sit with you." He stepped into his coat. But still. if you gents feel like it. That's good enough for me. "it's this way. if I may say so.

even when warring among themselves. Psmith they kn ew. arm ed with the big stick which he had bought after the visit of Mr. and rely on their advice to take us to our goal. A moment later Psmith and the Kid followed." A little knot of men was approaching from the left. something dropped from his hand on to the pavement with a bump and a rattle. a chunky sound as of wood striking wood. In the darkness it was impos sible to say how many of them there were. and there raged over the body of the fallen leader a battle of Homeric type. He had been a few paces behind the others during the black -jack incident. His remo val from the sphere of active influence had left the party without a head. and handed it to Psmith. Physical courage is not an outstanding quality of the New York hooligan. Stooping swiftly. It was not a long affair. The rules and conditions governing the encounter offen ded the delicate sensibilities of the gang. Like artists who feel themselves tra mmelled by distasteful conventions. It was not lessened by the behaviour of the intended victims. the Kid at his side. concealing nothing. he sprang forward into the confused mass of the enemy. they could not account for the Kid. they were damped and could not do themselves justice. Billy Windsor. "I perceive a native. With a whoop of the purest Wyoming brand. he had seen enough to show him that the occ asion was. sir. the gen eralship of the expedition had been in the hands of the fallen warrior. It was a short. "Get busy. The gangsman. Also. Qui te a little covey of them. Their forte was long-range fighting with pistols." he said to the leader. Parker. wicked-looking little bludgeon. Psmith stepped forward. Their c hosen method of battling is to lie down on the ground and shoot. which is rarely great. "Excuse me. one for the Shrewd Blow rather than the Pr olonged Parley. And. as Psmith would have said. but who was this stranger with the square shoul ders and the upper-cut that landed like a cannon-ball? Something approaching a p anic prevailed among the gang. and Billy Windsor they knew. And. T here was no doubt that much had been hoped for from speedy attack. dark as it was. "but if you can spare me a moment of yo ur valuable time--" There was a sudden shuffle of feet on the pavement. "Aha!" said Psmith suddenly. The Kid's rapid work on the present occasion created a good deal of confusion. in fact. His personal preference is for retreat when it is a question of unpleasantness with a stranger. was the first to join issue. This is more su ited to their physique. the Kid picked it up. the gangs exhibit a lively distaste for the hard knocks of hand-to-hand fighting. His fi ngers closed upon it. the blackjack of the New York tough. is stunt ed and slight of build. but. and the man Psmith had bee n addressing fell to the ground in a heap. We will put our case before them. in any case. CHAPTER XVI THE FIRST BATTLE The promptitude and despatch with which the Kid had attended to the gentleman wi th the black-jack had not been without its effect on the followers of the strick en one.ly up and down it. to add to their discomfiture. Several natives. As he fell." advised the Kid briefly. With that they felt . as a rule. a quick movement on the part of the Kid.

The head of it fell off and dropped upon the up-turned face. Willie. In a mom ent of imprudence I mentioned Cosy Moments. pursued one fugitive some fifty yards down the street. It was up-town. Gum! I remember when I fought Martin Kelly. "The merchant with whom we hob-nobbed on our way to the Highfield. He was not on our trail. the black-jack. Billy." explained the Kid. But this vulgar brawling in the darkness with muscular opponents who hit hard and often with sticks and hands was distasteful to them. Light anot her match. He came back. wavering. Kid?' he asks. They could no t develop any enthusiasm for it. full of zeal." said Billy uncharitably. 'It's a lo vely day. but his quarry. Dizzy. shook himself. We could ascertain from him who he is and which particular collection of horny-handeds he represents. and the lightning blows of the Kid. "It is our friend of the earlier part of the evening. they must tear themselves away. Comrade Brady?" "In the air. where curious crowds might collect at the f irst shot. Reluctant as they might be to abandon their fallen leader. See what I mean? It 's often like that when a feller puts one in with a bit of weight behind it just where that one landed. Comrade Windsor.' 'You've lost the fight. I just turns r ound and walks straight out of the ring to my dressing-room. yes.' I says. which went out just as Billy arrived . and began to mutter something in a fog gy voice. "From one point of view. 'What's doing." said Psm ith. it would b e as well if he were to sit up and take notice. It seems to be a moot point whether he will ever recover consciousness. For a moment they hung. "Bats in the belfry. What do you think I done? Fall down and take the count? Not on your life. this was n ot the dear. Besides." During this reminiscence." "Mighty good thing if he doesn't. homely old Bowery. panting. Subsequent events must have ju stified our fighting editor in his eyes. to find Psmith and the Kid examining the fallen leader of the departed ones with the aid of a match. exhibiting a rare turn of speed. Already they were suffering griev ously from the stick. Willie Harvey. but it was too dark and t he combatants were too entangled to allow them to use these. It was a half an hour and m ore before I could remember a thing." said the Kid. His visit to the Highfield was paid. Such an event would undoubtedly b e an excellent thing for the public good. "He's still woozy. easily outstripped him. comes tearing in after me. Comrade Brady. 'I'm going fishin'. purely from sport-loving motives. and finds me getting into my clothe s. the man on the ground had contrived to clear his mind . then stampeded in half a dozen different directions.en rapport. melting into the night whence they had come." The Kid did so. There was but one thing to be done. Comrade Windsor. sat up. who was seconding me. I think. 'What fight?' See what I mean? I hadn't a notion of what had happened. Martin and me was mixing it good and hard all ov er the ring. where a gentleman may fire a pistol without exci ting vulgar comment. He came merely to se e if Comrade Brady was proficient with his hands. But from our point of view. The hooligan stirred. I was only s tarting to learn the game then. "Still--what exactly. They carried pistols.' he says. when suddenly he puts over a stiff one right on the point. I fancy that this was his first inti mation that we were in the offing. 'Fight?' says I.

whose fall had jolted and bruised him. started off again down the road . for he gr asped the lamp-post. "Try and find out. i f you could spare us a moment of your valuable time. "would it be betraying professional secr ets if you told us which particular bevy of energetic sandbaggers it is to which you are attached?" "Gent.' says they. 'Come in. Comrade Brady?" "Says it's the Three Points. The Kid." The man on the ground muttered something that to Psmith and Billy was unintellig ible. "wants to know what's your gang." continued Psmith." "Says he's Jack Repetto. He had an awful punch." explained the Kid." agreed the Kid. He got as far as the nearest st reet-lamp. Comrade Windsor. but. Dude Dawson runs the Table Hill crowd." announced the interpreter." he said. "It's no good him trying to run for a while after he's put his chin in the way of a real live one." "Perhaps this is Spider Reilly?" "Nope. "Pardon us. chaps. You seem to be able to understand what he says. This ain't him. "It would be a charity. This is some other mut t. and. 'It's all right." said the Kid. There was another interruption at this moment. K id. Reaching out a pair of lean hands." said the Kid. and he put me down and out in the eighth round. Once more. or the othe r gentleman?" "It's Spider Reilly. made another attempt to wit hdraw." "Which other mutt in particular?" asked Psmith. plainly a man who was not happy in the society of strangers. had old Joe." said the former. there are one or two things which we should like to know. is that Dude Dawson. The Kid was inspired to further reminiscence. "if some philanthropist would give thi s blighter elocution lessons. desire outran performance. he pulled the Kid's legs from under hi m with a swift jerk. but no farther.' I says. Comrade Brady . "The Three Points? Let me see. To me. I'm dying.' Same with this guy. and. "for breaking in upon your reverie. 'It's a ll right. Repetto. sat there motionless. way back wh en I was new to the game--it was the same year I fought Martin Kelly. The first sign he showed of ret urning intelligence was a sudden dash for safety up the road." "Sure thing. 'I'm dying. personally. "I know the Spider. "In the first place. The giddiness seemed to overcome him again. chaps. "Guess he's feeling pretty poor. Can you interpret." said Psmith courteously. however. wriggling to his feet. his remarks sound like the output of a gramophone with a hot potato in its mouth. The bashful Mr.' Like that. But he had not gon e five yards when he sat down limply. sliding slowly to the ground. I remember when Joe Peterson put me out. was inclined to be wrathful and . After the fight they found me on the fire-escape outside my dressing-room.of the mistiness induced by the Kid's upper-cut. See what I mean?" They formed a group about the fallen black-jack expert.

Repetto." Psmith rose to his feet and dusted his clothes ruefully. held certain disadvantages. The circle of light was empty now. Repetto's task to lure his captors int o the light. unperceived except by Mr. which were clo sed. but it was evident as soon as. Repetto. Psmith's hat. A tentative shot from nowhere ripped th rough the air close to where Psmith lay flattened on the pavement. one felt instinctively that no judging committee of a beauty contest would hesitate a moment before him. the y had crept back. Repetto had been in progress. in the centre of which Mr. Apparently the latter's oiled forelock. w ho had fled with such remarkable speed. It being too dark f or successful shooting. Bat Jarvis. there sounded from the darkness down the road the c rack-crack-crack of a revolver. Somewhere--it might be near or far--a policeman had heard the shots. The thought did not come to them consciously at the moment. The other members of the gang. Three bullets flicked grooves in the roadway almost at Billy's feet. whirling into the night. there being little t ime to think. for the fallen warrior was an albino. While the questioning of Mr. than. Repetto reclined. Repetto himself. For the first time he r ealised the horrors of war. "Beat it!" Next moment the night was full of clatter. The Kid gave a sudden howl. Repetto had vanished. too. The rescue party was coming up at the gallop. Repetto had it. the New York constable's substitute for the London police-whistle. they crouched down and waited for the next move. "De cops!" cried a voice. Instantly from the opposite direction came other shots. was more a concession to the general fashion prevailing in gang circle s than an expression of personal taste. They knew it for what it was. and w as signalling for help to other policemen along the line by beating on the flagstones with his night-stick. diving out of the circle of light i nto the sheltering darkness. but to the opposing army it meant much. Looking at him. with a suddenness which cause d them to leap into the air. th at a somewhat skilful ambush had been effected. His eyes. Mr. and if that worthy had happened to be standing instead of sitting it might have gone hard with him. But the Kid was not the man to attack a fallen foe. There was dead silence. The noise grew. His hat had gone for ever. It soon became apparent that the light of the lamp. To Psmith it co nveyed nothing. In his case it was almost white. . He was the first of the three to reach the elusive Mr. sprang into th e air and vanished. He contented himself with brushing the dust off his person and addressing a richly abusive f low of remarks to Mr. which he had accomplished with considerable skill. filling the still air. Mr. though bestowing the doubtfu l privilege of a clearer view of Mr.vindictive. For some minutes the battle halted. His trousers could never be the same again after their close acquaintance with the pavement. had by no means been eliminated altogeth er from the game. The gang was "beating it. His under-lip protruded an d drooped. Repetto's face. Scarcely had the staff of Cosy Moments reached the faint yellow pool of light. And then the pavement began to vibrate and give out a curious resonant sound. There was a subtle but noticeable resemblance to tho se of Mr. suddenly imbued with life. Under the rays of the lamp it was possible to discern more closely the features of the black-jack exponent. had white lashes and were set as near together as Nature had been able to m anage without actually running them into one another. it had become Mr. From somewhere down the road sounded the ring of running feet. worn low over the forehead.

"Dash the lads.The New York policeman may lack the quiet dignity of his London rival. "Reckoned I'd seen you somewhere!" said another." said Psmith. joined them." "He belongs to the Three Points. did they?" said one of the policemen. He--" "Say. Mi ne has a six-inch hole in it." observed Psmith. but I will not press the trousers." The circle of lamplight became as if by mutual consent a general rendezvous. essential. to me there other little matter of my ruined hat. I hear." said the disgusted voice of Billy Windsor from the shadows. "When next you see him. I tell you--" "I am loath. but. mildly interested. "He can whip twenty Jimmy Garvins with his feet tied." "He's the next champeen. I know that itive of us to protest against being riddled with very impressive brain-barbecue is a certain interest in this it may strike you as hypersens bullets. too. as who should say.'s in the same evening with his eyes shut. Billy Windsor and the Kid." said Psmith." "And who but a bone-head thought he wouldn't?" demanded the third warmly. Thr ee grey-clad policemen. are you Kid Brady?" inquired one of the officers. "If he puts it over Jimmy Garvin." said another intelligent officer. Psmith. "What's bin the rough house?" inquired one of the policemen. "to interrupt this . Kid. "I should be obliged if you would use your authority to make him buy me a new hat. "Do you know a sportsman of the name of Repetto?" inquired Psmith. the latter bleeding freely from his left ear." "Shot at us!" burst out the ruffled Kid. hatless and dusty. "What's doing?" "Nothing now. clean-shaven men with keen eyes and square jaws. stood there. all rig ht. but he is a hustler. "You licked Cyclone Al." argued the second. trivial as it may seem to you. For the first time the c onstabulary had begun to display any real animation." admitted the first speaker. "What do you think's bin happening? Thi nk an aeroplane ran into my ear and took half of it off? Think the noise was som ebody opening bottles of pop? Think those guys that sneaked off down the road wa s just training for a Marathon?" "Comrade Brady. night-stick in the other. revolver in one hand. "touches the spot. the lobe of which had been chipped by a bullet. "Jimmy Garvin!" cried the third. A new hat. I could do with another pair of trouser s. "Jack Repetto! Sure. is. however. but--" . were the last to a rrive. "They 've beaten it. as one namin g some fashionable club. tough. they're always up to some of their larks. "He co uld whip a dozen Cyclone Al." "Shot at you.

Billy Windsor undertook to explain. surely we are one up? Surely we have gained ground? The elimination of Comrade Repetto from the scheme of thing s in itself is something. the sooner it w ould be over." said one of the policemen indulgently. in a merely tentative way by sluggin g one of the family circle." The second policeman gave it as his opinion that Jack was getting too gay. The Kid put one over on to Jack Repetto's chin. and you came up and they beat it. seemingly in a victory for th e Cosy Moments army. The thing grips him like dram-dr inking. It was an error on Jack's part." urged Psmith. It was a nuisance." "That." he said." said Psmith. He is one of Nature's sand-baggers. in your hands. possibly. what's bin doin'?" inquired the Force. We will leave the matter . the cheerful lights of the G reat White Way are what I seem to chiefly need. I don't know who the rest were." "We'll round Jack up. he gave his hearer s to understand." the trio agreed. "The victory. if you will be so good. Jack." "What makes you think that?" . The t hird policeman conceded this." said Psmith. and started into s hooting. But. he is unable to resist the craving. They seemed to think it was too bad of Jack. "Jack Repetto was bossing the crowd. "is a very fair precis of the evening's events. On the other hand. "Too blamed fresh he's gettin'. to corral this Comrade Repetto. "is very terrible." CHAPTER XVII GUERILLA WARFARE Thus ended the opening engagement of the campaign. to assume that the lid was completely off the great city of New York. however. His nurse. "was not bloodless. We should like you. and se e that he buys me a new hat. "Don't go hurting his feelings. He sandbags now not because he really wants to. Billy Windsor. Just at the moment. Probably the thing c rept upon him slowly. then. Comrade Brady's ear. nodding. this perpetual harping on trifles when the deep question of the light-weight Championship of th e World was under discussion. Then we got to cover quick. To me there is something consoling in the thought that Comrade Repet to will no longer be among those present. Repetto a first-ter mer who had been detected in the act of wearing his cap on the back of his head. "We've got mighty little out of it. In the meantime." he said. had shown signs for some time past of asking for it in the neck. "The wrath of the Law. I know few men I would not rather meet in a lonely roa d than Comrade Repetto. but the sooner it was attended to. He started. or his young brother. They could not have been more disapproving if they had been prefects at Haileybury and Mr. he said." said Psmith. an d we were asking him a few questions when the rest came back. shook his head. "The Three Points laid for us. on ce started. my hat--the se are not slight casualties. but because he cannot he lp himself."Well. we should be glad if you would direct us to the nearest Subway station. let us say. "Do it nicely.

many." "And get the court to believe it?" said Psmith. Jack'll get of f. In due season they rounded up the impulsive Mr. when they pulled him for thugging a fellow out in New Jersey?" "I fear not. And then. If I did." . "You may have wriggled out of this. huh? Say. he was. "You don't catch them hurting a gangsman unless they're pushed against the wall. astonished. Wh at happened then? Was he restored to his friends and his relations?" "Sure." "Yes?" "He was arrested dozens of times." "Not on your life." said Billy disgustedly. and he was haled bef ore a magistrate. He replaced it."I should imagine that a benevolent Law will put away in his little cell for at least a brief spell. but he' s in with Spider Reilly. eleven greasy. The mag istrate discharged the prisoner. and the Spider's in with the men behind." Billy's prophecy proved absolutely correct." Psmith's eyeglass dropped out of his eye." "His small-talk. "He'll prove an alibi. What do you think? Well. you want to look where you're goin'." said Psmith thoughtfully. "seems to have been bright and well-expressed." said Psmith. Do you know what he sai d once." said Billy. many blocks below the scene of the regrettable assault. 'You're arresting me. Did you ever he ar of Monk Eastman?" "I fancy not. what a beautiful exhibition of brotherly love and au ld-lang-syne camaraderie was witnessed! One by one. I made half the big politicians in New York!' That w as what he said." "He said. Repetto. before Kid Twist took it on. smirking sheepishly. e specially as the Aldermanic elections will be on in a few weeks. Comrade Windsor. and gazed. Comrade Windsor. but giv ing out their evidence with unshaken earnestness. meeting Billy and Psmith in t he street outside. I'll knock yo u over the Singer Building. The politicians don't want the gangs in gaol." "It looks to me. leered triumphantly at them. Who was this c leric?" "He was the first boss of the East Side gang. but he always got off. I cut some ice in this town. "Sure. Billy stepped up to him. at Billy. "An alibi? When three keen-eyed men actually caught him at it?" "He can find thirty toughs to swear he was five miles away. wandering-eyed youths mounted the witness-stand and affirmed on oath that at the time mentioned dear old Jack had been making merry in their company in a genial and law-abidin g fashion. Hump yourself. Tell me all. Jack Repetto isn't Monk Eastman. and the prisoner. the name has escaped me." he said furiously. Comrade Windsor. "as if my stay in t his great city were going to cost me a small fortune in hats. "but if you don't get a move on and quit looking at me like that. The police were as good as their wor d.

gave it as his opinion th at the editorial staff had sand. "it is up to us. He was a distributor. the mirth-provoking sallies of Mr. there's Pat i n pieces on the ground and nobody in sight but a Dago chewing gum. Just be en looking in on him. and they do n't want any more fight than they can get by beating their wives and kicking kid s off the sidewalk." "What's been happening?" asked Billy with gleaming eyes. gents. what's it all about? Who's got it in for us and why?" Mr. there'll be a strike. Henderson Asher. and he distributed. Psmith looked at Billy. Repetto to East Side Society. "It's up to you." He went out. He then proceeded to his information. and his job was to look after the di stribution of the paper. sure. "What's doing. rising. So was victory turned into defeat. Mr. Know what happened? Why. but he had never read a line of it. anyway. But this was too much for him. Good day. and Billy's jaw became squarer and his eye mo re full of the light of battle than ever. Wheeler leaned back in his chair. "Why. W ilberfloss. He handled it as if it were so much soap. Don't see what any one could have against a p aper with a name like Cosy Moments. while the rest gets clean away with every copy of the paper there was in the cart. anyway?" he asked. explained the situation. some one had better get bus y right quick and do something to stop these guys rough-housing like this. though." he said. That was his sole comment. I'll do my best to get this paper distributed right and it's a shame if it ain't. The most of them are Dagoes and such. He shows fight . He endeavoured to satisfy the latter first. only our carriers can't go out without being beaten up by gangs of toughs. He had been with Cosy Moments from its start. "Some on e's got it in against the paper." he said. Passing through a lowdown street on his way up-town he's held up by a bunch of toughs. and the Dago says he's only just come round the corner a nd ha'n't seen nothing of anybody. when the narrative had come to an end. If we get a few more carriers beat up the way Pat was. Pat Harrigan's in the hospital now. for now began a period of guerilla warfare such as no New Yor k paper had ever had to fight against. Wheeler was a man for whom in business hours nothing existed but his job. his hair rumpled more than ev er and his eyes glowing. Wheeler listened absolutel y unmoved." he said. and. It was Wheeler. who first brought it to the notice of the editorial staff. just like this it was. see here. The scholarly writings of Mr. while Billy. Pat's a feller who likes to fight. What do you propose to d . Repetto humped himself. And there was need of a square jaw and a battle-lit eye. The way things have been going last few days. As to the contents of the paper he was absolutely ignor ant. the tender ou tpourings of Louella Granville Waterman--all these were things outside his ken. Cop asks the Dago what's been doing. Say. I ha'n't never read the thing. Half a dozen of them attend to him. "I don't know what it's all abo ut. nothing in the world to fuss about. "As Comrade Wheeler remarks. A few days after the restoration of Mr. because it's going big just now--but it's up to you. "You know your business. What I want to know is. When the cop comes along. Wheele r came into the editorial room with information and desire for information.Mr. the gaunt manager of the business side of the journal. Rather fight he would t han see a ball-game. Mr. B. Pat goes out with his cart. seems it might be the organ of a blamed mining-camp what the boys have took a dislike to. It's not as if they were all Irishmen.

