John Gayther s Garden and the Stories Told Therein
190 pages
English

John Gayther's Garden and the Stories Told Therein

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190 pages
English
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The Project Gutenberg EBook of John Gayther's Garden and the Stories Told Therein, by Frank R. Stockton This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: John Gayther's Garden and the Stories Told Therein Author: Frank R. Stockton Release Date: September 23, 2007 [EBook #22737] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK JOHN GAYTHER'S GARDEN *** Produced by Alexander Bauer, Suzanne Shell and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net John Gayther's Garden and the Stories Told Therein "Are you going to ask me to marry your husband if you should happen to die?" John Gayther's Garden and the Stories Told Therein By Frank R.

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Publié le 08 décembre 2010
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The Project Gutenberg EBook of John Gayther's Garden and the Stories Told
Therein, by Frank R. Stockton
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
Title: John Gayther's Garden and the Stories Told Therein
Author: Frank R. Stockton
Release Date: September 23, 2007 [EBook #22737]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK JOHN GAYTHER'S GARDEN ***
Produced by Alexander Bauer, Suzanne Shell and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.netJohn Gayther's Garden and
the Stories Told Therein"Are you going to ask me to marry your husband if you should
happen to die?"
John Gayther's Garden and
the Stories Told Therein
By Frank R. Stockton
ILLUSTRATEDCharles Scribner's Sons
New York 1902
Copyright, 1902, by
Charles Scribner's Sons
Published November, 1902
THE DEVINNE PRESS
[v]CONTENTS
PAGE
John Gayther's Garden 3
I What I Found in the Sea 9
Told by John Gayther
II The Bushwhacker Nurse 39
Told by the Daughter of the House
III The Lady in the Box 71
Told by John Gayther
IV The Cot and the Rill 109
Told by the Mistress of the House
V The Gilded Idol and the
King Conch-shell 155
Told by the Master of the House VI My Balloon Hunt 201
Told by the Frenchman
VII The Foreign Prince and the
Hermit's Daughter 223
Told by Pomona and Jonas
[vi]VIII The Conscious Amanda 249
Told by the Daughter of the House
IX My Translatophone 279
Told by the Old Professor
X The Vice-consort 307
Told by the Next Neighbor
XI Blackgum ag'in' Thunder 341
Told by John Gayther
[vii]ILLUSTRATIONS
"Are you going to ask
me to marry your
husband if you
should happen to
die?" Frontispiece
FACING PAGE
The gardener began
promptly 74
"I made him dig up
whole beds of
things" 148
The great beast was
drawing up his hind
legs and was
climbing into the car 214
Miss Amanda listened
with the most eager
and overpowering
attention 258And dreamed waking
dreams of
blessedness 294
"Do you mean," I cried,
"that you would
make him a better
wife than I do?" 336
"Abner, did you ever
hear about the eggs
of the great auk?" 356
[3]JOHN GAYTHER'S GARDEN
The garden did not belong to John Gayther; he merely had charge of
it. At certain busy seasons he had some men to help him in his work,
but for the greater part of the year he preferred doing everything
himself.
It was a very fine garden over which John Gayther had charge. It
extended this way and that for long distances. It was difficult to see
how far it did extend, there were so many old-fashioned box hedges;
so many paths overshadowed by venerable grape-arbors; and so
many far-stretching rows of peach, plum, and pear trees. Fruit,
bushes, and vines there were of which the roll need not be called;
and flowers grew everywhere. It was one of the fancies of the
Mistress of the House—and she inherited it from her mother—to have
flowers in great abundance, so that wherever she might walk through
the garden she would always find them.
Often when she found them massed too thickly she would go in
among them and thin them out with apparent recklessness, pulling
them up by the roots and throwing them on the path, where John
Gayther would come and find them and take them away. This heroic
[4]action on the part of the Mistress of the House pleased John very
much. He respected the fearless spirit which did not hesitate to make
sacrifices for the greater good, no matter how many beautiful
blossoms she scattered on the garden path. John Gayther might have
thinned out all this superfluous growth himself, but he knew the
Mistress liked to do it, and he left for her gloved hands many tangled
jungles of luxuriant bloom.
The garden was old, and rich, and aristocratic. It acted generously in
the way of fruit, flowers, and vegetables, as if that were something it
was expected to do, an action to which it was obliged by its nobility. It
