Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/158

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LIFE at the castle during the first few days of his visit filled Jimmy with a curious blend of emotions, mainly unpleasant. Fate, in its pro-Jimmy capacity, seemed to be taking a rest. In the first place, the part allotted to him was not that of Lord Herbert, the character who talked to Molly most of the time. The instant Charteris learned from Lord Dreever that Jimmy had at one time actually been on the stage professionally, he decided that Lord Herbert offered too little scope for the new man's talents.

"Absolutely no good to you, my dear chap," he said. "It's just a small dude part. He's simply got to be a silly ass."

Jimmy pleaded that he could be a sillier ass than anybody living; but Charteris was firm.

"No," he said. "You must be Captain Browne. Fine acting part. The biggest in the piece. Full of fat lines. Spennie was to have played it, and we were in for the worst frost in the history of the stage. Now you've come, it's all right. Spennie's the ideal Lord Herbert. He's simply got to be him-