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Page:Stanwood Pier--The ancient grudge.djvu/472

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461
STEWART TAKES THE FIELD

last he had Floyd in his power! These two thoughts, these two inspirations mingled, and stimulated his brain. As he waited upon the street corner for a car, he ran swiftly over the specific details on which Lydia had so pathetically enlarged, assigned to each its dramatic value, sought with a swift imagination the fiery suggestion that their presentment might contain. Sentences sprang to life whose energy shook him even as he stood. It was a fine mild November night, with the stars shining, the half-moon gleaming among the denuded trees, with no sound except that of a wagon rattling in the distance; then the car that he was to take swung round the curve, and as he stepped out into the street, he flung one hand up and cried hilariously,—

"David and Uriah! David and Uriah!"

When he entered the car, the two girls who were the only other passengers ascribed to their own charms the radiance of his handsome face. They directed at him provocative smiles, but he sat in a corner quite unconscious of their presence and fitted together the speech which was to emancipate New Rome.

It was not yet nine o'clock when he entered the headquarters of the executive committee. Tustin, Caskey, and McGraw were there awaiting him.

"What's happened?" McGraw asked excitedly. "What's up?"

Stewart had no intention of making any premature disclosures. "Have you called a meeting?" he asked. "Have you got the men together?"

"There's quite a crowd at the hall now," Tustin answered. "There's others coming. When I got your telephone, I sent out at once and began rounding 'em up. We've got Pulaski down there to hold 'em—all he's got to tell 'em is that important news is coming to 'em from Avalon."

"Then we'll go right down there," said Stewart.

"Hold on. It may be all right—but we'd like to hear