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THE ANCIENT GRUDGE

"Is she in town?" asked Moyd.

"Not yet, but she will be; she'll be at the Vanes'," Stewart repeated.

Floyd looked forward to the event with less reluctance than before. He was an awkward dancer and bashfully apprehensive of strange girls, but the prospect of seeing Lydia Dunbar again altered the forbidding aspect of the evening. When he entered the ballroom, hers was the first figure that he spied, and he made for her at once. She was just rising to dance, but she waited to give him her hand.

"You'll come up for the next, won't you?" she said. "Don't forget, please."

She floated away, nodding and smiling at him over her partner's shoulder.

He followed her with his eyes. When she disappeared in a swirl of dancers, he watched intently for glimpses of her blue dress, of her slender, leaning figure, and of her brown head with the white plume in her hair. How well she danced, he thought; the boy, too, he had to include the boy.

When his own turn came, he discovered his inappropriateness. Trying to talk into her ear, he blundered with his feet, he seemed always out of step and jigging instead of gliding, he bumped her knees, he tore some one's gown. At last she said to him, "I don't know what is the matter with me; I don't seem able to dance that nice way you do. Let's sit down."

"Yes, let's," said Floyd, with a frank laugh. "Or—don't you want to teach me to dance the nice way you do?"

"All right," she agreed. "We can go into the little room off here."

She taught him seriously in spite of her laughter; boys kept interrupting to ask her to dance, but she sent them all away, Stewart among them. Floyd at last protested. "I'm spoiling your evening; I wish you'd dance."