Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/298

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lordship had been in hiding, was taken aback. His attention had become so concentrated on his duel with the knight that he had almost forgotten they had an audience.

His lordship broke the silence.

"Great Scott!" he cried.

Neither Jimmy nor Sir Thomas seemed to consider the observation unsound or inadequate. They permitted it to pass without comment.

"You old scoundrel!" added his lordship, addressing Sir Thomas. "And you're the man who called me a welsher!" There were signs of a flicker of spirit in the knight's prominent eyes, but they died away. He made no reply.

"Great Scott!" moaned his lordship, in a fervor of self-pity. "Here have I been all these years letting you give me Hades in every shape and form, when all the while— My goodness, if I'd only known earlier!"

He turned to Jimmy.

"Pitt, old man," he said warmly, "I—dash it! I don't know what to say. If it hadn't been for you—I always did like Americans. I always thought it bally rot that that fuss happened in—in—whenever it was. If it hadn't been for fellows like you," he continued, addressing Sir Thomas once more, "there wouldn't have been any of that frightful Declaration of Independence business. Would there, Pitt, old man?"