Page:Stanwood Pier--The ancient grudge.djvu/181

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about—better to keep it to himself. But you see that's why—I can't at once oblige you." He tried to cheer himself and her with a flippancy.

"Not at once, Floyd." He felt her embrace tightening with a fresh tenderness. "But it does no good to keep an old wound open. One disappointment must not wither a life. If a man can't have the first woman of his choice, it's better that he should take the second, and if he misses her, the third. Nine times out of ten, he'll be congratulating himself over his luck in marrying as he did. Turn your mind away from Lydia; stop thinking about what you've lost and begin thinking about what's left. She is a nice girl, I know—but are n't there any others that you like especially well?"

"Not in that way. But I suppose there are three or four that strike me as more interesting than the average," Floyd admitted.

"That's it!" cried his grandmother with enthusiasm. "Three or four! Now you pick on one of them—any one—and say to yourself—'Now suppose I actually were thinking of that girl for a wife! How would she do?' Ask yourself that every time you see her. Take the most attractive girl you know—and just bear that in mind with regard to her. Love does n't always spring up full-grown in the human breast. It depends on all kinds of things—suggestion and care and nourishment. You might take any of the girls who were here to-night—May Pennington or Marion Clark, for instance; Marion's pretty and lovable and attractive—and I have an idea you'd find her responsive; I was watching her at dinner. Well, I would recommend this just as an experiment."

For answer, Floyd laughed and shook his head. "Ah no. Grandmother, I can't do it that way; I know how it once came to me, and if I'm ever to have it again it's got to come the same way. I can't force it and manufacture it; maybe some people can, but they could n't if