Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/130

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"What happened?"

"Oh, the man saw father, and dropped the jewels, and ran off down the corridor. Father chased him a little way, but of course it was no good; so he went back and shouted, and rang every bell he could see, and gave the alarm; but the man was never found. Still, he left the diamonds. That was the great thing, after all. You must look at them to-night at dinner. They really are wonderful. Are you a judge of precious stones at all?"

"I am rather," said Jimmy. "In fact, a jeweler I once knew told me I had a natural gift in that direction. And so, of course, Sir Thomas was pretty grateful to your father?"

"He simply gushed. He couldn't do enough for him. You see, if the diamonds had been stolen, I'm sure Lady Julia would have made Sir Thomas buy her another rope just as good. He's terrified of her, I'm certain. He tries not to show it, but he is. And, besides having to pay another hundred thousand dollars, he would never have heard the last of it. It would have ruined his reputation for being infallible and doing everything better than anybody else."

"But didn't the mere fact that the thief got the jewels, and was only stopped by a fluke from getting away with them, do that?"

Molly bubbled with laughter.

"She never knew. Sir Thomas got back to the hotel an hour before she did. I've never seen such a