Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/218

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CHAPTER XX


A LESSON IN PICQUET


LORD DREEVER, meanwhile, having left the waterside, lighted a cigarette, and proceeded to make a reflective tour of the grounds. He felt aggrieved with the world. Molly's desertion in the canoe with Jimmy did not trouble him: he had other sorrows. One is never at one's best and sunniest when one has been forced by a ruthless uncle into abandoning the girl one loves and becoming engaged to another, to whom one is indifferent. Something of a jaundiced tinge stains one's outlook on life in such circumstances. Moreover, Lord Dreever was not by nature an introspective young man, but, examining his position as he walked along, he found himself wondering whether it was not a little unheroic. He came to the conclusion that perhaps it was. Of course, Uncle Thomas could make it deucedly unpleasant for him if he kicked. That was the trouble. If only he had even—say, a couple of thousands a year of his own—he might make a fight for it. But, dash it, Uncle Tom could cut off supplies to such a frightful extent, if there was trouble, that he would have to go on living at Dreever indefinitely, without so much as a fearful quid to call his own.

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