The Ancient Grudge/Chapter 3
At the beginning of the sophomore year it came to Floyd's understanding that Stewart and Jim Hobart had been elected into a club; there they ate and sat, and did what studying seemed to them necessary. For the time being they seemed to Floyd, who was in training for football, to have withdrawn entirely from the rest of the college world. On Sundays he usually took luncheon with the Lees in Boston, and these were almost the only occasions when he saw his room-mate. Sometimes Stewart did not appear for this Sunday meal, having been at a club dinner in Cambridge the night before, and finding it necessary to send Floyd in to his mother with the most plausible invention he could command. So Floyd would sit alone with Mrs. Lee and Anna, and afterwards the little girl would call on him to perform tricks with a silver quarter; she no longer believed in them as she had done at first, but she never gave up trying to detect how he did them. They became very good friends, Mrs. Lee and Anna and the boy.
One afternoon in December, when Floyd was walking from the laboratory to his room, he heard his name called behind him, and turning saw Stewart.
"I have n't seen you for a dog's age," said Stewart, coming up and linking his arm in Floyd's, "and I can't stay but a moment with you now; I'm in an awful rush. What I want to know is, have you any engagement for next Friday night?"
"No," Floyd answered; "none."
"That's good; you would n't have been allowed to keep it if you had. We're arranging to get you good and sewed up that night—down at the club."
Floyd looked at him blankly. "What! You mean—I'm—I'm elected?"
"Of course, that's just what I mean, you old fool!" cried Stewart, laughing and giving Floyd a good-natured slap on the back. "I've got to run; I have a date, and I'm late as usual. But I 'm awfully glad you're elected, Floyd."
And then, before he ran away, he gave his room-mate not a good-natured thump, but a gentle, affectionate little tap.
It was a raw, cloudy afternoon, the moisture in the air clung like a net to one's face, and the streets along which Floyd took his unheeding way were bare and dreary; but he would not have been happier if it had been an afternoon in spring, with the birds calling from trees and hedges. He was indifferent to social honors, but this election revived his hope of coming again into close relations with Stewart; more than that, it pleased him as a sign that Stewart cared for him. He laughed to himself now at the way in which the boy had notified him of the event; it seemed to him the most genial, merry, affectionate way. When at last from a hilltop he turned his face homeward, a few scattered lights of Cambridge were appearing in the dusk; he watched for new flashes, the thickening glow on the bosom of the town. "That's the way it happens," he murmured to himself. "First one little light inside you, and then another, and then you warm up all of a sudden."
He learned afterwards that Stewart had made a personal issue of his election, battering down the opposition of members who did not know him or thought he would not be quite "genial;" Stewart had gone about, cajoling, demanding, proclaiming, "He's my room-mate, he's the best fellow that ever lived, he's a hero too, and saved my life and almost lost his own." And nobody had thought it worth while to oppose such a headstrong, determined canvass.
Stewart did his best to make Floyd at home in the club; he sat with him at dinners, he would call Floyd from another room to join the group gathered about the piano to sing, and then he would stand leaning on Floyd's shoulder. Yet there was always a faint politeness in his manner toward his room-mate, a veiled deferential constraint which had suffered few lapses since the day he had beaten him on the back and called him an old fool. And he was conscious that, in spite of all his devotion, he was failing to make Floyd "go;" Floyd did not show quite the right side to the other fellows, and they did not show quite the right side to him.
"It's damned fine the way you stand by a friend," Jim Hobart said to Stewart. Jim had an antipathy to Floyd and created a little sentiment against him, saying that he did n't take an interest and would never get tight with the crowd. "He has a revolving stomach," Stewart pleaded in defense. Everybody agreed that in that case Stewart's devotion was all the more noble.
Suddenly criticism became more impatient. "Oh, what's the use of pushing Floyd Halket everywhere you go!" Jim Hobart exclaimed to Stewart one evening in irritation. "Drop it, for heaven's sake. If you want to come to the theatre with us, come ahead, but we don't want him."
