The Adventures of Jimmie Dale
II.3. The Crime Club
For what length of time he had remained unconscious, Jimmie Dale had not the
slightest idea. He regained his senses to find himself lying on a couch in a
strange room that had a most exquisitely brass-wrought dome light in the ceiling.
That was what attracted his attention, because the light hurt his eyes, and his
head was already throbbing as though a thousand devils were beating a
diabolical tattoo upon it.
He closed his eyes against the light. Where was he? What had happened? Oh,
yes, he remembered now! That smash on Lower Broadway! He had been hurt.
He moved first one limb and then another tentatively, and was relieved to find
that, though his body ached as if it had been severely shaken, and his head was
bad, he had apparently escaped without serious injury.
Where was he? In a hospital? His fingers, resting at his side upon the couch,
supplied him with the information that it was a very expensive couch, upholstered
in finest leather. If he were in a hospital, he would be in a cot.
He opened his eyes again to glance curiously around him. The room was quite in
keeping with the artistic lighting fixture and the refined, if expensive, taste that
was responsible for the couch. A heavy velvet rug of rich, dark green was
bordered by a polished hardwood floor; panellings of dark-green frieze and
beautifully grained woodwork made the lower walls; while above, on a
background of some soft-toned paper, hung a few, and evidently choice, oil
paintings. There was a big, inviting lounging chair; a massive writing table, or
more properly, a desk of walnut; and behind the desk, his back half turned,
apparently intent upon a book, sat a man in immaculate evening dress.
Jimmie Dale closed his eyes again. There was something reassuring about it all,
comfortably reassuring. Though why there should be any occasion for a feeling
of reassurance at all, he could not for the moment make out. And then, in a
sudden flash, the details of the night came back to him. The Tocsin's letter--the