Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/213

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195
ON THE LAKE

"What is it, dear? What's troubling you?"

"Jimmy—" She stopped.

He waited.

"Yes?"

"Jimmy, my father wouldn't—father—father doesn't—"

"Doesn't like me?"

She nodded miserably.

A great wave of relief swept over Jimmy. He had imagined—he hardly knew what he had imagined: some vast, insuperable obstacle; some tremendous catastrophe, whirling them asunder. He could have laughed aloud in his happiness. So, this was it, this was the cloud that brooded over them—that Mr. McEachern did not like him! The angel, guarding Eden with a fiery sword, had changed into a policeman with a truncheon.

"He must learn to love me," he said, lightly.

She looked at him hopelessly. He could not see; he could not understand. And how could she tell him? Her father's words rang in her brain. He was "crooked." He was "here on some game." He was being watched. But she loved him, she loved him! Oh, how could she make him understand?

She clung tighter to him, trembling. He became serious again.

"Dear, you mustn't worry," he said. "It can't be helped. He'll come round. Once we're married—"