JIMMY AND THE DOUGHNUT

EDGAR WALLACE February 15 1922

JIMMY AND THE DOUGHNUT

EDGAR WALLACE February 15 1922

JIMMY AND THE DOUGHNUT

EDGAR WALLACE

JIMMY confessed to a large range of experiences, mental, emotional and physical, but she could not recall being asked to trail the frenzies of a Young Poet of Means, and she flatly refused the commission.

Glazebury, Secretary and Manager of the C.C. Bureau (the “C.C.” stood for “Confidential Clerical”) murmured something conventionally soothing, for he was in awe of Jimmy and shrank from anything partaking of an encounter. Once, when Jimmy was a newcomer to the Bureau, he had ventured to remonstrate with lier, and that severely, upon lier cigarette habit., and she had swung back at him with a short, incisive speech which left him gasping.

And yet there was nothing terrible about her. She was tall and slim; her face, if given to freckles, was attractive, even pretty, though her nose was short and inclined to the rètroussè. Her appeal was in her eyes, that at the slightest provocation puckered up in joyous laughter. They were wicked eyes, eyes that led young men to foolishness and snapped them back to sanity.

She sat now on a high stool swinging her legs and lit a fresh cigarette from the glowing end of another as she spoke.

“I’ve felt like a maiden aunt, and a policeman and an ingenue," she confessed,

“but this walking round behind a society poet and taking a note of his undeveloped views on life is strangely unreal. I hate poets anyway; they’re not respectable.

I’d sooner be a Queen Bee just hatched.

I was once!”

“Good God, Jimmy!” said the outraged Glazebury. “What do you mean?”

“It happened years ago,” said Jimmy indifferently. “You know what a queen bee does as soon as she’s born?”

Mr. Glazebury said something about eating honey and looking round.

“The first thing she does,” said Jimmy impressively, “is to go round killing all the other Queen Bees that haven’t quite made it. I remember that feeling well. I’d got appointed secretary to a hardware man and my first job was to write to the other poor Lizzies who were after the same billet and ‘regret to inform’ them.”

“What happened to you in that job?” asked Glazebury curiously.He was always trying to get a line on Jimmy which would reduce her to human proportions, and no information was too trivial which would help him to that end.

“He proposed to me,” said Jimmy complacently, “so I up and went, as Miss Brown

“Wanted to marry you?”

“No,” said Jimmy carelessly, “nothing so unlawful. He had a home of his own.”

Glazebury drew a long breath. Jimmy always forced that sigh from him.

“Where is he now?” he asked.

“In hell,” said Jimmy reverently.

She slippe o the floor, took up

her handbag and pitched her cigarette into the old-fashioned fireplace.

“Anyway, I couldn’t take the poet—I’ve an appointment with Garden.”

“There’s nothing to that,” said Glazebury in disgust. “He’s so mean he’d charge you for listening.”

“He pays me,” said Jimmy with a ghost of a smile. “I had to fight him, but I won.

And now he saves up all his important work for me—I only go once a week—and I don’t have to see his face. It’s weird taking down letters from a man in the dark.”

“He’s mean,” said Glazebury again.

“I’ve never sent him a bill that he hasn’t disputed. He’s better since the accident,

I admit. Maybe he’s got religion. A man with his money ought to get a regular secretary, too.”

“What have secretaries done to you?” demanded Jimmy. “And whilst we are on the sordid subject of money, I would like to break a lance with you over a mere trifle of expenses. Let us haggle.”

She haggled to such purpose that she left Mr. Glazebury with a horrible sense of

JANE IDA MEAGH was prepared to brain the first misguided person who addressed her by either of her given names, and

had accepted with gratitude at a very early age the appellation suggested by the combination of her initials and her born name. In the census return Jimmy described herself as a “stenographer.” So might Edison have marked himself “electrician” or Napoleon “soldier.” For there was no stenographer like Jimmy. She might, had she wished, have started at the bottom of the ladder as secretary to Bolfort Jackson, that pillar of high finance, and have soared to giddy heights, winning for herself recognition in the best magazines as The-Girl-Who-Handles-Millions. She might have been private secretary to a High One and have passed into the miasma of politics. Instead, she free-lanced here and there and was booked ahead like a film star or a fashionable physician.