Such things as first causes and pi quant details he avoided. Dude Dawson's mad at Spider Re illy. on the following morning. Pugsy said: "Dere's trouble down where I live. "I believe you've hit it." Billy admitted the soundness of this scheme. fall yelling the name. and sally forth as sleuth-houn ds on our own account. Do you take me. Our line up to the present has been to sit at home an d scream vigorously in the hope of some stout fellow hearing and rushing to help ." Psmith shot his cuffs modestly. If th ey are going to strew the street with our carriers. they have us where the hair is crisp. If the campaign is to be a long one. brought to the office the gi st of what is related in this chapter. CHAPTER XVIII AN EPISODE BY THE WAY It was Pugsy Maloney who. but I should say at a venture once a week. we've been saying in the paper what an out-size in scugs the m erchant must be who owns those tenements. I fancy? Yet brainy. as man to man. I had fanc ied that their operations would be confined exclusively to our two selves. He gave the thing out merely as an item of general interest. What we must do now. or rather we aren't on any track at al l. if we perish. In other words." He had then retired to his outer fastness." "Far from it. What we want to do is to go out and hustle round till we stir up something. He was chewing the stem of an unlighted pipe. but how's it going to work in practice? The only thing that can corner the man is a commission. Sure. an' now de Table Hills are layin' for de T'ree Points. "It means. buttonhole him and ask him quite po litely. That's all wrong. but how?" demanded Billy. is put on ou r hats. "Comrade Windsor. The job may be worked more simply. I don't know h ow often the rents are collected in these places. as tending to prolong the telling excessively. Comrade Windsor?" Billy sat up. and.o about it? This is a move of the enemy which I have not anticipated. . Psmith went on . a bubble on the surface of the life of a great city. and when he has loomed up on the horizon. but wished to know how it was to be done. We cannot stand the s train. who that somebody else is. Cosy Moments cannot be muzzled. thus ke eping him from perusal of his cowboy stories. "That's all right in theory. and it se ems to me that we are on the wrong track. Comrade Windsor." said Psmith. The way Pugsy put it was as follow s." "Yes. we are simply marking time. but it can undoubtedly be choked. He did not know how nearly interested were his employers in any matter touching that gang which is known as the Three Point s. however. as was the way with his narratives. and if somebody else. What we want to do is to find out the name of the man behind the tenements as soon as e ver we can and publish it. of course. brief and u nadorned. My idea is to hang negligently round till the rent-collector arrive s. Pugsy's version was. Comrade Windsor. "I have been thinking this thing over. excited. such hats as Comrade Repetto has left us. we are somewhat in the soup. then. that we must buck up to a certain extent. in the hope that somebody else will ag ree with us and be sufficiently interested to get to work and find out who the b lighter is. Simple. yielding further details jerkily and with the dis trait air of one whose mind is elsewhere. whether he is collecting those rents for himself or for s omebody else. " Billy said nothing.

That had been a month or so back. being under the eyes of the great Bat. For Mr. alluding to an Italian who had just pirouetted past. In matters political there are only four gang s which count. the regrettable falling out of Dude Dawson and Spider Rei lly at Mr. Shamrock Hall. and it was with no intention of spoiling the harmony of the evening that Mr. the East Side. They "stick up" an occasional wayfarer for his " cush. Robert ("Nigger") Coston. of course. just as the Table Hillites were beginning to forgive the Three Points fo r shooting the redoubtable Paul Horgan down at Coney Island. Mr. an eminent member of the Three Points. In time they may grow. was. During that month things had been simmering do wn. a Three Pointer inj udiciously wiped out another of the rival gang near Canal Street.Skilfully extracted and pieced together. as did B at Jarvis's coterie. As he sat smoking. the Three Points. remarked that there sure was some clas s to the way that wop hit it up. warfar e rages as briskly as among the republics of South America. But at present the amount of ice which good judges de clare them to cut is but small. but these things do not signify the cutting of ice. it is probable that there alw ays will be. There being temporary peace between the two gangs. into formidable organisations. after a short pause. The really important gangs of New York are four. and until they wipe eac h other out after the manner of the Kilkenny cats. Mr. . continuing in this vein of criticism. Dawson had looked in. sipping. But between the other gangs. For a moment Mr. but these are little more than mere friendly gatherings of old boy hood chums for purposes of mutual companionship. Shamrock Hall. there sure was." and they carry "canisters" and sometimes fire them off. There has always bee n bad blood between the Table Hill and the Three Points. These two are colossal. trifling in themselves. Coston. the latter presided over at the time of this story by Mr. though they may fight each other. there settled at the next table Mr. Alas! The next moment the sky was covered with black clouds and the storm broke. There are other less important institutions. Dawson said Yup. rather injudiciously gave it as his opinion that one of the lady dancers had two left feet. He was there in a purely private and peaceful charact er. and the Table Hill. Greatest of these by virtue of their numbers are the East Side and the Gr oome Street. a word or two. You would have said that all Nature smiled. the Groome Street. and observing the revels. but nevertheles s the Table Hillites were ruffled. the great men exchanged a not unfriendly nod and. Dawson. and especial ly between the Table Hill and the Three Points. and. and peace was just preparing to brood when there occurred the incident to wh ich Pugsy had alluded. the same which Bat Jarvis h ad been called in to protect in the days before the Groome Street gang began to be. and in any case it was probably mere thoughtlessness. these details formed themselves into th e following typical narrative of East Side life in New York. which are much of a size. for the soil is undoubtedly propitious to such growth. are immune fro m attack at the hands of lesser gangs. Bat Jarvi s. Thus. Maginnis's dancing saloon. forbidden ground. Little events. Coston did not see which lady was alluded to. have always occurred to shat ter friendly relations just when there has seemed a chance of their being formed . He pleaded sel f-defence.

who addressed him as "coon" was more t han asking for trouble. Dawson. Mr. to which only Spider Reilly. shot through the le g. and a leader of a rival gang. who. Mr. Dawson said: "Sure. and made war between the gangs inevitable. Coston face to face by his nickname was a sign of the closest friendship. Dawson a pie-faced rubber-necked four-flusher. merely gave out a resonant note a nd remained unbroken. Coston squaring up at each other for the second round. it was known. or. Dawson and Mr. b ut had given it little attention till." Mr. A stranger. was. for his action was contrary to all rules of gang-e tiquette. Mr. bounced it vigorously on M r. He had noticed that there was a slight disturbance at the other side of the hall. Coston that his skin was of so swarthy a hu e. Coston "Nig" he would have been running grave risks. which. Dawson. Dawson called Mr. What he did was to produce his "canister" and pick off the unsuspecting Mr. instead of drawing his "canister. being of solid wood. If a friend had called Mr. Coston a coon. and Spider Reilly. Dawson. asked Mr. To be permitted to address Mr. facilitating the other's search by pointing with a much-chewed cigarette. Mr. leaning towards Mr. he had a plain view of Mr. We must assume that Mr."De goil in de pink skoit. Coston had a wide reputation as a f ighter. In the far corner of the room. Such was the excitement of the moment that. the dancing ceasing suddenly and the floo r emptying itself of its crowd. Dawson who he thought he. He did not nibble. monarch of the Three Points." he forgot that he had one o n his person. Coston. The leader of the Table Hillites fell with a crash. Coston's. Nig--strictly behind his back. Jack Repetto. But now occurred an incident which turned the scale. Into this action he flung himself with the passionate abandonment of the artist. and his particular mode of battling was to descend on his antagonist and bite him. For Mr. would countenance no such episodes at the dance-hall which he had undert . rising. He was pleading for it. Daws on just as that exquisite was preparing to get in some more good work with the b eer-mug. surrounded by a crowd of admiring friends. sat Spider Reilly. promptly bi t him on the cheek. Coston said: "Huh?" Mr. Dawson bounded from his seat. Coston's respectful devotion for the past eight days. Mr." said Mr. and one o r two more of the gang could aspire. Mr. head off. extinguishing his cigarette and placing it behind his ear. Reilly was not thinking what he did. seizing a mug which had held beer. s ped through the doorway for safety. For the lady in the pink skirt had been in receipt of Mr. Mr. It was secretly a great grief to Mr. Coston. and. In the street it would have been perfectly legitimate. Mr. even praisewort hy. Others spoke of him as Nigger. When he bit he bit. Dawson. with perhaps a slight balance in fav our of Mr. Coston. together with Mr. but in a dance-hall belonging to a neutral power it was unpardonable. From this point onwards the march of events was rapid. Coston's skull. And that was where the trouble really started. It was at this moment that Nature's smile was shut off as if by a tap. Great men seldom waste time. replied t hat he was the fellow who could bite his. So far the honours were comparatively even. more bri efly. fearing the wrath of Bat Jarvis. Coston called Mr. Coston and others of the Three Points.

" he said. A ma n such as he would feel a bullet through his trouser-leg more than one of common clay who cared little how his clothes looked. when Master Maloney had spoken his last word. was attended to and helped home. an Italian. sure. When the day dawned there existed between the two gangs a state of war more bitter th an any in their record." agreed Psmith. brought the information that rents in the tenements were collect ed not weekly but monthly. dis kid. After you've explained a thing from start to finish--or. A Dago. Rent-day. Though I have never met him. an' den it's up to de fam'l ies what lives in de tenements to dig down into deir jeans fer de stuff. Comrade Maloney? This thing is beginning to get clearer. Comrade Maloney?" "A wop." "And then. an--" "A what. Dawson. from finish to start--it becomes quite simple. Shooting broke out in three places. de one what lives dere. You start at the end. always seem to me to suffer from a certain lack of construction. "Your narratives. He's a wop kid. 'cos der ain't nobody to pungle de bones. "Nor I. don't you get next? Why. Willing informants gave him the name of his aggressor. Comrade Maloney. Why." said Billy Windsor wonderingly. and I finds t'ings out." said Psmith. "I got dat from a kid what knows anuder kid what lives dere. I am sorry for Dude Dawson. den dis kid's in bad for fair. announced Pugsy.aken to protect. Wel l. Dat s econd kid. Sure." he proceeded confidentially. De re's a feller comes round 'bout supper time dat day." said Psmith. Why should the fact that this stripling 's father has come over from Italy to work on the Subway be a misfortune?" "Why. "I rubbered around. "Comrade Windsor. "and did de sleut' act. sure he is." CHAPTER XIX IN PLEASANT STREET Careful inquiries." "Evidently a hustler. "dat kid's in bad. eventually winding up at the beginning. "Say. an' de magistrate gives him t'oity days. anyhow. dat's right. or out dey goes dat same night." "Why." explained Master M aloney. because he got fired an' went an' swatted de foreman one on de coco. as yo u prefer to do. "w e must take careful note of this little matter. and before morning the Table Hill camp was in fer ment. conducted incognito by Master Maloney among the denizens of P leasant Street. and then you g o back to any portion of the story which happens to appeal to you at the moment." "I don't see why that puts him in bad. for this time it was no question of obscure nonentities. meanwhile. he is sure to de bad. 'cos his father come over from Italy to work o n de Subway. our nameless friend. Chieftain had assaulted chieftain. a fact which must undoubtedly cause a troublesome hit ch in the campaign. You are like Sherlock Holmes. I rather fancy that sooner or la ter we may be able to turn it to our profit." . Mr. though there were no casualties. royal blood had been spilt. I have a sort of instinctive respect for him. fell on the last day of the month .

seemed both surprised and alarme d to see visitors." Billy warmed up at this tale of distress in his usual way. led by Pu gsy up dark stairs. paying the stripling's rent and corralling the rent-col lector at the same time. . The expedition reached its unsavoury goal intact." But the days went by without any further movement on the part of the enemy. and Psmith and Billy. Pugsy as interpreter was e nergetic but not wholly successful. arrived. inhabited a small roo m at the very top of the building next to the one Psmith and Mike had visited on their first appearance in Pleasant Street. but as yet no pitched battle.. He gesticulated. "Somebody ought to do something. deeply interested. De stuff. He appeared to have a fixed idea that the It alian language was one easily mastered by the simple method of saying "da" inste ad of "the. but the Table Hillites demanded instant attention. "He can't git on to me curves. the y were not likely to take the offensive. To get there it was necessary to pass through a section of the enemy's country."Pungle de what. and said something in hi s native language. Dat's right. De dollars. "is getting about as tense as anything I ever struck. whose name. rapping on it smartly from the outside. it appeared. and. stretched out his hand and thundered: "U nbelt-a! Slip-a me da stuff!" The wop kid's puzzlement became pathetic." "We will see to it. It's a vile shame the kid being turned out like that. We will combine business with pleasure. kid. Who knows but that you may yet win . The end of the week arrived. The wop kid. Cosy Moments shall step in. Two murrains. "This. Say. Comrade Windsor. Don't give in. but the perilous passage was safely negotiate d." said Psmith. Comrade Maloney?" "De bones. "Say. The two armies were sparring for an opening." He walked out of the room and closed the door. on returning. Psmith and Billy could wait. De se wop kids is all boneheads. assuming a look of extreme ferocity. so when d e rent-guy blows in." he began. then. conducted by Master Maloney. He was out when the party. A st range quiet seemed to be brooding over the other camp." reported Master Maloney. the sudden outbreak of active hostilities with the Table Hill contingent had had the effect of taking the minds of Spider Reilly and his warriors off Cosy Moments a nd its affairs. in a somewhat tentative fash ion at first sight. dis kid. There had been sniping and skirmishes by the wayside. quick. "has da rent-a-man come yet-a?" The black eyes of the wop kid clouded.. This delay may undo us. He's all alone. "He hasn't got next. Comrade Maloney. made their way to Pleasant Street. War had broken out. as was usual between the gangs. kid. re-entered an d. much as the unexpected appearance of a mad bull would make a man forget that he had come out butterfly-hunting. Pugsy undertook to do the honours. look-a here." and tacking on a final "a" to any word that seemed to him to need o ne. Comrade Windsor. As a matter of fact. was Giuseppe Orloni. What is today? How long before the end of the month? An other week! A murrain on it. who's to slip him over de simoleons? It'll be outside for h is.

His idea of ventilat ion was to leave a hole in the wall about the size of a lima bean and let the th ing go at that. Comrade Windsor." Billy got on a chair and pulled the bolt. "This is no place for a minister's son. or whatever you said his name was. If the rent collector had been here. I shall pull down the roo f. The trap-door opened downwards. Do you follow me. There may be a rough house in here any minute. disclosing a square of deep blue sky. "Never mind." he observed with moody displeasure to the wop kid. you mutt. "While your shoe leather's good. Pugsy.through? I fancy the trouble is that your too perfect Italian accent is making the youth home-sick. elementary." said Billy." "Elementary. "Of course. Com rade Maloney?" "That's right. The wop kid. "I'm t'roo. if the rent collector had cal led and found no money waiting for him. For of all the scaly localities I have struck this seems to me the scaliest. If our friend does not arrive shortly. gadzooks! Not to mention stap my vitals! Isn't that a trap-door up there ? Make a long-arm. and you would be in the way ." "I expect it is an acquired taste." said Billy Windsor." said Psmith. Cut off. Dey don't know enough to go upstairs to take de Elevated. "Surely it is enough. As thus. They do n't begin to appreciate air till it is thick enough to scoop chunks out of with a spoon. Pugsy shrugged his shoulders. as to the problem of dispensing with Comrade Maloney's services?" "Sure." "All?" said Psmith sadly. accompanying the words with a gesture which conveyed its own meaning. "Beat it?" he queried. "Fancy living in this atmosphere when you don't have to. "Gents. plainly glad to get away. "it's up to youse." murmured Psmith. indignant. my lad. It fel l." he said resignedly." "I fancy. "Gum!" he said. Once more to the breach. surely Comrade Spaghetti would have been out in the cold night instead of under his own roof-tree. "that this is one of those moments when it is necessary for me to unlimber my Sherlock Holmes system. my dear Watson. "Beat it. it is certain. wouldn't have been. And now. "like Limburger cheese. ' This is fine! This beats ozone hollow!' Leave it open." said Psmith. Beat it. Fancy t hese fellows keeping that shut all the time. Why. "So all we have to do is to sit here and wait. slipped out of the door like a shadow. Then they get up on their hind legs and inflate their chests and say." objected Master Maloney. Comrade Maloney." Pugsy looked up. I think. Comrade Windsor. The architect of this Stately Home of America seems to have had a positive hatred for windows. That is to say." "I want to stop and pipe de fun. that Comrade Spaghetti." said Billy." Master Maloney made a gesture of disgust." . Dese Dagoes makes me tired . We'll tell you all about it to-morrow.

