Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/162

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roundings of the rose-garden! There was plenty of time before the hour of the sounding of the dressing-gong. Perhaps, even a row on the lake—

"What ho!" said a voice.

Behind them, with a propitiatory smile on his face, stood his lordship of Dreever.

"My uncle told me I should find you out here. What have you got in there, Pitt? Is this what you feed them on? I say, you know, queer coves, hens! I wouldn't touch that stuff for a fortune, what? Looks to me poisonous."

He met Jimmy's eye, and stopped. There was that in Jimmy's eye that would have stopped an avalanche. His lordship twiddled his fingers in pink embarrassment.

"Oh, look!" said Molly. "There's a poor little chicken out there in the cold. It hasn't had a morsel. Give me the spoon, Mr. Pitt. Here, chick, chick! Don't be silly, I'm not going to hurt you. I've brought you your dinner."

She moved off in pursuit of the solitary fowl, which had edged nervously away. Lord Dreever bent toward Jimmy.

"Frightfully sorry, Pitt, old man," he whispered, feverishly. "Didn't want to come. Couldn't help it. He sent me out." He half-looked over his shoulder. "And," he added rapidly, as Molly came back, "the old boy's up at his bedroom window now, watching us through his opera-glasses!"

The return journey to the house was performed in