Stewart abhorred the idea of presenting a ridiculous figure; if his championship of Floyd no longer seemed fine, perhaps it was beginning to appear grotesque. Thenceforth Stewart ceased to pay Floyd the obvious little friendly attentions at the club. Floyd, working hard in the laboratory, exercising with the crew candidates in the gymnasium, visiting the club only occasionally, was not aware of any change.
Through Stewart and Mrs. Lee, Floyd received invitations to dances in Boston. "You'd better go to the Vanes'," Stewart advised. "A friend of yours from Avalon will be there, and she'll be disappointed if you don't come—Lydia Dunbar."
"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."
"Oh," she said, looking up at him with a smile, and the sincerity of her voice made this one of the shining moments of his life, "I love to do this for you. And it's such a little thing!"
But Floyd insisted that the lesson should end; he led her out and danced with her, and she told him he was a credit to his teacher. Then some one came and took her away from him, and Floyd was introduced to other girls. He tried to dance with them, but they gave a scooping sort of motion to their bodies as they glided; it was a new thing in Boston that winter, and the girls were emulating one another in the practice of it. Lydia had not attempted it, and it introduced into the waltz a problem with which Floyd could not cope. He adopted Lydia's gentle, apologetic phrase, "I'm sorry; I don't seem able to dance that nice way you do;" and then, having drawn a good-natured laugh from his partner, he felt a humorous shame at the success of his second-hand utterance. Most of the time he stood in the doorway among the superfluous boys. Lydia had become immensely popular; in the intermissions boys swarmed about her; as she danced, she slanted laughs right and left, her cheeks glowed with a richer color, a tendril of hair, shaken down, hung at her temple, curling round into her face; at a sudden turn of her head it fluttered across her laugh caressingly. Floyd would have liked to dance with her again, but he felt it would be hardly fair; already she had given him a good part of her evening, and now to ask her to bump round with him when she was finding so many better partners—no, he wouldn't ask her. But finally she sent for him, pretended to be aggrieved because he had not come of his own accord, and said that she was n't engaged for the next waltz. With all his blundering, that dance made a happy climax to his evening.
The next morning he came into his room after a ten o'clock lecture and found Stewart bending over his drawing-board.
"Something for the 'Lampoon'?" asked Floyd, knowing that Stewart had made one or two sketches for the paper.
"No—that is," Stewart said, jumping up and snatching the picture close to his breast, "it's not finished yet."
He tucked it away behind his desk, and Floyd sat down at the other side of the room to study. By and by he was conscious that Stewart had gently taken out his drawing-board again and resumed work on it. Once Floyd looked up from his book and saw his room-mate's face intent and illuminated by an amused smile. Floyd smiled in sympathy and wished that he, too, had a gift for drawing.
At noon Floyd rose.
"Got it done yet?" he asked, putting on his hat.
"No, not yet," Stewart answered, and he again shielded the picture from inspection.
Some time after luncheon Floyd dropped into the club. As he closed the door, he heard loud laughter in the sitting-room, and entering saw half a dozen fellows with their backs turned toward him examining something on the opposite wall.
"Just like him!" one of the fellows said; and then Stewart turned, caught sight of Floyd, and tore the sketch from the wall. He stood with it under his arm, undecided and flushed.
"Oh, go on, let Halket see it!" cried Jim Hobart, grabbing an edge of the drawing. "Here, Halket, look here!"
Stewart, seeing that concealment was impossible, relinquished his hold on the picture and allowed Hobart and the others to exhibit it. Floyd saw a series of caricatures representing himself in a ballroom—a square, stiff-legged figure with a wooden block of a head, an unmistakable if extravagant likeness. The first sketch showed him dancing, with a thick splay hand spread upon his partner's back, a wide flat smile directed foolishly over her head, and one foot ripping a flounce from the bottom of another girl's dress. Underneath was written, "Could n't you just die waltzing!" In the second picture he presented the same fatuous figure of abstracted enjoyment, except that his head was tilted a little farther back, and his eyes were half closed. By this time the torn flounce had wound round and round his leg, and the girl, beginning to suffer from exposure, stood helplessly staring at the trailing yards; others were gazing with amusement or disgust at the rapt dancer. The picture was labeled, "Do you like to talk while you're waltzing?" The third and last exhibited the hero with head thrown far back, his wide flat smile fixed on the ceiling, his eyes closed in final ecstasy; the flounce had now wound his leg from the ankle to the thigh, a spiral bandage; the victim was reduced to a mere ballet skirt, and stood covering her face in shame. The title was, "What a heavenly dance!"