"Say. "My name's Gooch. I'm only acting under orders from up t op. The rent collector watched these things with a puzzled eye." said Mr.Master Maloney prepared reluctantly to depart. The scene looked good to hi m. He liked his drama to have plenty of action. Where's he to go?" "That's up to him." said Psmith." or hissed the villain of "Nellie. Comrade Gooch. now appeared to consider the question of his departure permanently sh elved. He sidled to a corner and sat down on an empty soap-box with the air of a dramatic critic at the opening night of a new play. Master Maloney. as exhibited in the theatres of the East Side. is in the dungeon below the castle m oat for a brief spell for punching his foreman in the eye. unless you wait some considerable time. I should say--we have just been having a h ighly interesting and informative chat. He now turned to Psm ith. "I am addressing--?" said Psmith courteously. Gooch definitely. a cted as interpreter." "Then it's outside for theirs. The result? The rent is not forthcoming. from whom little was to be expected. Master Maloney was an earnest student o f the drama." broke in Billy. pale-faced man with protruding eyes and teeth which gave him a certai n resemblance to a rabbit. and to his practised eye this one promised well. "turning the kid out." he said. Nothing to do with me. and a man in a snuff-coloured suit. t he Beautiful Cloak-Model" with more fervour than he. "It's a big shame." Psmith bowed. and few had ever app lauded the hero of "Escaped from Sing-Sing." he said. He was a smallish. wearing a b rown Homburg hat and carrying a small notebook in one hand. Billy Windsor. "Touching these wops. Comrade Maloney. Psmith he loo ked upon as a quite amiable lunatic. CHAPTER XX CORNERED He stood in the doorway looking with some surprise at the group inside. "I fear there is little chance of your seeing them to-night. With one of them--the son and heir of the family. It promised interesting developments. placing a firm hand on his co llar. seen anything of the wops that live here?" he inquired. As he did so there was a sound of a well-shod foot on the stairs. The father. His whole appearance proclaimed the new-comer to be the long-expected colle ctor of rents." . who had taken advantage of the interruption to edge farther into the room. His pleasure was abruptly quenched. walked briskly into the room. I am told. led him to the door and pushed him out. It was not necessary for Psmith to get his Sherlock Holmes system to w ork. who has just left us. but th ere was a set expression on Billy Windsor's face which suggested great things. closing the door behind him. "Hello. "Welcome to New York.

I've nothing for you." "Confound his rent." said Mr." Psmith replied. only a few weeks ago it used to be a sort of take-home-a nd-read-to-the-kids affair. Suspicion crept into the protruding eyes of the rent collector. But. "I will explain all. All I know is that i t's begun to get this place talked about. Gooch. I will brass up for him. I wish I could give you a story. "The gent who owns this joint. "I just guessed you were from some paper. He's going to get busy. Comrade Gooch."Whose orders. "Say" he demanded. this matter of Comrade Spaghetti's rent. Push me over a receipt. Sooner than see that friend of my boyhood s lung out to do the wandering-child. our editor. A friend of mine used to buy it regular. I can't understand it." he said. though.in-the-snow act." "Anon. "Say. boys. "Who are you two guys. "Immediately behind you. Comrade Gooch?" inquired Psmith. we are newspaper men. gossip. Well. And then su ddenly it comes out with a regular whoop. Say. is Comrade Windsor. "Mr. What do you want with the name of the o wner of this place? What business is it of yours?" "The fact is. Jones isn't the man to sit still and smile. and all that. though. He spun round. you see for yourselves how it is. anyway.--Shakespeare. but I can't." of tha how our . and started knocking these tenements a nd boosting Kid Brady. that paper. You'd better chase off and try something else.--" he stopped and chuckled. Billy Windsor was standing with his back against the door and a more than nasty look on his face. Why. Here is your editor sending you down to get a story about it. I sub-edit." said Psmith soothingly. Why. Gooch with triumph." For a moment the inwardness of the information did not seem to come home to Mr. that's a queer thing." "Who is he?" said Billy. however. Comrade Gooch. say." "I guessed you were. t gentleman whose name you are so shortly to tell us has a very fair idea of to charge! But who am I that I should criticise? Here are the simoleons. anon. I happen to know a thing or two about what's going on on the other side. "You can't bluff me. How much is it? Twelve dollars? For the privilege suffocating in this compact little Black Hole? By my halidom. First. "What's all this?" demanded Mr. I am Psmith. would call them. Comrade Gooch." "Let me out. Gooch. Mr. and that go es. Let me out. it 's no good. Then it hit him. I guess it's this Cosy Moments business that's b een and put your editor on to this joint. between you and the door." He became more friendly. He waxed wroth. as young friend." "Business before pleasure. Comrade Maloney. "In the first place. those C osy Moments guys are taking big risks. and what do you think you're d oing here? That's what I'd like to know. the receipt. I tell you straight they are. and I tell you there's going to be something doing if they don't cut it out quick. ain't it? Say. what paper do you boys come from?" "Cosy Moments.

'being of sound mind and body'--comma--' and a bright little chap altogether'--comma--Why. and I am sure a man of your perception will see that ther e is only one thing to be done. Gooch scribbled a few words in his notebook and tore out the page. Let me put the whole position of affairs before you. the last page of which was blank. It is probable that in another mom ent the desired information might have been shaken out of him. who tried some few ni ghts ago to put us out of business. "I'll summon you for assault and battery. we will waive the Christian name. Gooch beh aved as if he had been caught in a high wind. 'I'--comma-. ." he said." He dusted the only chair in the room with infinite care and sat down. Rem ind me later. who is responsible for the perfectly foul conditions there. business. Gooch. Comrade Gooch. he proceeded to shake him. Play ing a fool game like this! Get away from that door. but before this c ould happen there was a banging at the door." bellowed Mr. Having d one this. who had not spoken a word or moved an inch since the beginning of the inter view. but I think there is still sufficient for our needs." "There has been no assault and battery yet. "'I'--(I have left a blank for the Christia n name: you can write it in yourself later)--' I. Psmith th anked him. followed by the entrance of Master Maloney. "the staff of Cosy Moments i s taking big risks. before Comrade Repetto's next night out. Gooch shuffled restlessly in the mid dle of the room. Are you ready. Billy Wind sor. do hereby swear'--hush. Comrade Gooch. Gooch. Who is he?" Billy Windsor reached out and grabbed the rent collector by the collar. That is the c ry. to continue on the subject of fountain pens. I have one of those patent non-leakable fountain pens in my pocket. what is your Christian n ame?. and write as follows. but who shall predict how long so happy a state of things will last? Do not be deceived by our gay an d smiling faces. and his heart was so much in the business that Mr. That is where we need your specialis ed knowledge. That is what we should like you to give us. And we should like it in writing. "I will see that it reaches Comrade Spaghetti. blank Gooch." "Let me out." said Psmith. Are you ready? By the way. on second though ts. Comrade Gooch. continued to stand and be silent. Repetto. Comrade Gooch. business. I have much to say on the theme. it struck us both that we had better g et hold of the name of the blighter who runs these tenements as quickly as possi ble. Comrade Gooch. New York. "As you justly observed a moment ago. this is no way to speak! Well. once more? Pencil mo istened? Very well. Meanwhile.Mr. Well." He produced a pen and an old letter. For the first time since Psmith had known him. We have ha d practical demonstration of the fact from one J.. Comrade Gooch. t here is no need to do it yet--'that the name of the owner of the Pleasant Street tenements. Mr. The Old Journalist's Best Friend. It is my duty to tell you. Billy was muscular. th at I suspect it to be Percy. then. Don't put away that notebook. "How does this strike you? "he said. We mean business. however. Pugsy was openly excited . moisten your p encil. you're not writing. if you are sensitive on the point. "And now to a more impo rtant matter.. We do not rely on your unsupported word for that. being a collector of rents in Pleasant Street. Most of the ink has come out and is permeating the lining of my coat. Gooch. Turn to a clean page. And. in ink. Let us push on. is--' An d that is where you come in. however. and began to write.

"and followed us. And while they are doing it I will give my cel ebrated imitation of Horatius. but about as much otherwise as you can jolly well imag ine. dem."Say. I am going to get on the roof and pull it up after me." he said. you will probably start out to gallop after the cattle without remembering to mount your mustang. Gooch. on to the low bed." said Psmith patiently. Gripping the struggling rent collector round the waist. An dere's a bunch of dem goin' to wait on de Street in case youse beat it past down de stairs while de udder guys is r ubberin' for youse." said Psmith. Psmith acte d promptly. Gooch. I seen Spider Reilly an' Jack Repett o an'-" "Say no more. "Looks to me as if some one else was going to get shaken up some. Comrade Maloney. Who are coming?" "Why. Pugsy?" "On de Street just outside." "Well. "youse had better beat it quick." Billy released Mr. If you will get through the skylight. "They must have spotted us as we were coming here. "Well?" he said. fortunately ." he began. an dere ain't no ways ou t but de front. which stood in o ne corner of the room. dis proposition. is small. from the bed. gents. with much verbal embroidery. "Not so. Once there. who fell. Or rather we will hop nimbly up on to the roof through that skylight." Billy looked at Psmith." he sai d." Mr. l ookin' into each room till dey finds you. it's pretty fierce. puffing. They ca n only get through one at a time. what then?" "We will stay here. "whi ch in the exuberance of the moment you have skipped. that is enough for me. we may engage these varlets on fairly equal terms. is going to undo you one of these days. When you get to that ranch of yours. Merely Comrade Gooch. Comrade Windsor. "I guess you ain't the only assault-and-battery artists in the business. laughed unpleasantly. Our luggage. One of dem seen you come in. "What shall we do? Go down and try and rush through?" Psmith shook his head. stated that he would not go. Dere was a bunch of dem talkin' togedder. There are fo ur million guys in New York. and I hear s dem say you was in here. Comrade Maloney. Say. and ignoring . We had better be moving. Gooch. What are yo use goin' to do?" Mr. De guys. you had. Which section is it that is coming?" "Gum! I don't know how many dere is ob dem." Psmith shook his head. so dey ain't hurryin'! Dey just reckon to pike along upstairs. Dey's coming!" "And now go back to the beginning. "If Comrade Repetto is there. "Your habit of omitting essentials. I will p ass him up to you. W here did you see them.

when ce the head. and Psmith closed the door behind him. ere Dude Dawson lives?" the cops in action. and. Whistle a few lively bars. Spi der Reilly. He will not be able to come himself. Comrade Win dsor. as it were. Comrade Malo ney. And now it would be no bad idea. Go downstairs with a gay and jaunty air. In a sense. is here. We do not want allies who will de Repetto and the others. Mr. I have seen not impress me. don't take a week about it. Comrade Maloney. I fancy. we have cover in the shape of the chimn . as if you had no con nection with the old firm at all. and then Psmith turned to Pugsy. "Dude Dawson? Nope. And when found. Smith?" "No. The examination was satisfactory. or if you haven't. of course. tell him that his old college chum. They will find it hard to get at us.his frantic kicks as mere errors in taste. however sternly. His eye glist ened with respectful approval." "Sure. But I can ask around. And." "Shall I go for de cops. For weeks you have been praying for a chance to show your devotio n to the great cause." "That's all. The trap-door appeared to be the only means of access to the roof. We upon these merry roisterers. he lifted him to the trap-door. Do you know wh The light of intelligence began to shine in Master Maloney's face. Thus shall you win through. "Only one thing can dish us. Leg it with all the speed you possess. and looked about him . shoulders and arms of Billy Windsor protruded into the room. Gooch's chest a few feet away. we do not need to be saved." "Huh?" "Have I your ear?" "Huh?" "Are you listening till you feel that your ears are the size of footballs? Then drink this in. You alone can save us. and that is if they have the sense to get on to the roof next door and sta rt shooting. jumping up. This was strategy of the right sort. in passing. and they did merely shake their heads at Comra want some one who will swoop down soak to them good. Psmith possessed himself of this. on the roof. Comrade Maloney. "Comrade Maloney. however. Billy collected the collector. gripped the edge of the opening in the roof and pulled himself thr ough. I fear." Pugsy vanished. then. Make careless gestu res." he murmured. He left it ajar. and between their roof and that of the next house there w as a broad gulf. Even in that case. That chance has come. I thank you. As a barrier it was useless. Off you go. for m e to join the rest of the brains of the paper up aloft. but he can sen d representatives. I fancy. But it ill befits th e dignity of the editorial staff of a great New York weekly to roost like pigeon s for any length of time. and consequently it is up to you. Billy Windsor was seated comfortably on Mr." "Do so. and . By hi s side was his big stick. Inspection revealed the f act that it possessed no lock. you ought to have been. "Practically impregnable.

The strong light of the open air was trying to his eyes. He held on to the edges of the trap with his hands. like a jack-in-the-box . "Aha!" said Psmith genially." cried a voice. In the room below there were whisperings and mutterings. Gooch's lips there escaped a s creech." The chair rasped over the floor. Feet shuffled. he brought the stick down on the knuckles which disfigured the edge s of the trap. But we mustn't ex pect everything. we must leave it open. If it had.eys. "Youse had better come down. I think we may fairly say that all is well. "Historic picture. "is instantly handed a gum-drop by his faithfu l Esquimaux." ." Billy was about to speak." "He will be in your charge. He can't hoit youse. there popped through the opening a head and shoulders. unmoved. an ingrowing Roman nos e. "Dey've beaten it for de roof.'" The red-headed young man blinked. and stared in a glassy manner into Psmith's face. which was within a foot of his own. It is a pity that the trap has not got a bolt this side. as he knelt by the trap making meditative billiard-shots with the stick at a small pebble. "We've got youse." As he spoke. 'Doctor Cook discovers the North Pole. growing gradually louder till some thing resembling coherent conversation came to Psmith's ears." he observed coldly. From t he room below came a sound of feet. who was still und ergoing treatment in the background. For a moment the silence was tense. The intruder uttered a howl and dropped out of sight. "Aw g'wan! Don't be a quitter!" "Who's a quitter?" "Youse is a quitter. Then from Mr. and a mouth from which force or the passage of time had removed three front t eeth. As it is. And then. "This way! They're up--" The words were cut short as Billy banged his hand over the speaker's mouth." "And. "But he's going to. "On top de roof. But the thing was done. the thi ng would be a perfect picnic. I must devote myself exclusively to guarding the bri dge. Get on top de roof. but Psmith suddenly held up his hand warningly." said Billy." continued Psmith. CHAPTER XXI THE BATTLE OF PLEASANT STREET The new arrival was a young man with a shock of red hair. There was a momentary pause. Gooch. broken by an oath from Mr. How are you getting along? Has the patient responded at all?" "Not yet.

" he argued. Psmith grasped his stick more fi rmly." "Any result yet?" "Not at present. "How are you getting on up at your end of the table. can you." "Don't give up. "Gum! some guy's got to go up." he murmured. The revolver shot had been a mere demo ."De guy's gotten a big stick. listening fro m above. Possibly Sa m did not wish to generalise on insufficient experience. It was merely a revolv er shot. Quite a little chorus of voices expressed sincere approval of the ve ry happy solution to what had seemed an insoluble problem. There was no doubt about that." said Psmith with satisfaction . but it did not come. perhaps--for the motion had been carried almost unanimously--but possibly with the idea of convincing the one member of the party in whose bosom doubts might c onceivably be harboured. "ain't goin' to git hoit by no stick. "Comrade Windsor!" "Hullo?" "Is it possible to hurt a coloured gentleman by hitting him on the head with a s tick?" "If you hit him hard enough." "The right spirit." Psmith nodded appreciatively. went on to adduce reasons. in inspired tones: "Let Sam do it!" This suggestion made a hit. Psmith. "Yes. A voice. but in the confined space it was deafening." said Psmith softly. The noise was succeeded by a shuffling of feet. Comrade Win--" A report like a cannon in the room below interrupted him. "Sam bein' a coon. "Solvitur ambulando. "Never hit me!" said Psmith with dignified triumph. turning the stick round in his fingers . "I and Roosevelt. Sam?" Psmith waited with some interest for the reply. Youse can't hoit a coon by soakin' him on de coco. The first speaker. let Sam do it!" cried the unseen chorus. This was evidently the real attack. failed to detect in the choir of glad voices one that might belong to S am himself. A somewhat baffled silence on the part of the attacking force was followed by fu rther conversation. unnecessarily." "I knew there was some way out of the difficulty. Probably gratification had rendered the chosen one dumb. The bullet sang up into the sky." Murmur of assent from the audience." "Not me. Comrade Windsor?" "Fine. It was a success from the start.

for a la rge chimney-stack intervened. Their attitude towards Psmith was that of a group of men watching a terrier at a rat-hole. and more bullets wasted themselves on air. I hate to do it. With an aggrieved air. Aha!" Another and a longer explosion from below. There was no doubt about it--as warriors. "They make me tired. ye quitters!" roared one. "that our blithe friends below are begin ning to grow a little unpopular with the many-headed. the Three Pointers had failed to give satisfaction. you blighters!" The Irish neighbours expressed the same sentiment in different and more forcible words. are you coming up? Sam. Sam!" said Psmith cordially. they began to "barrack. "Your statement. and a pai r of rolling eyes gleamed up at the old Etonian. Their indignation." "I fear. has been tested and proved correct." said Psmith. "Why. "Call yersilves the Three Points. "What was that?" asked Billy Windsor over his shoulder. There was considerable speculation as to what was passing between Billy Windsor and Mr. and were re lating it with gusto to their friends. and it offended them to s ee what should have been a spirited fight so grossly bungled. . I do. They looked to him to provide entertainment for them. Psmith sighed. Psmith's share in the entertainment was more obvious. Gooch. was directed entirel y at the dilatory Three Pointers. The roof of the house next door began to fill up. and they did not expect Psmith to make any aggressive move. Comrade Windsor. Wasn't you the feller with the open umbereller that I met one rainy mor ning on the Av-en-ue? What." he said. indee d. the next moment a woolly head popped through the opening. A voice from the room called up to Psmith." By this time the affair had begun to draw a "gate. "This is no time for a feu de joie." said Psmith. The men on the roof were mostly Irishmen. They were fair-minded men. Only a few of the occupants could get a clear view of the proceedings. Sure enough. They must be up and doing if they wish to retain the esteem of Pleasant Street. " They hooted the Three Pointers. "Say!" "You have our ear. "G'wan away home." The noise of the revolver ha d proved a fine advertisement. but--" A yell rang out. The early comers had seen his interview with Sam. Action! Get busy. Action! That is the cry. akin to that of a crowd at a cricket match when batsmen are playing for a draw. when the proceedings began to grow slow. Comrade Windsor. "this is well met! I remember you.nstration of artillery to cover the infantry's advance. do ye? An' would ye know what I call ye? The Y oung Ladies' Seminary!" bellowed another with withering scorn. A third member of the audience alluded to them as "stiffs. but they realised that the first move must be with the a ttackers. They begged them to go home and tuck themselve s up in bed. Yes.

and the low wall facing into the street became black with the backs of those craning over. "by all means do. "don't I keep tellin' youse dat de Table Hills is here? Sure. clattering upstairs. which had been emp tying itself slowly and reluctantly." "We're goin' to wait here till youse come down. "that our allies of the Table Hill contingent mus t have arrived. The roof of the house next door. The scout who had brought the news was eloquent in favour of the first course. 'cos Sam'll pump dem full of lead while dey're beatin' it t'roo de trap-door. Sure."What's that?" "I said you had our ear. now definitely abandoning hope of further entertainment. The Irishmen on the othe r roof." "Are youse stiffs comin' down off out of dat roof?" "Would you mind repeating that remark?" "Are youse guys goin' to quit off out of dat roof?" "Your grammar is perfectly beastly. There appear to be gre at doings in the street. "since you ask." There was silence below. and den dey can't get down." said Psmith severely. had brough t the news of the Table Hillites' advent. . Let Sam wait here with his cani ster. I sent Comrade Maloney to explain matters to Dude Dawson." Psmith nodded reflectively. my lad. d ere's a whole bunch of dem. and it seems as if that golden-hearted sportsman had responded. the view pleasant. Certain voices urged going down to help the main body. "Gum!" he cried. and we are expecting at any moment an important communication from Comrade Gooch. "Hey!" "Well?" "Are youse guys--?" "No." In the room below confusion had arisen. Others p ointed out that that would mean abandoning the siege of the roof. And why? Because the air up here is refreshing. we are not. and unless youse come on down dey'll bite de hull he ad off of us lot. proceeded with hoots of scorn to climb down one by one into the recesses of their own house." said Psmith." said Psmith courteously. The time began to pass slowly." "If you wish it. filled again with a magical swiftness. A scout. Who am I that I sho uld dictate your movements? The most I aspire to is to check them when they take an upward direction. "I rather fancy. Suddenly from the street far below there came a fusillade of shots and a babel o f shouts and counter-shouts. "What's that?" inquired Billy." said Psmith. and there was doubt as to the proper c ourse to pursue. Leave those stiffs on de roof.

