And so Peter got to his feet and started unsteadily toward the door. He was thinking to himself: “Shall I threaten them? Shall I say I’ll go over to the Reds and tell what I know?” No, he had better not do that; the least hint of that might cause Guffey to put him in the hole! But then, how was it possible for Guffey to let him go, to take a chance of his telling? Right now, Guffey must be thinking to himself that Peter might go away, and in a fit of rage or of despair might let out the truth to one of the Reds, and then everything would be ruined forever. No, surely Guffey would not take such a chance! Peter walked very slowly to the door, he opened the door reluctantly, he stood there, holding on as if he were too weak to keep his balance; he waited—waited—
And sure enough, Guffey spoke. “Come back here, you mut!” And Peter turned and started towards the head detective, stretching out his hands in a gesture of submission; if it had been in an Eastern country, he would have fallen on his knees and struck his forehead three times in the dust. “Please, please, Mr. Guffey!” he wailed. “Give me another chance!”
“If I put you to work again,” snarled Guffey, “will you do what I tell you, and not what you want to do yourself?”
“Yes, yes, Mr. Guffey.”
“You’ll do no more frame-ups but my frame-ups?”
“Yes, yes, Mr. Guffey.”
“All right, then, I’ll give you one more chance. But by God, if I find you so much as winking at another girl, I’ll pull your eye teeth out!”
And Peter’s heart leaped with relief. “Oh, thank you, thank you, Mr. Guffey!”
“I’ll pay you twenty dollars a week, and no more,” said Guffey. “You’re worth more, but I can’t trust you with money, and you can take it or leave it.”
“That’ll be perfectly satisfactory, Mr. Guffey,” said Peter.
So there was the end of high life for Peter Gudge. He moved no more in the celestial circles of Mount Olympus. He never again saw the Chinese butler of Mr. Ackerman, nor the French parlor-maid of Mrs. Godd. He would no more be smiled at by the two hundred and twenty-four boy angels of the ceiling of the Hotel de Soto lobby. Peter would eat his meals now seated on a stool in front of a lunch counter, he would really be the humble proletarian, the “Jimmie Higgins” of his role. He put behind him bright dreams of an accumulated competence, and settled down to the hard day’s work of cultivating the acquaintance of agitators, visiting their homes and watching their activities, getting samples of the literature they were circulating, stealing their letters and address-books and note-books, and taking all these to Room 427 of the American House.