Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/227

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209
A LESSON IN PICQUET

"—but I'm not a cad."

"You're getting quite rosy, Dreever. Wrath is good for the complexion."

"And, if you think you can bribe me, you never made a bigger mistake in your life."

"Yes, I did," said Hargate, "when I thought you had some glimmerings of intelligence. But, if it gives you any pleasure to behave like the juvenile lead in a melodrama, by all means do. Personally, I shouldn't have thought the game would be worth the candle. But, if your keen sense of honor compels you to pay the twenty pounds, all right. You mentioned to-morrow? That will suit me. So, we'll let it go it at that."

He walked off, leaving Lord Dreever filled with the comfortable glow that comes to the weak man who for once has displayed determination. He felt that he must not go back from his dignified standpoint. That money would have to be paid, and on the morrow. Hargate was the sort of man who could, and would, make it exceedingly unpleasant for him if he failed. A debt of honor was not a thing to be trifled with.

But he felt quite safe. He knew he could get the money when he pleased. It showed, he reflected philosophically, how out of evil cometh good. His greater misfortune, the engagement, would, as it were, neutralize the less, for it was ridiculous to suppose that Sir Thomas, having seen his ends accomplished, and being presumably in a spacious mood in