He is now waiting below." he cried. "Excellent. and pushed it till the other end reached across the gulf to the roof of the house next door. rushe s in himself and clubs everything in sight. "Comrade Gooch. what with the shots and yells from the street and the ear-piercing approval of the roof-audience. "I've got it. "save Sam. and the Irishmen on the roof. This will wa nt thinking over. All we have to do is to get off this roof. was just working up to a climax. its handle to my hand? It is! Comrade Wi ndsor." In the street the disturbance had now become terrific. Cosy Moments' editorial staff may be tree'd. Are two mammoth minds such as ours unequal to such a feat? It can hardly be. Let us ponder. He was tired of kneeling by the trap. Comrade Windsor. and fate cannot touch us. rewarded at last for their long vigil. Mr. were yel ling encouragement promiscuously and whooping with the unfettered ecstasy of men who are getting the treat of their lives without having paid a penny for it. but it is sure rather than swift. and there was no likelihood o f Sam making another attempt to climb through. Comrade Windsor. would be delighted to do a li ttle thing like that for old friends of our standing or--but what's that!" "What's the matter?" "Is that a ladder that I see before me." he murmured. "All. knowing the importance of his own safety. take the other end of that ladder and follow me. more than long enoug h for the purpose for which it was needed." "Why not go down through the trap? They've all gone to the street. "It see ms to me the grand rescue scene in the third act has sprung a leak. The noise. His eyes were gleaming with excite ment." said Psmith. It was long. The unthinking man would rush in and at tempt to crush the combat in its earliest and fiercest stages. His whole attitude was triumphant. Gooch eyeing them in silence the while. and so draw his fire? Comrade Gooch. but it canno t be put out of business. The behaviour of the New York policeman in affairs of this kind is based on prin ciples of the soundest practical wisdom. "do nothing to apprise our friend Sam of these proceed . Sam was the subject of my late successful experime nt. armed with a pistol. Psmith and Billy rested it on the cop ing. we win through. I am sure." Psmith shook his head. The New York poli ceman. "Surely we must win through now. Psmith rose. Both sides were hard at i t. Proceedings in the affair below had not yet reached the police interference stag e. How would it be to drop Comrade Gooch through firs t." The ladder was lying against the farther wall."There is certainly something in what the bright boy says. Billy got up and turned to him. and the insignificance of the g angsman's." he said. Psmith turned to him." he replied. He walked towards Billy. when both sides have begun to have enough of it. when I proved that coloured gentlemen's heads could be hurt with a stick. It is an admirable process in its re sults. permits the opposing forces to hammer each other into a certain dista ste for battle. and then. ready--even anxious--to pick us off as we climb through the trap. In his hand he waved a strip of paper. As he did so.

leaping from crag to crag. h ad knocked the last remnant of fight out of the combatants." said Psmith. Gooch . Sam is in no mood to make nice distinction s between friend and foe. I speak in your best interests." he whispered." He went down on all-fours. The police. by all means let us have it. Comrade Windsor. relating to the policy of the paper. I will go fir st. "haven't you heard of Stewart Waring?" "The name seems vaguely familiar. in which the police had now joined. And now good-bye. engrossed in the fight in the street. man!" he said. But now that we are through . so that if the ladder breaks. "have been rui ned by the fatal practice of talking shop at dinner. "that we might now descend. with their clubs. This had been hard on Billy." In the street there was now comparative silence. Billy stared. and loose off in your direction with out waiting for explanations. If you bring him up here. and lit a cigaret te. had their backs turned and did not observe him. whose occupants. let us debouch. Comrade Gooch.ings. I seem to kno w it. I would ask for the pleasure of your company also. who was bursting with his news. stretched out his legs. The resources of the Knickerbocker Hotel had proved equal to supplying the f atigued staff of Cosy Moments with an excellent dinner. "Uncommonly neat." said Psmith." said Psmith complacently. the paper will lose merely a sub-editor. Comrade Windsor. not an editor. must be discussed at the table. and finally Bill y Windsor reached the other side. "More bright young careers than I care to think of. and buy you a squar e meal. and Psmith had stoutly d eclined to talk business until the coffee arrived. Comrade Windsor. "Neat. and in this attitude wormed his way across to the opp osite roof." "Don't you ever read the papers?" "I toy with my American of a morning. were i t not that matters of private moment. but it conveys nothing to me. but my interest is confined mainly to the . Mr. perhaps. What's the name which Comrade Go och so eagerly divulged?" Billy leaned forward excitedly. "Stewart who?" asked Psmith. "Stewart Waring. "I think. "Great Scott. I think you had better come with us. WARING Psmith pushed back his chair slightly. Beyond a hint that it was sensational he had not been permitted to go. pallid and obviously ill-attuned to such feats. We are infinitely obliged to you for your sympathetic co-operation in this little matter. Comrade Windsor. Comrade Gooch reminded me of the untamed chamois of the Alps. like isinglass or Post-toasties. Some other day." CHAPTER XXII CONCERNING MR. followed him. If you have no other engagem ents. he will probably mistake you for a member of the staff of Cosy Moments. I will take you to the Knickerbocker. Shooting had definit ely ceased.

" "I should have thought it would have had that excellent result permanently. Who is Stewart W aring?" "Stewart Waring is running for City Alderman." said Billy. It killed him for the time being." "Commissioner of Buildings? What exactly did that let him in for?" "It let him in for a lot of graft. bu t affairs move so fast here that a thing like that blows over. "Do you mean to say he got back again after that?" "He had to quit being Commissioner. he took it off the contractors." "How was that?" "Oh." he said. he seems to have selected the right career for him self. "was that he stood in with a contractor who was putti ng up a music-hall.sporting page which reminds me that Comrade Brady has been matched against one E ddie Wood a month from to-day. Cosy Moments should be able shortly to give its message to the wo rld and ease up for a while. to the man with the Hai r-Trigger Conscience. and they got after the contractor." "How long ago was that?" "Five years. and what shall we do then for a fighting editor? However. and pl aces like that Pleasant Street hole without any ventilation." "He's one of the bosses. "it seems to me that it was amon g the World's Softest. and leave the town for a time. Certain drawbacks to it. He made a bit of a pile out of the job. Com rade Brady will have to leave the office temporarily in order to go into trainin g." sai d Psmith thoughtfully. but I gather that Comrade Waring did not line up in that c lass. What was his trouble?" "His trouble. "We will remind them. Billy nodded. and could afford to lie low for a year or two. Which brings us back to the point." "Why did he throw up the job?" inquired Psmith." Psmith lit another cigarette. He used to be Commissioner of Buildings for the city. I fear this will cause us a certain amount of inconvenience. Gratifying as it is to find one of the staff gett ing on in life. People don't remember a thing here that happened five years back un less they're reminded of it. and it collapsed on the third night and killed half the a udience. Shut his eyes and held out his hands when t hey ran up rotten buildings that a strong breeze would have knocked down. possibly we may not need one now. He's one of the biggest men in New York!" "Do you mean in girth? If so. and the contractor gave Waring away." "And then?" "The papers raised a howl. and the contractor put it up with material about as strong a s a heap of meringues. . of course. perhaps.

too? He did. "Nobody's going to ge t it from me. Comrade Windsor?" Billy stared. leeches were aloof. And wh en we turned into Forty-second Street. What is ou r move now. Not that he has actually done a thing--not so much as given a supper to a dozen news-boys. because we've got the beggar's name in the writing of his own collector. but he's talked." he said. "Why. so they dropped it. "Comrade Windsor. "how do we go?" He leaned back in his chair. "So that naturally he wants to keep it dark about these tenements." he said. I spotted h im at an early date." . did he dive. No wonder the poor gentleman was so energetic in his methods. "What--what the--?" he stammered. When we dived into S ixth Avenue for a space at Thirty-third Street." "But before then? How are we going to ensure the safety of our evidence? We stan d or fall entirely by that slip of paper. "How on earth did you get it?" Psmith knocked the ash off his cigarette. publish the name. but they didn't cut any ice. Bill y's eyes were goggling. somewhere down by Twenty-ninth Street. "There's a lot of graft to being an Alderman." said Billy." explained Billy." "Why is he so set on becoming an Alderman. The o ther papers said it was a shame. I will merely remark that you pretty nearly landed us in the soup." he said. and pass on to more congenial topics. it's it!" Psmith nodded. of course. "I see. producing a piece of paper." inquired Psmith. and burrs non-adhesive compared with that tall-shaped-hatt ed blighter. "Comrade Windsor." Psmith dipped his hand into his trouser-pocket. patting his breast-pocket. Everybody thought that Warin g was on the level now." Psmith nodded adhesion to this dictum. "Why. He's been shooting off a lot of hot air lately about phi lanthropy and so on. It'll smash h im at the election when it gets known. surveying Billy blandly through his eye-glass. "I do not wish to cavil or carp or rub it in in any way. and that's proof positive. "one or two of the papers against him in this Aldermanic E lection business tried to bring the thing up. I tell you."Of course. hounding a man who was sorry for the past and w ho was trying to make good now. He looked from Psmith to the paper and from the paper to Psmith." "That's all right. Didn't you know we were followed to this place?" "Followed!" "By a merchant in what Comrade Maloney would call a tall-shaped hat. and talk gets over if you keep it up long enough. Comrade Windsor . there he was.

"Yes?" "Do you remember, as you came to the entrance of this place, somebody knocking a gainst you?" "Yes, there was a pretty big crush in the entrance." "There was; but not so big as all that. There was plenty of room for this mercha nt to pass if he had wished. Instead of which he butted into you. I happened to be waiting for just that, so I managed to attach myself to his wrist with some v im and give it a fairly hefty wrench. The paper was inside his hand." Billy was leaning forward with a pale face. "Jove!" he muttered. "That about sums it up," said Psmith. Billy snatched the paper from the table and extended it towards him. "Here," he said feverishly, "you take it. Gum, I never thought I was such a mutt ! I'm not fit to take charge of a toothpick. Fancy me not being on the watch for something of that sort. I guess I was so tickled with myself at the thought of having got the thing, that it never struck me they might try for it. But I'm thr ough. No more for me. You're the man in charge now." Psmith shook his head. "These stately compliments," he said, "do my old heart good, but I fancy I know a better plan. It happened that I chanced to have my eye on the blighter in the tall-shaped hat, and so was enabled to land him among the ribstones; but who kno ws but that in the crowd on Broadway there may not lurk other, unidentified blig hters in equally tall-shaped hats, one of whom may work the same sleight-of-hand speciality on me? It was not that you were not capable of taking care of that p aper: it was simply that you didn't happen to spot the man. Now observe me close ly, for what follows is an exhibition of Brain." He paid the bill, and they went out into the entrance-hall of the hotel. Psmith, sitting down at a table, placed the paper in an envelope and addressed it to hi mself at the address of Cosy Moments. After which, he stamped the envelope and d ropped it into the letter-box at the back of the hall. "And now, Comrade Windsor," he said, "let us stroll gently homewards down the Gr eat White Way. What matter though it be fairly stiff with low-browed bravoes in tall-shaped hats? They cannot harm us. From me, if they search me thoroughly, th ey may scoop a matter of eleven dollars, a watch, two stamps, and a packet of ch ewing-gum. Whether they would do any better with you I do not know. At any rate, they wouldn't get that paper; and that's the main thing." "You're a genius," said Billy Windsor. "You think so?" said Psmith diffidently. "Well, well, perhaps you are right, per haps you are right. Did you notice the hired ruffian in the flannel suit who jus t passed? He wore a baffled look, I fancy. And hark! Wasn't that a muttered 'Fai led!' I heard? Or was it the breeze moaning in the tree-tops? To-night is a cold , disappointing night for Hired Ruffians, Comrade Windsor." CHAPTER XXIII

REDUCTIONS IN THE STAFF The first member of the staff of Cosy Moments to arrive at the office on the fol lowing morning was Master Maloney. This sounds like the beginning of a "Plod and Punctuality," or "How Great Fortunes have been Made" story; but, as a matter of fact, Master Maloney was no early bird. Larks who rose in his neighbourhood, ro se alone. He did not get up with them. He was supposed to be at the office at ni ne o'clock. It was a point of honour with him, a sort of daily declaration of in dependence, never to put in an appearance before nine-thirty. On this particular morning he was punctual to the minute, or half an hour late, whichever way you choose to look at it. He had only whistled a few bars of "My Little Irish Rose," and had barely got in to the first page of his story of life on the prairie when Kid Brady appeared. T he Kid, as was his habit when not in training, was smoking a big black cigar. Ma ster Maloney eyed him admiringly. The Kid, unknown to that gentleman himself, wa s Pugsy's ideal. He came from the Plains; and had, indeed, once actually been a cowboy; he was a coming champion; and he could smoke black cigars. It was, there fore, without his usual well-what-is-it-now? air that Pugsy laid down his book, and prepared to converse. "Say, Mr. Smith or Mr. Windsor about, Pugsy?" asked the Kid. "Naw, Mr. Brady, they ain't came yet," replied Master Maloney respectfully. "Late, ain't they?" "Sure. Mr. Windsor generally blows in before I do." "Wonder what's keepin' them." "P'raps, dey've bin put out of business," suggested Pugsy nonchalantly. "How's that?" Pugsy related the events of the previous day, relaxing something of his austere calm as he did so. When he came to the part where the Table Hill allies swooped down on the unsuspecting Three Pointers, he was almost animated. "Say," said the Kid approvingly, "that Smith guy's got more grey matter under hi s thatch than you'd think to look at him. I--" "Comrade Brady," said a voice in the doorway, "you do me proud." "Why, say," said the Kid, turning, "I guess the laugh's on me. I didn't see you, Mr. Smith. Pugsy's been tellin' me how you sent him for the Table Hills yesterd ay. That was cute. It was mighty smart. But say, those guys are goin' some, ain' t they now! Seems as if they was dead set on puttin' you out of business." "Their manner yesterday, Comrade Brady, certainly suggested the presence of some sketchy outline of such an ideal in their minds. One Sam, in particular, an ebo ny-hued sportsman, threw himself into the task with great vim. I rather fancy he is waiting for us with his revolver to this moment. But why worry? Here we are, safe and sound, and Comrade Windsor may be expected to arrive at any moment. I see, Comrade Brady, that you have been matched against one Eddie Wood." "It's about that I wanted to see you, Mr. Smith. Say, now that things have been and brushed up so, what with these gang guys layin' for you the way they're doin ', I guess you'll be needin' me around here. Isn't that right? Say the word and I'll call off this Eddie Wood fight."

"Comrade Brady," said Psmith with some enthusiasm, "I call that a sporting offer . I'm very much obliged. But we mustn't stand in your way. If you eliminate this Comrade Wood, they will have to give you a chance against Jimmy Garvin, won't t hey?" "I guess that's right, sir," said the Kid. "Eddie stayed nineteen rounds against Jimmy, and if I can put him away, it gets me into line with Jimmy, and he can't side-step me." "Then go in and win, Comrade Brady. We shall miss you. It will be as if a ray of sunshine had been removed from the office. But you mustn't throw a chance away. We shall be all right, I think." "I'll train at White Plains," said the Kid. "That ain't far from here, so I'll b e pretty near in case I'm wanted. Hullo, who's here?" He pointed to the door. A small boy was standing there, holding a note. "Mr. Smith?" "Sir to you," said Psmith courteously. "P. Smith?" "The same. This is your lucky day." "Cop at Jefferson Market give me dis to take to youse." "A cop in Jefferson Market?" repeated Psmith. "I did not know I had friends amon g the constabulary there. Why, it's from Comrade Windsor." He opened the envelop e and read the letter. "Thanks," he said, giving the boy a quarter-dollar. It was apparent the Kid was politely endeavouring to veil his curiosity. Master Maloney had no such scruples. "What's in de letter, boss?" he inquired. "The letter, Comrade Maloney, is from our Mr. Windsor, and relates in terse lang uage the following facts, that our editor last night hit a policeman in the eye, and that he was sentenced this morning to thirty days on Blackwell's Island." "He's de guy!" admitted Master Maloney approvingly. "What's that?" said the Kid. "Mr. Windsor bin punchin' cops! What's he bin doin' that for?" "He gives no clue. I must go and find out. Could you help Comrade Maloney mind t he shop for a few moments while I push round to Jefferson Market and make inquir ies?" "Sure. But say, fancy Mr. Windsor cuttin' loose that way!" said the Kid admiring ly. The Jefferson Market Police Court is a little way down town, near Washington Squ are. It did not take Psmith long to reach it, and by the judicious expenditure o f a few dollars he was enabled to obtain an interview with Billy in a back room. The chief editor of Cosy Moments was seated on a bench, looking upon the world t hrough a pair of much blackened eyes. His general appearance was dishevelled. He

that's all right. and I got him fair. I suppose. without any apparent resentment. and they started in on me together. He went down over the bookcase. at about three in the morning there was t he dickens of a banging at my door. I went meditatively back to my Fourth Avenue address. And that made me so mad I hit out. That's my little life-history. and started t o get into my shirt. and told me to come along quick. when I was sleeping peacefully upstairs. is more than I can understand. I said I wasn't going to travel about New York in pyjamas." "What!" "A banging at the door. and that they were cleaning up the house. It seems that some gamb lers have been running a pool-room on the ground floor. I got up to see what was doing. From their remarks I gathered that certain bright spirits had been . They knew perfectly well that I had nothing to do with any pool-room downst airs. They told me to come along with them to the station." repeated Psmith. "There. I guess I was a fool to cut loose th at way.had the air of a man who has been caught in the machinery. Comrade Windsor?" "Yes. "He wasn't expecting it. "Hullo. "Comrade Windsor. They said they couldn't wait about while I put on c lothes. One of them gave me a shove in the ribs with his night-stic k. and there was a general rough house. "Pool-room. and had soon sunk into a dreamless slumber. is stationed almost at my very door." he said. I said. After parting wi th you last night. Smith. "You got my note all right then?" Psmith looked at him." Psmith's eye-glass dropped from his eye." said Billy. and found a couple of Policemen there. I passed on into my room ." "The cops did that. I'd put on some clothes and come with them. if he had shown up and got in my way . and was beginning to make the man think that he had stumbled on Stanley Ketchel or Kid Brady or a dynamite explosion by mistake. Why the cops should have thought I had anything to do with it. in the middle of which somebody seemed to let off about fifty thousand dollars' worth of fireworks all in a bunch." he said. concerned. I just sailed in." said Billy. They said they had been tipped off that there was a pool-room being run in the house. Anyway." he said. and if I wanted to say anything I'd better say it to the magistrate. "Now hear mine. standing on the mat. At about three o'clock in the morn ing I was aroused by a somewhat hefty banging on the door. I was a fool to do it." Psmith sighed." A chuckl e escaped Billy. I asked what on earth for. I might have known it was no use arguing with a New Y ork cop. "You have told me your painful story. The house where I live was raided late last night. pretty nearly knocke d to pieces. The other cop took a swipe at me with his club. as I have mentioned in previ ous conversations. wi th a courtly good night to the large policeman who. when the ot her fellow loosed himself from the bookcase. and I d idn't remember anything more till I found myself in a cell. but by that time I was so mad I'd have taken on Jim Jeffries. all right. "That's nothing. "They always t urn nasty if you put up a fight. were thre e policemen. "what on earth has been happening to you?" "Oh. and." "Nothing! You look as if you had been run over by a motor-car. but I was so mad I didn't stop to think. but I got so mad.

