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Page:Stanwood Pier--The ancient grudge.djvu/108

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and for a moment his heart failed him. Then he walked briskly up the steps. The flunky at the door bowed and said,—

"Good-morning, Mr. Halket; walk in, sir."

Floyd had a mild pleasure and pride at finding that the servants already knew him.

He was standing at the long table in the reading-room, turning the pages of a periodical and trying to make up his mind to go over and speak to the two gentlemen in the window, who were eyeing him lazily through the smoke of their cigarettes. Some one came into the room and stepping up behind him, cried,—

"Hello, Floyd, my boy; how are you?"

And turning round, Floyd saw Mr. Dunbar, Lydia's father, holding out bis hand.

"Why," said Floyd, "I thought you were at Chester, Mr. Dunbar."

"The rest of the family are there, but I had to come back and work. You're lunching with me, Floyd?"

"Thank you; with pleasure. But"—Floyd laughed—"not at your expense, if you please. I'll tell you why. I came here to get all the things that you don't get in a New Rome boarding-house; I have my mind made up on terrapin or canvas-back or whatever is the most expensive and preposterous thing they provide, and—"

"All right," declared Mr. Dunbar, taking his arm. "I'll eat the same,—the most expensive and preposterous thing they've got. I've been bored to death ever since I've been here—even with my food."

As they went into the dining-room, he told Floyd that he and Lydia had said good-by at the steamer the week before to Stewart, who was sailing to take up his two years' studies abroad.

"Two years?" Floyd asked.

"Yes; that's what they think now. Perhaps he'll become impatient and hurry home after a year, but I hope he'll stick it out. Of course it's pretty hard on Lydia,