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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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."

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

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

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

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

irrespective of the trend of his conversation. Billy was of the plains." he said. It was partly a sno rt." Billy Windsor suddenly became militant. We can look after them. To me it is enough simply to si t and chat with Comrade Parker. "I should not go on with them if I were you. It resembled more than anything else the preliminary sniffin g snarl a bull-dog emits before he joins battle. "Why?" demanded Billy."I am speaking in your best interests. Parker. the home of blunt speech. find ing speech unequal to the expression of their thoughts. "what's it all about? Let's have it. leaning forward. if you unburdened yourself as soon as convenient. "We do not completely gather your meaning. say it right out. and this is our busy day. If y ou've anything to say about those articles. "The gentleman whom I represent--" "Then this is no matter of your own personal taste? You are an emissary?" ." Psmith waved a deprecating hand." cried he. There was a feline smoothness about the visitor which had been jarring upon him ever since he first spoke. 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. Never mind our bes t interests. Psmith intervened. Parker leaned forward. 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. Billy's cow-boy blood was up. Comrade Parker." "Less powerful ones. S till. H e was rapidly approaching the state of mind in which the men of the plains. I fear we must ask yo u to hand it to us with still more breezy frankness. Parker's smooth face did not change its expression. 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. Parker was too bland for human consumption. "See here." "Who would doubt it. as time is money. Let's have what's worrying you. where you looked your man in the eye and s aid it quick. Comrade Parker. "There are reasons why you should not. but he came to the point ." said Mr. possibly it might be as well. "Do not let us be abrupt on this happy occasion." There proceeded from Billy a noise not describable in words. reach for their guns. "And there are reasons why we should. He offended Billy' s honest soul. Mr. partly a growl. sir.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Put me wise. We offer you the job of sitting in the outer room and intercepting these privacy. "that he left breathing threate nings and slaughter. And you." "In brief. "Kid. And it is for that reason that we have ventured to call upo n you." said Psmith. So we've come along to you. this gets past me." The Kid turned appealingly to Billy. Mr. are such a man. "You gave him the hook. and once they put up a bluff to get us wher e they could do us in. I read 'em." Billy's voice grew indignant at the recollection. "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." "It was about time some strong josher came and put it across to 'em." said Psmith. This is praise from Sir Hubert Stanley. and having advis ed the Kid not to stop and pick daisies." "Can we have a couple of words with you alone. now announced that he guessed that would about do." "Parker?" "That's what I'm coming to. bade the company good night and retired. "To such an extent. Jack'll be through in a minute. "you know those articles about the tenements we've been having i n the paper?" "Sure." "It's this way. They're to the good. Comrade Brady. "The day before yesterday a man named P arker called at the office and tried to buy us off." added the Kid. "Gum! Mr." he said. they're tough proposition s. "We want to tal k over something with you. who during this conversation had been concentrating himself on his subject 's left leg. Kid?" said Billy. "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. but what we want is some one to help in case they try to rush us there. those gangs." "Sure. Comrade Brady. however. a fighting-editor. "You stimulate us. Windsor. I guess?" queried the interested Kid." "We've been followed in the streets. you see. but to get into his clothes at once bef ore he caught a chill." said Billy." Jack." Psmith bowed. We can look after ourselves o ut of the office." said Billy. Sit down. Billy shut the door. "So we thought." "You don't say!" exclaimed the Kid. gents. Comrade Parker. totally disagreed with us. Comrade Brady.n not. "Say. is compel therefore bravoes b . Windsor.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Both sides were hard at i t. He walked towards Billy." "Why not go down through the trap? They've all gone to the street. and fate cannot touch us. when both sides have begun to have enough of it. when I proved that coloured gentlemen's heads could be hurt with a stick. Cosy Moments' editorial staff may be tree'd. Mr. 