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THE ANCIENT GRUDGE

"Now, Lally, hush, or he'll think you're silly," Miss Bell admonished her. "Mother's provided some light refreshments, and if you'll excuse me, I ought to be helping her. Hugh,"—she summoned him from an airy flirtation with the elder Miss Tibbs,—"you come along."

"Is n't she beautiful?" exclaimed Miss Gorham to Floyd, when Letty had gone. "Did you ever see such superb hair! Is n't it just like an aureole?"

"Why," said Floyd gravely, "an oriole's yellow, is n't it, not red?"

"Oh, not that kind; spelled a-u, I mean."

"I don't believe I've ever seen the a-u kind," Floyd said.

"But you've read about it surely, Mr. Halket?"

"I think I should recognize the word."

"And can't you just imagine what it would be—and would n't it be like her hair? But I suppose I'm a too imaginative temperament."

"You act, I think I have heard."

"I love it, I adore it; it's my life."

"I wish you might be persuaded to do something to-night."

"Oh, before you I should n't dare."

"Why not?"

"Oh, you have seen so much, all the great actors, Booth, and Louis James, and everybody. You would be so critical.—Did you ever see King John?"

"Never," said Floyd.

"I do Constance before the French King sometimes," remarked Miss Gorham. "If you've never seen anybody in it to compare me with—"

"Of course you must do it," declared Floyd.

"Well, maybe I will if they ask me. I doubt if they will, though; most of those here would not appreciate it. There's Mrs. Tustin and the Tibbs girls; I suppose they never heard of Shakespeare. Letty is so good-natured she