Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/178

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walked back to the house together, as happy as could be."

McEachern put his hand round her shoulders. She winced, but let it stay. He attempted gruff conciliation.

"My dear, you've been imagining things. Of course, he isn't happy. Why, I saw the young fellow—"

Recollecting that the last time he had seen the young fellow—shortly after dinner—the young fellow had been occupied in juggling, with every appearance of mental peace, two billiard-balls and a box of matches, he broke off abruptly.

Molly looked at him.


"My dear?"

"Why do you want me to marry Lord Dreever?"

He met the attack stoutly.

"I think he's a fine young fellow," he said, avoiding her eyes.

"He's quite nice," said Molly, quietly.

McEachern had been trying not to say it. He did not wish to say it. If it could have been hinted at, he would have done it. But he was not good at hinting. A lifetime passed in surroundings where the subtlest hint is a drive in the ribs with a truncheon does not leave a man an adept at the art. He had to be blunt or silent.

"He's the Earl of Dreever, my dear."

He rushed on, desperately anxious to cover the