would be impossible for it to forget that it belonged to a fine old house
and a fine old family.
John Gayther could not boast of lines of long descent, as could the
garden and the family. He was comparatively a new-comer, and had
not lived in that garden more than seven or eight years; but in that
time he had so identified himself with the place, and all who dwelttime he had so identified himself with the place, and all who dwelt
upon it, that there were times when a stranger might have supposed
him to be the common ancestor to the whole estate.
John understood well the mysterious problems of the tillable earth,
and he knew, as well as anybody could know, what answers to
expect when he consulted the oracles of nature. He was an elderly
man, and the gentle exercises of the garden were suited to the
disposition of his mind and body. In days gone by he had been a
sailor, a soldier, a miner, a ranchman, and a good many other things
besides. In those earlier days, according to his own account, John
had had many surprising adventures and experiences; but in these
[5]later times his memory was by far the most active and vigorous of all
his moving forces. This memory was like a hazel wand in the hands
of a man who is searching for hidden springs of water. Whenever he
wished it to turn and point in any particular place or direction, it so
turned and pointed.
THIS STORY IS TOLD BY
JOHN GAYTHER
AND IS CALLED
WHAT I FOUND IN THE SEA
[9]I
WHAT I FOUND IN THE SEA
It was on a morning in June that John Gayther was hoeing peas,
drawing the fine earth up about their tender little stems as a mother
would tuck the clothes about her little sleeping baby, when,
happening to glance across several beds, and rows of box, he saw
approaching the Daughter of the House. Probably she was looking
for him, but he did not think she had yet seen him. He put down his
hoe, feeling, as he did, that this June morning was getting very warm;
and he gathered up an armful of pea-sticks which were lying near by.
With these he made his way toward a little house almost in the
middle of the garden, which was his fortress, his palace, his studio, or
his workshop, as the case might be.
It was a low building with a far-outreaching roof, and under the shade
of this roof, outside of the little building, John liked to do his rainy-day
and very-hot-weather work. From the cool interior came a smell of
dried plants and herbs and bulbs and potted earth.When John reached this garden-house, the young lady was already
[10]there. She was not tall; her face was very white, but not pale; and her
light hair fluffed itself all about her head, under her wide hat. She
wore gold spectacles which greatly enhanced the effect of her large
blue eyes. John thought she was the prettiest flower which had ever
showed itself in that garden.
"Good morning, John," she said. "I came here to ask you about plants
suitable for goldfishes in a vase. My fishes do not seem to be
satisfied with the knowledge that the plants through which they swim
were put there to purify the water; they are all the time trying to eat
them. Now it strikes me that there ought to be some plants which
would be purifiers and yet good for the poor things to eat."
John put down his bundle of pea-sticks by the side of a small stool.
"Won't you sit down, miss?" pointing to a garden-bench near by, "and
I will see what I can do for you." Then he seated himself upon the
stool, took out his knife, and picked up a pea-stick.
"The best thing for me to do," he said, "is to look over a book I have
which will tell me just the kind of water plants which your goldfish
ought to have. I will do that this evening, and then I will see to it that
you shall have those plants, whatever they may be. I do not pretend
to be much of a water gardener myself, but it's easy for me to find out
what other people know." John now began to trim some of the lower
twigs from a pea-stick.
"Talking about water gardens, miss," he said, "I wish you could have
seen some of the beautiful ones that I have come across!—more
beautiful and lovely than anything on the top of the earth; you may be
[11]sure of that. I was reminded of them the moment you spoke to me
about your goldfish and their plants."
"Where were those gardens?" asked the young lady; "and what were
they like?"
"They were all on the bottom of the sea, in the tropics," said John
Gayther, "where the water is so clear that with a little help you can
see everything just as if it were out in the open air—bushes and vines
and hedges; all sorts of tender waving plants, all made of seaweed
and coral, growing in the white sand; and instead of birds flying about
among their branches there were little fishes of every color: canary-
colored fishes, fishes like robin-redbreasts, and others which you
might have thought w

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