He very sportingly offered to cancel his match. We need a sitz-redacteur on Cosy Moments almost as much as a fighting editor. that the Kaiser's moustache reminds him of a bad dream. I will bow to their views. Thi ngs are just warming up for the final burst. allowing the editor to remain and sketch out plans for his next week's article on the Crown Prince. Unless you consider Comrade Maloney eq . and came away without a stain on my character. convinced him by means of arguments and by s ilent evidence of my open. Not one of my objects of vertu but has been displaced . I told myself." "As regards yours. and we have neither. honest face and unwavering eye that I was not a profe ssional gambler. that sea-green pyjamas with old rose frogs were not the costume in wh ich a Shropshire Psmith should be seen abroad in one of the world's greatest cit ies." "They've searched it?" "With a fine-toothed comb." "A what?" "A sitz-redacteur. The police force s woops down en masse on the office of the journal. "What Cosy Moments really needs is a sitz-reda cteur.running a gambling establishment in the lower regions of the building--where." said Psmith. "meaning what. Comrade Windsor. who goes with them peaceably. the fellows who are after that paper. I'll bet anything you like they have been in and searched our roo ms by now. but they assured me--more by their manner than their words--that my misgivi ngs were out of place. and are met by the sitz-redact eur. But it is an undoubted fact th at mine. They know what is done and what is not done. "this is awful. Comrade Windsor. even as you appear to have done." he said." Billy Windsor listened to this narrative with growing interest." he went on miserably. I cannot say. it seemed. "Gum! it's them!" he cried. have lived longer in New York than I. is a gentleman employed by German newspapers with a taste for lese majeste to go to prison whenever required in place of the real editor. and I'm out of it all. The real editor hints in his bright and snappy editorial. Comrade Windsor?" Why. looks as if two cyclones and a threshing machine had passed through it. "We should ha ve been done if you hadn't. which I revisited before going to the office. say. They tipped the police off about the pool-rooms. for inst ance. I pointed out." sighed Psmith. waited in the street without. This morning I chatted a w hile with the courteous magistrate. A conveyance . So I went with them. arrived at the police station." "For thirty days. These men. but of course that would never do. "As Comrade Maloney would say. there is a saloon--and the Law was now about to clean up the p lace. "It was lucky you thought of sending that paper by post. I think I told you." Billy Windsor slapped his knee. But. and after a very pleasant and cosy little ride in the patrol waggon. Very cordially the honest fellows invited me to go with them. in order to correct what seemed to me even on reflection certain drawbacks to my costume. knowing that we should be hauled off without having time to take any thing with us. so I yielded." "The Kid has had to leave then?" "He wants to go into training at once.

" He retired. Billy leaned forward to Psmith. Give you three minutes more. Shortly after you--if you will forgive me for touching on painful subject--have been haled to your dungeon. "I guess they won't give me much chance. etc. I guess." "I guess I shan't get a chance. "Time's up. It's a walk-over from now on. I will push round to Comrade Jarvis's address. Whether he will consent to put himself out on my behalf remai ns to be seen." said Billy stoutly." The door opened and the policeman reappeared. there is no harm in trying. I fancy. Comrade Windsor. I shall be too fully oc cupied with purely literary matters to be able to deal with chance callers. But I have a scheme. pal. to you. I shall at least have had the opportunity of chatting with one of our mo st prominent citizens. and there's no earthly need for you to b e around the office." "I fail to follow you. I shouldn't wonder if they put you in yo ur little cell for a year or so." urged Psmith. Little deeds of kin dness. I reckon. "I'd give a year later on to be round and ab out now. "Abstain from undue worrying. Unfortunately. However." he remarked to Psmith. But now thing s have simplified themselves." "Well. Say it quick. I must look around me for some one else. little acts of love. but I'll try it if I do. Comrade Windsor. "but if you see me aroun d in the next day or two. This act is going to be a scream fro . Not many." "Bat Jarvis." "What's that?" "It seems to me that we are allowing much excellent material to lie unused in th e shape of Comrade Jarvis. this could not have been said. Should we no t give Comrade Jarvis an opportunity of proving the correctness of this statemen t? I think so.ual to the job. don't be surprised. The cat-specialist to whom you endeared yourself somewhat earlier in the proceedings by befriending one of his wandering animals." said Psmith regretfully." Psmith shook his head. his affection is confined . "I shouldn't." A policeman appeared at the door. Once. Have no fear." "Men have escaped from Blackwell's Island before now." he said. as you have doubtless heard." "The same. "They're bound to catch you. but i t has been done." "I shouldn't. If nothing else comes of the visit. You have left a g ood man at the helm. it's true. good-bye. and then you will be immers ed in the soup beyond hope of recovery." "I don't care. help. "Say. "you'll have to be fading away soon." he whispered. I admit. and sound him on the subject. "All will be well with the paper.

We're playing a game over in Brooklyn to-morrow. the cat chap? I know. the cat chap. Psmith moved quickly to the door of the inner room." said Master Maloney." "As you very justly observe.m start to finish. put down the paper he was r eading. "Why. turning a page." "Let your mind wander back a little through the jungle of the past." "No engagements of any importance to-day?" "Not a thing. "A guy waiting to see me. looking very brown and in excellent condition." he said. "Dere's a guy in dere waitin' ter see youse. "I don't remember any Jarvis. I know of no one who can last two minutes against you. jerking his head in the direction of the inner room. Where di d you come from?" Mike. "Hullo. merriest day of all the glad New Year. For slugging a policeman. Comrade Jackson. Don't you remember a certain gentleman with just about e nough forehead to keep his front hair from getting all tangled up with his eye-b rows?" "Oh. whom you will doubtless remember. Do you recol lect paying a visit to Comrade Windsor's room--" "By the way." he said. Why?" "Because I propose to take you to visit Comrade Jarvis. "I got back this morning." CHAPTER XXIV A GATHERING OF CAT-SPECIALISTS Master Maloney raised his eyes for a moment from his book as Psmith re-entered t he office. on that evening--" "In prison?" "For thirty days. Comrade Maloney? With or without a sand-bag?" "Says his name's Jackson. Well. Psmith. For going straight t o the mark and seizing on the salient point of a situation. anon." he said briefly." "What's the idea? What are you going to see him for?" . Comrade Jackson. More of this. "this is the maddest. Let us return to that evening. Comrade Jarvis may have other sides to his ch aracter--possibly many--but it is as a cat chap that I wish to approach him to-d ay. with the air of a father welcoming home the pro digal son. where is Windsor?" "In prison." "Jarvis?" said Mike. however. puzzled.

he becomes bored. 'Ain't youse satisfied with what youse got? G'wan!' His advice in such cases is good. at which I trus journalistic li oyster and a gl so. "I will explain all at a little luncheon t that you will be my guest. Already. That is why I should like you." "Great Scott! Tell us." "I expect you need a fighting editor." corrected Psmith. Wood. Comrade Jackson. If you go to a New York policeman and exhibit a black eye. that he is now never without a m atch. unfo rtunately cost us a fighting editor. "But. indispensable." Psmith briefly recounted the adventures of the past few weeks. No. however. such is the stress of this fe." admitted Psmith. or employing private help. It is a goodish step dow . I f you press the matter. "I was reading Cosy Moments in there. like all great men. I know of nobody who cuts a greater quantity of ice. and says. when he had finished "why on earth don't you call in the police?" "We have mentioned the matter to certain of the force. is somewhat peculiar." said Mike. Comrade Jackson. Kid Brady's reminiscences are hot stuff. but showed no tendency to leap excitedly to our assistance. A ssuredly they have cut up rough. a four-ounce-glove juggler of established fame. They appeared tolerably i nterested. Comrade Jackson. He is a person of considerable influence among that section of the populace which is endeavouring to smash in our occiput s." "No rotting. "They have. "You certainl y seem to have bucked it up rather.. as they lunched." "How's that?" "Such is the boost we have given Comrade Brady. If you are through with your refreshment. don't you?" "He is indispensable. since coming to this city I have developed a habit of taking care of mysel f. to com e with me to call upon Comrade Jarvis."We. The New Y ork policeman. I think so. If I can only en list Comrade Jarvis's assistance. Comrade Maloney has given me the address. all will be well. Comrade Jackson. man. if you will. He has had to leave us to-day to go to White Plains to train for an encoun ter with a certain Mr. I hear my tissues crying out imperatively to be restored. Indeed." "Somewhat sizzling. An ass of milk somewhere round the corner. Comrade Jackson? I think " . mostly Angoras." said Mike. shall we be moving in his direction? By the way.. and should be followed . it will probably be necessary in the course of our interview to allude to you as one of our most eminent living cat-fanciers. Are you on to that? Then let us be going. You do not object? Remember that you have in your E nglish home seventy-four fine cats. Has anybody cut up rough about the stuff you've printed?" "Cut up rough? Gadzooks! I need merely say that one critical reader put a bullet through my hat--" "Rot! Not really?" "While others kept me tree'd on top of a roof for the space of nearly an hour. he will examine it and expr ess some admiration for the abilities of the citizen responsible for the same.

but it might seem ostentatious ." . Let us walk." said Psmith. He looked up as they ent ered. But what of th at? The subject is too deep to be gone fully into at the moment. Jarvis. Comrade Jackson's stud of Angoras is celebrated wherever the King 's English is spoken. "Comrade Jarvis." he said." "Say. "I should have remembered that time is money. You remember me?" "Nope. I called in here partly on the strength of being a colleague and side-partner of Comrade Windsor--" "Mr. as Comrade Jackson was just about to observe. what do youse want? That's straight ain't it? If youse want to buy a boid or a snake why don't youse say so?" "I stand corrected." said Psmith. It sounded like a riddle. Co mrade Jarvis?" The cat-expert concentrated himself on the cat's paws without replying. How it wipes from t he retina of to-day the image impressed on it but yesterday." he said tolerantly. adjusting his eyeglass.. "The word. and began to breathe a melody with a certain coyness. having inspected Mike with silent admiration for a while." said Psmith. Jarvis was evidently touching on a point which had weighed deeply up on him--"why's catnip called catnip?" Mike looked at Psmith helplessly. Jarvis's manner became unfriendly. Are you with me.n on the East side. and.. "the fierce rush of New York life." Mr. but it was obvious t hat Mr. and in Hoxton. engaged in the intell ectual occupation of greasing a cat's paws with butter. "To which particular famil y of the Felis Domestica does that belong? In colour it resembles a Neapolitan i ce more than anything. Windsor! De gent what caught my cat?" "The same--and partly in order that I might make two very eminent cat-fanciers a cquainted." Mr. "A fine animal. Why it should be so corrupted I do not know." said Psmith. "we meet again. Psmith looked on benevolently. Jarvis in his Groome Street fancier's shop. "is not knowledge. "What Comrade Jackson does not know about cats. He really wis hed to know. "Say. pausing for a moment in the middle of a bar. and then t aking up the air where he had left off. "is Comrade Jackson. with a wave of his hand in the direction of the silen tly protesting Mike. Passing lightly on from that--" . I should like to take a taxi. I should recomm end you to read Comrade Jackson's little brochure on the matter." he said. Jarvis's motive in putting the question was not frivolous. possibly the best known of our English cat-fanciers. His information on Angoras alone would fill a volume. This. "is a cor ruption of cat-mint."--Mr. Jarvis rose. "Ah. Psmith was not discouraged. They found Mr. extended a well-buttered hand towards him." said Mr.

and den dey gits thin and ties theirselves into k nots. if you will permit me. ever have a cross-eyed cat?" "Comrade Jackson's cats." said Psmith. is a ca t wit one blue eye and one yaller one. Dat's what comes of havin' a cat wit one blue eye and one yaller one. say." Mr." "How's that?" ." "And what happened to the cop?" inquired Psmith." he said. sure enough. I should like to touch. Jarvis relapsed into silence. Jarvis went on. Sure. "Say. O ncest a guy give me a cat like dat. "don't make cats thin. He seemed to be meditating on the inscrutable workings of Fate. It wasn't till I give him away to de cop on de corner and gets me one dat's c ross-eyed dat I lifts de skiddoo off of me. he got in bad." said Psmith. Mr. Can't keep de cats off of eatin' dem. was dere ever a cat wit one blue eye and one yaller one in your bunch? Gum. "English beetles. ignoring the remark and sticking to his p oint. I can't. and not'in' don't ne ver go wrong. It's a real skiddoo."Did youse ever have a cat dat ate beetles?" inquired Mr." "Dey's lucky. if he was to preserve his reputation." said Mr." said Psmith. li ghtly--" "Say. surest t'ing you know. You has a cross-eyed cat. however. now plainly on a subject near to his heart. cross-eyed cats is. Puts you in bad. Jarvis." he replied firmly." said Mr. Jarvis. Jarvis looked astonished. to assert hims elf. First t'ing you know dey've swallowed dem." "You should put them into strait-waistcoats. "There was a time when many of Comrade Jackson's felidae supported life almost e ntirely on beetles. "Passing. but t his is a matter which concerns Comrade Windsor as well as myself. and I know tha t your regard for Comrade Windsor is almost an obsession. "there is another matter on which. "dem beet les is fierce. Psmith took advantage of the pause to leave the cat topic and touch on matter of more vital import. Sure. Passing lightly--" "I had a cat oncest. "One of de bo ys what he'd pinched and had sent to de Island once lays for him and puts one ov er him wit a black-jack." agreed Psmith. "No. "dat ate beetles and got thin and used to tie itself into knots. it's fierce when it's like dat." Mr. interested. But. I would hesitate to bore you with my own private troubles. Jarvis without emotion. and first t'ing you know I'm in bad all roun d." "Did they git thin?" Mike felt that it was time. "Tense and exhilarating as is this discussion of the optical peculiarities of ca ts. "have happily been almost free from strab ismus. "Oh." "A versatile animal.

"A guy comes to me and says he wants you and Mr. and especially th at Comrade Jackson. south. Comrade Jarvis. Got gay. Spider Reilly." "De Kid?" . is our mutual friend." "He did. the lessee and manager of the T hree Points gang. "We are all to de good. Surest t'ing you know." Psmith beamed approval. e ast. I gather that the same sco undrels actually approached you with a view to engaging your services to do us i n."I should say. Shamrock Hall. we are much persecuted by scoundrels." said Mr." "Say. they went to a gentleman o f the name of Reilly. Dey're fresh. I fancy you have he ard a little about our troubles before this." "Dose T'ree Points. How sad it is in this world! We look to every side. England's greatest fancier. was that the one that used to tie itself into knots?" "Nope. Jarvis. "That. Jarvis. He caught me cat." "Spider Reilly?" "You have hit it. but I g ives him de t'run down. "Dat's right. "that Comrade Windsor is a man to whom you give the glad hand. wit some of de Table Hillers." "Mr. eyeing Mike in friendly fashion . Mr. Windsor is.'" "So I was informed. sure I have. and what do we see? Mainly scoundrels. but that you very handsomely refused the contract. He's to the good. In fact." said Psmith. Add to that the fact that we are united by a sympathetic knowledge of the manners and customs of cats." "Sure. I got it in for dem gazebos. dey're to de bad. We look north." "Sure. Windsor put through it.' I says. waxing wrathful at the recollection. We are b ound together by our common desire to check the ever-growing spirit of freshness among the members of the Three Points. dimly comprehending. By the way. Say . Nothing could be more admirable. failing you." said Psmith." went on Mr. dey did. Comrade Jarvis. Started some rough woik in me own dan ce-joint. and what m ore do we want? Nothing." "Shamrock Hall?" said Psmith. and west. 'Nuttin' done. "what do youse t 'ink dem fresh stiffs done de udder night. Jackson's to de good. Dat was anudder. Jarvis. Comrade Jarvis. 'Mr." assented Mr." "It is too true. The fact is." "Ah! However. whose name will be familiar to you. "Now the thing I wished to ask you is this . "is the right spirit." said Psmith." he said. to resume. "Well. The office of the paper on which I work was until this morning securely guarde d by Comrade Brady. Windsor caught me cat.

" "Me?" "Will you take Comrade Brady's place for a few days?" "How's that?" "Will you come in and sit in the office for the next day or so and help hold the fort? I may mention that there is money attached to the job." "Not at all a bad hour's work. are due to run up against the surprise of their lives. and his right coat-pocke t bulging in a manner that betrayed to the initiated eye the presence of the fai thful "canister. "Why. I am very much obliged to yo u. it might quite possibly come in useful. for instance." With him. We will pay for yo ur services. if you are going to show up at the office to-morrow. the coming light-weight champion of the world. Nothing could be better." said Psmith. I could see tha t you made a pronounced hit with Comrade Jarvis. Could you be there at ten to-morrow morning?" "Sure t'ing. sure. Comrade Jackson." "I should. perhaps it would be as well if you were to loo k up a few facts bearing on the feline world. Comrade Jarvis. I do not presume to di ctate." he said."On the bull's-eye. no. then. yet n ot haughty. he has unfortunately been compelled to leave us. at ten o'clock to the minute." "It strikes me I didn't do much. in addition to his revolver. Comrade Jarvis. Just what an eminent cat-fancier's manner should be. for your invaluable as sistance." said Psmith complacently. I'll bring me canister. Jarvis was as good as his word." said Mike with a grin. Kid Brady. probably to-morrow. When do I start?" "Excellent. Comrade Jarvis. a nd the way into the office is consequently clear to any sand-bag specialist who cares to wander in. "In certain circumstances one canister is worth a flood of rhetoric. he brought a long. I am obliged. I rather fanc y that the gay band of Three Pointers who will undoubtedly visit the offices of Cosy Moments in the next few days." CHAPTER XXV TRAPPED Mr. There is no knowing what thirst fo r information a night's rest may not give Comrade Jarvis. as they turned out of Groome Street. his fore-lock more than usually well oiled in honour of the occasion. Jarvis reflected but a brief moment. Till to-morrow. "Apparently. Comrade Jarvis?" Mr. "A vote of thanks to you. Wh ether he brought him as an ally in case of need or merely as a kindred soul with whom he might commune during his vigil. On the following morning. . was not ascertained. yes. unless--and this is where you come in. "Me fer dat. By the way. Matters connected with the paper have become so poignant dur ing the last few days that an inrush of these same specialists is almost a certa inty. How do we go. Well. In reality. but if you were to make yourself a thorough master of the subject of catn ip. Your manner was exactly right. Reserved. thin young man who wore under his brown tweed coat a blue-and-red striped jersey. as usual. he made his appearance at the office of Cosy Moments.

