Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/297

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279
A DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, she will take the things on trust. Very well. You trotted off to a jeweler, and put the thing to him confidentially. I guess you suggested paste. But, being a wily person, he pointed out that paste has a habit of not wearing well. It is pretty enough when it's new, but quite a small amount of ordinary wear and tear destroys the polish of the surface and the sharpness of the cutting. It gets scratched easily. Having heard this, and reflecting that Lady Julia was not likely to keep the necklace under a glass case, you rejected paste as too risky. The genial jeweler then suggested white jargoon, mentioning, as I have done, that, after an application or so of the blow-pipe, it's own mother wouldn't know it. If he was a bit of an antiquary, he probably added that, in the eighteenth century, jargoon stones were supposed to be actually an inferior sort of diamond. What could be more suitable? 'Make it jargoon, dear heart,' you cried joyfully, and all was well. Am I right? I notice that you have not corrected me so far."

Whether or not Sir Thomas would have replied in the affirmative is uncertain. He was opening his mouth to speak, when the curtain at the end of the room heaved, and Lord Dreever burst out like a cannon-ball in tweeds.

The apparition effectually checked any speech that Sir Thomas might have been intending to make. Lying back in his chair, he goggled silently at the new arrival. Even Jimmy, though knowing that his