In tremendous crises—as when Andrew Suiter made his broken confession to his fellow directors before the police came on to the scene—she was summoned hurriedly to

take statements. To her was entrusted the typing of the metallurgical report which brought Toopah Silver Stock from seventeen to something less than one—she could have made a fortune and didn’t. She had been tested and tried and found dependable. Detectives had watched her, little traps had been set for her again and again to discover whether, under any manner of influence she would divulge her employer’s secret, and she had emerged from these above suspicion.

The people who sought her services, either through the C. C. Bureau or directly, paid big money and she was worth it. She admitted it.

To watch her at work was a revel tion. There was never a speaker who could go too fast for her. When John Merling dictated his famous review of the world’s tariff system, there were times when he spoke 200 words to the minute and kept that speed for the best part of half-an-hour. Jimmy never faltered, and Merling it was who stopped exhausted.

The typewi iter under her hands was a machine-gun, one letter snapped behind the other as if by the repercussion of its predecessor.

Everyday stenographers ceased to resent her superiority, recognising her abnormal qualities as removing her above comparison, though this fact did not save her fr m innumerable challenges, delivered by speedfiends acting on behalf of various typewriter companies. Jimmy never accepted challenges and once she wrote to an aspirant:

“Dear Mr. Costins. You say you are ‘The fastest tipist’ in the world. Your wife must be a proud woman.

Yours, J. I. Meagh.

P. S.—We spell it ‘typist’ around here.”

TIMMY had no girl friends. The mothers •-* of her acquaintances thought she was not nice and Jimmy never gave them the opportunity of discovering their error. She smoked; she used, at times, strong language, though her expletives, being novel, escaped the charge of vulgarity; but, worst vice of all, she was frank. You had to treat her as an equal or suffer discomfort. And, being human, she had a weakness—though nobody guessed it.

She came out on to the street from the C. C. Bureau, her blue velvet “tam” at a rakish angle, and was puckering her red lips to whistle a cab when Jack Manworh leant out of his car window and yelled her name. His machine skidded to the edge of the sidewalk and he jumped out.

“I want to see you, Jimmy. Are you going up to call on the old man?”

He was a good-looking youth, queerly serious for one of his years, and Jimmy regarded him with interest.

“If you’re referring to your respected uncle—yes,” she said.

“Well, I want you to speak to him about my allowance, Jimmy. I knew this was your day and I was coming down to the Bureau to catch you. The old devil’.starving me.” “Poor soul!” said the sympath tic Jimmy. “Come into Keiller’s and nibble a biscuit with me.”

She grabbed him by the arm and led him into the cage, but apparently he was starving only in a figurative sense.

“I didn’t think you were,” said Jimmy, “but I am. No thank you, none of those wretched confections.”

“I can’t understand you,” said the puzzled Jack. “You used to be a regular pig about pastries.”

“Pastry making,” she said, as she waved away a tray of tempting pâtisserie, “pastry making has deteriorated in this country,” said Jimmy loftily. “Now we’re alone, young fellow, I want to tell you that I’m not accepting your commission. My job is to be spoken to and not to speak. I play Silent Sarah in life’s drama, and I can’t improve on the part. Besides, you ought net to be broke—you’ve plenty of money.’

“I’d have had plenty of money if Mr. Walter Garden had been killed in the motorcar accident,” said Jack savagely. “I don’t, wish the old chap any harm; but do you realise that every penny 1 e possesses be-.

longstome? How’s that for luck?”

Jimmy looked at him in astonishment.

“I didn’t know that,” she said in a changed voice. “Is he a Wicked Uncle?”

Jack’s mouth was too full of doughnut to answer immediately.

“You oughtn’t to eat those things,” she said. “If you really like doughnuts I’ll ask a friend of rçnine who is one of the most brilliant cooks—in the world,” she hesitated, “she makes delicious doughnuts. She’ll be glad to make some for you today.”

"Thanks,” said Jack, who was less interested in the promised treat than he was in his own affairs. “No, he’s not a Wicked Uncle. My poor mother had the utmost faith in Uncle Walter’s business acumen. When she died, she left all her money and all my father’s money to Walter, stipulating in the will that he should make adequate provision for me and that on his death the money should come to me. Poor dear mother told me about this will in her lifetime, but of course I didn’t protest. I would sooner have her back than all the money the city could raise in twenty-four hours,” he said gently.

“And dear uncle doesn’t make you an adequate allowance, eh?” said Jimmy.

THE OTHER bared his teeth in a snarl.

