Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/292

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CHAPTER XXVII


A DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE


IF Jimmy had entertained any doubts concerning the effectiveness of this disclosure, they would have vanished at the sight of the other's face. Just as the rich hues of a sunset pale slowly into an almost imperceptible green, so did the purple of Sir Thomas's cheeks become, in stages, first a dull red, then pink, and finally take on a uniform pallor. His mouth hung open. His attitude of righteous defiance had crumpled. Unsuspected creases appeared in his clothes. He had the appearance of one who has been caught in the machinery.

Jimmy was a little puzzled. He had expected to check the enemy, to bring him to reason, but not to demolish him in this way. There was something in this which he did not understand. When Spike had handed him the stones, and his trained eye, after a moment's searching examination, had made him suspicious, and when, finally, a simple test had proved his suspicions correct, he was comfortably aware that, though found with the necklace on his person, he had knowledge, which, communicated to Sir Thomas, would serve him well. He knew that Lady Julia was not the sort of lady who would bear calmly the an-

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