Telephone: “Say, what is this? Get back to bed, you. You’re drunk.”
Smilk: “I’m as sober as you are. Can’t you get me straight? I tell you I beat his head off. He’s down and out,—but—–”
Telephone: “All right. We’ll
have someone there in a few minutes.
Did you say Yullup?”
Smilk: “No. I said hurry up.”
“The thing that’s troubling me now,” said Mr. Yollop, as Smilk hung up the receiver and twisted his head slightly to peek out of the corner of his eye, “is how to get hold of my slippers. You’ve no idea how cold this floor is.”
“If it’s half as cold as the sweat I’m—–”
“We’re likely to have a long wait,” went on the other, frowning. “It will probably take the police a couple of hours to find this building, with absolutely no clue except the number and the name of the street.”
“I’ll tell you what you might do, Mr. Scollop, seein’ as you won’t trust me to go in and find your slippers for you. Why don’t you sit on your feet? Take that big arm chair over there and—”
“Splendid! By jove, Cassius, you are an uncommonly clever chap. I’ll do it. And then, when the police arrive, we’ll have something for them to do. We’ll let them see if they can find my slippers. That ought to be really quite interesting.”
“There’s something about you,” said Mr. Smilk, not without a touch of admiration in his voice, “that I simply can’t help liking.”
“That’s what the wolf said to Little Red Riding-Hood, if I remember correctly. However, I thank you, Cassius. In spite of the thump I gave you and the disgusting way in which I treated you, a visitor in my own house, you express a liking for me. It is most gratifying. Still, for the time being, I believe we can be much better friends if I keep this pistol pointed at you. Now we ’ll do a little maneuvering. You may remain seated where you are. However, I must ask you to pull out the two lower drawers in the desk,—one on either side of where your knees go. You will find them quite empty and fairly commodious. Now, put your right foot in the drawer on this side and your left foot in the other one—yes, I know it’s quite a stretch, but I dare say you can manage it. Sort of recalls the old days when evil-doers were put in the stocks, doesn’t it? They seem to be quite a snug fit, don’t they? If it is as difficult for you to extricate your feet from those drawers as it was to insert them, I fancy I’m pretty safe from a sudden and impulsive dash in my direction. Rather bright idea of mine, eh?”
“I’m beginnin’ to change my opinion of you,” announced Mr. Smilk.
Mr. Yollop pushed a big unholstered library chair up to the opposite side of the desk and, after several awkward attempts, succeeded in sitting down, tailor fashion, with his feet neatly tucked away beneath him.