Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/83

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69
AT DREEVER

it is only an occasional customer at a store who goes in for shop-lifting. It was the principle of the thing, he thought: Be prepared against every emergency. With Sir Thomas Blunt, suspiciousness was almost a mania. He was forced to admit that the chances were against any of his guests exhibiting larcenous tendencies, but, as for the servants, he thoroughly mistrusted them all, except Saunders, the butler. It had seemed to him the merest prudence that a detective from a private inquiry agency should be installed at the castle while the house was full. Somewhat rashly, he had mentioned this to his wife, and Lady Julia's critique of the scheme had been terse and unflattering.

"I suppose," said Lady Julia sarcastically, "you will jump to the conclusion that this man whom Spennie is bringing down with him to-day is a criminal of some sort?"

"Eh? Is Spennie bringing a friend?"

There was not a great deal of enthusiasm in Sir Thomas's voice. His nephew was not a young man whom he respected very highly. Spennie regarded his uncle with nervous apprehension, as one who would deal with his short-comings with vigor and severity. Sir Thomas, for his part, looked on Spennie as a youth who would get into mischief unless under his uncle's eye.

"I had a telegram from him just now," Lady Julia explained.

"Who is his friend?"