Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/289

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271
STIRRING TIMES FOR SIR THOMAS

Sir Thomas raised his eyebrows in silence.

"No?" said Jimmy. "I was afraid not. You were saying—?"

"I find you in the act of stealing my wife's necklace," proceeded Sir Thomas, "and, because for the moment you succeed in postponing arrest by threatening me with a revolver—"

An agitated look came into Jimmy's face.

"Great Scott!" he cried. He felt hastily in his pocket.

"Yes," he said; "as I had begun to fear. I owe you an apology, Sir Thomas," he went on with manly dignity, producing the briar, "I am entirely to blame. How the mistake arose I cannot imagine, but I find it isn't a revolver after all."

Sir Thomas' cheeks took on a richer tint of purple. He glared dumbly at the pipe.

"In the excitement of the moment, I guess—" began Jimmy.

Sir Thomas interrupted. The recollection of his needless panic rankled within him.

"You—you—you—"

"Count ten!"

"You—what you propose to gain by this buffoonery, I am at a loss—"

"How can you say such savage things!" protested Jimmy. "Not buffoonery! Wit! Esprit! Flow of soul such as circulates daily in the best society."

Sir Thomas almost leaped toward the bell. With his finger on it, he turned to deliver a final speech.