Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/165

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149
MR. M'EACHERN INTERVENES

stopped again. He came to the conclusion that he did not feel sociable. He wanted to think. A cigar on the terrace would meet his needs.

He went up to his room for his cigar-case. The window was open. He leaned out. There was almost a full moon, and it was very light out of doors. His eye was caught by a movement at the further end of the terrace, where the shadow was. A girl came out of the shadow, walking slowly.

Not since early boyhood had Jimmy descended stairs with such a rare burst of speed. He negotiated the nasty turn at the end of the first flight at quite a suicidal pace. Fate, however, had apparently wakened again and resumed business, for he did not break his neck. A few moments later, he was out on the terrace, bearing a cloak which he had snatched up en route in the hall.

"I thought you might be cold," he said, breathing quickly.

"Oh, thank you," said Molly. "How kind of you!" He put it round her shoulders. "Have you been running?"

"I came downstairs rather fast."

"Were you afraid the boogaboos would get you?" she laughed. "I was thinking of when I was a small child. I was always afraid of them. I used to race downstairs when I had to go to my room in the dark, unless I could persuade someone to hold my hand all the way there and back."

Her spirits had risen with Jimmy's arrival.