Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/253

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235
FAMILY JARS

hated him when he was; partly, because she felt foolish; and, principally, because she was bewildered. She had not looked forward to meeting Sir Thomas that night. It was always unpleasant to meet him, but it would be more unpleasant than usual after she had upset the scheme for which he had worked so earnestly. She had wondered whether he would be cold and distant, or voluble and heated. In her pessimistic moments, she had anticipated a long and painful scene. That he should be behaving like this was not very much short of a miracle. She could not understand it.

A glance at Lord Dreever enlightened her. That miserable creature was wearing the air of a timid child about to pull a large cracker. He seemed to be bracing himself up for an explosion.

She pitied him sincerely. So, he had not told his uncle the news, yet! Of course, he had scarcely had time. Saunders must have given him the note as he was going up to dress.

There was, however, no use in prolonging the agony. Sir Thomas must be told, sooner or later. She was glad of the chance to tell him herself. She would be able to explain that it was all her doing.

"I'm afraid there's a mistake," she said.

"Eh?" said Sir Thomas.

"I've been thinking it over, and I came to the conclusion that we weren't—well, I broke off the engagement!"

Sir Thomas' always prominent eyes protruded still