“Forget it,” admonished Jimmy.
“What are you going to do now?” asked the Lizard.
“Go out and hunt for another job,” said Jimmy.
“Well, I wish you luck,” said the Lizard.
“Maybe I can find something for you. I’ll try, and in the mean time if you need any mazuma I always got a little roll tucked away in my sock.”
“Thanks,” said Jimmy, “and I don’t mind telling you that you’re the one man I know whom I’d just as soon borrow from and would like the opportunity of loaning to. You say that you can’t understand me, and yet you’re a whole lot more of an enigma yourself! You admit, in fact, you’re inclined to boast, that you’re a pickpocket and a safe-blower and yet I’d trust you, Lizard, with anything that I had.”
The Lizard smiled, and for the first time since he had known him Jimmy noticed that his eyes smiled with his lips.
“I’ve always had the reputation,” said the Lizard, “of being a white guy with my friends. As a matter of fact, I ain’t no different from what you’d probably be if you were in business and what most of your friends are. Morally they’re a bunch of thieves and crooks. Of course, they don’t go out and frisk any one and they don’t work with a jimmy or a bottle of soup. They work their graft with the help of contracts and lawyers, and they’d gyp a friend or a pauper almost as soon as they would an enemy. I don’t know much about morality, but when it comes right down to a question of morals I believe my trade is just as decent as that of a lot of these birds you see rolling up and down Mich Boul in their limousines.”
“It’s all in the point of view,” said Jimmy.
“Yes,” said the Lizard. “It’s all in the point of view, and my point of view ain’t warped by no college education.”
Jimmy grinned. “Eventually, Lizard, you may win me over; but when you do why fritter away our abilities upon this simple village when we have the capitals of all Europe to play around in?”
“There’s something in that,” said the Lizard; “but don’t get it into your head for a minute that I am tryin’ to drag you from the straight and narrow. I think I like you better the way you are.”
“Did you ever,” said Harriet Holden, “see anything so weird as the way we keep bumping into that stocking-counter young man?”
“No,” said Elizabeth, “it’s commencing to get on my nerves. Every time I turn a corner now I expect to bump into him. I suppose we see other people many times without recognizing them, but he is so utterly good-looking that he sort of sticks in one’s memory.”
“Do you know,” said Harriet, “that I have a suspicion that he recognized us. I saw him looking up at us just after that other person knocked him down and I could have sworn that he blushed. And then, you know, he went in and was entirely different from what he had been in the two preceding rounds. Billy said that he is really a wonderful fighter, and there are not very many good fights that Billy misses. What in the world do you suppose his profession is anyway? Since we first noticed him he has been a hosiery clerk, a waiter, and a prize-fighter.”