Floyd laughed as he studied the pictures. "That's just the way I felt," he said, turning to Stewart. "Why did n't you tell me what you were doing? I'd have posed for you."
"Oh, I don't know," Stewart answered in some confusion. "You were busy, you know." He picked up the drawings and started toward the fire with them.
"Here! what are you going to do?" cried Floyd, running after him. "Don't burn them. Post 'em up on the wall here; give the other fellows a laugh. They're too good to burn."
He took them from Stewart and tacked them up in the place where they had been exhibited when he entered. Then he stood off and, surveying them again, said a little ruefully, "They do look like me, don't they?"
"Oh, not really,—not very much," one of the boys assured him.
Stewart detached himself from the group, and sitting apart in a corner began to read a magazine. After a while the others left the club, all except Floyd, who had stretched himself prone on the big window-seat and was working out a problem in mathematics. Then Stewart came over to him.
"Floyd," he said, "I want to beg your pardon. It was a low-down thing for me to do."
Floyd raised his eyes slowly; his face looked dull in its effort to comprehend.
"What are you talking about?" he asked.
"The picture," Stewart answered. "I'm ashamed of having made fun of you that way."
"Why," cried Floyd, "it was—" And then he stopped short. Looking up at Stewart's downcast face and evasive eyes, he began to understand. He sat up, and then reaching out dragged Stewart down to the seat beside him.
"See here," he said, "why do you treat me differently from your other friends? If you'd made that drawing of Jim Hobart, you'd have rushed right off to show it to him. You'd never have apologized. What's the matter, Stewart?"
"There's a difference," Stewart replied uneasily. "I can do things to other fellows that I ought n't to you. I owe you too much—and I can't forget it—or if I do forget it, then I'm ashamed and ungrateful. You see, when you owe a fellow your life—"
He stopped with a helpless wave of the hand. Floyd was silent. Stewart sat with one foot cocked up over his knee, plucking nervously at his shoe-strings.
"You see," he went on, "you have an advantage over me, a perfectly hopeless advantage; nothing I can ever do, nothing I can ever say, can even things up between us. And I hate this knowing inside me that I'm always at a disadvantage."
"Well," said Floyd, after a moment, "I hate to hear you talk of 'evening things up' and 'being at a disadvantage.' It sounds almost as if you had a grudge to square off." He laughed uncomfortably, while Stewart's fingers worked at the shoe-string, untying it, retying it. "Oh, Stewart,"—and he pinched the firm muscles of the boy's leg gently with his big hand,—"I don't want you to act toward me in any way that is n't natural to you; but if you do have a joke on me, for heaven's sake spring it, and don't think about hurting my feelings. And if ever I get the same chance, I'll lay it on to you just as hard as I can."
He gave the leg a final squeeze and then slid down from the window-seat and got his hat.
"Going along?" he asked.
If Stewart had gone with him that time and the two had talked the matter out and then turned to ordinary things, it might all have been different. But for no particular reason Stewart was prompted to say, "No, I think I'll stay here awhile and read;" and Floyd departed, not realizing that he had separated himself from his room-mate. The magnanimity with which Floyd had treated him rankled in Stewart's jealous disposition; the episode that Floyd promptly forgot left in Stewart a sting. He had spoken truly in saying that he could not endure to be at a disadvantage. In the days that followed he glanced back frequently on this interview with a sense that Floyd had pressed his advantage. Gradually to his mind Floyd's magnanimity became remote and shaded into an exaction.
"Why should he expect me to slap him on the back and lean on his neck if I don't feel like it?" became the discontented question that Stewart asked himself, perverting the lesson of the episode. He drew no more caricatures of his room-mate and he had no jokes to "spring."
