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Page:Stanwood Pier--The ancient grudge.djvu/305

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of gratitude as indications of a modest and retiring spirit. "Don't undervalue your work, my boy," he urged him; "don't be afraid to set a price on it."—("I'll set a price on it," Stewart thought to himself vindictively.)—"I want you to put four of them aside for me. Mark four of them 'sold.'" Colonel Halket consulted his catalogue and read off the titles, pointing to each picture as he did so. "Six: The Forges of Tubal Cain. Eight: The Wire-Drawers. Thirteen: The Blast. Two: Tapping the Heat. I will present two of them to the Library out at New Rome; they can be hung in the Auditorium and they will serve as a stimulus, a source of pride to every working-man who sees them. The other two I want to enjoy for my own personal satisfaction in my own house. Sometime we will discuss the matter of terms; but in any event please remember that those four have been sold."

"I'll send you a bill for them to-morrow," Stewart said. "They're yours at any time."

Colonel Halket's appreciative speech and proposition to buy the four pictures had not been heard by Stewart and Floyd and Marion alone, for they had been sonorously delivered and had drawn groups of apparently inattentive persons who were in reality pricking their ears. Stewart was quite aware of this, and in his glance around thought he saw several among the listeners who would seek to emulate Colonel Halket in securing possession of one or more paintings of "Industrial Life." Meanwhile, the two men and the masculine-looking woman stood before "The Forges of Tubal Cain," taking notes with entire single-mindedness.

Marion and Floyd strolled away.

"It's too easy," said Marion.

"To be really success?" Floyd asked.

"Yes. Don't you think so?"

"I don't know anything about painting," he answered.

"You know a little about success."

"The last man in the world one would appeal to for