Well, I must. I hate doing it. It seems almost like being rude to the Lord Mayor. But there’s two things I can’t stand—cheating in business is one and murder’s another. I’ve got to interfere. You see, if one happens to know the right from wrong as we do, we’ve simply got to tell people who don’t. But it isn’t pleasant. I almost wish I’d never come.
Why, it’s the greatest sport in the world. It’s splendid.
I don’t see it that way. To me those idols are just horrid murder. And this man owes money to this girl with no one to look after her, and he’s got to pay. But I hate being rude to a man in a place like the Mansion House, even if he is black. Why, good Lord, who am I? It seems such cheek.
I say, Johnny, tell me about the lady. Is she pretty?
What, Miss Miralda? Yes.
But what I mean is—what’s she like?
Oh, I don’t know. It’s very hard to say. She’s, she’s tall and she’s fair and she’s got blue eyes.
Yes, but I mean what kind of a person is she? How does she strike you?
Well, she’s pretty hard up until she gets this money, and she hasn’t got any job that’s any good, and no real prospects bar this, and nobody particular by birth, and doesn’t know anybody who is, and lives in the least fashionable suburb and can only just afford a second-class fare and . . .
Yes, yes, go on.
And yet somehow she sort of seems like a—like a queen.
Lord above us! And what kind of a queen?
O, I don’t know. Well, look here, Archie, it’s only my impression. I don’t know her well yet. It’s only my impression. I only tell you in absolute confidence. You won’t pass it on to anybody, of course.
O, no. Go on.
Well, I don’t know, only she seemed more like well, a kind of autocrat, you know, who’d stop at nothing. Well, no, I don’t mean that, only . . .