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The Bishop's Jaegers


Thorne Smith



MAGISTRATE WAGGER suffered from insomnia, so he occasionally held court at night. On these occasions the delinquents brought before him did considerable suffering on their own account. Whenever the good magistrate found himself unable to sleep, he began to think of his prisoners. It galled him exceedingly to visualize them peacefully slumbering in their various cells. Why should Guilt wallow in smug repose while Justice lay haggard and stared into the darkness? Wagger could see no logical reason for this. He would give those sleep-sodden malefactors something to keep them awake for a long, long time. He would share his insomnia with them.

Of course, it may be argued that a man poisoned by the venom of Magistrate Wagger's mental outlook at these moments was in no condition to dispense justice—to hold in his hands, as it were, the fate of erring humanity. But when a judge or a magistrate has already decided to send some one to jail, the method of procedure really does not matter. Whether it is done with a cheerful smile or a dark frown makes very little difference to the prisoner. Three months are three months, regardless of how one is given them.

Withal, Magistrate Wagger's manner on the bench was not as sinister as one might expect. It was not nearly so sinister as was the man himself. Inasmuch as the night meant nothing to him, he did not care how long he sat up in court himself or others sat up with him. Here there were lights and company—conversational opportunities to bring relief to the weary mind. After he had put half a dozen offenders definitely behind the bars, Magistrate Wagger usually was able to sleep like a top.

He was a small, thin, wiry individual with a mop of grey hair that gave the impression of having been unpleasantly startled. His face was small, too, and looked like a mahogany-coloured mask of enigmatic expression. If one decided that the black eyes that snapped and burned beneath the grey bars of his eyebrows were a trifle mad, one would not have been far from wrong. They were mad usually and could easily become furious.

To-night as the six bruised and battered, not to mention almost naked, fugitives from the nudist colony were ushered into his presence, he failed to witness their demoralizing entrance, being engaged at the moment in studying some court records. When he did look up, his mind filled with other things, he did not at first appreciate the magnitude of the scene he was beholding.

'What have we here?' he began in a preoccupied voice. 'What have we here?' Gradually his eyes widened and his mask of a face twisted itself into a spasm of sudden anguish. 'I should have asked,' he continued in a voice barely under control, 'what haven't we here?' He looked about him sharply. 'Who brought me all these horrible objects?' he demanded. 'I want to know that.'

'We did,' said several policemen proudly. 'There was a lot of us in it.'

'Oh, there were,' resumed the magistrate, insanity simmering behind his words. 'Well, I see where I'll have to get me a new police force. The officers responsible for showing these obscenities to me might just as well turn in their badges and snip off their buttons.' He paused; then, leaning far over his desk, addressed himself bitterly to the unhappy policemen. 'Why,' he exploded, 'the mere sight of them has driven all thought of sleep for ever from my mind. Was it your intention to kill me? Did you deliberately set out to break my health and shatter my reason? I sense a conspiracy here. You must have made them like that and then dragged them in to torture my eyes. Don't say a word. I'll find this out for myself.' He scanned the group of prisoners with his mad eyes. Suddenly his hand shot out, and he pointed a finger at Peter. 'You, there, in the shirt and vest. Don't lie to me now. How many degrees did these men put you through before they made you like that—or did they bribe you to do it?'

'Can't I lie?' asked Peter.

'Of course you can't lie,' said the magistrate. 'Did you intend to lie?'

'I had thought of lying a little,' Peter admitted.

'You had?' reflected Wagger. 'That's bad. But you're not going to lie now? Why not?'

'I'm too darned scared,' said Peter. 'My brain isn't working.'

'Mine is absolutely atrophied,' confided the grey-haired justice. 'Come, speak up—how did you get all naked?'

'We ran away naked,' Peter told him.

'What!' gasped the magistrate. 'What hideous crime had you committed to make you run away in the condition you are—you and your companions?'

'They were playing all over an amusement park,' an officer put in here. 'Steeplechase, it was.'

'That's a lie,' snapped the red-headed girl in the raincoat. 'We were suffering all over an amusement park, your honour. Almost dying.'

The magistrate looked for a long time at Jo. She had never encountered such concentrated vindictiveness.

'When the conversation becomes general,' he said in a bitterly polite voice, 'we'll let you in, too. Maybe we'll all talk at once.' Suddenly his jaws snapped. 'Until then, hold your tongue.' Once more he turned to Peter. 'What were you running away from?' he demanded.

