Not a member?     Existing members login below:
Take Free-eBooks to GO! With our Mobile Apps here

The Adventures of Jimmie Dale

I.3. The Mother Lode
It was the following evening, and they had dined together again at the St. James
Club--Jimmie Dale, and Carruthers of the MORNING NEWS- ARGUS. From
Clayton and a discussion of the Metzer murder, the conversation had turned, not
illogically, upon the physiognomy of criminals in general. Jimmie Dale, lazily
ensconced now in a lounging chair in one of the club's private library rooms,
flicked a minute speck of cigar ash from the sleeve of his dinner jacket, and
smiled whimsically across the table at his friend.
"Oh, I dare say there's a lot in physiognomy, Carruthers," he drawled. "Never
studied the thing, you know--that is, from the standpoint of crime. Personally, I've
only got one prejudice: I distrust, on principle, the man who wears a perennial
and pompous smirk--which isn't, of course, strictly speaking, physiognomy at all.
You see, a man can't help his eyes being beady or his nose pronounced, but
pomposity and a smirk, now--" Jimmie Dale shrugged his shoulders.
Carruthers laughed--and then glanced ludicrously at Jimmie Dale, as the door,
ajar, was pushed open, and a man entered.
"Speaking of angels," murmured Jimmie Dale--and sat up in his chair. "Hello,
Markel!" he observed casually, "You've met Carruthers, of the NEWS-ARGUS,
haven't you?"
Markel was fat and important; he had beady black eyes, fastidiously trimmed
whiskers--and a pronounced smirk.
Markel blew his nose vigorously, coughed asthmatically, and held out his hand.
"Of course, certainly," said he effusively. "I've met Carruthers several times--used
his sheet more than once to advertise a new bond flotation."
The dominant note in Markel's voice was an ingratiating and unpleasant whine,
and Carruthers nodded, not very cordially--and shook hands.