“He gives me what he thinks is adequate. The old devil seems to have gone wrong since he married that woman. Who ever thought that Walter would marry?” “Do you like Mrs. Carden?” he asked suddenly.

“Do I like measles?” said the scornful Jimmy. “Of course I don’t like her. It’s against all the best traditions of business to like the wife of your boss, even your temporary

Jack Manworth was silent, sipping his chocolate with a far-away look, and Jimmy did not interrupt his thoughts. Presently he said:

“I really didn’t mean what I said about wishing the old chap dead, Jimmy, only I get savage at times. I wish he'd never left his pots and his pans—I suppose he looks terrible

“I never see him,” said Jimmy, snatching the bill that the waitress had brought. “I’ll pay this. Jack.”

“You never see him?” said the other incredulously. Jimmy shook her head.

“I never have seen him. I didn’t take this job on until after his accident. You know, his face was so badly cut about that he lives in a darkened room and dictates all his letters through a screen. When I have finished them I read them back to him and sign ‘per pro’. That’s the only talk I have with him. What was Mrs. Carden before she married your uncle?”

“A nurse in a hospital or something,” said the other indifferently. “They say, or rather she says she saved his life when the motor turned over, but she gets no medals for that. Do you know the old—my foolish uncle gave his power of attorney years ago and that she signs cheques on his behalf? If you get a chance, Jimmy. ...” he said when they were in the street again, “talk to Walt! Or to his wife. It may be more useful to talk to her.”

“There won’t be any chance, my son,” said Jimmy shaking her head. “And if he does consult me about your future and finance, I will gently urge your claims.”

HER appointment was not due for more than two hours, and she drove to her flat, let herself in and began to change hurriedly. She kept no servant, for she took her meals abroad. A woman came in every morning to tidy up and was generally gone before Jimmy came home. Doughnuts! The word was a challenge which she accepted with deep-souled joy. She was a changed being. There was a light in her eye, an eagerness in her movements, a general air of suppressed excitement, which transformed her. Doughnuts! Woe to the unconscious pounders of dough-nut dough who held diplomas for the excellence of their creations.

She took off her dress and buttoned herself into a long white overall; then she unlocked the door of her mystery house. Here then was Jimmy’s secret and her weakness. A kitchenette, elaborate and costly and got together through the years in the spirit of proud acquisitiveness which thrills the collector of stamps, the purblind gatherer of rare china. Not her closest friend knew of her dear vice. When she disappeared from view people thought she had gone into the country. Her grocer suspected her of literary tastes.

“She buys enough flourtokeep a big family supplied with bread. I suppose these writing people use a lot of paste.”

The walls of the secret kitchen were varnished white; the floor was of black and white tiles; the dresser and the various apparatus it contained were speckless.

Jimmy went to a shelf, and, taking down a book, opened it and sat for five minutes studying one of the pages carefully. Presently she got up and turned on the switch of her electric stove, took down a bowl, opened a large cupboard, and from this brought forth several packages, a large earthenware jar of flour, eggs, and other mysterious etceteras. She left the tiny kitchen—for such it was—and went to the official kitchen of the flat—that in which an unsuspecting servant prepared her breakfast. She looked for and discovered the milk, went back into her mystery room and closed the door. Then she sat down again to ponder the volume. Her eyes glittered strangely, her voice as she muttered through the formula was fierce.

“Make the milk warm.... dissolve the yeast in it.... stir in about a quarter of a pound of flour. Cover over and stand the mixture in a warm place, and leave it to rise and drop....”

She looked up with a grimace of dismay.

“I wonder how long it ought to stand before it rises and drops,” she said to herself. “If I put in a little more yeast, perhaps....”

Two hours later she emerged from her kitchenette, hot but happy. Very carefully she packed in her attaché case six large—not so large as she could have wished blobs of brown, or nearly brown, pastry. She tidied the little room, put out the electric oven, and replaced the book upon the shelf.

It was part of a respectable library on the culinary art. She surveyed the volumes with a certain amount of pride, and took down one on the back of which was the inscription, “French Cookery,” turning the leaves with loving fingers. It was unlikely that there would be anything about doughnuts, but she sought the index, and to her surprise there was a note. She sought the place indicated, and found only three lines, but those three lines left her gasping. , , .. ,

“For the Carden doughnut, the pastry should be prepared in the usual way, but instead of preserves, whipped cream......”

