Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/255

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Lord Dreever, a limp bundle against the banisters, smiled weakly.

"Eh?" yelled Sir Thomas.

His lordship started convulsively.

"Er, yes," he said, "yes, yes! That was it, don't you know!"

Sir Thomas eyed his nephew with a baleful stare. Molly looked from one to the other in bewilderment.

There was a pause, during which Sir Thomas seemed partially to recover command of himself. Doubts as to the propriety of a family row in midstairs appeared to occur to him. He moved forward.

"Come with me," he said, with awful curtness.

His lordship followed, bonelessly. Molly watched them go, and wondered more than ever. There was something behind this. It was not merely the breaking-off of the engagement that had roused Sir Thomas. He was not a just man, but he was just enough to be able to see that the blame was not Lord Dreever's. There had been something more. She was puzzled.

In the hall, Saunders was standing, weapon in hand, about to beat the gong.

"Not yet," snapped Sir Thomas. "Wait!"

Dinner had been ordered especially early that night because of the theatricals. The necessity for strict punctuality had been straitly enjoined upon Saunders. At some inconvenience, he had ensured strict punctuality. And now— But we all have our