“It’s an apartment. We’ll probably have quite a long wait. I’ve found it takes some little time to wake the head of the house and get him to the ’phone. And say, he’s the darndest grouch I’ve ever tackled. Get’s sore as a crab. But we’ve got him where we want him. He knows darned well if he kicks up a row, she’ll quit and his wife couldn’t get anybody in her place for love or money these days. I was sayin’ only the other night—” Again lowering his voice: “Is this Plaza 00100? ... I want to speak to Yilga, please.” ... Raising his voice considerably: “Here, now, cut that out! ... Well, it is important. ... Course, I know what time o’ night it is. ... Yes, it’s a damned outrage an’ all that, but—what? ... All right, I’ll hold the wire. Tell her to hustle, will you?”
“I wish I had shot you, Smilk, when I had the chance,” said Mr. Yollop sadly. “This is abominable, atrocious. Getting a man out of bed at half-past three! It’s unspeakable, Smilk!”
“She’s a light sleeper,” mused Mr. Smilk aloud, dreamily.
“Don’t bother me. I’m thinkin’!”
Mr. Yollop waited a moment. “What are you thinking about, Cassius?”
Cassius started. “... Eh? I was thinkin’ about the last time I had breakfast at Mr. Johnson’s apartment. It was that terrible cold morning the first of last week. By gosh, how that girl can cook! Six fried eggs and—yes? Hello!”
Plaza 00100: “Yilga’s not in yet.”
Smilk, sharply: “What’s that?”
Plaza 00100: “She’s out.”
Smilk, sharply: “Out? Come off! You can’t put that sort of stuff over me—”
Plaza 00100: “I tell you she’s not in. That’s all. And say, don’t call up this apartment again at—”
Smilk: “Say, it’s nearly four o’clock. She must be in.”
Plaza 00100: “She’s not in, I tell you. She went out last evening with her young man. One of the other maids stuck her head out of her door and told me.”
Smilk, with fallen jaw: “What—what time do you expect her in?”
Plaza 00100: “I don’t know, and I don’t give a damn so long as she’s here in time to get break—”
Smilk, furiously: “Hey, you go back there
and bust into her room.
Hear what I say? Better take a club or a gun or something—”
Plaza 00100; “Go to thunder!”
Smilk, flinching as he jerked the receiver away from
his ear: “Lord!
I bet he put that telephone out of whack!”
He sagged a little as he slowly hung up the receiver. For a moment he stared desolately at Mr. Yollop and then recovering himself gradually rushed with ever increasing velocity into the most violent hurricane of profanity that ever was centered upon the frailty of woman. Running out of expletives he at last subsided into an ominous calm.
“For two cents,” groaned he, “I’d blow my head off.” He gazed hungrily at the revolver.