They rubbed along together for the rest of the year, during which time their intimacy diminished. Floyd became involved in athletics and was in training the year round; his chemistry engrossed him morning and afternoon on most days; one evening a week he taught mathematics at the University Settlement House; he had little leisure to give to the clubs and societies into which Stewart and his other friends drew him. For Stewart was still loyal in doing all he could for his room-mate, even while disapproving of his pursuits. Athletics, chemistry, "philanthropic work among the laboring classes"—even if one had a keen interest in them and expected, as Floyd sometimes declared he did, to pass one's life in intimate relations with them—seemed to Stewart a lamentable perversion of a college career. He had no remorse whatever for his own, diversified as it was by adventurous experiences with the Faculty and, once or twice, with the Cambridge police.
The break came one afternoon in the fall of their junior year. The Harvard football eleven was playing a game with an Indian college team; Floyd had arrived early and taken a seat in the middle section of the stand. The first half had hardly begun when the spectators near the gate rose and cheered something that was evidently not a feature of the game; the others stood up in curiosity, and finally Floyd saw three odd figures dancing along at the foot of the bank of seats. Clad in red and blue blankets ornamented with beads, wearing feather head-dresses and yellow moccasins, and with their faces hideously painted, they came capering and yelling. Floyd stared. Then he saw that they were closely followed by Stewart and Jim Hobart. They stopped in front of the centre section; Stewart and Jim led them up to seats beside Floyd, who now recognized the three as sophomores recently elected into a society of which he was a member. Stewart and Jim had evidently taken them in hand and devised this performance as part of their initiation.
Stewart, having seated himself, turned to Floyd with a gleam of enthusiastic amusement.
"Pretty good Indians, are n't they?" he said. "Look at their tom-toms." He pointed to the tin pails slung at their waists, on which they had been beating with drumsticks. "Between the halves we're going to send them out on the field to do a war-dance."
"What! right before the Indian team?" asked Floyd.
"Yes; why not?" Stewart answered sharply.
He turned and talked in an undertone to Jim Hobart, and Floyd gave his attention to the game. At the end of the half, when the Indian team came over to the substitutes' bench to wrap themselves in blankets, Stewart turned to the neophytes.
"Go down into the middle of the field and do a war-dance," he commanded.
They rose obediently and started to pass out into the aisle.
"Sit down!" cried Floyd.
They hesitated; they knew that he was a member of the society, and that they were as much subject to his orders as to Stewart's. But Stewart turned upon him with his eyes flashing.
"Mind your own business," he said.
Floyd caught him by the arm.
"Stewart," he said, "don't make a fool of yourself. Cool off. You neophytes, sit down."
Stewart, red with anger and with his lips trembling, looked at Floyd. Then he leaned back in his seat and nodded to the neophytes.
"Sit down," he said curtly.
After the game he let Jim Hobart conduct his Indians from the field; he himself fell back and walked silently with Floyd. Together they turned aside from the crowd into an unfrequented street.
"That ends it," Stewart said suddenly, stopping and facing Floyd. "You seem to think that what you once did for me gives you the right to rule me. You think you have only to turn on the screws. Well, you've done it, you've humiliated me, you can have that satisfaction. You've made me know that having once saved my life you look on me as somehow your property—"
"Stewart!" cried Floyd in reproach.
"Oh, it had to come," Stewart swept on; "the sooner the better, I suppose. There can be no real friendship between us."
Floyd looked at him in silence.
"Good Lord, Stewart!" he cried at last, stretching out his hand. Then he saw it was in vain, and for a moment his attitude changed and his face hardened. "I have never done or said anything to you that I regret," he stated proudly.
"I will say this much," Stewart conceded. "I don't blame you more than myself. It was my mistake. After you pulled me out of the water, I ought never to have seen you again—except once, to thank you. You had too great an advantage over me; it was something I could never forget."
"It was something of which I was never conscious," answered Floyd. "Well, I am sorry, Stewart."
