Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/175

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conversation was about to enter upon a difficult phase, and he was not quite sure of himself. Then, he took the plunge.

"I have just been talking to Sir Thomas, my dear," he said. He tried to speak casually, and, as a natural result, infused so much meaning into his voice that Molly looked at him in surprise. McEachern coughed confusedly. Diplomacy, he concluded, was not his forte. He abandoned it in favor of directness. "He was telling me that you had refused Lord Dreever this evening."

"Yes. I did," said Molly. "How did Sir Thomas know?"

"Lord Dreever told him."

Molly raised her eyebrows.

"I shouldn't have thought it was the sort of thing he would talk about," she said.

"Sir Thomas is his uncle."

"Of course, so he is," said Molly, dryly. "I forgot. That would account for it, wouldn't it?"

Mr. McEachern looked at her with some concern. There was a hard ring in her voice which he did not altogether like. His greatest admirer had never called him an intuitive man, and he was quite at a loss to see what was wrong. As a schemer, he was perhaps a little naïve. He had taken it for granted that Molly was ignorant of the maneuvers which had been going on, and which had culminated that afternoon in a stammering proposal of marriage from