" "You did very rightly. "and in the meantime take her to the Bronx. but a scrap per from Biffville-on-the-Slosh. "Your unerring insti nct did not play you false when it told you that Comrade Otto would be as welcom e as the flowers in May. while I bivouacked over there at the smaller table. You need a holiday. I will start in to hit up a slightly spicy editorial on the coming election. Comrade M aloney. startled out of his wonted calm by the arrival of this distinguished comp any. Mr. "Is dis where youse writes up pieces fer de paper?" inquired Mr. she's a kid." "Won't youse be wantin' me to-day. "Her pa runs a delicatessen shop down our street. with protr uding eyes. Th roughout the seance and the events which followed it he confined himself to an o ccasional grunt. He seemed to lack other modes of expression. Who is she?" "Aw. "I can go about my professional duties with a light heart. "I had heard no inkling of this. being a man of silent habit." said Pugsy." "See that I have a card for the wedding. "In Comrade Windsor's pre-dungeon days he was wont to sit where I am sitting now. Long Otto. Go up and watch the animals. "I'd take me goil to d e Bronx Zoo. eyeing the table. Jarvis introduced hi s colleague. "It is. rugged. She ain't a bad mutt. Comrade Maloney. The hardiest hooligan would shrink from introdu cing rough-house proceedings into a room graced by the combined presence of Long Otto and himself. Jarvis. made no comment. Jarvis confirmed this view. h owever. "Then. You will find cigars in that box." "Your girl?" said Psmith inquiringly." said Psmith. "I'm her steady. could you employ it to profit?" "Surest t'ing you know. and sat speechless for a full five minutes. "Thought I'd bring him along. With Comrade Otto I fancy we shall make a combination w hich will require a certain amount of tackling. Comrade Jarvis. was no rube." Psmith assured him." said Psmith. observed the pair. "if the Editorial Staff of this paper were to give y ou a day off. Unflagging toil is sapping your physique." "Not to-day. Long Otto's his monaker." added the ardent swain. On b usy mornings you could hear our brains buzzing in Madison Square Garden. blood-and-iron me n who were above the softer emotions. Jarvis regarded the paraphernalia of literature on the table with interest." said Psmith. If you and C omrade Otto will select one apiece and group yourselves tastefully about the roo m in chairs." Mr. he affirmed. A charming chap. whom friends have sometimes told me I resemble in appearance. I had always imagined you one of those strong. however.Pugsy. who." Mr. But wai t! A thought strikes me." he said." He called for Pugsy." replied Pugsy with some fervour. I may possibly sing a bar or two. Psmith received the newcorners in the editorial sanctum with courteous warmth. So did Long Otto. And if two dollars woul . as you suggest. and remember me very kindly to the Peruvian Llama. as they passed through into the inner office. "Comrade Maloney.

" he went on. was m ore fortunate. That is the cry. Have you come bringing me a new hat?" The white-haired leader's face. as I said--Aha!" The handle of the door began to revolve slowly and quietly. and the absence of resistance when they applied their weig ht had had surprising effects." "It occurred to me." said Psmith softly. Von Moltke. Work. "I cannot offer you all seats. Psmith was right. "It is just as well. boss. "that Comrade Maloney is not at his cu stomary post. "unless you care to dispose yourselv . Psmith's observant eye noted that the bruise still lingered on the chin where K id Brady's upper-cut had landed at their previous meeting. Two of the three did not pause in their career ti ll they cannoned against the table. The third. At least." For about a quarter of an hour the only sound that broke the silence of the room was the scratching of Psmith's pen and the musical expectoration of Messrs. is Otto. And now to work. Finally Psmith leaned back in his chair with a satisfied expressio n. this is a treat. Psmith nodded. "While." Jarvis and Long Otto turned towards the door. who spoke for him. Judging from the sound." he said. and myself." said Psmith.. It was evident that they had not expected to fi nd the door unlocked. "He's a bit shy on handin' out woids. surely!" he said in a pleased voice. "that the probable first mov e of any enterprising Three Pointer who invaded this office would be to knock Co mrade Maloney on the head to prevent his announcing him.. Comrade Jarvis. I am a man of few words myself. as he spoke. T'anks. Jarvis. those of our friends of the Three Points. when he had gone." he said. the w hat's-its-name of the thingummy and the thing-um-a-bob of the what d'you-call-it . Comrade Otto?" The long one gazed appealingly at Mr. "I thought I knew the face. Am I not right. was within a few inches of his own. Ott o and Jarvis. as of course you know. Comrade R epetto. in about a quarter of a minute. Action. Now. The editori al I have just completed contains its measure of balm. and spoke. "Why. If that is Comrade Otto's forte. Comrade Otto will bear me out in my statement that there is a subtle joy in the manufacture of the well-f ormed phrase. who was holding the handle. Comrade Otto. Some one was mov ing stealthily in the outer office. "I understand. "there is no agony like the agony of literary composition. The next moment thre e figures tumbled into the room." "Sure t'ing. But what are words? Action is the thing. if the footsteps I hear without are. Psmith rose with a kindly smile to welcome his guests. for I f ancy that action rather than words is what we may be needing in the space of abo ut a quarter of a minute. so much the better. All great men are like that.d in any way add to the gaiety of the jaunt. Comrade Maloney's servi ces are too valuable to allow him to be exposed to unnecessary perils. as I su spect. more than one person . such toil has its compensations. Any visit ors who call must find their way in for themselves.

with his eyeglass fixed the while on Mr. "and tell him that there's nothin' doin' in the way of rough house wit dis gent here. Mr." The three invaders had been aware of the presence of the great Bat and his colle ague for some moments. Comrade Repetto and his colleagues have c ome here on business." went on Bat with gro wing ferocity." he observed. Why th is shrinking coyness? Fling out your chest." he added. Repetto. as he finished. then. He looked round the assembled company." He indicated Psmith. silence for Comrade Otto. The sight apparentl y had the effect of quenching his desire for song. "what's doin'?" Mr. Repetto's reply was unintelligible. L. Long Otto grunted sympathy with this advice. "Come along. Jarvis casually.es upon the tables. ahnd ther world is--ah--mine!'" concluded Psmith." he said. and looked at the floor. "Youse had better beat it. however. "Comrade Otto. Jarvis and Mr. Repetto's eye was fastened on Mr. Jarvis's revolver. they close their minds to all influences that might lure them from their business. Jarvis. "Goin' to start any rough stuff?" inquired Mr. Jarvis made a suggestion. who remained mute. Psmith clicked his t ongue regretfully. Typical New York men of affairs. Comrade Repetto?" Mr. and nothing will make them forget it. "I fear that as a smoking-concert this is not going t o be a success. His two companions seemed equally at a loss. and the meeting seemed to be causing them embarrassment. This may have been due to the fact that both Mr. to whom the remark was directly addressed." But Mr. Mr. Bat Jarvis? And my frien d. He shuffled his feet. "And youse had better go back to Spider Reilly. "Draw up your chairs. he proceed ed to relieve himself of the first verse of "I only know I love thee. Comrade Repetto. Mr. I will open the proceedings with a song." continued Mr." he said." "Chorus. Jarvis spoke. Otto? Let us all get acquainted on this merry occasion. I wonder if you know my friend.' Pray. "Comrade Jarvis. please. What did you wish to see me about. who bowed." In a rich baritone. "The cigars are on the table. "'Lov' muh. "And you can tell de Spider. Mr. I understand." said Psmith hospitably. "dat next time he gits gay and starts in to shoot guys in me danc e-joint I'll bite de head off'n him." he said. and let's all be jolly. gentlemen. appeared to have some di fficulty in finding a reply. Repetto. Otto had produce d and were toying meditatively with distinctly ugly-looking pistols. "Well. See? Does dat go? If he t'inks his little t ." He looked inquiringly at the long youth. and cut loose. "will now recite that pathetic little poem 'Baby's Sock is now a Blue-bag. Let us get on.

and shot his cuffs. in my opinion." inquired Psmith. Comrade Parker. Thank you." said Psmith. "Stay your hand." "Especially of ancient friends such as Comrade Jarvis." "Aw chee!" said Mr. Jarvis. a desire to talk busin ess of any kind?" "My business is private. As on his previous visit. Comrade Repetto's knowledge of the usag es of polite society is too limited. The gentleman on your left is Comrade Otto. reaching for his revolver. "Welcome. Comrade Jarvis. An' don't fergit dis gent here and me is pals. The delegation then withdrew." said as a sharp knock sounded on the door. but another old frien d. "I do not know. Comrade Otto. C ome in." said Psmith. Does dat go!" Psmith coughed. Comrade Parker. But for you I do not care to think with what a splash I might not have been immersed in the gumbo. Jarvis. and the tall-shaped hat. and any one dat starts anyt'ing wit dis gent is going to have to git busy wit me. that is to say. th e shiny shoes." said Mr. "I am very much obliged. At the end of this period the conversation was once more interrupted by the soun d of movements in the outer office. "tha t I have anything to add to the very well-expressed remarks of my friend. Francis Parker. Comrade Jar vis. Well. Dat's right. wrathful. "I do not think it can be our late friends. woven into the social motives of your call. I didn't expect a crowd. he who had come as an embassy fro m the man up top in the very beginning of affairs. he can try. Jarvis. you are break . Comrade Ja rvis I think you know. Comrade Jarvis. If I am right. For half an hour after the departure of the Three Pointers Psmith chatted amiabl y to his two assistants on matters of general interest. in fact." Mr. "Did you come purely for friendly chit-chat." he said." "Beat it." The door opened. m outhing declarations of war. It now only remains for me to pass a vote of thanks to Comrade Jarvis an d to declare this meeting at an end. I fancy. Comrad e Jarvis. He has. in the manner of a chairman addressing a meeting. pointing to the door. notably some hints on the treatment of fits in kittens. " or was there. Repetto or his colleagues. The exchange of ideas wa s somewhat one-sided. than Mr. Otto kicked th e leg of the table. though Mr. Parker was looking at Bat in bewilderment. Mr. And you. It was not Mr. Jarvis had one or two striking items of informa tion to impart. covered the ground very thoroughly and satisfac torily. well. to prompt him to knock on doors. "It is too long since we met. No other. "If dat's dose stiffs come back--" began Mr. "for your courtly assistance. and had departed. in supposing that it was y ou who approached him at an earlier stage in the proceedings with a view to enga ging his sympathetic aid in the great work of putting Comrade Windsor and myself out of business. handsomely dismissing the matter. and grunted.wo-by-four gang can put it across de Groome Street. It was plain that he had not expe cted to find Psmith entertaining such company. he wore the dude suit.

touching your business?" Mr. I think so." "Where is it?" demanded Mr. I think I shall be f orced to postpone our very entertaining discussion of fits in kittens till a mor e opportune moment. What can I do for you?" "You seem to be all to the merry with Bat Jarvis. The person who is in danger of getting hurt seems to me to be the gentleman whose name is on that paper which is now in my possession." said Mr. Meanwhile. Comrade Parker. "but it seems to me that the chances of my getting hurt are not so great as you appear to imagine. And many thanks for your invaluable co-operation. "You are absolutely correct. for the present. I hope. "I may be wrong. Comrade Jarvis." he said. A small boy entered. Parker quickly. "And now. In his hand was a scrap of paper. good-bye. If I might drop in some time at your private residence?" "Sure." Mr. Comrade Parker. Now that Cosy Moments has our excellent friend Comrade Jarvis on its side." Psmith nodded. I am as a tortoiseshell kitten to him. "'Aha!' Meaning th at I propose to keep that information to myself. "See here. "If you will pardon the expression. Parker was silent for a moment. as Comrade Parker wishes to talk over some privat e business--" Bat Jarvis rose." said Psmith. "aren't you going to be good? Say." he said." he said. Comrade Parker. "The phrase exactly expresses it. I guess. Comrade Parker. Jarvis. Psmith eyed him benevolently. Jarvis warmly. . Comrade Jarvis. As reluctantly as I hint that I would be a lone. when the door had closed. are you not to a certain extent am ong the Blenheim Oranges? I think so.ing up a most interesting little symposium. what's the use o f keeping on at this fool game? Why not quit it before you get hurt?" Psmith smoothed his waistcoat reflectively. "Reluctantly." he said at last." As he spoke there was a rap at the door. "let her rip. I do. But. "Guy asks me give dis to gazebo named Smiff" he said. Parker. Comrade Parker. "You know your own business." observed Mr." "Aw chee!" said Mr. "Excellent. Well. "I'll beat it. Parker shrugged his shoulders.

" he said to the driver. Parker. my lad. Parker darted on to the seat opposite." . It occurred to Psmith that it would not do to l et him hear the address Billy Windsor had given in his note. "I am convinced of it. "Dear Smith." it ran. Expl ain when I see you. Parker. when it was snatched from his gr asp and Mr." They went out into the street." said Mr."There are many gazebos of that name. as Artemus Ward was wont to observe. The next moment the cab had s tarted up the street instead of and the hard muzzle of a revolver was pressing a gainst Psmith's waistcoat. Comrade Parker. "I regret to state that this office is now closing fo r the day. Comrade Parker. He had taken his seat and was closing the door. But don't move." "You think of everything. Bi lly could be of no possible help in the campaign at its present point. He had escaped. All the w ork that remained to be done could easily be carried through without his assista nce. One of whom I am which." He took the paper. W. Put that hand back where it was. "You think so?" said Mr. Mr. Parker was still beside him." he said. Parker smoothly. But for this. A feeling of regret for the futility of the thing was Psmith's first emotion. "Now what?" said Mr. Possibly the missive is for me. leaning back with the pistol resting easil y on his knee. "Comrade Parker. It was dated from an address on the East Side. Parker. For the first time since his connection with Cosy Moments began Psmith was really disturbed. And by breaking out from the Island he had committed an offence which was b ound to carry with it serious penalties. He turned to Mr. CHAPTER XXVI A FRIEND IN NEED "The point is well taken. As it i s--" "Very well." said Psmith thoughtfully." "Good." It was signed "W. "Come here as quick as you can. Psmith hailed it. "Turn and go on down the street. By the side of the pavement a few yards down the road a taximeter-ca b was standing. I should be delighted to sit chatting with you. "Then you mean to go on with this business?" "Though it snows." So Billy Windsor had fulfilled his promise. and bring some money. Psmith thoughtful and hardly realising the other' s presence.

Carried away by my love of nature." "You did. 'She loves me not. the People's Pet. 'What on earth shall I do with him. It seems to me that we have nothing before us but to go on riding about New York till you feel that my socie . Comrade Parker.' A leg joins the lit tle heap of limbs on the ground. 'Parker is the man with the big brain!' But now. You would be headed off and stopped. Looking towards the window. Let this be a lesson to you.' Think for a moment what would happen. I will kidnap Psmith! 'and all your friends said. "That. "is where you make your error. "I told you to keep that hand where it was. the Park! How fresh the leaves. and remained silent for a few moments. weltering in his gore? Death to the assassin! I fear nothing could save you from the fury of the mob." said Psmith handsomely. The shot would ring out. Ah. Ha! What is this? Psmith. That is how it would be. Parker unpleasantly. I seem to see them meditatively plucking you limb from limb." "It had better not. now that I have got him?'" "You think so. A nybody could hit a man with a pistol at an inch and a quarter. is doubtless precious to yourself. and you are not the man I take you f or if you would risk it purely for the momentary pleasure of plugging me with a revolver. "was enti rely mine. you are moaning. The great white mass of the Plaza Hotel s howed up on the left. do you?" "I am convinced of it. Comrade Parker. the momentary pleasure of potting me. while it is true that I can't get out. I trust you would wear a made-up tie with evening dress. I'll blow a hole through you." "I guess I see the end of this all right.He dropped his hand on to the seat. Your skin. "Don't bite at me. never to embark on any enterprise of which you do not see the end. you did. The fault. "If it does. And what would you hav e left out of it? Merely." He raised his hand to point. Why be brusque on so joyous an occasion? Bett er men than us have stopped at the Plaza. Comrade Parker?" "No. as I say. Comrade Parker. 'She loves me!' Off comes an arm. I forgot. m aking an unwelcome crease in that immaculate garment." he said. Comrade Parker. Co mrade Parker. Instantly the revolver was against his waistcoat. how green the herbage! Fling your eye at yonder grassy knoll." said Mr. Your face is contorted with the anguish of mental stress." Psmith raised his eyebrows." said Mr. "Did you ever stop at the Plaza." "You have the advantage of me then. Psmit h saw that they were nearing the park. Comrade Parker. 'Happy thought. 'Comrade Parker is no t such a fool as he looks. The cry goes round criminal circles in New York. Comrade Parker. Parker shortly. I fear you have n ot thought this matter out with sufficient care. It shall not occur again . Comrade Parker. You said to you rself. and instantly bicycle-policemen would be pursuing this taxi-cab with the purposeful speed of greyhounds trying to win the Waterloo Cup. The t axi-cab was buzzing along up Fifth Avenue now. You would no mor e shoot me in the heart of the metropolis than. And it isn't as if such a feat could give you the thrill of successful marksmanship. however unhealthy to the eye of the casual o bserver.

Then you propose to make quite a little tour in this cab?" "You've got it. "You are not interested in wood-chucks. which was hanging limply at his side." "That's it. "I see. Comrade Parker? How much wood would a wood-chuck chuck. Parker did not attempt to solve this problem." "Meaning what." "You figure you're clever. Let us talk of something else. Say no more. The cab was bowling easily up the broad s treet." said Psmith heartily. Are you good at riddles. Have you detected one?" "I guess so." said Psmith. Comrade P arker. all looking exactly the same. assuming for purposes of argument that it was in the power of a wood-chuck to chuck wood?" Mr. so let us give ourselves up to the merriment of the passing instant. I guess. "I understand. a glimpse of the ri ver could be seen. eh?" "There may be a flaw in my reasoning. He was sitting in the same att itude of watchfulness. but. You can take no step of any sort for a ful l half-hour. It was from this qu arter that he seemed to expect attack.ty begins to pall. but I confess I do not at the moment see w here it lies. Comrade Parker? Well. 'Fahzer's come home'?" Mr. through a break in the line of buildings. Psmith resumed the conversation." "Like John Brown's soul." "Ah! And what is it?" "You seem to think New York's the only place on the map. where there are no witnesses. He seemed mistrustful o f Psmith's right hand. the revolver resting on his knee. But why this sudden tribute?" "You reckon you've thought it all out." "Then. past rows on rows of high houses. nodding. "till that moment arrives what we must do is to en tertain each other with conversation. Comrade Parker. This cab is moving on." "And when we are out in the open country. well." said Psmith with ready sympathy. we aren't due to stay in the city. many people are not. you see. Occasiona lly. Are you married? Are there any little Parkers running about the house? Wh en you return from this very pleasant excursion will baby voices crow gleefully. You are un . Tell me about your home-life. things m ay begin to move. Comrade Parker?" "It might be a fool trick to shoot you in the city as you say." "There are few brighter brains in this city. possibly more. to the right. Parker said nothing. A passion for the flora and fauna of our forests is innate rather than acquired. "I see.

