In the doorway of No. 1 the son of the lame woman, Mrs. Budgen--the thin, white youth as tall as Martin, but not so broad-stood, smoking a dubious-looking cigarette. He turned his lack-lustre, jeering gaze on the visitors.
"Who d'you want?" he said. "If it's the girl, she's gone away, and left no address."
"I want Mrs. Hughs," said Martin.
The young man coughed. "Right-o! You'll find her; but for him, apply Wormwood Scrubs."
"Stickin' her through the wrist with his bayonet;" and the young man let a long, luxurious fume of smoke trickle through his nose.
Martin regarded the young man, unmoved. "That stuff' you're smoking's rank," he said. "Have some of mine; I'll show you how to make them. It'll save you one and three per pound of baccy, and won't rot your lungs."
Taking out his pouch, he rolled a cigarette. The white young man bent his dull wink on Thyme, who, wrinkling her nose, was pretending to be far away.
Mounting the narrow stairs that smelt of walls and washing and red herrings, Thyme spoke: "Now, you see, it wasn't so simple as you thought. I don't want to go up; I don't want to see her. I shall wait for you here." She took her stand in the open doorway of the little model's empty room. Martin ascended to the second floor.