"Hello, old Trouper! You're just in time to help me hunt for something." She was in the familiar street suit now, a skirt and jacket of some rough brown goods and a cloth hat that kept close to her small head above hair that seemed of no known shade whatever, though it was lighter than dark. She flashed a smile at him from her broad mouth as he came up, though her knowing gray eyes did not join in this smile. He knew instantly that she was taking him in.
This girl was wise beyond her years, he thought, but one even far less knowing could hardly have been in two minds about his present abject condition. The pushed-up collar of his coat did not entirely hide the once-white collar beneath it, the beard had reached its perhaps most distressing stage of development, and the suit was rumpled out of all the nattiness for which it had been advertised. Even the plush hat had lost its smart air.
Then he plainly saw that the girl would, for the moment at least, ignore these phenomena. She laughed again, and this time the eyes laughed, too. "C'mon over and help me hunt for that bar pin I lost. It must be at this end, because I know I had it on when I went into the drink. Maybe it's in the pool, but maybe I lost it after I got out. It's one of Baxter's that she wore in the scene just ahead of last night, and she'll have to have it again to-day. Now--" She began to search the ground around the cold brazier. "It might be along here." He helped her look. Pretty soon he would remember an engagement and get away. The search at the end of the pool proved fruitless. The girl continued to chatter. They had worked until one- thirty before that grouch of a Rosenblatt would call it a day. At that she'd rather do water stuff than animal stuff-especially lions. "Lions? I should think so!" He replied to this. "Dangerous, isn't it?"
"Oh, it ain't that. They're nothing to be afraid of if you know 'em, but they're so hot and smelly when you have to get close to 'em. Anything I really hate, it's having to get up against a big, hot, hairy, smelly lion."
He murmured a sympathetic phrase and extended his search for the lost pin to the side of the pool. Almost under the scaffold he saw the shine of precious stones and called to her as he picked up the pin, a bar pin splendidly set with diamonds. He was glad that he had found it for her. It must have cost a great deal of money and she would doubtless be held responsible for its safe-keeping.
She came dancing to him. "Say, that's fine-your eyes are working, ain't they? I might 'a' been set back a good six dollars if you hadn't found that." She took the bauble and fastened it inside her jacket. So the pin, too, had been a tawdry makeshift. Nothing was real any more. As she adjusted the pin he saw his moment for escape. With a gallant striving for the true Clifford Armytage manner he raised the plush hat.
"Well, I'm glad you found Mrs. Rosenblatt's pin-and I guess I'll be getting on."
The manner must have been defective. She looked through him and said with great firmness, "Nothing like that, old pippin." Again he was taken with a violent fit of shivering. He could not meet her eyes. He was turning away when she seized him by the wrist. Her grip was amazingly forceful. He doubted if he could break away even with his stoutest effort. He stood miserably staring at the ground. Suddenly the girl reached up to pat his shoulder. He shivered again and she continued to pat it. When his teeth had ceased to be castanets she spoke: