Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/304

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Sir Thomas croaked feebly.

"Now, look here," said his lordship, with determination. "Here's the whole thing in a jolly old nutshell. If you want me to forget about this little flutter in fake diamonds of yours, you've got to pull up your socks, and start in to do things. You've got to get me attached to some embassy for a beginning. It won't be difficult. There's dozens of old boys in London, who knew the governor when he was alive, who will jump at the chance of doing me a good turn. I know I'm a bit of an ass in some ways, but that's expected of you in the diplomatic service. They only want you to wear evening clothes as if you were used to them, and be a bit of a flyer at dancing, and I can fill the bill all right as far as that goes. And you've got to give your jolly old blessing to Katie and me—if she'll have me. That's about all I can think of for the moment. How do we go? Are you on?"

"It's preposterous," began Sir Thomas.

Lord Dreever gave the door-handle a rattle.

"It's a hold-up all right," said Jimmy, soothingly. "I don't want to butt in on a family conclave, but my advice, if asked, would be to unbelt before the shooting begins. You've got something worse than a pipe pointing at you, now. As regards my position in the business, don't worry. My silence is presented gratis. Give me a loving smile, and my lips are sealed."

Sir Thomas turned on the speaker.