Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/190

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He broke off, as a sudden, awful suspicion dawned upon him. "Who is she?" he cried.

He gripped the stricken peer's shoulder, and shook it savagely. Unfortunately, he selected the precise moment when the latter was in the act of calming his quivering nerve-centers with a gulp of brandy-and-soda, and for the space of some two minutes it seemed as if the engagement would be broken off by the premature extinction of the Dreever line. A long and painful fit of coughing, however, ended with his lordship still alive and on the road to recovery.

He eyed Jimmy reproachfully, but Jimmy was in no mood for apologies.

"Who is she?" he kept demanding. "What's her name?"

"Might have killed me!" grumbled the convalescent.

"Who is she?"

"What? Why, Miss McEachern."

Jimmy had known what the answer would be, but it was scarcely less of a shock for that reason.

"Miss McEachern?" he echoed.

Lord Dreever nodded a somber nod.

"You're engaged to her?"

Another somber nod.

"I don't believe it," said Jimmy.

"I wish I didn't," said his lordship wistfully, ignoring the slight rudeness of the remark. "But, worse luck, it's true."

For the first time since the disclosure of the name,