Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/169

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"Why did he come out here?"

"Mr. Pitt? He brought me a wrap."

"What was he saying to you?"

The rain of questions gave Molly a sensation of being battered. She felt dazed, and a little mutinous. What had she done that she should be assailed like this?

"He was saying nothing," she said, rather shortly.

"Nothing? What do you mean? What was he saying? Tell me!"

Molly's voice shook as she replied.

"He was saying nothing," she repeated. "Do you think I'm not telling the truth, father? He had not spoken a word for ever so long. We just walked up and down. I was thinking, and I suppose he was, too. At any rate, he said nothing. I—I think you might believe me."

She began to cry quietly. Her father had never been like this before. It hurt her.

McEachern's manner changed in a flash. In the shock of finding Jimmy and Molly together on the terrace, he had forgotten himself. He had had reason to be suspicious. Sir Thomas Blunt, from whom he had just parted, had told him a certain piece of news which had disturbed him. The discovery of Jimmy with Molly had lent an added significance to that piece of news. He saw that he had been rough. In a moment, he was by her side, his great arm round her shoulder, petting and comforting her as he had done when she was a child. He believed her word