Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/220

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As he drew near, he heard a slow and dirgelike whistling proceeding from the interior. Plunging in out of breath, just as the deluge began, he found Hargate seated at the little wooden table with an earnest expression on his face. The table was covered with cards. Hargate had not yet been compelled to sprain his wrist, having adopted the alternative of merely refusing invitations to play billiards.

"Hello, Hargate," said his lordship. "Isn't it coming down, by Jove!"

Hargate glanced up, nodded without speaking, and turned his attention to the cards once more. He took one from the pack in his left hand, looked at it, hesitated for a moment, as if doubtful whereabouts on the table it would produce the most artistic effect; and finally put it face upward. Then, he moved another card from the table, and put it on top of the other one. Throughout the performance, he whistled painfully.

His lordship regarded his guest with annoyance.

"That looks frightfully exciting," he said, disparagingly. "What are you playing at? Patience?"

Hargate nodded again, this time without looking up.

"Oh, don't sit there looking like a frog," said Lord Dreever, irritably. "Talk, man."

Hargate gathered up the cards, and proceeded to shuffle them in a meditative manner, whistling the while.