Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/192

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"Your uncle! Good God!" Jimmy clenched his hands, despairingly. "Do you mean to say that you let your uncle order you about in a thing like this? Do you mean to say you're such a—such a—such a gelatine—backboneless worm—"

"Old man! I say!" protested his lordship, wounded.

"I'd call you a wretched knock-kneed skunk, only I don't want to be fulsome. I hate flattering a man to his face."

Lord Dreever, deeply pained, half-rose from his seat.

"Don't get up," urged Jimmy, smoothly. "I couldn't trust myself." His lordship subsided hastily. He was feeling alarmed. He had never seen this side of Jimmy's character. At first, he had been merely aggrieved and disappointed. He had expected sympathy. Now, the matter had become more serious. Jimmy was pacing the room like a young and hungry tiger. At present, it was true, there was a billiard-table between them; but his lordship felt that he could have done with good, stout bars. He nestled in his seat with the earnest concentration of a limpet on a rock. It would be deuced bad form, of course, for Jimmy to assault his host, but could Jimmy be trusted to remember the niceties of etiquette?

"Why the devil she accepted you, I can't think," said Jimmy half to himself, stopping suddenly, and glaring across the table.