The Second-Story Man
MRS. AUSTIN. Why do you do this?
JIM. It's the way I live.
MRS. AUSTIN. Isn't it a rather trying kind of work?
JIM. It ain't all play, ma'am.
MRS. AUSTIN. [Smiling.] I should think it would be hard on the nerves. [After another pause.] Is there no honest way you can earn a living?
JIM. I don't know. Maybe so. I got tired of looking for it.
MRS. AUSTIN. I might help you if you would let me.
JIM. I ain't asking any help.
MRS. AUSTIN. No, but I'm offering it. [After a pause.] Have you been doing this sort of thing very long?
MRS. AUSTIN. How long?
JIM. [After hesitation.] This is my first job.
MRS. AUSTIN. What! You don't mean that?
JIM. It happens to be true, ma'am.
MRS. AUSTIN. What made you do it?
JIM. It's a long story.
MRS. AUSTIN. Tell it to me.
JIM. It ain't just a good time for story telling.
MRS. AUSTIN. You are afraid of me? I have no quarrel with you. I don't care anyt