Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/273

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He was dangling the necklace over the box, preparatory to dropping it in, when there was a quick rustle at the other side of the room. The curtain was plucked aside, and Molly came out.

"Jimmy!" she cried.

Jimmy's nerves were always in pretty good order, but at the sight of this apparition he visibly jumped.

"Great Scott!" he said.

The curtain again became agitated by some unseen force, violently this time, and from its depths a plaintive voice made itself heard.

"Dash it all," said the voice, "I've stuck!"

There was another upheaval, and his lordship emerged, his yellow locks ruffled and upstanding, his face crimson.

"Caught my head in a coat or something," he explained at large. "Hullo, Pitt!"

Pressed rigidly against the wall, Molly had listened with growing astonishment to the movements on the other side of the curtain. Her mystification deepened every moment. It seemed to her that the room was still in darkness. She could hear the sound of breathing; and then the light of the torch caught her eye. Who could this be, and why had he not switched on the regular room lights?

She strained her ears to catch a sound. For a while, she heard nothing except the soft breathing. Then came a voice that she knew well; and, abandoning her hiding-place, she came out into the room, and