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Page:Stanwood Pier--The ancient grudge.djvu/188

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177
A CLIENT FOR STEWART

and her father are coming down to go over the plans. Want to see them?"

He spread out the drawings for the two houses—Mr. Dunbar's and his own. Floyd bent over them admiringly.

"They look well on paper," he said.

"They'll look a great deal better in reality," Stewart declared with enthusiasm. "They really will." He began explaining, pointing out the particularly effective features. "This of Mr. Dunbar's—it's to be of Pompeiian brick, with red sandstone cornice and pilasters, red tile roof; this great porch, with the four groups of columns and the terrace extending in front of it and beyond it—that's the thing I like especially. Down some distance below this wide flight of steps there's to be a fountain—wait a moment, I have the design for it here—there, don't you think that's pretty good? Don't you, really?"

He showed it with the most sanguine pride and yet waited for Floyd's verdict with open and sincere anxiety. This combination of ingenuous delight in what he had done and eagerness for another's opinion—or praise—was one of Stewart's winning qualities.

"I think it's immense," said Floyd, and then he laughed. "I know mighty little about architecture, but I know you'll draw the clients, all right."

Stewart was giving a graphic description of the dining-room, "to be in Flemish oak, with the panels of the walls filled in with red leather," when the door opened. It was Lydia; she stood for a moment with her lips parted in surprise; then the light of happy recognition danced over her face and she came forward holding out her hand with the one word "Floyd!" He blessed her for that; ever since Stewart had told him she was coming, he had been indulging a painful curiosity as to how she might treat him; he had sometimes been afraid that in the last parting from her he had given her undying offense. But now, as she looked at him with her gray veil drawn up across her