Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/307

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289
SPENNIE'S HOUR OF CLEAR VISION

dimly suspecting something wrong, but not knowing what it was, had kept it for two minutes, to the mystification of the audience. But, now, Charteris had begun to forget. As he two-stepped down the room, the lines of agony on his face were softened. He even smiled.

As for Spennie, the brilliance of his happy grin dazzled all beholders.

He was still wearing it when he invaded the solitude of Mr. McEachern. In every dance, however greatly he may be enjoying it, there comes a time when a man needs a meditative cigarette apart from the throng. It came to Spennie after the seventh item on the program. The billiard-room struck him as admirably suitable in every way. It was not likely to be used as a sitting-out place, and it was near enough to the ball-room to enable him to hear when the music of item number nine should begin.

Mr. McEachern welcomed his visitor. In the turmoil following the theatricals, he had been unable to get a word with any of the persons with whom he most wished to speak. He had been surprised that no announcement of the engagement had been made at the end of the performance. Spennie would be able to supply him with information as to when the announcement might be expected.

Spennie hesitated for an instant when he saw who was in the room. He was not over-anxious for a tête-a-tête with Molly's father just then. But, re-