“You mustn’t worry about liking me, Jarvis. It’s inevitable. People always like me. I become a necessity, like salt and pepper. Just accept me cheerfully, for here I am.”
He looked at her, frowning.
“Yes, there you are.”
“That scowl is very becoming to you. You look like an angry viking.”
“I am in no good mood to play.”
“Oh, very well, Grandfather Grunt. I had such a nice day. Why don’t you ask me about it?”
“I should be interested to hear what you did.”
“Your manners are painful but impeccable,” she laughed. “Well, I flittered and fluttered up and down the avenue, like a distracted butterfly. I spent a few hours in Tiffany’s with such a pleasant man.”
“Who was he?”
“I don’t know. He was a clerk there. I went in to look at jewels.”
“Just for the joy of it.”
“And a clerk spent two hours with you?”
“Because I’m so charming, stupid. He asked me to come in next week to see some famous pearls. I also inspected a bookshop. I asked about the sale of published plays. I thought we might make your things into a book.”
“If Broadway doesn’t want them?”
“Better still if Broadway does.”
“Do you always go about making acquaintances?” he inquired.
“Always. People like to talk to me. I look so inoffensive.”
He smiled at her saucy, tip-tilted face.
“Any more adventures?”
“Oh, yes. A gay old man asked me if I was alone?”
“What?” he exploded.
“He did. He liked my looks enormously. I could see it.”
“Did you call a policeman?”
“Not I. Do you think I am a ’bitty-lum’?”
“A what?” he asked.
“Once a pig molicepan,
Saw a bitty-lum,
Sitting on a surbcone,
Chewing gubber rum.
Hi, said the molicepan,
Will you sim me gome?
Tinny on your nintype,
Said the bitty-lum.”
“How old are you?” inquired Jarvis.
“Well, I’ve got all my teeth.”
“What did you do with the old masher?”
“I squelched him.”
“Did he go away?”
“You must be more careful on the streets, Bambi. People misunderstand you.”
“Well, I can always explain myself,” she added, laughing.
“Then what did you do?”
“More or less directly, I came here, and lunched, in the conviction that you were closeted with Belasco. Did you have any lunch?”
“Yes. The blond one drove me out for half an hour.”
“I should have gone with you.”
“I would never sit anywhere seven hours.”
“What would you have done?”
“Gone to Belasco’s house, or telephoned something startling that would have brought him down quickly.”