“Sure!” said the Magpie unconcernedly. He stared about him, and finally, drawing a chair up to the table, sat down, motioned the Tocsin to do the same, and leaned forward amiably. “I didn’t mean to throw no scare into youse,” he said, in a conciliating tone. “But I had a little business wid Mag, an’ I was kind of interested in whether she was entertainin’ company or not—see? I didn’t know youse an’ Mag was workin’ together.”
“Mabbe,” observed Jimmie Dale, as ungraciously as before, “mabbe dere’s some more t’ings youse don’t know!”
“Aw, cough up de grouch!” advised the Magpie, with a hint of impatience creeping into his voice. “Youse don’t need to be sore all night! I told youse I wasn’t tryin’ to hand youse one, didn’t I?”
“Never mind Larry, Slimmy,” put in the Tocsin petulantly. “He’s down on his luck, dat’s all. He ain’t had de price of a pinch of coke fer two days.”
“Oho!” exclaimed the Magpie, grinning again. “So dat’s wot’s givin’ youse de pip, eh, Larry? Well, den, say, youse can take it from me dat mabbe youse’ll be glad I blew around. I was lookin’ fer a guy about yer size fer a little job to-night, an’ I was t’inkin’ of lettin’ Young Dutchy in on it, but seem’ youse are here an’ in wid Mag, an’ dat I got to get Mag in, too, youse are on if youse say de word.”
“Wot’s de lay?” inquired Larry the Bat, unbending a little.
The Magpie cocked his eye, and stuck his tongue in his cheek.
“Good-night!” he said tersely. “Nothin’ like dat! Are youse on, or ain’t youse?”
“Well, den, wot’s in it fer me?” persisted Larrry the Bat.
“More’n de price of a coke sneeze!” returned the Magpie pertinently. “Dere’s a century note fer youse, an’ mabbe two or t’ree of dem fer Mag.”
Larry the Bat’s eyes gleamed avariciously.
“Aw, quit yer kiddin’!” he said gruffly. “A century note—fer me!”
“Dat’s wot I said! Youse heard me!” rejoined the Magpie shortly. “Only if it listens good to youse now, I don’t want no squealin’ after the divvy. I’m takin’ de chances, youse has de soft end of it. One century note fer youse—an’ de rest is none of yer business! Dat’s puttin’ it straight, ain’t it? Well, wot do youse say, an’ say it quick—’cause if youse ain’t comin’ in, youse can beat it out of here so’s I can talk to Mag.”
“Dere ain’t nothin’ I wouldn’t take a chance on fer a hundred plunks!” declared Larry the Bat, with sudden fervency—and stared, anxiously expectant, at the Magpie. “Sure, I’m on Slimmy! Sure, I am! Cut it loose! Spill de story!”
“Well, den,” said the Magpie, “I wants—”
“Youse ain’t through yet!” interrupted the Tocsin tartly. “I ain’t heard youse askin’ me nothin’! I ain’t on me uppers like Larry, an’ mabbe de price don’t cut so much ice—see?”
“Aw,” said the Magpie, with a smirk, “I don’t have to ask youse on dis lay. Dis is where youse’d come in on it fer marbles. Say, dis is where we gets de hook into a guy by de name of Henry LaSalle! Get me?”