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Page:Stanwood Pier--The ancient grudge.djvu/205

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So he sat talking with Floyd for a long time, recalling little memories of his wife with a simplicity and vividness that made Floyd's eyes fill with tears. "He understood her better than I ever guessed," Floyd thought, remorseful that in his heart he had reproached his grandfather for lack of sympathy. Never before had he come so near to his grandfather's heart; he was to come yet nearer that evening. When the funeral service was over and he and Colonel Halket had returned to the house, they sat in the dark before the small yellow spots of the gas-fire. And suddenly the Colonel leaned over and, resting his arm and head on Floyd's shoulder, sobbed aloud. He had broken down for the first time in the ten days.

Floyd reached up and pressed his hand silently.

"Oh, Floyd," said the old man in a faltering voice, "I don't know what I shall do. We'd been together for fifty years—your grandmother and I—and now—what am I to do!"

"She'd want you to live and work the way you've always done," Floyd answered.

"Yes, that's something. But it's the lonely hours—when the brain can't work or sleep—I have them often now. It 's the moments through the day when some little thing reminds me—and I stop and stare and think of her. I've never thought much of death; a few days ago I was going on as unconscious of it as if I had all of life before me. And now I don't care much about life; I feel that I'm through."

"She would n't have you feel that way, Grandfather."

"No; you're right, she would n't. It was nothing but her faith that kept me going when your father died. She pulled me through that. But—I 'm older now—and I have n't got her.—'When with the morn those angel faces smile'—they sang that at your father's funeral too, Floyd. If one could only believe it!"

"I thought you did," Floyd said.

"I've tried hard. I've gone to church—and heard