“Excuthe me,” he said, and his propitiatory smile was expansive and dazzling, “excuthe me buttin’ in like thith. It theemth rude, I know—it doth theem rude; but the fact of the matter ith I’m a tailor—thath’s my pithneth, a tailor. When I thay a tailor, I really mean a breecheth-maker—tha’th what I mean, a breecheth-maker. Now thethe timeth ith very hard timeth for breecheth-makerth."...
Dunbar finished his whisky, and quietly replaced the glass upon the table, looking from Sowerby to Stringer with unmistakable significance. Stringer emptied his glass of rum, and Sowerby disposed of his stout.
“I got thith letter lath night,” continued the breeches-maker, bending forward confidentially over the table. (The document looked at least twelve months old.) “I got thith letter latht night with thethe three fiverth in it; and not havin’ no friendth in London—I’m an American thitithen, by birth,—Levinthky, my name ith—Abraham Levinthky—I’m a Noo Englander. Well, not havin’ no friendth in London, and theein’ you three gentlemen thittin’ here, I took the liberty"...
Dunbar stood up, glared at Levinsky, and stalked out of the billiard-room, followed by his equally indignant satellites. Having gained the outer door:
“Of all the blasted impudence!” he said, turning to Sowerby and Stringer; but there was a glint of merriment in the fierce eyes. “Can you beat that? Did you tumble to his game?”
Sowerby stared at Stringer, and Stringer stared at Sowerby.
“Except,” began the latter in a voice hushed with amazement, “that he’s got the coolest cheek of any mortal being I ever met."...
Dunbar’s grim face relaxed, and he laughed boyishly, his square shoulders shaking.
“He was leading up to the confidence trick!” he said, between laughs. “Damn it all, man, it was the old confidence trick! The idea of a confidence-merchant spreading out his wares before three C. I. D. men!”
He was choking with laughter again; and now, Sowerby and Stringer having looked at one another for a moment, the surprised pair joined him in his merriment. They turned up their collars and went out into the rain, still laughing.
“That man,” said Sowerby, as they walked across to the stopping place of the electric trains, “is capable of calling on the Commissioner and asking him to ’find the lady’!”
THE STUDIO IN SOHO
Certainly, such impudence as that of Mr. Levinsky is rare even in east-end London, and it may be worth while to return to the corner of the billiard-room and to study more closely this remarkable man.
He was sitting where the detectives had left him, and although their departure might have been supposed to have depressed him, actually it had had a contrary effect; he was chuckling with amusement, and, between his chuckles, addressing himself to the contents of the pewter with every mark of appreciation. Three gleaming golden teeth on the lower row, and one glittering canine, made a dazzling show every time that he smiled; he was a very greasy and a very mirthful Hebrew.