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The Spike or Victoria College Review October 1929

Chapter VI

Chapter VI.

Bogginson (if we may venture so to name him) eyed with unconcern the weapon in Drift's hand.

"Quaint piece of ironmongery, Drift," he commented. "Does it go off?"

"Only when I point it at somebody," grimly replied Drift.

"Point it at Wonk, then, there's a good fellow," suggested Bogginson. "He looks like a touch of the liver."

Wonk's face muscles creaked in an effort to achieve the sternness of countenance enjoined by the Police Regulations.

"Beat it, Wonk," ordered Drift, keeping his eyes fixed on Bogginson, "and find the Chief."

"Where—where—" stammered Wonk.

"Ask a policeman, damn you!" snarled Drift. Wonk gave him a hurt look and left the room. Drift lowered his weapon.

"Now, Bogginson," he said, sharply, " come across."

"What do you mean?" demanded the other, his eyes narrowing.

"You know blanky well what I mean," said Drift, savagely. "Who and what the blanketty-blank-blank-blank are you?"

"I never could resist a question couched in Middle English," said Bogginson. "But—pardon my inquisitiveness—why do you ask?"

"Because," said Drift, biting his words, "you look like—"


"—The Mucker."

The two men stared at each other in a silence so tense that the furniture in the room could be heard growing out of date. The silence was broken by the clicking of Bogginson's brain as he came to a sudden decision. He folded his arms haughtily.

"I am—" he commenced.

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Urban Drift's finger itched on the trigger of his revolver.

"The cock-eyed world awaits the glad news," he growled.

"—the Honourable Citron Peale, High Chief Commissioner of the rummiest collection of pavement sheiks the cock-eyed world has ever possessed!"

Urban Drift's mouth fell wide open. His eyes goggled. Beads of sweat gathered on his brow and dropped to the floor with echoing splashes. Brilliantine sprayed the air in all directions as his glossy locks heaved and stood upright in astonishment.

"And," resumed the other, in chilly tones, "you are not The Mucker."

The blood rushed to Drift's tongue.

"Curse you," he ground out, "how do you know?"

"The High Chief Commissioner knows everything," was the calm reply. "For your tactless commination, I will show you something that will peeve you to the marrow."

Whipping round to the Highchiefcommissionerial desk, the remarkable individual thrust his hand in a bottle of red ink and smeared his lips and cheeks with the fluid. Dipping a pen into black ink, he carefully pencilled his eyebrows. Then he took out his pocket handkerchief and draped it about him. He turned.

Urban Drift almost fell through the floor.

"Benzoline," he croaked, his eyes squelching as they started from their sockets and jerked into them again.

"Peale," corrected the other, gently.

Urban Drift struggled with his emotion, threw a fit, turned a somersault, stood on his head; then, with an eldritch screech, he precipitated himself at his Chief. The latter moved aside.

A portion of the wall suddenly swung out and a man fell backward into the room. There was a sound like a shot as two heads came together. Urban Drift and the newcomer sagged quietly to the floor and lay like logs.

"In the nick of time, Dagg," said Peale. "I was expecting every moment to be my next."