James Wylie isabout to make a move on the dambrod, and in the little Scotch room there isan awful silence befitting the occasion. James with his hand poised—for if hetouches a piece he has to play it, Alick will see to that—raises his red headsuddenly to read Alick's face. His father, who is Alick, is pretending to bein a panic lest James should make this move. James grins heartlessly, and hisfingers are about to close on the 'man' when some instinct ofself-preservation makes him peep once more. This time Alick is caught: theunholy ecstasy on his face tells as plain as porridge that he has been luringJames to destruction. James glares; and, too late, his opponent is a simpleold father again. James mops his head, sprawls in the manner most conduciveto thought in the Wylie family, and, protruding his underlip, settles down toa reconsideration of the board. Alick blows out his cheeks, and a drop ofwater settles on the point of his nose.
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