At any moment the climax of the drama might be reached.. Parker nodded. "What are you going to do with me. Psmith did not move. There was not hing to do but wait. . Parker permitted himself a smile. "Leaving more painful topics. Parker's chin would be in just the r ight position for a swift upper-cut. He had been talking in the hope of getting t he other off his guard. was aimed at Psmith's waist. They had cove red much ground since last he had looked at the view. This fact appeared suddenly to dawn on Mr. but Mr." said Psmith regretfully. "Sherlock Holmes was right. The cab moved swiftly on. but that was all. "You may remember that he advised Doctor Watson never to take the first cab." "And you had this cab waiting for me on the chance?" Mr. If the pistol went off. "let us turn to another point. It was necessary for him to think. if that note was genuine? I have never made a close study of Comrade Windsor's handwriting. Mr. but in the present circumstances that would be useless. If it had been poi nted at his head in the orthodox way he might have risked a sudden blow to knock it aside. purely to satisfy my curiosity. Parker did not reply. Now they had reached the open country.married." said Psmith. and stated that he had escaped from Blackwell's Island. There was no doubt that a move on his part would be fatal. Tell me about her. and urged him not to take cabs at all. That was certain." he said. That note which the grubby stripling brought to me at the office purported to come fr om Comrade Windsor. travelling at their p resent rate. Psmith relapsed into silence. and half raised the revolver. There was little chan ce of its being effective. and the houses were beginning to thin out. The hand that held the revolver never wavered." said Mr. Parker was evidently too keenly on the look-out. but his right hand. Alas. Psmith eyed him curiously. it must hit him. But quic kness might save him to some extent." Mr.." "You'll find it so. He should have gone further. Parker leaned forward with a scowl. Psmith's hand resumed its normal attitude. Walking is far healthier. Another moment and Mr. He drew back quickly. He was bound to be hit somewhere. Parker himself. pointing in an upwar d direction. Parker. they must come into the open country. thus it is! We lo ok around us. Soon. Comrade Parker. An occasional w ooden shack was passed. and was awaiting my arrival at some address in the Bowery. and what do we see? A solid phalanx of the girls we have loved and lost. and in an unguarded moment I may h ave assumed too much. as it hung. Comrade Parker?" he asked. The muzzle. Would you mind telling me . Was it your face or your manners at wh ich she drew the line?" Mr. "I guess you aren't so clever after all. Comrade Parker! However. closed. or the second. but at least it would be better to put up some kind o f a fight. She wouldn't have you. They were off Manhattan Is land now. Psmith's eye turned again to the window. And he had a faint hope that the suddenness of his movement might ups et the other's aim. Psmith's muscles stiffened for a spring. "The note was a fake all righ t.

" agreed his colleague. as he had not yet settled down to genuine hard work. "Surest thing you know." said the other." said thick-neck number one. "Seems to me the tyre's punctured. as the chauffeur jumped down. who seemed to be a taciturn man. "Guy's had a breakdown. "Guy ran over a nail. Psmith recognised it. It was the voice of Kid Brady. . "Surest thing you know. while perhaps somewhat lacking in the matter of original thought. "Wonder how he did that." said thick-neck number two." said the Kid. was a most useful fellow to have by one. however alluring. All three concentrated their gaze on the machine "Kid's right. each more emphatic than the last. They heard him fumbling in the t ool-box.He braced his leg against the back of the cab. at White Plains. sure. It was his practice to open a course of training with a little gentle road-work. manifestly objected to an audience. It slowed down. a vil lage distant but a few miles from New York. Presently the body of the machine was raised slightly as he got to work with the jack." said thick-neck number one. without demanding the additional joy of sparkling small-talk from the man in charge of the operations. On e of the tyres had burst. who. and continued on his way without a pause. then came to a halt. "Guy's been an' bust a tyre. but just then the smooth speed of the cab changed to a series of jarring bumps. that he had come upon the b roken-down taxi-cab." "Surest thing you know. and it was while jogging along the highway a couple of miles from his training-camp." said the first of the thick-necks. as he had stated to Psmith at their last interview that he intended to do. lacking the conversational graces. in company with the two thicknecked gentlemen who acted as his sparring-partners. One cannot have ev erything in this world. But now. The fact that th e chauffeur. In another moment he would have s prung. If this had happened after his training had begun in real earnest. now?" speculated the Kid. There was a thud. he would have averted his eyes from the spectacle. It was about a minute later that somebody in the road outside spoke. deterred him not at all. he felt justified in turning aside and looking into the matter. A sort of Boswell. I guess. "Had a breakdown?" inquired the voice. CHAPTER XXVII PSMITH CONCLUDES HIS RIDE The Kid. "Did you run over a nail?" the Kid inquired of the chauffeur. had begun his training for his match with Eddie Wood. They observed the perspiring chauffeur in silence for a while. and the Kid and his attendant thick-necks were content t o watch the process of mending the tyre.

" Psmith. "I'm goin' to rubber in at the window. following up his companion's train of th ought. The revolver went o ff with a deafening report. grasped the other's wrist. "Surest thing you know. Say." volunteered the first thick-neck. Parker literally crumpled up. Parker's eye. "Pretty rich guy inside." he whispered. for the first time lost his head . Smith?" queried the excited Kid. "I heard your voice. Meanwhile." surmised the Kid." said the first thick-neck with satire." Psmith suspended his remarks. "You heard. Parker dug viciously at him with the revolver. and it consequently got the full benefit of his weight. He would have slipped to the floor had not Psmith pushed him on to th e seat." "What's doin'." said the Kid. which was not sma ll." "Deaf. I fancy. it'll cost him somethin g. Psmith had risen from his seat as he delivered the blow. Parker." Psmith.The chauffeur ignored the question. then fell to the floor. The bill--" Mr. Parker neatly under the angle of the jaw. The interested face of the Kid appeared at the window." said the other. Outside. too. as the fingers lost their hold. Behind him could be seen portions of the faces of the two thick-necks. Mr. He'll have to strip off a few from his roll to pay for this. darting upwards. Comrade Brady. however. For an instant the muzzle of the pistol ceased to point at Psmith's w aistcoat. the conversation had begun again. The next moment Psmith's rig ht fist. the bullet passing through the back of the cab. in the interior of the cab. "Ah. He's a bad person. Comrade Brady!" said Psmith genially." "De guy's beat it. meeting Mr. "This is his busy day. I guess. Comrade Parker? He is right. His left hand shot out. much. "Say. The effect was instantaneous. Mr. wonder what he's doin' with a taxi so far out of the city. and gave it a sharp wrench. With a vague idea of screening Psmith from the eyes of the man in the road he half rose. There came the sound of the Kid's feet grating on the road as he turned. took Mr. Parker. "Guy's too full o f work to talk to us. and was hoping y ou might look in for a chat. that eminent tactician. His head jerked back. "or you'll get hurt. It was the very chance Psmith had been waiting for. . There was no answering smil e on the other's face. and as he heard it Mr. then fell limply on his chest. shouldn't wonder. glanced at Mr." "Some guy tells him to drive him out here. kindly knock that chauffeur down and sit on his head. "Much. I will tell you all anon. "Keep quiet. smiled pleasantly.

Comrade Brady. during these lean days. "Now. bean soup. must be supporting life on bread.. No sounds broke the peace of the outer office ex cept the whistling of Master Maloney. For the moment I have had sufficient. It was late in the evening when Psmith returned to the metropolis. "Riding in a taxi is pleasant provided it is not overdone. . .. Smith?" asked the Kid.. Psmith inspected the stricken one gravely. "Hullo?" he said. Comrade Brady. took up his position in the inner room. but Psmith woul d not hear of it. causing inconvenience to all. after a pleas ant afternoon at the Brady training-camp. and. his enjoyment of the rather special dinner which he felt justified in ordering in h onour of the occasion somewhat diminished by the thought of Billy's hard case. as far as hired ass ault and battery were concerned. now that Bat Jarvis had declared himself on his side. pointing to Parker. Billy. Smith?" asked the Kid. "I'm Parker. What Bat said was law on the East Side. H e had seen Mr William Collier in The Man from Mexico. would dare to act against a protege of the Groome Street leader." said Psmith. however. "I'll tell you about it as we go. Psmith. again accompanied by the faithful Otto. was somewhat saddened by the thought. Mr. and that had given him an understanding of what a term of imprisonment on Blackwell's Island meant." "What are you going to do with this guy. toying with the hors d'oeuvre. Things were almost dull when the telephone bell rang. Mr. offered once more to abandon his match with Eddie Wood. he was as safe in New York. who had begun to stir slightly. All was quiet at the office on the following day. We may as well take the gun. Psmith took down the recei ver."What's been doin'. On this night of all nights the editorial staff of Cosy Moments should have been togethe r to celebrate the successful outcome of their campaign. having heard the details of t he ride. I propose that we leave him where he is. They c ould not hope to catch him off his guard a second time. Shall we be pushing on?" ." he said. Psmith dined alone. stepping into the road. "I have no use for him. In my opinion. Bat Jarvis. "I am a t your disposal. prepared to repel all invaders. straightening himself up. No hooligan. as he would have been in the middle of a dese rt. Unless you or either of your friends are collecting Parkers." said a moody voice. He was fairly satisfied that the opposition had fired their la st shot. however eager to make m oney. The only flaw in Psmith's contentment was the absence of Billy Windsor. and that their next move would be to endeavour to come to terms. Psmith uttered a cry of welcome. Comrade Brady. but none arrived." He groped on the floor of the cab fo r the revolver. The Kid. and water. A bit of walking will do me good. Comrade Parker is not the proper man to ha ve such a weapon. "Our ride together gave me as m uch of his society as I desire for to-day. He is too prone to go firing it off in any direction at a mome nt's notice.." he said.

But why use the telephone? Why not come here in person? You know how welcome yo u are. Windsor. Nassau Street. As he did so. Comrade Maloney?" "Telegram." said Pugsy." "I am sorry." "See who's here!" said Psmith softly. "Yes." he said. he was aware of Master Maloney standing beside the table." Psmith clicked his tongue regretfully. Will be at office to-morrow morning." "He wishes to see you at his office." "Am I to tell Mr." said Psmith. Perhap s later. Waring would like to see you. "Mr. as you m ay know. preparing the next number. when the rush of work has diminished somewhat." Psmith ripped open the envelope. Comrade Parker. Is there anything else I can do for you. It is impossible. Comrade Parker?" "Mr. I am very busy just now." "Who. Hire a taxi-cab and come right round. CHAPTER XXVIII . "Then I do not see how we can meet. the one in which we publish the name of the owner of the Pleasant Street Tenements. Parker made no reply to the invitation. Otherwise. perh aps you might mention it. I should be delighted. Waring that you refuse?" "If you are seeing him at any time and feel at a loss for something to say. this is splendid! How goes it? Did you get back all right yesterday? I was sorry to have to tear myself away. Comrade Parker. "I shall be here." He hung up the receiver."Why. His office is in the Morton Building. "what step does he propose to take towards it?" "He tells me to say that he will be in his office at twelve o'clock to-morrow mo rning. "Well." Mr. Comrade Parke r?" "See here--" "Nothing? Then good-bye. "For Mr." and it was signed "Wilb erfloss." "The celebrated tenement house-owner?" Silence from the other end of the wire. but I had other engagements. Stewart Waring. The message ran: "Returning to-day. Look in when you're this way.

Windsor is?" A murmur of approval from his followers. "Dey started in scrappin' yesterday when I was here. Dey knows him. The dog made no attempt to annihilate the cats. "Will you be so good as to tell me where Mr. After an inquisiti ve journey round the room he lay down and went to sleep. dey won't scrap wit de dawg. Except--" He glanced inquiringly at the little man with the peeled nose. "In one moment." he said. it was unfortunate. uttered a whine. Jarvis should have seen fit to bring with him to the office of Cosy Moments on the following morning two of his celebrated squad of cats.STANDING ROOM ONLY In the light of subsequent events it was perhaps the least bit unfortunate that Mr." he said. "First. They were not to be blamed. Behind him was a crowd of uncertain numbers. Jarvis was slightly apologetic. Comrade Jarvis. Comrade Asher. The only possible criticism I can find to make has to do with their probable brawling with the dog. "Why. Jarvis's kn ees. They were the Reverend Edwin T. "Comrade Waterman. however. If you will undertake to look after the refereeing of any pogrom that may arise. "T'ought I'd bring de kits along. as usual." Psmith inspected the menagerie without resentment. Philpotts and Mr. "Assuredly. too!" cried Psmith. Well. accompanied him. The next moment the door burst open and a little man dashed in. In the outer office could be heard a stir and movement. B. "this is indeed a Moment of Mirth." said Psmith." said the other with austerity. and that Long Otto . sitting up with a start." he said. Bat breathed a tune. He ha d a peeled nose and showed other evidences of having been living in the open air . It was a soothing scene. Henderson Asher . "My name is Wilberfloss. Psmith recognised the leaders of this crowd. "Why we have all met before. "They add a pleasantly cosy and domestic t ouch to the scene. I say no more. and Long Otto." "But is he aware of that? He looks to me a somewhat impulsive animal. They could not know that before the morning was over space in the office would be at a premium. The cats had settled themselves comfortably. well . But it did not last. and scratched one of the cats un der the ear. I have been wo ndering for weeks where you could have got to. the matter's in your hands. Jarvis's statement as to the friendly relations between the animals proved t o be correct. And Comrade Philpotts! Am I wrong in saying that this is the maddest. surveying the ceiling with his customary glassy stare. Mr." Mr. of course." "Oh. smoke d a long cigar in silence. should have been fired by his example to the e xtent of introducing a large and rather boisterous yellow dog. Ten minutes had barely elapsed when the yellow dog. Still. merriest day of all the glad New Year?" The rest of the crowd had entered the room. let me introduce two important me . so to-day I says I'll keep my eye on dem. who. one on each of Mr. and an era of peace set in.

This. "Do you remember. "Mr. Asher looked at Mr. falling into error. A faint. "is widely known as a cat fan cier in Brooklyn circles. and stumbled over a cat. Windsor?" "In prison. Long Otto. big-brained though he i s. that Comrade Windsor appointed me. sad smile played across Psmith's face. "It is rather a nice point. Windsor immediately." "Honest?" said Mr. psalm. Comrade Waterman--I fancy it was to you that I made the remark --my commenting at our previous interview on the rashness of confusing the unusu al with the improbable? Here we see Comrade Wilberfloss." "Ah! And where is Mr. The cats fell in an avalanche to the floor." "These gentlemen tell me you're acting editor." Mr. was promptly gathered in." he said. Jarvis. Waterman started. On your right. Long Otto." said Psmith sorrowfully. in his haste." said the big-brained one. "Say." "I shall dismiss Mr. which began barking. "did youse ever have a cat wit one blue and one yellow e ye?" Mr." said Mr. however. "Who are you?" he demanded. who was offering B. On your left. "It is too true." said the old Etonian reverently. Wilberfloss looked at Mr. "Who am I?" repeated Psmith in an astonished tone. Wilberfloss. however. and phthisis. Henderson Asher a cigarette. Mr. Mr. You may say. a process which i t kept up almost without a pause during the rest of the interview. is silent. He tapped Mr. trod on the dog. Mr. Philpotts. Bat Jarvis. Wilberfloss.mbers of our staff. "I never heard of such a thing. Mr . Wilberfloss side-stepped and turned once more to Psmith. ." said Psmith in an aside to Bat. Both of Groome Street. "In prison!" Psmith nodded." The two Bowery boys rose awkwardly. Who appointed you?" Psmith reflected. Such is the generous impulsiveness of Comrade Windsor's nature that he hit a policeman. Wilberfloss." he asked. "There is a preliminary P before the name. "Who are you?" "I am Psmith. and is now serving a sentence of thirty days on Blackwell's Island. Like the tomb. Compare such words as ptarmi gan. Wilberfloss in friendly fashion on the chest. "It might be claimed that I appointed myse lf.

Comrade Jarvis. Windsor to conduct the paper on certain well-defined lines." roared Mr. Comrade Wilberfloss--Zam-buk would put your nose right in a day--are. I return yesterday. "it would make things a little easier if y ou removed that dog. They could hear it being ejected from the outer office by Master Maloney. Piercing shr ieks cleft the air. "You were saying." "Kid Brady !" shrilled Mr. and not much of eit her. absent on unavoidable business. Cosy Moments was never so prosperous and flourishing."From Blackwell's Island?" said Psmith. "goes and treads on de k it. and you will see t hat the circulation has gone up every week. Jarvis. vice Kid Brady. This. The dog shot out. which. These. "Gentlemen. "Who are these persons. I--" "I assure you it was a pure accident. Waterman. "I am sure you will earn his gratitude i f you do. dodging with a yelp. leaving Mr. was glo wering at Mr. who had backed away and seemed nervous. to turn his attention to Mr. Examine the returns. but renders conversation difficult. Bean soup and bread. Smith?" he inquired. is Mr. Mr. "What is the trouble. "Poisson yourself. cannoned against the second cat and had its nose scratched." "Ruined?" said Psmith. holding a cat in his arms. respectively. They live on bean soup there. Bat Jarvis and Long Otto. Comrade Jarvis?" "Dat guy dere wit two left feet." said Bat querulously. gentlemen. justly incensed." Long Otto raised a massive boot and aimed it at the animal. "On the contrary. Wilberfloss. that i n my absence the paper has been ruined. getting into communication with Mr." he said. the editor of this journal. Mr." He broke off. Smith?" Psmith waved his hands. The animal--" Mr. "I demand an explanation. Psmith turned courteousl y to the editor. Comrade Wilberfloss?" "Who is this person Brady? With Mr. Jarvis and Mr. When there was silence. what do I find? Why. Comrade Otto. Wilberfloss." rejoined Bat. intervened. our acting fighting-edito rs. I th ought I had introduced you. Mr." He opened the door. and. Waterman. eyeing Bat and the silent Otto with disgust. Philpotts. "Who's de little guy wit de p eeled breezer. Comrade Otto. Philpotts I have been going carefully over t he numbers which have been issued since my departure--" . "I think. between whom bad blood seemed to have arisen. "I insist that you give me a full explan ation of this matter. Wilberfloss. Wilberfloss above the din. do you think you could use your personal influen ce with that dog to induce it to suspend its barking for a while? It is musical. I go away by my doctor's orders for ten weeks." said Psmith. "let us not descend to mere personalities.

but nix o n that." murmured Psmith." he wen t on warmly. Jarvis. Jarvis approvingly. Comrade Philpotts." "There!" said Psmith triumphantly. is not bright and interesting. The guy doubles up. dat stuff." assented Mr." "Low prize-fighters! Comrade Wilberfloss. The Kid is as decent a little chap as you'd meet anywhere. Let me quote you another passage to show that they are not only enthralling." "--together with a page of disgusting autobiographical matter. "Assuredly. Wilberfloss. but this is mere abuse." And with that he cuts lo ose with a right swing. Why. You don't want to use it i n the ring. "Go on." "Cosy Moments." "I falls fer de Kid every time. until we took him up." urged Mr. Wilberfloss irately. "You heard? Comrade Jarvis. 'A bul ly good way of putting a guy out of business is this." Joe gives me another nasty look. but I falls into the clinch. While he's setting himself for a punch. Referee says.' Now. you have been misinformed. There isn't a guy living that could stand up again st that. I appeal to t hese gentlemen to say whether this. Comrade Wilberfloss. "Describing a certain ten-round unpleasantness with one Mexican Joe. to love his mother and to knock the heads off other youths whose weight coincided with his own. for instance. and turned to the Kid's page. You know a good thing when you see one. but I thi nks of my mother and swats him one in the lower ribs. We adopted Comrade Brady. and then---!'" "Bah!" exclaimed Mr. Try it on your parishioners. "is no medium for exploiting low p rize-fighters." he says." he said. "It's to de good. "All right. "there is stuff in these reminiscences which would stir the blood o f a jelly-fish. I have it. because by Queensberry Rules it's a foul. "I protest." said Mr." Psmith held up his hand." he said. one of the most f irmly established critics east of Fifth Avenue. I bet you never kne w that before. Let me see. The fingers give you a leverage to beat the band. "Fight on. " He picked up the current number of Cosy Moments. but helpful as well. Then bring dow n the heel of your left hand. and out he goes. had barred him almost completely from the second pastime. Think of it. "We court criticism. 'Joe comes up for the second round and he gives me a nasty look. but you will find it might y useful if any thick-neck comes up to you in the street and tries to start anyt hing. "now I'll knock you up into the gallery. and misfortune. There was that unfortunate stripling with only two ple asures in life. K id. You do not seem to appreciate th e philanthropic motives of the paper in adopting Comrade Brady's cause. Comrade Jarvis. boss. a nd you upper-cut him with your right. Our editorial heart was melted. just place the tips of the fingers of your left hand on the right side of his chest."An intellectual treat. And look at him now! Matched against Eddie Wood! And C omrade Waterman will support me in my statement that a victory over Eddie Wood m . He hollers foul. where is it? Ah. stamps Kid Brady's reminiscences with the hall-mark of his approval. "--and in each there is a picture of this young man in a costume which I will no t particularise--" "There is hardly enough of it to particularise. "This. It's this way.

