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The Adventures of Jimmie Dale

I.9. Two Crooks And A Knave
The bullet wound along the side of his head and just above his ear would have
been a very awkward thing indeed, in more ways than one, for Jimmie Dale, the
millionaire, to have explained at his club, in his social set, or even to his servants,
and of these latter to Jason the Solicitous in particular; but for Jimmie Dale as
Larry the Bat it was a matter of little moment. There was none to question Larry
the Bat, save in a most casual and indifferent way; and a bandage of any
description, primarily and above all one that he could arrange himself, with only
himself to take note of the incongruous hues of skin where the stain, the grease
paint, and the make-up was washed off, would excite little attention in that world
where daily affrays were common-place happenings, and a wound, for whatever
reason, had long since lost the tang of novelty. Why then should it arouse even a
passing interest if Larry the Bat, credited as the most confirmed of dope fiends,
should have fallen down the dark, rickety stairs of the tenement in one of his
orgies, and, in the expressive language of the Bad Lands, cracked his bean!
And so Jimmie Dale had been forced to maintain the role of Larry the Bat for a
far longer period than he had anticipated when, ten days before, he had
assumed it for the night's work that had so nearly resulted fatally for himself,
though it had placed Roessle's murderers behind the bars. For, the next day,
unwilling to court the risk of remaining in that neighbourhood, he had left
Hanson's, the farmer's, house on Long Island where the Tocsin had carried him
in an unconscious state, telephoned Jason that he had been unexpectedly called
out of town for a few days, and returned to the Sanctuary in New York. And here,
to his grim dismay, he had found the underworld in a state of furious, angry
unrest, like a nest of hornets, stirred up, seeking to wreak vengeance on an
unseen assailant.
For years, as the Gray Seal, Jimmie Dale had lived with the slogan of the police,
"The Gray Seal dead or alive--but the Gray Seal!" sounding in his ears; with the
newspapers screaming their diatribes, arousing the people against him, nagging
 
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