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THE ANCIENT GRUDGE

him as but two out of a multitude of matters which had suddenly been transformed—by the stroke of his grandfather's pen—from petty details to large issues and embarrassments.

When he came down to dinner it was hard to meet his grandfather's unsatisfied appetite for comment and appreciation.

"I suppose you did n't hear anything said about it downtown to-day?" Colonel Halket asked. "Of course the magazine was out only this morning, but I thought somebody might have read it. You heard nothing at the club at noon? Well, I guess in a few days it will make some talk."

"Oh, you'll hear from it," Floyd assured him. "The newspapers here will be reprinting it—and you'll hear from it—from all sides."

"Not altogether favorably, you think, eh? Well, there's nothing I like better than to stir people up now and then. I've spoken out the truth as I've learned it from a long apprenticeship; and other people can learn from it or not—as they please."

"You have n't told me yet why you would n't let me see the article when it was written," Floyd said, returning to his first question.

"Oh, I just wanted to surprise you—in case it was good enough to print; and if it was n't, I did n't want to be mortified by showing it to any one," laughed Colonel Halket; he was in a merry mood.

"I hope you don't intend to be so secretive with the Autobiography," Floyd said.

"I think it's quite likely," replied his grandfather.

"But I might perhaps be able to make suggestions," Floyd urged.

"I don't want them. I want the thing to be my own—down to the last word. I don't want even you—or anybody—to read it till it's all done and in print. It's pretty nearly done, too."