Carden! It was an unusual name surely. She put down the book and stared. And then she remembered Jack’s reference to his uncle. If he ‘had kept amongst his pots

and pans____’ She thought that this reference had some

connection with a hardware business.

She took up her telephone and gave a number. She had innumerable friends in the city, and to one of these she addressed her enquiry.

“Walter Carden? Oh yes, he used to be a chef before his sister married Manworth the millionaire.’

She drew a long breath and Mr. Carden became very respectable in her eyes. A chef! It seemed impossible that so commonplace a man had once worn a crown of white linen and stirred amazing sauces with an air of nonchalance as though he were doing nothing unusual.

' I 'HEN she remembered her ap-*• pointment with a start, and, slipping into her coat and grabbing her attaché case, she set forth, a flushed and unusually dishevelled figure.

The house at which she descended was large and for those to whom architecture was unplumbed mystery, imposing. It could not impose upon those who knew where the Romanesque and the Gothic meet. Such would shudder at a battlemented tower overtopping a garage in the rustic style.

The occupants of this house were obviously rich. The hall, when Jimmy was ushered therein, always seemed to be filled with second footmen. She met a new one every time she came.

“Are you the young lady Madame is expecting?” asked a functionary in a striped vai; (coat. He talked in a whisper, the whisper permitted of church sidesmen, when they pass the plate.

This was an unusual greeting. It was customary for Jimmy to be shown straight to Mr. Carden’s room. She had seen the wife of the millionaire but had not spoken with her, nor hitherto had that lady displayed any desire to meet lier.

“My name is Meagh,” said Jimmy.

“Madame wishes to see you,” said the man.

“Lead me to your madame,” replied Jimmy.

The footman was taken aback for a second and then, with a whispered: “Will you please follow' me?” walked up a broad stairway along as broad a corridor and knocked softly on a door. He conveyed the impression that he was holding his breath.

Then he opened the door and stood aside.

“The young lady, madame,” he said gently and Jimmy walked into the room.

It was known as the “White Saloon” that it might readily be distinguished from the “Blue Saloon” and the “Red Drawing-room.”

Mrs. Carden was thin and temperamental, and she moved from room to room as her moods dictated. She was not only thin, she was bony, and all the best art of Luville and the Maison Ruth could not conceal that fact. Moreover, she had a bony mind.

She did not look at Jimmy through lorgnettes. She wore glasses permanently and by years of practice had imparted to her stare an offensiveness which made the lorgnette an instrument of benignity.

“You’re Miss Meagh, aren’t you—well, just sit down, please. I heard of you from Mr. Carden and he said you were extraordinary. And I think you need be extraordinary, Miss Meagh,” she added unsmilingly, “to justify your fees! I never heard of anything like them.’

“Evidently you don’t mix with the right people,” said Jimmy gently.

“I don’t......! Good gracious, girl—not the right

people? I never heard of such a thing!”

To Jimmy’s sensitive ear Mrs. Carden seemed to rattle in her indignation.

“Not the people who employ folks like me,” said Jimmy. “You’ve met footmen, employers and cook hirers and your views on salary and fees are naturally uneducated.”

Mrs. Carden blinked rapidly.

“Anyway,” said Jimmy, “I’m not prepared to discuss the question of salary. If your husband doesn’t care to pay, I do not care to come. You can get another elegant young lady to stenog.”

SHE turned on her heel and was walking out, but Mrs.

Carden ran after hoi, and there was a look of alarm in her face.

“My dear young woman,” she said, all a flutter, “I have not the slightest desire to offend you, and I am sure my husband would never forgive me if I allowed you to go away. I have a request to make of you, that is all.” Jimmy turned slowly back.

“Produce your request, madam,” she said.

“I never thought people of your class—” began Mrs. Carden.

“My dear woman,” said Jimmy w'earily, “there isn’t such a devil of a difference between my class and the nurse class, so please forget that you w'ere anything but a lady.” The woman’s face flushed, and she found a difficulty in regaining her voice. When she did, her tone was milder than it had been.

“The last time you were here you sorted my husband’s— er—papers and hunted up a number of unpaid accounts."

Continued on Page 50

Continued from page 21

Jimmy nodded and wondered.

“You found a bag of lawn seed when you were searching for a bill in my husband’s study,” said Mrs. Carden.

“Yes,” said Jimmy wearily, “I did. I told Mr. Carden I had knocked it over and spilt some. Have you counted the seeds and found a few missing? Deduct ’em from my cheque.”

