Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/264

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duologue, the official prompter returned with the remark that he had been having a bit of a smoke on the terrace, and that his watch had gone wrong. Leaving him to discuss the point with Charteris, Spennie slipped quietly away.

The delay, however, had had the effect of counteracting the uplifting effects of the Mumm's. The British Lion required a fresh fillip. He went to his room to administer it. By the time he emerged, he was feeling just right for the task in hand. A momentary doubt occurred to him as to whether it would not be a good thing to go down and pull Sir Thomas' nose as a preliminary to the proceedings; but he put the temptation aside. Business before pleasure.

With a jaunty, if somewhat unsteady, step, he climbed the stairs to the floor above, and made his way down the corridor to Sir Thomas's room. He switched on the light, and went to the dressing-table. The drawer was locked, but in his present mood Spennie, like Love, laughed at locksmiths. He grasped the handle, and threw his weight into a sudden tug. The drawer came out with a report like a pistol-shot.

"There!" said his lordship, wagging his head severely.

In the drawer lay the four bank-notes. The sight of them brought back his grievance with a rush. He would teach Sir Thomas to treat him like a kid! He would show him!

He was removing the notes, frowning fiercely the