Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/166

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Things had been happening that worried her. She had gone out on to the terrace to be alone. When she heard his footsteps, she had dreaded the advent of some garrulous fellow-guest, full of small talk. Jimmy, somehow, was a comfort. He did not disturb the atmosphere. Little as they had seen of each other, something in him—she could not say what—had drawn her to him. He was a man whom she could trust instinctively.

They walked on in silence. Words were pouring into Jimmy's mind, but he could not frame them. He seemed to have lost the power of coherent thought.

Molly said nothing. It was not a night for conversation. The moon had turned terrace and garden into a fairyland of black and silver. It was a night to look and listen and think.

They walked slowly up and down. As they turned for the second time, Molly's thoughts formed themselves into a question. Twice she was on the point of asking it, but each time she checked herself. It was an impossible question. She had no right to put it, and he had no right to answer. Yet, something was driving her on to ask it.

It came out suddenly, without warning.

"Mr. Pitt, what do you think of Lord Dreever?"

Jimmy started. No question could have chimed in more aptly with his thoughts. Even as she spoke, he was struggling to keep himself from asking her the same thing.

"Oh, I know I ought not to ask," she went on.