Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/193

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Lord Dreever felt relieved. This was not polite, perhaps, but at least it was not violent.

"That's what beats me, too, old man," he said. "Between you and me, it's a jolly rum business. This afternoon—"

"What about this afternoon?"

"Why, she wouldn't have me at any price."

"You asked her this afternoon?"

"Yes, and it was all right then. She refused me like a bird. Wouldn't hear of it. Came damn near laughing in my face. And then, to-night," he went on, his voice squeaky at the thought of his wrongs, "my uncle sends for me, and says she's changed her mind and is waiting for me in the morning-room. I go there, and she tells me in about three words that she's been thinking it over and that the whole fearful thing is on again. I call it jolly rough on a chap. I felt such a frightful ass, you know. I didn't know what to do, whether to kiss her, I mean—"

Jimmy snorted violently.

"Eh?" said his lordship, blankly.

"Go on," said Jimmy, between his teeth.

"I felt a fearful fool, you know. I just said 'Right ho!' or something—dashed if I know now what I did say—and legged it. It's a jolly rum business, the whole thing. It isn't as if she wanted me. I could see that with half an eye. She doesn't care a hang for me. It's my belief, old man," he said solemnly, "that she's been badgered into it. I believe my uncle's been at her."