Sir Thomas was taken aback for an instant, but not seriously. He started, as might a man who, stroking a cat, receives a sudden, but trifling scratch.
"Twenty pounds, eh?" he said, reflectively. Then, the milk of human kindness swept over displeasure like a tidal wave. This was a night for rich gifts to the deserving.
"Why, certainly, my boy, certainly. Do you want it at once?"
His lordship replied that he did, please; and he had seldom said anything more fervently.
"Well, well. We'll see what we can do. Come with me."
He led the way to his dressing-room. Like nearly all the rooms at the castle, it was large. One wall was completely hidden by the curtain behind which Spike had taken refuge that afternoon.
Sir Thomas went to the dressing-table, and unlocked a small drawer.
"Twenty, you said? Five, ten, fifteen—here you are, my boy."
Lord Dreever muttered his thanks. Sir Thomas accepted the guttural acknowledgment with a friendly pat on the shoulder.
"I like a little touch like that," he said.
His lordship looked startled.
"I wouldn't have touched you," he began, "if it hadn't been—"
"A little touch like that letter-writing," Sir Thomas went on. "It shows a warm heart. She is