"I knew it. Can nothing reassure you? The returns are excellent. "It is disgraceful. I knew you would give up when it came to the p oint. "Does he know how you have treated the paper?" "He is cognisant of our every move." "Again!" said Psmith. Mr." sighed Psmith." he said. you will admit that Mr." thundered Mr. Prosperity beams on us like a sun. Now." "If. and in these hard times a penny saved is a penny earned. W hite has given no sanction for the alterations in the paper?" A puzzled look crept into Psmith's face. "I knew it." Mr. "I sincerely trust not. you are mistaken. You keep harping on Comrade White and his views and tastes." "I trust not." "You keep reverting to that statement. Wilberfloss uttered a cry of triumph." he said. I never hea rd of such a thing." "It is abominable. Once again I assure you that it is more than prosperous. White to-day. Wilberfloss. Wilberfloss. Comrade Wilberfloss." burst forth Mr." Mr." "It is not true. "Nevertheless. perhaps. I have every reason to belie ve in his complete sanity. Wilberfloss.eans that he gets a legitimate claim to meet Jimmy Garvin for the championship. "They don't believe it." "The proprietor?" gasped Mr." said Mr." "And he approves?" "He more than approves. Wilberfloss. Cables are expensive." said Psmith. Comrade Wilberfloss. Comrade Wilberfloss." "I shouldn't. hopping to avoid a perambulating ca t." . Benjamin White is not a maniac. "I think." he said. I shall cable Mr. The assembled ex-contributors backed up this statement with a united murmur. One would almost imagine that you fancied that Comrade White was the proprietor of this paper. What makes you fancy that there is even a possibility of his being--er--?" "Nobody but a lunatic would approve of seeing his paper ruined. "I fear that the notion that this journal is ruined has be come an obsession with you. The propriet or is more than satisfied. The paper is ruined. Henderson Asher snorted satirically. Comrade Wilberfloss. I think it is practically a certa inty that he has not the slightest inkling of any changes in the paper. "Nothing will convince me of it. B. "we are talking at cross-purposes. it is true. and you were driven into a corner. so out of touch with our New York literary life. and inquire whether t hese alterations in the paper meet with his approval. "I don't believe it. Why worry Comrade White? He is so far away. "you imagine that I intend to take your word in this matter. Wilberfloss snorted.

who was tickling one of the cats and whistling a plaintive melody) there was a tendency toward awkward silence. To start bally-ragging a seeming nonentity and then to discover he is the propri etor of the paper to which you wish to contribute is like kicking an apparently empty hat and finding your rich uncle inside it. Wilberfloss.. and the Reverend Edwin Philpotts. polished it thoughtfully. if he isn't?" Psmith removed his monocle. Wilberfloss in particular w as disturbed. and wrote . 'Comrade Wilberfloss is to the good. "Fancied that Mr. WARING "You!" cried Mr. "I don't follow you. Nothing could be more nicely attuned to the tastes of a Shropshire Psmi th. Comrade Wilberfloss. Who is. and was now entertaining the cats with a ball of p aper tied to a string. except Mr. Jarvis. "Not so. "The same. "I saw that I was on to a good thing. about a month. Wilberfloss. Every one stared. Waterman. are rejected from want of space." "Since when?" "Roughly speaking. I assumed that Comrade White had his price. and from time to time forward big cheques to t he bank.?" repeated Mr. "You!" exclaimed Messrs. Wilberfloss stared. Asher. I f he were to be removed from Cosy Moments he would find it hard to place himself anywhere else. Jarvis. once you had secured your paper. The cry goes round New York. who. Wilberfloss groped for a chair and sat down." Among his audience (still excepting Mr. B. where good jobs are so hard to acquire. Mr. had los t interest in the discussion. "Very early in my connection with this journal. White. All you had to do.Mr. "I am. like manuscripts.. was to sit back and watch the other fellows work. "On the spot!" said Psmith. "All is well.'" "Do I understand you to say that you own this paper?" "I do. I had long been convinced that about the nearest approach to the perfect job in this world. Henderson Asher stared." he said. was to o wn a paper. and put it back in its pla ce. He regarded It. since the readings from the Kid's reminiscences had ceased." said Psmith encouragingly." said Psmith. Editors. Mr. "Am I going mad?" he demanded feebly. He does not gibber." said Psmith. Editorships of the kind which he aspired to are not easy to get. CHAPTER XXIX THE KNOCK-OUT FOR MR. I deduced. not so much as a life-work as in t he light of an investment. The glimpses I was enabled to get of the workings of this little journal gav e me the impression that Comrade White was not attached with any paternal fervou r to Cosy Moments.

do you know what Mahomet di d when the mountain would not come to him?" "Search me. "Mr. Now it so happens that an uncle of mine some years ago left me a considerable number of simoleons. There are some men who seem to fill any room in which they may be. It was reasonable. we will meet anon. Glad. Stewart Waring. He set his hat down on the table without speaking. He was tall and broad. "at a crisis in the affairs of this journal. Waring was one of these. and tho ugh I shall not be legally entitled actually to close in on the opulence for a m atter of nine months or so. "We are now. . "Gentlemen. Waring." he said. I anticipated that my father would have no objection to staking me to the necessary amount on the security of my little bit of money ." "I will make a point of it. Comrade Wilberfloss. and w e had agreed some time ago that the Law was to be my long suit. who was visiting Carlsbad at the moment. He walked into the room with the air of one who is not wont to apolog ise for existing. If I might drop in some afternoon and inspect the re mainder of your zoo--?" "Any time you're down Groome Street way. "Guy's waiting outside. As a general rule in life y ou can't beat it." he said. you should be present. and--" There was a knock at the door. and I knew he would have no o bjection to my being a Napoleon of the Press on this side. Paper-owning." said Pugsy. may be combined with being Lord Chancellor. After which he looked at Mr. "you know how I hate to have to send you away. and Pugsy announced Mr. who shrank a little beneath his gaze." He took a seat. Comrade Maloney. "Comrade Maloney. "He went to the mountain. The owner of the Pleasant Street Tenements was of what is usually called command ing presence. Comrade Jarvis." said the office-boy indifferently. ho wever. He cabled it to me. Waring in. Comrade Maloney. Comrade Maloney.to my father." The door opened." He turned to the assembled company. to ascertain what that p rice might be. So we closed with Com rade White. If the rest of you would look in ab out this time to-morrow--Show Mr." he said. but would y ou mind withdrawing in good order? A somewhat delicate and private interview is in the offing. but I fancy we shall win through. and Master Maloney entered with a card. His face was clean-shaven and curiously expressionless. Mr. Comrade Wilberfloss. It was a wise thing to do. Psmith had risen to greet him." read Psmith. Wilberfloss. "Shall I send the guy in?" "Surest thing you know." "Sure. Bushy eyebrows topped a pair of cold grey eyes. Remember that. would you mind remaining? As ed itor of this journal. and more than a little stout. My father has spent some time of late hurling me at various professions. Your services to the paper hav e been greatly appreciated.

" "Not so. That is Comrade J. The Waring type is dangerous when it is win ning. But if you are merely intending to cover the ground covered by him. no mere irresponsible lounger who has butted in by chance. Th ings move so swiftly in New York journalistic matters that a man may well be exc used for not keeping abreast of the times. inferior--words what Com rade Parker said to us. "I prefer to stand." Mr. you had bette r quit it. I fear I must remind you that this is one of our busy days. But now all is well: Comrade Wilbe rfloss is once more doing stunts at the old stand. if this gentleman is the editor?" "I am the proprietor. especially one who. "All is well. is interested in politics and house-ownership rather than in literature. Wilberfloss. Wilberflo ss to leap a clear two inches from his chair." said he. ." "Who are you. "What are you doing it for?" he demanded explosively. the editor of this journal. Waring brought his hand down with a bang on the table. Have you no new light to fling upon the subject?" Mr. It isn't healthy. "It is no stranger that you see before you. He was playing a lost game." said Psmith. "What I have to say is private. causing Mr. like yourself. He was merely acting as editor while the chief was away hunting sand-eels in the jungles of T exas. Fillken Wilberfloss. let us say Comrade Parker. "I tell you. "You are merely stating in other--and." "I understood that a Mr. This is Liberty Hall. but not now." he said. You may speak as freely befor e him as you would before well." "Just as you wish. then. Psmith looked at him admiringly." "The editor? I understood--" "I know what you would say. and he was not the so rt of man who plays lost games well. if I may say so. Waring again glanced at Mr. but it is apt to crumple up against strong defence. "There was a time when that was the case." Psmith shook his head. Are you s ure you won't sit down?" Mr. I did not object to giving up valuable time to listen to Comrade Parker. His next words proved his demoralisation. White was the proprietor." said Psmith reassuringly. but it lacked the master-hand. You have Comrade Windsor in your mind."Won't you sit down?" he said. and it was a privilege t o hob-nob with him. He is a fascinating conversationalist. In his absence Comrade Windsor and I did our best to keep the old journal booming along. "I'll sue you for libel. Waring wiped his forehead.

For pure richness and whi msical humour it stands alone." . my view of the thing is this. "for you will never beat that. Three dollars are what I need for a new one. "is the matter of the se tenements." Mr." Mr. would you?" Mr. but a certain minion of yours." resumed Psmith. I shou ldn't be able to enjoy my meals." he said. Waring half rose." "Five thousand!" cried Mr. Waring. The fight had gone out of him. I am merely stating my own individual opinion." said Psmith. He is off his feed. Comrade Wilberfloss. you are making the culminating err or of a misspent life. "What I propose to do. again leaped in his seat. I propose to apply to making those tenements fit for a tolerably fastidious pig to live in. and it seems to me that it doesn't much matter who gets elected. utterly ruined a pract ically new hat of mine. "I've thought the whole thing out. "The only thing that really interests me. but even assuming that to be the case. It would have hit him right. During the past seven weeks you have been endeavo uring in your cheery fashion to blot the editorial staff of this paper off the f ace of the earth in a variety of ingenious and entertaining ways. the five thousand. Wilberfloss. and now you pr opose to sue us for libel! I wish Comrade Windsor could have heard you say that. "is to touch you for the good round sum of five thousand and three dollars. I shall shortly be leaving this country to resume the strangle-hol d on Learning which I relinquished at the beginning of the Long Vacation. perhaps I might take a mo re fervid interest in the matter. "It's monstrous." Mr.' But no balm would do me any good. It was the white flag. The balance of your cheque. On the other hand." he said. thus suddenly pulled into the conversation. without waiting for an answer. And you wouldn't like that. The startled cry would go round Cambridge: 'Som ething is the matter with Psmith. I have been studying the papers of lat e. He should try Blenkinsop's Balm for the Bilious. If the People are chumps enough to elect you. He sat down. If I were a native of New York. The right plan woul d be to put the complete kybosh (if I may use the expression) on your chances of becoming an alderman. the other candidates appear to be a pretty fair co ntingent of blighters. one J. "I'll tell you. but as I am merely passing through your beauti ful little city."Say no more. "Five thousand dollars!" "Five thousand and three dollars. I hope I don't hurt your feelings in any way. it doesn't seem to me to make any very substantial difference w ho gets in. Psmith leaned back in his chair. "It may possibly have escaped yo ur memory. "What are you going to do?" he said. I should simply droop and fade slowly away like a neglected lily. Waring made no remark. Repetto. If you think that I can afford to come to New York and s catter hats about as if they were mere dross. To be absolutely candid. If I w ere to depart without bringing off improvements down Pleasant Street way. Waring accepted the invitation he had refused before. Of course th e opposition papers may have allowed their zeal to run away with them." continued Psmith. then they deserve you.

Cosy Moments may therefore ease up a bit. But in Psmith's rooms the fire burned brightly. "have been known to be stopped. and pay it in to my ac count at the International Bank. Comrade Wilberfloss? Excellent. on r eflection. went round and hob-nobbed with the great man." asked Mr. later. CONCLUSION IT was a drizzly November evening. so. was joy. "Bet your life I am. He asks to re-engage Comrade Windsor's services at a pretty sizeable salary. But it will not be necessary." said Psmith. Psmith watched. I explained the painful circumstances. appearing at the door." "-I. Comrade Maloney. I have made inquiries. as the proprietor had just observed. I look to you. Who knows but what. the ke ttle droned. who had been playing football." "I have no cheque-book with me. and. Psmith. with Comrade Wilberfloss's assistance. I fear you will have a pretty tough job roping in the o ld subscribers again. "Cheques. run like one down to Wall Street with this cheque. all may be said to be well. May I count on your services. So out with the good old cheque-book. to restore Cosy Moments to its old style. at about the beginning of next month. you might not have changed your mind?" "What guarantee have I. "Cross out the name of my bank. "It's more or less of a minimum." "Well. it will be the infants of New York and the ir parents receiving the news that Cosy Moments stands where it did. and fate cannot touch us. Have you ever seen an untamed mustang of t he prairie?" "Nope. intimated that he was. Waterman. The streets of Cambridge were a compound of m ud." "Youse hollering fer me?" asked that youth. you should hear a deafening squeal of joy ring through this city. jollity."It isn't. and melancholy. was reclining in a comatose state in an arm-chair by the fire. "Comrade Maloney. Mike." said Psmith. and song. I propose. in pyjamas and a college blazer." said Psmith. substitute yours. Some days ago the editor of Comrade Windsor's lat e daily paper called up on the telephone and asked to speak to him. I see I may. but it can be done. with an indulgent and fatherly eye. "Finished?" he said. "that these attacks on me in your pap er will stop?" "If you like. Comrade Wilberfloss. producing one from a drawer." said Psmith. as far as our prison expert is concerned. A very pleasant fellow. and let's all be jolly. Wilberfloss." Pugsy disappeared. But I've read about dem. wriggling in his chair. mist. and telling them to burnish their brains and be ready to wade in at a moment's notice. and all. Then perhaps you would not mind passing the word round among Comrades Asher. was lying on the sofa." Mr. "I will write you a note to that effect. as he wrote . Waring hesitated for a moment. Ar e you on?" Mr. then capitulated. and the r est of the squad. If. He has got where he wanted.have. . Waring.

"Never mind. "That is excellent. "Say no more. but I seem to myself to be looking down on the world from some lofty peak. they now eat out o f his hand. he has one consolation. Comrade Jackson. The Kid is now definitely ma tched against Comrade Garvin for the championship. The whisper goes round. He appears to have gathered in the majority of the old subscribers again." said Psmith dreamily. Let us pass lightly on. By the way. When he does. will remain with me when I have forgotten that such a person as Comr ade Repetto ever existed. Hopping mad but a brief while ago. And while on that sub ject you will be glad to hear that the little sheet is going strong. "are the moments in life to which we look back wi th that wistful pleasure. but it seems to me that all is singularly to de good. Bat Jarvis. A line from you every now and then would sweeten the lad's existence. Keep listening. "if all our friends on the oth er side of the Atlantic could share this very peaceful moment with us! Or perhap s not quite all."How pleasant it would be. Comra de Jackson. we must show h im round. and the bally rot which used t o take place on the Fourth of June? No. Comrade Jackson?" "Um-m. I may be wrong." he said. clear-sighted citizens refused to vote for him to an extent that you could notice without a microscope. Those keen. My authorities are silent as to whether or not the lethal blow was a half-scis sor hook. Let us say. comfortably. but I presume such to have been the case. He is a stout fellow. and the cats. I am filled with a strange content to-night. Advices from Comrade Windsor inform me that that prince of blighters. But what of it? Life must inevitably be dot ted with these minor tragedies. will be the finest and most commodious tenement houses in New York. administering the sleep-producer in the eighth round . The man Wil berfloss is a marvel in his way. when I was looking down from th e peak without a cap and gown." said Psmith. as Comrade Maloney would put it. 'Psmith ." said Mike." said Mike. These are the real Cosy Moments. What of my boyhood at Eton? Do I remember with the kee nest joy the brain-tourneys in the old form-room. He regards you as the World's Most Prominen t Citizen. I don't think you ever met him. I think it would be a graceful act if you were to write to Comrade Jarvis from time to time telling him how your Angoras are getting on. I do not repine. " Mike stirred sleepily in his chair. was rejected by an intelligent electorat e. Yesterday night. This peaceful scene. Millionaires will stop at them instead of going to the Plaza. "What?" he said drowsily. You could not be better employed. Comrades B rady and Maloney on the table. and the experts seem to think that he should win." He reached out for a cigarette. Are you asleep. Comrade Wi ndsor also stated--as indeed did the sporting papers--that Comrade Brady put it all over friend Eddie Wood. Waring. He will probably come to England later on. "I take you. Henderson Asher. when the improvements are completed. He owns wh at. and I hope he wins through. To-day I had to dig down into my jeans for a matter of two plunks. Comrade Jackson?" "Ur-r. Still. You've really no notion what a feeling of quiet pride it gives you o wning a paper. and our old pal Wilberfloss sharing the floor wit h B. So with the present moment. I try not to show it. a proctor slid up. is Comrade Brady. did you. Comrade Windsor in the chair over there. "These. Burned deeply into my memory is a certai n hot bath I took after one of the foulest cross-country runs that ever occurred outside Dante's Inferno.

' Comrade Jackson--" A snore came from the chair. Psmith sighed. and wears a brave smile. He bit the bullet. But he did not repine. The End . too. Five minutes later a slight snore came from the sofa. The man behind Cosy M oments slept.bites the bullet. His eyes closed.