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The Adventures of Jimmie Dale

II.11. The Magpie
A minute passed--another. The automatic at Jimmie Dale's hip, the muzzle just
peeping over the table top, held a steady bead on the window. Came the footstep
again--and then suddenly, a series of low, quick tappings upon the windowpane.
The Tocsin's hand slipped away from his arm. Jimmie Dale's set face relaxed as
he read the underground Morse, and he replaced his revolver slowly in his
pocket.
"The Magpie!" said Jimmie Dale, in an undertone. "What's he want?"
"I don't know," she answered, in a whisper. "He never came here before. There's
a back way out, Jimmie, if you--"
"No," he said quickly. "We've enemies enough, with out making one of the
Magpie. He knows some one is here with you--our shadows were on the blind.
Don't queer yourself. Let him in. I'll light the lamp."
He struck a match, as she ran from the room, and, lifting the hot lamp chimney
with the edge of his ragged coat, lighted the lamp. He turned the wick down a
little, shading and dimming the room--and then, as he flirted a bead of moisture
from his forehead, whimsically stretched out his hand to watch it in the lamplight.
"That's bad, Jimmie," he muttered gravely to himself, as he noted an almost
imperceptible tremour. "Got a start, didn't you! Under a bit of a strain, eh? Well"--
grimly--"never mind! It looks as though the luck had turned Makoff and Spider
Jack!"
His hand reached up to his hat, jerked the brim at a rakish angle over his eyes--
and he sprawled himself out on a chair. He heard the Tocsin's voice at the front
door, and a man's voice, low and guarded, answer her. Then the door closed,
and their steps approached the room. It was rather curious, that--a visit from the
Magpie! What could the Magpie want? What could there be in common between
 
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