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Page:Stanwood Pier--The ancient grudge.djvu/38

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27
STEWART CONFERS A FAVOR

punch-bowl; the rug was pulled up into a heap in the centre of the room, the red cushion with the large white "H" on it was propped above a picture near the ceiling, an elaborate jest; sticky glasses stood or lay upset on a sticky mantel.

Floyd went to breakfast and then to lectures; at noon, when he returned to his room, there was Stewart, as fresh and blooming as in the midst of revelry.

"It was a wild wet night on the Swedish coast," Stewart informed him. "We organized the Aurora Club; there was some talk of making you join it. We strayed from one room to another, and then at dawn we saw the milk wagons. I got a perfectly crazy idea; we took a bottle of whiskey from Jim Hobart's room and followed a wagon for—oh, I don't know, miles—and wherever it stopped we stopped, too, and turned the can of milk into a milk punch. Everybody in Cambridge had milk punch for breakfast this morning."

Floyd laughed. "Pretty hard on the babies."

"Well, yes," Stewart admitted. "But you don't think much about them when you're perfectly pie-eyed."

"What happened then?" asked Floyd.

"We were chased by a policeman, but I guess he was n't very sincere about catching us. Anyway we'd emptied the bottle by that time. I went back to Jim Hobart's room and had a few hours of innocent slumber on his window-seat. Look here, Floyd; did I say anything nasty and cheap to you last night?"

"No. Why?"

"I was afraid I might have. And I'd rather be anything than cheap when I'm tight. A fellow who gets cheap ought never to get tight.—You took hardly anything; why not?"

"I don't like it," said Floyd.

"You're so confounded hygienic," Stewart complained. "What's the use? We've got only one life to live. Jim Hobart's a gay bird."