Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/91

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77
FRIENDS, NEW AND OLD

York to Onehorseville, Iowa. He looked with interest at the light-haired young man, the latest depository of the awful secret. It was popularly supposed that the heir, after hearing it, never smiled again; but it did not seem to have affected the present Lord Dreever to any great extent. His gurgling laugh was drowning the orchestra. Probably, Jimmy thought, when the family lawyer had told the light-haired young man the secret, the latter's comment had been, "No, really? By Jove, I say, you know!"

Jimmy paid his bill, and got up to go.

It was a perfect summer night—too perfect for bed. Jimmy strolled on to the Embankment, and stood leaning over the balustrade, looking across the river at the vague, mysterious mass of buildings on the Surrey side.

He must have been standing there for some time, his thoughts far away, when a voice spoke at his elbow.

"I say. Excuse me, have you—Hullo!" It was his light-haired lordship of Dreever. "I say, by Jove, why we're always meeting!"

A tramp on a bench close by stirred uneasily in his sleep as the gurgling laugh rippled the air.

"Been looking at the water?" inquired Lord Dreever. "I have. I often do. Don't you think it sort of makes a chap feel—oh, you know. Sort of—I don't know how to put it."

"Mushy?" said Jimmy.