Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/252

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He left the room. The flutter of a skirt caught his eye as he reached the landing. A girl was coming down the corridor on the other side. He waited at the head of the stairs to let her go down before him. As she came on to the landing, he saw that it was Molly.

For a moment, there was an awkward pause.

"Er—I got your note," said his lordship.

She looked at him, and then burst out laughing.

"You know, you don't mind the least little bit," she said; "not a scrap. Now, do you?"

"Well, you see—"

"Don't make excuses! Do you?"

"Well, it's like this, you see, I—"

He caught her eye. Next moment, they were laughing together.

"No, but look here, you know," said his lordship. "What I mean is, it isn't that I don't—I mean, look here, there's no reason why we shouldn't be the best of pals."

"Why, of course, there isn't."

"No, really, I say? That's ripping. Shake hands on it."

They clasped hands; and it was in this affecting attitude that Sir Thomas Blunt, bustling downstairs, discovered them.

"Aha!" he cried, archly. "Well, well, well! But don't mind me, don't mind me!"

Molly flushed uncomfortably; partly, because she disliked Sir Thomas even when he was not arch, and