'From a lot of naked people,' said Peter.

'Why should a person in your condition run away from others who, so far as I can see—and I can see much farther than I ever thought I'd be called upon to do from this bench—were no whit worse?'

'If you were naked yourself,' asked Peter, 'wouldn't you run away from a lot of other naked people of mixed sexes?'

The magistrate gulped, then placed a firm check on his indignation.

'I'd crawl away,' he answered in a low voice, 'even as I would like to crawl away from you. But I don't care for the turn this talk is taking. Ask me no more nasty questions like that last one. Why, if you were running away, as you state—why, may I ask, did you and your friends stop to play on a lot of slides and things? Have you no concentration?'

'We were looking for a place of concealment,' said Peter, only too keenly aware of the utter inadequacy of his statement.

'And so you picked out one of the most popular amusement parks in the world,' the magistrate observed with a sneer in his voice, 'in which to hide your nakedness. Listen to me, young man. Even if I ask you questions in a moment of abstraction, don't answer them. I am trying to keep quite calm about all this, and you upset me.' He paused, cast his eyes over the group, and let them finally rest on the abashed pickpocket.

'I don't want to talk to you,' the magistrate began, 'but I have to talk to some one. Please refrain from being trying, and do a little something about those drawers while I am forced to look at you.'

Arthur picked up a corner of the raincoat that stood between Aspirin Liz and decency, and draped it over his shorts. The result was that much of Liz became exposed —too much. The magistrate closed his eyes and looked as if he were going to faint.

'Make him put it back,' he muttered. 'My eyes are destroying my brain.'

When the raincoat had been properly rearranged on Aspirin Liz, and the magistrate had gulped down a glass of water, he once more addressed himself to the cowering prisoner before him.

Don't ever do that again,' scolded Magistrate Wagger. 'Not even if you think it amuses me. It doesn't. Now tell me who you are.'

'I'm Little Arthur,' faltered the small crook.

The magistrate blinked his surprise.

'Little Arthur,' he repeated. 'Is that a proper name for a fully grown man? Do you hope to soften me by baby talk? Little Arthur!—just how much does that mean? Nothing! Suppose I should refer to myself as Little Wagger, or Little Alfred, which happens to be my first name—would you like it?'

'I wouldn't mind,' replied Little Arthur.

'You wouldn't, perhaps,' snapped the magistrate, 'but think of my friends and associates. Would they like it?'

'I don't know none of yer friends, yer honour,' Little Arthur stammered.

'Thank God for that, at any rate,' muttered Wagger, mopping his forehead with a large white handkerchief. 'Answer the question,' he roared suddenly. 'Little Arthur what?'

'Little Arthur Springtime,' answered the crook.

'Springtime,' grated the magistrate. 'Why Little Arthur Springtime? Was that when you were born?'

The other members of the detained party looked upon their companion with reawakened interest. They had never stopped to consider that he might have another name, especially such a lyrical one.

'No, yer honour,' replied Arthur. 'I was born in the wintertime.'

'Then why in God's good name did your mother call you Springtime?' demanded Wagger. 'All this is a sheer waste of energy and breath.'

At this point Mr. Horace Sampson felt himself called upon to clear up the confusion.

'Perhaps, Magistrate Wagger,' he said in his deep voice, 'perhaps the illiterate little beggar means that certain things happened in the springtime that made it possible for him to be born in the winter.'

The magistrate eyed the philosopher darkly.

'How do you mean?' he demanded. 'What things?'

'The usual ones,' said Sampson.

'Oh, that,' murmured the justice. 'My brain is quite addled. That would be it.'

'You see, yer honour,' volunteered Little Arthur, 'the firehouse moved away and Mom never could tell which, although she knew it was one of 'em.'

'What has a firehouse got to do with it,' asked the magistrate, 'and where did it move to?'

'Don't know,' replied Arthur sadly. 'I wasn't born then.'

'I wish you never had been,' rasped the magistrate, 'Do you mean to imply you're the results of an assault?' Little Arthur dropped his eyes.

'I have been since, yer honour,' he said, 'but not then. The boys just used ter drop in social, like.'

'Why, this is the most disgraceful story I ever heard,' exclaimed Wagger. 'Why are you telling it to me?'

'You kept asking me questions,' the crook answered simply.