Mrs. Carden’s eyes were homicidal but her smile was sweet.

“How amusing you are! Only I want to explain to you that we —I bought that seed for our lawn in the country. We have a house on the coast, you know.”

“You surprise me,” said Jimmy who was neither polite nor desirous of being polite. For she had decided that she hated bony women, even bony women who preserved the skeleton of their youthful prettiness.

“I thought you might wonder. suggested Mrs. Carden. Her voice was eager, her whole attitude curiously tense.

“I did,” replied the secretary untruthfully, “I sat up half the night turning the matter over and over in my mind. And now I think I’ll do my job of work.”

Jimmy went upstairs to the sick-room, a very thoughtful girl. The room as usual was in darkness, the curtains were drawn, and the bandaged figure on the bed

greeted her with his usually curt, “Sit down.” She took her place on the other side of the screen, and he began to dictate, and all the time the girl’s mind alternated between a spilt sack of lawn seed and the six dough-nuts in her attaché case.

Once, during a long pause, she furtively opened the case and examined her creations. .To her dismay and horror their puffiness had gone out of them and they were lamentably flat. She touched them with her finger gingerly.

“I think that is all,” said the voice on the .other side of the screen. But Jimmy was not thinking of her letter.

“Mr. Carden,” she was surprised into stammering: “How long ought you to let the dough stand—I mean for doughnuts? Does it make any difference if you double the amount of yeast?”

“What the devil are you talking about?” said the voice of the sick man.

“I—I made some doughnuts today,” faltered Jimmy, betraying her dearest secret, “and they ought to be all puffed up and they’re not!”

She thought she heard a chuckle, then the voice became savagely grim again.

“Ask the cook. I don’t know anything about dough-nuts. I’ve never been inside a kitchen in my life.”

Jimmy walked home, and on her way met Mr. Jack Manworth near his apartments.

“Why, Jimmy,” he said in surprise, “what is this—an afternoon call?”

“I want a little talk with you, my bright lad,” said Jimmy seriously, and he took her back to the drawing-room of the house, which was deserted at this hour.

“Who is Mrs. Carden’s best friend?” she asked unexpectedly.

“I can’t tell you,” replied Jack in surprise. “I don’t know her friends. Of course, her most intimate friend is her brother, Dr. Grain.”

“What sort of a fellow is he?” she asked. “I’ve never met him."

“He hasn’t a very good name,” said Jack. “But surely you’ve met him? He lives in the house.”

“Oh, does he?” said Jimmy softly. “Was he with your uncle when they had their motor-car accident?”

“I believe he was,” replied Jack Manworth after wrinkling his forehead. “Yes, of course he was; he was driving.”

“Was the car smashed?” asked Jimmy. “No—as a matter of fact they brought uncle back in it.”

-“And the doctor attended him, of course,” nodded Jimmy. “Do you know where the accident occurred?”

'T'HE other looked at her in frowning wonder.

“Now, what the dickens are you getting át, Jimmy?”

“I want to know if you can point out the spot where the accident occurred?”

“Surely I can, but—”

“Do you know Inspector Farrell?” “Ferdinand Farrell? Rather!” said Jack, and sat down, staring at her in hopeless bewilderment. “Are you writing a story or something, Jimmy? And must I guess who stole the bishop’s suspenders?” “Something like that," said Jimmy. “If your expensive car is in the vicinity, I want you to take me for a drive, and on the way pick up Farrell.”

An hour’s drive brought them to a stretch of open wasteland, a common dotted at rare intervals with clumps of trees, and apparently with no human habitation in sight. The white road went straight across the waste and disappeared over the brow of a low hill.

“Here’s the place where the accident occurred,” said Jack, pointing to a small copse at the side of the road. “I passW there the other day and noticed the scar which was made when the car collided with the tree, and it’s still visible.”

Jimmy descended and examined the wedge-shaped dent which the skidding car had hammered into the trunk. Then she looked round as though searching for something.

“Now give us the idea,” said Inspector Farrell. “You’ve brought me away from my work, Jimmy. And being policeman I naturally loathe mysteries.”

“Come along,” said Jimmy, and led the way through the copse.

The wood was a very small one, and the trees were few and far apart. And ari the time as she slowly walked forward, her eyes were searching the ground. Presently she stopped and pointed to a space between four trees where the grass was thick and surprisingly luxuriant.

“That is lawn grass,” she said. ‘ Somebody has sown that.”

