Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/258

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evitable, and he had been ready to go through with it. It might hurt his feelings, possibly, but it would leave his purse intact. A ghastly development of this kind he had not foreseen.

"But, I say, uncle!" he bleated.

Sir Thomas silenced him with a grand gesture.

Ruefully, his lordship produced his little all. Sir Thomas took it with a snort, and went to the door.

Saunders was still brooding statuesquely over the gong.

"Sound it!" said Sir Thomas. Saunders obeyed him, with the air of an unleashed hound.

"And now," said Sir Thomas, "go to my dressing-room, and place these notes in the small drawer of the table."

The butler's calm, expressionless, yet withal observant eye took in at a glance the signs of trouble. Neither the inflated air of Sir Thomas nor the punctured-balloon bearing of Lord Dreever escaped him.

"Something h'up," he said to his immortal soul, as he moved upstairs. "Been a fair old, rare old row, seems to me!"

He reserved his more polished periods for use in public. In conversation with his immortal soul, he was wont to unbend somewhat.