'Well, I won't ask you any more,' declared the magistrate. 'Decidedly not. I should think I'd go quite mad listening to all this. Can't see why I'm not.'

'Not what?' asked Jo.

'Not mad,' said the magistrate, not thinking.

'Not mad at who?' asked Jo.

'I'm not mad at anybody,' he retorted.

'Aren't you mad at Little Arthur?' she continued.

'Stop asking me questions,' he suddenly roared at the girl. 'I hate the very sight of Little Arthur. My God, I'm nervous. Any of you boys got an aspirin?'

A clerk passed a box of aspirin tablets up to the magistrate. He tried to open the tin container, but somehow failed to manage it.

'Can't do it,' he said hopelessly. 'Never can. Never have been able to. Why do they make them that way?'

'Let me try,' offered Liz. 'I know how.'

'It's irregular,' said the nervous man, 'but I must have a pill.'

Deftly Liz opened the small tin container, removed a tablet, and passed the open box back to the magistrate. The tablet she placed under her tongue. Magistrate Wagger was following her movements with fascinated eyes.

'Don't you take any water?' he asked her.

'I like 'em better dry,' said Liz. 'Under my tongue.' Wagger looked slightly shocked.

'I should think it would be uncomfortable,' he ventured. 'Can you talk all right? No impediment at all?'

'You get sort of used to it,' she told him.

'Well, I won't try now,' said the magistrate. 'But I will later.' He popped the tablet into his mouth, drained another glass of water, then glared hatefully at the Bishop.

'You're old enough to know better than to be going round like that,' he said. 'Just drawers and a split shirt, and the drawers are coming down in my face. Yank 'em up!' The Bishop complied promptly, and the magistrate continued. 'That's better,' he said. 'And remember, if you don't care what you show, I care about what I look at. I'm very nervous now, and I want you to tell me exactly who you are. Don't try to say you're Little This or That, because I won't be able to stand it.'

'My name is Waller,' replied the Bishop in his most impressive voice. 'Bishop Waller.'

'Is the first part a name or a title?' asked the magistrate. 'It designates the office I hold in the Episcopal Church,' said the Bishop calmly.

Magistrate Wagger never knew how he overcame the confused, distorted impulses that beset him at that moment. From mahogany his face turned purple. His eyes grew and grew until they ached in his head. Several times he swallowed. Finally he spoke.

'I don't believe you,' he said in a cracked voice. 'And you can't say I didn't give you a fair warning.' He turned to his clerk. 'When I come to sentencing this mob,' he said, 'remind me to tack on some extra time to this ruffian's term for attempting to hide behind the skirts of the Church.' He rested a pair of weary eyes on Liz.

'Will you please show me what you are concealing beneath that raincoat?' he asked.

'Not on your life,' said Liz. 'I knew the legal mind was accurate, but I didn't know it was nasty.'

'Are you calling me nasty?' Wagger asked in a voice hushed by incredulity.

'I was referring to the legal mind,' hedged Liz. 'Well, my mind is legal,' snapped the baited jurist. 'So is mine,' replied Liz. 'It's perfectly legal to have a mind, isn't it?'

'It all depends on how you use it,' he told her. 'How did we get on this subject?'

'I don't know,' said Liz.

'Neither do I,' admitted the magistrate. 'I'm feeling terribly baffled by all these digressions. Will you tell what you have concealed under that raincoat if you won't let me see?'

'Everything I've got,' said Liz, 'is underneath this raincoat.'

'And what have you got?' asked the magistrate, not to be outwitted.

'What would you expect?' the lady demanded. 'Fish scales, or feathers?'

'How do you mean, feathers?' the magistrate stubbornly persisted. 'Or fish scales, for instance?'

'Oh, God,' breathed Liz, casting her eyes to heaven. 'Take a look for yourself.'

With this she threw open the raincoat, and the magistrate, after one dazed look, uttered a wild cry and collapsed on his desk. For a few moments there was confusion in the court, but Wagger did not care. At last he raised a stricken face and looked severely at Liz.

'That was a terrible thing to do,' he told her. 'You nearly gave me a stroke.'

'You were asking for it,' said Liz.

'Perhaps,' he admitted fairly. 'But I never thought it was possible for a woman to be so—so much, if you get what I mean.'

'Without any trouble at all,' she replied. 'You'd be surprised to know that once I had a very lovely figure.'

'May I ask,' put in Horace Sampson, 'is this a trial or an informal gathering?'

