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Page:Stanwood Pier--The ancient grudge.djvu/71

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very much that the girl was not going to be unfriendly, for already he liked the family; he wondered who the third member was.

He seated himself in a rocking-chair on a patchwork cushion. There was an oak bookcase with glass doors in one corner, in which a set of Scott and another of Dickens were conspicuous. It also held a small "handy volume" set of Shakespeare. On the marble-topped centre table beside the large Bible was a copy of "Ben-Hur," bound in alligator skin. On the mantel was a clutter of shells, little china figures, matchsafes, deep-sea crustacea, vases, and above it hung an engraving of the Madonna of the Chair. On the wall opposite was a still-life water-color in a stout gilt frame, the subject, strawberries pouring out of a tin pail that lay on its side. There was an upright piano, and in the corner beside it a bass viol in a green baize cover. All the length of the top of the piano, propped against the wall, ran a line of photographs. The carpet was a faded gray, the wall-paper a cheerless yellow, the window-curtains were of lace, white and clean and with thick-looking mended places. Floyd had leisure enough to examine all that the room contained.

By and by he heard footsteps tripping down the stairs; then the girl entered.

"Don't rise," she said haughtily. "My mother will be down in a moment."

She passed into the dining-room, where she busied herself about the table. Floyd, glanced at her from time to time; her movements were quick and decisive. He was beginning to suspect the cause of her abruptness with him; no doubt she thought he was trying to force an acquaintance. He sat, therefore, meek and patient, and only now and then threw furtive glances at her. She had changed her dress of the afternoon, and wore something now that was light and airy-looking and sprinkled over with red crescents. The sleeves, fringed with lace, reached only to her elbows; there was a blue sash round her