Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/274

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found Jimmy standing, with the torch in his hand, over some dark object in the corner of the room.

It was a full minute after Jimmy's first exclamation of surprise before either of them spoke again. The light of the torch hurt Molly's eyes. She put up a hand, to shade them. It seemed to her that they had been standing like this for years.

Jimmy had not moved. There was something in his attitude that filled Molly with a vague fear. In the shadow behind the torch, he looked shapeless and inhuman.

"You're hurting my eyes," she said, at last.

"I'm sorry," said Jimmy. "I didn't think. Is that better?" He turned the light from her face. Something in his voice and the apologetic haste with which he moved the torch seemed to relax the strain of the situation. The feeling of stunned surprise began to leave her. She found herself thinking coherently again.

The relief was but momentary. Why was Jimmy in the room at that time? Why had he a torch? What had he been doing? The questions shot from her brain like sparks from an anvil.

The darkness began to tear at her nerves. She felt along the wall for the switch, and flooded the whole room with light.

Jimmy laid down, the torch, and stood for a moment, undecided. He had concealed the necklace behind him. Now, he brought it forward, and dangled it silently before the eyes of Molly and his