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. permits the opposing forces to hammer each other into a certain dista ste for battle." he murmured." he said. Comrade Windsor. "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. He is now waiting below. but it canno t be put out of business. The unthinking man would rush in and at tempt to crush the combat in its earliest and fiercest stages. Let us ponder. "Excellent. It was long." The ladder was lying against the farther wall. His whole attitude was triumphant. and the insignificance of the g angsman's. and then. was just working up to a climax. ready--even anxious--to pick us off as we climb through the trap. 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. "do nothing to apprise our friend Sam of these proceed . Comrade Windsor." said Psmith. "Comrade Gooch. more than long enoug h for the purpose for which it was needed. Are two mammoth minds such as ours unequal to such a feat? It can hardly be. but it is sure rather than swift. His eyes were gleaming with excite ment. In his hand he waved a strip of paper. As he did so. How would it be to drop Comrade Gooch through firs t. The noise. The New York poli ceman. The behaviour of the New York policeman in affairs of this kind is based on prin ciples of the soundest practical wisdom. Psmith turned to him. He was tired of kneeling by the trap. its handle to my hand? It is! Comrade Wi ndsor. "It see ms to me the grand rescue scene in the third act has sprung a leak." Psmith shook his head. Sam was the subject of my late successful experime nt. I am sure. Billy got up and turned to him. take the other end of that ladder and follow me. "I've got it. Psmith and Billy rested it on the cop ing. "All. and pushed it till the other end reached across the gulf to the roof of the house next door. rewarded at last for their long vigil. Proceedings in the affair below had not yet reached the police interference stag e. "Surely we must win through now. and so draw his fire? Comrade Gooch. Gooch eyeing them in silence the while." In the street the disturbance had now become terrific. we win through. armed with a pistol. It is an admirable process in its re sults."There is certainly something in what the bright boy says. what with the shots and yells from the street and the ear-piercing approval of the roof-audience." he cried. and there was no likelihood o f Sam making another attempt to climb through. Psmith rose. knowing the importance of his own safety." he replied. rushe s in himself and clubs everything in sight.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wilberfloss uttered a cry of triumph. I shall cable Mr." "Again!" said Psmith. Now. Comrade Wilberfloss. The paper is ruined. "I sincerely trust not." he said." "If." "You keep reverting to that statement. Cables are expensive. Prosperity beams on us like a sun. "They don't believe it. 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. perhaps. it is true. "I knew it." . Henderson Asher snorted satirically. "Nothing will convince me of it.eans that he gets a legitimate claim to meet Jimmy Garvin for the championship." said Mr." "The proprietor?" gasped Mr. Comrade Wilberfloss. Comrade Wilberfloss. "Does he know how you have treated the paper?" "He is cognisant of our every move. One would almost imagine that you fancied that Comrade White was the proprietor of this paper. "I think. Why worry Comrade White? He is so far away. "It is disgraceful." "It is abominable. W hite has given no sanction for the alterations in the paper?" A puzzled look crept into Psmith's face." burst forth Mr. "Nevertheless. Can nothing reassure you? The returns are excellent. "I knew it. you will admit that Mr. you are mistaken. "you imagine that I intend to take your word in this matter. I knew you would give up when it came to the p oint. Mr." "I shouldn't. Comrade Wilberfloss. "I don't believe it. Benjamin White is not a maniac. Wilberfloss. White to-day." "And he approves?" "He more than approves. I never hea rd of such a thing." said Psmith. You keep harping on Comrade White and his views and tastes." thundered Mr. Wilberfloss." Mr. so out of touch with our New York literary life. hopping to avoid a perambulating ca t. and you were driven into a corner." "I trust not. The propriet or is more than satisfied. B." "It is not true. and in these hard times a penny saved is a penny earned. "we are talking at cross-purposes. Wilberfloss." he said. "I fear that the notion that this journal is ruined has be come an obsession with you. Once again I assure you that it is more than prosperous. Wilberfloss. Wilberfloss snorted. I have every reason to belie ve in his complete sanity." sighed Psmith. I think it is practically a certa inty that he has not the slightest inkling of any changes in the paper. and inquire whether t hese alterations in the paper meet with his approval." he said." Mr. The assembled ex-contributors backed up this statement with a united murmur.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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