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Page:Stanwood Pier--The ancient grudge.djvu/271

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some richer. I don't know as it will make him much happier."

He tossed the cylinder of paper into his waste-basket, and touched a bell summoning a stenographer. Floyd rose to go, and Gregg said with his infrequent, mild smile, "Of course, Mr. Halket, you understand I'm not advising any man how to run his business."

"Oh, no!" Floyd laughed. "But a person may sometimes pass an observation."

As he went out he did not guess that the chagrin and disappointment which had shown so distinctly on Gregg's face had been mainly for him; yet it was indeed an indignation over an act which was depriving Floyd of his expected rights that had seized the superintendent most forcibly. It seemed to Gregg a piece of injustice to bring a boy up to the steel business, put him through a hard apprenticeship, and then, when he was at last fully prepared, to sell his inheritance over his head and deprive him of the opportunity to practice what he had learned.

"Of course he'll have a big fortune," Gregg reflected to himself. "But a young man ought to have his chance to do what he's expected and studied to do. It's not fair to him to take away the chance."

He felt a certain dull resentment toward Colonel Halket in behalf of himself, in behalf of all the employees of the works. Their positions were probably secure; and yet it seemed a rather disloyal thing that Colonel Halket had done, especially to those who had spent long lives in his service.

Floyd, leaving the superintendent's office, passed on into the works, where he wished to inspect some new machinery that had been set up that week. Just inside the doorway of Open-Hearth Number Two he came upon a curious sight,—Stewart Lee in light overcoat and cap painting at an easel. "Hello, Stewart," he said, and the painter turned suddenly. "What are you at now?"

"Just a sketch to work from," Stewart explained. It