Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/296

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the old pomposity in his manner when he spoke.

"Mr. Pitt, I find you in an unpleasant position—"

Jimmy interrupted.

"Don't you worry about my unpleasant position," he said. "Fix your attention exclusively upon your own. Let us be frank with one another. You're in the cart. What do you propose to do about it?"

Sir Thomas rallied again, with the desperation of one fighting a lost cause.

"I do not understand you—" he began.

"No?" said Jimmy. "I'll try and make my meaning clear. Correct me from time to time, if I am wrong. The way I size the thing up is as follows: When you married Lady Julia, I gather that it was, so to speak, up to you to some extent. People knew you were a millionaire, and they expected something special in the way of gifts from the bridegroom to the bride. Now, you, being of a prudent and economical nature, began to wonder if there wasn't some way of getting a reputation for lavishness without actually unbelting to any great extent. Am I right?"

Sir Thomas did not answer.

"I am," said Jimmy. "Well, it occurred to you, naturally enough, that a properly-selected gift of jewelry might work the trick. It only needed a little nerve. When you give a present of diamonds to a lady, she is not likely to call for polarized light and refracting liquids and the rest of the circus. In