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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and myself. If that is Comrade Otto's forte. Finally Psmith leaned back in his chair with a satisfied expressio n.." said Psmith softly. At least. such toil has its compensations. who was holding the handle. surely!" he said in a pleased voice. Some one was mov ing stealthily in the outer office. if the footsteps I hear without are. 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. The third. "I understand. Psmith was right. Comrade R epetto." said Psmith. Comrade Maloney's servi ces are too valuable to allow him to be exposed to unnecessary perils." he went on. Am I not right. The next moment thre e figures tumbled into the room. "It is just as well. Comrade Otto. was within a few inches of his own. Comrade Otto will bear me out in my statement that there is a subtle joy in the manufacture of the well-f ormed phrase. And now to work. "unless you care to dispose yourselv .. as of course you know. "He's a bit shy on handin' out woids. 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. as I su spect. "that Comrade Maloney is not at his cu stomary post." 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." "It occurred to me. Comrade Otto?" The long one gazed appealingly at Mr. Work." Jarvis and Long Otto turned towards the door. T'anks.d in any way add to the gaiety of the jaunt. Ott o and Jarvis. Action. The editori al I have just completed contains its measure of balm. as he spoke. Psmith rose with a kindly smile to welcome his guests. Have you come bringing me a new hat?" The white-haired leader's face. All great men are like that. is Otto. those of our friends of the Three Points. when he had gone. so much the better. "I cannot offer you all seats. "Why. Judging from the sound. Now. But what are words? Action is the thing. "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. Von Moltke. and the absence of resistance when they applied their weig ht had had surprising effects. as I said--Aha!" The handle of the door began to revolve slowly and quietly. Any visit ors who call must find their way in for themselves. in about a quarter of a minute." "Sure t'ing. boss. and spoke. Psmith nodded. "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. That is the cry." he said. who spoke for him. Jarvis. I am a man of few words myself. this is a treat. more than one person . "I thought I knew the face. It was evident that they had not expected to fi nd the door unlocked. Comrade Jarvis. was m ore fortunate. "While." he said. the w hat's-its-name of the thingummy and the thing-um-a-bob of the what d'you-call-it .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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