'You may not,' retorted the magistrate. 'Keep a civil tongue in your head. I've got enough on my hands.'

'Enough what on your hands?' asked Jo.

'I don't know,' said Wagger.

'I understood you to say you had enough tongue on your hands,' persisted Jo.

'My dear young woman,' the magistrate almost pleaded, 'how could I possibly have enough tongue on my hands?'

'Oh, so you like tongue?'

'I didn't say so.'

'But,' protested the girl, 'you just asked me how you could ever possibly get enough tongue on your hands.'

'I meant just tongue,' he explained. 'Not enough tongue. As a matter of fact, I'd hate to have tongue on my hands. Don't fancy the idea at all.'

'How about a dog's tongue?' she asked him.

'Whose dog?' he wanted to know. 'I have no dog.'

'That's too bad,' said Jo. 'Well, then, the tongue of any dog you name.'

'Good God!' cried the magistrate, suddenly realizing the lengths to which this girl had led him. 'Is this tongue discussion going to continue on indefinitely? I don't care if it's a dog's tongue or an elephant's tongue. Keep them off my hands.'

'I'm not going to put tongue on your hands,' Josephine replied defensively. 'I was just asking.'

'All right. All right,' Wagger said in a weary voice. Now let me ask you some questions. To begin with, how did you get that way?'

'Well, your honour,' began Jo easily, 'it was like this. You see, there was a fog and—'

'What fog?' interrupted the magistrate.

Jo looked puzzled.

'How do you mean, what fog?' she asked. 'You can't name a fog or bring along a sample.'

'Where and when was this fog?' he demanded. 'All over,' said Jo. 'I forget just when.'

Magistrate Wagger looked thoroughly disheartened.

'Tell it your way,' he muttered. 'I won't believe you anyhow.'

'And there were a lot of naked people, your honour,' the girl continued.

'There still are,' he said moodily.

'And these naked people,' went on the girl, 'took off all our clothes.'

'Just where is the fog at this point?' asked Wagger, not caring whether she told him or not.

'There isn't any fog any more,' she replied.

'Then I don't see why you introduced the fog in the first place,' he answered. 'Are you trying to interest me in a dirty story, young lady?'

'It isn't so dirty,' protested Jo. 'Just in spots, your honour.'

Suddenly the magistrate's eyes dilated. He leaned far over his desk and fixed his wild bloodshot eyes on the middle section of Jo's raincoat.

'Why are you doing that?' he asked in a hushed voice.

'Doing what?' demanded Jo.

'You must know what you're doing,' he replied.

'Occasionally I don't,' she told him.

'Why does your coat go like that?' demanded the magistrate. 'I insist on knowing.'

Glancing down, Jo was interested to observe that from the appearance of her raincoat she had suddenly grown very fat. Jumping to conclusions, she looked reproachfully at Peter.

'Peter,' she said, 'we'll have to make that wedding snappy. This looks like a rush order.'

'It's not that,' he assured her. 'Your stomach is a little upset.'

'Your coat,' said the judge, almost whispering. 'It thrusts itself out, then suddenly collapses. Are you doing it?'

'No, sir,' replied Jo. 'I mean, yes.'

'Then don't,' pleaded the magistrate.

Jo gave Havelock Ellis a vicious squeeze, and the duck gave an equally vicious squawk. Magistrate Wagger looked startled, then peered searchingly at the prisoners before him.

'Who made that offensive noise?' he wanted to know. 'It constitutes contempt of court. Come! Speak up!'

'I'll readily agree,' rumbled the long silent philosopher, that the noise was both offensive and contemptible, but I assure you, sir, I wouldn't have made it if I could, which I greatly doubt.'

'How you go on!' the magistrate complained. 'Who made that unusual noise? I want to know.' At this moment the squawk was repeated and Josephine's stomach gave a brisk outward lunge. Wagger's eyes were popping. He had partly risen from his chair. 'There it goes again,' he breathed. 'It went 'way out this time.' He sank back in his chair and once more mopped his forehead. 'Young lady,' he resumed, 'are you deliberately making stomachs at me?'

'Not deliberately,' answered Jo, finding it increasingly difficult to restrain the aroused Ellis. 'My stomach is just on its own. I have no control over it.'

'I'll have no control over mine if this keeps up,' he assured her. 'That aspirin didn't do a bit of good. I ...' His voice died away in his chair. 'For the love of God, what's that?' he cried, pointing at Josephine's stomach.

