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THE ANCIENT GRUDGE

off and pocketed, and the left side of each collar unbuttoned, to correspond to Floyd's, which had been torn loose and was sticking up about his ear. Then they went round, scuffing and stepping on one another's shoes, to give them the battered appearance possessed by Floyd's. Highly amused by all this, Floyd suggested that they still lacked something to complete the likeness,—a swollen eye. This was admitted, and there was some discussion as to how a swollen eye could be best obtained, but no one wished to make the first experiment. The boy whose button had been pressed achieved a discovery. "Why, it's getting the swollen eye that would make us heroes!" And then Jim Hobart struck out a solution of the difficulty, declaring haughtily, "After all, we are gentlemen, not heroes." For some time after that they took turns in stalking up to Floyd, snapping their fingers at him, and saying in a lordly voice, "After all, we are gentlemen, not heroes."

At two o'clock Floyd felt that so far as he was concerned, this diverting evening must close. He announced,

"I must turn in. Football practice begins to-morrow. Good-night, fellows." He stepped into his bedroom and closed the door.

As he undressed, he heard a murmur of discussion that his withdrawal had provoked. Suddenly Stewart's voice, high-pitched and silencing, rang out.

"No, you don't either! I would n't care if it was anybody but a hero. But I owe him my life—and you'll let him alone."

Floyd smiled, touched by the maudlin loyalty that was protecting him from annoyance. He crawled into bed; the scuffling, singing, and laughter went on in the next room, but Floyd in his healthy weariness soon fell asleep.

The next morning when he went to rouse Stewart, he found an empty room and an untouched bed. He dressed himself, surveying the disorder of the night before; his own desk was encumbered with all the books and papers that Stewart had removed from his to make room for the