Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/168

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CHAPTER XVI


A MARRIAGE ARRANGED


NEITHER Molly nor her father had moved or spoken while Jimmy was covering the short strip of turf that ended at the stone steps of the house. McEachern stood looking down at her in grim silence. His great body against the dark mass of the castle wall seemed larger than ever in the uncertain light. To Molly, there was something sinister and menacing in his attitude. She found herself longing that Jimmy would come back. She was frightened. Why, she could not have said. It was as if some instinct told her that a crisis in her affairs had been reached, and that she needed him. For the first time in her life, she felt nervous in her father's company. Ever since she was a child, she had been accustomed to look upon him as her protector; but, now, she was afraid.

"Father!" she cried.

"What are you doing out here?"

His voice was tense and strained.

"I came out because I wanted to think, father, dear."

She thought she knew his moods, but this was one that she had never seen. It frightened her.

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