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LYDIA

"Yes," said Gregg. "Next Monday you'd better report at Rod-Mill Number Three. And,"—he smiled cheerfully,—"you'd better take a holiday on Saturday to get ready; I guess Mr. Sharp will spare you."

"Thank you," Floyd answered; and he was quite elated at the idea of a holiday—and at not having to ask for the Saturday afternoon which he had promised himself with Lydia.

He went back through the fog to his work with a light step; promotion—or transfer—to the Rod-Mill was his first distinct achievement. It was in Rod-Mill Number Three that Hugh Farrell worked, and Floyd wondered if he would be put on the same turn with him. He hoped so; for in spite of the coolness with which he had treated Farrell since the night when they had separated at the dance-hall, he could not help liking the fellow—both for the merry nature he showed in his relations with Letty and her mother and for the quiet indifference with which he accepted Floyd's coolness.

The men in Floyd's heat at the open-hearth mill seemed honestly sorry to hear that he was leaving them.

"But," cried Shelton, "you and me was such a team with the quoits!"

"I know it," said Floyd regretfully. "Well, we'll have to find new partners and lick each other."

"’T ain't hardly the same thing," Shelton said.

"No," said Tom and Bill, "’t ain't."

They were always men of few words.

On Friday a north wind came down from the hills and cleared away the fog; the sun emerged in a sudden autumnal brilliancy, and Floyd went light-heartedly about his last work at the furnace. He had not been much affected by the general depression; he was getting on with his apprenticeship, his family were soon to be back in Avalon, and he would have a home to go to on Sundays; he looked forward to the ride with Lydia; indeed, he thought of Lydia whenever he had time to think at all; and not in