Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/128

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"I know. She's your hostess, but you haven't started your visit yet. So, you've just got time to say what you really think of her, before you have to pretend she's perfect."


"I detest her," said Molly, crisply. "I think she's hard and hateful."

"Well, I can't say she struck me as a sort of female Cheeryble Brother. Lord Dreever introduced me to her at the station. She seemed to bear it pluckily, but with some difficulty."

"She's hateful," repeated Molly. "So is he, Sir Thomas, I mean. He's one of those fussy, bullying little men. They both bully poor Lord Dreever till I wonder he doesn't rebel. They treat him like a school-boy. It makes me wild. It's such a shame—he's so nice and good-natured! I am so sorry for him!"

Jimmy listened to this outburst with mixed feelings. It was sweet of her to be so sympathetic, but was it merely sympathy? There had been a ring in her voice and a flush on her cheek that had suggested to Jimmy's sensitive mind a personal interest in the down-trodden peer. Reason told him that it was foolish to be jealous of Lord Dreever, a good fellow, of course, but not to be taken seriously. The primitive man in him, on the other hand, made him hate all Molly's male friends with an unreasoning hatred. Not that he hated Lord Dreever: he liked him. But he doubted if he could go on liking him