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THE ANCIENT GRUDGE

"Yes, probably," Stewart said. "But Lydia and the baby have got to clear out—soon, too. I've objected to their staying here so late as this—but Lydia's been insisting that she would n't go till I did—"

"She shall go to Chester when I go," said her father decisively. "Her mother wants her and your mother wants her, and I want the baby, and—"

"Oh, I'm going, I'm going," cried Lydia. "Only I can't leave until this hospital matter is settled one way or the other; I'm too excited over it, and I should n't be able to sleep away from home."

"Well, it will be settled," said her father, with the dignified assurance that was becoming to Colonel Halket's successor.

The next day Mr. Dunbar visited Floyd in his office.

"I had some rather unexpected light on the hospital matter yesterday," he began. "I thought I'd let you know about it at once. It appears that as soon as the announcement was made, Stewart—my son-in-law—began trying his hand—in just a tentative way at first—at some plans."

Floyd frowned at his blotter and turned his desk-key back and forth, back and forth nervously. But Mr. Dunbar did not observe his disturbed expression; finding it rather difficult to continue in the most tactful manner, he was looking temporarily out of the window for suggestion.

"Well," he resumed, "from having gone into the thing just to see what he could do with such a problem, Stewart seems to me really to have arrived—as the French say. I was looking at his plans last night, and they're really extraordinary—both from the æsthetic and utilitarian point of view. I never knew before what a thorough study the boy has made of hospitals—they've been a kind of hobby of his in an architectural way, it appears—and the composition of the buildings—I dare say that's not the right term, but you know what I mean—the general effect—is beautiful—so restful and serene—just