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THE ANCIENT GRUDGE

than her companions. He awaited the Evening Telegram with impatience. When it came, in one respect at least it did not disappoint him. It did not present an insipid rehash of Colonel Halket's opinions and commendations. The Evening Telegram was the newspaper which had waxed merry and scornful at the expense of Colonel Halket's Autobiography. It was a cynical and irreverent paper, and was recklessly Democratic in Avalon—a town where the really orthodox believed no less in a high protective tariff and the Republican party than in the doctrines of the Presbyterian Church. Its normal attitude was one of defiance, and the respectable persons of the community, who read it because it was too trenchant and aggressive to be ignored, felt that it never gave its support to the good, the true, the beautiful. It was "breezy " and frankly scurrilous; and hitherto no one had found it more amusing than Stewart.

"Mr. Stewart Lee held his exhibition of amateur paintings at the Avalon Club yesterday," said the Evening Telegram, "We say amateur advisedly; we do not suppose that Mr. Lee would care to have any professional standard of criticism applied to his work, and it would be needless as well as unprofitable cruelty to break a butterfly upon the wheel. The well-known litterateur and philanthropist, Colonel Halket, was on hand, pointing out various imaginary merits and beauties to those within reach of his voice. It is rumored that Colonel Halket contemplates purchasing and suppressing the entire collection. The others present were Tom Cary and his Hundred and Forty-Nine, and the three representatives of the Press, the Eagle. and the Telegram."

Stewart's face burned while he read the paragraph.

"What do they say, dear?" asked Lydia.

He held the newspaper out to her, and after a first frown or two she broke into a laugh.

"Good Heaven! you can laugh at that!" cried Stewart in disgust.