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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

" he said. and the contractor put it up with material about as strong a s a heap of meringues. He's one of the biggest men in New York!" "Do you mean in girth? If so. Which brings us back to the point. "We will remind them. He used to be Commissioner of Buildings for the city." "Why did he throw up the job?" inquired Psmith.sporting page which reminds me that Comrade Brady has been matched against one E ddie Wood a month from to-day. he seems to have selected the right career for him self. Who is Stewart W aring?" "Stewart Waring is running for City Alderman. 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. He made a bit of a pile out of the job. Gratifying as it is to find one of the staff gett ing on in life. Shut his eyes and held out his hands when t hey ran up rotten buildings that a strong breeze would have knocked down." "I should have thought it would have had that excellent result permanently." Psmith lit another cigarette. perhaps. Certain drawbacks to it. and they got after the contractor. Billy nodded." "Commissioner of Buildings? What exactly did that let him in for?" "It let him in for a lot of graft. It killed him for the time being. and what shall we do then for a fighting editor? However. Com rade Brady will have to leave the office temporarily in order to go into trainin g. but I gather that Comrade Waring did not line up in that c lass. I fear this will cause us a certain amount of inconvenience. possibly we may not need one now." "How was that?" "Oh. "Do you mean to say he got back again after that?" "He had to quit being Commissioner. and the contractor gave Waring away. and could afford to lie low for a year or two. he took it off the contractors. Cosy Moments should be able shortly to give its message to the wo rld and ease up for a while. "was that he stood in with a contractor who was putti ng up a music-hall." said Billy." "And then?" "The papers raised a howl. and it collapsed on the third night and killed half the a udience. of course. . bu t affairs move so fast here that a thing like that blows over. and leave the town for a time. to the man with the Hai r-Trigger Conscience. "it seems to me that it was amon g the World's Softest." "He's one of the bosses." "How long ago was that?" "Five years." sai d Psmith thoughtfully. What was his trouble?" "His trouble.

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

"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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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