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Page:Stanwood Pier--The ancient grudge.djvu/164

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END OF AN APPRENTICESHIP

He could not endure the pity in her eyes. It stung his pride; be would have none of it. And so he said deliberately,—

"If I had gone on seeing you, I'd have taken you from Stewart."

Her eyes showed her swift change from pity to wrath, though her voice was low as she asked,—

"And would I have had nothing to say?"

"Nothing," he answered gravely. "And so you need not wonder any more why I stay away from you." He held out his hand. "Good-by, Lydia."

She took his hand and held it a moment, looking at him as if she would give him the opportunity to retract; she did not speak. Then he turned and walked across the driveway. She followed him with her eyes; she saw him take up the hockey-stick that he had laid at the edge of the rink and glide out upon the ice. Some one sent the puck spinning out of a scrimmage; with a whoop he sprang forward to it and raced with it toward the farther goal.

Lydia turned her back; he might go on playing, but as for her she no longer had any heart for skating—for any of her pretty tricks. She sat down and took off her skates and then went, carrying them, forlornly to the club-house. Her eyes were wet with tears of anger and sorrow; but to her grieved, astounded senses Floyd turning from her, not broken-hearted and bowed down, but springing to play a game,—that was the Floyd she could not forgive. He had declared an arrogant confidence in his power over her and then—then he had spurned her!

A month later Floyd had his barren triumph. Lydia went abroad; in February she and Stewart were married. Mr. Dunbar, who journeyed over for the wedding and returned the week after it, announced to his friends lugubriously that his daughter had taken affairs into her own hands; he deplored the impatience that had insisted on a ceremony in a comparatively heathen land and a foreign tongue. At the same time he did not conceal a certain