Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/191

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Jimmy's attention was directed to the remarkable demeanor of his successful rival.

"You don't seem over-pleased," he said.

"Pleased! Have a fiver each way on 'pleased'! No, I'm not exactly leaping with joy."

"Then, what the devil is it all about? What do you mean? What's the idea? If you don't want to marry Miss McEachern, why did you propose to her?"

Lord Dreever closed his eyes.

"Dear old boy, don't! It's my uncle."

"Your uncle?"

"Didn't I explain it all to you—about him wanting me to marry? You know! I told you the whole thing."

Jimmy stared in silence.

"Do you mean to say—?" he said, slowly.

He stopped. It was a profanation to put the thing into words.

"What, old man?"

Jimmy gulped.

"Do you mean to say you want to marry Miss McEachern simply because she has money?" he said.

It was not the first time that he had heard of a case of a British peer marrying for such a reason, but it was the first time that the thing had filled him with horror. In some circumstances, things come home more forcibly to us.

"It's not me, old man," murmured his lordship; "it's my uncle."