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Page:Stanwood Pier--The ancient grudge.djvu/374

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363
A MAN OF TASTE

build them; they don't interest me. If you'll allow me, I would suggest that you go to Bennett & Durant; it's the sort of work that they're best qualified to undertake."

"But I'd rather have you do it," said Mr. Delafield.

"Thank you; I appreciate your wish; I'm sorry I can't respond. But I have decided to do nothing of that kind."

"Why, it's simple enough,—it ought to be!" cried the client in perplexity. "You can do it, I know, if you want to,—and there's no disgrace in building a warehouse, is there? And the commission ought to be worth while."

"It is n't a matter of being able to do it, or even of the commission; it's merely that the idea does n't interest me, and I'm making it a rule only to work on things that do."

Mr. Delafield good-naturedly expressed his inability to understand such a point of view, "especially when you have this large office force to work for you. But it's very creditable to your conscience, I'm sure, to refuse all work in which you can't feel a personal interest. And you'd recommend Bennett & Durant?"

"For work of this kind, yes. If you are good enough, you might say to Bennett that I made the suggestion."

They parted amiably; the visitor showed himself sensible of Stewart's courtesy, and expressed again his respect for so high a standard of professional conduct as that which the architect displayed. "Sometime maybe I'll be wanting to build something that you'll think is worth while," he suggested genially.

"Thank you," said Stewart,—"if you care to give me another chance. And if you will mention my name to Bennett—"

Mr. Delafield promised as he passed out and left Stewart to the enjoyment of malicious glee. How wrathful Bennett would be to learn that Stewart had contemptuously put aside a hundred thousand dollar job and recommended him for it,—as a fairly competent warehouse architect!