Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/203

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a barrier between them, but it was not the old barrier. He had ceased to be one of a crowd.

But it was a race against time. The first day slipped by, a blank, and the second; till, now, it was but a matter of hours. The last afternoon had come.

Not even Mr. Samuel Galer, of Dodson's Private Inquiry Agency, could have kept a more unflagging watch than did Jimmy during those hours. There was no rehearsal that afternoon, and the members of the company, in various stages of nervous collapse, strayed distractedly about the grounds. First one, then another, would seize upon Molly, while Jimmy, watching from afar, cursed their pertinacity.

At last, she wondered off alone, and Jimmy, quitting his ambush, followed.

She walked in the direction of the lake. It had been a terribly hot, oppressive afternoon. There was thunder in the air. Through the trees, the lake glittered invitingly.

She was standing at the water's edge when Jimmy came up. Her back was turned. She was rocking with her foot a Canadian canoe that lay alongside the bank. She started as he spoke. His feet on the soft turf had made no sound.

"Can I take you out on the lake?" he said.

She did not answer for a moment. She was plainly confused.

"I'm sorry," she said. "I—I'm waiting for Lord Dreever."