Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/267

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249
THE TREASURE-SEEKER

"Five-pound note," said his lordship. "Quite right. Three more of them in here."

Still, she could not understand.

"But—were you—stealing them?"

His lordship drew himself up.

"No," he said, "no, not stealing, no!"

"Then—?"

"Like this. Before dinner. Old boy friendly as you please—couldn't do enough for me. Touched him for twenty of the best, and got away with it. So far, all well. Then, met you on stairs. You let cat out of bag."

"But why—? Surely—!"

His lordship gave the drawer a dignified wave.

"Not blaming you," he said, magnanimously. "Not your fault; misfortune. You didn't know. About letter."

"About the letter?" said Molly. "Yes, what was the trouble about the letter? I knew something was wrong directly I had said that I wrote it."

"Trouble was," said his lordship, "that old boy thought it was love-letter. Didn't undeceive him."

"You didn't tell him? Why?"

His lordship raised his eyebrows.

"Wanted touch him twenty of the best," he explained, simply.

For the life of her, Molly could not help laughing.

"Don't laugh," protested his lordship, wounded. "No joke. Serious. Honor at stake."