Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/223

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205
A LESSON IN PICQUET

four hundred points in a twenty minutes' game, and usual for him to lose two hundred. But he let the thing go.

"Very well," he said.

Twenty minutes later, Hargate was looking somewhat ruefully at the score-sheet. "I owe you eighteen shillings," he said. "Shall I pay you now, or shall we settle up in a lump after we've finished?"

"What about stopping now? " said Lord Dreever. "It's quite fine out."

"No, let's go on. I've nothing to do till dinner, and I don't suppose you have."

His lordship's conscience made one last effort. "You'd much better stop, you know, Hargate, really," he said. "You can lose a frightful lot at this game."

"My dear Dreever," said Hargate stiffly, "I can look after myself, thanks. Of course, if you think you are risking too much, by all means—"

"Oh, if you don't mind," said his lordship, outraged, "I'm only too frightfully pleased. Only, remember I warned you."

"I'll bear it in mind. By the way, before we start, care to make it a sovereign a hundred?"

Lord Dreever could not afford to play picquet for a soverign a hundred, or, indeed, to play picquet for money at all; but, after his adversary's innuendo, it was impossible for a young gentleman of spirit to admit the humiliating fact. He nodded.