Jo looked at her stomach, as did every one else within peering distance. Officers and court attendants moved a little away. Under the circumstances they were not to be blamed. Braver men than they have been unnerved by lesser sights. Protruding from the raincoat at Josephine's stomach was a long, purple, snake-like head which was looking fixedly at Magistrate Wagger out of two yellow, malevolent eyes. With her free hand Jo thrust the head of the duck back beneath the coat. The air was filled with squawks. Ellis was protesting in the worst language she knew how to use.

'That,' said Jo at last feebly, somewhat confused herself,—'that was merely my handbag.'

'Merely,' wheezed the haggard Wagger. 'Just a simple little handbag, eh—a mere trifle?' Then his indignation got the upper hand. 'Does a handbag hurl maledictions in a foreign tongue?' he thundered. 'Does a handbag peer at one out of fierce yellow eyes that look as if they had brooded on the flames of hell itself? Does a handbag have a long, death-dealing beak?'

'Yes, sir,' cut in Jo. 'It's a novelty handbag—a funny one. I open the beak and put things in—small change and lipstick and all sorts of things.'

'Do you mean to tell me,' demanded Wagger, 'that you actually open that beak?'

'Why not?' Jo replied with a shrug.

'Well, I wouldn't do it if they made me a justice of the Supreme Court,' he said decisively. For a moment or so he tapped nervously on his desk with his skinny fingers. 'Young lady,' he resumed, 'I don't believe that handbag story at all. I can't believe it. There was too much life and animation in what I saw—too much noise. Are you by any chance an unfortunate freak? That head seemed almost a part of you to me.'

Not at all,' replied the girl. 'We are quite independent, I assure you.'

It was at this point that Havelock Ellis took it into her head to prove the accuracy of Jo's words. She had been missing things too long, had the duck, Ellis. She would find out for herself what all this was about. With a vicious tug and a beating of wings, she burst Jo's coat asunder and with a wild cry of triumph fluttered to the magistrate's desk. But her cry was not nearly so wild as the one that tore itself from Wagger's throat as he abandoned the dignity of his office and sought safety behind his chair. Ellis made a vicious snap at the rear part of the departing man. Contact was established and Wagger's speed increased. After this gesture of contempt the duck settled down on the desk and remained perfectly still.

It bit me,' chattered the magistrate. 'I'm poisoned, perhaps! What's it going to do next?'

Maybe she'll lay an egg,' was Jo's calm reply. 'She'd done about everything else.'

'Do you mean that duck would have the temerity to lay an egg on the desk of a city magistrate?' quavered the little man behind the chair.

'She never has yet,' said Jo, 'but when that duck makes up her mind to lay an egg, I feel convinced she'd produce it on the desk of the mayor himself.'

'Oh!' lamented the magistrate. 'Oh, dear, oh, dear! What a way for a girl to talk! What are we going to do? I won't touch that duck.' Suddenly he was stung by a new and fearful consideration. 'Lock all the doors,' he cried. 'Don't let a reporter out. If this gets into the paper I'll never hear the end of it. "Duck Lays Egg on Magistrate Wagger's Desk"—I can see it already in headlines.' He looked at the demoralized policemen. 'If you boys will take that duck away, back go your badges and buttons,' he promised them.

'That's my duck,' said Jo, sweeping the squatting bird from the desk. 'I've had a lot of trouble with that duck. If she lays an egg, that's going to be mine, too.'

'Keep both the duck and her egg,' screamed Wagger. 'Do you think I want them? I wish I could tell you what to do with the damn duck.'

'I'm afraid you'd be asking too much, your honour,' Jo replied demurely.

At this moment a reporter approached the magistrate and spoke rapidly to him in an undertone. Slowly the little man's face cleared.

'You won't mention the duck?' he asked the reporter.

'Not a word,' the other declared. 'We'll stick to the straight story.'

'And how did you get the story?' Wagger wanted to know.

'Why, if that gentleman in the drawers is Bishop Waller,' the reporter said, 'then naturally the people with him must be those who left the ferry in the fog.'

'I wish they'd never been found,' Magistrate Wagger replied. 'I wish they'd been lost at sea for ever and for ever.'

'I recognized Peter Van Dyck myself,' the reporter went on, 'in spite of his informal appearance.'

