Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/259

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CHAPTER XXIV


THE TREASURE-SEEKER


GLOOM wrapped his lordship about, during dinner, as with a garment. He owed twenty pounds. His assets amounted to seven shillings and fourpence. He thought, and thought again. Quite an intellectual pallor began to appear on his normally pink cheeks. Saunders, silently sympathetic—he hated Sir Thomas as an interloper, and entertained for his lordship, under whose father also he had served, a sort of paternal fondness—was ever at his elbow with the magic bottle; and to Spennie, emptying and reëmptying his glass almost mechanically, wine, the healer, brought an idea. To obtain twenty pounds from any one person of his acquaintance was impossible. To divide the twenty by four, and persuade a generous quartette to contribute five pounds apiece was more feasible.

Hope began to stir within him again.

Immediately after dinner, he began to flit about the castle like a family specter of active habits. The first person he met was Charteris.

"Hullo, Spennie," said Charteris, "I wanted to see you. It is currently reported that you are in love.

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