Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/327

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"Molly, my dear," said McEachern huskily, "I want to speak to you for a moment."

Jimmy took his lordship by the arm.

"Come along, Dreever," he said. "You can come and sit out with me. We'll go and smoke on the terrace."

They left the room together.

"What does the old boy want?" inquired his lordship. "Are you and Miss McEachern—?"

"We are," said Jimmy.

"By Jove, I say, old chap! Million congratulations, and all that sort of rot, you know!"

"Thanks," said Jimmy. "Have a cigarette?"

His lordship had to resume his duties in the ball-room after awhile; but Jimmy sat on, smoking and thinking. The night was very still. Now and then, a sparrow would rustle in the ivy on the castle wall, and somewhere in the distance a dog was barking. The music had begun again in the ball-room. It sounded faint and thin where he sat.

In the general stillness, the opening of the door at the top of the steps came sharply to his ears. He looked up. Two figures were silhouetted for a moment against the light, and then the door closed again. They began to move slowly down the steps.

Jimmy had recognized them. He got up. He was in the shadow. They could not see him. They began to walk down the terrace. They were quite close now. Neither was speaking; but, presently,