'If you write a funny story about us,' Peter spoke up promptly, 'I'll call in a flock of reporters and tell about the duck and what the magistrate wanted the young lady to do with it.'

'I didn't say it,' shouted Wagger. 'I only wished it.'

'Then I'll tell the world what you wished she would do with the duck,' said Peter.

'Don't do it, Mr. Van Dyck, I beg you,' the magistrate pleaded. 'This reporter is going to be nice. You be nice, too. That's a good chap.' For a moment the court-room was still as Wagger sat at his desk and brooded upon the many wrongs that had been done him. His indignation rose. He could contain it no longer. He spoke.

'Are you Bishop Waller?' he asked in a voice of velvet gentleness.

'I assured you I was,' said the Bishop.

'A bishop of the Episcopal Church?' continued the magistrate.

'I am, sir,' the Bishop replied.

'Then I have made a slight mistake,' said Wagger, his voice still soft and sweet, 'and I hope you won't mind if I ask you to take your naked gang and get the hell out of my courtroom.'

His voice ended in a snarl, and he sank back in his chair, his eyes tightly closed.

'Have they gone?' he asked at length, pressing a hand to each temple.

'They have, sir,' answered an officer.

'Thank God for that,' muttered Wagger.

They had gone. They were in a taxicab with the reporter headed for the Half-Moon Hotel. As they drove away from the court, an expensive-looking car of foreign make followed them down the street. The philosopher glanced through the window and studied the imposing tower of the hotel they were approaching. It was capped by a replica of the adventurous ship from which the hotel derived its name. Many windows looked out upon the sea from the mounting structure standing out picturesquely against the blue.

'An altogether charming seaside caravansary,' murmured Mr. Sampson. 'I think we should do well there. It does justice to Hendrik Hudson.'

'Who did he ever lick?' asked Little Arthur from his seat on the floor of the cab.

'Oh, he just knocked about the river in a boat,' said Josephine.

'A ferry captain,' concluded the hopeless dip. 'I don't want ter hear another word.'

'He was a Dutchman,' put in Peter proudly.

'I'd try to keep that quiet,' said Jo.

Arrived at the 'Half-Moon,' the reporter considerately led them through the street entrance, which fortunately for the guests as well as themselves was a large secluded hall cut off from the lounge and lobby above. Here they were met by the manager, who, although warned over the telephone by the reporter, could not repress a look of astonishment when he gazed at his prospective guests.

'We need a flock of rooms,' said Peter.

'You need much more than that,' the manager replied with a gracious smile. 'If you meet any of my guests in the hallways, I hope you won't mind if I ask you in a loud voice if you enjoyed the masquerade.'

'My dear sir,' replied the Bishop, 'if you get us to our rooms you can ask us if we enjoyed the murder for all I care. Have you a pin, perhaps?'

The manager had no pin, but promptly obtained one from the near-by beauty salon. The Bishop accepted it gratefully and did things to his jaegers. At this moment the lift door opened and several passengers stepped out.

When they gazed upon the huddled party they almost stepped back again.

'Did you enjoy the masquerade?' asked the manager in a loud false voice.

'No!' cried Little Arthur. 'It was punk.'

'Why, you low thief,' boomed the philosopher, 'you had the time of your life.'

The people hurried on and the party hurried in. The dusky, good-looking girl responsible for the lift was responsible for it no longer. She uttered a frightened cry and turned her back on the worse than naked throng.

'I should have warned her,' said the manager of the 'Half-Moon,'

'She probably thinks you are ghosts.'

'I feel like one,' declared Aspirin Liz.

'You don't look like one,' said the manager.

A chauffeur in splendid livery was hurrying towards the party. When he reached the elevator, he offered a large bundle to Peter.

'Mr. Jones sends his compliments,' he said in a smooth voice. 'He hopes you enjoyed yourself in court as much as he did. He further hopes that you put on these clothes as speedily as possible. He himself will bring Miss Yolanda back to town shortly. He desires to meet her parents, and suggests great discretion be used on all sides.'

The chauffeur paused and winked. Peter almost dropped the bundle. Quickly the uniformed man turned away.

'You can tell Mr. Jones for me,' Little Arthur called after the rapidly retreating figure, 'that if I ever catch him wearing pockets I'll pick 'em clean as a hound's tooth.'

'You missed your chance,' said Peter as the elevator shot skyward under the hand of the recovered operator. 'That was Mr. Jones.'

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