Jim Hobart had a spare bedroom, and Stewart arranged to go in with him. That year Stewart spent a few days of his Christmas vacation visiting the Dunbars in Avalon, and did not let Floyd know of his presence in the town; and Floyd, learning of it afterwards, felt a little contemptuous of his former friend.
Yet as time passed and the senior year ran its course, they lost the sense of bitterness. Stewart, who had an ability for political management, helped to secure Floyd's election to an important Class Day office, and said to him lightly, "No matter how we act, we know who are the best people." And one Sunday in May, when Floyd entered the club, which for a couple of years he had visited but little, he found Stewart there alone.
"Let's go for a walk in the country and see the apple blossoms," suggested Stewart after a while.
They took a car to Lexington, and then walked all the way to Concord along the Great Road that the British troops had traversed in distress more than a century before. Now and then they paused to read a sign over a cottage door, commemorating some rustic patriot of that day, who with flint-lock and powder-horn had joined the neighbors behind the stone wall of the pasture, had lain there with musket primed, awaiting the first flutter of scarlet down the long road against the green of the spring, waiting until the first flutter spread and split into the broken ranks of soldiery, and then—
"What are you thinking of?" asked Stewart, as Floyd stood looking up at one of the memorial signs.
"Just of how the British went by here—running, with their tongues hanging out of their mouths," answered Floyd. "That's the gloating sentence I remember in my boys' history. And I was wondering about this Jonathan Hawkins that lived here—and probably squatted behind that wall. I was sort of hoping that as the poor devils jogged by he and the others did n't fire."
"If he did," said Stewart, "with a name like that I'll bet he could shoot straight. That's one thing you notice about these names along here; somehow they call up men with a steady gray eye and no smile."
A little farther on they climbed over a fence and came out on a warm; sunny hillside. The Concord River flowed below, glimmering through the vivid green spray of the arching willows; here and there along it a swamp-maple showed pink, and across the stream on the crest of the opposing hillside an apple orchard in full bloom sunned itself, lying there like a tinted cloud against the sky. The boys sat down to rest; the spot was quiet; a canoe slipped by on the stream, and the flashing of the paddle, the voices of the man and the girl came faintly up to them through the foliage; then at the bend in the river the sound and the sight faded away.
"What will you do when you graduate?" Stewart asked after an interval of silence.
"I'm going abroad for a year; then I'm going into my grandfather's mills," Floyd answered.
"I was in a steel mill once," Stewart remarked. "It's my idea of hell—at least it gave me an idea of hell. But of course you won't have to bother with that; you'll be in the offices."
"No," said Floyd. "I'm going through the whole thing."
"Stripped to the waist and broiling at a furnace!" exclaimed Stewart. "Well, it seems like martyrdom to me."
"It won't be that, for it will be interesting," Floyd answered. "If you'd gone in for athletics more, Stewart, you'd know what fun it is, when you're stripped for it, to get tired and blown and knocked around. And here you add to that, the fun of making something."
Stewart shook his head.
"You wait," he said. "Your hands will be black and greasy from one year's end to another; you can't get them clean; you'll have to go to meals with dirty hands; it seems a trifle, but I should go nutty like Lady Macbeth if all the scrubbing in the world could n't make my hands clean. What's the use anyway of working! How much better just to keep moving round and round the world, following the spring!"
"Is that what you mean to do?" asked Floyd.
"Oh, I have a streak of New England conscience. I'm going to study architecture. I don't know where I shall settle down." After a pause he added, "I think Avalon might be a good place."
"You were out there a year ago."
"Yes." Stewart plucked a bunch of grasses and wound them round his finger. "I—I thought of letting you know—of looking you up. And then I felt it might be awkward for you—as well as for me—considering everything. Lydia thought it was queer; she wanted to have you at a dinner party—I was staying at her house—and when she asked me about you, I had to tell her—well, that it was all off and my fault. 'Then we'll have him round and you can make it up,' she said. But I said no, it was just one of those things that could n't be helped, but might come round all right in time. I—I told her it was all my fault, Floyd."
"Oh, it was n't!" Floyd cried, his reserve quite broken down. "If I'd known how to do things tactfully— Stewart, I've always liked you better than any fellow I ever knew!"
