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THE ANCIENT GRUDGE

"Lydia, you remember that Women's Club-House I built a couple of years ago out at New Rome?"

"Yes," she said. "Why?"

"I didn't do a good job with that," he answered. "I've never liked to confess it—but I did n't. And I've always thought I should like to make it up somehow to Floyd."

"I'm glad to hear you say that, dear. I can tell you now; that was one of the few times when you ever disappointed me."

"Yes, and I want to redeem myself. And I've got my chance. Lydia, I've been working on plans for the Halket Hospitals."

Lydia uttered a low exclamation. "Have you been chosen?" she asked. "Papa has n't said a word to me about it."

"No, I have n't been chosen—yet," Stewart answered. "But I think I can show good reason now why I should be. And with your father and Floyd for me, I guess there won't be any opposition from Mr. Barstow; he's the third trustee, you remember."

"And what makes you think that Papa and Floyd will want to have you for architect? It is n't as if it were just a little house that one would naturally ask a friend to build; three great hospitals, that are to belong to the city, and to cost two million dollars!—"

"Ah, but when they see my plans!" Stewart exclaimed in gay assurance. "Lydia, a fellow knows when he s got a positive inspiration. It came to me as I sat in the park the other day, looking up at the site; it came to me slowly, as if it were emerging from a dream;—but at last it was all as distinct in my mind as a little foreign picture of something I had seen. A sort of Grecian effect and atmosphere—that was the thing for hospitals—to give the serenity, the calm and quiet, having some soothing charm; I began to see there was nothing for this but Greek. And then, as I say, the picture began to emerge. More than