Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/290

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"I believe you're insane," he cried, "but I'll have no more of it. I have endured this foolery long enough. I'll—"

"Just one moment," said Jimmy. "I said just now that there were reasons besides the revol—well, pipe—why you should not ring that bell. One of them is that all the servants will be in their places in the audience, so that there won't be anyone to answer it. But that's not the most convincing reason. Will you listen to one more before getting busy?"

"I see your game. Don't imagine for a moment that you can trick me."

"Nothing could be further—"

"You fancy you can gain time by talking, and find some way to escape—"

"But I don't want to escape. Don't you realize that in about ten minutes I am due to play an important part in a great drama on the stage?"

"I'll keep you here, I tell you. You'll leave this room," said Sir Thomas, grandly, "over my body."

"Steeple-chasing in the home," murmured Jimmy. "No more dull evenings. But listen. Do listen! I won't keep you a minute, and, if you want to push that bell after I'm through, you may push it six inches into the wall if you like."

"Well," said Sir Thomas, shortly.

"Would you like me to lead gently up to what I want to say, gradually preparing you for the reception of the news, or shall I—?"