He poured out this declaration with an uncontrolled haste unlike his usual deliberateness and with an impulsive yet gentle outward gesture of his hand. Stewart seized it.
"I'm sorry," he said.
Indeed, he had a facile, amiable impulse to show a feeling that would please his old room-mate. And while he continued winding and unwinding the grass stems about his finger, he said,—
"You're the first person we've told, Floyd, outside of our families; Lydia as well as I wanted you to know it long before any one else should. She and I are engaged."
Floyd's dark eyes flashed a question and then a message of delight, even before his lips could frame it. He took Stewart's hand again in his slow, warm grip, murmuring, "Good work, Stewart! good work!" Then, feeling that this was inadequate, he patted him on the back, yet a little awkwardly, saying, "It's fine; it's the finest thing I've heard. I'm awfully glad."
"It's the best thing that ever happened to me—or that ever will happen," said Stewart.
"Yes, and to her, too," Floyd insisted, as sincerely as if his own alliance with Stewart had been the happiest arrangement in the world. "I want to write to her—and tell her what I think of you—what I've always thought. How does it feel, Stewart, to be so happy—so fixed—so—" Ideas even for questions failed him.
"Like this hillside and the sun and the river down there—warm all the time," said Stewart, with a laugh. "Of course," he went on, "it does make a difference in a fellow; it's got to. I've led a pretty wild life here at college and done things I'm ashamed of; and I guess I've turned over a new leaf. Why, I'd sort of taken it for granted, you know, that when I got to Paris and began studying architecture, I'd be as gay as any of them; but I'm glad, I honestly am, that I have somebody that whether she's there or here will keep me straight."
"Well, it's wonderful," Floyd said after a pause. "Being so—complete. Finding you love a girl—and she loves you. How anybody ever dares to—to think she might—to touch her—" The conception was too vast for him to formulate it; he relapsed into silence.
"You'll be finding out some day," Stewart assured him. "It will hit you all of a heap."
Floyd shook his head. "You know, when I think about it—a fellow gets foolish and does sometimes," he interjected deprecatingly—"it seems as if I'd never grow up to it. Why, I remember, just as if it were yesterday—"
He stopped suddenly.
"What?" said Stewart.
"Oh, nothing. It was the day you stayed under water too long. I had n't meant to speak of it."
"Go on," urged Stewart, with a laugh. "I don't mind hearing about it."
"Why, I was just remembering the way Lydia—Miss Dunbar—rowed me ashore—after they'd taken you," Floyd said, sitting up and clasping his hands about his knees. "The way she sat, not crying at all, but with her eyes sort of wet and yet minding what she was about, and pulling just as smooth and coming up just as straight—I remember looking at her wrists as she gripped the oars, and seeing how tanned they were by the sun—and small. I wanted to touch them, I remember; I don't know why, except somehow to let her know I was sorry and would like to help her if I could. It seems foolish, but I guess that was it; anyway, I've always remembered how I wanted to touch those little brown wrists. And then I realized I did n't dare—and I wondered if I'd ever dare—do that sort of thing. I've often wondered since. But how it must feel—to have done it all—even before you've graduated—to—to be so complete!"
"Oh, you'll go and do it some day," Stewart laughed, "just as soon as you've seen the girl. That's the trouble; you've never yet seen the girl."
"I suppose that's it," Floyd said; but even as he spoke, he was thinking of Lydia, and the thought brought her before him with a poignant vividness,—as she had been that day in the boat, as she had appeared to him later among the trees, radiant yet in tears, and said to him, "You will be a hero, always;" as she had stood one evening innocently in his arms, teaching him to dance. He had not many memories of her, for since coming to college he had spent his summers in Canada or abroad and most of his short winter vacations elsewhere than in Avalon; but now he realized with a vague sadness that no other memories of his life had the charm of these. He tried not to show any trace of sadness.
"To be so complete!" he reiterated, and Stewart caught the reverent feeling hidden in the wondering jocoseness of his tone. "It does n't seem right at your age, Stewart, to be so complete."