Hunt swung the canvas from his easel and stood it against the wall. "That'll be all for you, Jimmie. Beat it and make room for Maggie. Maggie, take your same pose."
Old Jimmie ambled forward and gazed at his portrait as Hunt was settling an unfinished picture on his easel. It had rather amused Jimmie and filled in his idle time to sit for the crazy painter; and, incidentally, another picture of him would do him no particular harm since the police already had all the pictures they needed of him over at Headquarters. As he gazed at Hunt's work Old Jimmie snickered.
"I say, Nuts, what you goin' to do with this mess of paint?"
"Going to sell it to the Metropolitan Museum, you old sinner!" snapped Hunt.
Old Jimmie cackled at the joke. He knew pictures; that is, good pictures. He had had an invisible hand in more than one clever transaction in which handsome pictures alleged to have been smuggled in, Gainsboroughs and Romneys and such (there had been most profit for him in handling the forgeries of these particular masters), had been put, with an air of great secrecy, into the hands of divers newly rich gentlemen who believed they were getting masterpieces at bargain prices through this evasion of customs laws.
"Nuts," chuckled Old Jimmie, "this junk wouldn't be so funny if you didn't seem to believe you were really painting."
"Junk! Funny!" Hunt swung around, one big hand closed about Jimmie's lean neck and the other seized his thin shoulder. "You grandfather of the devil and all his male progeny, you talk like that and I'll chuck you through the window!"
Old Jimmie grinned. The grip of the big hands of the painter, though powerful, was light. They all knew that the loud ravings of the painter never presaged violence. They had grown to like him, to accept him as almost one of themselves; though of course they looked down upon him with amused pity for his imbecility regarding his paintings.