“What do you mean?” asked Jack.

She turned rotind and looked at him and her face was very serious.

“I am guessing, and perhaps I am guessing wildly,” she said, “but I think your uncle is buried there.”

Later when workmen came with tools to make a practical investigation, her guess proved to be well founded.

TWO days later Jimmy was.called to a large prison cell and from a somewhat incoherent dictation reduced to writing the confession of Mrs. Carden. Her ne erdo-well brother, the doctor, stoutly refused to make any statement incriminating himself. If Jimmy showed a flicker of interest in Mrs. Carden’s statement, it was in that portion which dealt with the motor-car accident. , .

“My late husband was a very careful and economical man, mean in small details of household management and he insisted, when my brother came to stay with us, that he should either pay his share of expenses or should offer some service in exchange for his keep. My brother was in the habit of taking drugs and this weakness had lost him his practice, though he was a very skilful surgeon.

“It was our practice to drive into the country every Tuesday and Friday and whatever were the weather conditions Mr. Carden insisted upon taking these trips and insisted too that I should accompany him. It was on a Friday drive that his death occurred. It had been a wet, misty morning but the rain had ceased to fall when we left the house.

“I cannot remember exactly how the accident happened. We were going at a good speed along the road which crosses the plain when before I could realise what had happened the car had skidded across the road, smashed into a tree and 1 was flung out. When I recovered my senses, f saw the car, which had turned on its side, and my husband was pinned underneath. There was no help in sight and my brother with the aid of a ‘jack’ succeeded in raising and turning the car back on its wheels and we dragged Mr. Carden out. He was quite dead. My brother looked at the body for some time, then he said:

i‘ ‘This is a bad thing for you and me. That young devil Manworth will come and take possession of the house, and it will be the street for us unless Carden has made a will.’

“I told him that Mr. Carden had made no will although I had urged him to do so.

“We had a short consultation and I agreed to hisseheme, which was to bury the body in the wood after telephoning to the house that we should not be back to dinner. He said it would be easy to get back to the house when the servants were at their evening meal, go in by the library window which opens on to a little lawn and pretend that we had taken my husband upstairs and that he had met with an accident. My brother being a doctor there would be no need to call in further medical assistance and the deception could be more easily maintained because I had a powerof-attomey which had been granted me by Mr. Carden intended, of course, as a temporary expedient, whilst he was away from town, but which had never been revoked.

“rpVERYTHING went as my brother H/ predicted. The servants were in the kitchen and we made our way up to the room without any difficulty. My brother sent; an account of the accident to the newspapers and issued reassuring bulletins from time to time. Our principal difficulty was to deal with Mr. Carden’s correspondence as it came in. It was my brother who thought of Miss Meagh, who had a reputation for integrity and discretion.” “It was half guess work,” said Jimmy, sitting on the commissioner’s desk an hour later and smoking powerfully. “And it all began when I asked the doctor—I guessed afterwards it was the doctor who used to pose as Mr. Carden, and his nurse sister who did the pretty bandaging— when I asked him a question about—about pastry,” she said carelessly. “It was then I started thinking pretty fast. And my mind ran to lawn-seed and from lawn-seed to the country. Considering all things, it is curious that Mrs. Carden did not tell her brother that the man he was impersonating was once a pastry-cook and had a— a doughnut named after him! I guess she was too proud. You get that way if you’re rich and bony.

“Of course, Mrs. Carden’s game was clear. When her husband died, her income went pop! and her brother’s income too. I am going to say this,” said Jimmy, blowing out a ring of smoke, “that only because I was his secretary, and because letters went out signed with my initials was the deception possible. My initials O.K’d him. I hate boasting—it is contrary to my general practice and habit, but I owe a duty to Jane Ida Meagh.”

“You were talking to the doctor about pastry,” said Jack. “What kind of pastry?”

She opened her attaché case with an air of carelessness.

“I thought you might ask that so I brought along a few of the very—er —delicacies,” she said, and he took from her hand one of the brown objects and regarded it

curiously.

“A new kind of biscuit,eh, Jimmy?” he said. “By gosh, it’s hard!”

Jimmy swallowed something and took the dough nut from his hand. Her face was white and her eyes glittered.

“It is not a biscuit,” she said coldly, “and never was a biscuit! And I hope that when you get your estate, you find that Mrs. Carden has robbed you of every penny you own, you brute!”

And she slammed out of the office.