A desire to lie roundly, a sense of the cheque in his pocket, a feeling of injustice, the emotion of pity, and a confused and black astonishment about Ventnor, caused Bob Pillin to stammer:
'Well, I'm d---d!" and to miss the look which Phyllis gave him through her lashes--a look saying:
"I am d---d! Look here! D'you mean to say that Ventnor came here about my lending money? I never said a word to him---"
"There you see--you are lending!"
"We've got to have this out," he added.
"Not by the roots! Oh! you do look funny. I've never seen you with your hair untidy. Oh! oh!"
Bob Pillin rose and paced the room. In the midst of his emotion he could not help seeing himself sidelong in the mirror; and on pretext of holding his head in both his hands, tried earnestly to restore his hair. Then coming to a halt he said:
"Suppose I am lending money to your mother, what does it matter? It's only till quarter-day. Anybody might want money."