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Page:Stanwood Pier--The ancient grudge.djvu/467

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she showed him shy little attentions, a solicitude that amused and pleased him; she "made conversation" with him as eagerly as if he were an unfamiliar visitor to whom she wished to be especially polite. She went to the piano and sang him a new song that she had been practicing that day; he was touched again in a youthful spot by her charm. It was a great comfort to him to find that she was disposed to be his wife again and not his censor—that she was so sweetly trying to atone to him for her injustice. A kindness toward her permeated him; he remembered that it had been a long time since he had shown her a token of this feeling, and he determined that the next day he would look about in the shops downtown until he found something that would be a present worthy of his love.

They went upstairs to dress for dinner; she heard Stewart moving about in his dressing-room, whistling gayly, and that meant, she knew, that he was in a good humor. His whistle slid irrelevantly from aria into rag-time, from rag-time into stately march; and then she heard it swing off into the little song that she had just sung—and that pleased her. He came into her room all dressed before she was quite ready to go down and cried with a boyish glee, "Aha! beat you again, old lady!" She had a happy, fluttering premonition that she would win back her old Stewart this night.

It was not till dinner was half over that she made her attempt. Then she said,—

"I had a call from Marion this afternoon, Stewart."

"And how's Marion?" he asked.

"Nice, as usual. I had to stand up for you, though, against her. Now you'll thank me for that, won't you?" She laughed at him with at the same time a genuine appeal in her eyes for an expression of his pleasure. He did not deny her this.

"You took my part; good for you. Marion was pretty rough on me, was she?"

"Oh, no, she really was n't, Stewart; she only thought