Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/209

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191
ON THE LAKE

hat. Jimmy, as he watched her, felt that he had done well. This was, indeed, the way.

"Why did you do it?" she said again.

"I had to."

"Take me back."

"No."

He took up the paddle, and placed a broader strip of water between the two worlds; then paused once more.

"I have something to say to you first," he said.

She did not answer. He looked over his shoulder again. His lordship had disappeared.

"Do you mind if I smoke?"

She nodded. He filled his pipe carefully, and lighted it. The smoke moved sluggishly up through the still air. There was a long silence. A fish jumped close by, falling back in a shower of silver drops. Molly started at the sound, and half-turned.

"That was a fish," she said, as a child might have done.

Jimmy knocked the ashes out of his pipe.

"What made you do it?" he asked abruptly, echoing her own question.

She drew her fingers slowly through the water without speaking.

"You know what I mean. Dreever told me."

She looked up with a flash of spirit, which died away as she spoke.

"What right?" She stopped, and looked away again.