Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/246

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

the consequences. Hargate, he felt instinctively, was of a revengeful nature. He had given Hargate twenty pounds' worth of snubbing, and the latter had presented the bills. If it were not paid, things would happen. Hargate and he were members of the same club, and a member of a club who loses money at cards to a fellow member, and fails to settle up, does not make himself popular with the committee.

He must get the money. There was no avoiding that conclusion. But how?

Financially, his lordship was like a fallen country with a glorious history. There had been a time, during his first two years at college, when he had reveled in the luxury of a handsome allowance. This was the golden age, when Sir Thomas Blunt, being, so to speak, new to the job, and feeling that, having reached the best circles, he must live up to them, had scattered largesse lavishly. For two years after his marriage with Lady Julia, he had maintained this admirable standard, crushing his natural parsimony. He had regarded the money so spent as capital sunk in an investment. By the end of the second year, he had found his feet, and began to look about him for ways of retrenchment. His lordship's allowance was an obvious way. He had not to wait long for an excuse for annihilating it. There is a game called poker, at which a man without much control over his features may exceed the limits of the handsomest allowance. His lordship's face during a game of poker was like the surface of some quiet pond, ruffled by