An Amiable Charlatan
The detective stood once more at our table. My instinctive dislike of him was now an accomplished thing. I hated his smile of subdued triumph, and all my fundamental ideas as to law and order were seriously affected by it. I was distinctly on the side of my new acquaintance.
"I am sorry to interrupt this little feast," Mr. Cullen said, "but I shall have to trouble you both to come with me for a short time."
Mr. Parker carefully clipped the end of his cigar and leaned back in his chair while he lit it.
"My friend Cullen," he remonstrated, "I have no objection to offering myself up as a victim to your super-abundant energy and trotting about with you wherever you choose; but when it comes to dragging my friends into it, I just want to say right here that I think you are carrying things a little too far--just a little too far, sir."
"If either of you seriously object to my request," Mr. Cullen replied doggedly, "I can put the matter on a different ba