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THE ANCIENT GRUDGE

By noon, Floyd's hands, that he had believed were well toughened, were blistered, and his muscles, that he thought compared not unfavorably with those of the other men, ached. He took his tin dinner-pail in which Mrs. Bell had put up his luncheon of cold beef sandwiches, apple pie, and cold coffee, and seated himself on a bench beside the workman who had entertained him a few days before.

"Ain't used to this kind of thing?" said the workman, not unfriendly, glancing at Floyd's hands.

"No," Floyd said soberly. "But I find that the worst of it is the fumes."

The man stopped with his pie poised in air. "Say," he said, "I thought your face was familiar. Was that you I was joshing the other day?"

"It was," said Floyd.

"And you knowed it all the time and did n't let on. Say, that was a good one. What's your name?"

"Floyd Halket."

"Come off."

"That's right."

"Ah, you're tryin' to get even with me for my jolly."

"I'll get even with you all right. But that's my name."

The man was silent for some time. At last he remarked, mainly to himself, "Well, if that ain't the hell of a note."

"What's your name?" said Floyd.

"Shelton—Joe Shelton."

Floyd drew out his pipe and tobacco-pouch.

"Have some?" And he opened the pouch for his friend.

"Thanks, don't mind if I do," and Shelton dug down with his grimy fingers and wadded a capacious pipe. He turned to Floyd with a twinkle in his eyes. "This what the old man smokes?"

"My grandfather?"

"Yep."

"Once in a while. But he does n't care much for a pipe."