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Page:Stanwood Pier--The ancient grudge.djvu/420

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409
WIDENING THE BREACH

of that. They won't hold out indefinitely against a waiting game."

Gregg shook his head. "Things won't go on quietly indefinitely," was his comment.

"Has there been any annoyance of Farrell—or Tibbs?"

"None that I have heard of—yet. Well, they may let the old man alone. But I'll bet they've got it in for Farrell."

"Oh, I think it's talk," Floyd said. "Nothing but talk."

He knew that his radiant confidence was insincere; he comforted himself by reflecting that a newly engaged and entirely happy man ought to put a radiant face on all matters. There was, however, a similar lurking insincerity even in his consciousness of happiness; now that he was away from Marion he found himself remembering the unpleasant little sensation given him by her boast of ultimate control over his emotions. Worst of all, he seemed to remember this quite as vividly as he did the more agreeable feelings with which she had inspired him. One memory seemed to set itself against the other and balance it. He felt as if he were merely wearing the mask of the successful lover. He upbraided himself for letting this trivial thing qualify his delight in winning so nice a girl; it was contemptible. He could of course look upon his successful wooing cheerfully, as a comfortable solution of life; Marion would always be a most satisfactory companion. But he had entered into the engagement with far more enthusiasm than this; he could not understand why it should so soon have faded.

In the course of the morning he telephoned to Lydia and asked if she was to be at home that afternoon; finding that she was, he said that he would come in to see her, as he had something to communicate. When he arrived at her house, he guessed that she had anxiously been awaiting him; for no sooner had he entered the hall than