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Page:Stanwood Pier--The ancient grudge.djvu/272

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A PHILANTHROPIST'S IDEA

was a rough picture of Shelton and another man standing aloft emptying one of the ladles of molten metal into the ingot moulds. "Of course I can't paint the picture here; I make just the rough sketch, and then work it up at home as well as I can from memory and imagination. I guess the men think I'm all kinds of a lunatic, but they don't mind me any more."

"You ought to show them a finished copy," Floyd said. "Then they 'd be more sympathetic."

"Oh, they're all right," Stewart answered. "I get on with them very well. I did have one of them come in to my studio and see the picture I'd made of him—Tustin his name was. He was quite pleased, considering what a saturnine cuss he is."

"I'm glad you've got a more pleasant subject this time," Floyd said. "I recognize my old friend Joe Shelton." He waved his hand. "Hello, Shelton," he called; and Shelton waved in reply. A moment later, having emptied his ladle, he descended from his perch.

"I never expected an artist would want to make a picture of me," he said, looking at the canvas curiously. "I don't come out very clear in it yet, do I?" he asked Stewart with disappointment.

"Not yet, but you will," Stewart assured him.

"That's good. When a man has his picture done just once in a lifetime, he wants it so 's folks will know it's him. Mr. Halket, there ain't any truth in that newspaper yam this morning, is there?"

"If you read that, you know just about as much concerning it as I do," Floyd answered.

He felt temporarily comforted when Shelton interpreted this evasive reply as a frank assurance that there was no truth in the story.

"I guessed it was a fake," Shelton said. "What would Colonel Halket be wanting to use us that way for—and you too? Do you mind, Mr. Halket, I told you once I'd be proud to be working for you? and so I will."