Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/301

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283
A DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

"It was twenty," said his lordship. "And I don't need it. Keep it. You'll want all you can save for a new necklace."

His fingers closed on the door-handle.

"Spencer, stop!"

"Well?"

"We must talk this over. We must not be hasty."

Sir Thomas passed the handkerchief over his forehead.

"In the past, perhaps," he resumed, "our relations have not been quite—the fault was mine. I have always endeavored to do my duty. It is a difficult task to look after a young man of your age—"

His lordship's sense of his grievance made him eloquent.

"Dash it all!" he cried. "That's just what I jolly well complain of. Who the dickens wanted you to look after me? Hang it, you've kept your eye on me all these years like a frightful policeman! You cut off my allowance right in the middle of my time at college, just when I needed it most, and I had to come and beg for money whenever I wanted to buy a cigarette. I looked a fearful ass, I can tell you! Men who knew me used to be dashed funny about it. I'm sick of the whole bally business. You've given me a jolly thin time all this while, and now I'm going to get a bit of my own back. Wouldn't you, Pitt, old man?"

Jimmy, thus suddenly appealed to, admitted that, in his lordship's place, he might have experienced a