Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/183

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sical comedy as he did so. There could be no shadow of doubt that he was finding life good. For the past few days, and particularly that afternoon, he had been rather noticeably ill at ease. Jimmy had seen him hanging about the terrace at half-past five, and had thought that he looked like a mute at a funeral. But now, only a few hours later, he was beaming on the world, and chirping like a bird.

The game moved jerkily along. Jimmy took a seat, and watched. The score mounted slowly. Lord Dreever was bad, but Hargate was worse. At length, in the eighties, his lordship struck a brilliant rein. When he had finished his break, his score was ninety-five. Hargate, who had profited by a series of misses on his opponent's part, had reached ninety-six.

"This is shortening my life," said Jimmy, leaning forward.

The balls had been left in an ideal position. Even Hargate could not fail to make a cannon. He made it.

A close finish to even the worst game is exciting. Jimmy leaned still further forward to watch the next stroke. It looked as if Hargate would have to wait for his victory. A good player could have made a cannon as the balls lay, but not Hargate. They were almost in a straight line, with white in the center.

Hargate swore under his breath. There was nothing to be done. He struck carelessly at white.